Mind Bender (Six Flags Over Georgia)

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Mind Bender
Mind Bender (Six Flags Over Georgia) 04.jpg
Mind Bender's second drop
Six Flags Over Georgia
Park section Gotham City
Coordinates 33°46′13″N 84°32′51″W / 33.77028°N 84.54750°W / 33.77028; -84.54750Coordinates: 33°46′13″N 84°32′51″W / 33.77028°N 84.54750°W / 33.77028; -84.54750
Status Operating
Opening date March 31, 1978
Cost $2.8 million
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Anton Schwarzkopf
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Custom design
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 80 ft (24 m)
Length 3,253 ft (992 m)
Speed 50 mph (80 km/h)
Inversions 2
Duration 2:33
Max vertical angle 62°
Capacity 1200 riders per hour
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 28 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available
Mind Bender at RCDB
Pictures of Mind Bender at RCDB

Mind Bender is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta Georgia. When it opened on March 31, 1978, Mind Bender maintains its popularity some three decades after it opened. In its 30th anniversary season in 2008, Mind Bender was ranked #15 by Amusement Today magazine in its annual Golden Ticket Awards, and was one of only two roller coasters built before 1980 on the list; the other was its "fraternal twin," Shockwave, at Six Flags Over Texas.[1]

Attraction history[edit]

Designed by Werner Stengel and built by Anton Schwarzkopf, Mind Bender would be the last original roller coaster the park would construct until the arrival of Georgia Scorcher in 1999. Since its debut, Mind Bender has had three different color schemes and been counted within three different sections of the park. In its inaugural season, the attraction was part of the USA section and was silver in color. In 1979, Mind Bender became part of the new Jolly Roger's Island, itself an offshoot of the USA section. The structure was painted brown during the 1980s. Throughout its first two decades, the trains were silver in color, with a rainbow-colored stripe along both sides.

In 1997, when Jolly Roger's Island was converted into Gotham City, Mind Bender was painted green to suggest that it was the creation of Batman's arch-enemy, The Riddler. Even a waterfall within the attraction's site was dyed green, and occasionally still is (although at times it retains a more natural color). The trains were painted black, and sprinkled with green question marks, another hallmark of the Riddler. In the September 2009 floods, parts of the park including Gotham City and sections of the Mind Bender, were submerged under muddy water for long amounts of time. The park was able to clean up and open the weekend after the floods.

Because Mind Bender is a relatively mild looping coaster with a low height restriction (42"/107 cm), it is marketed to families with children who are too short to ride bigger coasters like Batman: The Ride and Georgia Scorcher.

Design and operations[edit]

Like many modern roller coasters, Mind Bender operates on the block system featuring 5 blocks: station, transfer table, lift hill, reduction brake, and ready brake. These blocks are controlled by a program running on a programmable logic controller to ensure trains do not collide with one another. To assist in the movement of trains through the brakes, station, and transfer table, a series of feed motors can move a train at slow speeds from a full stop.

Three trains were manufactured for the ride, although the ride control system is not equipped to handle all three on the track at once. One train was used as a spare, and occasionally only one is on the track during normal operation. In the 1990s, one train was dismantled to supply parts for the remaining two. Eventually, the park obtained trains from the former Schwarzkopf-designed Viper at Six Flags Astroworld. The trains have seven cars, each with four seats arranged in rows of two for a total of 28 riders per train. Passengers are restrained with a single ratcheting lapbar.

The transfer table, located between the station and the lift hill, is used to move trains to and from the maintenance building. It features one brake to secure trains in place as the table rotates; it is not used during normal operation. There is also a feed motor located on the transfer table.

The primary set of brakes that stops the trains' movement at the end of the ride are known as the reduction brakes. As a result of having no overhead protection from rain, wet conditions can cause unwanted slipping. The ride occasionally closes when these conditions become severe.

There are two sets of trim brakes on the course of the ride that reduce the speed of the train. The attraction is placed on the side of a ridge, and portions of the track – including the second and third loops – are located in an adjacent ravine, increasing the attraction's overall elevation change. Of the advertised "triple loop" feature, only the first and third loops invert riders; the middle loop refers to the diving circular helix which doesn't actually result in an inversion.

Ride experience[edit]

The ride begins with the train exiting the loading station, passing over the transfer track and climbing the lift hill. Once the train has reached the top of the lift, it turns right into a U-turn while traversing slightly downward. When the train nears the end of the U-turn, it travels sightly upwards nearing the height it was when it reached the top of the lift hill. The train then descends down the first drop and immediately enters the first loop. Upon exiting the loop, the train climbs a hill, levels out and reaches the first set of trim brakes.

Next, the train turns left in a slight decline before leveling out. Once leveled, it enters the diving circular helix into the ravine. This is achieved by the left rail lowering much more steeply than the right rail as the train descends into a left-turning spiral. The train begins to climb and level out after reaching the bottom of the ravine, producing significant positive G-forces. After exiting the top of the helix, the train enters a hill followed by a U-turn and a second set of trim brakes as the track levels out.

The train then travels down another hill toward the ground and into the final loop. Upon exiting, the train passes through a tunnel and over a hill into another descending U-turn. The train ascends slightly as it completes the U-turn and enters the final brake run.

1984 accident[edit]

On June 3, 1984, a mechanical problem caused a train to stop abruptly, sending four people to a hospital. The ride was repaired and put back into service with no more problems.[2]

Awards[edit]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Ranking 12[3] 16[4] 17[5] 22[6] 26[7] 21[8] 21[9] 19[10] 21 (tie)[11] 15[12] 16[13] 14[14] 17[15] 20[16] 19[17] 20[18] 27[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2008 Golden Ticket Awards". Amusement Today. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  2. ^ "4 Injured on Six Flags Ride". The New York Times. 1984-06-05. Retrieved 2006-07-28. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1998. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ "2015 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 19 (6.2): 49–50. September 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2013.