Having now been a staff member on the site for a bit over a year now, I finally got the opportunity this season to go to my media day event. That event was the debut of Six Flags Over Georgia’s new Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter model coaster, Dare Devil Dive. Bringing my older brother along for the journey, both to help me out for the media day and to help cut down on the overall trip cost, we also decided to hit the park the day after, since I’ve been to the park 2-3 times in the past but never had the opportunity to ride everything (either too young, small, or not there long enough).
Traveling to Atlanta on Wednesday, and after scrambling to gather some information about the next day’s events, we started the day getting to the park at about 9:30 a.m. With registration beginning at 10 a.m., we thought it would be good to get there a bit earlier in case it was busy, and to scope out a good spot. Turns out, none of that was necessary, but our early arrival proved worth its while.
After getting the “media day” schedule/itinerary, press release, and fact sheet, we headed through the empty park towards the new coaster. Despite the potential for bad weather, things seemed to be holding out, and we arrived to the location of the press conference. Here’s where our early arrival proved worthy—after some ACE members were finished doing some sort of taping/recording by the entrance, they opened up the coaster to riders…that’s right, before the press conference. So we hopped in “line” (of which there was none) and took our first ride.
The new trains are sleek, and each features a different “Dare Devil” paint job and logo, and the lap bars vs. Gerstlauer OTSRs are amazing and really help make the coaster. They are very minimal and comfortable, and easy to forget they’re there sometimes. As for the ride itself, the best way I can think of to describe it is “zippy”…it’s like a wild mouse on steroids the way it moves. The beyond-vertical drop with only a lap-bar is outstanding, providing great air-time, and a very unnerving feeling. What follows is a quick snap half-rollover into the dive loop, an elevated U-turn which provides some nice laterals and a bit of air, a disorienting immelman, a dive past the control tower, a mist-filled tunnel turn, and the “hang-time” filled final rollover.
Our first ride of the day, before the press conference, actually had us stopped on the MCBR, which was rather odd. We laughed at the thought of being the first people to get evacuated from the ride, now there are some bragging rights! But within a couple of minutes, we were rolled by a tire towards the control tower fly-by. The rest of the ride was unfortunately slow, but this provided a secret surprise which I’m dubbing Extended Hang Time (EHT). The rollover element at the end is slow enough as is, now we were doing it at half speed, now THAT is hang time.
Moving on, the ride was closed perhaps 30 min prior to the press conference, and waiting and messing with my new Droid X ensued until time for the press conference. Fortunately, the gloomy morning weather started clearing up, and the sun began poking through in time for the press conference (and much prettier afternoon pictures). Park president Melinda Ashcraft stepped up on the stage to welcome us to the park and the media day. After this, Communications Manager Brad Malone briefly spoke about the parks history as a family park, and told everyone about the other new attractions for 2011, the parks two new shows: Show Stopin’ and Soda Shoppe Sweethearts (which put on their rehearsal performance a bit later during lunch).
Adam Sandy from Ride Entertainment Group stepped up next to tell us a bit about the ride and the new trains they helped design, which were newly designed for Dare Devil Dive. They feature a V-style seating arrangement, with rows widening as they go back, three-deep, and the only lap-bars on a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter. F-22 Raptor test pilot Bret Luedke was also on hand from Lockheed Martin to give his opinions of Dare Devil Dive and how it compared to flying in a jet. He praised the coaster and said that this is as close as you’ll get to experiencing the kinds of forces and maneuvers they experience in an F-22…though I will politely disagree, as there are plenty of coasters out there that provide an experience of the same level or greater than Dare Devil Dive, not to diminish how great the coaster is.
After a final countdown, launch of confetti, and release of balloons, the coaster took its “maiden voyage” with park president Melinda Ashcraft and others on hand. After that, the coaster was open for us to ride (again), along with Goliath. Having done Dare Devil Dive already, my brother and I took several spins on Goliath before hitting up Dare Devil Dive for a few runs, then it was lunch time. On hand was BBQ pulled pork, BBQ chicken, potato salad, beans, and macaroni salad among a few other items, and for desert Apple and Peach Fried Pies…OMG YES! It was like eating a fresh Krispy Kreme glazed donut with apple inside, absolutely delicious (If I had known just how good, I would have made a few of these into my whole lunch).
Upon finishing, a local TV station, TV23, actually asked to interview my brother and I after finding out we were “enthusiasts” (though my brother declined). A few more rides, more pictures, and getting our on-ride video taken, and it was time to go…Ok, so we hit Goliath a few more times before leaving too. I will do my best to upload all of this video footage to my Trip Report as I’m able to find/upload it, and also keep an eye out on our Youtube and Facebook pages.