Six Flags Officially Closes Roar Wooden Roller Coaster
PHOTO: Roar, the 16-year-old wooden rollercoaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, officially closed this past Sunday. (Photo via Wikipedia)
Tearing down an old roller coaster to make room for a new attraction is something every successful amusement park does eventually, but sometimes saying goodbye is much harder than expected.
In a report from Doug Johnson of Fox40.com, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park in Vallejo, California, officially closed the Roar roller coaster Sunday after 16 years of service to the park and the community.
The wooden roller coaster was originally built in 1999 and hosted an estimated 11 million visitors who were thrilled by the attraction’s speed and breathtaking turns and airtime.
While all of the children and adults who graced the Roar roller coaster will have a special place in their heart for the old-school ride, few people have as much of an emotional attachment to the structure than Michael and Carol Valenti.
When the attraction opened in 1999, Michael and Carol won a local radio contest that paid for the husband and wife to be married on the roller coaster. For the first time since the couple said “I Do” at the top of the lift hill, the Valenti family rode Roar again. It was fitting that Michael and Carol were two of the last park guests to ever grace the seats of the wooden coaster.
Carol told Fox40.com, “It’s like knocking down my church. They pronounced us man and wife at the top of the first hill and we went down… It’s been like that ever since, life has been a roller coaster. I wanted him to have a fun memory of when we got married and this is actually perfect.”
Unfortunately, Michael has been battling cancer, and the return to Roar gave the couple a chance to reminisce about the great memories they shared. Valenti told Fox40.com, “I’m in stage four, but the doctors are saying that I’m getting a little bit better.”
On the positive side, park officials are expecting to make an announcement about what new attraction will take the place of Roar in September, but Six Flags employees are remaining quiet on what the project entails and when it will be completed.
More by Donald Wood
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