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Ride Profile: Deja Vu

By on 08/18/2011

Ride Type: Roller Coaster
Manufacturer: Vekoma
Model/Style: Giant Inverted Boomerang
Year Built: 2001

When the announcement was made that Deja Vu was going to be relocated from Six Flags Magic Mountain to Six Flags New England, I figured I had better profile Deja Vu before it was too late. Deja Vu was a Giant Inverted Boomerang (GIB) shuttle roller coaster manufactured by Vekoma Rides Manufacturing. It was developed as a larger and more intense version of their extremely popular Boomerang roller coaster that can be found in parks all over the world. Six Flags bought four GIBs from Vekoma back in 2001; three for their U.S. parks and one for their park in Spain. Deja Vu was located in Cyclone Bay, in the very back of Magic Mountain, and opened to the public on August 25, 2001.

After all three U.S. coasters were installed, it became obvious that the ride had serious design flaws. For example, riders could easily touch the track above as the coaster was in motion. Improvements were made over time, but Six Flags eventually broke off relations with Vekoma over the fiasco and started to get rid of their GIBs. This one that was known as Deja Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and now Goliath at Six Flags New England, is the only GIB that Six Flags still owns, and one of only two GIBs left in the U.S.. The other one is a former Six Flags GIB that was sold to a park in Idaho.

The roller coaster stood 191 feet tall with a drop of 177 feet. There were a total of six inversions, three traveling each direction. Two were part of a 110 foot cobra roll and one is a 102 foot vertical loop. The coaster was 1,204 feet long, reached a top speed of 65 MPH, and pulled 4.5 G’s. The entire ride lasted about 1:30 minutes. Being a shuttle coaster, there was only one train. The train consisted of eight cars, with four seats across, for a total of 32 passengers. The outside seats were slightly tucked in behind the inside seats, making a chevron or ‘v’ pattern. The ride had a stated throughput of 870 people per hour, but that’s assuming a perfectly tuned coaster and an efficient staff. I’m not sure that this particular installation came anywhere near that volume. The restraints were very problematic and it took a long time to get everyone secure between dispatches.

This was a really fun coaster when it was running. As I mentioned above, this coaster was prone to frequent maintenance, much of it being unscheduled. It provided a very unique experience that could not be found on another ride in the park. Many people loved this coaster and were sad to see it go. However, given the frequent breakdowns and the low capacity, I think it was a wise decision to move it to a lower volume park that has an off-season where there is time to give it the TLC it needs each year.

The following is a picture of the ride as seen from the Sky Tower. One of the biggest differences between a GIB and a typical boomerang are the two completely vertical spikes that give it twice the height and a very unique look:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

This was the entrance sign. There was no specific theming other than a nice blue and green paint job. The name Deja Vu is appropriate since the ride is experienced twice; once going forward and once going backwards:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

When you first entered the queuing area, there were some extra switchbacks to the left that were no longer used, as they dead ended into a construction wall:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

The regular queue line was fairly attractive. It had nice paint, landscaping, and lots of shade. You can see the main loading area just off to the right:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

As seen from the exit side, the loading station was located just under the vertical loop. Another big difference between a GIB and a boomerang is that a GIB, as the name implies, is an inverted coaster. That means that the train hangs from the track instead of sitting on top of it:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

Once dispatched, a special ‘catch car’ and cable system pulled the train backwards, up to the top of the first tower, with the riders looking straight down. Once released, gravity took over. You can just make out the cables and pulleys hanging on the towers:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

Once dropped from the tower, the train screamed through the loading station, underneath the vertical loop, and up into the cobra roll:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

This is the train as it made its way up the outside of the cobra roll:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

This is the train coming out of the cobra roll:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

One of the initial problems with this coaster was that it would often times ‘valley’ in the cobra roll. In other words, the train would have enough momentum to make it into the cobra roll, but not enough to get out. It would settle in the low part, or valley, of the cobra roll. In order to safely extract the riders when that would happen, they ended up building a platform underneath this section of track. You can see the platform in the above and below pictures. It was not part of the original design:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

I love this shot. It looks like the back seat has broken off of the train:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

As the train exited the cobra roll, it picked up speed as the track crossed over the top of the loading station, preparing to enter the vertical loop:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

Up and over the vertical loop:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

After the vertical loop, the train headed up the second tower where it was smoothly caught by another catch car and pulled up to the top. Once in position, the train was dropped and traversed the entire track backwards. Once it got back to the first tower, the catch car caught the train and gently lowered it back into the loading station. You can see the transition from the vertical loop into the second tower here:

Ride Profile: Deja Vu

I’m really going to miss this ride. My only hope is that Six Flags Magic Mountain replaces it with something bigger, faster, taller, and much more extreme! In the mean time, if you absolutely need to get a GIB fix, just head on over to Six Flags New England. It’s got a brand new train and is now known as Goliath.

