KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Central Florida has a new thrill ride, the first one of its kind in Florida.
The Mine Blower, a $6 million wooden roller coaster, started taking riders at noon Friday at Fun Spot in Kissimmee.
The Mine Blower has an initial drop of 80.5 feet and reaches speeds of up to 48 mph, hitting a height of 82 feet and one 360-degree barrel roll on the 2,256-foot track. The coaster goes upside down twice, Fun Spot COO John Arie Jr. said.
"It will be the first wooden coaster in Florida to go upside down," roller coaster enthusiast Patrick Lindich said. "This will be an awesome coaster that will be considered one of the best new coasters for 2017. I'm really looking forward to this one."
The coaster is wooden with a steel structure, and Fun Spot mangers said for a wooden coaster to go upside down, not only once, but twice, makes it the world's first to do so. The ride was designed and made by The Gravity Group.
[VOTE FOR BEST COASTER AT BOTTOM OF STORY]
Korey Kiepert, engineer and part-owner of the Gravity Group, said his team had to think outside the box while designing Fun Spot's newest and one of a kind attraction.
"We had to be really creative to pack as much punch into this ride," Kiepert said. "This ride, if you look at it, it's just dense. There's steel structure everywhere."
"You go up, down, left, right, upside down," Arie said. "It's incredible."
After the ride opened at noon, park goers were eager to try it out.
First-time rider Joey Maurath said the wooden coaster should not be missed.
"If you've never been upside down on a wooden roller coaster, you're missing something," Maurath said. "You're definitely missing something."
[Virtually ride the new coaster in the video below]
Another rider, Patrick Williams, described the experience as "pretty intense," but also "extremely fun."
The ride is included in an all-day ride pass at Fun Spot, but guests can also pay $9 just to ride the coaster.
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