Vortex at California’s Great America Is Losing Its Floor, Becoming Patriot
Back in 2015 there was an article that hinted Vortex at California’s Great America, the oldest stand-up coaster in the United States, would be getting a floorless conversion like the one that turned Mantis at Cedar Point into Rougarou. In addition, when Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimett revealed part of the master plan for the park, it included re-branding and reopening Vortex. Today the park announced that the conversion will be happening this year, and the ride will reopen as Patriot. Vortex will be shutting down after September 5 (Labor Day) to get Patriot ready for the 2017 season.
The name Patriot, was inspired by the location of the ride bordering the “All American Corners” section of the park, according to the press release. It also ties in well with the other major B&M coaster at the park, Flight Deck. The coaster will get a new bright blue paint job, and “state-of-the-art blue and white trains positioning guests with their feet dangling above the blue and white track.”
CGA’s Vice President and General Manager, Raul Rehnborg said of the new ride, “With the track visible beneath their fee, Patriot will create unique and exciting new perspectives throughout the ride.”
Patriot will keep the current layout, with a 91 foot drop into a loop. However, the announcement from Great America said that Patriot will have a max speed of 45 miles per hour, slightly faster than Vortex’s current 41 mph max.It was implied in the long term plan announcement that Vortex may be moving locations in the park, but it sounds like that’s not happening as the press release mentions the rides visibility in its central location.
The conversion is a little surprising because this will make the ride the second floorless coaster in the San Francisco Bay Area, with Medusa at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom a little over an our north of California’s Great AMerica. Additionally, it was unclear if Cedar Fair considered Rougarou a success for the cost of the conversion and would continue. Now that we know they are going forward with this conversion, it’s safe to say that the other Cedar Fair “Vortex” at Carowinds might receive this same treatment in the future.
For more on the conversion, check out the California’s Great America press release here. Stay tuned throughout the year for more info on the conversion, and keep checking Coaster101 today, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, for all of the other major Cedar Fair announcements!