Six Flags Great America's 15th and First Ever Free-Fly Roller Coaster
Six Flags Great America, the Thrill Capital of the Midwest, and Warner Bros Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, announce plans for its 15thand most maniacal roller coaster to date, the all-new free-fly coaster, THE JOKER. This insanely twisted chaos coaster will be a massive new centerpiece in the Yankee Harbor section of the park, next to BATMAN The Ride roller coaster.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the DC brand as it continues to resonate well with our guests. THE JOKER is undeniably one of the greatest Super-Villains of all time,” said Hank Salemi, Six Flags Great America park president. “This free-fly coaster will perfectly capture the essence of the warped and unpredictable nature of THE JOKER. It will take our park to the next level of thrills.”
After being lifted straight up a 12-story, 90-degree hill, the free-fly coaster will wreak havoc as riders flip head-over-heels at least six times along the weightless journey. Thrill seekers will experience exhilarating leaps and dives along a horizontal plane with unexpected drops as they tumble from one level to the next. The wing seats amp up the pandemonium since riders will experience this wild adventure with no track above or below ─ just the sky, ground and plenty of sinister thrills.
The unique design of THE JOKER features:
Six Flags Great America is also announcing the start of 2017 Season Pass sales with its special Flash Sale through Labor Day weekend featuring the best deal of the year – savings up to 70% off on 2017 Passes! September 1 through September 5, guests will receive a free upgrade to a Gold Season Pass with every Pass purchased. Gold Season Passes include admission to both Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor, and any other Six Flags theme park, as well as free parking and special admission for friends. 2017 Season Passes provide unlimited visits to Fright Fest® at Six Flags Great America in 2016 and all of 2017. Passholders may also purchase a Premium Season Dining Pass, which includes a lunch, dinner, and snack during every park visit, plus they will receive a 2017 All Season Sport Bottle for unlimited drink refills. Premium Season Dining Passes may be used at any Six Flags theme park.
Photo courtesy Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America is literally swarming with Pokémon! With three training facilities (gyms) and over 30 different Pokéstop scattered all over the park, Six Flags Great America is one of the best places within a 50 mile radius to find and train all of your Snorlaxes, Jigglypuffs, and Ponytas. To assist you in your Pokémon training efforts, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you level up as quickly as possible during your visit to the park.
Before You Arrive
This morning, Six Flgas Great America opened Justice League Battle for Metropolis. This interactive dark ride has been featured in other Six Flags parks including Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Over Texas, and now Six Flags Great America.
Six Flags Great America — in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment — today announced the debut of an all-new 4D interactive thrill ride, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis. This game-changing thrill ride received global recognition as the 2015 Best New Product given by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Additionally, it was named by USA Today readers as one of the Top Ten New Amusement Park Attractions of the year and was most recently awarded Best New Attraction by Theme Park Insider.
In a high-stakes clash between good and evil, guests will become members of the Justice League Reserve Team, and engage in a full-sensory journey as they battle alongside Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Supergirl and Cyborg against Lex Luthor and The Joker and his henchmen. Traveling in six-passenger vehicles, riders must outsmart Lex Luthor and The Joker and save the city of Metropolis. "This is the most innovative and multi-faceted attraction that this park has ever built," stated Hank Salemi, park president. "The advanced technology of JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis surrounds the riders throughout the course in non-stop action from start to finish."
JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis features:
A 22,000 square foot Hall Of Justice to house this full-sensory thrill ride;
A 4D ride experience with wind, fire, mist and fog effects, plus life-like animatronic characters;
A dramatic fight as the Justice League Reserve Team travels through laughing gas and flames in 10 high-intensity scenes;
One of the first-ever virtual vertical loop, giving riders the feeling of going head over heels;
Virtual 180° barrel roll;
High definition 3D animation that fully immerses riders into the city of Metropolis;
State-of-the-art gaming elements; and
6-passenger vehicles that spin, turn and dip in sync with the 3D animation.
The Sky Trek Tower, a 28 1/2-story attraction at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, was closed Monday and will remain shut down until it is deemed ready for operation after it came to a stop Sunday and riders had to be escorted down a staircase, a spokeswoman for the amusement park said Monday morning..
