Zambezi Zinger Postcard Stirs Up Worlds of Fun Fans Emotions
The above postcard, posted by Worlds of Fun of the original Zambezi Zinger on their Facebook page is stirring up fans' emotions, and boy are they running hot. As a fan of the same type of classic steel coaster at Six Flags Great America in Chicago, I understand.
Worlds of Fun, posted this classic postcard with the caption, "25 years ago, we said goodbye. This summer, we say hello." It's obviously a reference to the park's classic Schwarzkopf Speedracer Roller Coaster that the park removed and sold in 1997, and the fact that the park is debuting a new hybrid wood and steel coaster with the same name next summer. Tim covered the announcement with an article you can read here.
Now, I suspect Worlds of Fun's social media folks knew this postcard would generate a whole lot of passionate comments for and against the new roller coaster because well, people have passion for the original one. Not to mention when Six Flags Great America in Chicago tried to remove their Schwarzkopf Speedracer Roller Coaster, pretty much the same ride with a different name, the park's fans screamed bloody murder loud enough that they changed their mind.
Some like Pam Haskins Burns are frustrated that since it's a different coaster, why give it the same name? She writes, "It's not the same. Not even close! Why are you giving it the same name?"
Of course, those are fighting words. Christopher Williams responded to Pam, "It's not about the ride being exactly the same. They couldn't even build that ride again if they wanted to." While Bruce suggested they should have called it "Zambezi Zinger 2.0" to which Christopher then responds, "I would have called it Zambezi Zinger: The Safari Continues, Expedition 2, or something like that."
Then there's the crowd that just loved the classic coaster. David Watkins wrote it was always his favorite. While Jesse McCall thinks they should have never gotten rid of the coaster in the first place. Sarah posted that her kids are excited about the new ride because she's told them for years how awesome the original was.
There are also the folks who wonder why they didn't re-create the exact same ride. That's how Kathy Bark feels, "Why didn't you duplicate the design??? It's not the same, at all...shouldn't even have the same name." While Michael Hutchinson similarly says, "I just wish if you wanted to rebuild it and call it by the same name, you woulda used the trains with similar seating, and you would have made it full steel, no wood whatsoever."
Curtis Miles though, for me, gets the biggest laugh in the comment section by summing up the whole thing in the two girls and a cat meme:
I get why folks have strong feelings. Six Flags Great America was the theme park I went to growing up, and when they got ready to tear out their version of the coaster in 2002 I was sad. Sad, because it was the second roller coaster I ever rode. It was supposed to be first, but for some reason, they shut it down to do something, and I wound up riding the Demon first. Yet, I was quite happy when they decided to keep the coaster and dump another one that had less history and more of a propensity to make your neck hurt after riding it.
Yet I choose to applaud Worlds of Fun for using the original coaster as inspiration for this pretty cool homage to the original. The park says guests will use the same queue building as the original. The ride will still begin with an iconic spiral lift hill. And generally, there will be some similar characteristics to the original coaster.
You can, by the way, ride the original Zambezi Zinger, if you head to Coffee Park in Montenegro, Columbia. It's operating under the name of LaBroca and was the first roller coaster installed in that park according to Wikipedia. Or you could just head to Six Flags Great America north of Chicago and catch a ride on their version of the coaster called The Whizzer.