Going on a Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure has a rather unusual park layout, with visitors entering the park at its narrowest point in the centre. Here there is a long midway that runs across the entrance, with the Giant Wheel at one end and a land of milk and honey themed area with a carousel and a tea cups ride at the other.  The main attraction in this area is the Sky Screamer swing ride.

Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth and Cyborg Cyber Spin

To the right of the Ferris wheel is the large Movieland themed area. In addition to the interactive dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and the two roller coasters The Dark Knight Coaster and Batman The Ride, there is also the large swing ride Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth and the flat ride Cyborg Cyber Spin. Unfortunately, the latter wasn’t on my schedule during my visit, so I didn’t get to ride an Intamin Tourbillon.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Developed by the Sally Corporation, the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark ride combines large plastic scenes with 3D screens where you have to fend off all sorts of Lex Luthor’s gadgets before he manages to capture the entire Justice League with the help of the Joker. It’s great fun, as you’d expect from Sally, and a surprisingly well-made dark ride that can be found in many Six Flags theme parks.

The Dark Knight Coaster

The Dark Knight Coaster is proof that Six Flags can do theme rides when they want to. The indoor Wild Mouse offers an amazingly fast ride in total darkness, with the hairpin turns in the upper part of the ride being themed throughout. The wilder part of the ride on the lower levels takes place mainly in the dark. All in all a great attraction!

Batman The Ride

Directly after the great success of the B&M inverted coaster Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America, the Dark Knight found his place at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1993.

After climbing the lift hill, passengers can expect a pre-drop before the train finally plunges down the first drop in a steep curve. On the descent, passengers can expect high G-forces before entering the first loop. The second inversion, a zero-G roll, follows in no time at all. Then another loop is taken. The blood pressure in your feet rises instantly as you go through a steep bend and a straight section of the track. It then heads mercilessly towards the bottom, where the first corkscrew awaits us. This element is pure madness if you are travelling at the back of the train, as the acceleration changes abruptly. The second corkscrew follows after a short right-hand bend. After that, a left-hand bend takes you straight into the braking section.

Batman: The Ride is still one of the best inverted coasters out there. The ride offers an intense ride layout with lots of positive G-forces on a relatively small footprint. Apart from the theming, the ride experience does not differ between the different rides, which is a good sign.


Since the release of the computer game Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, Nitro has become one of the most famous hyper coasters in the world.

After a turn, the ride immediately begins on the 230-foot lift hill. Once at the top, the ride immediately descends. Interestingly, we change direction on the very first hill. The momentum takes us through another valley and over a classic camelback before we change direction in the best out-and-back style in a horseshoe turn. Another airtime hill is followed by another hill where we turn left. With plenty of speed we then enter a powerful helix that gets tighter and tighter and ends in a block brake. We then ride a series of very nice airtime hills to the final brake.

Nitro is a very cool old school hypercoaster. Although you only get floater airtime during the long ride, the many hills make it a real experience. The highlight of the ride is the intense helix before the block brake. In short, a really great coaster.

Jersey Devil Coaster

Past the Intamin Rapids Ride Congo Rapids, which was unfortunately closed on the day of my visit, we now head to the park’s newest rollercoaster, the Jersey Devil Coaster. The ride on the RMC Raptor Track begins immediately with the ride’s lift hill. After reaching the starting height of 40 metres in no time at all, we plunge straight down a very steep descent. After a quick ascent, it’s straight back down again in a dive loop. With brutal airtime, we then go over a huge camelback and immediately afterwards into a zero-G stall. A steep ascent then leads us into a very tight turn. Now we descend again quite abruptly and immediately enter a zero-G roll. Another ascent then leads us into a block brake. Without much delay, we then enter the next descent, after which another turn awaits us. Still very fast, we now race over a series of airtime bumps before reaching the final brake.

The layout of the Jersey Devil Coaster single rail coaster has a really nice flow. The inversions are all very easy to ride and the airtime is also very nice. I at least really enjoyed the ride, even if it is a bit tame compared to the other Raptor Track Coasters from RMC.

Skull Mountain

Every Roller Coaster Tycoon player will remember the Skull Mountain indoor roller coaster for its façade. The ride itself is a family roller coaster from Intamin, which is located in an unfortunately rather bright hall.

The ride begins rather curiously with a two-section lift and a short panoramic ride through the first level. Once in the main hall, the ride continues upwards for a while before a steep curve takes you straight back down to the hall floor. After an incline, we quickly change direction and make our way round a wide left-hand bend. After a short right-hand bend, we immediately enter a longer Bayernkurve, which leads us further and further downhill over hill and dale. After a right-hand bend, we enter a helix. Finally, after a short climb, we reach the braking section and soon afterwards the station, where our wonderful ride unfortunately comes to an end.

