Specific Type: Steel, Looping
Today, Six Flags Great Adventure is known world-wide for their array of top-notch, record-breaking coasters. Home to legendary rides such as Kingda Ka and El Toro, Great Adventure has been adding thrilling (and unique) attractions since they first opened in 1974. For their 19th season, Great Adventure introduced the East coast’s first inverted roller coaster (second in the world). Built by then unknown manufacturers Bollinger & Mabillard, Batman: the Ride opened to the public on March 1, 1993. But Six Flags was not done with B&M yet; five years later, they would return to build another first-of-its-kind attraction for Great Adventure’s 1999 season. The park had requested another unique ride more innovative then the now popular inverted style. B&M responded to their call by unleashing yet another original design: the floorless coaster. By removing the basic floor on the coaster train, riders would be able to feel a totally new experience then ever before. The blueprints were finally confirmed in the August of 1992, and vertical construction commenced in the fall of that year. Medusa finally made her debut as the planet’s first floorless coaster on April 2, 1999.
As riders prepare to face the queen of monsters herself, they must make their way underneath her signature element: a seventy-eight foot tall cobra roll. Strolling underneath the double-inverting inversion, guests find their way to Medusa’squeue, which is located underneath the ride’s third inversion: the zero-g roll. Once in the station (which is weakly-themed around a gold mine), guests may choose which row they wish to ride in. Once the train is loaded and secured, the steel floor separates and drops (a design detail unique to B&M’s floorless coasters), revealing the complicated mass of technology that lies beneath the ride’s simple station.
The cylindrical bars that block the station’s entrance open, and the ride vehicle slowly rolls out of the station. Making a short, banked drop to the left, the ride loses its momentum, and latches onto the chain lift.
Traveling upward, the track eventually levels out at 142 feet. Making a short three-foot drop (a feature on many B&M coasters that ensures the entire train is off the lift before making its way down the first drop), riders level out once again, before heavily banking to the left, and plummeting downward. The train thunders down Medusa’s sleek first 132-foot drop at a 55-degree angle, and shortly evens out before rocketing skyward into a 114-foot vertical loop, one of the tallest inversions in the world. After rushing back towards the ground, the train makes its way back upward, strongly banking to the right, into a 96-foot dive loop inversion. Now traveling parallel to the ride’s elevated station, the track rises once again; this time into a zero-g roll. Twisting in-between the gyrating track, riders get a short boost of weightlessness, before Medusa once again drives her train of passengers back towards the ground. Like before, the train barely levels out, before being thrown into another inversion. Flying into the signature cobra roll element, the train inverts its self twice, altering its direction by 180-degrees. The track then weaves upward and to the right, before hitting the mid-course brake run (MCBR).
Losing velocity, the train makes it to the second half of the ride. Similar to the first drop, the drop right off the MCBR is highly banked to the left. Making a wide, downward, 270-degree helix, the train slowly levels out before thrusting riders into the first of two interlocking corkscrews. Rising up to the right, Medusa makes a tight u-turn before plummeting back down into the aforementioned second corkscrew, the last of the seven inversions on Medusa. From here, it’s a race to the final brake run; making a banked turn to the right, and then to the left. Gliding over the first drop, the track evens out for the last time, as the train is slowed to a stop, reentering the station.
Since Medusa, two more coasters by B&M have been erected at Great Adventure (Nitro in 2001 and Superman: Ultimate Flight in 2003), and ten other floorless models inspired by the original have been built worldwide, the most recent in 2005.
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