Batman The Escape

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For the roller coaster at Parque Warner Madrid, see Batman: La Fuga.
Batman The Escape
Batman the Escape.jpg
Batman The Escape in 2004 at Six Flags Astroworld.
Darien Lake
Coordinates 42°55′43″N 78°23′30″W / 42.928580°N 78.391651°W / 42.928580; -78.391651Coordinates: 42°55′43″N 78°23′30″W / 42.928580°N 78.391651°W / 42.928580; -78.391651
Status In Storage since October 30, 2005 (2005-10-30)
Six Flags AstroWorld
Coordinates 29°40′24″N 95°24′34″W / 29.673375°N 95.409454°W / 29.673375; -95.409454
Status Relocated to Darien Lake
Opening date 1993 (1993)
Closing date October 30, 2005 (2005-10-30)
Six Flags Great Adventure
Status Relocated to Six Flags Astroworld
Opening date 1990 (1990)
Closing date September 1992 (1992-09)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Coordinates 34°25′16″N 118°36′01″W / 34.421056°N 118.600196°W / 34.421056; -118.600196
Status Relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure
Opening date 1986 (1986)
Closing date 1988 (1988)
General statistics
Type Steel – Stand-up
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Intamin
Height 90 ft (27 m)
Drop 85 ft (26 m)
Length 2,300 ft (700 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions 1
Duration 2:18
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 20 riders per train.
Batman The Escape at RCDB
Pictures of Batman The Escape at RCDB

Batman The Escape is a steel stand-up roller coaster currently in storage at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. It previously was located at Six Flags Magic Mountain from 1986 until January 1989 (where it was known as Shockwave); Six Flags Great Adventure from 1990 until September 1992 (where it was known as Shockwave); and Six Flags AstroWorld from 1994 until 2005. Batman The Escape was designed by Intamin and featured one loop. This loop was followed by a diving turnaround, a midcourse brake run, and a helix through the loop before returning through a straight away back to the final brakes.

History[edit]

The ride was originally built in 1986 for Six Flags Magic Mountain where it was known as Shockwave. It was one of the first stand up roller coasters in the world. The coaster was a very popular attraction at Magic Mountain regardless of its roughness due to the positions of the restraints. At the time, Six Flags had a ride rotation program, in which some coasters would remain at a park for a couple years and then transferred to another park.

Late in 1988, the Shockwave was closed, in 1989 removed, and in 1990 relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure and opened there. At Magic Mountain, the former Shockwave location would be where the California Psyclone wooden twister coaster would be built in 1991.

At Great Adventure, the Shockwave would open a month into the 1990 season and be plagued with many technical difficulties. The ride continued to be quite rough but would have some of the longest lines in the park. At times Shockwave would not even open until 12:00 noon while the rest of the park opened at 10:00 am. It was still a very popular ride at the park, like when it was at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The ride was painted blue instead of its prior color, black. The restraints also had been changed while at Six Flags Great Adventure, removing the padding.

In June 1992, it was announced that Six Flags Great Adventure would add Batman The Ride, a then-state of the art steel inverted coaster for the 1993 season and begin building it on the then-current site of Lightning Loops. Lightning Loops would shut down at the end of July to be disassembled and for construction of Batman to begin. Then in August, the park would be told they would also be losing Shockwave, which closed after Labor Day weekend. The site is now the location of the paid attraction, Slingshot.

Shockwave would be dismantled in September 1992, relocated to AstroWorld in 1993, and reopened in 1994. The coaster was painted a blue shade of white and renamed and rethemed "Batman The Escape". A Batcave adjacent to the coaster was created out of a manmade mountain for a previous attraction and heavily themed as guests would prepare to ride the coaster.

In 1998, the theming at the Batcave would be eliminated.

On September 12, 2005, Six Flags CEO, Kieran Burke, announced that the company's legendary AstroWorld theme park in Houston, Texas, would be closed and demolished at the end of the 2005 season. The company cited issues such as the park's performance, and parking issues involving the Houston Texans football team, Reliant Stadium, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo leveraged with the estimated value of the property upon which the park was located. Company executives were expecting to receive upwards of $150 million for the real estate, but ended up receiving less than half of that amount. After spending $20 million to demolish the park and clear the land, Six Flags received $77 million when the bare property was sold to a development corporation in 2006 (reported in a corporate earnings report).[1] This transaction contributed to the decision by shareholders of the company to remove CEO, Kieran Burke, from his position on the board. He was replaced by Mark Shapiro formerly of Disney and ESPN.

After being dismantled, Six Flags placed the coaster in storage at Darien Lake. It remained there in storage through the sale of the park to PARC Management and CNL Income Properties. Future plans under current park operator Herschend Family Entertainment are still unknown.

Influence on future coasters[edit]

Shockwave was one of the first standup coasters in the world. Another stand up looping steel coaster called Shockwave was built at Kings Dominion by TOGO International but has no association with this coaster at all. With the Intamin Shockwave Bolliger and Mabillard used a four across seating roller coaster train and a box shaped spine track that would become the trademark of their future company. In 1988, a roller coaster designing company called Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) was formed by two former employees of Intamin. Their first project as a new company would be a stand-up steel looping roller coaster. This coaster would be much smoother and had more comfortable restraints than Shockwave, eventually becoming the Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America. Bolliger & Mabillard then began designing steel inverted roller coasters as well as steel floorless roller coasters.

In 1996, Bolliger and Mabillard designed the Mantis, a stand up coaster at Cedar Point. The year after, the company built Chang at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. In 1998, Bolliger & Mabillard built another standup coaster for Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Riddler's Revenge, now the tallest, longest, and fastest stand up coaster in the world. All three of these were even larger and smoother than Iron Wolf. Though Bolliger & Mabillard perfected the stand up steel looping coaster, Intamin's Shockwave was the original which makes the coaster an important development. Without Shockwave/Batman The Escape, these other stand up rides might have never been made.

Facts[edit]

  • The ride featured a 66-foot-tall (20 m) vertical loop.
  • The ride was originally blue and black. It was painted white in 1994 but was re-painted yellow and black in 2004.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jennifer Dawson (May 11, 2006). "Local developer to acquire former Astroworld site - Houston Business Journal:". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01.