Harley Quinn Crazy Train and The Joker

Directly opposite the popular family coaster Harley Quinn Crazy Train – a Zierer Tivoli coaster that has run several laps in a row in this park – is the S&S free spin coaster The Joker. As always, the ride comfort on this coaster was quite good and there were plenty of rollovers at the end. For this reason, I can only warmly recommend a ride on the free spin coaster The Joker.

Houdini’s Great Escape

While Vekoma Mad Houses are a very common sight in European theme parks, they are not at all well known to an American audience with Houdini’s Great Escape being one of only two installations in the United States. In the story, we take part in a séance to bring Houdini back from the afterlife. In reality, however, we only experience a clever trick in which the benches each swing 30° to the side while the room rotates around us. A great attraction!

Twister and Parachute Training Center: Edwards AFB Jump Tower

Right next to the unfortunately closed HUSS Top Spin Twister is one of the park’s major attractions from the 1970s, which goes by the long name of Parachute Training Centre Edwards AFB Jump Tower. The Intamin Parachute Tower offers a great view over the park and the ride is quite fast. The actual drop, however, is very leisurely.

Superman – Ultimate Flight

Superman Ultimate Flight is located next to the entrance. As it takes a little longer to clear the coaster, it is advisable to get to the ride as soon as the park opens.

The ride on Superman Ultimate Flight begins immediately after a right turn as you enter the coaster’s lift hill. After reaching a height of 106 ft, the ride immediately descends in a right turn. The ride then climbs a hill, which introduces the main element of the ride: the Pretzel Loop. We are now pulled down with all our might and then hurtle through a valley on our backs. Once back up in the air, the ride takes us through three very gentle turns that add to the feeling of flying. A helix is followed by a nice roll. We then reach the braking section and shortly after the station.

The ride on Superman Ultimate Flight is very leisurely for a flying coaster, with the pretzel loop at the beginning being the highlight of the ride. Without it the ride would be a bit boring.

Green Lantern

The Green Lantern stand-up coaster has been located on the site of the Great American Scream Machine since 2011. However, the ride itself is much older and was located at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom from 1997 to 2009, where it was known as Chang.

The ride on the giant stand-up coaster starts right away with the lift hill, which takes us to a height of 47 metres (154 ft). After a bend at a lofty height, the big drop awaits. In classic B&M coaster style, a very large loop awaits us and after a right-hand bend we enter the equally large dive loop. After a sweeping ascent, we pass through a high left-hand bend and immediately afterwards into an Inclined Loop. After a quick change of direction, the route then heads uphill again into a mid-course brake. Without adjusting the speed, we head downhill again. Here we enter the first corkscrew and after a crazy right-left bend, we immediately enter the second corkscrew. Another right-left bend then takes us into the final braking section of the rollercoaster.

Green Lantern is one of the most modern stand-up coasters, so the ride is relatively fast. The ride is very spectacular due to the impressive height and the huge inversions, but not quite as pleasant due to the frequent contact with the bars.

Runaway Mine Train

One of the theme park’s original attractions is the Runaway Mine Train. It is housed in a large fort. There is also a station for the Skyways gondola lift.

The ride on the rollercoaster begins with an unusually high lift hill. Once at the top, however, we first make our way through the treetops. The path first leads us through a long helix and then over several hills. After passing a block brake, we fall to the ground for the first time. Now the trail leads us into a surprisingly intense helix and over a flawless airtime hill. We then whizz over the lake past the fort before taking an incline and reaching the braking section of the rollercoaster shortly afterwards.

The Runaway Mine Train has a surprisingly high layout for an old school mine train. Although the start of the ride is not quite as exciting with the longer helix and the slightly descending and ascending straights, it gets really fast from the steep curve after the brakes. The Airtime hill and the bend at the lake around the fort characterise the overall very good ride.


Passing the Saw Mill Log Flume, which was unfortunately still closed on the day of my visit, we now head to the back of the park, where the Medusa roller coaster is located. This rollercoaster is quite something and should definitely not be missed.

It is not to be missed. After climbing the coaster’s lift hill, you immediately descend into the depths. The ride takes you through the valley at high speed and immediately into the large loop of the coaster. A climb to the left turns out to be a dive loop and immediately brings us to the ground. With a lot of momentum we then go through a Zero-G roll and immediately into the Cobra Roll of the coaster. A climb then leads us into a block brake, where we get only a brief moment to catch our breath. A steep bend takes us downhill. We then enter an intense helix just above the ground. After changing direction we enter the Interlocking Corkscrews. A short turn to the left then leads us into the last incline of the ride, after which we enter the braking section of the roller coaster.

What a ride! The Medusa floorless coaster is an absolute fun machine with a breathtaking layout and a total of seven inversions. I always enjoyed getting on this ride, partly due to the very efficient handling of the ride.

Zumanjaro Drop of Doom

Unfortunately, the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom freefall tower, which is attached to the support structure of the KingdaKa rollercoaster, was out of service during my visit. This tower is the largest freefall tower in the world. Interestingly, in the early days of the attraction, the tower was only allowed to be operated when the rollercoaster was not in operation. This led to long queues for both attractions. However, this restriction has now been lifted and both rides can be operated at the same time.

