Linnanmäki Removes Vonkaputous Water Coaster, Hints At New Ride
Vonkaputous, the last remaining Premier Liquid Coaster aka “water coaster”, will be soon be removed from Linnanmäki Park (Helsinki, Finland) according to park officials.
The coaster, which had opened in May of 2001 at Linnanmäki in Finland, appeared as a boat—seating 10 passengers in 5 rows. Once departing the station, the car descended into a 90 degree turn leading to the lift hill. The right-hand first drop led through a tunnel which housed a mist effect. After a left-hand second drop, the car made its way through some twisted logs before making a final splash down. Then, the car slowly passed to the station through an S-turn. In all, the ride totaled 1082 ft of track, stood 79 feet tall, and hit speeds in excess of 37 MPH.
Vonkaputous was repeatedly plagued with technical difficulties during its lifetime. For many years it operated with only one car, despite having originally designed to have up to three cars running at the same time. This was mainly because of system glitches and the ride’s interference-sensitive infrared sensors. Since it was not possible to operate Vonkaputous without water, there were two 217 horsepower pumps constantly circulating water when the ride was operating. Therefore, the operational costs were high compared to the ride’s capacity and the need for maintenance. Also, since the Liquid Coaster is a discontinued model, limited spare part accessibility induced further problems. Vonkaputous closed on August 10, 2017. It was simply at the end of its life span.
Earlier today (3/7/18), the park has released a not-so cryptic message across its social media accounts hinting at its replacement. The post stated:
“Why is the Vonkaputous demolished? Big news from Linnanmäki!
According to facebook, this translates to English as: “Big news from castle hill coming up!” #Castle #air
The post included the following image:
Without a doubt the park is adding a new attraction in 2019. However, there was a video posted last year by S&S Sansei that might have provided some clues to what’s coming…
Last February, S&S Sansei released several videos of new ride concepts. These videos consisted of S&S suspended coaster, their version of the Larson Loop, and other El Loco style designs. Coaster enthusiasts quickly realized that the video for the High Capacity El Loco coaster was depicting a ride concept on the footprint where Vonkaputous stood. Even the neighboring Tulireki coaster was included in the animation. The video has since been removed.
According to a statement from S&S CEO, Tim Timco, the video posted was showing off a “high-capacity El Loco coaster and other ride concepts that were prepared as part of a sales presentation for specific potential customers.” As such, they were not intended for public release and have now been removed from YouTube. But, the cat was already out of the bag…
Below is a screen shot from that video that is still floating around the interwebs.
The animated S&S ride featured a drop out of the station down the hillside into a structure that featured a drop/bounce elevator style track room. Then, rolled out into another section of track which encountered a rotating switch track that placed the car onto the launch track, where it launched forwards, backwards and then forwards again at full speed and into the rest of the layout before returning to the station.
Now, considering that this is a ride concept, it is possible that the video was for a standardized conceptual animation. GCI has routinely placed actual parks in the background of their videos, such as Elitch Gardens (Switchback Concept) and Six Flags Fiesta Texas (Aeroplane Coaster Recreation) shown below.
Although this is not an official announcement by any means, it’s a pretty solid rumor. Remember, clues do not always mean it will happen, so until it is officially announced by the park, take it with a grain of salt…
Linnanmäki (Helsinki, Finland) opens for the 2018 season on April 27th. For tickets and more information, visit the official Linnanmäki website by clicking here.
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