Removing, relocating or retheming rides

Themeparks do not only install new rides, but sometimes they also have to remove older rides, sell and relocate them to another park or give the old ride a new name and theming.
Sometimes this also happens because the themepark itself gets a new owner and a new name.

Over the years I have ridden some rollercoasters, which were removed, relocated or rethemed later. But luckily not a lot of B&M rollercoasters have this happend in the past.

The first B&M rollercoaster i’ve ridden to get a rename, was “Top Gun” at California’s Great America. I’ve ridden this coaster in 2002 and the themepark was still called Paramount’s Great America at that time. But in 2006 Paramount sold all their themeparks to the Cedar Fair group.
The themepark was first simply called Great America, but was finally named California’s Great America.

Cedar Fair had to remove all the theming related to the Top Gun movie from Paramount Pictures, because they do not own the rights to this movie. But they wanted to keep the jet fighter theme, because you get the feeling of flying a jet fighter when riding this rollercoaster. They gave the rollercoaster the easiest name possible: “Flight Deck”.
In 2014 the park changed the colorscheme of Flight Deck from all black to red track and white supports.

The second rollercoaster i’ve ridden that got a retheme were the “Dueling Dragons” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
When Islands of Adventure opened on May 28, 1999, these inverted rollercoaster were called Dueling Dragons and they were located in The Lost Continent area with the two sides named Fire and Ice. During much of the ride’s history, the trains were dispatched simultaneously, providing three near-miss encounters along the courses. However, after two injuries related to loose objects hitting riders on the other coaster, the roller coasters are now dispatched separately. After a renovation period, the attraction reopened in mid-March 2010, and was officially renamed as “Dragon Challenge” with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opening on June 18, 2010.

The queue before the Harry Potter refurbishment was set as a ruined castle where the Fire and Ice dragons lived. The queue passed through dungeons and included human skeletons, torches, and cobwebs. Just like the present queue, to ride Fire, guests would go left while riders wanting to ride Ice would go right at the intersection point.

After the retheme when entering the queue, guests are taken past a number of banners for the Triwizard Tournament showing support for the four contestants. After passing the Weasleys’ crashed flying Ford Anglia, they enter the Champions’ Tent. From there guests pass a large pedestal with the Triwizard Cup glowing at the top, and several dark “tunnels” which lead to both coaster’s stations. Just before entering the station guests must choose which coaster they want to ride: Chinese Fireball to the left or Hungarian Horntail to the right. Once in the station, on the ceiling, there is a projection of the dragons.

The rollercoaster themselfs stayed the same, except Universal stopped using the dueling mode, because there were two accidents (one serious) caused by what is believed to be loose objects hitting riders while riding the roller coaster.

The third rollercoaster that got a retheme after i’ve ridden it, was “Air” at Alton Towers.
This flying coaster is located in the Forbidden Valley area of the themepark.
Guests ride in a prone position lying chest down and experience the feeling of flight by “flying” close to the ground, under footpaths, and narrowly past trees and rocks.

Following the close of the 2015 season, the ride underwent refurbishment and reopened as “Galactica” on 24 March 2016.
Galactica is a flying virtual reality roller coaster. This includes the passengers have to wear on-ride virtual reality headsets simulating a ride through the cosmos.
The virtual reality experience is optional, as guests can choose to ride without using the headsets.
Also the queue, station building and retail space got some modifications to fit this new theme.

The last ride for now to get a retheme is “Vortex” at California’s Great America.
Also the story of the name change for the themepark is here the same as for Top Gun / Flight Deck.

But Vortex will get a lot more then only a retheme. It will get a full conversion from stand-up coaster to floorless coaster.
This conversion started after the closing of Vortex in september 2016. The rollercoaster will get a new station, new trains, a new colorscheme and a new name (Patriot) when it reopens for the 2017 season.
This new station with retracktable platforms is needed to load and unload the new floorless trains.

I also have to mention”Kraken” in this list. But this is not about a retheme or relocation of this rollercoaster, but something extra for the ride.
Sea World Orlando thought in 2017 it was a great idea to add Virtual Reality to this rollercoaster. The ride was now renamed into “Kraken Unleashed VR“.
But in the middle of august 2018, this VR addition was removed from the ride, because the guest preferred the original ride over the VR experience.
And for the ride operators this was a labor intensive extra, which they didn’t like very much either.

Inverted coaster “Batman La Fuga” at Parque Warner Madrid in Spain is another example of a ride turned into a Virtual Reality experience. In 2017 the Spanish themepark added VR gear to the ride and the name was changed into “Batman Arkham Asylum“.