There are three rides in the world that have genuinely made me question my life choices in the heat of the moment. The first is Eejanaika in Fuji-Q Highlands (spinning 80 metres up in the air next to an active volcano is an un-nerving experience), the second is Green Lantern (which does crazy physics defying things no serious coaster should ever dare do) and the third, as i’m sure you’ve guessed by now, is what this whole article is about. Buzzsaw’s claim to fame is that it features the country’s highest inversion, and, at a staggering 46.5 metres up, you’ll likely be making good use of that lap bar that’s keeping you from reaching planet earth prematurely.
A tiny bit of history
Buzzsaw is featured in Dreamworld’s highly popular Gold Rush themed land where you’ll find another popular favourite, the Eureka Mountain Mine Ride & Skylink Chairlift Thunder River Rapids and just beyond that, the Rocky Hollow Log Ride. The park’s choice in placement of the ride is certainly odd to say the least, while it makes sense to place it as close to the highway as possible for maximum exposure, it literally teeters on the edge of the front entrance where the carpark is situated, a very jarring experience when you turn the corner from what’s essentially a quaint little Eureka-period town and are reminded that you’re parked in section 2A just metres away. Excusing that fact, Buzzsaw is otherwise well featured in terms of story and integration into the park. When you drive in you’ll see the gigantic spinning blade that adorns the ride’s station which is also aptly themed as an abandoned saw mill. It’s definitely more themed than the other eight Maurer Skyloops that dot theme parks around the world and despite the whole carpark thing, the entire ride presents itself more then well enough to build up sufficient nerves of fear for newcomers.
Hang on, there’s 8 more Buzzsaws?
Sort of, but not really. In the words of Jame Franco’s character in Dave Skylark from The Interview, “same, same but different, but still same.” For those not acquainted with the inner workings of theme parks, for the most part, parks don’t actually build or design attractions, instead, much like buying a car, they’ll meet and chat with many different ride & attraction companies before settling on an idea that fits their park, budget and overall concept. One way a park can save a few dollars in the process is by picking a pre-existing ride design instead of going with a custom concept. They get something tried and true they can experience (albeit in another part of the world) which means no nasty surprises in the process and a slightly more guaranteed return on investment. In saying that, when it comes down to it, unlike cars, given the amount of moving (and non-moving) parts, local safety codes, the park’s own requirements etc. etc. every single ride installation is unique, right down to the theming and final touches. So yeah, there’s eight other “Maurer Skyloop XT150” coaster designs, but none as well themed as Buzzsaw.
So what’s it like?
Just like prom night, the first time is always the worst. There’s just something about being that high up and being slowly thrown upside down with nothing but a lap-bar holding you in that truly takes you out of your comfort zone. From there, the pace picks up almost immediately. As far as coasters go, Buzzsaw is a one trick pony – once when you’ve done that insane 46.5 metre tall barrel roll in the sky, you’re plummeting into the station at breakneck speed (which equates to 105k/ph for those of you playing at home) before you fly up the other tower and realise you’re about to do all of that in reverse before coming back again and finally hitting the breaks half way up that first tower (which comes with an immense jolt I don’t think i’ve yet been able to brace for). Think of it as riding the world’s most scariest and tallest pendulum and you’ve got a starting idea to what you’re in for.
But that’s just it. Just as quick as it began it’s all over. It’s a fun blast, and it’s even better the second time around as you’ll get a chance to appreciate the ride’s height and unique inversion a little more but beyond that you’ll be wanting to revisit the Wipeout or Tailspin where you’ll have a more fulfilling experience (especially if the wait times are big) before making a trip to re-ride Buzzsaw.
Too Long Didn’t Read
Buzzsaw is a great addition to Dreamworld. It looks and feels great. Bang for buck it’s an impressively massive attraction, although I wish the park had gone with the extended model Maurer makes called the XT450 like Parque de Atracciones de Madrid in Spain did when they built Abismo. It combines traditional roller-coaster elements with that signature Skyloop which in my mind would’ve been a bigger draw card then when the Tower of Terror first opened. That being said, budgets are budgets, and with the money they spent it continues to server the park exceptionally well. It’s fast, it’s tall and the first time always catches even the diehard thrill-seekers outs.