Kingda Ka

Kingda Ka has been the theme park’s main attraction since 2005. The 456 ft high launch roller coaster from the manufacturer Intamin towers over the park and cannot be overlooked, casting a spell over everyone in its immediate vicinity.

Right at the start of the park, I was able to ride several laps in a row without having to queue for long. After all, the ride only takes a few seconds, during which you reach a top speed of 128 mph before climbing the tall Top Hat. We then cross its apex rather leisurely and with tension on the vertical slope directly in front of us. On the way down, we turn round once on our own axis. Finally, we race over a 130 ft high hill where the roller coaster brakes.

Kingda Ka is a damn short roller coaster, but also a damn good one. As the speed increases, you realise what forces are acting on the train before it goes up the top hat. You are really shaken up. The descent and the final rush of speed also provide enough endorphins to leave the ride overjoyed.

El Toro

Five years after Colossos revolutionised wooden roller coaster construction at Heide-Park in Germany, the El Toro roller coaster opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2006.

Here, too, the ride begins after a rapid lift hill with a high turning curve before entering the steep drop. We then experience the finest airtime and an unrivalled rush of speed over two consecutive airtime hills. After a lively turn, we ride over another airtime hill and then over a speed bump. At high speed, we are now drawn into a left-hand bend and immediately afterwards onto another airtime hill. This is followed by three quick turns in a row. With momentum, we then ride over a series of rather flat hills. Shortly afterwards, we reach the braking section of the rollercoaster.

El Toro is a really great rollercoaster with a genuinely good layout. Unfortunately, the ride characteristics of this wooden roller coaster are no longer the best compared to the other Prefab wooden roller coasters from the manufacturer Intamin. Despite being retracked during the seasonal break, the ride is quite bumpy. Accordingly, I like Colossos much better than El Toro, and not just because I have ridden Colossos hundreds of times and El Toro only once.

Pictures Six Flags Great Adventure

Conclusion Six Flags Great Adventure

My visit to Six Flags Great Adventure left me with rather mixed feelings. On the one hand, the park has a lot of really good roller coasters to offer, but on the other hand, the park simply has no charm. The existing buildings are all getting on in years, and the park really does have a lot of open spaces and lots of areas covered in concrete. Nevertheless, the park is very popular and was accordingly well attended on the day I visited. In the end, I was able to try out all the attractions except for the water rides, which were unfortunately closed. I think I’ll have to come back sometime in the middle of the season to experience the park in its entirety.

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The Six Flags of Texas

The History of Six Flags

If we want to talk about the big chains in the amusement park industry, we have to talk about Six Flags and there is no better place to start than Six Flags Over Texas. The park in Arlington nearby Dallas opened its doors in 1961 after a short planning phase of just two years. The real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. wanted a park like the just opened Californian amusement park Disneyland in his home state of Texas.  The initial idea of the park was to show Texas under six flags – the title quickly changed to Six Flags Over Texas, as Texas can’t be under anything. The six flags represent the six nations that have governed Texas during its history: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.

Interestingly, the park was never intended to last for long. With more than 8000 visitors on the first day of operation, Six Flags Over Texas was an initial success and was set to stay. With the investment of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad two more parks (Six Flags Over Georgia (1967) and Six Flags Over Mid-America (1971)) were constructed. In the following years Six Flags continued to grow by acquiring independent parks such as AstroWorld (1975), Great Adventure (1977) and Magic Mountain (1979). With the acquisition of Marriott’s Great America in Gurnee (1984), Six Flags obtained the rights to use the Looney Tunes characters by Time Warner.

In 1982 the Oklahoma based real estate company Tierco Group bought the theme park Frontier City. Plans for converting the park into a shopping centre quickly dropped due to an oil bust in Oklahoma City. By investing into the park and new family-friendly rides, the popularity increased. In 1992 Tierco acquired the Maryland based Wild World (now Six Flags America) and changed its name to Premier Parks. In 1995 Premier Parks acquired Funtime, Inc and their properties Geauga Lake, Wyandot Lake, Darien Lake and Lake Compounce. A year after, Elitch Gardens, Great Escape, River Side Park (now Six Flags New England) and the Waterworld USA parks were bought, while Lake Compounce was sold to Kennywood. In 1997, Premier purchased Kentucky Kingdom and Marine World (now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). During the same time, Premier Parks agreed to buy 94% of the European Walibi Group, adding six more parks to the portfolio.

Six Flags being perfectly stable was sold to Premier Parks in 1998. Premier Parks continued its rapid growth by acquiring the German theme park Warner Bros. Movie World (now Movie Park Germany), the Mexican Reino Aventura (now Six Flags Mexico) and taking over a small share in the upcoming major theme park project Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid (now Parque Warner Madrid). It’s no surprise, that the European Division didn’t last for long. The increasing depts lead to the parks being sold to Palamon Capital Partners in 2004. Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake) was sold to Cedar Fair, which led to its closure some years later. Six Flags Astro World was sold and cleared due to its real estate value but did not even made half of it and Six Flags New Orleans was destroyed by hurricane Katrina. Six Flags now fighting was hardly stroked by the financial crisis of 2007/08, which led to the reconstruction of the company.

