Home Canada After more than 3 decades, West Edmonton Mall’s Mindbender roller-coaster closes for good

After more than 3 decades, West Edmonton Mall’s Mindbender roller-coaster closes for good

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A fixture at Galaxyland in West Edmonton Mall for decades, the Mindbender Roller Coaster comes to the end of its three-loop track.

In a news release this week, the mall confirmed the closure of its “iconic” roller coaster that has been driving riders crazy since it opened in 1985.

Lori Bethel, WEM’s vice president of parks, said, “Mindbender will be missed, but we’re working on groundbreaking new plans for family thrills that immerse guests in an out-of-this-world experience. I am pleased to announce that,” he said. said in an attraction, release.

Mall said redevelopment of the area will begin and the roller coaster will be decommissioned and removed.

Billed as the world’s largest indoor triple-loop roller coaster, Mindbender has been closed to the public since 2020.

The ride has provided an adrenaline rush to countless thrill-seekers over the years, but an accident in 1986 that killed three people and seriously injured one killed it. reputation has been tarnished.

The Mindbender roller coaster in action at Galaxyland at West Edmonton Mall. The mall announced a complete closure of its rides on Monday. (Best Edmonton Mall.com)

Matthew Dutczak, a self-professed WEM historian and creator of the Best Edmonton Mall YouTube channel, said he was shocked to learn that the ride was completely closed.

“I’ve been hearing rumors the last few years, like everyone else. I was the biggest, most vocal opponent of the closure when it came to it,” he told CBC. Told.

“It never occurred to me in millions of years that they would close it.”

Dutczak recalls being too scared to ride the Mindbender when he was young. But after he bravely got on board as a teenager, he was hooked.

“And now I will never be able to ride again and I am very sad,” he said.

In terms of tourism, roller coasters have become one of the mall’s most iconic images, right after pirate ships and indoor water parks, said Dutczak. , it had been taken up, he said.

This ride was a favorite of roller coaster enthusiasts like San Francisco native Andrew Cunningham, who has ridden 717 roller coasters around the world.

radio active6:07no more mind benders

We speak to San Francisco roller coaster enthusiasts about Edmonton’s legendary indoor attractions.

Cunningham told CBC radio active On Monday, Mindbender was popular with enthusiasts for its intensity.

“It’s a very long ride and a very aggressive ride,” he said.

“It goes upside down three times. It’s a very strong loop. It’s not like a little float. It really pushes against your leg for the entire ride.”

The roller coaster was ranked 4th for highest G-force (short for gravity) by Coasterpedia, an online resource for roller coasters and other rides.

Cunningham says in his experience most roller coasters come out of high G’s, giving riders a chance to breathe and recover.

“But the thing about Mindbender is that it was relentless [in] How long you held those G-forces and it really just keeps you in the seat for the entire ride,” he said.

1986 Fatal Accident

On June 14, 1986, the ride’s last car derailed at about 100 kilometers per hour and hit a concrete pillar, throwing four passengers onto the concrete floor below.

Three of the ejected riders were killed and a fourth seriously injured. Nineteen other riders received treatment for minor injuries.

The ride has been closed for over a year and has undergone safety changes.​​​​​

A state investigation blamed the crash on a defunct West German company for design and manufacturing defects. An investigation revealed that four bolts had loosened and the wheel his assembly had fallen off the jet his coaster car.

Edmontonian Brian McMorran was in the car with friends the day before the crash.

“It really rattled me out,” he told the CBC on Monday.

McMorran never rode a roller coaster again.

“It could have been as easy as me and my friends,” he said.

Working at an amusement park in 1987, then-15-year-old Dean de Benedetto remembers the Mindbender as being Edmonton’s most fun ride, but also the scariest.

“I remember thinking about it a few times,” he said, referring to the crash.

“When you’re riding, you’re just like, ‘I hope this works.’

Many of de Benedetto’s colleagues at the amusement park then known as Fantasyland were his age and had driven most of the rides, he said.

However, Mindbender was supervised by an adult employee.

“From what I remember, it was a vehicle that required a bit of technical expertise to run,” he said.

Edmonton AM6:40Mindbender roller coaster shuts down completely

The Mindbender roller coaster at West Edmonton Mall is permanently closed. The ride had been out of service for months, but mall officials confirmed it had been removed and replaced. Matthew Dutczak is on board as a further reaction to the closure. He is the founder of the Edmonton Mall and a historian of the mall.

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