“Chaos” From Opryland Remembered

One of the most painful realities that accompanied the closing of Opryland in 1997 was the removal of "Chaos", the indoor roller coaster that featured a fairly slow circular accent to the top followed by a fast, fun circular ride down.  The coaster was built by Vekoma and was labeled the "Vekoma Illusion" model.  There were only two Vekoma Illusion models built and both were identical at their opening.  One was Chaos which opened in 1989 and closed in 1997.  The other is Revolution which opened in 1989 and is still operating at the Bobbejaanland park in Belgium.  Since its opening, Revolution has sadly underwent multiple revisions so that it is not the same ride (in terms of effects) as the day it opened.  Chaos, before its demise, also underwent some renovations, turning the ride into a "reactor" theme.

One of the effect elements that made the original Chaos and Revolution so powerful was the presence of two screens lit with a 70mm projector.  One of the screens was at the top center of the ride (which the cars went around) and the other was at the bottom.  The two screens were somewhat interactive, so that what was happening at the top was tied in to the bottom screen.  This created a super cool effect that really set a creepy mood to the ride before the descent and the images included a pendulum, a clock shattering, a face in the moon, time portals, a digital clock, space travel, etc.  In the amazing video below you can view the two screens in a "split screen" format so that you can watch them both at the same time.  I think you will agree that even with today's gorgeous digital film, these effects are still a force to be reckoned with. 

For whatever reason, both Revolution and Chaos removed the bottom screen and replaced it with other effects.  The ride, in my opinion, continued to lessen in effectiveness as new revisions were made.  Even with that, it remained a classic ride and one that is dearly missed.  At the end of Chaos, as you made your final turn in the descent, a big green dragon's head was staring at you, which I always thought was pretty spooky.  The music that accompanied the ride was "Bones on the Beach" by Michael Hoenig and added the perfect ambiance to the coaster. 

Chaos has been defunct for 13 years now.  But the classic ride is not forgotten!

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