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Batman: The Ride

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Batman: The Ride
Batman The Ride at Six Flags Great America 1.jpg
A vertical loop and zero-G roll on the ride at Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America
Park sectionYankee Harbor
Coordinates42°22′5.79″N 87°56′1.42″W / 42.3682750°N 87.9337278°W / 42.3682750; -87.9337278
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateMay 2, 1992 (1992-05-02)[1]
Opening dateMay 9, 1992 (1992-05-09)
ReplacedTidal Wave
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America at RCDB
Six Flags Great Adventure
Park sectionMovie Town
Coordinates40°8′8.73″N 74°26′38.05″W / 40.1357583°N 74.4439028°W / 40.1357583; -74.4439028
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 1, 1993 (1993-05-01)
ReplacedLightnin' Loops
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure at RCDB
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park sectionDC Universe
Coordinates34°25′33″N 118°36′03″W / 34.425854°N 118.600778°W / 34.425854; -118.600778
StatusOperating
Opening dateMarch 26, 1994 (1994-03-26)
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain at RCDB
Six Flags St. Louis
Park sectionStudio Backlot
Coordinates38°30′49″N 90°40′24″W / 38.513535°N 90.673207°W / 38.513535; -90.673207
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 22, 1995 (1995-04-22)
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags St. Louis at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags St. Louis at RCDB
Six Flags Over Georgia
Park sectionGotham City
Coordinates33°46′10″N 84°32′47″W / 33.769495°N 84.546366°W / 33.769495; -84.546366
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 3, 1997 (1997-05-03)
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Over Georgia at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Over Georgia at RCDB
Six Flags Over Texas
Park sectionGotham City
Coordinates32°45′30.31″N 97°3′59.93″W / 32.7584194°N 97.0666472°W / 32.7584194; -97.0666472
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 26, 1999 (1999-05-26)
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Over Texas at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Over Texas at RCDB
Parque Warner Madrid
Park sectionDC Super Heroes World
Coordinates40°13′41″N 3°35′33″W / 40.228183°N 3.592378°W / 40.228183; -3.592378Coordinates: 40°13′41″N 3°35′33″W / 40.228183°N 3.592378°W / 40.228183; -3.592378
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 6, 2002 (2002-04-06)
Batman: The Ride at Parque Warner Madrid at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Parque Warner Madrid at RCDB
Six Flags New Orleans
Park sectionDC Comics Super Heroes Adventures
Coordinates30°02′59″N 89°56′05″W / 30.049732°N 89.934758°W / 30.049732; -89.934758
StatusRelocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas where it operates as Goliath
Opening dateApril 12, 2003 (2003-04-12)
Closing dateAugust 21, 2005 (2005-08-21)
Batman: The Ride at Six Flags New Orleans at RCDB
Pictures of Batman: The Ride at Six Flags New Orleans at RCDB
General statistics
TypeSteel – Inverted
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelInverted Coaster – Batman
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Inversions5
Duration1:45
Capacity1280–1400[2][3] riders per hour
G-force4
Restraint StyleOver-the-shoulder
Height restriction54 in (137 cm)
Trains2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Height100 or 105 ft (30 or 32 m)
Length2,693 or 2,700 ft (821 or 823 m)
Speed50 mph (80 km/h)
Drop84.5 ft[4]
Flash Pass available

Batman: The Ride is a steel inverted roller coaster based on the DC Comics character Batman and found at seven Six Flags theme parks in the United States. 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,[5] and has since been awarded Coaster Landmark status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. 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 early 1990s.[1][6] To develop the idea for the park, 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][7] 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.[8]

After the ride's huge success, then-parent company Time Warner devised an expansion plan to install clones of the original at the rest of the US parks throughout the rest of the 1990s. Batman: The Ride opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1993[2], Six Flags Magic Mountain in 1994[9], Six Flags St. Louis in 1995[10], Six Flags Over Georgia in 1997[11] and Six Flags Over Texas in 1999.[12] Since the original Batman film series was ongoing, the Six Flags St. Louis installation opened to coincide with 1995's Batman Forever and the Six Flags Over Georgia version opened to coincide with 1997's Batman & Robin.