Nowadays, Six Flags doesn’t grow as rapidly. Since this year the theme parks Frontier City and Darien Lake are back under Six Flags. A park in China will be licenced with the Six Flags name and the project of Six Flags Dubai has been finally cancelled.

Six Flags Over Texas

After this small history lesson, it is time to move on. I think you can understand the importance of this true giant in the amusement park industry. Although, I already visited all of the former Six Flags parks in Europe, my first visit to an actual Six Flags park was always intentioned to be at Six Flags Over Texas. Therefore, I looked forward to my visit for quite a long time.

After a short night in Wichita Falls, I drove all the way to Arlington and ended up spending quite some time in a traffic jam because of a giant interstate/turnpike road work. With best views of the Shock Wave roller coaster and the observation tower Oil Derrick, the anticipation of the visit changed to steadily into despair. It didn’t help that all the other roads towards the park were congested as well. With a fantastic view on Judge Roy Scream, I finally arrived at the parking. Due to my Six Flags membership, I did not have to pay for parking, which is a good thing regarding the parking fees at most of the American theme parks. After a while, I found a parking spot at the rear part of the parking lot.

When walking towards the entrance, I admired the view on Titan, the biggest roller coaster of the park, and their cool bobsled coaster La Vibora. After standing in line for the security control for quite a while, I realised that I’ve left my wallet in my car. After a ten-minute walk back and forth, I was finally ready for my visit at Six Flags Over Texas. By scanning my voucher at the entrance and after a picture has been taken, I quickly had my membership card in my hands. The included member bottle for unlimited soft drinks could be picked up at the membership office, but the line was way to long to even consider it.

Stepping into the park you find yourself on a small plaza. From here you could begin your journey clockwise and counter-clockwise. You could also take a ride on the Silver Star Carousel which is located slightly above the plaza.

Conquisador and El Aserradero

We start our journey in the clockwise direction, where we immediately find the Spanish theme area. The signature coaster of this area showed a rather long line and the beautiful swing boat ride Conquisador was down due to the construction on the Larson Giant Loop El Diablo Looping Coaster. Therefore, we moved on to the parks log flume El Aserradero.

El Asseradero was the first log flume ever build. Back in 1963 Arrow Development has created a new kind of ride, which quickly became the most desired attraction in every theme park around the globe. In Germany, the manufacturer Mack licenced the patent of Arrow to build the log flumes for the European market. Log flumes were everywhere. Some years after the first installation, the capacity of the ride was enhanced by building another one right next to the first one. Nowadays, the second flume is the one being in operation. Till 2019, the first log flume was used on crowded days. The remaining ride features a lot of curves and just one drop at the end of the ride. Unluckily, the ride was not in operation during my visit.

Oil Derrick

Following the pathways through the older section of the park, we quickly encounter the almighty Oil Derrick. This observation tower is one of the first projects of the ride manufacturer Intamin and features a great view at Six Flags Over Texas, the water park Hurricane Harbour in the distance and the surrounding area. Unluckily, due to strong winds the tower did not operated most of the day of my visit. It opened in the late evening and I had to rush to get a ride on the bobsleigh coaster La Vibora before the park’s closure.

Shock Wave

Just behind the shiny tower, which just got a new coat of paint last year, you can find the entrance to the legendary roller coaster Shock Wave. This Schwarzkopf classic was the first roller coaster being constructed in regard of the heart line. This all new concept allowed for smoother ride for the ride passengers as their hearts would not experience any abrupt motion nor high lateral G-Forces. Due to this change, steeper curves and other manoeuvres were possible.

Nowadays, Shock Wave does look quite tame from the outside. The rides significant loops were placed right next to the interstate and feature a nice advertisement to the park, but apart from that the layout does not offer anything special. To be honest, this is true for most of the rides being build in the 70’s – but Shock Wave is indeed the perfect coaster.

After climbing the lift hill the train quickly gathers some speed before the big drop. Without any merci we quickly run over the hilltop and shoot down to gather some speed for the two inversions. Forcefully as always, the world keeps on turning upside down till we climb the next hill. Up here, we take another turn before we drop down once again. With a significant amount of negative G-Forces we are pulled out of our seats immediately. Back in the valley we experience very high positive G-forces. This delta of forces speaks for the ride. With a big smile on the face, we quickly pass through another curve above the station, before the game of G-Forces repeats itself several times. After a short lefthand curve, a descending straight and a very long righthand curve, we quickly approach the brake run of the ride. Shortly thereafter, the ride is done.

