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Python is a steel sit-down roller coaster located at Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, North Brabant, Netherlands. It was built by Vekoma, and opened on April 12, 1981. When it opened, it was the largest steel roller coaster in mainland Europe.
Python was the start of a new strategy of development for the park: moving from a fairy-tale forest into a proper amusement park, which led to many problems with the local community. Environmentalists tried to get the building permit withdrawn, and the park's neighbors feared more problems arising from growing visitor numbers. This, and the likely noise pollution the coaster saw the highest court of public justice order the construction to be stopped. After some time, construction could recommence, but legal problems continued for several more years.
In 1995, when operating hours were extended until 10 pm, the coaster's 45-decibel noise level became a problem once more. Plans were submitted to the local municipality, describing an extension and complete renovation of the coaster, which would reduce the noise substantially. Due to the high cost, the funds were allocated to the construction of a new enclosed (to reduce noise problems for the nearby community) roller coaster, Vogel Rok.
Efteling hoped to get a night license for Python with some small renovations (new trains and a chain lift), but only with a change in the permit could Python remain open until 10 pm.
On July 30, 2007, the ride became stuck at the top of the lift. One employee started to evacuate the train while another tried to pull the car back. The train, now unequally balanced, started moving and continued through the rest of the ride, injuring one employee. Passengers remaining on the train were quick to pull down their safety bars, preventing further injuries.
The ride origionally used trains built by Arrow Dynamics. The trains were replaced with Vekoma built ones in the 1990s, due to noise pollution. Around midway through the 2005 season the Vekoma trains were replaced by KumbaK Coasters trains. Then near the end of the 2011 season the trains were again replaced with Vekoma trains. These new cars have a new set of restraints which accommodate the needs of riders large and small. There is a flexible over the shoulder strap which is not unlike those on accelerator coasters such as Kingda ka but slightly thicker. Over these are metal bars for riders to hold on to and to give support to the under straps. Also, the cars have been fitted with wheels which allow for a smoother ride.