DOSWELL, Va. — Following a significant amount of public criticism regarding the changing of its name, the Kings Dominion roller coaster Racer 75 will revert to its original name Rebel Yell, but the trains on both tracks will only go backward, park sources confirmed this morning.
“It was a tough decision, made with the utmost consideration,” Matthew Antezana, a spokesperson for the amusement park, stated in a recent press release. “However, we believe we’ve struck a compromise that will appease everyone.”
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Originally named Rebel Yell for the infamous cry of the Confederate soldier charging into battle, in February 2018 Kings Dominion renamed the coaster Racer 75 as an homage to both a roller coaster enthusiast group and the year the ride debuted. Up until 2008, the trains on one side of the track ran backward, which, according to Antezana, fans of the coaster have been clamoring for ever since.
“Everyone’s always asking ‘will they ever make the ride go backward again?’” Antezena said. “We hope this move will excite all of our clientele, both those that wanted the ride to go backward and those who wanted the name to return to Rebel Yell for its underlying Confederate heritage. Now guests can once again enjoy the sensation of moving backward along the tracks as well as traveling backward in progress, which we think is fitting given the direction the country is going in.”
“Why go forward with things when we could go backward, instead?” he asked.
Antezana also revealed that Racer 75 wasn’t the only potential name or concept discussed for the iconic ride.
“We briefly toyed with the idea of telling people that it had, in actuality, been named for the Billy Idol song all this time. We had a whole publicity campaign ready to launch featuring the chorus of ‘more, more, more,’ but we think this compromise suited us better,” Antezana stated.
Another scrapped idea for the ride involved traveling backward through time to a mid-20th century setting. “We considered switching the name back to Rebel Yell but modifying the ride with a time travel theme where guests would disembark from the coaster and we would tell them it’s the pre-Civil War era, there’s no vaccination for polio, and children worked 70 hour weeks in factories for next to nothing. Since that seems to be the era some of the country wants to revert to, we may try it out on the Grizzly next year.”
Kings Dominion hopes that its example is one that the rest of the state can follow in making decisions about these naming conventions for years to come.
“This seemed like the perfect solution,” Antezana continued. “We try to make incremental baby steps in order to meet the bare minimum of decency. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just bring something back from years ago and go backward. Honestly, that should probably be the Commonwealth’s motto at this point.”
When asked if the topic of Confederate monuments and symbols being removed across the country influenced the park’s recent decisions, Antezana assured us that the company valued the opinions of the park’s patrons, before immediately changing the topic to the park’s Eiffel Tower replica.
“Hey, by the way, have you seen our fake Eiffel Tower? I love it! It looks kind of like the one in Paris, right? What a great concept!”
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