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CWOA | Project Amazon | B&M Wing Coaster (Jumanji Land?)| 2023

Hixee

Flojector
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Just to jump back on the launch point, because I'm a pedant like that.
Thunderbird's launch was built by InTraSys. Not sure why everyone seems to think they built it themselves but like Hulk, it wasn't.
Wrong.

The difference is that for the Hulk, B&M essentially delivered the entire ride to Universal minus the launch and said "there you go - you do the rest". With Thunderbird, B&M delivered the entire package (yes I'm sure it was probably more complicated than that, but if things had gone sideways you can bet that's how B&M's contract was written ;) ).

Sure, they didn't manufacture the launch components themselves, but they also don't manufacture the ride sensors for any of their rides either - that's not really what people mean when they say it was all built by B&M.

Just 'cos I hear that argument used a lot - "B&M don't actually make the fins" - and it's annoying. :p I know you know this, but just want to be clear. :)
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Just to jump back on the launch point, because I'm a pedant like that.

Wrong.

The difference is that for the Hulk, B&M essentially delivered the entire ride to Universal minus the launch and said "there you go - you do the rest". With Thunderbird, B&M delivered the entire package (yes I'm sure it was probably more complicated than that, but if things had gone sideways you can bet that's how B&M's contract was written ;) ).

Sure, they didn't manufacture the launch components themselves, but they also don't manufacture the ride sensors for any of their rides either - that's not really what people mean when they say it was all built by B&M.

Just 'cos I hear that argument used a lot - "B&M don't actually make the fins" - and it's annoying. :p I know you know this, but just want to be clear. :)
Do manufacturers ever actually make their own launches? With it being like the way you described, surely a launch coaster from the likes of Mack or Intamin would be no different?
 

Hixee

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Do manufacturers ever actually make their own launches? With it being like the way you described, surely a launch coaster from the likes of Mack or Intamin would be no different?
Exactly. They are. Again the difference is that the manufacturer is coordinating all of the interfaces with the launch supplier and (as far as the customer is concerned) it's all just "B&M/Mack/Intamin".
 

Hixee

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I'm a little confused about how it isn't considered that way with the Hulk then?
I suppose an analogy might be easier to follow.

If you go to Ford to buy a new Fiesta (other car makes/models are available), you sign the cheque, they give you the keys, off you go. As far as you're concerned, Ford made that car. Except they didn't make the tires, did they? They have some sort of agreement with Pirelli/Michelin/Continental/etc, who supply the tires. You, as the consumer, never have any dealings with the tire manufacturer directly. As far as you're concerned, it was one 'car' and you have one person to go to during your warranty period (and onwards).

If, however, you wanted super special tires that Ford refused to put on the car ("those types of tires aren't our bag, we're not experts in them, we don't trust them"), then they could perfectly well sell you the car without tires and you can go to any tire manufacturer you like to get your car on the road. Of course, if your tires go wrong (or indeed were to cause damage to the rest of the car somehow), Ford would turn around and remind you they had nothing to do with the tires - you're on the hook for that.

In short, that's the difference between Hulk (Universal provided the launch tech - probably using A.N. Other's motors and kicker wheels - all B&M did was provide the space on the track) and Thunderbird (B&M sold the whole product, even though they outsourced some it to subcontractors).
 

CrashCoaster

CF Legend
Ah I see. So essentially B&M oversaw the launch installation without Holiday World having to worry about dealing with a 3rd party company to install it, unlike what IoA would have had to do, to get a separate company to build the launch as B&M didn't want any responsibility if it had any issues.
 
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Eyebrows

Mega Poster
Ah I see. So essentially B&M overlooked the launch installation without Holiday World having to worry about dealing with a 3rd party company to install it, unlike what IoA would have had to do, to get a separate company to build the launch as B&M didn't want any responsibility if it had any issues.
Right, just use “oversaw” instead of “overlooked”. I know that’s what you meant, just replying for clarity’s sake.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
According to RideRater, there are multiple manufacturers in the running; B&M are not the sole contender. Apparently the park said at the consultation that Vekoma, Mack Rides, B&M, Gerstlauer and ART Engineering are all in the running, and that the train design, method of propulsion, as well as the inclusion of any inversions or “steep banking”, is up to the manufacturers to include in their design proposal. So the ride might not necessarily be launched or have any inversions, and it might not necessarily be a wing coaster.

