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Will we ever see another large-scale 4D coaster?

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. 4D coasters seem to have become all the rage as of late, with S&S’ 4D Free Spin model in particular flying off the shelves at the moment. But it’s quite easy to forget that before the era of modern, compact 4D coasters, it was a different type of 4D coaster that started it all; the original 4D coaster, X2, was an absolute behemoth of a coaster. Costing millions of dollars, X2 (or X, as it was then known) was on a completely different scale entirely to the Free Spins; a 215ft tall behemoth of a ride, with stats befitting of your average hyper coaster, huge winged trains, and completely controlled spinning as opposed to the free spinning controlled with fins that is popular today. The ride was so complex, in fact, that it actually bankrupted Arrow!

After X2 opened, Arrow’s assets were of course purchased by S&S, who went on to create two siblings for X2 in the form of Eejanaika and Dinoconda, which opened in 2006 and 2012, respectively. After that, though, the market for large-scale 4D coasters seemingly dried up, and the release of S&S’ Free Spin model in 2015 seemingly killed off demand for them altogether; it’s been 9 years since Dinoconda opened, and we’re yet to see another large-scale 4D built or even announced. So my question to you today is; do you think we will ever see another large-scale 4D coaster built? Will X2, Eejanaika and Dinoconda eventually gain additional siblings?

Personally, my take is; never say never. While there might not be much demand now, S&S may eventually go on to build more. They’ve done a lot of work with 4D coasters since the construction of Dinoconda, so maybe they might have some new tricks up their sleeves to utilise with a large-scale 4D coaster so that they can refine the ride type further? Alternatively, we might see another manufacturer take a stab at a large-scale 4D coaster. For instance, I know it was rumoured for years that B&M wanted to build upon their Wing Coaster model and take a stab at a full-size 4D coaster, so maybe that rumour might finally come to fruition?

My point is; I reckon another one being built eventually is by no means out of the question, personally.

But what are your thoughts?
 

emoo

Mega Poster
I'm my dreams, yes. x4 4D's (the proper ones), has gotta be done.

But for less money, steel and mechanical hassle you can get a major attraction with a wider appeal.

Just loading and unloading trains is a faff and gets all the more involved if you want any kind of efficiency.

I see the London resort and Iron Gwazi opening sooner 😋.

I'm feeling some major déjà vu here but let's will this into existence if we can.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
No, Yeah.

A 4D feels far more achievable than getting another Accelerator coaster, given S&S' recent (and hopefully growing) commercial success. The world needs more 4D coasters, and they fill a unique niche of "next level" thrills that could be a great crown jewel with a lot of tier 1 and tier 2 amusement parks.
 

CrashCoaster

CF Legend
I'm almost 100% sure we already have a thread on this but I can't seem to find it. In fact I think I may have started it. But to answer the question, probably not.
 

RTcmix

Mega Poster
It's ultimately up to the client buying the things, but I feel like it would be more likely for S&S to try to sell some Axis Coasters, since that's the shiny new prototype. I'm sure if someone really wanted to build another giant 4D coaster, S&S would build it, but there probably aren't that many potential clients who would even have the space and the budget for one. I agree with Hyde, though. Definitely more likely than an Accelerator.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I'm my dreams, yes. x4 4D's (the proper ones), has gotta be done.

But for less money, steel and mechanical hassle you can get a major attraction with a wider appeal.

Just loading and unloading trains is a faff and gets all the more involved if you want any kind of efficiency.

I see the London resort and Iron Gwazi opening sooner 😋.

I'm feeling some major déjà vu here but let's will this into existence if we can.
With regard to the bolded; surely a 4D coaster is no different to the likes of B&M’s wing coasters in terms of efficiency of loading, and plenty of parks have made a beeline for those in the 10 years the model has been available? Or do the 4Ds have more advanced restraints (with things like leg clamps, for instance)? Interestingly, S&S cites the load/unload time of the 4th dimension coaster (the amount of time the train is parked in the station for) as 45 seconds on their website, so they can be efficient to load & unload if need be!

I do agree with your general point, however; the big 4Ds must arguably all be candidates for the title of “most technologically challenging coaster ever created”, what with their size and all of their associated paraphernalia, and they are apparently somewhat unreliable as well. In terms of appeal; the 4Ds do seem somewhat polarising to an extent. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the big 4Ds that exist are apparently some of the most intense, brutal coasters ever created (All of them, particularly the newer S&S ones, are often cited as being phenomenally intense, and I’ve heard X2 in particular described as quite rough), which certainly won’t be for everyone.
 
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emoo

Mega Poster
Restraints are not immediately obvious, almost harness like that usually needs adjustment by one of the many rides ops. A bit like Shockwaves @ Drayton but different. Also add in some form of loose item detection process and lockers (more staff and faff). You want a snug fit really to allow for being rag dolled throughout.
 

Dar

Hyper Poster
I'd love to see a proper 4D coaster in Europe. I'm still deluding myself that Chessington's new one is B&M's prototype!

I think the major stumbling block is how to achieve the precise, controlled rotation in a comfortable and cost-effective manner. Arrow demonstrated one way to do it with 'X', but it was monstrously expensive, both in terms of amount of steel and also the precision and time needed in manufacturing. The inherent slop in the rack & pinion makes for a bumpy ride no matter how precise the track and guide rails are.

I wonder if battery and motor technology is progressing fast enough to just pop a motor on each row? Either pre-programmed rotation or controlled by the track in some way. If you could program the rotation, you could have some rows with less intense programs and a "hardcore" row, or each row could select the intensity on the lift for a personalised ride!
 

StevenX

Roller Poster
Probably not, as much as I'd love to given that Eejanaika is definite top 5 material for me.

They seem to be very popular in the few parks they're in and continue to draw queues, but I think the cost of installation and maintenance is probably prohibitive for most parks.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I'm skeptical too.

It should not be understated how phenomenally massive those coasters are. X2 is the smallest of them, and it has an elevation difference of 65 meters. They also feature over a kilometer of (four-rail!) track, a veritable forest of supports, and some of the biggest coaster trains in the industry if not the biggest. This makes them an absolutely gigantic investment, as well as a bit of a hassle to get built due to various height restrictions and limits of available space. And then there's maintenance ...

Meanwhile, consider the target audience. With their sheer size, a vertical drop, floorless seating position, multiple inversions, and the whole gimmick of flipping seats, 4D coasters are definitely coasters for the thrilliest of thrill-seekers. Those constitute a rather small part of a park's audience, and they're not the most generous spenders either. I'm not sure how good 4D coasters are at pulling the masses through the park gates.

Or in other words, a large portion of guests would go: "Multi-Dimension Roller Coaster 1 looks too intense for me!"

I think the large-scale 4D coasters have too much of the unfortunate combination of huge installation costs and narrow appeal to be worthwhile investments for most parks. They cost so much that only a handful of parks worldwide have the means to build them, and they'd rather be doing something different with those amounts of money.
 
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