Specific Type: Steel, Euro-Fighter
“Calling all daredevils!” was the new phrase being chanted by Six Flags Over Georgia’s marketers in September 2010 as the park announced that a brand new coaster would be coming to the park in 2011, as the parks 11th coaster. Opening on Memorial Day Weekend in 2011, Dare Devil Dive is a “Euro-Fighter” coaster designed by the German company Gerstlauer, and will be one of only four of this model of coaster in the US once the season gets underway. This coaster follows Dollywood’s Mystery Mine and SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge at Nickelodeon Universe as the only other Euro-Fighters currently operating in the US, though Canobie Lake Park will also be receiving one for the 2011 season, to be called Untamed.
Melinda Ashcraft, Park President of Six Flags Atlanta Properties, said of the addition, “We’re excited to welcome Dare Devil Dive as our 11th roller coaster…It will be the perfect complement to an already stellar coaster lineup.” That lineup includes the likes of the Goliath,Superman: Ultimate Flight, the classic Schwarzkopf MindBender, and the Great American Scream Machine, to name a few.
Initial marketing of the ride stirred up a bit of controversy with a number of different incorrect or deceiving bits of marketing. First, the park claimed it would be the “first coaster in the US to drop beyond vertical,” however both Maverick at Cedar Pointand Mystery Mine at Dollywood opened in 2007 with beyond vertical drops of 95-degrees. Also, the park advertised that the ride would feature “the country’s first PAUSE element before the beyond vertical drop.” While it may be the first coaster with a beyond vertical drop to do this and the first Euro-Fighter, it is not the first pause element in the US, with Griffon and SheiKra at Busch Gardens sister parks in Williamsburg and Tampa already featuring a pre-vertical dive pause.
The new Euro-Fighter coaster will be located in the USA Section of the park, which is already home to Goliath and the “Shake Rattle & Roll” indoor flat ride, and will see the loss of the long-time Drive-In Theater building to make way for construction. The new roller coaster takes over the name of an older Six Flags Over Georgia attraction, the 1996 Skycoaster that the park named “Fearless Freep’s Dare Devil Dive,” which itself was named after a Bugs Bunny cartoon,High Diving Hare. Recently though, the park has simply renamed the ride “Sky Coaster,” freeing up the old name for a new use! The ride will also make plenty of use of the daredevil theme—trains will fly through rings representing “rings of fire,” between giant pylons mimicking those used by air racers to indicate checkpoints, past a “control tower,”
The ride itself starts off with right turn and a vertical ascent up 100 ft in the air, before the train slows and pauses at the summit. After this, the train plunges downward, beyond vertical, angling inward five degrees before leveling back out at the bottom of the drop, and reaching a top speed of 52 mph. The car then rises up, rolls over, and twists down through its first inversion, a dive loop before dropping back down to the ground level. The track then climbs skyward again and lays the car on its side as the track banks and pulls to the right, levels out near the top, and twists back to the right again in a U-shaped “top hat” type of element. Guests then mirror the first portion of the course after the drop by entering their second inversion from the bottom up, twisting at the top through the inclined Immelman loop. At this point in the ride, the track twists and rises to the left, and guests receive their only chance to take a breath on the mid-course break run (MCBR).
Out of the brakes and into the fire, the track banks hard to the left, then twists and dives tightly towards the ground before rising up and banking to the right, over an elongated, turning hill. As the train begins turning and dropping low to the right, it enters a darkened tunnel, shielding riders from what’s to come next. Exploding out of the tunnel, the train continues to careen to the right, but begins rolling too far, and suddenly riders find themselves gliding through a long, low barrel roll which is sure to leave you hanging on the edge. The ride finishes out with a tight twist to the right and a final hop over a bunny hill and into the final brake run, ending the 2100-foot test of wits and maneuverability.
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