Six Flags has confirmed that the Houdini's Great Escape attraction will return for the 2010 summer season at Six Flags Great Adventure.
The Vekoma Mad House ride has been closed since the 2009 Halloween Fright Fest event. According official Six Flags blog, it will be open from the Memorial Day weekend (May 29) through Labor Day (September 6) and could also open for the 2010 Fright Fest event.
The return of Houdini's Great Escape follows complaints on a recent Six Flags "fan call" that Great Adventure is lacking in flat rides. According to the official Six Flags blog, CEO Mark Shapiro stepped in to ensure the ride's reopening after listening to fans' feedback - and has also called on the park's management to look at the addition of further flat rides.
Another issue raised on the call was the lack of theming currently present in many Six Flags parks. In constrast, Houdini's Great Escape is a themed experience throughout. Housed inside a mock Victorian mansion, it includes an elaborate pre-show and has previously featured costumed actors to help add to the atmosphere.
Once inside the ride itself, guests are seated on benches on either side of a room - with a disembodied Houdini then "locking them in" with a lap bar. As with all Mad House attractions, a combination of the movement of the platform holding the benches and the rotation of the room itself creates the illusion that riders are being spun upside down (in reality, the seats never pitch by more than 30 degrees).
Opened in 1999, Houdini's Great Escape is likely to require some refurbishment to prepare for it reopening, with some of the theming elements missing after extended periods of downtime over the last 2 years. According to Six Flags, Great's Adventure's Congo Rapids ride could also be due for refurbishment in order to reintroduce special effects that have been removed over the last few years.