Specific Type: Steel, multi-looper
As the coaster wars began to heat up in the late 80s, Six Flags St. Louis, or Six Flags over Mid-America as it was then known, found itself lagging. Though they were the proud owners of the John Allen masterpiece, Screamin' Eagle and dual tracked Arrow mine train, the park needed to make a statement, The fact that the park was losing its sole inverting coaster, a single loop Schwarzkopf, to Six Flags Astroland at the end of the 1988 season made the situation all the more dire. But a fortunate thing occurred. Six Flags over Mid-America was able to purchase a coaster from the Expo '86 Worlds Fair that had taken place in Vancouver, British Columbia. After selling one side of its duel mine train to Dollywood to make room for the new addition, the 1988-1989 off-season saw a magnificent four inversion ride take shape.
The Ninja, as the ride was named, sits slightly up a hill to the right of the park entrance, situated between the park's Batman: the Ride clone and the River King Mine Train, and somewhat ironically behind a Panda Express. Future riders approach, staring up at the stark black track and white supports, a no frills thriller to be sure. With the majority of the coaster's layout (including its four inversions) obscured behind the latticework of lift supports, new comers to the Ninja are not quite sure what they are in for. After ascending a flight of steps to a minimalist station, its time to choose one of 14 rows. Another train rolls into the station and its time to do battle with the Ninja. Once seated with shoulder restraint down, the ride ops give the all clear the train rolls down a small hill, makes a left hand turn and ascends over 100 ft to the crest of the lift. A dip off the chain and subsequent 180 degree right hand turn line the train up with the first drop.
Diving down off of the elevated pre-drop turn, riders hit a top speed of 54.7 mph before rising up into a vertical loop. The horizon spins and levels out only to go topsy-turvy again as this time the train plows through a "sidewinder" element, which starts out as a half loop, then goes through a half corkscrew sending riders perpendicular to the direction from which the entered the element. Coming out of this, the tracks fly beneath the lift hill, comely scarily close to the chain return in the process before navigating a rising 270 degree, counterclockwise turn up into the mid-course break run, paralleling the lift. Off of the breaks riders drop, turn, and drop some more, spiraling down just short of 180 degrees to the right. The diving turn feeds the train directly into a disorienting double corkscrew. Upon existing that element, the rails bend right, rise and then dive down to the left, throwing riders through one more counterclockwise helix before feeding them onto the final breaks. A left hand turn brings everyone back into the station where it all started, two minutes past.
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