Valleyfair’s Eye Candy
Steel Venom is an Intamin Impulse launch coaster that also functions as Valleyfair’s only launch coaster. In my opinion, this ride does an excellent job at drawing guests in to the park and getting them excited for what’s to come. Sure, Wild Thing does race around by the entrance, but it’s a pretty simple looking coaster to be honest. On the other hand, Steel Venom doesn’t look extremely common. Its two vertical spikes will definitely intimidate some, especially since the backwards spike has a HOLDING BRAKE. That’s right, Steel Venom is the only Intamin Impulse coaster to still use its holding brake. This unique feature actually holds the train and riders for about one second in mid air, and it’s absolutely terrifying to say the least…I mean that in the best way possible.
A Cut Above V2
There’s not too much to say about Steel Venom, since it is a pretty short ride, but that doesn’t mean its bad. I actually have an Intamin Impulse coaster with the exact same layout at my home park (V2 at Six Flags Great America), and I must say Steel Venom does everything just a bit better. The launch isn’t quite as rattly as V2, and it still feels pretty forceful. The hang time on the vertical spikes is much more enjoyable as well, since it seemed to have less head banging than V2. The crown jewel of Steel Venom is the aforementioned holding brake. Everything about this element is crazy, from the actual stall to the screeching sound it makes. It is one of only two coasters I’ve ever ridden that genuinely freaks me out (the other being Beast at King’s Island), and I think that’s a good thing.
If Steel Venom didn’t have a holding brake, it wouldn’t be anything to write home about. Luckily, Valleyfair has taken good care of the ride and left it on for riders to enjoy. Riding V2 at Great America isn’t nearly as fun now that I’ve ridden Steel Venom, but I’m still happy that I got to experience such a unique ride. I’d say it’s the second best coaster at Valleyfair after Renegade.
Coaster Grade: 7.5/10
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