From Medusa to Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure: The World’s First Floorless Roller Coaster Takes a Bizarre Twist
Back when new CEO Mark Shapiro took over Six Flags he was interviewed at Six Flags Over Georgia. He pointed at the brand new 20-story hyper coaster Goliath and stated “No more of those.” Now, after 2008′s X2 at Magic Mountainand this year’s Bizarro-themed roller coasters we know that the new Six Flags strategy is moving the company away from huge, expensive thrill rides and towards roller coaster makeovers.
Medusa opened in 1999 as the World’s first floorless roller coaster. On Medusa’s open trains riders are basically seated in a chair (with restraints) with their feet dangling above the track. Now, the transformed seven-looping monster sports what Six Flags calls a “multi-sensory ride experience with all-new thematics and innovative, state-of-the-art visual, audio and sensory effects launching it into another dimension of thrills and excitement.” While that all sounds good, let’s take a closer look at the new elements of Six Flags Great Adventure’s Bizarro.
To help introduce Bizarro, a lesser known super villain, comic-book style signage can be found throughout the queue. Right off the initial 120′ drop, the train is sent speeding through Bizarro’s “freeze vision cool zone”. There are a number of shield-shaped archways that douse the riders with a mist. Following the large vertical loop, the dive loop has been spiced up with a set of flame throwers. These babies look like they could easily be felt by the riders speeding by. Next, the train traverses the popular zero-g roll and then a cobra roll over the ride’s entrance path.
Bizarro finishes with the train spiraling over the misting “Auger of Doom”, a spike-shaped cylinder placed in the center of the interlocking corkscrews. It looks to give a pretty head chopper effect, but I can’t imagine that it’s actually all that close to the trains. Six Flags doesn’t need another suit on their hands.
Coasterer on ThemeParkReview didn’t hate the new Bizarro coaster, but he said that the new elements were ‘unnecessary.’ He liked that the ten year old roller coaster got some love with a new paint job and theming, but he didn’t feel that the effects really added that much to the overall ride. He also went on to share his views on the on-board sound system:
“I wasn’t the biggest fan of the on-board sound system however. I thought the yelling and explosions and stuff you heard going up the lift hill were unnecessary, and to be honest, nobody in our group even noticed that there was a soundtrack over the course of the ride, while it was in motion. And then, on the brakerun, the Bizarro chants were a little much too. Also, with the noise, it is impossible to carry on conversation with your friends and those you ride with.” - Coasterer on ThemeParkReview
Medusa, I mean Bizarro, has been a great ride for years. It doesn’t sound like the makeover hurt the ride, but it doesn’t sound like it improved it a whole lot either. Check out this POV video of Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure: