Tuesday, February 5, 2013

California Screamin'

California Screamin’

Disney California Adventures California Screamin’ has to be one of my favorite rides. I don’t really like intense rides. I’m more into theme and storytelling. Still, Screamin’ catches my attention and does fulfill my thrill seeking side.
            When DCA first opened there was a Mickey face in the loop of the ride. You would chase around his face. Since the remodel/retheming of the park and the addition of World of Color, Mickey’s face has been moved over to the rethemed Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Part of the reason for this change was to bring more ‘Disney’ to the Ferris Wheel and to simplify the Screamin’ so they can project images in the loop during World of Color.
            Now that I’ve shared my thoughts here is the history and technical stats on this scream inducing ride.
This boardwalk-themed coaster was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, and was built by Intamin. California Screamin' is the 8th longest roller coaster in the world (4th longest steel coaster in the United States), at 6,072 feet (1,851 m) long. It is also the longest ride with an inversion (since Son of Beast is defunct). Its highest point is 120 feet (37 m) tall followed by a 108-foot (33 m) drop. Though built of steel, the structure as designed visually mimics the features of a wooden coaster.
This coaster has some distinctive features. It uses a linear induction motor to launch the train up the first hill, replacing the traditional lift hill chain. This coaster is one of Disney's fastest attractions, accelerating guests from zero to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) in four seconds at the launch. Like Space Mountain and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, California Screamin' is set to music. It is the only inverting ride in the Disneyland Resort. This attraction offers both FASTPASS and Single Rider entrances. On November 5, 2010, the attraction's original recorded safety spiels were updated with the voice of actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Ride layout and experience

The ride begins after a train is dispatched from either two loading zones which merge at a track switch. After the switch, the track banks left and stops on a flat section of track just above water level on Paradise Bay. After a short wait dictated by the location of the previous train on the track, a Victorian Carnival character voiced by Neil Patrick Harris can be heard counting down from five before the train launches up the coaster's first hill. The train drops below another section of track and banks to the right traveling through the ride's first brake run. This is followed by another 180 degree right turn and sudden descent followed by a banked turn to the left. Momentum at this point carries the train up the coaster's largest lift hill before LIM's take over to carry the trains the remaining distance to the crest. At 120 feet (37 m), this is the highest point of the coaster from which the track drops steeply and curves left, followed by a quick incline to the right and another 180 degree turn. In preparation for the ride's single loop, the train travels through a set of brakes added in 2005. The track drops slightly and maneuvers through the loop rising and then dropping again. A wide U-turn to the right leads into a small climb and another brake run. Here a straight section of track along the front of the coaster's length contains a series of dips and rises known as "bunny hops" or "bunny hills" which create significant air time for riders. Another brake zone sends the train down and to the left past the off ride camera which is positioned in a helix. After the helix, the roller coaster ends with a series of brake runs intended to hold trains in case of a backup at the station. Back at the station, the train is either sent left or right to one of the platforms.
California Screamin' uses side-mounted friction brakes on all its brake runs rather than mounting the brakes on the track. In addition to this, stray LIM boosters are placed in the station, and near most brake zones; these include the launch hill (Zone 2), the lift hill (Zone 4), after the loop (Zone 5), before the bunny hops (Zone 6), and before the switch track back to the stations (Zone 9).
In 2005 California Screamin' received two sets of magnetic brakes to slow the train down before the loop and in brake run 6. The result is a slightly slower ride.
The 12 block brake sections in the attraction are as follows: Immediately after leaving the station, the train is in section 1, followed by section 2.1, the location that the train stops at for launch. The launch hill is section 2.2, followed immediately by section 3. Section 4 is the lift hill, ending at the top of the lift. Section 5 includes the loop up until the entrance to the next blue tunnel. Section 6 continues until the bunny hops, with section 7 ending just before the final spiral. Section 8 is the initial slow down point, followed by section 9. The main side of the station (or if you are entering the station on the train, the left side) is section 10A, while the spur side of the station is Zone 10B.


On July 29, 2005, 25 guests were injured when the Purple train rear-ended the Red train. Of the 48 guests aboard the two trains, 15 were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The accident occurred on the section of track about 30 feet (9.1 m) short of the loading station. A full ride stop was activated, with the red train stopped, the brake segment that was supposed to have stopped the purple train failed, and the purple train continued until it collided with the stopped red train. An investigation showed that a faulty brake valve, installed a few days earlier by Disney (not by the ride manufacturer Intamin), was the cause.
On July 22, 2011, 23 people were rescued from California Screamin' by firefighters when a person's backpack fell out of one of the trains and landed on the track, causing the orange train to valley just after the loop but before the next block brake. It re-opened two days later after the train was winched up the next hill, had its damaged wheels replaced and allowed to complete the circuit.

Rockin' California Screamin'

On January 3, 2007, the standard onboard audio track for California Screamin' was temporarily replaced with a remixed version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Around the World," and the attraction was renamed Rockin' California Screamin'. This was promoted alongside Rockin' Space Mountain, a similar change made to Space Mountain in Disneyland though that ride's audio was changed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers cover version of "Higher Ground". These changes were part of the "Rockin' Both Parks" campaign. The standard audio track was restored when the campaign ended.

Attraction facts

  • Restraint System: Over-the-Shoulder Restraints (OTSRs)
  • Vehicles: 7 vehicles total: 5 - 24 person trains (Red 01, Yellow 02, Orange 03, Blue 04, and Purple 05)/2 - 23 Person trains (Both Green, 06 and 07)
  • Max trains on track: 5
  • Length: 6,072 feet (1,851 m)
  • Linear Induction Motors Launch length: 215 feet (66 m)
  • Largest hill/drop: 120 feet/108 feet (36.5 m/33 m)
  • Inversions: 1
  • Brake Zones: 12
  • Top speed: 55 mph (89 km/h)
  • Ride duration: 2:34
  • Max acceleration: 0 - 55 mph (89 km/h) in 4 seconds
  • Totalling 6,702 feet (2,043 m) of total track, California Screamin' is the second longest steel roller coaster on the American continents.
  • Contains over 36 miles (58 km) of electrical wire, and 167 miles (269 km) of individual conductors.
  • California Screamin is also the only Disney outdoor looping roller coaster in North America (Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios inverts three times, but is enclosed).
  • It took 5,800,000 pounds (2,600,000 kg) of steel to build California Screamin'.
  • There are 11,500,000 pounds (5,200,000 kg) of concrete in the foundations and the "deepest" foundation is a deep pile of 48 feet (15 m).
  • Because Disney California Adventure is located within a residential zone and must adhere to certain noise restriction guidelines, special "scream" tubes were designed for California Screamin' to prevent all the hollering from being blasted across Anaheim during those thrill portions of the ride that are sure to elicit such a reaction.
  • The ride's name is an obvious nod to the 1965 song "California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & the Papas.
  • Neil Patrick Harris provides the vocals for a safety spiel added in late 2010, replacing the original safety spiels recorded by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • The are 108 Acoustic devices to play the "Synchronized On-Board Audio Track" (S.O.B.A.T.) onboard each train, including High Rangers in the riders head rest, Mid Rangers near their ears, and Sub-woofers underneath each rider's seat.

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