This coaster ushered in a revolution; before the coaster wars were about inversions. Magnum showed a new way forward. Higher, fastest, smoother versions of classic out and back wood coasters. Critics doubted the success of the coaster, but people were blown away; it dominated the top coaster charts for years. It is still one of the most picturesque coasters; racing along the beaches of Lake Erie, it’s a ride you ride over and over again.
This twisted, convoluted, and dizzying coaster is as disorienting as it looks. After launching riders 0-60mph, they travel through the “spaghetti bowl” inverting 5 times. The coaster was popular but, got bad marks for its hand-banging restraints. In the mid-2000s the over-the-head restraints were replaced with leg restraints that made this a far more enjoyable ride.
While mine trains were nothing new, Disney took the genre to another level with this wild ride. Along with Space Mountain, Big Thunder was conceived as a way to show wasn’t all “Dumbo” and castles. It, and it’s 3 similar siblings, are still the benchmark for all future mine train coasters. The ride passes a flooded town, Animatronic animals, and weaves in and out of a nearly 20 story rock facade while going 35 mph.
The Raging Bull is an incredible sight; looming over the Illinois mega-park, it is still a headliner 11 years later. This was one of Bolliger and Mabillard’s first megacoasters. Both Raging Bull and Apollo’s Chariot were lauded for their “tray table” restraints and elevated riding position. Raging Bull was also notable for being the first “hyper-twister” with a twisted dog-leg course.
This terrain coaster delivers an out-of-control run through the woods and remains a favorite of many more than decade after it opened. Unique because of the fact that it dives in and out of 3 water slides and the park’s log flume, the ride finishes with a homage the famed Beast (a partly covered helix)
This ride was the cause of a lawsuit. Six Flags Over Georgia is owned by 120 limited partners, when Time Warner owned the rest of the Six Flags parks it only managed this park. The owners wanted a major ride to attract the millions of visitors that would be in Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics; instead of the signature Batman coaster that was being added to other parks in the chain, the park got a used 1980s era shuttle coaster at a very steep price. The following year the partners sued Time Warner for neglect and overcharging, damages in excess of $600 million were awarded. This Batman coaster was added a year after the Olympics.
This coaster was the prototype model of Zamperla’s Volare model; Six Flags (the former operator) has always been known for taking a chance and going for innovative coasters and “firsts”. However a bevy of maintenance issues closed the coaster in 2010. The coaster was particularly rough, but its tight “wild mouse”-like course gave a much different experience from Vekoma and B&M’s soaring models.
Along with Vekoma’s Boomerang (which Elitch Gardens also has a copy of), this model became a little too popular with more than 30 models with essentially the same layout. Its compact design, reasonable price, and action packed layout with 5 inversions appealed to small and medium size parks looking to attract more teens. Unfortunately the not-so-smooth transitions and harder than rocks restraints make this coaster the ban of coaster enthusiasts everywhere. It still draws crowds though; I waited for 45 minutes last Wednesday at 12:00.
This coaster gets no respect; overshadowed by its famous brother Bizarro, which opened the same year under an identical name, and an identical twin in Upstate New York also under the same name a year earlier. this coaster is great in its own right though. After a 200’ drop the coaster make a wide, g-filled banked turn into a giant airtime hill, then into a intense helix and off for more airtime. Still one of my favorites.