Specific Type: Floorless Coasters
In 1998, Six Flags decided to manage Vallejo, California’s animal wildlife park, Marine World Africa USA. Under Six Flags’ management, the name changed to Six Flags Marine World (then again to the more current Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) and brand new thrills turned the park into a hybrid theme park and zoo (ala Sea World parks, Busch Gardens Africa[/i], etc.). Adding new rides such as Kong, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster from the defunct Opryland Park; and Boomerang: Coast to Coaster, a standard Vekoma Boomerang model. The next year brought two more coasters, Roar, a Great Coasters International wooden twister; and Road Runner Express, a Zamperla family coaster. Change was in the air, and Marine World was no longer just a zoo, two coasters a year seemed to do the trick during the transformation and 2000 would bring another two coasters to the park.
In 2000, California’s first floorless coaster would come from the famous Swiss company Bolliger and Mabillard. Noting that Six Flags was having a success with the first floorless coaster in 1999, Medusa at Six Flags Great Adventure, the chain ordered three more floorless coasters for their parks. The first of the new floorless coasters was Batman: Knight Flight at Six Flags Ohio / Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (now Dominator at Kings Dominion), Superman: Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and lastly,Medusa (commonly known as ‘Medusa West’ by enthusiasts) at Six Flags Marine World. All three were unique and original designs, and Medusa has a unique charm with the only 'Sea Serpent' element found on a coaster of its type: a half-loop, two half-corkscrews in the same direction, and another half-loop. The ride also features five other inversions in its twister layout: a vertical loop, dive loop, zero-G roll, and two corkscrews towards the end.
Riders go through rock theming, encountering a twisted mass of lime green and purple track and supports. Towering 150 feet in the air and reaching speeds of over sixty-five miles per hour, soon to be riders get turned to stone looking at the twisted creation before riding. After twisting through the waiting area, riders encounter the station and board the four-across, eight-rowed trains before conquering Medusa. Riders depart from the station and go around a brief 180-degree turn into the lift. Pulling you up 150 feet in the air then following a short turn into the first drop, which is straight (an oddity on a coaster of its type, by the way), at 150 feet, suddenly your flying at speeds over sixty-five miles per hour. After the first drop, you then go into the vertical loop, standing at 128 feet tall. Following the loop comes the Dive Loop, which turns the course around and then goes through another inversion. The Zero-G Roll comes and twists riders around before heading into the rides unique and distinct feature that separates it from other coasters of its type, the Sea Serpent.
The Sea Serpent soars riders up and twists riders upside down to a sudden left turn, followed by a half corkscrew to the right back down to the ground. After the double inversion Sea Serpent, riders then rise back up into the mid course brake run. After slightly slowing down, riders then twist around into a corkscrew, following a twisted turnaround back into another corkscrew, completing the seven inversions on the ride. After the last inversion, riders then go through a U-turn followed by a small, twisted hill into the final brake run. After conquering Medusa’s challenge, riders can then go to ride other rides at the park such as V2: Vertical Velocity,Boomerang, Kong, Roar, and Zonga!
"It’s BIG, It’s PURPLE, It’s SNAKE-Y, It’s FAST!" If you like "snake-y" rides or unique and twisted floorless coasters, or all of the above, Medusa at Six Flags Marine World is one wild and twisted ride you should not miss out on!
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