Batman: The Ride

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Batman: The Ride
Batman signage.JPG
Entrance to Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Great America
Park section Yankee Harbor
Coordinates 42°22′5.79″N 87°56′1.42″W / 42.3682750°N 87.9337278°W / 42.3682750; -87.9337278
Status Operating
Soft opening date May 2, 1992 (1992-05-02)[1]
Opening date May 9, 1992 (1992-05-09)
Six Flags Great Adventure
Park section Movie Town
Coordinates 40°8′8.73″N 74°26′38.05″W / 40.1357583°N 74.4439028°W / 40.1357583; -74.4439028
Status Operating
Opening date May 1, 1993 (1993-05-01)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section DC Universe
Coordinates 34°25′33″N 118°36′03″W / 34.425854°N 118.600778°W / 34.425854; -118.600778
Status Operating
Opening date March 26, 1994 (1994-03-26)
Replaced Z-Force
Six Flags St. Louis
Park section Studio Backlot
Coordinates 38°30′49″N 90°40′24″W / 38.513535°N 90.673207°W / 38.513535; -90.673207
Status Operating
Opening date April 22, 1995 (1995-04-22)
Six Flags Over Georgia
Park section Gotham City
Coordinates 33°46′10″N 84°32′47″W / 33.769495°N 84.546366°W / 33.769495; -84.546366
Status Operating
Opening date May 3, 1997 (1997-05-03)
Six Flags Over Texas
Park section Gotham City
Coordinates 32°45′30.31″N 97°3′59.93″W / 32.7584194°N 97.0666472°W / 32.7584194; -97.0666472
Status Operating
Opening date May 26, 1999 (1999-05-26)
Six Flags New Orleans
Park section DC Comics Super Heroes Adventures
Coordinates 30°02′59″N 89°56′05″W / 30.049732°N 89.934758°W / 30.049732; -89.934758
Status Relocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas where it operates as Goliath
Opening date April 12, 2003 (2003-04-12)
Closing date August 2005 (2005-08)
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Inverted Coaster – Batman
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Inversions 5
Duration 1:45
Capacity 1280–1400[2][3] riders per hour
G-force 4
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Height 100 or 105 ft (30 or 32 m)
Length 2,693 or 2,700 ft (821 or 823 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Drop 84.5 ft[4]
Flash Pass available
Batman: The Ride at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at RCDB

Batman: The Ride is a steel inverted roller coaster found in Six Flags theme parks. Built by consulting engineers Bolliger & Mabillard, it rises to a height of between 100 and 105 feet (30 and 32 m) and reaches top speeds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). The original roller coaster at Six Flags Great America was partially devised by the park's general manager Jim Wintrode. Batman: The Ride was the world's first inverted roller coaster when it opened in 1992, and has since been awarded Coaster Landmark status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. Its decorative theme is based on the first Batman film. Clones of the ride exist at amusement parks around the world.

History[edit]

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][5] 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][6] Although the full cost of the ride was never disclosed, it was the single biggest investment made by Six Flags Great America on one attraction.[7]

Clones of the original ride, at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, became a staple at 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).[2][8][9] Installation of the ride followed at Six Flags Over Georgia (1997), and Six Flags Over Texas (1999).[10][11]

In 2002 La Ronde amusement park, Montreal, 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).[12][13] As La Ronde is not a branded Six Flags park, the licensing agreement with Warner Bros. and DC Comics for the name Batman: The Ride was not allowed.[14] 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.[15]

Other non-Six Flags amusement parks that installed Batman: The Ride clones are Diavlo at Himeji Central Park in Japan (1994),[16] The Great White at SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas (1997),[17] and Lightning at Entertainment City in Kuwait (2004).[18]

One of the last installations of the ride was at Six Flags New Orleans in 2003,[19] having been relocated from the Japanese park Thrill Valley where it operated as Gambit from 1995 to 2002.[20] In 2005 the effects of Hurricane Katrina caused Six Flags to abandon its New Orleans park,[21] 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.[22][23]

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.[24][25] 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,[26] along with the ride at the Six Flags Over Texas location. [27]

Characteristics[edit]

A train waiting to depart the station at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Structure[edit]

The original installation of the ride at Six Flags Great America featured a maximum height of 100 feet (30 m) while the installations to follow reached 105 feet (32 m). Each installation of Batman: The Ride has a track length of approximately 2,700 feet (820 m). The rides reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) and exert up to four times the force of gravity.[2][6][8][9][10][11][19]

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.[2][6][8][9][10][11][19]

Theming around the ride at Six Flags Great America

Ride layout[edit]

A vertical loop and corkscrew on the ride at Six Flags Great America

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.[28]

