Cheetah Hunt Update: Vehicle walk-through testing in progress
By Don Gworek
With the track complete, Cheetah Hunt is now going through walk-through tests, where trains are steadily moved through the full circuit. This is done so it’s assured the trains can move safely through the track and there are no obstructions in reach of riders.
Two of the Cheetah Hunt ride cars have been secured like this – suspended over the steam train tracks. It may be just for show, but it’s probably a test to assure the structure can support weight for an extended period of time.
With the ride cars secured in place like this, we have an opportunity to admire the craftsmanship of the cars. We can also notice details of the test. For example, notice the bindings on the wheels.
This is from the opposite side, and it gives a better view of the hoop. The hoop represents the extent of how far out a guest might stretch an arm from the vehicle. In this walk through, the hoop assures that nothing is in reach of a guest later when the coaster opens.
In this file photo from March 2009, similar extent testing was done at Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket at Universal Studios.
Depending on your point of view, this view is looking straight up or straight down into the car. There will probably be very few photos of this angle. Notice the shoelace-looking binding on the wheels.
Notice the belts binding the seat restraints in place, as well as the bindings on the wheels.
More detail of the belts on the seat restraints. Notice how lightweight the harnesses are. Also note the design of the bar that goes across the waist area.
Closer view of a wheel binding.
The joint between the front car and the Cheetah theming is also bound.
Note the cushioning for the hoop against the seat back. The cushioning prevents paint and fiberglass damage.
Close up of the chain and belt securing the train in place from the back.
It sort of looks like the Cheetah is sticking out its tongue, and has a piercing!
The entrance now has these platforms. To me it looks like they will hold statues. One platform extends out more than the other.
Current state of the courtyard.
Opposite side of this area, as seen from outside the park. The Crown Colony building is in the background.
This looks more and more like seating for an outdoor cafe. The surface is now themed too. It was a uniform color earlier.
Close up of some theming.
It’s interesting that this track-bridge area isn’t themed yet.
This area continues to be a jarring combination of styles.
This building is now hot orange. The boarded window area may be an elevator shaft. Note the skyline.
The left side is capped off and finished. Note the closepin-type of wood slats, these will probably hold forms for the cap on that side.
A train is lurking in the service bay.
Another view of the Cheetah waiting to prowl.
I haven’t figured out if these are exit stairs or emergency stairs. I’m starting to think general exit stairs.
The skyway cables travel underneath this leap in the coaster track. It was the last piece to be connected.
This was my favorite view of the ride back in January, when I saw them building the sunken walls here. It turned out to be a leap over the skyway!
This section of track is brought to you by the letter A.
Notice the barrier wall on the right. Fencing is going up to keep animals away from the coaster. Note the skyway building.
Another view of the barrier. It wouldn’t be visible if the ground was sloping less gradually from the foundation.
One last view of the suspended cars. That’s a greater kudu and Egyptian geese in the lower right.
• Stay tuned to this Blog and Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show for more Cheetah Hunt updates.
Another reason they might have the train strapped over the tracks is to ensure that the trains hot smoke would not harm any passengers IF they both crossed at that point at the same time. Just think, hot smoke and flying cinders could equal huge lawsuit. Just a thought.