Shock Wave is a great coaster full of speed, powerful inversions, great ejector airtime and high positive G-Forces. The ride is just perfect, which should not come by surprise as this ride has been built by the famous ride manufacturer Schwarzkopf based in Münsterhausen, Germany (nowadays the site of Gerstlauer Amusement Rides). Although we basically invented the modern vertical loop, we always thought of an American invention. The world is rather strange.

Roaring Rapids, Caddo Lake Barge and Superman Tower of Power

After the brilliant ride of the Shock Wave and the great weather I wanted to cool down a little bit. Unfortunately, the big Intamin rapid ride Roaring Rapids just had a break down when I passed by. The ride itself does not offer anything special, apart of the loading system which uses two parallel stations and therefore requires two lift hills right next to each other.

Passing by the beautiful looking Zamperla Rockin’ Tug Caddo Lake Barge, I quickly hopped on a ride of the Superman Tower of Power, which offered a great view at the park and a hint of airtime. Apart of the massive tower, the ride does not fit in greatly. The theme is negligible and looks rather off. Especially since the DC universe part of the park is located at a different corner of the park.

Runaway Mine Train

The roller coaster Runaway Mine Train certainly looks better. The second oldest roller coaster based on tubular steel pipes does a great job. It is the first true mine train roller coaster and defined every element still being popular on modern roller coasters of this type of ride.

After boarding the ride, the operator wishes us fun on a mine train of one of the Six Flags parks before releasing the train. This is kind of geeky, but I had my fun. The ride starts with a small lefthand curve out of the station. After passing the transfer track, the first lift hill is reached. Arrived at the top, the ride builds up some speed during a descent of alternating left- and righthand curves. When passing by the roller coaster Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast the train crosses a hill and dives into a helix. This is followed by a wild ride over hill and dale, which also passes through a tunnel. After another curve, the second lift hill is reached.

After a short hill climb, the track starts its very flat descent. It basically takes a while passing some right and left turns and lots of straight track until the train gets some speed. After passing a building and a righthand curve, the third lift hill is reached.  Things reach their climax when we pass through a saloon and dive directly into a tunnel. This is were we hit the last curve before we reach the brake run of the ride.

The Runaway Mine Train is a fantastic family coaster. The ride is not fast nor high, but it delivers many great moments of pure fun. The wacky and way to narrow curves, the small hills and the tunnels all come together for a complete roller coaster package, which somehow looks kind of odd when seeing onride footages of the ride. For me, the ride was a complete surprise and one of the best roller coasters of the park.

Mini Mine Train

Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that the Runaway Mine Train was a complete hit among the park visitors. Many similar rides where build in a similar fashion in parks all around America in the following years. Due to its popularity, Six Flags Over Texas even built a smaller version of the ride right next door: The Mini Mine Train.

While the name of the roller coaster is not really creative, the ride certainly is. Even though it looks kind of unremarkable from the outside. After climbing the lift hill, the ride starts with a small and flat descent into a left turn. After a short straight the train then enters a tunnel followed by a small righthand curve. When leaving the tunnel, the ride surprises by one of the best views onto the roller coaster Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast you could ever imagine. This moment is simply amazing, especially at night. After a small drop and another tunnel and passing through another curve the train quickly crosses over a hill and dives into the final curve of the ride before it reaches the brake run. Although, the ride is a rather short one, it is a fun one as well and should not be missed.

The Gunslinger and Mr. Freeze

Passing by the wave swinger The Gunslinger, we quickly change the theme when entering Gotham City. Here we find a lot of rides allocated to the dark knight and his villains. This area was expended in the last years, but it surprisingly started by the launch of the LIM Shuttle Loop Coaster Mr. Freeze in 1998 by Premier Rides.

Initially the trains were launched with the riders facing forward. Interestingly, the ride featured over the shoulder restrains for the first years until they got removed on all the Premier Rides installations in all the Six Flags parks back in 2002. The second big change happened during the year 2012 when the trains got rotated to face the first half of the ride backwards. A change that was set to stay, as it enhances the ride experience like nothing else.

Being launched backwards is kind of an amazing feeling, as there is only the lap bar to be pushed in rather the whole back of your seat. After reaching full speed the train quickly climbs the inside Top Hat element, where the riders experience an intense upside-down moment before falling to the ground. With full speed a large steep turn is being taken before the train climbs the vertical spike at the end of the ride. The train is now pushed upwards by linear induction motors in order to have enough energy to be able to finish the cycle. At the same time, the riders are experience a great moment of pure weightlessness by facing ground forward. Back on the ground the train takes the large turn once again and climbs back into the Top Hat, where it just passes it without getting stuck upside down. Soon after, the train slows down on the launch track. When entering the station, the train then get transferred to the loading position.

Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast is a heck of a ride. The ride is extremely intense and features many great moments. The inside Top Hat is simply amazing and the vertical Spike at the end of the ride is just awesome when facing to the ground. Unfortunately, the ride is also kind of shaky. I’m glad to not have experienced this ride with over the shoulder harnesses, as it is simply not a smooth ride. The whole experience is great, but it also could be better at the same time. Nevertheless, Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast is one of the most intense roller coasters I’ve been on.

