Worlds of Fun in Kansas City will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year with a new version of one of its opening day roller coasters.
When the park debuted in May 1973, one of its three coasters was Zambezi Zinger, designed by Anton Schwarzkopf, the coaster designer behind creations like Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Whizzer at Six Flags Great America.
The ride, which featured a spiral lift hill, closed in 1997 and was sold to a park in Colombia.
For 2023, Worlds of Fun will get a new Zambezi Zinger, featuring its own spiral lift hill. However, the new version will be taller (74 feet vs. the original’s 57 feet), faster (45 miles per hour vs. 41) and made of both wood and steel.
The coaster is being manufactured by Great Coasters International (GCI), who also built Worlds of Fun’s last coaster, 2009’s Prowler. This GCI creation, designed along with Skyline Attractions, will feature an all-steel track called Titan Track.
While GCI had installed Titan Track on portions of existing wood coasters, such as White Lightning at Fun Spot America in Orlando, the new Zambezi Zinger will be the first coaster to use Titan Track exclusively.
According to Worlds of Fun, the new coaster will be “packed with several moments of airtime, banked turns and quick transitions,” on a “low-to-the-ground track” that races through the trees. It will also feature a mid-course tunnel, similar to the original Zinger.
In fact, the original coaster’s queue building in the park’s Africa section will be reused, updated with new safari-style theming.
Theme Park Tribune had previously reported that a wooden coaster was planned for Worlds of Fun’s 50th anniversary, based on planning documents filed with Kansas City.