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Alpengeist


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Alpengeist Specs
Operating Since:
March 22, 1997
Manufacturer:
Bollinger & Mabillard
Cost:
$20,000,000
B&M Steel Inverted
Length:
3828 ft
Height:
195 ft
Largest Drop:
170 ft
Speed:
67 mph
Inversions:
6
Trains:
3 trains
8 cars per train
4 riders per car
(4 across seating)
Ride Duration:
3:10
Ride Capacity:
1820 riders per hour
With a name translating from German into "Ghost of the Alps", Alpengeist was added to Busch Gardens in 1997 as the parks first large steel B&M coaster. Located in the Aquitaine section of the park within "France", this B&M inverted style coaster broke several coaster records the year it opened.

Following the snow theme, Alpengeist features bright white box-beam construction with blue supports for a very crisp look. The ride is themed to represent a ski lift set in a mountain resort, very appropriate for the inverted track style of the coaster.

The layout of the ride is fairly sprawling and starts with a unique spiralling first drop. A vertical loop is built directly over a body of water adding a unique experience due to reflections during nighttime rides. A large Immelman dive and several flips, including a zero-G roll and a corkscrew spin conclude with a tight helix before the trains glide back into the station. A tight mid-course drop creates a "near miss" experience with a small covered bridge allowing access to other areas of the park.

Though technically groundbreaking among B&M rides in terms of height and speed when it opened, Alpengeist lacks the great synergy that marks other B&M coasters as masters of the genre. Part of the problem possibly lies in the taming of the trademark B&M operating sound, due to construction constraints regarding height and noise regulations that had to be met to secure permits for the ride's construction. To avoid complaints from the theme park's neighbors, Alpengeist was built in a sunken area of the park, and landscaped with trees and shrubbery to prevent the spread of noise. The ride also includes special noise-deadening features in its design, including filling the box-beam track support structure with dampening material and specially designed "quiet riding" wheels. This results in a muffling of the signature B&M "roar" that typically announces the operation of one of these monster rides throughout the park. This consideration to neighbors may have resulted in a slight taming of the expected B&M ride experience.


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