Why Not Be Impulsive?  The impulse coaster is a model manufactured by Intamin, inverted and featuring multiple launches.   There are currently five installations in the USA: Vertical Velocity at Six Flags Great America, V2: Vertical Velocity at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Wicked Twister at Cedar Point, Steel Venom at Valleyfair and Possessed at Dorney Park (pictured.)  They’re not all the same although they all follow the same pattern, with repeated forward and backward LIM launches up the two ends of the track, with the train passing through the station on each one.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

This puts a new twist on things, both figuratively and literally, as the ride begins with a launch up a twisted spike (except for V2, which has a slightly different configuration).  On Possessed the train is launched up the twisted spike, rotating riders 180 degrees, then launched up the straight spike before being launched again up the twisted spike.  (Wicked Twister actually has two twisted spikes.) From there it’s back up the straight spike, where riders are suspended for a few seconds with a holding brake – more than a little unnerving – before being launched once more up the twisted spike and back to the loading station to finish the ride.  It’s a pretty convulsive ride.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

What’s your take?  Have you ridden an impulse coaster and if so, what did you think of it?

About The Author

Hi! I took up roller coasters late in life, 8 years ago at the age of 59 and am trying to make up for lost time. Most of my favorite coasters were made by Intamin and lately, Rocky Mountain Construction. I love Hersheypark not only because it's the sweetest place on earth but because the three major coasters are Intamins. In real life I work in the legal profession.

5 Responses

  1. John

    I think these are great rides. My first ride on one was quite memorable and it was on Possessed where it was first located at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake) in Aurora, Ohio. I definitely was not ready for the holding brake!Convulsive is a good descriptor.

  2. Susan

    Wicked Twister is one of my favourite rides at Cedar Point! I love the launch and its just a really fun, fast ride. We always aim for either the front or back row to get up higher (at one end anyway!) We also rode Possessed at Dorney Park and the holding brake was definitely a highlight, something different that Wicked Twister doesn’t have.

  3. James

    I have ridden Vertical Velocity at SFGAM and Wicked Twister, and have enjoyed both. They offer intense fast paces rides along with some stomach-churning floater airtime at the top of each spire. Not in my personal top 20 rides, but still quality coasters nonetheless.

  4. Eric

    I liked SFGAm’s Vertical Velocity a lot more when they used the holding brake. Since 2007, it’s been disabled, and for some reason the train always seems to have rows blocked off.

    Wicked Twister is great. Possessed (f/k/a Voodoo) was alright, though I rode it in the middle of a rainstorm :\

    Shuttle coasters are tough for me to truly “love”, given their 1-train operation and super low hourly capacity.

  5. Brian MacDonald

    I’ll be the dissenter — I’m not a fan. I’ve only ridden Possessed, I only did it for the credit, and because there was no line the day I rode. It doesn’t have the sensations that I ride a coaster for. The pauses at the ends are airtime, but not in the way a hill provides airtime. I also didn’t enjoy staring straight at the ground during the hold. It felt more like a drop tower sensation than a coaster. I think it’s very close to the line of “not a coaster,” but just barely on the “coaster” side (staring across the line at Larson Loops on the other side). I’m glad people like them, but I feel no need to ride Possessed again.


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