Specific Type: Mega Coaster
Riverside Park, which opened in 1870, was purchased by the SIx Flags chain and renamed Six Flags New England after the 1999 season. Unlike many older parks in the northeastern region of the US Riverside did not start as a trolley park. As the name suggest guests arrived by boat to the original picnic grove. The Connecticut River has always played an important role in the identity of the park throughout its long history.
For the 2000 season Six Flags installed Superman: Ride of Steel right along the bank of the Connecticut River. This massive new Intamin mega-coaster completely changed the skyline topping out at 208’ with a 221’ subterranean drop. This massive new coaster combined the traditional out and back design with a twister layout on an impressive 5400’ track, that riders enjoy at speeds up to 77mph. The appeal of Superman has been obvious as it has ranked within the top ten coasters since it has open. This unrelenting ride has claimed the number one ranking five times and has been runner up an impressive ten times according to Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards.
In the 2009 season Superman was repainted from red and blue to purple and dark blue as the theme was changed to Bizarro, Superman’s evil twin. The ride’s layout remained the same but new scenery and effects packages along with repainted trains and on-ride-audio were added to complete the transformation. However in 2016 Bizarro was defeated and Superman was restored to the signature red and blue that it was introduced with. The trains have been repainted and the on-ride-audio was removed. The scenery was updated to complete the transition back to Superman, and the ride was reintroduced as Superman: The Ride. A virtual reality experience is available for guest during the 2016 season.
The ride begins with a brisk lift up to 208’ feet parallelling the Connecticut River. The lift hill features a PA system that sets the mood while blaring Superman’s theme song. As the train crests the lift riders experience a 221’ drop at 72 degrees maxing out at 77mph. The trains dive through a Superman cutout and into an underground tunnel, complete with fog and lights. When riders emerge from the tunnel they are greeted by a massive airtime hill that offers excellent ejector airtime. The train then gracefully swoops through the 120 degree overbanked turnaround. Riders swerve between comic book stylized skyscrapers and through another cutout. The train enters the next ejector airtime hill blind, and then another. Riders fly through a series of illuminated shields and enter the twister portion of the layout. The train veers left and then right as it dives into a powerful helix. Dizzy riders next turn left into yet another helix leading up to a small airtime hill. As riders descend they careened into a second fogged tunnel that follows the banked turn around. Disoriented riders emerge from the tunnel to a bunny hop complete with a head chopper as the train crosses under the track. Two more bunny hops and a banked turn delivers the riders back to the station as the brakes slam on and bring the train to a halt.
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