You can see my complete Deja Vu photo gallery here.

23 Comments

  1. Bryan

    08/18/2011 at 8:45 pm

    Great write-up and love the pictures, as always.

    Just went to SFNE this summer, it’s a cute park but for a coaster enthusiast’s interests it simply doesn’t compare to SFGA. It’s basically Bizarro and the seven dwarfs, so Deja Vu would be a massive addition to that park and for that fanbase.

    As a SFMM loyalist like yourself, I’d prefer Deja Vu to stay, it’s been a quality addition when it was open for the past decade. But I can understand the move and am glad the New England residents will finally get a big boy coaster to pair with Bizarro.

  2. Ryan O

    08/18/2011 at 10:14 pm

    I stinkin’ LOVE this ride. It’s a ride that still thrills me every time I ride it–it never gets old. I’ll be devastated when it leaves and will never forget it.

  3. JIMMY TOVAR

    08/19/2011 at 5:48 am

    So is it official? SSMM is actually relocating it and losing it’s roller coaster crown?

    • admin

      08/19/2011 at 6:57 am

      We know for sure that SFNE is getting a GIB. And we know for sure that SFMM has the only GIB left in the Six Flags portfolio. And we can be reasonably sure that Six Flags would never buy another GIB. Therefore, when you add it all up, it’s pretty safe to assume that the GIB at SFMM will be moving to SFNE. The official announcement from Six Flags will be made on September 1st.

    • admin

      08/19/2011 at 6:59 am

      As far as the coaster crown goes, we don’t know that they are losing that for sure. If they replace Deja Vu with another coaster, which is highly likely, and Cedar Point doesn’t add a new coaster next year, then SFMM will retain the crown.

      • JIMMY

        08/19/2011 at 12:43 pm

        That is such an awesome. No other experience like it. I hope this is just a bad dream and I’ll be waking up soon.
        Thank you coaster guy.

  4. Ryan

    08/19/2011 at 10:16 am

    With Deja Vu leaving and the space where Mr. Six coaster was going to go in. This is all of a sudden prime real estate for a large new project….

  5. Justin

    08/23/2011 at 10:02 am

    Like everyone is saying, this ride is still awesome and gives me the willies every time. Will be sad it’s gone. Hope a replacement is coming!

    • Michael

      11/10/2012 at 10:46 am

      Don’t worry. Six Flags builds awesome coasters each year. I went for the first time in like 7 or 8 years and loved it. I am only 14 so the last time I went was when I was like 5 and couldn’t ride any of the rides. I was happy I was finally able to ride the rides. Green Lantern always breaks down too. First ride when I entered the park I rode was X2 and I ran to that ride. Only about 10 minute wait. Ride the ride get off and leave. Now, the wait was across the bridge and probably and hour and a half to two hours. That happened within 10 mins. Wait went from 10 mins to 2 hours. CRAZY!!!! But, one good ride may be gone but six flags is breaking world records trust me they won’t stop. (they might have to have their own world record book for themselves if they keep going at this rate)

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  14. Jamal

    08/19/2012 at 2:48 am

    Love this ride! I rode this ride in two parks! The first time was in California’s Great America (At the time they had the ride the park was called Paramont’s Great America) located in Santa Clara,CA, which is near where I live Modesto,CA. They’re currently building the 49ers new stadium right next to the park! Don’t know how that’s going to work during the football season when you want to get to the park though, it will probably take forever to get there on Sundays when the 49ers play! Anyways, they called the ride Invertigo. I’m sad to say that even though the ride was GREAT, it was always breaking down! Don’t know why they could never fix the problems with the ride. Invertigo was removed Oct. 31, 2010. They moved the ride to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown,PA, which opened the ride April 28, 2012. Now called Stinger. The second time was at MM, sorry to see this ride leave CA ūüôĀ Hope they’re able to design a ride like it again, minus all the breakdowns!!!

    • Kurt

      08/19/2012 at 5:39 am

      It sounds like Six Flags New England is starting to feel some of that pain now, as the ride often goes down unexpectedly.

  15. Michael

    11/10/2012 at 10:40 am

    I saw this on google maps and was wondering what it was. I went to Magic Mountain in June of 2012 and didn’t think anything about it. Kinda stinks, I never go to ride it. And I am not paying the money to fly out to Six flags New England and then pay admission to ride it. Besides, Six Flags Magic Mountain is fun. The worst part though when I went. Superman was closed because of Lex Luthor Drop of Doom (which was not completed) and I really wanted to ride it. But, it opened literally like 4 days after I went. Bad timing for me. Can’t wait to go again.

  16. Kevin

    07/05/2014 at 12:11 pm

    I see red roller coaster tracks in picture 7 or 6 were they for flashback, psyclone, or etc

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