The only things they’ve decided are the basic layout itself, that it will be a “boomerang-style” roller coaster, and that it will have a 1.4m height restriction.

Source:
It was also unveiled that the park is shooting for a 2023 opening, but it might be 2024 dependant on how the planning process goes.
 
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CrashCoaster

CF Legend
According to RideRater, there are multiple manufacturers in the running; B&M are not the sole contender. Apparently the park said at the consultation that Vekoma, Mack Rides, B&M, Gerstlauer and ART Engineering are all in the running, and that the train design, method of propulsion, as well as the inclusion of any inversions or “steep banking”, is up to the manufacturers to include in their design proposal. So the ride might not necessarily be launched or have any inversions, and it might not necessarily be a wing coaster.

The only things they’ve decided are the basic layout itself, that it will be a “boomerang-style” roller coaster, and that it will have a 1.4m height restriction.

Source:
It was also unveiled that the park is shooting for a 2023 opening, but it might be 2024 dependant on how the planning process goes.
I would love B&M to make it the most, mainly because I think it would be the most funny.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
EDIT: I apologise in advance for the very long post; I wrote a lot more than I think I intended to!
So, we have 5 possible manufacturers being thrown into the ring by Chessington’s PR team. In terms of which ones I think are most likely, I’ll weigh up the pros and cons of each, as well as giving my final verdict on how likely I think each manufacturer is to be picked:
Vekoma
For:
  • Vekoma have vast experience manufacturing shuttle coasters; they are quite arguably king of the shuttle coaster. Though it’s now discontinued, the traditional Vekoma Boomerang was the most cloned roller coaster layout of all time, and even now, Family Boomerangs seem to be flying off the shelves at a rate of knots!
  • Vekoma seem fairly keen to innovate when required; they’ve worked with Disney on numerous very unique attractions, and rides like FLY at Phantasialand prove that Vekoma is not shy when it comes to inventing new ride concepts. As such, I imagine the wackiness of this ride concept would be well within their capabilities.
  • Even though Merlin has never built a Vekoma roller coaster in any of their parks, they have fairly recently done business with Vekoma through the Legoland division; Haunted House Monster Party at Legoland Windsor was a fairly recent Vekoma installation, and I think Vekoma might also have some link to Brogent, who are the manufacturer that builds the flying theatre models that currently seem to be springing up at Legoland parks everywhere. As such, Merlin are not unfamiliar with Vekoma by any means.
  • Vekoma are not a particularly expensive manufacturer, from what I can gather, and I’d argue that they may possibly have the strongest price-to-quality ratio of any major manufacturer at the moment. As such, this would fit quite well with Merlin’s present philosophy of buying less expensive ride hardware and theming it to the absolute hilt.
Against:
  • I’m not sure how up for building the rumoured winged trains Vekoma would be. As I said above, they are keen to innovate, but they’ve never done anything quite like a wing coaster before, and by nature, winged trains might risk endangering Vekoma’s reputation for building silky smooth roller coasters.
  • Vekoma also hasn’t built any thrill-orientated shuttle coasters since massively overhauling their track design; I’m sure they probably could, if they wanted to, but their current shuttle coaster offering, the Family Boomerang, certainly doesn’t command the alleged 1.4m height restriction.
  • As much as I said about Merlin having worked with Vekoma before above, they’ve never worked with Vekoma on a major, bespoke thrill coaster before, and new Vekoma are still slightly alien to the Western market at the moment, so I’m not sure how willing Merlin would be to take the risk of building one.
Final Verdict: I’d say there’s a fair chance that Vekoma could be spearheading this project. They offer a very compelling price point, a willingness to innovate that Merlin will inevitably be looking for, and a vast amount of experience building shuttle coasters. It all boils down to whether Merlin wants to take the risk of working with Vekoma on a major coaster project for the first time.

