After months of anticipation, the Green Lantern: First Flight roller coaster was finally revealed during a press event today at Six Flags Magic Mountain. This is Magic Mountain’s 18th roller coaster, allowing it to recapture the title of Roller Coaster Capital of the World. No other theme park in the world has as many roller coasters than Six Flags Magic Mountain. As you can see in the following photos, they put on a great event today to welcome it into the family.
Yup…looks like I’m in the right place:
We parked next to the employee parking lot on the far side of the park. We were then led down a service access road, behind Scream and next to the maintenance buildings. We entered the park through an access gate in front of Colossus and walked up to the plaza in front of the arch. The entire arch and entry to the area had been blocked by giant curtains in Superman’s colors: red, blue, and yellow. Unfortunately, they were more like giant sails catching the wind and the employees had a hard time keeping them closed:
After a dramatic announcement to build anticipation, the curtains were pulled back and the finished arch was revealed, along with some well known DC Comics characters:
The new arch looks absolutely stunning and is a complete departure from the dark and drab treatment it got as part of the Gotham City Backlot. The vibrant colors, the 3-D elements, and the representation of the DC Comics themselves really lets you know that you are now entering the DC Universe. We then followed the superheros to the Green Lantern ride where the podium had been setup and was waiting:
Bonnie Rabjohn, the Park President of both Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor, got up and said a few words about the park, the ride, and the people that worked hard to make it happen:
Bonnie then introduced the head writer and Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics, Geoff Johns, who is very involved with writing for Superman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. Johns said how pleased he was with the new Green Lantern roller coaster, and DC Universe in general, saying that everything in the area was relevant and true to the DC Universe:
The next guest of honor was the man himself, the Green Lantern. With a little help from the audience (Mr. Lantern forgot a couple of the words), everyone recited the Green Lantern oath to “power up” the ride. With a burst of fireworks, the first official car was sent up the lift hill:
As the car traversed the track, confetti rained down on the crowd:
We were then all invited to experience the ride ourselves. Fortunately, I was right in front and was one of the first people in. After I rounded the switchbacks and was about to enter the building, I looked back at the entrance and saw this:
I took this picture at the gate, as the next person in line. They were running four cars in total; one being loaded, one being unloaded, one stacked, and one on the track. Each car holds eight people; two facing forward and two facing backwards, mirrored on both sides of the track. They were only loading us on this side of the car, as I believe the other side was being used for camera mounts for POV filming. The girls on the far car had just been loaded and were being cleared for launch. The car in the foreground had just been unloaded at the same time and will be advanced to the loading position for me to get on as the next car moves in to be unloaded. You will notice the green plastic arm guards on the outside seat. This is where I sat and it really wasn’t an issue for me. There is literally only a matter of inches of clearance between the car and the roof of the queue house as the car descends down the final drop. Without the arm guards, there would no doubt be some pretty serious injuries, so I’m glad they are there. It does not detract from the ride at all. The third car is sitting in the stacked position just behind the metal wall on the right of this shot:
It was a very intense ride, as I had never experienced a ZacSpin coaster before. Me and the guy next to me were probably twice the size of the kids behind us, so we were leaning forward in our seats even as we were sitting still. We were looking almost straight down as we were ascending the lift hill. That made for some pretty intense spinning action as we navigated the track. While I really like the style of these over-the-shoulder restraints, I found them to be very hard. Because we were leaning forward so much, our bodies were constantly being thrust forward and into the harnesses, especially on the drops. I only rode once and the front part of my shoulders are still mildly sore several hours later. However, I really liked the ride and look forward to riding it over and over again.
Here is a shot of the lift hill right as it exits the queue house. The ride does seem quite a bit bigger as you get up close and personal with it:
Green Lantern is a ZacSpin roller coaster, designed by Imtamin AG, and it is the only one of its kind in the United States. It’s considered a 4th dimensional coaster, but unlike its cousin X2, also a 4th dimensional coaster on the other side of the park, these cars rotate freely. Gravity and the distribution of the rider’s weight will cause a different rotation pattern on almost every single ride. You really never know what you’re going to get:
It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Southern California. You couldn’t ask for better weather than this when launching a new roller coaster. OK, I guess it could have been a bit cooler, but I’m not complaining:
Check out all those brakes on the final drop back into the loading station. Look how close the track is to the roof opening, and then imagine the how far the cars stick out each side of the track. I wasn’t kidding when I said there was mere inches clearance. After our ride, we were sitting in the stacked position for quite awhile and all of a sudden the fourth car dropped in from above. We were facing backwards and it scared the crap out of me. Fortunately, the ride was designed to hold all four cars in the loading station so we were obviously fine:
The park has a total of five cars for this ride and I just happened to notice the fifth one sitting on a rack just underneath the loading station. No arm guards…..yet:
You would never know that this was once Lecter’s Slaughterhouse. They have done an absolutely fantastic job on the theming of this ride;
This is the giant Green Lantern in the front of the ride:
The queue entrance is themed to Ferris Aircraft, very well known in the Green Lantern world:
In addition to the well planned theming, the landscaping around the area is absolutely gorgeous. This is what you get to look at as you’re waiting in line:
Here’s the main queuing area before you get to the queue house. TV and shade, not too bad. Let’s hope the misters don’t leak like a sieve:
When I lived up in the Mojave Desert, not far from Edward’s Air Force Base, a “plane on a stick” was a common sight. Here is a miniature version of Hal’s fighter jet:
While the entire DC Universe was opened up today, this post only covered Green Lantern. I took way too many pictures to include them all in one post. Please check back tomorrow for another post with all of the other changes in the new DC Universe.