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BATMAN: The Ride
Batman The Ride logo
Batman: The Ride logo
BATMAN: The Ride
Type Steel
Manufacturer B&M
Model Inverted
Height 105 ft.
Length & Speed ? & 50 (MPH)

BATMAN: The Ride is a steel inverted roller coaster found at Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags St. Louis, and Six Flags Over Texas. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, it features a height of roughly 109 feet (33 m) and reaches speeds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). The original coaster in Six Flags Great America was the first inverted roller coaster in the world when it opened in 1992 and has since been awarded Coaster Landmark status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts.[1]

Goliath at Six Flags Fiesta Texas was formerly Batman: The Ride from Six Flags New Orleans, which closed when Hurricane Katrina devastated the park in 2005. Prior to operating in New Orleans, it was Gambit at Thrill Valley in Japan.

BatmanSFMM

Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

HistoryEdit

The concept of an inverted roller coaster with inversions was developed by Jim Wintrode, the general manager of Six Flags Great America, in the 1990s.[1] To develop the idea, Wintrode worked with Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard – from Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard – and engineer Robert Mampe.[1]The ride soft opened to the public on May 2, 1992, with an official opening one week later.[1][2] Although the full cost of the ride has never been disclosed, it was the single biggest investment made by Six Flags Great America on one attraction at the time it opened.[3]

Clones of the original ride at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, were built at most Six Flags theme parks around the world, and were opened in Six Flags Great Adventure (1993), Six Flags Magic Mountain (1994), and Six Flags St. Louis (1995).[4][5][6] Installation of the ride followed at Six Flags Over Georgia (1997), and Six Flags Over Texas (1999).[7][8]

In 2002, La Ronde in Montreal, Canada, opened a clone of the ride under the name Le Vampire (The Vampire), and Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid, under the name Batman: La Fuga (Batman: The Escape).[9][10]

As La Ronde is not a Six Flags branded park, the licensing agreement with Warner Bros. and DC Comics for the name Batman: The Ride didn't go through.[11] The La Ronde ride was expected to become Batman: The Ride when the park was scheduled to be converted to a Six Flags-branded park in the mid-2000s, however, these changes were never initiated.[12]

Other non-Six Flags amusement parks that have installed Batman: The Ride clones are "Diavlo" at Himeji Central Park in Japan (1994),[13] "The Great White" at SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas (1997),[14] and Lightning at Entertainment City in Kuwait (2004).[15]

One of the last installations of the ride was at Six Flags New Orleans in 2003,[16] having been relocated from the Japanese park Thrill Valley where it operated as Gambit from 1995 to 2002.[17] In 2005 the effects of Hurricane Katrina caused Six Flags to abandon its New Orleans park,[18] and after standing but not operating for two years, the ride there was relocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas where, in 2008, it opened as Goliath.[19][20]

Queue and Theming Edit

Six Flags Great America version Edit

Temporary Backwards Conversions Edit

Six Flags Great America Edit

On February 21, 2013, Six Flags Great America announced that their Batman: The Ride roller coaster would run backwards for a limited time during the 2013 season.[21][22]

Six Flags Magic Mountain Edit

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags Magic Mountain officially announced that they would run their installation backwards for a limited time of the 2014 season,[23] along with the ride at the Six Flags Over Texas location. [24]

Six Flags Great Adventure Edit

CharacteristicsEdit

StructureEdit

The original installation of the ride at Six Flags Great America featured a maximum height of Template:Convert while the installations to follow reached 105 ft. Each installation of Batman: The Ride has a track length of approximately Template:Convert. The rides reach a top speed of Template:Convert and exert up to four times the force of gravity.[4][2][5][6][7][8][16]

Batman: The Ride clones operate with two steel and fiberglass trains, each containing eight cars. Each car seats four riders in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.[4][2][5][6][7][8][16]

File:Batman The Ride at Six Flags Great America 5.jpg

Ride layoutEdit

File:Batman The Ride at Six Flags Great America 1.jpg

The ride's layout was specifically designed to fit in the Yankee Harbor themed area at Six Flags Great America, although the layout for each successive attraction is identical or a mirror image of the original.[25]

Batman: The Ride begins with the track floor descending. The train moves out of the station and up a chain lift hill. At the top of the hill the train dips down through a Bolliger & Mabillard "pre-drop", coasts down a 180-degree swoop to the left, and drops into the first 360-degree vertical loop. It then flips through a zero-g roll to the right, followed by another vertical loop. The train then travels upward around a tight helix to the left, then through a wider turn to the right, drops slightly, and quickly turns through the first wingover element, also known as a flat spin or corkscrew. Following this is a tight right turn and another wingover, then a tight left turnaround before the train enters the final brake run.[4][2][5][6][7][8][16][26]

Color schemeEdit

Many changes have been made to the color schemes to match different eras of the Batman comics.

