Drachen Fire

Roller coaster in the United States

Watch the on-ride POV
Drachen Fire
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Location Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Coordinates 37°13′50″N 76°38′42″W / 37.230476°N 76.644978°W / 37.230476; -76.644978
Park section Oktoberfest
Status Defunct
Operated April 4, 1992 to July 11, 1998
Cost $4,000,000 USD
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Product Custom Looping Coaster
Designer / calculations Ron Toomer
Type Steel
Riders per train 28
Hourly capacity 2000 [1]
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 150 feet
Drop 145 feet
Top speed 60 mph
Length 3550 feet
Inversions 5
Duration 1:46
G-Force 3.5

Drachen Fire was a steel roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. It operated from April 4, 1992 to July 1998 and was built by Arrow Dynamics with its supports by Ride Centerline.[2]

Upon opening, Drachen Fire had six inversions, but this was reduced to five after the 1994 season. It was met with largely negative reception from guests due to its rough ride experience.


The station after the ride's removal.

On July 5, 1991, Drachen Fire was announced.[3] The ride began construction in the fall of 1991. Drachen Fire opened on April 4, 1992. However, the ride had technical issues on opening day.[4]

Less than a month after its grand opening, Drachen Fire ended up suffering from plummeting guest satisfaction. Soon enough, the ride became very rough. The ride's popularity began to fade and the lines became shorter. Passengers had to remove their earrings, due to the rough ride causing bloody ears.[citation needed]

Within a week of opening, three women complained of neck pains after riding Drachen Fire due to the bumpy ride experience. They were taken to a nearby hospital.[5] In 1995, a man filed a lawsuit against Busch Gardens and Arrow Dynamics, claiming the ride had caused permanent injuries, and that the restraints did not protect his head and neck from violent movement.[6]

The most infamous part of the ride was the corkscrew after the block brake. During the 1994-1995 off-season, it was replaced by a straight section with trim brakes. Despite the new track modification, Drachen Fire continued to be rough.

After the opening of Alpengeist in 1997, Drachen Fire's popularity would dwindle.[citation needed] By 1998, the coaster was widely hated by guests. In July of that year, Busch Gardens officially closed the coaster. It was then subsequently listed for sale. A spokeswoman at the time said Drachen Fire was the least popular major roller coaster.[7] The coaster was ultimately demolished in 2002.



Drachen Fire in some ways is an Arrow Dynamics experiment. It was the first Arrow looper to use Bolliger & Mabillard-type supports. It was also the first and only Arrow looper to feature a cobra roll and cutback. The ride's trains were also unique compared to other Arrow coasters. Canyon Blaster at the Adventuredome and Corkscrew at Toshimaen also featured these trains.

Ride experience

The train departs from the station and makes a left turn, leading to a 150 foot tall chain lift hill. After climbing the lift hill, riders descend 55 feet and flip into a 120 foot tall wraparound corkscrew, dropping 145 feet to the left and reaching a max speed of 60 mph. The train approaches a hill, which produces a few seconds of weightlessness. Then, riders travel through a cobra roll, which turns upside down twice in a boomerang type effect. This element is unique among Arrow loopers. The train makes a left turn to the block brake. Riders dive down a straight section with trim brakes. Prior to 1995, riders traveled through the first corkscrew. The train moves through a cutback and a corkscrew. After the corkscrew, riders pass through a helix before making a right turn back to the station.

Color scheme

Drachen Fire had a light blue track and silver supports.


3 trains with 7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 28 riders per train. These trains were lighter and designed differently from most other Arrow loopers. Only a few other Arrows, such as Canyon Blaster at Adventuredome has them.




  2. "Rides List". Ride Centerline. Retrieved 2022-04-17.
  3. "Coasting along and more".
  4. "A Blast From The Past - Busch Gardens Europe's Drachen Fire". NewsPlusNotes.
  5. "3 find new ride a pain in the neck". Daily Press.
  6. "Busch Gardens faces suit". Daily Press.
  7. Busch Gardens' Drachen Fire For Sale - Richmond.com

External links

Articles on Busch Gardens Williamsburg