There is no denying that the Kingda Ka in New Jersey has lived up to its expectations. This towering ride is the tallest roller coaster and second fastest in the world today. A true king indeed!
While most people may know Ka for its thrilling and equally frightening rides, there are other interesting things about the ride that still remain unknown to many. It has distinct thrill that you won’t find in other another roller coaster in the world. It has its own personality.
So, what makes the king of roller coasters unique and outstanding?
Everything You Need to Know About the Kingda Ka
1. It’s One of the Only Two Strata Coasters in the World
A strata coaster refers to a complete circuit roller coaster whose height exceeds 400 feet. There are only two coasters in the world that exceed this threshold – the King Ka and the Top Thrill Dragster in Ohio.
Disney’s Tower of Terror and The Superman are taller than the 400 feet limit but they cannot be regarded as strata coasters because they are not full circuit rides. They are shuttle coasters.
2. Its Uses a Jet Carrier’s Launch System
The Kingda’s electrifying speed is courtesy of its state-of-the-art hydraulic launch mechanism. If the lift chain system used in traditional coasters was on steroids, then it probably would perform like Kingda Ka’s hydraulic mechanism.
In the place of the lift-chain, is a cable wrapped around a monstrous winch. The winch is linked to eight hydraulic motors, which are positioned on top of a fluid reservoir. The power required to launch the train is generated through the compression of nitrogen gas, which exerts force on the motors.
A catch car is then attached to the cable. A catch car it is simply a device that is fastened on the trains to propel them into the launch track. It is hooked to the train by a “dog”.
As the train reaches its top speed on its horizontal track, the “dog” automatically detaches itself from the train and the catch car slows down, allowing the train to go all the way to the top.
Gravity takes care of the drop on the other side.
3. You Won’t Always Get to the Top
On rare occasions, the train will be launched as usual, but instead of ascending all the way to the top, it stops midway and rolls back to the launch station. It may sound scary, but it is totally safe.
4. It Didn’t Break Down, It’s Just the Weather!
Sometimes you may travel all the way to Six Flags New Jersey, only to find the Kingda Ka closed for that day. Unlike what most people will tell you, these closures are not due to mechanical breakdowns, but rather, bad weather.
Because of the sheer speed of the train, even light rainfall can cause discomfort to riders. At 128 mph, the tiniest raindrops will feel like a million hard pellets hitting your skin. Strong winds also increase the risk of mechanical failure.
Therefore, if you plan on riding the Kingda Ka, schedule your visit on days that are not rainy or too windy. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.
5. Kingda Ka Means “King”
Kingda Ka is such an interesting name. But have you ever wondered what the name actually means? Well, it’s Arabic for King Tiger. It also refers to a kingdom of tigers.
A royalty name for a royal ride. How cool is that?
6. Kingda Ka Hosts the Tallest Drop Ride in the World
If you have ever been to Six Flags NJ, you’ve probably heard thrill junkies talk about Zumanjaro. Zumanjaro is the tallest drop ride in the world. It is located right at the base of Kingda Ka. What’s better than enjoying two of the world’s tallest rides in one place?
Not the Prettiest, But Certainly One of the Best
Honestly speaking, Kingda Ka is not the most beautiful roller coaster in the world. It doesn’t have the most appealing designs compared to other roller coasters in the country. However, it has a thrilling experience – exhilarating speed and scary height. That is all it needs to be one of the world’s best rides.
Make the Kingda Ka your next vacation destination. Roller coasters will never feel the same after a ride in this beast.
Long live the King!