Superman: Escape from Krypton

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"Superman: The Escape" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Superman Escape or Superman: The Last Escape.
Superman: Escape from Krypton
Superman Escape from Krypton logo.png
Superman Escape from Krypton tower.jpg
The 415 ft (126 m) tall tower of Superman: Escape from Krypton.
Previously known as Superman: The Escape (1997-2010)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section Samurai Summit
Coordinates 34°25′30″N 118°35′53″W / 34.424996°N 118.59802°W / 34.424996; -118.59802Coordinates: 34°25′30″N 118°35′53″W / 34.424996°N 118.59802°W / 34.424996; -118.59802
Status Operating
Opening date March 15, 1997 (1997-03-15)
Cost US$20,000,000
General Statistics
Type Steel – Launched – Shuttle
Manufacturer Intamin
Model Reverse Freefall Coaster
Lift/launch system Linear synchronous motor
Height 415 ft (126.5 m) 415 ft (126.5 m)
Drop 328.1 ft (100.0 m) 328.1 ft (100.0 m)
Length 1,235 ft (376.4 m) 1,235 ft (376.4 m)
Speed 100 mph (160.9 km/h) 100 mph (160.9 km/h)
Inversions 0 0
Duration 0:28 0:28
Max vertical angle 90° 90°
Acceleration 0 to 100 mph in 7 seconds 0 to 100 mph in 7 seconds
G-force 4.5 4.5
Capacity 1,050 riders per hour
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Flash Pass Available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Superman: Escape from Krypton at RCDB
Pictures of Superman: Escape from Krypton at RCDB

Superman: Escape from Krypton (originally known as Superman: The Escape) is a steel shuttle roller coaster built by Intamin at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, United States. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest and joint fastest roller coaster in the world. It is similar to Tower of Terror II, which opened two months prior at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. It was originally intended to open in 1996 but was delayed due to several issues with the launch system. The ride closed throughout the latter half of 2010 for the transformation into "Superman: Escape from Krypton" from "Superman: The Escape". The refurbished ride opened on March 19, 2011 with new trains that face backwards. The ride was also redecorated with a new color scheme.

As of 2013, Superman: Escape from Krypton has the third tallest structure, the joint fifth fastest speed and the third longest drop.

History[edit]

Superman: The Escape (1997—2010)[edit]

While in the planning stages, the ride was going to be named Velocetron and themed as The Man of Steel.[1] The ride was announced on January 5, 1996 as Superman: The Escape, breaking records as the first roller coaster to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h),[2] passing Desperado and Phantom's Revenge at 82 miles per hour (132 km/h).[3] The ride was designed by Intamin, a Swiss roller coaster firm.[4] It was originally intended to open on June 1, 1996.[3] However, due to a range of problems with the launch system, its opening was delayed.[5][6] In late 1996, there was a preview for season pass holders.[4] After 10 months of testing and reengineering, the ride opened on March 15, 1997.[5][4] After its opening, the media claimed Superman to be the fastest roller coaster in the world.[5][7] However, since it was delayed, a similar roller coaster known as Tower of Terror, which also has a 100-mile-per-hour launch (160 km/h), had opened about a month earlier at Dreamworld in Australia.[7] Superman therefore lost its claim as being the first roller coaster to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), although it was then tied with Tower of Terror as the fastest roller coaster in the world.[4] However, the ride became the first roller coaster in the world to go over 400ft, therefore becoming the tallest roller coaster in the world at the time.

The tower when it was known as Superman: The Escape

In June 2004, Superman: The Escape's seat belts were modified because of an incident on the Superman – Ride of Steel roller coaster at Six Flags New England. California State Regulators asked the park to make modifications to the rides' restraint systems to prevent a similar incident in the future.[8]

Just after July 4 weekend of 2010, Superman: The Escape ceased operations with no reason given.[9] A sign posted in front of the ride indicated that it would not reopen until the 2011 season, with hints that there would be improvements made to the ride experience.[10] After Superman: The Escape's sister ride, the Tower of Terror II at Dreamworld, underwent a major refurbishment in 2010 which entailed a new vehicle which launches backwards, speculation turned to the possibility of a similar modification to the Magic Mountain ride.[11][12] Six Flags Magic Mountain officials quickly denied rumors that it would receive a Bizarro retheming, similar to roller coasters at other Six Flags parks.[10]

Superman: Escape from Krypton (2011—present)[edit]

On October 20, 2010, Six Flags Magic Mountain officially announced the refurbishment and re-theming of Superman: The Escape, in addition to the construction of two new roller coasters. As part of the refurbishment, the ride was renamed to Superman: Escape from Krypton and featured new backwards launching cars and a new color scheme.[13][14] The upgraded ride reopened to the public on March 19, 2011.[15][4]

Superman: Escape from Krypton closed again on February 5, 2012 (almost a year after the refurbishment) to prepare for the new 2012 attraction Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom.[16] Two drop towers, also built by Intamin, were integrated into the existing sides of Superman: Escape from Krypton's structure.[17] The ride reopened when construction was finished on July 7, 2012.[16]

To enable the construction of the park's 2013 roller coaster, Full Throttle, Superman: Escape from Krypton was temporarily closed from December 2012.[18] It reopened in mid-January with Six Flags Magic Mountain stating the ride may have intermittent closures as the construction of Full Throttle continues.[19]

Ride experience[edit]

Superman: Escape from Krypton as viewed from the Sky Tower.

