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B.C. set to plug in newest roller coaster: Playland’s $16M ThunderVolt

Italian-made machine given name that suggests ‘electrifying speed’, will start to roll in 2024
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Playland’s new ThunderVolt roller coaster is shown in drone video. (Source: PNE)

Themes of “wild energy” and “electrifying speed” emerged in a contest to name Playland’s new roller coaster in East Vancouver.

From more than 3,000 ideas submitted, the winning ride name is ThunderVolt, PNE officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 22.

The $16-million ride, currently under construction, will open in 2024 on land previously occupied by the beloved Corkscrew coaster, which closed in 2019.

The contract was estimated at $9 million last November when the PNE revealed plans for “Canada’s fastest launch coaster,” considered “the largest single attraction investment made by Playland.”

The ride is built by the Italian company Zamperla, which also designed the Skybender at Playland.

The ThunderVolt will carry 12 passengers at a time “through a supernatural environment with extraordinary animals, graphics and lighting that pulses as the ride system charges, leading up to its launch,” raves a PNE news release.

“The three-car train blasts off with 1.3 G’s of acceleration through an illuminated tunnel, up a steep incline before an 18-metre drop.”

Next year, before the ride opens to the general public, PNE Season Pass Holders, contest winners and other VIPs will get to experience ThunderVolt at an exclusive party.

Starting Dec. 8, the PNE Winter Fair will return with holiday lights, live music, skating and “Ice Bumper Cars” on a Tim Hortons-sponsored rink and “Nutcracker on Ice” at Pacific Coliseum. Details are posted on pne.ca/winter-fair.



Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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