Some Batman: The Ride clones opened with dark blue track and supports, reminiscent of Batman's blue batsuit in the 1970s, while others featured gray and yellow, which resembled his more well-known black and yellow apppearances. Some of the colors remained the same, while others changed.

The original ride at Six Flags Great America retained the original black color scheme to match the theme of Tim Burton's Batman until 2004, when the track was painted yellow, and supports dark purple.

[2]

Six Flags Great Adventure's version of Batman: The Ride, while also being themed to Tim Burton's Batman, varied from the other versions since it originally featured a black color scheme with yellow rails until 2004, when the track was repainted yellow.[4]

For the 2010 season, Six Flags Magic Mountain's version was repainted from it's light gray track and black supports to medium blue with black supports.[27] Template:Clear left

ExperienceEdit

Six Flags designers' decorative theme attempts to capture the spirit of Batman's world for those queuing to board the ride. As the queue moves through Gotham City Park,[28] the theme becomes more ominous.[29] Modeled after Anton Furst's award-winning set design for the original Batman film, the atmosphere indicates a crime-ridden and dirty environment, with wrecked cars, discarded pieces of equipment, crumbling concrete, and a Gotham City Police car riddled with bullet holes.[29] The queue then enters the ride structure.[29] The ride passenger loading area is modeled on Batman's Batcave, and features a replica of the Batsuit from the 1989 film.[28]

At Six Flags St Louis, many of the theming elements in the queue of the ride were removed around the time of the Mark Shapiro era due to money constraints as the company fell into bankruptcy. These elements included the Batmobile, fog effects, a GCPD car, as well as banners for Gotham City Park. This has led to some fans asking for current management to restore the ride to it's former version.

Edit

IncidentsEdit

See also: Incidents at Six Flags

On May 26, 2002, 58-year-old park employee Samuel Milton Guyton of Atlanta was killed in a danger zone under the Georgia Batman roller coaster's path by being struck on the head by the dangling leg of a 14-year-old girl on the front car of the ride. The girl was hospitalized with a leg injury.[30]

On June 28, 2008, a 17-year-old South Carolina teenager was decapitated after being struck by the Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. The teen, who was on a trip to the park with his church's youth group, scaled two fences with a friend into a restricted area and walked into the ride's path. Although witnesses stated he was trying to retrieve his hat, a Cobb County police spokesman reported the teens were attempting to take a shortcut into the park after having finished lunch.[31][32]

ReceptionEdit

Batman: The Ride has generally received positive reviews. The Dallas Morning News stated the ride "is proof that new thrills on the cutting edge of technology generate excitement". They also praise the theme of the "smooth-riding coaster" stating "the mysterious crime-fighter is a proven crowd-pleaser".[33] American Coaster Enthusiasts have also praised the ride, awarding it Coaster Landmark status in 2005. They describe the ride as a "revolutionary design" which offers "unprecedented intensity, while maintaining remarkable smoothness, comfort, and pacing".[1][34] Ultimate Rollercoaster describes Batman: The Ride as "the ride of your life". They state "the sensation created by an inverted coaster is very different from that of traditional roller coasters. It is a sensation that every coaster fan must experience".[29]

AwardsEdit

In Amusement TodayTemplate:'s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Steel Roller Coasters, Batman: The Ride ranked reasonably in the late 1990s before dropping off the poll, and returning once in 2005. The original installation at Six Flags Great America was ranked 23 and 25 in 1998 and 1999, respectively, before returning in 2005 at position 45. In 1998, the Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags St. Louis installations ranked 19 and 21, respectively.[35][36][37]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Batman: The Ride peaked at position 21 in 1999 (the first year of the poll).[38] The ride's ranking dropped in subsequent polls and is summarised in the table below.

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 19992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Ranking
21[38]
[nb 1]
30[39]
39[40]
35[41]
40[42]
39[43]
59[44]
49[45]
56[46]
61[47]
76[48]
[nb 1]
77[49]

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit


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