Tim O'Brian - Amusement Business April 1st, 2003 In a move today that stunned the amusement industry and roller coaster enthusiasts around the world it was announced that four U.S. Paramount Parks will blast into the coaster wars at warp speed by building 421-foot tall roller coasters. Themed around a common link found in four Star Trek series produced by Paramount/Viacom during the last 4 decades, the Starship Enterprise, these four identical coasters will simultaneously open on April 4th, 2004, and claim the world's record for Tallest Coaster from Cedar Points Top Thrill Dragster. "We're very pleased to be announcing this exciting new coaster," said Craig Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cincinnati-based King's Island. "A ride of this stature is the perfect addition to our collection of world-class rides and the Star Trek theme is cherished around the world. Airtime junkies will finally have a reason to rejoice next year!" Tim Fisher, executive Vice President and General Manager of Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, California, summed his excitement in one word: "Finally! We've waited for years to be able to add this kind of coaster to our arsenal. It's taken years of working in tandem with the city of Santa Clara and the San Jose International Airport to be granted clearances for such an addition and we can't wait to break ground." "This is what our fans have been waiting for," exclaimed Richard Zimmerman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of King's Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. "Over the past few of years we've been polling guests in the park and reading various roller coaster fan sites such as Coasterbuzz. The number one comment is always about Apollo's Chariot, at our neighbors down in Willamsburg, and why we don't have something like it...or better. Well, when the plans are officially released at ACE's 25th Anniversary Coaster Convention this June enthusiasts better be prepared to be blown away!" "We've been working with corporate headquarters for a few years now on getting a coaster of this magnitude for our park," said Watt Burris, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Paramounts Carowinds just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. "They've always said, 'Its coming, but we want to do it right.' Well, let me tell you they've got it right! After adding family-oriented rides and attractions for the last couple of years thrill seekers better prepare themselves for an experience like no other!" Riders will begin their journey at Star Fleet Academy where they will train to be starship commanders. Training is interrupted by a Borg attack and each guest must board a starship to escape. Each pre-show building will feature a short film staring Patrick Stewart, revising his role as the popular Captain Jean Luc Picard. The four coasters, designed by Wichita-based Chance-Morgan, are all 421 feet high and over 6,000 feet in length. Like Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa land in Japan the lift will feature two individual chains. Each will feature custom-designed trains sporting a round, saucer-like lead car and warp engines mounted at the rear. The Enterprise's ship number, NC1071, will grace each sleek white train. Track and supports have been in production at their Wichita plant since January and parts should be arriving at the three east coast parks first in order to get a jump on the winter weather later this year. Construction, testing, and extensive theming is estimated to take approximately nine months. Now this sounds great, other parks are uping the ante while disney just fiddles and burns!!! And not vekome either which is great!!!