How does completely weightless, plenty of airtime and experiencing adrenaline pumping 4G climbs sound to you? To me it sounds like another intense ride which I wouldn’t say no to.
Apollo’s Chariot is ranked as one of the top 10 steel roller coasters in the world. It cost a huge $20,000,000 and opened in March 27th 1999 and this ride stands out with its purple track and yellow supports it’s easily noticeable from the nearby roads. It was designed by Werner Stengal and manufactured by Bollinger & Mabillard. Apollo’s Chariot is located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia. This was the first Bollinger & Mabillard hyper coaster. Now hyper coaster can mean one of two things, one being a continuous-circuit roller coaster with a height or drop greater than 200 feet, or it can be a style or model with three features. The three features being a height of 200-299 feet, lacks inverting elements and a lift hill not a launch. Now we have that covered, back to the amazing ride itself.
Apollo’s Charriot is the first coaster to use the “T-shaped” clamshell harness design, putting this is more our language it’s more of a tight lap restraint rather than one of these over-the-shoulder harnesses. Using this type of harness allows us the rider to experience more movement and freedom of the body (don’t be alarmed you are strapped in safely). When it opened in 1999 it quickly became a very popular coaster of enthusiasts and riders. I big bonus I feel with this ride is that it doesn’t just last a few seconds, the duration is 2 minutes and 15 seconds and in all fairness the coaster does pull through 1750 riders per hour. Roller coasters do tend to be rather noisy (and I mean the actual roller coaster itself not the people screaming) but Apollo’s Chariot is very quiet and they did this by filling in the supports with gravel, clever!!
So what is this ride all about? Well, after latching in, the riders hear the message “Thank you, and enjoy your voyage to the sun on the wings of Apollo’s Chariot.” So the climb begins up a 170 foot lift hill giving you plenty of time to wish you didn’t get on it while your hearts pounding out your chest and there’s no way back. When the train finally reaches the peak, it drops down only a few feet in a pre-drop, like a teaser really but it serves a proper reason and that is to reduce the stress and pull of the chain.
Once that’s out the way the riders experience a drop of 210 feet straight towards a water-filled ravine and this is at a 65 degrees angle reaching a very decent speed of 73 mph. Shortly after the ravine the train enters a second airtime hill with a 131 foot drop. At the bottom of the second drop there is a above ground tunnel but then after the third hill the train drops down again by 144 feet but while decending it banks to the left. Now this is where you experience the 4.1G pull, there is a large, upward helix and this is what pulls you at 4.1G, amazing right. When you come out of the helix there is a little drop but then a climbing right turn into the block brake. A sudden dive off the block leads to even more screams as you bunny hop parallel to the rides first drop. Then you have another overbanked turn going underneath the lift hill and only just dodging one of the support columns (that always scares me but head still in place). Another left hand turn approaches quickly but at the end of this camel hump hill and a drop into a ditch which you do get out of is once again that time of the ride where not only you can witness after, but everyone else, your good looks with a ride photo. Then its final breaks and the end. Honestly if you’re a lover for airtime this is defiantly the ride for you.
Apollo’s Chariot is known for a certain accident that happened on the opening day back in March 1999. I know I shouldn’t say it’s funny because I wouldn’t be happy if it happened to me, but on the opening ceremony a fashion model called Fabio Lanzoni attended. During the rapid 210 foot drop after the lift hill, a goose struck Fabio in the face leaving his nose covered in blood. The good news from this was that Fabio only had a one inch cut on his nose from the goose’s bill and no one else was hurt. The sad news is the goose’s neck broke on impact and sadly, was found dead under the roller coaster.
All you need to know is if you’re an airtime junky then this is the drug for you!
Current Coaster Name: Apollo’s Chariot Current Park Name: Busch Gardens Previous Ride Name(s): N/A Location: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Status: Operating Links: http://www.buschgardens.com Cost: $20,000,000
Technical Info: Type: steel hyper Opened: march 27th 1999 Designer: Werner Stengel Features: Terrain Height: 170 feet Max Drop: 210 feet Max Speed: 73 mph Length: 4882 feet Acceleration: N/A Duration: 2.15 Trains: 3 Capacity: 1750 per hour Inversions: 0