Six Flags Magic Mountain has released further details of its new and updated rollercoasters for 2011, which will see it reclaim the "coaster capital of the world" crown from rival Cedar Point.
A leaked video had already revealed that the park plans to open three new "rollercoaster experiences" in 2011, including the all-new Green Lantern coaster, an updated version of its existing Superman: The Escape attraction and a family coaster that will be relocated from another Six Flags park. Six Flags Magic Mountain has now confirmed this through an official press release, revealing a few previously unknown details in the process.
The press release does not include confirmed opening dates for any of the rollercoasters, but is more specific than the leaked announcement. The Green Lantern is expected to open in Spring 2011, to coincide with the release of a movie based on the DC comic (which debuts on June 17, 2011). Superman: Escape from Krypton is listed as opening in both "early" and "spring" 2011, suggesting that it could open prior to The Green Lantern. No timeframe is given for the opening of the new family coaster, other than that it will open some time in 2011.
The press release also discusses the locations of the 2011 rollercoasters, revealing that the Green Lantern will be located in a "newly themed section" of the park and not in the Gotham City Backlot as previously reported. The family coaster will be located next to Bugs Bunny Land, and not close to the Déjà Vu boomerang coaster as originally planned for the 2010 season.
The arrival of the new coasters will coincide with the Six Flags Magic Mountain's 40th anniversary season, and will give it a total roster of eighteen rollercoasters compared to Cedar Point's seventeen. Only one of the three coasters will be entirely new, with one being an update to an existing ride and the other being a relocated attraction from another Six Flags park. Nevertheless, the opening of the rides will require a significant investment from Six Flags in its flagship park.
Image © Six Flags
The first of the coasters shown in the video is Superman: Escape from Krypton, formerly known as Superman: The Escape. Six Flags Magic Mountain closed the ride in July 2010, promising that it would reopen in spring 2011. The video confirms that it will undergo a similar transformation to the Tower of Terror II coaster at Australia's Dreamworld, with the cars being switched so that riders face in the opposite direction to the current set-up.
Superman: Escape from Krypton will see guests blasted using an electromagnetic launch system at speeds of 100mph up to a maximum height of 328 feet, before plummeting back down into the station below. Currently, riders face forwards on the Intamin-built coaster, meaning that they have a view of the sky as they are fired towards it. In the updated ride, they will instead start facing backwards before seeing the ground rapidly recede away from them. It will then rush back towards them as they drop back down into the station, experiencing weightlessness both on the launch and on the fall.
Bonnie Rabjohn, Park President of Six Flags Magic Mountain, said of the updated coaster: "Since it opened in 1995, Superman: The Escape has been one of the most popular thrill rides on the planet. With the redesign of the cars and turning them backwards, Superman: Escape from Krypton will take even the most daring riders on a journey to a unique and unchartered dimension of extreme that only Six Flags Magic Mountain can deliver.”
Image © Six Flags
The all-new coaster for 2010 will be named The Green Lantern, sharing the moniker with a planned attraction at Six Flags Great Adventure. It will be the first Intamin ZacSpin rollercoaster in the US, and will be an identical clone of the Insane rollercoaster at Sweden's Gröna Lund Tivoli.
As seen in the video, the seats on the Green Lantern's trains are suspended outside the track and can rotate independently. Half of the guests face forwards and half backwards, with their positions changing during the ride. The amount of rotation and swinging of the vehicles is dependent on the train's load distribution, meaning that the ride experience is never predictable.
As with the planned coaster at Great Adventure, Six Flags Magic Mountain's Green Lantern will be themed around the DC Comics' strip of the same name. The comic tells the tale of a group of intergalactic police officers, and is the subject of a major motion picture set for release on June 17, 2011 starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The park is likely to carry out significant cross-promotional activity around the movie when the coaster opens next spring.
Six Flags' President, Chairman and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson boasts of the new coaster: “The Green Lantern coaster is a tremendous addition and brings a new dimension of excitement to the park’s already remarkable coaster collection. In addition, we’re fortunate to be able to partner with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment to bring together two powerhouse brands.”
The final rollercoaster to be added to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2011 will be a Vekoma Junior Coaster, which was originally due to open at the park in 2010. The ride has been relocated from the closed Six Flags New Orleans park, and will reach a top speed of 21mph during a 679-feet-long circuit. It was originally due to be themed as Mr Six's DanceCoaster in a tribute to the elderly character featured in Six Flags' advertising campaigns, but is now due to receive an as-yet-unrevealed new theme.
Cedar Point and Six Flags Magic Mountain have tussled over the title of "most rollercoasters in a park" for many years. The Cedar Fair park plans to add a new attraction in 2011, but it will be a Mondial WindSeeker flat ride rather than a rollercoaster.
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