Known around the world for its wooden coasters, Great Coasters International announced the next product in its legacy, Titan Track, during the 2019 IAAPA Expo, which coincided with its 25th anniversary party at Fun Spot Orlando. The announcement about this was said to have come as a surprise to many at the event; with interest and media buzz already forming seconds after the big reveal. “We are so thrilled to finally share this new engineering marvel with the world. Our weld free steel track is now here,” said GCI founder, Clair Hain.
This put Great Coasters in a new league of coaster manufacturing; able to create both wood and steel rollercoaster attractions. Almost a year later the track was put to the test for its first ever installation. GCI partnered with previous client, Fun Spot in installing a 50’ test section of track on the White Lightning rollercoaster. White Lightning is a ground up wooden track with steel supports rollercoaster from GCI that debuted 20 May 2013.
The family- owned amusement park is in Orlando Florida and operates the White Lighting 365 days a year. The Park closed the attraction to undergo the first section of Titan Track to be installed on the out and back coasters return section. GCI would install 50’ of weld free steel track making this, it said, the world’s first TRUE hybrid rollercoaster.
While in the past wooden coasters would receive a steel re-tracking process, GCI allows for a wooden coaster to only be re-tracked in parts that need a smoother ride. I first rode White Lightning during the 2018 IAAPA Expo with late North American editor Paul Ruben and we had a blast, so I couldn’t wait to see what the difference was when I returned on 17 November last year.
I had read, that according to Great Coasters International, “riding the transitions feels seamless. Riders will smoothly transition from a wood track to a steel one without any rough spots.”
I didn’t feel any bumps going from wood to steel, there is no doubt that it was even smoother, but more intense ride, whilst maintaining a classic wooden coaster feel. I even rode it twice to be sure. Here’s a picture of me with Park World Excellence Awards judges Marcus Gaines (to my right) and Nicole (in front of him) enjoying it for the second time. Don’t be alarmed by my expression – that’s me having fun. Don’t you just love it when the camera catches you unawares?
Thanks GCI and Fun Spot, Orlando, for a great time and a great ride!