Anyone who knows anything about roller coasters will be talking about the new Exa roller coaster, Falcon's Flight which is currently being built at Six Flags Qiddiya.
While majority of roller coaster fans are very excited about this totally insane roller coaster which when it opens will be the world's tallest at 640ft, fastest at 155mph and longest at 4250 metres (almost 14,000ft) others have their reservations. Today, we are exploring the potential problems Falcon's Flight may run into in order to evaluate its likely success.
At the recent IAAPA Expo in mid-November in Orlando, Intamin officially revealed the new ride vehicle for Falcon's Flight and we think majority of roller coaster fans will be hard pressed to criticise the crisp colors, aerodynamic body and open feel seats.
However there are some elements of the upcoming Falcon's Flight at Six Flags Qiddiya that have got roller coaster fans worried.
Well, for a lot of people jumping on a plane to Saudi Arabia and getting accommodation is not going to be an easy or cheap option which may just completely rule out their chance to ever getting to ride the world's first Exa coaster. The heat is also going to be a factor that could deter a considerable numbers of guests.
2. Desert sand
Surely with Six Flags Qiddiya being located in the desert, sand could play a major factor in the maintenance of Falcon's Flight and its reliability to be open. Are we likely to see periods of downtime daily? It is, however, being manufactured by one of the best roller coaster manufacturers in the business so one would hope they would have this in hand.
Due to the windscreen positioned on all vehicles guests are not expected to have to wear googles to protect their eyes. We hope this will be enough but we will have to wait until Falcon's Flight is fully tested to know for sure.
3. Will it's size and intensity actually scare away guests?
Now for anyone who loves nothing better than the thrill of a really intense roller coaster this will seem like a silly question but if you actually look at the stats it will be the fastest roller coaster in the world reaching a top speed of 155mph, making it 5mph faster than the current 150mph record holder Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.
It will also boast the highest drop of any roller coaster in the world by a long way of 519ft which is over 100ft more than Kingda Ka which currently holds the record. Just as was the case with Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion, will the intensity put people off from riding?
There are some concerns though that it won't be the fastest at the start but after the 519ft drop you will certainly feel the 155mph speed. Some roller coaster enthusiasts have also criticized the elements although the airtime hills are sure to pack a punch and no thrill seeker can surely be disappointed going over the world record breaking air time hill which is going to have to be seen to be believed.
So, in summary for many thrill seekers this will be like birthday and Christmas all rolled into one but for many others who favor less intense elements and are scared of heights it will be their worst nightmare.
4. Will it's height be its downfall?
If anyone has been to a theme park on a windy day you will know that for safety reasons roller coasters can not operate with winds above a certain speed so the height of Falcon's Flight could potentially cause a,major problem as generally the higher you go the windier it becomes. We hope this isn't going to cause significant problems for Six Flags Qiddiya meaning extended downtime for Falcon's Flight.
5. Falcon's Flight is a world's first which is a problem in itself
As we know, Falcon's Flight due to its height, speed and location could throw Intamin and Six Flags Qiddiya a number of problems. With any world's first comes uncertainty. Will the 519ft drop cause too much stress on the track? Will it be too intense? Will the heat of the desert cause problems? The answer to all these questions are "yes" and the extent of these concerns will be confirmed or quashed as we get closer to the opening date of Falcon's Flight and Six Flags Qiddiya which is currently slated for
We are not truly going to know the ultimate success of Falcon's Flight until it actually opens at Six Flags Qiddiya which we are very certain will happen considering construction is well underway.
We are extremely excited to follow the construction progress here at Theme Park Tourist over the coming weeks and months. For further information about Six Flags Qiddiya check out our featured article, All We Know About Six Flags' SUPER Theme Park (And Why You Probably Haven't Heard of It!)
Are you excited to ride Falcon's Flight at Six Flags Qiddiya? What problems do you think it will face? Will it be too intense? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.