Six Flags Over Texas has announced that for the summer of 2014, they will be turning the popular Batman inverted coaster in reverse. Since the ride was first introduced in 1999, it has delivered countless thrills that have given riders a unique floorless perspective as they hung from the track above. When the ride reopens, it will feature a new train that sends riders backwards through its 2700 feet of track.
First introduced at Six Flags Great America in 2013, Batman Backwards (NAMTAB) has been received as a brilliant modification to an already outstanding ride. Following the opening of Batman Backwards at sister park Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, Six Flags Over Texas revealed that the popular revision to the coaster would be making its way to Arlington for a limited time in Summer 2014.
Batman Backwards will allow riders to go spiraling in reverse through two vertical loops, a zero gravity roll, and two corkscrews before bringing the intense coaster ride to an end. The ride reaches a maximum height of 105 feet, along with a top speed of 50 miles per hour.
Batman Backwards is located in the Gotham City section of the park, across from the launched Mr. Freeze coaster, which also received a backwards modification at the beginning of 2012. The park is also adding Bugs Bunny Boomtown, a brand new children’s area for younger guests, scheduled to open in the spring season of 2014.
Last night, the Swedish theme park Kolmården unveiled their newest roller coaster, Wildfire. Wildfire will be built by Rocky Mountain Construction and will be in the same family of coasters as Silver Dollar City’s Outlaw Run and Six Flags Great America’s soon to be released Goliath. When it opens in Spring of 2016, Wildfire will boast that it is Scandinavia’s tallest and fastest roller coaster and the fastest wooden roller coaster in all of Europe. One park owner, Johan Tidstrand stated, "For a long time, our goal has been to build the world's best roller coaster at Kolmården. The challenge has been to develop a world class roller coaster that blends in with the extraordinary landscape and the park's atmosphere. This has finally been made possible thanks to modern technology. We are delighted that this dream can finally be realized."
Wildfire has some impressive stats that will set the coaster world on fire. Its top speed will reach just over 70 miles per hour and will feature a first drop of 160 feet at an 83 degree angle. The ride will traverse over 4200 feet of track and will last approximately two minutes. Like many other RMC creations is will feature the unique RMC elements that the company has become known for including three inversions. Ride Manager of the park, Peter Osbeck stated “We have taken some of the best elements of the world's best roller coasters, added new ideas and created a unique ride. The result is Wildfire, a ride with so much air time, action and intensity that it has no equal. The two-minute ride through Kolmården's dramatic terrain high above the waters of Bråviken Bay, will make it the world's best wooden coaster.”
The name Wildfire is said to have a strong cultural link to the local area. Keeping with this tradition the park will use Swedish lumber in order to build the ride structure. The approximate cost of the ride will be right under $16.9 million. According to park CEO, Mat Olsson, "Wildfire, along with the other investments at the park, is being built in order to develop Kolmården as one of Sweden's top destinations. By continuously expanding the park, Kolmården will become an even better destination and we can attract more visitors. This will enable us to reach out to more people with our public education initiatives.”
After a state inspection and investigation of the Opa Roller Coaster at My Olympus Theme Park, the ride has been permanently closed after a man was thrown from the coaster and fell 17 feet to the ground. According to the Baraboo News Republic, a state agency has found several maintenance and training violations and has ordered that the park shut down the coaster. The agency said that the coaster needs to replace old and defective parts. This is all in reaction to the March 6 accident where 63 year old Anthony Theisen was thrown from the coaster and fell to the ground. Theisen was put into an induced coma and put on a respirator.
According to the article, The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services inspected the ride after the accident and came to the conclusion that the maintencance in the park was not up to standards. The agency ordered the park to begin new training procedures including keeping track of training records for the staff. The park must also change its maintenance practices throughout the park. The Opa Roller Coaster cannot be put back into operation until all of the things highlighted in the investigation have been dealt with and another inspection occurs.
The lawyer for the man injured in the accident stated that Theisen has come out of the coma as of Monday. There is still no way to determine the long term effects of his brain after sustaining this injury . Mount Olympus said in a statement that the findings from the state agency are inconsistent with what their internal investigation was with the lap bar that was the problem in this accident. In the agency’s report it states that mechanical parts on the ride were so worn that it did not allow the lap bar to lock in the proper position during operation. The statement also claims that the weigh limit for the car had been exceeded by over 60lbs. The lead investigator said in a statement, “we conducted and observed a re-enactment of the incident, which included the use and positioning of dummies with weights similar to those of the patrons at the time of the incident. We observed the dummy in the far left seat move forward and the lap bar for the far left seat open while maneuvering around turns on the roller coaster.”
Below is the list of things that the park must do after further investigation:
• Ensure that proper maintenance and inspection procedures are completed as required by the manufacturer.
• Ensure that all safety bulletins issued for the ride have been reviewed and any required changes have been made.
• Replace defective and/or worn components.
• Ensure the ride is not operated with tubs exceeding the 660-pound capacity limit.
• Ensure that employee training is recorded.
In response to the state report, Mount Olympus has decided to completely remove the roller coaster.