According to communication manager Katy Enrique, it took about two hours before all guests were "safely escorted" from the Sky Trek Tower, which has an aerial rotating cabin that descends a tower from 330 feet.
Yesterday, Six Flags Great America opened for its 40th season of operation. To open the new season, Six Flags held a dedication ceremony where last year's new coaster, Goliath was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the fastest, steepest, and having the longest first drop of any wood coaster in the world. The event was attended by various media and coaster enthusiast clubs.
Goliath was officially measured by the Guinness Book and was awarded the three records in the wood coaster category. The first drop of the coaster was awarded the new crown for longest drop at 180 feet. It is still not the tallest wood coaster in the world which is held by T Express at Everland in South Korea. The tunnel that the coaster dives into though allows the ride to beat out previous record holder El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure. The second record for steepness was officially measured at 85.13 degrees. The third record for speed was officially measured at 71.89 mph once again beating out the previous record holder, El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Yesterday, Six Flags Great America hosted the first ever Coaster Challenge marathon event. The event allowed coaster lovers the opportunity to ride a 5k, 10k, or marathon instead of run it. Over the last few months participants raised money and the amount that they raised determined the length of the “race” that they participated in. According to the Daily Herald, $49,000 was raised by over 200 participants. All monies raised benefits the Special Olympics of Illinois. Jennifer Marcello, director of young athletes for Special Olympics Illinois, said about the overwhelming response to the event, "You can't really ask for a better first-time event.” Participants from around the region flocked to the park to get their “race” on. One such rider was Jennifer Miller, from West Bend, Wisconsin who stated "It's my kind of marathon. No running involved. And believe it or not, I work in fitness. I just don't like running.”
The day started off on two hours of exclusive ride time on the Great America classic, Raging Bull. After each trip ride participants had their tally cards checked off to get credit for the length of the ride they just rode. Once the park opened at 11 AM, participants were given front of the line access at every coaster in the park. Just as with Raging Bull, riders had their cards checked at the exit after riding. Once a participant met the distance requirement, he or she took their tally card to be officially counted and participated in a medal presentation ceremony. However, for participants the day was not over at that point. The riders could continue to get front of the line access for the rest of the day. As Christian Warren, of Cary stated, "It's a ton of fun. It's different...and it's for a great cause."
After the success of Batman Backwards, Six Flags Great America has decided to turn their 18 year old wooden coaster Viper in that same direction. Viper is the second of three coasters that will be turned backwards this season. According to Brandon Bruce, Public Relations Specialist for Six Flags Great America, " We wanted to think of innovative ways to keep our thrill seekers entertained for the 2013 season. We explored what rides had opportunities for innovative modifications and both BATMAN The Ride and Viper presented options for us." In order to complete the transition, a few modifications are needed to the existing operational system. The biggest change comes with the brake fins needing to trade places with the traction plates on each car after the cars are turned around to facilitate the new backwards motion. Both trains on Viper will be turned backwards so all guests waiting in the queue will be able to experience these new sensations.
Viper which opened in 1995 is not only hailed as one of the best wooden coasters in the Midwest but also ranks among many in the nation. Viper is well known for producing many intense spots of lateral forces while at the same time providing riders with numerous airtime hills. When asked to compare Batman The Ride backwards and Viper backwards, Brandon Bruce said, " Just as BATMAN The Ride and Viper are two completely different ride experiences, the experience riding backwards is equally as unique. Viper was modeled after the Coney Island Cyclone, so as you can imagine the twists and turns in reverse offer an added thrill!"
With so many rides being turned backwards, one might begin to think they are living in the DC's Bizarro World. Like all good things though, the backwards fun will eventually come to an end. At this point, Six Flags has no intention of running rides backwards next season despite the success of doing so this year. However, Viper will be running backwards until August 26th and American Eagle will take flight in the opposite direction August 31st so make sure to check both those unique ride experiences out before they are gone for good.
American Coaster Enthusiasts who attended No Coaster Con on Saturday January 19 were treated to some disorientating news. The historic Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Great America would be turned backwards for a limited engagement during the 2013 season. This week, Six Flags Great America made this news official and released a press release detailing this big change to this classic coaster, Batman: The Ride.
