1998 saw the introduction of Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando, a Bolliger and Mabillard floorless coaster which many consider the best in the world. A year later Universal was due to open it’s thrill heavy Island’s of Adventure at their Orlando resort. However, Disney had a little trick up their sleeve that would turn (Walt Disney) World upside down.
On the 29th of July 1999 Disney’s Hollywood Studios became the home of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, a Vekoma LSM Launch coaster that saw Disney take it’s first step into the world of upside down roller coasters. This was a big step for Disney who before this point couldn’t really boast anything more thrilling than the relatively mild Space Mountain as far as roller coasters were concerned. Disney knew they had to step it up to compete with their Orlando based rivals who were also aiming to please the thrill seekers in the sunshine state.
As you’d expect Walt Disney Imagineering, along with Vekoma, didn’t disappoint. Together they created a coaster with no less than three inversions and a 0-57 launch in just 2.8 seconds. Let’s also not forget to mention the great theme and storyline the coaster possesses, not many (if any) coasters before it could boast such a heavy theme and great storyline, and don’t forget it’s got Aerosmith’s name on it, I mean it doesn’t get any cooler.
So 10 years ago on July 29th Aerosmith officially opened the coaster and the band members took their first ride on what is now a Disney classic. Since then the coaster has been pleasing over a thousand guests every hour and is still popular a decade on. For me, although it’s not the biggest, fastest or longest coaster in the world it does the job it was intened to do perfectly. The coaster offers mild yet wild thrills for all ages and is thoroughly enjoyable for everyone, no matter if your a thrill seeker or just someone who enjoys a good themed attraction.
Along with what it does on it’s own what it does as apart of a park is also brilliant. In my opinion it ensures that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the best park in Walt Disney World and one of the best in the world.
Long live Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and may it please millions more in years to come.