Three…two…one. Get ready to drop, twist and roll! Defiance, Glenwood Caverns’ new mountaintop roller coaster is set to open to fanfare. On July 9, the park will have its Grand Opening celebration which will include a performance by Prince cover band, Paizley Park.
Two massive cranes are moving pieces into place under the expertise of the park’s ground crew to create Defiance. The United States’ newest, highest elevation loop roller coaster and dare we say, most thrilling one, will sit on top of Iron Mountain, home of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The official celebration will be on Saturday, July 9. Mark your calendars today to be among the first to ride Defiance and “Party like it’s 1999” with Prince tribute band, Paizley Park.
Preparing for Launch
Defiance is a one-of-a-kind, action-packed Gerstlauer Euro-Flight roller coaster. In addition to five bold elements, what sets it apart is its location at 7,160-feet above sea level. A project of this magnitude is no small feat on flat ground, but when the building envelope is on a mountaintop surrounded by other rides and attractions, and with a network of caves located below the surface, the degree of difficulty gets bumped up a notch.
Fortunately, a top-flight construction crew is on the job. Defiance is taking form and nearing completion with each passing day. “We have an incredible amount of skill, credibility and perseverance not only in the construction of, but the operations and maintenance of the rides,” General Manager Nancy Heard said. “I am proud to be part of the company that has the vision to invest in a project of this magnitude and I am proud to lead such a capable, talented team of men and women that are full of passion for the industry and dedicated to safe operations.”
Mark Your Calendars for the Grand Opening Celebration
As Defiance takes shape, many are counting down the days until the ride is ready in real time. Among the first who will be queuing up will be self-proclaimed ‘coaster nerds’ from the American Coaster Enthusiasts. Members attended the ride’s ground-breaking ceremony last spring and are anxiously anticipating its high-speed curves, twists and descents. Local thrill seekers too have been keeping a close eye on the action as the giant cranes standing tall over the coaster’s serpentine track. Fortunately, with summer quickly approaching, the wait is nearly over. Grand Opening festivities are planned for Saturday, July 9 and will include music performed by Paizley Park, a Prince cover band that brought down the house the last time they played Glenwood Caverns.
Zero-Hour & Zero-Gravity
A ride of colossal scale, Defiance not only takes advantage of sky-high views, it’s also an adrenaline-junkie’s dream come true. Here are just a few reasons to start the countdown to go-time!
- The panoramas will fly by but there’s a few seconds to catch a glimpse of Mt. Sopris as the Defiance coaster cars travel up the incline before the first drop.
- And, that first descent is a doozy! It’s a 102.3-degree freefall which makes Defiance the owner of the steepest coaster drop in the Western U.S.
- Catch your breath while you can, the next feature is a 98-foot twisted top hat switch,* an element that tilts riders past 90-degrees without a full inversion.
- Next, hang tight as you circuit through the 111-foot banana roll,* this time completely inverted for maximum scream-worthy excitement.
- Defiance finishes with a 41-foot, zero-G heartline roll*, another roller coaster heart-thumping inversion element.
* definitions are taken from Coasterpedia
Shooting through all five elements is an exhilarating experience that will take less than one minute, just 56 seconds to be exact. When it comes to most anticipated thrill rides in the country, Defiance is not just on top of a mountain, it’s on top of every thrill seeker’s bucket list for 2022.
Stay in the Loop
Learn more about Defiance roller coaster and the Grand Opening festivities planned for July 9, at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.