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Blue Fire is a launched roller coaster. The coaster opened in 2009 as part of a new Iceland-themed expansion to Europa-Park. As the first launched coaster built by MACK Rides, Blue Fire will serve as the park's tenth roller coaster and their first roller coaster with inversions. The ride's tagline is "Discover Pure Energy".
Blue Fire is a combination of a dark ride and a launched roller coaster. The ride begins with a dark ride portion lasting roughly 45 seconds. The ride then moves outside, where the train is accelerated to 115 km/h in 2.5 seconds using a linear induction motor launch on an 80-metre-long launch track.
The launch propels the train over a turn that peaks at 38 metres (124 feet, 8 inches) high. Then, the turn leads into a vertical loop 32 metres high, which is the tallest loop on any launched roller coaster in Europe. One turn culminates in a mid-course brake run; and, exiting the brake run, the train completes a twisted horseshoe roll that partially passes over a lake. One airtime hill follows, and the ride ends with a heartline roll and final brake run.
Blue Fire's twisted horseshoe roll is the first on any roller coaster in Europe and the first on any Mack roller coaster. The element itself has only previously appeared on one other roller coaster, making its debut on Maverick.
Blue Fire opened as part of the first phase in a new Iceland-themed area of Europa-Park, which expands the park's overall area from 70 to 85 hectares. Europa-Park's directors, Roland and Jürgen Mack, broke ground on the new Iceland area in June 2008. Europa-Park started posting teasers for Blue Fire on their website in July 2008. The teasers made reference to the coaster's acceleration, inversions, energy, and Iceland theme. In August 2008, the park released an animated teaser, again showing the Iceland theme, along with the train traversing part of the ride's layout.
Construction of Blue Fire's track commenced in early September 2008, and the park issued a press release about the new ride on September 18. The press release confirmed that the park was expanding by 15 hectares and gave further details about Blue Fire's launch system and trains. It also mentioned that Blue Fire had the tallest loop of any roller coaster in Europe at 32 metres, which Screamscape blogger Lance Hart pointed out was incorrect because the first loop on Dragon Khan at PortAventura reaches a height of 36 metres. The park has since clarified that Blue Fire's loop is the tallest on any launched coaster in Europe.
The builders of Blue Fire topped off the ride on October 1, 2008, and completed the track's layout in mid-December 2008.
The construction effort required that Europa-Park cut the Fjord-Rafting river rapids ride in half to allow construction workers to access Blue Fire's site. The removed part of Fjord-Rafting was restored as a tunnel section and reopened before the 2009 season.
Trains and color schemeEdit
Blue Fire has five trains with five cars each. The trains accommodate two riders per row, for a total of 20 riders per train. With a two minute, 30-second ride and separate loading and unloading stations, 1,720 riders can ride Blue Fire per hour. The trains use lap bar restraints rather than the over-the-shoulder restraints employed on Maverick and Intamin Accelerator coasters, and stadium-style seating like that of Millennium Force. As opposed to more conventional lap bars found on most wooden roller coasters, the lap bar on a seat on Blue Fire is above the seat when the train is not occupied. However, the restraint itself rests in the rider's lap instead of across the rider's chest.
Carrying on the Iceland theme of its section of the park, Blue Fire has blue track and light gray supports.
Europa-Park has set height and age restrictions for Blue Fire. No one under 1.30 metres (51 inches, 4'3") or 7 years of age may ride.
|Europa Park Roller Coasters|
|Operating||Alpenexpress • Arthur - The Ride • Atlantica SuperSplash • Blue Fire • Euro Mir • Eurosat • Matterhorn Blitz • Pegasus • Poseidon • Schweizer Bobbahn • Silver Star • Wodan Timbur Coaster|