Apollo's Chariot is the first Bolliger & Mabillard hypercoaster, located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, in James City County, Virginia.
Apollo's Chariot is the first roller coaster to incorporate the "T-shaped" clamshell harness design, which is a type of tight lap restraint rather than an over the shoulder harness, or the traditional "U-shaped" lap bar. This allows the rider to experience more freedom and movement of the body. Opened in 1999, it soon became a favorite roller coaster of many enthusiasts and riders.
The roller coaster uses an out and back design with a helix. Notably, the first drop is actually longer than height of the lift, the drop being 210 feet, and the height of the roller coaster 170 feet high. The ride with its purple track and yellow supports is easily noticeable from nearby roads. Apollo's Chariot is very quiet, which was accomplished by filling in the supports with gravel. Since its opening, trim brakes were added on two hills.
Since it opened, Apollo's Chariot never came out of the 10 top best steel coasters by Amusement Today, with lowest ranking being 8 in 2000. This is one of the few B&M coasters that accomplished this. It is a main rival of Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure, since numerous times has it came back to back with Nitro in Amusement Today's polls.
After latching in, riders hear a typical dispatch message, "Thank you, and enjoy your voyage to the sun on the wings of Apollo's Chariot!" The train climbs a 170 foot lift hill. When the train finally reaches the peak, it drops down a few feet in a pre-drop. The pre-drop serves to reduce the stress and pull of the chain. After the pre-drop, riders drop 210 feet toward a water-filled ravine at a 65 degree angle and reaching speeds of 73 mph. At the end of the ravine, the train enters a second airtime hill with a 131 foot drop.
A short narrow above ground tunnel is at the bottom of the second drop. Then after the third hill, the train descends a 144 foot drop, which banks to the left as it descends. Then there is a large, upward helix which pulls 4.1 Gs. Coming out of the helix, there is a small drop, then a climbing right turn into the block brake. A sudden dive off the block leads into a bunny hop parallel to the ride's initial plunge.
Then, the ride features an overbanked turn under the lift hill, just dodging one of the support columns. After this, the train makes a left hand turn, and at the end the is a camel hump hill and drop into a ditch where the on-ride photo is located. Then the train enters the final brakes. After a left turn, the riders return to the station.Parts of Apollo's Chariot cross over Roman Rapids, a River rafting ride. To prevent riders on the Rapids from being hit by loose articles from riders on Apollo's Chariot, nets are present on the segment of track from the left hand turn after passing under the lift hill to the final drop, as well as on the predrop at the top of the lift hill.
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Track layout Out and back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 170 ft (52 m)
Drop 210 ft (64 m)
Length 4,882 ft (1,488 m)
Speed 73 mph (117 km/h)
Max vertical angle 65°
Capacity 1750 riders per hour
G-force 4.6 (4.1 on helix)
Height restriction 4 ft 4 in (132 cm)