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.