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White Lightning
Fun Spot America Orlando White Lightning Station.JPG
White Lightning's Station
Fun Spot America
Coordinates 28°27′58″N 81°27′23″W / 28.466155°N 81.456393°W / 28.466155; -81.456393Coordinates: 28°27′58″N 81°27′23″W / 28.466155°N 81.456393°W / 28.466155; -81.456393
Status Operating
Soft opening date May 20, 2013 (2013-05-20)
Opening date June 7, 2013 (2013-06-07)
Cost $3.5 million
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Great Coasters International
Model Custom
Track layout Out and back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 69.7 ft (21.2 m)
Drop 67.2 ft (20.5 m)
Length 2,032 ft (619 m)
Speed 44.3 mph (71.3 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:15
Max vertical angle 58°
Height restriction 46 in (117 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 12 riders per train.
White Lightning at RCDB
Pictures of White Lightning at RCDB

White Lightning is a wooden roller coaster located at Fun Spot America amusement park in Orlando, Florida. Manufactured by Great Coasters International (GCI), White Lightning opened to the public on June 8, 2013, as the first wooden coaster to be built in Orlando. Unlike traditional wood designs, the support structure is made of steel to reduce maintenance costs, and it was the first time GCI incorporated the design into one of their coasters. White Lightning has also been well-received, consistently ranking in the top 50 among wooden roller coasters in the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today.

History

On December 31, 2010, Fun Spot Action Park announced that they purchased an additional 10 acres (4.0 ha) adjacent to the park, with plans to triple the size of the park adding a number of new rides. In April 2011, Fun Spot Action Park surveyed park guests about what types of attractions they would like at the park. Consensus published by the park indicated they wanted water rides and roller coasters. In August 2011, the Orlando Sentinel revealed that the park had contacted at least three roller coaster manufacturers. In November 2011, it was confirmed that the park would receive two roller coasters: one wood and one steel. The wooden roller coaster was later confirmed to be a family friendly roller coaster manufactured by Great Coasters International (GCI).

In May 2012, Fun Spot Action Park announced on Theme Park Review that they would be adding White Lighting in 2013 as part of their expansion and rebranding. However, due to the availability of extra funding, the park was able incorporate more thrilling elements in the ride. After a one-year period of construction, White Lightning soft opened to the public on May 20, 2013. The park's official reopening ceremony was held on June 8, 2013. The $3.5 million ride opened as Orlando's first wooden roller coaster.

In August 2020, A small part of White Lightning was retracked with new prototype steel Titan Track by Great Coasters International.

Characteristics

Fun Spot America Orlando White Lightning Drop
White Lightning's first drop

White Lightning is a wooden roller coaster designed by Pennsylvania-based manufacturer, Great Coasters International (GCI). The 2,032-foot-long (619 m) ride takes riders to a height of 69.7 feet (21.2 m) through the use of a chain lift hill. Riders reach a top speed of 44.3 miles per hour (71.3 km/h) on the 75-second ride. The ride operates with two Millennium Flyer trains. Each train is made up of six cars that seat pairs of riders. This is shorter than most GCI trains and allows for a faster paced ride. Riders, who must be over 46 inches (120 cm), are restrained in the padded seats via a lap bar.

The wooden-tracked ride features steel supports, a first for GCI. Wooden roller coasters ride differently to steel roller coasters, so it was necessary for GCI to design the track approximately 3 feet (0.91 m) above the steel support structure. Traditionally manufacturers would attach the track directly to steel supports. The steel support structure was requested by the park because it would require less maintenance than a wooden one, and it could be powder-coated to stand out in the park.

Ride experience

Fun Spot America White Lightning 90 Degree Bank
White Lightning's 90 degree bank turn back

White Lightning begins with a small dip out of the station and into the chain lift hill. Once at the top of the 69.7-foot (21.2 m) hill, the ride plunges 67.2 feet (20.5 m) to the left at an angle of 58°. The train then traverses a small high speed hill, before entering a double up followed by a double down. The train then inclines into a 90° banked curve that dives back to the ground, sending riders back in the direction they came. Several small hills lead the ride to the final brake run and subsequently the station.

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