The Santa Clara theme park “California’s Great America” announced that for the 2017 season, it will introduce Patriot, the first Floorless Coaster in the park’s 41-year history. Patriot will emerge from the soon to be retired Vortex coaster, the oldest Stand Up Coaster standing at its original location in the United States.
Patriot will take riders to a 91-foot height before plummeting them into a 360-degree loop at 45 miles per hour. Patriot’s position in the park makes it a dynamic visual from three different sections of Great America.
The inspiration for the coaster’s name was taken from the fact that the ride is nestled adjacent to All American Corners within a park whose name celebrates America.
The transition from a stand up to Floorless ride will include state-of-the-art blue and white trains positioning guests with their feet dangling above the blue and white track.
“With the track visible beneath their feet, Patriot will create unique and exciting new perspectives throughout the ride,” said California’s Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg.
We are excited for this upgrade of Vortex. The ride lost popularity over the years and wasn’t the smoothest coaster around. Blowing new life into this coaster is great! Even greater is the fact that it adds new color to the park, a completely new and smooth ride experience, and the name is perfect for the park. The coaster is relatively small, and occupies a smaller footprint. So that won’t only make this Floorless Coaster one of the smallest Floorless Coasters around, it also works great space-wise for the park. Replacing Vortex with a whole new ride wouldn’t have left for much space to work with. Patriot on the other hand is like adding a new Coaster with inversions and comfort. Let’s hope they add a roof to that station 😛 We look forward to covering the transformation, and eventually the opening of course!
Guests can take their “Last Stand” on Vortex through September 5. Then work will begin to ready Patriot for the 2017 season.
Read all about California’s Great America’s 2016 Addition: MASS EFFECT: New Earth!
Check out California’s Great America’s sister park, Knott’s Soak City in Southern California, and their big 2017 expansion, here!