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What Does A Full Throttle Rollback Feel Like?

By on June 25, 2013

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Logo

I experienced my very first Full Throttle rollback last night while at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and it was awesome! My son and I were there getting some more rides in on the brand new roller coaster. After waiting patiently for our turn, we just happened to end up on the very last train of the night, and that’s when we got lucky.

As luck would have it, we ended up on the very last train of the night, and it was not full. We were sitting in the very back row and there were only about three or four other riders on the train with us; two directly in front of us and another one or two in the very front of the train. I have enough rides on Full Throttle now that I know how smooth the launch is. As soon as the train took off, I felt it. There was a very slight hiccup, or stutter, as we flew down the track. My mind immediately processed it as one of the electromagnets not firing properly. However, we were still screaming down the track and up into the loop, so I thought that maybe I imagined it and dismissed it as nothing.

As we started to climb up and into the loop, we definitely started slowing more than normal. We got about three-quarters of the way into the loop, looking straight up into the sky, and our forward momentum just stopped cold. We all knew immediately that we were about to experience our first Full Throttle rollback. Yay!!

I know it only last for about a second, if that, but it felt like time had stopped and we were frozen on the track in a vertical position. That feeling quickly went away as soon as the coaster started to roll backwards. I got that weightless, butterflies-in-your-stomach, feeling like I was experiencing a brand new roller coaster that I had never been on before. It instantly reminded me of riding Superman: The Escape, before the conversion, when the cars were still facing forward and would free fall backwards down the tower.

As the train hit the launch magnets, but in the opposite direction, they brought us to a safe and controlled stop, as they were designed to do. They then reversed the launch magnets and slowly pulled us back into the station. Since there was nobody in the station, we got off the train on the loading side, and they sent that train back out empty to test it.

The train before us was still waiting on the transfer track. They brought it around and invited those who wanted another ride to fill in the empty seats. We then had a successful launch, with a full train, and it was yet another great ride on Full Throttle!

Although everyone would like every launch to be perfect, so as not to slow operations down, things like this do happen from time to time and safety precautions have been built into the ride for just such an occasion. We were never in any danger. I’m just thrilled to have experienced this unique event. It made for a great ride and a great story! Now…I wonder how I can get a Full Throttle rollback into the tunnel?

Have you experienced a Full Throttle rollback? If so, please tell us about it below.

25 Comments

  1. Zak

    06/25/2013 at 4:05 pm

    What’s interesting to me is that the operators can reset this without maintenance, unlike on Superman where it requires a lot more work.

    • James Z

      06/26/2013 at 1:24 am

      That’s technology for ya!

      I think it’s because on Full Throttle, the train just slowly returns to the station if it miss-fires. They empty the train then try and launch it empty. If it passes through the loop, the 2nd train comes into the station and all is well. Load those who rode the miss-fire, and launch it again. If the empty train rolls back a second time, I assume they would then have to call maintenance and a much longer downtime would ensue.

      On Superman when the ride shuts down, as we know, the car flies past the station into the permanent e-brakes behind the station. When it does that, the car is stuck back there until the riders are unloaded, and it is winched back into the station, requiring a bit more help when things don’t go as planned.

  2. Eric

    06/25/2013 at 4:31 pm

    I hope one day to get a ride on Half Throttle. That sounds as fun as the ride itself. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • S B

      07/11/2013 at 4:09 pm

      Upvote for 1/2.

  3. Roger

    06/25/2013 at 7:51 pm

    That would be cool to have a roll back on FT.

  4. josh

    06/25/2013 at 7:52 pm

    so in the event of a rollback, let’s say in the middle of the day you would get sent to the end of the line? No relaunch like kinda ka? That would not be cool after a significant wait.

    • Eric

      06/25/2013 at 8:01 pm

      I’m sure they would offer those on the rolled back train a chance to ride again without waiting. That would be the fair thing to do.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/25/2013 at 8:06 pm

      They’ve been sending them down the exit path and then up the Flash Pass entrance for the re-ride.

  5. josh

    06/25/2013 at 8:12 pm

    That’s cool

  6. Andrew

    06/25/2013 at 9:46 pm

    How long was the line last night?

  7. Looper

    06/25/2013 at 10:05 pm

    I think for sure I saw you there last night. Guess I should have stuck around longer but had to serve my time in the Funnel Cake Line as I got my priorities. It was total different feel being there at night (after 8pm) and weather was perfect and not blazing sun that is associated with SFMM.

    I think I’m going to grow a pair and try to ride FT, or is there something smaller I should start on like SEFK?

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/25/2013 at 10:30 pm

      Next time you see me, be sure to say hi! I love meeting readers of the site. If you need to get your nerve up to ride Full Throttle, try starting on Revolution. It’s also a looping coaster, but with a much smaller loop.

  8. Mike

    06/26/2013 at 8:37 am

    full throttle rollback compared to kingda ka rollback is much more minor. its not that big of a deal

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/26/2013 at 9:11 am

      A rollback on any ride is special because it’s experiencing the coaster in a way that it wasn’t designed for. Statistically, very few people will ever get to ride the coaster that way, so I think it’s pretty cool.

  9. Kent L.

    06/26/2013 at 11:05 am

    I went on full throttle Saturday and I went on the ride at night and got on the ride at like 9 o clock and when we launched, we got to the very top of the loop and we were upside down for like 5 seconds and then we rolled back and honestly it was awesome.

  10. M. Smith

    06/26/2013 at 1:11 pm

    Is it just me, or does it seem like Full Throttle goes kind of slow through the loop…the only thing that scares me the most is being stranded upside down, can that happen?

    I know its rare, but just a thought I always have about being stuck upside down for two+ hours or so.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/26/2013 at 3:01 pm

      Theoretically, yes it can happen. With just the right weight distribution and launch speed, the train could come to a rest at the very top of the inside loop, or the outside of the loop for that matter. It’s highly unlikely, but it could happen.

  11. Geo

    06/26/2013 at 4:52 pm

    I have not experienced a rollback… but I did witness a Full Throttle rollback yesterday! The train was not even close to making it around the loop. I’d say the back car was about half way through the loop.

    The best part was hearing people’s reactions in the line as it was rolling back. People thought something was wrong with the ride till I had to tell them it was normal and the ride is designed to safely get the train back into the station after a rollback. Haha people were freaking out.

  12. Tyler

    06/26/2013 at 5:09 pm

    Cool

  13. Amber

    06/28/2013 at 12:40 pm

    We were there on Monday 6/24 and early in the morning a train two cycles before us didn’t get enough speed to go over the top hat. It started to go up then rolled back into the tunnel. We were waiting about half an hour before they eventually had people walk off from the tunnel (I assume because they eventually launched it empty and the people were nowhere to be found). They were just sitting in the tunnel for about 20 minutes or so.

  14. Chris

    07/02/2013 at 4:37 pm

    Obviously this is a better scenario than a Psyclone Valley!

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/02/2013 at 4:54 pm

      It’s pretty much better than a valley on any traditional coaster. On Full Throttle, they can be back up and running within minutes. On any other coaster, it could be a day or more before they winch the stuck train out of the valley.

  15. Jonathan

    07/06/2013 at 1:18 pm

    Nice review!

    You use WordPress, right? I do too, and I would like to know how you made your posts into little snippets that could be clicked on instead of just having a blog with the full posts on the main page. Can you tell me?

  16. Angel

    08/12/2013 at 6:54 pm

    Full Throttle was closed all morning today, and it opened in the afternoon however its rolled back 3 times consecutively. One is rare but 3 in a row was a sight for me lol

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