Steampunk-inspired roller coaster dives into haunted gold mine
“A Netherlands theme park will unveil a $20-million roller coaster this summer featuring a level of thematic detail rarely found in massive steel thrill rides.The Baron 1898 dive coaster at Efteling theme park will combine a 19th century Dutch gold mining backstory with a 90-degree free-fall drop into a subterranean tunnel.Similar to the Krake dive coaster at Germany’s Heide Park, the double-inversion Baron 1898 built by Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard will reach a top speed of 55 mph over a 1,600-foot-long course.
Set in 1898, the backstory of the new coaster retells the mythical tale of greedy mine baron Gustave Hooghmoed, who discovered a system of old tunnels underneath Efteling just before the turn of the century.Deep inside the subterranean labyrinth, Hooghmoed made two surprising discoveries: Mountains of gold and a fright of ghosts. Known as Witte Wieven, the white women spirits of Dutch legend were sworn to protect the fertile soil and everything it contains, including the gold.”
Chippewa Lake Park operated for a century, closing in 1978. Demolition
was started in 2009, however some rides remain standing even today. The
wooden Big Dipper was the headline roller coaster at the park, and was
built in 1924-25. After its closure, the surrounding woodland gradually
started to reclaim it.
Nintendo announced a partnership with Universal today to bring “immersive experiences” based on its popular brands to theme parks. The two companies didn’t provide any more details than that, so we’ll have to wait to hear what exactly those experiences will be – and considering how long it often takes to get these rides running, it could be years before we get to actually see them.
But, hey, Donkey Kong mine cart roller coasters at Universal Studios could be a thing. Or Yoshi carousels? I don’t know, you all can probably come up with better ideas. The GIF above is from this video of Mario riding a roller coaster.