A-Z Coaster of the Week: XLR-8
For our A-Z Coaster of the Week we’ve arrived at the letter “X” and must travel back in time to the days of Six Flags AstroWorld to find XLR8, the first “successful” suspended roller coaster.
AstroWorld was a massive theme park, opened in Houston, Texas in 1968. AstroWorld was originally intended to be part of “Astrodomain”, an entertainment super-center that would include the Astrodome sports stadium. It was a state-of-the-art park, with outdoor air conditioning, featuring eight different themed areas. Throughout the years, new areas and rides were added, and in 1984, XLR8 was built. XLR8 was a suspended steel coaster, the first successful one built by coaster design firm Arrow after the problematic Bat at Kings Island.
XLR8 was a successful ride, and for a special Halloween event in 2002, the park reversed the last four cars, something never done on a suspended coaster before. This was a hit, and the cars remained that way for the rest of the ride’s lifetime. However, as Houston grew, the area around the park became crowded. The value of the land increased greatly and, with attendance falling steadily, park owners thought they could get more money from selling it. In 2005, the park was shut down. All rides were demolished, including XLR8. According to RCDB, after the XLR-8 was taken down, some, if not all, of the trains were sent to Six Flags Magic Mountain to be used on the Ninja.
XLR8 POV Video
- Opened: 1984
- Closed: 2005
- Age when closed: 21
- Designer/Manufacturer: Arrow Dynamics
- Height: 81ft (24.69m)
- Speed: 34.1mph (10.39kph)
- Length: 3,000ft (914.4m)
Did you get a chance to ride XLR8? Let us know in the comments how the ride was.
Make sure to come back next week to see what “Y” coaster will be featured!