Virginia’s first multilevel go-kart track is about to open in Fun Land of Fredericksburg.
Annual pass holders will get a preview of the $1.2 million Thunder 104.5 Speedway from 5–9 p.m. June 7. The grand opening will run from noon to 10 p.m. June 8.
“We just really wanted to put together an attraction that was going to be a staple for the Fredericksburg area, something that’s not within 100 miles of here so people would say, ‘Hey, we need to go to that go-kart track,’ “ said Clint Novak, Fun Land’s general manager.
The new attraction will send drivers spiraling up a helix for three stories—or about as high as the top of Fun Land’s 30-foot-tall lamp posts. Then they’ll go back down to ground level and either enter the pit area or continue into a double helix that will take them up two stories before doing a reverse 360-degree turn and heading down a straightaway.
Novak said that the speedway was originally scheduled to open around the time that the Potomac Nationals’ new stadium will open in Celebrate Virginia South next year. After looking at the timeline for building the track, he said he realized it could be completed this spring.
Multilevel go-kart tracks have been around for a while, but there’s been a trend over the last few years to make them bigger, longer and higher. The new Cyclone Cart Coaster at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Md., for example, is more than 1,500 feet long and five stories tall.
The new 1,700 foot-long track replaces Fun Land’s old, one-level, 1,130-foot go-kart track. The amusement park also purchased 40 new red-and-white gas-powered go-karts with spoilers.
Of those, 31 will be have double seats and the rest will be “rookie cars”—single seaters for smaller children. There will no longer be an age requirement to ride one of the go-karts, which will have a maximum speed of 18 mph, but there will be a height restriction. Drivers have to be at least 60 inches tall, while passengers have to be at least 40 inches tall.
The new racetrack is the biggest single investment that Fun Land’s owners have made at the amusement park. In the past two years, the business has spent more than $2 million on other upgrades and additions including a point-of-sale system, entertainment-card system, carpet, bumper cars, bowling lanes, bathrooms, climbing walls, virtual reality games, “Twist n Shout Spin” roller coaster and 30 new arcade games.