Summer vacation began with extra adrenaline for some kids and adults after Como Town Amusement Park on Tuesday unveiled its new Tiger Trax roller coaster.
The jungle-themed attraction is colorfully painted to depict the adjacent Como Park Zoo and Conservatory's Siberian tigers and takes passengers on a 90-second thrill ride. At 33 feet high and 130 feet long, Tiger Trax is about twice as high as Como Town's original Screaming Dragon coaster, which was shut down in 2012.
Tiger Trax is the second attraction — after the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride that opened two years ago — designed to appeal to a wider audience than some of the park's more tame kiddie rides.
"We wanted a bigger and better [coaster], one that fits all types of families," said general manager Todd Koshenina.
The coaster was shipped in from overseas, traveling thousands of miles via train and semitrailer truck before arriving in Minnesota. Italy's SBF Group, which produced three other Como Town amusement rides, specially developed the Tiger Trax.
Glenn Baron, co-founder of Lancer Hospitality, the management company for Como Town, visited the SBF Group in Italy last year with his young daughter to ride a replica at the manufacturer's plant.
"There is a new energy and excitement building around the new Tiger Trax roller coaster at Como Town," Baron said in a statement Tuesday. "Roller coasters are the top at any amusement park and Como Town is no different. We're counting on Tiger Trax being a 'roaring success' with our visitors."
Como Town opened in 2005. With the addition of Tiger Trax, the park now features 19 rides and attractions for kids of all ages.
Admission to the 4-acre amusement park in St. Paul is free with ride tickets. Tiger Trax tickets will cost visitors 10 points or $5 per rider and are included in the unlimited ride wristband for $21.95.
The coaster will kick off an eventful summer at the Como Zoo, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the beloved Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. The Centennial Celebration will be held Friday through Sunday and will include live music, a classic movie and dome lighting. Organizers also plan to officiate at more than 100 vow renewals on Saturday — a nod to all the weddings held in the conservatory over the past century.