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.[2][6][8][9][10][11][19][29]

Color scheme[edit]

While some Batman: The Ride clones opened with dark blue track and supports, others featured gray and yellow. Over the years there have been modifications in Batman: The Ride color schemes, with more incorporating yellows, blues, and purples. The original ride at Six Flags Great America retained the original black color scheme until 2004, when the track was painted yellow, and supports dark purple.[6] Six Flags Great Adventure originally featured a black color scheme with yellow rails until 2004, when the track was repainted yellow.[2] For the 2010 season, the clone at Six Flags Magic Mountain was repainted medium blue with black supports.[30]

Experience[edit]

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,[31] the theme becomes more ominous.[32] 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.[32] The queue then enters the ride structure.[32] The ride passenger loading area is modeled on Batman's Batcave, and features a replica of the Batsuit from the 1989 film.[31]

Incidents[edit]

An overview of the ride's first drop and vertical loop at Six Flags Great Adventure

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.[33]

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.[34][35]

Reception[edit]

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".[36] 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][37] 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".[32]

Awards[edit]

In Amusement Today '​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.[38][39][40]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Batman: The Ride peaked at position 21 in 1999 (the first year of the poll).[41] 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 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
21[41]
[nb 1]
30[42]
39[43]
35[44]
40[45]
39[46]
59[47]
49[48]
56[49]
61[50]
76[51]
[nb 1]
77[52]

Notes:

  1. ^ a b No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2000 or 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Coaster Landmark Award - Batman: The Ride". American Coaster Enthusiasts. June 20, 2005. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Great Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Batman The Ride (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Parkz. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Batman: The Ride". Beamer3K. 
  5. ^ O'Brien, Tim (March 24, 2003). "In my office: Jim Wintrode". Amusement Business 115 (12). 
  6. ^ a b c d e Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ Muret, Don (March 1994). "New attraction takes Six Flags into world of virtual reality". Amusement Business 106 (10). 
  8. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags St. Louis)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Over Georgia)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Over Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Vampire  (La Ronde)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Batman la Fuga  (Parque Warner Madrid)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Montreal-based theme park". Amusement Business (BPI Communications, Inc.) 115 (9): 6. March 3, 2003. ISSN 0003-2344. 
  15. ^ O'Brien, Tim (May 13, 2002). "New Coasters Ready To Roll". Amusement Business 114 (19): 23–25. 
  16. ^ Marden, Duane. "Diavlo  (Himeji Central Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ Marden, Duane. "Great White  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Lightning  (Kuwait Entertainment City)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman: The Ride  (Six Flags New Orleans)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gambit  (Thrill Valley)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ "New Orleans: Six Flags New Orleans". Six Flags. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Six Flags' Flashback coaster will live on (somewhere else)". kvue.com. September 27, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Goliath  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Six Flags Great America Announces BATMAN: The Ride Backwards" (Press release). Six Flags Great America. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Six Flags Announces a Full Season of Backwards". Six Flags. May 24, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  26. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ "SFOT BB". March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  28. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Model = Batman)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  29. ^ Alvey, Robb. "Batman The Ride POV Roller Coaster Front Seat Onride Six Flags Over Georgia". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Batman Blue Track (HD POV) Six Flags Magic Mountain". The Coaster Views. YouTube. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  31. ^ a b O'Brien, Tim (November 16, 1998). "Holy Thrills! Six Flags Over Texas Gets Batman Ride". Amusement Business 110 (46): 3, 48. 
  32. ^ a b c d "Batman The Ride". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Six Flags' worker is killed in inverted coaster's path". Toledo Blade. May 28, 2002. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Teen Decapitated in Six Flags Accident". CBS News. June 28, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  35. ^ Cook, Rhonda (June 28, 2008). "Boy Decapitated by Roller Coaster at Six Flags over Georgia is ID'd". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Wild ride - Six Flags should keep thrills coming". The Dallas Morning News (A. H. Belo Corporation). May 28, 1999. 
  37. ^ "ACE Coaster Landmark Awards". American Coaster Enthusiasts. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 1998. 
  39. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 1999. 
  40. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 2005. 
  41. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "FINAL RESULTS: 1999 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  42. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "FINAL RESULTS: 2001 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  43. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "FINAL RESULTS: 2002 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  44. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "FINAL RESULTS: 2003 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  45. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "FINAL RESULTS: 2004 Internet Steel Tracked Roller Coaster Poll". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  46. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2005". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  47. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2006". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  48. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2007". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  49. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2008". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  50. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2009". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  51. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2010". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  52. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Detailed Steel Roller Coaster Poll Results 2012". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 9, 2013.