Chalk this one up as another "semi-confirmed" news update. Following the closing of the White Cyclone wooden roller coaster, Nagashima Spa Land released a statement on Facebook that loosely translated to them confirming a steel hybrid conversion for the massive ride.
White Cyclone was among a rare breed of wooden roller coasters in Japan, one of only 6 to ever operate in the country. Only 3 traditional wooden roller coasters remain in operation in the entire country. The reason for this is mainly due to costs and stringent earthquake codes to construct a wooden structure. White Cyclone held the country records for length, height, and speed since its opening in 1994.
While it was noted to be a rough ride over the course of its lifetime, its gigantic support structure is suitable for reuse in the hybrid conversion. With the coaster's height and length, it will make a great candidate for the first every RMC hybrid in Asia. Besides Wildfire in Europe, RMC White Cyclone will also be only the second RMC product to open overseas.
The project is slated to open in 2019, but no renderings, layout information, etc. have been released yet. The only hint given on the post was that the first drop will be made extremely steeper.
This is exciting news for Asian coaster enthusiasts, as this project is not only a first for the area, but a very large one at that. We will keep you updated when more information is released.