FUJI Q HIGHLAND
2017 - Do-Dodonpa (aka: Dodonpa Loop) - (7/9/17) Fuji-Q Highland seems to have soft opened the former Dodonpa coaster as “Do-Dodonpa”, featuring a large vertical loop in place of the former top hat element and an even higher top speed of 180 kph (111.9 mph) reached in just 1.56 seconds, up from the former top speed of 172 kph. Can I stop for a moment and discuss this very important feature before you just glaze over the numbers?
While Do-Dodonpa isn’t the fastest coaster in the world with that top speed, it is tied for 4th place with Red Force at Ferrari Land. While both are fast, it is that second number that makes Do-Dodonpa stand out… it will hit top speed in 1.56 seconds using the S&S created Compressed Air Launch system, while Red Force takes 5 seconds to hit the same speed using LSM magnetic launch technology. And yes, Red Force is LSM, they opted to not use the Hydraulic launch system used on Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka and Formula Rossa this time around. But we can compare that as well, as Top Thrill Dragster goes a little faster with a top speed of 120mph… but it takes it 4 seconds to reach that speed, so the intensity and g-force of the launch of Dragster would be greater than Red Force because it takes 20% less time to hit a similar speed. Meanwhile Do-Dodonpa hits the same speed Red Force does in 5 seconds, in just 1.56 seconds. If my math is correct, that works out to be a 320% increase in acceleration, slamming your body in the back of your seat. Only two S&S “Thrust Air” style coasters were ever built… with the other being the short-lived Hypersonic XLC at Kings Dominion which only hit a top speed of 80mph in 1.8 seconds. Just some fun facts to chew on, as while Do-Dodonpa may not be the fastest coaster in the world, it surely features the most intense launch experience ever set loose upon the general public of the world.
Do-Dondonpa is now longer as well, featuring an increase of track length from 1189m to 1244m. The loop itself is said to now be the world’s largest at 39.7 meters, beating the former largest loop in the world that was 38.75m on Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The trains have also been revised, and while they still only hold 8 riders per train, the seats now feature a new Over The Shoulder restraint system instead of the old lap bar only system which you can see in a photo posted here.
The official date to reopen Do-Dodonpa is July 15th, but videos showing off riders taking on the newly enhanced scream machine can be see below.
(5/8/17) According to the picture (see below) posted last month, the new loop added to Dodonpa is now complete. Check it out.
(3/13/17) A couple of new pictures of the Dodonpa Loop construction site at Fuji-Q were posted to Twitter by VHCoasters.
(3/6/17) Some fantastic images of the work going on to transform Dodonpa into Dodonpa Loop have been found on Twitter, where you can see how the giant top hat has been removed and new footers have been poured to support the new giant inversion that will soon rise.
(2/24/17) S&S Worldwide released a list of 17 new rides they will be opening in 2017 the other day, included was a mention of Dodonpa at Fuji-Q Highland in Japan... but this time they called it Dodonpa Loop and listed it as a ride enhancement. We know Dodonpa closed last year for an unknown major renovation, and I had just seen a report claiming that the coaster's giant hill had all but been removed. So I asked S&S for some extra information about what was going on and was told that Dodonpa's crazy hill was being replaced by a giant vertical loop inversion for the 2017 season. Unfortunately they didn't have any concept art or photos, but at least we know what is going on.
(9/20/16) In a surprising announcement it looks as if Dodonpa (S&S Thrust Air Coaster) will be closing for a major overhall starting October 2nd. From what I'm told the video teaser mentions that Japan's fastest coaster will be 'reborn' next summer as "New Dodonpa", which makes me wonder just what kind of changes or upgrades may be involved for when it reopens. Anyone know more?
2017 to 2018 - Attack on Titan 4D Ride - (5/9/17) It's been reported that the new Attack on Titan attraction at Fuji-Q Highland opened on April 20th, and will run only through to May 6, 2018. From what I'm told this is a temporary attraction placed inside the park's existing Flying Theater attraction that was added back in 2014 and was previously known as Fuji Airways.
From the sound of things, a ride on the new Attack on Titan version is not included with park admission, and will cost you 1,000 Yen (about $9) to experience.
(3/21/17) According to this article a new Attack on Titan ride will soon open at Fuji-Q Highland. Based on the graphics shown in the article, it looks like the ride system is very similar to Disney's Soarin' style ride system, putting the riders up in front of a large 20m screen to fly around as the massive Titans attack in 4D. This is part of an Attack on Titan themed area that will also includea 360º VR theater experience.
Sadly, this seems to be a temporary attraction for the next year, and is only set to run at the park from April 20, 2017 through to May 6, 2018.