Specific Type: Enclosed
It had been quite some time since 1990, when Six Flags over Texas had debuted its last roller coaster, the Texas Giant, and the thrill seeking natives were getting restless. The year was 1996 amidst the budget crunch, Six Flags saw fit to another coaster to their original park. Only three roller coasters debuted across the Six Flags chain in 1996: the Great Chase kiddy coaster at Six Flags New England, Joker's Revenge, a steel looper at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, andRunaway Mountain at Six Flags over Texas. Though not the largest of the additions that year,Runaway Mountain had some hidden surprises, primarily its track.
Themed to take place deep withing an abandoned mine, this coaster is completely enclosed, with the majority of the ride's layout taking place in near complete darkness, leaving riders feeling disoriented and heightening the sense of speed. Park goers who dare to enter the darkness can find the ride in the Old South section of the park, hidden behind its mountainous facade. Throughout the queue, future rides will hear the tale of miner Gator McGee as he gives safety instructions. Then its time to board twelve passenger train. Once everyone is situated and lap bars are secured, the train is released, makes a 90 degree left hand turn, and leaves the station lights behind.
A small straightaway and slight bend to the left feed the train into the eerily quiet tire driven lift, as the tracks go higher and higher in the blackness. Finally the rails level off, 65 ft above the ground and make a tight turn to the right. Soon riders are careening downward to the right, pulling out about halfway to the ground. A small hill sends riders briefly out of their seats before banking to the right and rising into a turnaround above the ride's enclosed station. From this height the train dives down to ground level, reaching its maximum velocity of 40 mph as it diagonals across its layout. The rails bank to the left and the track makes a rising u-turn to the left beneath the initial drop. A small section of flat track gives riders a false sense of calm before ripping them off of that elevated portion, diving furiously down the left only to continue rising in that counterclockwise direction, leveling off just below where the intensely steep helix began. A small rise feeds the cars into a 540 degree left-leaning downward helix nested inside of the station-side turnaround. A slight dip and then the train banks left, ramping up in to one more downward 540 degree helix before slamming into the final breaks. A minute and a half after it all began, riders find themselves emerging out of the dark bowels of Runaway Mountain, into the comparative light of the exit station.
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