In 2002, La Ronde in Montreal, Canada opened a clone of the ride under the name Le Vampire (The Vampire)[13]. That same year, Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid also opened a clone under the name Batman: La Fuga (Batman: The Escape).[14] 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 is not valid.[15] 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.[16]

The final installation of Batman: The Ride was at Six Flags New Orleans in 2003,[17] having been relocated from the Japanese amusement park Thrill Valley, where it operated as Gambit from 1995 to 2002.[18] In 2005 the effects of Hurricane Katrina caused Six Flags to abandon its New Orleans park,[19] and after standing unused for two years, the ride there was relocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where it was refurbished and repainted. The ride reopened as Goliath on April 18, 2008.[20][21]

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 features 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][7][9][10][11][12][17]

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][7][9][10][11][12][17]

Theming around the ride at Six Flags Great America

Ride layout[edit]

The ride's original 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 either identical or a mirror image of the original.[22]

Batman: The Ride begins with the track floor in the station 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 190-degree swoop to the left and drops into the first vertical loop. It then flips through a Heartline Spin (zero-G roll), followed by another vertical loop. The train then travels upward around a tight spiral to the left, then through a wider turn to the right, drops slightly and quickly turns through the first corkscrew (referred to as a "flatspin" by the manufacturer). Following this is a tight right turn and another flatspin, then a tight left turnaround before the train enters the final brake run.[2][7][9][10][11][12][17][23]

Color scheme[edit]

While some later Batman: The Ride clones opened with dark blue track and supports, the originals were all black. 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.[7] Six Flags Great Adventure's 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.[24] As of 2019, the only installation of Batman: The Ride to retain its all-black color scheme is Six Flags St. Louis.

Experience[edit]

The decorative theme of Batman: The Ride attempts to capture the spirit of the fictional Gotham City for those queuing to board the ride. As the queue moves through Gotham City Park,[25] the theme transitions from bright and peaceful, to dark and ominous.[26] Modeled after Anton Furst's award-winning production design on the 1989 film Batman, the atmosphere indicates a crime-ridden and dirty environment, with discarded pieces of equipment, crumbling concrete, and in some versions, a Gotham City Police Department car riddled with bullet holes.[26] After the outside queue, guests enter the ride structure through an entrance themed after an access to a storm drain.[26] The ride passenger loading area is modeled after Batman's Batcave and features a replica of the Batsuit from the 1989 film.[25]

Backwards operations[edit]

On February 21, 2013, Six Flags Great America announced that Batman: The Ride would run backwards for a limited time during the 2013 season.[27][28] Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Over Texas did the same during the 2014 season.[29][30] Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Great Adventure followed suit running theirs backwards for a limited time in 2015.[31][32]

Incidents[edit]

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

On May 26, 2002, a 58-year-old park employee working in the roller coaster's restricted area at Six Flags Over Georgia was killed after being struck in the head by the dangling leg of a 14-year-old girl riding in the front. 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".[26]

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, 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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Coaster Landmark Award - Batman: The Ride". American Coaster Enthusiasts. June 20, 2005. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. 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. ^ Meyer, Russell (May 12, 2014). "Coaster Tech: An Insider's look at inverted coasters". themeparkinsider.com. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  6. ^ O'Brien, Tim (March 24, 2003). "In my office: Jim Wintrode". Amusement Business. 115 (12).
  7. ^ a b c d e Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  8. ^ Muret, Don (March 1994). "New attraction takes Six Flags into world of virtual reality". Amusement Business. 106 (10).
  9. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags St. Louis)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Over Georgia)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Over Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Vampire  (La Ronde)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Batman la Fuga  (Parque Warner Madrid)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "Montreal-based theme park". Amusement Business. BPI Communications, Inc. 115 (9): 6. March 3, 2003. ISSN 0003-2344.
  16. ^ O'Brien, Tim (May 13, 2002). "New Coasters Ready To Roll". Amusement Business. 114 (19): 23–25.
  17. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "Batman: The Ride  (Six Flags New Orleans)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gambit  (Thrill Valley)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "New Orleans: Six Flags New Orleans". Six Flags. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  20. ^ "Six Flags' Flashback coaster will live on (somewhere else)". kvue.com. September 27, 2012. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Goliath  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  22. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Model = Batman)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  23. ^ Alvey, Robb. "Batman The Ride POV Roller Coaster Front Seat Onride Six Flags Over Georgia". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  24. ^ "Batman Blue Track (HD POV) Six Flags Magic Mountain". The Coaster Views. YouTube. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  25. ^ a b O'Brien, Tim (November 16, 1998). "Holy Thrills! Six Flags Over Texas Gets Batman Ride". Amusement Business. 110 (46): 3, 48.
  26. ^ a b c d "Batman The Ride". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  27. ^ "Six Flags Great America Announces BATMAN: The Ride Backwards" (Press release). Six Flags Great America. February 21, 2013. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  28. ^ "Six Flags Announces a Full Season of Backwards". Six Flags. May 24, 2013. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  29. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  30. ^ "SFOT BB". March 25, 2014. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  31. ^ "Batman ride at Six Flags Over Georgia to run backward". Associated Press. January 27, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ Silverstein, Jason (March 24, 2015). "SEE IT: Batman ride at Six Flags Great Adventure to run backward for the first time". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  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" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013.
  39. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013.
  40. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013.