Specific Type: Inverted Coaster
In 1994, the coaster world was just starting to go crazy over the new Inverted Coaster from Swiss designers Bolliger and Maillard. When the prototype Batman: the Ride swooped in at Six Flags Great America, the entire thrill seeking world stood up and took notice. Beginning with Batman: the Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure, inverted coasters would spread like wildfire up and down the East Coast with competition leading to great achievements such as Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa and Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Inverted coasters would soon become commonplace for any major theme park wanting a claim to diversity in its ride collection. Not wanting to be left out of the trend, Six Flags Magic Mountain began constructing a shiny new Swiss maze of track to give the west coast their own copy of the now ubiquitous Caped Crusader clone.
Arriving in shipping crates from Bolliger and Mabillard, Batman took shape with 2,700 feet of square-spined track originally designed into a compact layout by famous coaster designer Werner Stengel to fit into a long, narrow footprint for Six Flags Great America. The reason for the compact layout was the one long acre of space abandoned by the removal of that park's Schwarzkopf shuttle-looping coaster Tidal Wave.
When it opened in 1993, Batman: the Ride brought five new inversions to Six Flags Great Adventure with its maze of track: two vertical loops, two corkscrew-like flat spin inversions, and one zero-g roll twist. The entry to Batman: the Ride presents itself straight ahead. Beneath the Gothic architecture of the ride sign and into a decaying garden, guests pass through the once beautiful Gotham City Park before things really take a turn for the worst. The line leads into the city sewer system and down into the dark depths of crime in the heart of metropolitan Gotham City. Passing under the twisted maze of black track, Gotham visitors make their way through the rusting Gotham City Public Works building and exit to find a recent police car wreck. However, ascending a flight of stairs leads into the Batcave, where the Caped Crusader himself has a new crime-fighting invention ready to fly: Batman: the Ride.
Under a luminous Batman insignia, thirty-two volunteers load onto the ride's next train, ready to take a flight to clean up Gotham City. Armed with the protection of over-the-shoulder restraints and safety belts, the train takes off from the station and begins a 105-foot ascent, far above the wretched streets to top out at a good height, ready for some extreme flight.
A dip in altitude gets up some minimal speed to begin the first dive, then the rails begin a gracefully-banked swoop to the left diving eighty feet. With four g's of force pushing riders into their seats and fifty miles per hour carrying the train along, the coaster pulls up into a tightly-curving vertical loop, rising eighty feet above the ground. Guests mingling around the ride exit area below watch the train as it soars overhead into the second inversion: the zero-g roll. Making mid-air acrobatics with a 360-degree twist, Batman: the Ride spins through the airtime-inducing flip and dives back down just above ground level. The inversions don't let up just yet, with rapid-fire inversion number three sending the train for a second vertical loop into the sky and exits into the ride's twister section.
Passengers pull up in a 315-degree carousel curve climbing with counterclockwise motion as the high level of g-forces continue to push on the train while it bears riders forward into the crime districts of Gotham City. The curve ends, then a curve in the opposite direction dives 180 degrees back down to the base of inversion number four: a flat spin. The fourth inversion swings up and over in a corkscrew-like motion to the left while the high velocity and g's continue, then Batman enters the layout's highest banking with a near ninety degree turn. The curve pulls over the second loop's entry in a sharp turnaround feeding directly into a second flat spin. Riders flip once more, this time to the right, and directly over the other side of the second loop's base, then begin the final curve. Banking to the left, the black track and silver rails guide riders through an upwards U-turn leading into the brake run.
Mission complete, thrill-seekers unload in the Batcave and exit to the left. After walking under the zero-g roll, former riders can pick up Batman souvenirs in a gift shop before exiting back into the heart of Gotham City to check out other attractions or get back in line for another two-minute flight.
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