Their openings are often delayed and their known for having downtime even after they are open. But, how can you not applaud the creativity and ingenuity of roller coaster prototypes? These firsts expand on existing designs and concepts and take them a step further. Launch coasters come to mind as suffering from delays and downtime. I can remember Volcano The Blast Coaster’s and Hypersonic XLC’s frequent downtime. But successful prototypes have spawned clones, and later, unique custom designs. We wouldn’t have exciting custom-designed rides like Montu with out Batman: The Ride.
Round About, originally known as Maximum RPM when it opened at Hard Rock Park, is a good illustration of a prototype. The Premier Rides-designed roller coaster combined a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster. The wheel takes the place of the coaster’s lift hill. Each convertible British sports car-themed car (like Mini Coopers) rolled out of the station and into the hub of the wheel structure. Almost like a revolver, each car reached the top and was released down the first hill.
Now the ride itself wasn’t overly impressive, but it was definitely unique. The layout was short and not too thrilling, but it was almost like two rides in one and a memorable experience if nothing else. The unusual roller coaster opened after the rest of Hard Rock Park had already opened in 2008. After re-opening as Round About during the park’s Freestyle Music Park phase in 2009, the ride has remained standing, but sits closed as the rest of the park.
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