Mack Rides
For:
  • They’ve done a fair bit of work for the Legoland parks under Merlin; a lot of the new Legoland parks seem to have Mack wild mouse coasters in them, and Mack did help out with the new Duplo Dino Coaster at Legoland Windsor.
  • Mack has built launched shuttle(ish) creations aimed at the thrill market before; things like Star Trek and Capitol Bullet Train come to mind here.
  • Mack thrill coasters also don’t tend to be too intense compared to those from other manufacturers, so a thrilling Mack shuttle coaster would offer that wide appeal and “family thrill” target demographic that Chessington will be looking for.
Against:
  • Mack are quite pricey, so I’m not sure that they would really comply with Merlin’s current philosophy of buying lower-cost ride hardware and leaving a big budget for theming.
  • Mack also don’t strike me as the most innovative of manufacturers; a lot of their more recent products are just variations on pretty basic seating positions. The most innovative they’ve gone in recent times is probably the Inverted Powered Coaster, but even that is just a variation on the invert. Similarly to B&M, Mack’s selling point comes down to reliable, comfortable, luxury roller coasters that work well, so I’m not sure I see them plumping for something like a wing coaster or whatever seating gimmick Merlin seemingly wants from this ride.
  • I’ve heard rumours that Mack are reportedly not too fond of Merlin as a client, and wouldn’t be keen to work with them on a major, bespoke project. As such, I’m not sure whether this would harm their chances of Merlin picking them.
  • Leading on from the above, Merlin have never worked with Mack on a major, bespoke ride project in any of their parks before; most of their work from Mack seems to be cloned rides for Legoland parks.
Final Verdict: To be honest, I don’t think Mack are too likely, personally. They might be a bit pricier than what Merlin is looking for, and I’m not sure whether they’d want to take the risk of working with a new company on such a major ride.

B&M
For:
  • A B&M coaster would justify the 1.4m height restriction. Practically all of their rides have 1.4m height restrictions, so it would make that element of the puzzle justified.
  • Merlin has worked with B&M a fair number of times, both in the UK and abroad. As such, they’re a company who Merlin is well acquainted with, and would probably trust to deal with such a major, bespoke ride project.
  • As much as this concept looks quite wacky by B&M standards, Merlin/Tussauds parks have a proud history of pushing B&M to innovate outside of their comfort zone; the Dive Coaster, Flying Coaster and Wing Coaster were all concepts spearheaded by Tussauds/Merlin.
  • The main argument for B&M spearheading this project is that they’re the only manufacturer who is currently actively building wing coasters. They’ve built a fair number of wing coasters now, so they have a fair wealth of experience with the seating position and know how to really make it work.
Against:
  • As much as Merlin have worked with B&M before, B&M are pricey, and I’m not sure if B&M ride hardware would satisfy the current Merlin philosophy of buying lower-cost ride hardware and leaving a substantial theming budget.
  • B&M have never built a shuttle coaster before, and as much as it’s not out of the question that they could build one, I’m not sure they’re the first company you’d go for if you were looking to buy one. I’m not even sure if B&M have ever built a ride that goes backwards before; I don’t think they have, come to think of it, unless you count the limited edition Batman backwards concept at Six Flags parks and Brave it Backwards on The Swarm at Thorpe Park.
  • This whole ride concept in general looks a bit too “wacky” and compact for B&M. I love B&M coasters, but if there’s two things you don’t go to B&M for, they’re wacky and compact. The key selling point of B&M coasters is that they’re reliable, and tried and tested rides, so they don’t tend to be terribly innovative, for the most part. B&M rides are also huge, sprawling things for the most part, and they tend to work best when they have a fair amount of space and size to work with, so I’m not sure if they’d want to go for a more compact coaster like this one.
Final Verdict: I’d say that B&M are a considerably less likely option, personally. I wouldn’t say they’re out of the question (none of these are), but I’d rather class B&M alongside Mack as not being the most likely option, personally.

Gerstlauer
For:
  • Merlin have worked with Gerstlauer quite a few times before, both in Legoland parks and Resort Theme Parks. Most notably, Gerstlauer spearheaded both Saw The Ride at Thorpe Park and The Smiler at Alton Towers, but they’ve also built a few smaller projects for Legoland parks, too.
  • Gerstlauer are a fairly cheap manufacturer, so would fit with Merlin’s current philosophy of buying low-cost hardware and leaving a big budget for theming. They offer a very compelling price point given their coasters’ size; Gerstlauer coasters offer a lot of bang for your buck.
  • Gerstlauer have also built a fair number of shuttle coasters, both family and thrill, so would be able to satisfy the brief very nicely.
  • As much as Gerstlauer doesn’t currently offer a wing coaster, they are not scared of innovation, and will jump to practically any height the client wants them to! Gerst have conjured up some crazily innovative coasters in their time, especially more recently, and strike me as the sort of company that wouldn’t be scared to step up to the job of building something a bit more unique.
Against:
  • The main thing working against Gerstlauer in my eyes is that I’m not sure how keen Merlin would be to work with them following the saga with Smiler. As much as The Smiler crashed 6 years ago now, and Gerstlauer themselves were absolved of any wrongdoing, the crash is still very fresh in Merlin’s mind, and I’m unsure how willing Merlin would be to go back to them for a major new ride.
Final Verdict: If Merlin are able to look past the Smiler incident, then I’d say Gerstlauer could be in with a fair chance of winning this project, personally. They offer a number of reasons why they could build the kind of ride that Chessington are looking for here.