Batman: The Ride

Seven years after the first Batman: The ride was built in Six Flags Great America and another copy was already established in Texas, the dark knight finally found its place in Six Flags Over Texas in 1999.

After climbing the lift hill, a pre-drop awaits its passengers before the train finally plunges down the first drop in a steep turn. When passing the valley high G-Forces awaits the passengers before entering the first loop. In the twinkling of an eye the second inversion, a Zero-G Roll, is taken. Another loop follows. The blood pressure in your feet suddenly increases when passing through an upward helix and a straight section of the ride. Without merci, we drop down toward the ground level, whereupon the first corkscrew awaits. This element is just pure madness when riding in the back of the train, as the acceleration suddenly changes. After a short righthand turn, the second corkscrew is taken. This is followed by a left turn into the brake run.

Batman: The ride is still one of the best inverted roller coasters out there. The ride offers an intense ride layout with a lot of positive G-Forces on a rather small footprint. Apart of the theming, the ride experience does not vary between the different installations, which is a good sign. Due to the more immersive experience I prefer Batman: Arkham Asylum in Parque Warner Madrid but this is just personal taste.

The flat rides of Gotham City

Passing by the Telecombat Batflyer, we quickly enter the new part of Gotham City where most of the other villains found their home and got some great amusement rides. Personally, I don’t like this area as all the rides were just placed on a big concrete filled place with no theme at all. The rides themselves are solid. Catwoman Whip is a Zamperla Endeavor and therefore a fancy enterprise style ride, which HUSS would like to sell to somebody someday. Riddler Revenge is a Giant Discovery – also by Zamperla – and therefore automatically a good ride, which at some day was the biggest one of its kind. Harley Quinn Spinsanity however was once a HUSS Troika and is now an ABC Rides Tourbillion (the name is great, so why not keep it) which I would like to have tested. This new kind of multiaxial Top Spin ride was down on the day of my visit.

The Joker

The last ride being left in this area is the S&S Free Spin roller coaster The Joker. After riding the similar roller coaster Arashi at the Japanese theme park Nagashima Spa Land I was not looking forward for a ride on The Joker, as the ride was uncomfortable and rather boring. I nearly skipped it. As I’m also a curious person, I wanted to make sure that my feelings regarding this type of ride were right.

As a single rider, I met a nice woman and had a great chat with her before boarding. Whilst on the ride, our vehicle flipped itself over a dozen of times offering a ride of a lifetime. At the end of the ride, we were rushed by all the adrenalin pumped into our body and left the ride with a big smile on our faces. It is hard to say that the marble run roller coaster The Joker could not convince me. The ride is epic!

Aquaman Splash Down, Texas Sky Screamer and Judge Roy Scream

Do you remember the roller coaster we saw just when entering the parking lot? Well, I nearly missed it as I couldn’t find the entrance to it. Even a look on the map does not really help you out, as there is only a small sign above a small tunnel which gives you a hint where the roller coaster is located. If you are coming from Gotham City and passes by the now demolished Shoot the Chutes Aquaman Splash Down you already missed it. It is easier if you just want to take a ride on the giant Funtime Star Flyer Texas Sky Screamer, as the entrance to Judge Roy Scream is right next to it.

The roller coaster with the unusual name is named after Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. better known as the justice of the peace (Judge) Roy Bean. Back in the days, Judge Roy Bean used his saloon as a court and officially sentences two man to death by hanging, one of them escaped. In Western movies he is usually referred as the hanging judge; what a pleasant theme for a family roller coaster, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, the name is creative and original. The layout of the ride on the other hand is quite normal for an Out & Back Woody. After the climb and the first drop, the train runs over a series of airtime hills before turning in a large curve at the other end of the ride. The return itself also features a bunch of smaller hills, which indeed makes it a perfect family roller coaster.

After I finally found the entrance to the ride, I really enjoyed my rides on Judge Roy Scream. It is not the perfect airtime machine, but it is a classical wooden roller coaster offering a lot of great moments. During my last rides on the Judge, I was sitting next to a small boy who could otherwise not ride alone. He reported me everything about his visit and his family in just around 3 minutes in a deep southern accent. This pretty much made my day 😊.


Another interesting encounter happened at the Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster Pandemonium, where an employee immediately identified by Dragon Khan shirt and asked me some questions about Port Aventura, as he planned a coaster trip during the summer. I ended up recommending him the fast pass of the park, as Port Aventura truly isn’t any fun without.

