BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kings Dominion is renaming a roller coaster that has a Confederate-themed name.
The amusement park in Virginia announced Friday that the ride will be changed from “Rebel Yell” to “Racer 75.”
In a post on the Kings Dominion blog, public relations manager Katelyn Sherwood said the move comes as part of a “revitalization” effort. The wooden roller coaster dates back to the park’s opening in 1975.
Rebel Yell will become “Racer 75” as a nod to its 1975 entry into the park as well as giving recognition to ACE, the American Coaster Enthusiasts, (rACEr 75 – get it?!). ACE was founded in 1978 after a roller-coaster-riding event on this attraction. The new name, Racer 75, is also reflective of the design, a racer-style coaster. We will continue to replace sections of the track on this classic wooden coaster as a commitment to maintaining the iconic ride. As part of this work, riders will notice a smoother experience as they race through the course.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch asked Sherwood if the name was being dropped because of sensitivities over Confederate iconography and fears of offending visitors, in which she replied via email Saturday:
“We’re constantly evaluating elements of the park and we plan updates in existing areas when we invest in new products in the vicinity. Our new multimillion-dollar hybrid coaster, Twisted Timbers, is the centerpiece investment in this section of the Candy Apple Grove area.”
Confederate symbols across the country, including in Baltimore, have been debated and removed.
In August 2017, four Confederate monuments across the city were taken down, days after a violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia drew both white nationalists and counter-protesters.