ART Engineering
For:
  • ART seems to be one of Merlin’s staunchest allies for recent projects. They’ve done a lot of work for the Legoland parks, and also built the fairly recent Ghostbusters 5D at Heide.
  • ART seems to have a fairly wide repertoire, and don’t seem afraid to work outside the box; even though they don’t really offer any thrill coasters, they’ve built numerous family/junior roller coasters, and have worked on some larger projects (most notably, they worked on a large part of Cannibal at Lagoon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were part of Primordial, either). A number of their rides are very bespoke creations, which is perfect for this project.
  • Given that a number of smaller parks work with them, I’m guessing that ART aren’t too expensive, which would suit Merlin’s philosophy of low-cost ride hardware and big theming budget perfectly.
Against:
  • As much as they’ve worked on roller coasters before, I’m not sure whether ART would be willing to be the spearhead of a fairly major thrill coaster like this. As much as they worked on Cannibal, they’ve never actually been the sole manufacturer of a major thrill coaster before, as far as I’m aware.
Final Verdict: I wouldn’t call ART the most likely option, personally, but I guess they’re not out of the question if Merlin trusts them to spearhead a major project like this one.

So in conclusion, with all things considered, my personal guess for the manufacturer of this ride is Vekoma, with Gerstlauer coming in a close second.

Do you agree with my thoughts?
 
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spicy

Giga Poster
Manufacturers aside the current layout is just completely underwhelming even for families, I hope it changes.

If it’s B&M which is being reported most of CWoA target audience are going to struggle to ride due to the 1.4m height limit.

It makes no sense - It’s like Th13teen all over again but reversed, a 1.2m height restricted family coaster slapped with a terror theme.

This time they will be using real thrilling B&M hardware to create a family coaster, yet the height restriction remains. So it just can’t be B&M imo it would be bizarre. My money would be on Vekoma tbh.

I can only guess they have opted for a boomerang coaster as they are limited in layout and what they can do in order to get planning permission granted on the green belt land and boomerang provides for a longer ride time on a small layout. Downside obviously capacity suffers.
 

Bentleya

Mega Poster
While it’s great to speculate on which manufacture will ultimately win the contract. I can’t help but think B&M might have the upper hand here - yes it’s an odd ball choice for them.

But their long term reliability speaks massively- especially for a company like Merlin whom wouldn’t want to be spending out fortunes every year keep the thing operating.

A higher capital investment in year one is far better than higher maintenance costs over it’s 25 years or so lifespan.
 
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Bentleya

Mega Poster
@Hixee - very true and I have no points to come back at that one!

Well - it probably boils down to the fact the UK is seemingly just over complicating it again with a coaster installation which doesn’t need to be anything special or specific - just a crowd pleaser with a semi decent length, great throughput and reliability!

Not much to ask for then?
 
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cocoa

Mega Poster
that NL coaster is hilarious. has anyone ever done so little with 4 (?) launches?

btw, about the Hulk thing. i'm a little confused how b&m could be able to not be involved in the launch systems at all. I mean, the coaster is designed to launch out of the lift hill- could it even clear the barrel roll without a boost? surely they had to be at least somewhat involved in the launch system planning and then after, the various testing phases once the launch has been in place. I understand that they didn't manufacture the tire drives or whatever, but don't a huge amount of companies not manufacture everything in-house anyway? i know we're doing simplified analogies here but I just can't really believe that b&m would be like 'yo here's that peculariarly shaped giant chunk of metal you asked for, go nuts! (hey fred, how are they even planning to get this going? beats me aye)"
 
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