Mind Bender: A Classic Steel Roller Coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia
For some reason I think I’ve overlooked just how much fun Mind Bender is. Many die-hard coaster enthusiasts praise Anton Schwarzkopf-designed steel loopers, but here it really is more than just nostalgia for rides that are no longer made. In 2011, the 33 year old Mind Bender easily delivered some of the most fun rides I’d had all year.
Schwarzkopf Roller Coasters: Oldies But Goodies
One of the most notable things about Schwarzkopf coasters are the absence of over-the-shoulder restraints. These coasters have only lap bars even though they do invert. Other well-known coasters include Hersheypark’s Sooper Dooper Looper, Six Flags Over Texas’ Shock Wave (which was closed when I was there!), Scorpion at Busch Gardens Tampa, and the insanely intense MindBender at Galaxyland Amusement Park in Canada. They have an old-school feel that delivers an imperfect and more organic ride than say the modern B&M loopers. While they’re decades old, somehow they’re not only ride-able, they’re actually still fun.
Mind Bender sits in a partially wooded area in the Gotham City section of Six Flags Over Georgia. We boarded the small train cars, our lap bars went down, and we were off. The train was dispatched and up the lift hill we went. The train sounded like an antique car as it made odd sounds and slowly pushed us over the top. After literally creeping over the crest of the lift, the ride took a wide right turn and then dropped the train down the first drop. We found out that the old jalopy still had some life in her after all. The train screamed down the hill and right into a fun vertical loop. Unlike some of the slightly newer Arrow loopers I’ve ridden, the loops weren’t so intense. And, you could easily raise your hands without the should harnesses getting in the way.
Mind Bender: Terrain, Loops, & Airtime
The lift and first loop are in plain sight of the riders getting ready to board in the station. The rest of the ride is hidden pretty well by the park’s terrain. After the loop, the train flew through some trees and then rose up for a moment. Then we took a swooping 45-degree turn (marketed back in the day as another loop). It was banked pretty heavily and sent the train plummeting into a low lying area and right past a small waterfall. The element provided some surpising speed and the use of the terrain was awesome! The train climbed another hill and took a straight drop. Then it charged back up and provided some fun airtime as it crested.
Not done yet, Mind Bender took another right turn, and then dropped us down, even lower than before. We rocketed into the second vertical loop and immediately whizzed through a short tunnel. The train flew up and back into the Batman-themed corner of the park. The track flattened out and we entered the station brakes. It was amazing how much energy it had. It never felt like it might really run out of gas. Overall, Mind Bender’s pacing and layout is near perfect.
I’m glad that it made my Top 3 Old School Looping Roller Coasters, but I’ve still been sleeping on this ride. It’s got about everything you could ask for. Fun inversions, drops, at least one solid moment of airtime, cool use of the terrain, and surprises. What more could you ask for? Mind Bender’s been one of the toughest roller coasters for me to rate. I wavered between an 8.0 and an 8.5. Since I can’t identify any real negatives and also because I consider it a better overall roller coaster than most of the ride’s that I’ve given 8.0′s to, I’m going to go with an 8.5 for Mind Bender. Final Rating – 8.5 (Great Approaching Excellent)
Here’s an on-ride POV video of Mind Bender at Six Flags Over Georgia:
Mind Bender is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale. It has 1 thrill factor, it’s vertical loops. Mind Bender would probably be a great first looper for novice riders. Even though it’s an older roller coaster, it’s relatively smooth and not very intense.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Mind Bender at Six Flags Over Georgia? Do you agree with my rating? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Coaster Image.