After climbing to the top of the lift, the ride immediately starts with a curvy drop which sets the cars into rotation. Two small hairpin curves then enhance the spin before two helices in style of a figure eight are taken along. After a small drop, a large Bayernkurve follows. With a good spin, a larger drop follows with a funny camelback hill right after. A final upward helix joins in, before the brakes are being hit and the funny ride comes to its end.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and Looney Tunes Boom Town

Passing by the extraordinary dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and the rather ugly kids area Looney Tunes Boom Town with its coaster Wile E. Coyote’s Grand Canyon Blaster – which I have not tested – we quickly make our way to the other side of the park where La Vibora still needs to be tested.

La Vibora

As a big fan of the now demolished Bobbaan of the dutch theme park Efteling, I was looking forward for my ride on La Vibora. Even in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, the ride was one of my favourites to be placed in every scenario where possible due to its beautiful looking alternating colour scheme resembling the German flag.

After reaching the top of the lift hill, the train rapidly descent in a right bend. The valley is driven through with an absurd force with the first change of direction directly following. A helix then leads you up into the first brake run. Another curvy drop follows and leads you into another powerful valley. A swinging S-curve combination adds itself and leads you into the second block brake run. This game now repeats itself in the same brilliant manner. After the third and final block brake, the train swipes down a lefthand curve and into the final upward helix. Shortly thereafter, the brake run of the ride is reached.

La Vibora is an extraordinary coaster. Due to its train design (it features the trains used on the Bob in Efteling before its change to the two-seater rows) the ride is even wilder than I could ever imagine. This train design adds a lot to the thrills, as you are always in fear to fall over. The rest of the ride is quite forceful and offers a great and fun experience. Thanks, Six Flags Over Texas for keeping this ride alive.

Runaway Mountain

In search of the roller coaster Runaway Mountain we pass by basically every corner of the old section of the park. At our way we meet the HUSS break dance Rodeo and the Chance Trabant El Sombrero, but don’t bother a ride. Finally, we stand in front of a giant and impressively decorated rock face covering the hall of the park’s only indoor roller coaster.

Runaway Mountain is basically a copycat of the Italian coaster model Hurricane by S.D.C. build by Premier Rides in 1996. It therefore features a rather compact layout with a very interesting element in the middle of the ride. As the hall is not perfectly dark and no theming elements can be found within the cave, let’s focus on the ride’s layout.

Right after climbing the lift hill, the train takes a gentle descent in a left turn and runs over a small hill. On the other side of the ride the train gains some height before plunging down the big drop. After an uphill curve, a very steep drop follows quite surprisingly. In the same motion an even steeper ascent adheres twisting the riders like crazy. After a small even section, the train takes a downhill helix into a small drop. Another helix at the other side of the rides acts like the grand finale of the ride before the brake run is reached and the fun ride comes to an end.

New Texas Giant

As everything is bigger in Texas, it doesn’t come by surprise that the park featured once the biggest wooden roller coaster on earth. The ride was massive and although it had a brilliant reputation during the first seasons, the ride’s comfort got worse with time. The construction company Rocky Mountain Construction just provided a new solution for typical wooden roller coaster problems and Six Flags Over Texas was pleased to try it out. The rest of the story is coaster history and led to one of the biggest success stories in the amusement park industry. RMC was set to stay and to become a market leader.

Due to technical difficulties, the New Texas Giant was the only ride in the park running with one train only which led to a waiting time of around two hours. It did not help, that the team working on the roller coaster was not in their best mood and worked rather slow. Overall, the New Texas Giant was the only roller coaster in the park with dispatching times of up to six minutes. Apart of the many downtimes on the day of my visit, every other ride did very well.

After finally taken my place at the back of the train, the ride is about to start. After a small turnover at the end of the transfer track we reach the ride’s lift hill. At a height of 153 ft (~47m) we suddenly fall down a fantastic 79° drop. With full speed we jump over a hill and continue our way upwards in a long and heavily banked curve. At the peak of the hill we take another drop down. In the same manner as the first hill, we bank ourselves sideways in the upcoming hill before falling back to the ground. Once again with full speed we climb a slightly overbanked turn before flying over a small hill after which we hit the first brake run.

Without losing any speed, we drop back into the action by flying over a series of airtime hills towards the other side of the ride. Next to the final brake run and the station, we surpass the rides support structure in a curve at ground level after which we continue our way through out another series of airtime hills. Suddenly we enter three tunnels in a row, each having their own dips and turns. Back into sunlight, we pass over another two airtime hills before we reach the final brake run of the ride.

The roller coaster New Texas Giant is a surprisingly tame RMC coaster providing a pleasant re-rideability to the overall madness experience. All the hills offer an excellent floating airtime, which lets you fly over each of the countless camelbacks and bumps. The first drop is brilliant, and the large curves provides a good feeling of pacing. You simply can’t do anything wrong when boarding this great ride.


Passing by the Scrambler Sidewinder, we quickly encounter the last ride of Six Flags Over Texas we need to talk about: the almighty Titan. One year after Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain was being build, a bigger roller coaster had to come to Six Flags Over Texas. It is the second hyper coaster ever built by Giovanola (former subcontractor of Intamin and B&M) and the last out of the three coasters built by the company before going bankrupt.

