By Brady MacDonald
9:45 AM EST, February 20, 2013
Ride enthusiasts are already drooling over a multi-launch roller coaster coming to a Swedish amusement park that promises six inversions and a series of near-miss encounters with other rides dotting a wooded hillside terrain.
Dubbed Projekt Helix, the $30-million coaster is set to debut in spring 2014 at the Liseberg amusement park located outside Gothenburg, about equidistant between Oslo, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark, along Sweden's west coast.
The new ride won't break any records, but Liseberg boasts that Projekt Helix will be among the best coasters in the world.
"You're only the longest or tallest or fastest for a short while," said Liseberg CEO and President Andreas Andersen. "What we wanted to build was a new classic."
Helix will be based on the 60-mph Blue Fire megacoaster built by Mack Rides at Germany's Europa-Park.
I have ridden Mack's Blue Fire coaster at SeaWorld San Diego, which opened Manta in 2012. Coaster fans living in Sweden or heading to Liseberg for vacation can expect Helix to be glass-smooth, whisper-quiet and surprisingly comfortable.
Theme Park Review, a fan site that plans coaster excursions around the world, has already scheduled a trip to Scandinavia in 2014 with Helix as the highlight.
"The Mack-built Blue Fire became an instant favorite of ours after its debut at Europa-Park a few years ago," said Robb Alvey, who runs Theme Park Review. "Hearing the news that Liseberg would receive a larger, even more insane looking version of that coaster, it's high on our must ride list for 2014."
The 135-foot-tall dual-launch Helix will feature plenty of steep drops, banked turns and airtime hills as well as six inversions, including a pretzel loop, a heart-line roll and a pair of corkscrews.
Helix's 4,445-foot track will start near the base of the Atmosfear free-fall tower and interact with the 1987 Lisebergbanan coaster and the 2007 Uppswinget pendulum swing along its hill-hugging journey. The Maxxima 3-D cinema will be removed to make way for the new coaster station building.
Dating back to 1923, Liseberg is known for its innovative coaster lineup that began with the always-colorful and ever-changing Bergbanan funicular and continues today with the 2003 Balder, twice voted the best wooden coaster in the world.
For 2013, Liseberg plans to open a new Rabbit Land kiddie area with a monorail, two junior drop towers, a mini Ferris wheel and a small coaster called Stampbanan.
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