Over-the-top, family-friendly Branson, Missouri is hardly a magnet destination for solo adventure travelers. But its 1880s-themed amusement park, Silver Dollar City, is already teasing something big, exciting, and record-breaking for spring 2018. The first-ever Time Traveler roller coaster will be “ahead of our time”: the steepest, fastest, tallest spinning roller coaster in the world.
By the numbers, Time Traveler is impressive. The 3,020-foot ride will top out at more than 50 miles per hour and reach a 100-foot peak before a 10-story, 90-degree vertical drop — all in less than two minutes. The three inversions along the way — including a zero-G roll, a dive loop, and a vertical loop — are the most of any coaster of its kind. To be sure, there are faster, steeper, and taller coasters in the world — even in the United States. But Time Traveler will be the first-ever spinning coaster to break these records. That means all these twists, turns, drops, and zero-G rolls will be done while each car simultaneously spins 360 degrees on adjustable magnetic motors.
The coaster’s design was inspired in large part by the lives and fantastical writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, so there’s a distinct steampunk element as well. Silver Dollar City enhances the story with a historic lecture by the 19th-century clock-maker, Charles Henry, who was said to have diligently sought the secrets of time travel. The new coaster is said to be the ultimate result of his experiments. Cheeky? Sure. But, the rugged, mountainous beauty of the Ozarks should help sell the backstory by providing the perfect backdrop for the one-of-a-kind ride.
This news will be Silver Dollar City’s biggest since the 2013 opening of the park’s first triple-inversion Outlaw Run. This unique coaster became the first ever to feature a hybrid steel-and-wood construction. Time Traveler takes cues from Cobra’s Curse — a similar coaster built by the same design company in Busch Gardens Tampa in 2016. Both feature cars which can spin randomly and face backward or forward depending on riders’ weight distribution.
Bottom line: if you’re a roller coaster buff, it’s time to update your bucket list.