After riding the New Texas Giant, I was kind of worried about the dispatch of the biggest roller coaster of Six Flags Over Texas, but I was wrong. Apart of a small down time, the line moved surprisingly quick. Every now and then, a train left the station and it didn’t take long until I could ride it in the back of the train.

Leaving the station, the train takes a right turn whereupon we hit the lift hill of the ride. When reaching a height of 245ft (~ 75m) the train starts its long and amazing descent into a tunnel leading to an overall height difference of 255ft (~78m). With a speed of 85 mph (~137kph) the train head upwards into an impressive looking overbanked turn. After completing the turn, the train heads down another drop which is followed by a fantastic airtime hill. A long ascent then leads into a forceful upward helix. At the end of the helix, the train hits the mid-course brake run and got slowed down to near standstill.

The train continues its journey in a slow pace, before it finally gets some speed in a hard left turn. In a fluent motion, the train changes its direction and we drop down towards the ground level. This is followed by a powerful and insane 585° helix. Then, the track turns upwards and banks to the left. After another powerful valley, the train takes an ascending right turn which leads us into the final brake run of the ride.

What a ride! Titan is a beast of a roller coaster. It is forceful, fast and perfectly paced. I cannot even describe how much I admire this roller coaster, as it jumped directly into the Top 10 of my favourite roller coasters. It is by far the best hyper coaster, I’ve ever ridden. Man, I love this ride. Unluckily, I could only ride it twice in a row. But there will be a next time in Six Flags Over Texas and I’m already looking forward for some more rides on the Titan.

Pictures Six Flags Over Texas

Conclusion Six Flags Over Texas

Although my first impressions of Six Flags Over Texas were flawed by the many down times during the first half of my visit, I managed to get all the rides I wanted to ride. Especially in the late evening, I could ride a lot of rides without any big waiting times. Overall, I really enjoyed the park. It has a lot of charming places and a bunch of great rides. While Six Flags Over Texas is not a flawless park, it tries its best to be one. Therefore, I’m looking forward to my next visit. Your new for 2020 roller coaster could be a reason, as Pulsar of Walibi Belgium (ex Six Flags Belgium) is a blast of a ride.

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The Runaway Mine Train on Hayling Island

Funland Amusement Park

The small amusement park Funland Amusement Park on Hayling Island is great – admittedly not a reason for a longer day trip, but as a complement to the beach visit it’s perfect; because if there is one thing Hayling Island has, it’s a beautiful and very wide crispbread beach. Contrary to the beach promenade on Portsea, there is normally always a little more action on Hayling island, which is why the amusement park is opened much more often than the bigger Clarence Pier. With a view to the Solent, the strait between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight, and the nearby station of the Hayling Seaside Railway, there is the parking lot of the Funland Amusement Park. Interestingly, this parking lot was free this time, otherwise, one gets some ride tokens as equivalent value. So it’s generally not a bad deal to park your car at this place, especially since it paid for the ride on the new roller coaster Runaway Mine Train last time.

Runaway Mine Train

This mouse from L&T Systems came from the Gulliver’s Warrington amusement park and can now be ridden without a child (to the park entrance). The decoration in turn came from the former Pinfari Looper Klondike Gold Mine, which now makes its rounds as a transportable installation in Ireland. For the audience it was an extremely fair exchange, although the ride through the gold mine was really good and thematically suited better to the log flume next door or seemed a little rounder in the overall package. Either way, the Runaway Mine Train is a really great addition.

Neptune’s Fury

The Woody’s Children’s Roller Coaster was replaced this year by the slick Tilt-a-Whirl Neptune’s Fury. It complements the typical English rides with flying colours, but with American accents. Interestingly, the valleys are more pronounced with a Tilt-a-Whirl in comparison to a Waltzer, which provides a good spin right from the start! But unfortunately, the ride lacks the possibility to lock the gondola towards the end of the ride, so getting off the ride requires some attention.


The Extreme Miami, the Twister Cyclone and an enclosed bumper car complete the aforementioned portfolio. The small park also convinces with its selection of rides for children. Above all, the nicely designed children’s roller coaster Super Dragon Roller Coaster or Funlandasaurus, which now makes its rounds in an extremely well-designed children’s area – for this purpose the surrounding rides were given a dinosaur theme last year.

The SBNO Drop Tower

In general, one wonders why the park does so badly with the some enthusiasts – especially since the park still has an ace up its sleeve. The Funland Amusement Park has – at the moment without a gondola and therefore unfortunately SBNO – a great freefall tower made by Intamin. Without a great braking distance, it was a real pleasure to fall down; a drop pleasure par excellence, as one can normally only find it on the Meteor in the Hirakata Park or the Lanzandera in the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Either way, the tower structure is still standing, the carrier is still attached, so there is still hope for an early return (editor’s note: the tower was removed from the park for the 2018 season).

Pictures Funland Amusement Park


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