Batman: The Ride which opened in 1992 was the first B&M invert of its kind. For the last 21 seasons, it has been thrilling guests and has given a reported 28 million rides taking them on along a track of 2700 feet and at speeds reaching 50 mph. Batman when opened started an inverted coaster craze that led to not only many clones of the same ride throughout the Six Flags chain, but also many custom inverted layouts that have amazed coaster fans around the world. In 2005, Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America was also awarded one of the highest honors any coaster could receive, being dubbed an ACE Coaster Landmark.
Six Flags believes that this change will make the ride, which is an already exhilarating ride, even more thrilling, since guests will not be able to see what elements are coming next. Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi said, "No matter how many times you have been on Batman: The Ride, nothing compares to the thrill of racing down 10 stories facing the other direction." Batman should be turned backwards for opening weekend May 4th and will only be in this special configuration for a limited time. Make sure to book your trip to Six Flags Great America early to not miss out on this great new experience for one of the most storied coasters in the country.
Last year, Bolliger and Mabillard stunned the coaster world with its introduction of Raptor at Gardaland in Veneto, Italy. Now, Six Flags Great America is making waves as the first North American park to announce the construction of a similar Wing Coaster, X Flight.
Raptor was a prototype design of B&M's first new coaster model since they debuted their Diving Machine in 1998 with Oblivion at Alton Towers. B&M has dubbed this new model a Wing Coaster due to the fact that the seats are situated outside the rails instead of directly over or under them. The concept was originally used on Arrow Dynamics, and later S&S's 4D coaster models, and in 2007, Intamin produced a model without spinning cars known as Furious Baco. B&M's take on the concept also features stationary cars but also attempted a much more convoluted layout than Baco, including three inversions and several "near miss" elements involving the ride's detailed scenery.
X Flight at Six Flags Great America will up the ante even more, featuring five mind numbing inversions in its 3,000 ft layout. Of special note in this layout is a first of its kind "inverted" first drop, where the train will roll over at the top of the lift hill before plunging down to reach its top speed of 55 miles per hour. The rest of the layout includes two Zero-G Rolls, an Immelmann, and an elongated Inline Roll. When this incredible ride opens in the Spring of 2012, it will bring new life back into the County Fair section of the park which recently just lost the stand-up coaster Iron Wolf as it moves to Six Flags America in Marlboro, Maryland. Its fitting I guess that, although Six Flags Great America is losing the first ever coaster by B&M, they are replacing it with the first B&M Wing Coaster in the United States.
After all the rumors and speculation surrounding Iron Wolf this year, Six Flags Great America informally announced on their Facebook page that the coaster would be leaving after this season. Their announcement stated, “After a long 21 year history at the park, we will be removing Iron Wolf. Make sure to get your last rides in – Iron Wolf’s Last Stand is September 5.”
Rumors now seem to have the coaster heading for Six Flags America after that park filed a permit for a “Stand-Up Coaster” filed in mid-July. Furthermore, Six Flags America’s recently closed its Skull Mountain water-coaster attraction, opening up a sizeable plot of land, and one sizable enough for Iron Wolf to easily fit into.
When Iron Wolf opened in 1990, it was the first coaster designed by the Swiss duo of Bolliger & Mabillard (commonly abbreviated to just B&M), at that point having only recently split from Intamin. The ride features a custom layout with a 100-foot drop, loop, corkscrew, and numerous twists and helices in its 2:00 ride length.
Oddly enough, it was just about a year ago around this time that it was rumored that Six Flags Great America may have been getting the B&M Stand-Up Chang from Kentucky Kingdom. As odd as this rumor was given that the park already had Iron Wolf (B&M Stand-Up), zoning approval for a ride of similar statistics seemed to all but confirm the relocation, especially when pieces of the ride began showing up at the park. Then, without warning, the park scrapped its permits, zoning board approval, and those plans in favor of a water park expansion, and Changwas instead sent to Six Flags Great Adventure to replace the Great American Scream Machine.
Now instead of gaining a second stand-up coaster, the park may be losing its only stand-up coaster in favor of unknown plans. The silver lining may be that another park gets to enjoy this unique stand-up creation, and Six Flags Great America may finally have a chance to get a new coaster of its own in the near future.