Queue and station[edit]

At the entrance to the ride, the Superman "S" shield is imprinted and now painted onto the ground. The entrance area and queue are modeled after the Fortress of Solitude, Superman's headquarters. The station is lit green, modeled as Krypton, the planet that is full of Kryptonite rock that can take away Superman's powers. Inside is a crystalline-looking environment which recreates Superman's fortress in the Arctic.[20] If the Velocetron name had been chosen, the queue and station would have had ancient ruins and a giant laser. A page on display in the Sky Tower, the park's observation tower, shows the concept art for Velocetron.[1]

Layout[edit]

The roller coaster has two parallel tracks, with both tracks being identical. The vehicle is accelerated by Linear Synchronous Motors in reverse out of the station from 0 to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in approximately 7 seconds. Riders experience a g-force of 4.5 during the launch. The vehicle then climbs up 415 feet (126 m) at a 90 degree angle. Riders climb this vertical section facing directly downward, before slightly stopping near the top of the tower. During the vertical section of the ride, riders experience weightlessness for about 6.5 seconds. The vehicle drops 328 feet (100 m) and is slowed down before re-entering the station.[3][4][21]

Vehicles[edit]

When the ride originally opened, it operated with two vehicles with three rows of four and one row of three for a total of 15 riders per vehicle.[22] These vehicles were built to only run forward. After the ride was refurbished, new "streamlined" vehicles with the Superman logo were introduced. In addition, the new vehicles have lower-profile sides for a more open-air feeling.[15] The new trains are wider, but have three rows of four and one row of two for 14 riders per vehicle.[20] The new ones were built so they could be run backwards or forward. The park planned to run one side forward and one side backwards after a few months, giving riders the ability to choose.[9][15] This, however, hasn't happened.

Track[edit]

The steel track is approximately 1,235 feet (376 m) in length and the height of the tower is approximately 415 feet (126 m).[4] The tower is in an "L" shape with two parallel tracks. When the ride opened, the entire structure was painted white.[23] After the ride was refurbished, the top third of the structure was painted red, the track was painted yellow and the rest was painted blue.[15]

Records[edit]

For the first four years of operation, Superman: Escape from Krypton was tied with Tower of Terror II as the fastest roller coaster in the world. In 2001, the speed record was taken by Dodonpa in Japan which features a top speed of 106.9 miles per hour (172.0 km/h).[24] Superman: Escape from Krypton held the record for the tallest roller coaster in the world until 2003 when the record was taken by the 420-foot-tall (130 m) Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point.[25] Today it has the fifth fastest speed, the third tallest structure and the third longest drop in the world.[26][27][28]

Preceded by
Tower of Terror
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
Tied with Tower of Terror

March 1997–December 2001[26]
Succeeded by
Dodonpa
Preceded by
Tower of Terror
World's Tallest Roller Coaster
March 1997–May 2003[27]
Succeeded by
Top Thrill Dragster

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Velocetron, The Magic of the Mountain Museum (Valencia, California: Six Flags Magic Mountain) 
  2. ^ "Superfast roller coaster coming". Los Angeles Daily News. January 5, 1996. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Gerber, Larry (May 14, 1996). "Race for best ride status has heart rates soaring". Kentucky New Era. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Marden, Duane. "Superman: Escape from Krypton  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fastest roller coaster finally ready to ride". The Union Democrat. March 12, 1997. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Darmiento, Laurence (July 28, 1996). "Superman may sit out summer". Daily News of Los Angeles. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Dreamworld Disputes Claims Made by US Theme Park" (Press release). Dreamworld. October 1997. Archived from the original on February 5, 1998. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Superman Coaster Closed for Check". Daily News of Los Angeles. June 3, 2004. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Superman: Escape from Krypton at Coaster-Net". Coaster-Net. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Superman coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain to get major makeover in 2011". Los Angeles Times. August 3, 2010. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ Trenwith, Courtney (August 10, 2010). "Reverse the terror". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  12. ^ Jabour, Bridie (September 17, 2010). "Dreamworld launches new Terror". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ MacDonald, Brady (October 19, 2010). "Six Flags Magic Mountain to run Superman coaster backward". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Magic Mountain reveals new Green Lantern ride". KABC-TV. October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Six Flags Magic Mountain: Superman coaster set to reopen in March". Los Angeles Times. January 12, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Dahlin, Kurt (February 4, 2012). "Superman Closing On Feb 5th For Lex Luthor Construction". The Coaster Guy. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ MacDonald, Brady (September 1, 2011). "Six Flags Magic Mountain adding new thrill ride for 2012". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Thrill Rides". Six Flags Magic Mountain. December 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012. "Superman: Escape from Krypton is temporarily closed." 
  19. ^ "Superman: Escape from Krypton". Six Flags Magic Mountain. January 2013. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013. "SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton will be closed intermittently during Full Throttle construction." 
  20. ^ a b Dahlin, Kurt (April 6, 2012). "Ride profile: Superman: Escape from Krypton". The Coaster Guy. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Superman: Escape from Krypton POV". The Coaster Views. March 21, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Superman: Escape from Krypton at Ultimate Roller Coaster". Ultimate Roller Coaster. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Superman: The Escape  (Photo)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dodonpa  (Fuji-Q Highland)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ Marden, Duane. "Top Thrill Dragster  (Cedar Point)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Record Holders – Steel – Speed". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Steel Record Holders – Height". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  28. ^ Marden, Duane. "Steel Record Holders – Drop". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]