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Superman: Krypton Coaster

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Superman: Krypton Coaster
Superman Krypton Coaster entrance.jpg
FiestaTexas2.jpg
An overview of Superman: Krypton Coaster from the ride's lift hill
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Park section Spassburg
Coordinates 29°35′43″N 98°36′36″W / 29.595150°N 98.609991°W / 29.595150; -98.609991Coordinates: 29°35′43″N 98°36′36″W / 29.595150°N 98.609991°W / 29.595150; -98.609991
Status Operating
Opening date March 11, 2000 (2000-03-11)
Cost $20 million
General statistics
Type Steel – Floorless Coaster
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Model Floorless Coaster - Custom
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 168 ft (51 m)
Drop 163 ft (50 m)
Length 4,025 ft (1,227 m)
Speed 70 mph (110 km/h)
Inversions 6
Duration 2:35
Max vertical angle 58°
Capacity 1600 riders per hour
G-force 3.8
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Flash Pass available
Superman: Krypton Coaster at RCDB
Pictures of Superman: Krypton Coaster at RCDB

Superman: Krypton Coaster is a Bolliger & Mabillard Floorless Coaster at the Six Flags Fiesta Texas amusement park in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Opened in 2000, Superman: Krypton Coaster was one of the first floorless roller coasters in the world. The well-received ride held the title for the world's tallest vertical loop (145 feet) from its opening until 2013. It is also known as for being the world's tallest and fastest floorless coaster at 168 ft (51 m) high and a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h). Six Flags describes the coaster Thrill Level at MAXIMUM. Six Flags has announced plans to add Virtual Reality to Superman: Krypton Coaster to enhance the experience.[1]

History[edit]

In 1999, Six Flags Great Adventure spent $42 million on new attractions including a prototype Floorless Coaster by Bolliger & Mabillard, Medusa (later Bizarro).[2] The immediate popularity of the ride,[3] led to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and three other amusement parks to announce plans to install Floorless Coasters in 2000;[4] aside from the announcement of Superman: Krypton Coaster on November 1, 1999,[5] Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Medusa, Geauga Lake announced Batman: Knight Flight, and SeaWorld Orlando announced Kraken.[4] The $20 million Superman: Krypton Coaster was announced as part of a wider multimillion-dollar expansion of Six Flags Fiesta Texas.[6]

At the time of the ride's announcement, construction had already begun on unused land bordered by quarry walls and an irrigation pond.[6][7] The initial plans for the ride specified it would have seven inversions including a 114-foot-tall (35 m) vertical loop and a 96-foot-tall (29 m) dive loop.[7] Following the ride's announcement, the design was altered to remove the dive loop and increase the size of the vertical loop to 145 feet (44 m).[8][9] This saw Superman: Krypton Coaster obtain the record for the world's tallest vertical loop when it officially opened to the public on March 11, 2000.[8][9]

On March 6, 2010, Six Flags Fiesta Texas offered exclusive ride time on Superman: Krypton Coaster to help celebrate the ride's 10th anniversary.[10] On June 22, 2013, Superman: Krypton Coaster lost the title of having the world's tallest vertical loop since Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California opened Full Throttle which features a 160-foot-tall (49 m) vertical loop, 15 feet (4.6 m) taller than the loop on Superman: Krypton Coaster.[9][11][12][13]

On March 3, 2016, Six Flags announced that the ride would be one of several rides at various Six Flags parks to feature a VR system. Riders have the option of wearing a Samsung Gear VR headset, powered by Oculus to create a 360-degree, 3D experience while riding. It is themed to Superman saving a city from Lex Luthor's Lex Bots who are causing chaos with an anti-gravity ray. This theming will also come to the Superman: The Ride at Six Flags New England and Superman - Ride of Steel at Six Flags America.[14]

Characteristics[edit]

The ride's vertical loop and mid-course helix

Statistics[edit]

The 4,025-foot-long (1,227 m) Superman: Krypton Coaster stands 168 feet (51 m) tall.[8] With a top speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), the ride will tie with Iron Rattler as the fastest roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.[8][15] The ride features six inversions including a 145-foot-tall (44 m) vertical loop, a zero-g roll, a 78-foot-tall (24 m) cobra roll and two corkscrews.[8][9]

Trains[edit]

Superman: Krypton Coaster operates with three floorless trains. Each train seats 32 riders in eight rows of four. This gives the ride a theoretical hourly capacity of 1600 riders per hour.[8] The open-air trains feature seats which leave riders' legs dangling above the track. Riders are restrainted with over-the-shoulder restraints (OTSRs).[6] As the trains are floorless, the station has a retractable floor for safe boarding.[7]

