Get ready to…Family Thrill Launch!

The Family Thrill Launch is Zamperla’s newest coaster concept and was unveiled at IAAPA 2021. This was the third new concept we debuted last year. It was unveiled as part of Z Fun Week, where the company has showcased a new ride concept every month since March, 2021.

We felt there was an opportunity in the market because a lot of parks had coasters that targeted 90 cm (36 in) or 120 cm (48 in), but very few focused on riders 105 cm (42 in) tall. In addition, a lot of the rides “in the middle” had few marketable attributes, they were off-the-shelf mouse coasters.

The goals of the Family Thrill Launch were:

  • Create a coaster experience that was approachable for riders 105 cm tall but also exciting for teens and young adults
  • Design a concept that added a marketable experience to a classic coaster layout

We feel the Family Thrill Launch checks every box and will be an amusement park staple for years to come.

The first thing buyers notice is they can choose their vehicles. Zamperla is offering three different kinds of experiences:

  • Dune Buggy
  • Motorcycle and Sidecar
  • GP Cycles

Each park can decide which experience works best for their guests, but all come with a 105 cm (42 in) accompanied height requirement. The dune buggy concept offers 1,200 people per-hour on our standard layout while the other two that achieve 845 people per-hour. They are fantastic guest experiences and the unique vehicle design allows each park to tell its own story.

The ride starts with two back-to-back launches, one forwards and one backwards. This is a very different way to start the experience than the chain lift found on the classic mine train coaster. One backwards launch sends riders up a dead-end spike, riders experience a few moments of near-zero G’s, and then the train falls and is accelerated a second time over the same launch track.

We are utilizing a new booster tire launch system that maximizes fun while optimizing energy usage. In addition, the booster tires can be quickly replaced.
They utilize a toothed belt, no gearboxes, so they can be swapped out in a matter of minutes. This design is a huge leap forward and has created a more energy-efficient launch system that features great uptime. In addition, we can add a regenerative system that keeps the energy within the ride system and lowers overall energy consumption.

The launch is not the only area where we have worked to lower the cost of ownership. We mill-machined around the axles, fins and connections to ensure a precise assembly and all of the bogies, frames and wheel pins undergo a salt bath nitrocarburizing process to increase the longevity of each piece.

The Family Thrill Launch is exactly what the market needs, not a “kiddie coaster”, not an “extreme coaster”, but a coaster that appeals to a majority of today’s park-goers. Get ready to launch!

Adam Sandy
Roller Coaster Sales and Marketing Director