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Superman Escape at Warner Bros. Movie World: Not Without its Faults
Warner Bros. Movie World’s Superman Escape roller coaster is an awesome experience. The coaster takes just two seconds to reach its top speed of 100km/h. However, theming and a general lack of planning meant that this roller coaster failed to reach its full potential.
Superman Escape was built by Intamin back in 2005. The roller coaster replaced the park’s aging Special Effects Tour. Positioned at the front of the park, it makes for an amazing sight; the park’s two tallest attractions (the Batwing Spaceshot [60m] and Superman Escape [40m]) towering over the entrance arch and Fountain of Fame. The roller coaster features two airtimes hills, a near-vertical drop, a headchopper effect (flying through the building) and, of course, the 0-100km/h launch. While that’s all well and good, the park failed to theme the ride up to standard with its other rides and attractions.
The park’s first mistake was with the theming on the outside of the attraction. While the “soundstage” look may suit a movie-themed attraction, a ride set inside of a busy subway system should have a corresponding exterior. Facades around the entrance to match a New York (or in this case, Metropolis) street would have made sense. Perhaps a grand station-style entrance to fit in with the queue line theme?
This brings up another major flaw; the queue line. While it’s not a bad queue, it is quite plain. For those who haven’t been on the ride, I’ll describe it to the best of my ability. Basically, you walk into a room (suddenly a soundstage becomes a train station?) and the queue is split up into large rows, which eventually lead up to a ramp and five doors (one door per carriage). The actual theming consists of a large “MRT” sign (Metropolis Rapid Transport), a few platform signs and three large painted-on billboards (a route map, cruise ship advertisement and a newspaper cover with two Superman-related articles), as well as five LCDs that display a safety video. Every now and then, an automatic announcement is made. While I struggle to recall exactly what is said, I do believe it goes something like this: “There has been a tremor in the main subway… we will keep you updated on the situation as we know more”.
However, the theming on the actual ride isn’t too bad. If it wasn’t for the see-through roof (yes, you can see the internal soundstage roofing) and no sound effects to match the “moving” wall panels, I would be content.
While most of this post points out the negatives, I must stress that Superman Escape is a good ride. In fact, if you leave out the theming downfalls, you could say that it’s a great ride. I have even been told that it is better than Knott’s Berry Farm’s Xcelerator roller coaster. With the theming defects in mind, I still believe that Superman Escape is the best roller coaster in Australia. Also, in an attempt to be witty, I would like to remind readers that the wording chosen for this title was intentional. After all, the ride is themed around an earthquake… Final Rating – 8.0 (Great)
Superman Escape is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for of its launch and height.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Superman Escape? Leave a comment below.