Ride experience[edit]

Superman: Krypton Coaster's initial plunge over the quarry wall

After riders have boarded and the station floor is retracted, Superman: Krypton Coaster departs with a left turn out of the station. This leads directly to the 168-foot-tall (51 m) chain lift hill. At the top, the train crests the lift hill and follows a fairly level 180 degree turn to the right above the quarry wall. This leads into a 168-foot (51 m) drop off the quarry wall directly into the 145-foot-tall (44 m) vertical loop. With the quarry wall on the track's right, the train inclines to the top of the wall where it performs a helix to the right. After dropping from the quarry wall again, the train enters the zero-g roll where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness. This is followed by the 78-foot-tall (24 m) cobra roll and a mid-course brake run. The exit from the mid-course brake run banks down to the right into the two interlocking corkscrews. This leads to a final turn before the final brake run and return to the station.[8][16][17]

Reception[edit]

Prior to launch, General Manager of Six Flags Fiesta Texas John Odum stated Superman: Krypton Coaster was "the big-league ride we have really needed". He stated the design of the ride, which interacts with the quarry wall, would make a thrilling ride: "being that close to the wall there is a good sense of speed".[6] In May 2000, two months after Superman: Krypton Coaster opened, it was reported that the park was "off to a flying start" for the season.[18] Six Flags Fiesta Texas officials stated the ride proved popular in its first year of operation.[19]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Superman: Krypton Coaster was ranked in the top 50 steel roller coasters numerous times since its opening. It peaked at position 24 in 2002,[20] before it dropped to 50 in 2008[21] and rose again to 38 in 2011.[22]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top Steel Roller Coasters
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking N/A[23] 36[24]
24[20]
25[25]
27[26]
33[27]
33[28]
36[29]
50[21]
44[30]
N/A[31]
38[22]
N/A[32]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Superman: Krypton Coaster entered at position 20 in 2001 and peaked at 17 in 2004. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[33]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[33]
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
[nb 1]
20
20
23
17
25
63
42
42
45
48
[nb 2]
54

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2000.
  2. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SUPERMAN: Krypton Coaster Virtual Reality Coaster |". www.sixflags.com. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  2. ^ O'Brien, Tim (February 1, 1999). "Six Flags Great Adventure to turn into 'superpark'". Amusement Business. 111 (5): 3. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Tim (June 7, 1999). "Park attendance off to a great start for 1999". Amusement Business. 111 (23): 1. 
  4. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Category = Floorless)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Late News". Amusement Business. 111 (44): 3. November 1, 1999. 
  6. ^ a b c d O'Brien, Tim (November 8, 1999). "$20 Mil Floorless Coaster To Have Superman Theme At Fiesta Texas". Amusement Business. 111 (45): 21. 
  7. ^ a b c "Six Flags Fiesta Texas to Build New Coaster" (Press release). Six Flags Fiesta Texas. November 1, 1999. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Marden, Duane. "Superman Krypton Coaster  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d MacDonald, Brady (August 30, 2012). "Six Flags Magic Mountain adding Full Throttle coaster in 2013". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ Six Flags Fiesta Texas (March 10, 2010). "Superman Krypton Coaster 10th Anniversary". Facebook. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ Martin, Hugo (August 30, 2012). "Six Flags Magic Mountain announces 18th coaster". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Magic Mountain Announces Next Mega-Coaster". SCVNews. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Full Throttle  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Six Flags adds VR roller coasters". Digital Trends. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Iron Rattler  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Superman Krypton Coaster Front Row Seat on-ride HD POV Six Flags Fiesta Texas". Coaster Force. YouTube. August 29, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Superman (HD POV) Six Flags Fiesta Texas". Sharp Productions. YouTube. June 13, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ Emmons, Natasha (May 8, 2000). "Pacific Currents". Amusement Business. 112 (19): 3. 
  19. ^ Mooradian, Don (March 26, 2001). "Parks Have High Hopes For Upcoming Season". Amusement Business. 113 (12): 22, 24. 
  20. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2002. 
  21. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2008. 
  22. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2000. 
  24. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2001. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2003. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2007. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2009. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2012. 
  33. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 Year Results Table (1999 - 2012)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Riddler's Revenge
World's Tallest Vertical Loop
March 2000 – June 2013
Succeeded by
Full Throttle