At 7 AM PST this morning, California’s Great America surprised everyone by announcing Patriot, a conversion of the park’s Vortex, a B&M Standup coaster, and the oldest B&M in it’s original location.  Below is a press release from the park.

GREAT AMERICA INTRODUCES PATRIOT FLOORLESS COASTER FOR 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA – Today California’s Great America announced that for the 2017 season, it will introduce Patriot, the first floorless coaster in the park’s 41-year history. Patriot will emerge from the soon to be retired Vortex coaster, the oldest stand up roller coaster in the United States.

Patriot will take riders to a 91-foot height before plummeting them into a 360-degree loop at 45 miles per hour. Patriot’s position in the park makes it a dynamic visual from three different sections of Great America.

The inspiration for the coaster’s name was taken from the fact that the ride is nestled adjacent to All American Corners within a park whose name celebrates America.

The transition from a stand up to floorless ride will include state-of-the-art blue and white trains positioning guests with their feet dangling above the blue and white track.

“With the track visible beneath their fee, Patriot will create unique and exciting new perspectives throughout the ride,” said California’s Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg.

Guests can take their “Last Stand” on Vortex through September 5. Then work will begin to ready Patriot for the 2017 season.

Vortex will close on Labor day.  Now, it’s time for my opinion on Patriot.image004

I think that this is a great addition to California’s Great America.  Vortex is the least comfortable coaster at the park.  I find the color scheme to be nice, as no other coaster at the park is blue.  However, I feel it would be better if there was a red stripe along the track, something like the other Patriot at Worlds of Fun.  Not to be ignored is the grass around the ride, replacing the dirt that is there currently.  The trains also look great, especially with the red and white decal on the side.  This will dramatically improve the ride, as Vortex’s bicycle seats were extremely uncomfortable. Even though I think this is a great addition to the park,  the ride has actually been running smoother lately.

Patriot — Coming to California’s Great America in 2017!

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What are your thoughts on Patriot’s announcement? Tell us in the comments!

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