Trot and the Time Traveler
When I spotted Trot Kinser standing in the crowd at Silver Dollar City, patiently waiting to ride Time Traveler, I knew he would be a great kid to talk to about the new ride.
Trot, a 12-year-old Springfield kid, and myself, would be some of the first lucky people to ride the park’s newest attraction. Billed as the world’s fastest, steepest and tallest spinning roller coaster, Time Traveler promises a one-of-a-kind experience.
“I’m very excited,” the self-proclaimed coaster geek said. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve been looking forward to riding it ever since they announced it was coming to Silver Dollar City. There’s never been a coaster like it, and never been a coaster I didn’t like.”
Trot’s right. Time Traveler is groundbreaking. The $26-million ride has been years in the making and Trot’s been following the progress along the way. He is serious about roller coasters.
The coaster provides kids – and kids at heart – with an experience like no other. The coaster offers riders three inversions, the most ever on a spinning coaster. When you take a “spin” on Time Traveler you will get a dive loop, zero-G roll, two launches and a vertical loop, the first in the world. It looks crazy scary!
Finally, after waiting for the ride to open, Trot was in line. Anticipation was building. You could hear the trains launching from the load house above our heads. Every time a train hit the track, Trots eyes widened. I just tried to keep breathing and looking cool.
I caught up with Trot again as he stood in the queue, just moments from boarding the coaster that will take us to a height of 100 feet, at speeds of 50-miles per hour, on a 1-minute and 57-second trip along 3,020 feet of twisting and turning track. Trot was ready. I wasn’t.
“I am just so excited,” he said, barely able to contain his glee. “I’m so pumped to be able to do this on the first day it is open. I’m a little bit scared, but not too bad.”
Trot is braver than I will ever be. He was excited. I was terrified and trying not to look it. Not so sure I pulled it off.
“For Silver Dollar City to do time travel for the theme is really cool,” Trot, who believes in time travel himself, explained. “It’s like time traveling when you come to Silver Dollar City. It’s really cool.”
Ride it to believe it
As I was trying to get my bearings following my trip back in time… or was it forward? Trot nonchalantly climbed off the coaster. I could see his face. He was trying to look calm and collected, but his excitement was bursting through.
“It was awesome,” he said, talking a mile a minute. “It exceeded all of my expectations. I want to ride it again 10 times.”
He was quick to tell me his favorite part of the almost two-minute trip.
“I would say the drop is the best part,” he said of the 10 story, 90-degree vertical drop out of the coaster’s load house. “I was facing forward during the drop. It was just like… ‘I hope I don’t die!’”
While I know countless hours of design work and safety testing go into a ride like Time Traveler before anyone gets onboard, it’s still a little scary. In fact, the park’s owners, who brought Time Traveler to life, took the first ride. That inspired confidence in me. I’m not sure Trot even knew that, or even cared. He wanted a trill… and got one.
“It’s super cool,” he said. “I’ve never done anything like it. You are going to have to ride it to believe it.”
I agree, Trot. I agree.