Six Flags' Coasters

Rather than take the Championship thread way off topic, and since I’m kinda bored, here’s an aside regarding Six Flags Astroworld’s roller coasters.

(I think it’s okay that we have interests besides robotics, right? Is it okay if those interests are equally as important?)

**
Serial Thriller = Mind Eraser (Six Flags-Darien Lake) which is faster and longer & Top Gun at Canada’s Wonderland.
Batman the Escape™ = Mantis (Cedar Point)
Viper = Viper (Six Flags-Darien Lake) which is taller and longer with more loops
Texas Cyclone = Predator (Six Flags-Darien Lake) taller
Greezed Lightnin’™ = The Ranger anyone?
Mayan Mindbender =Skull Mt. (Six Flags-Great Adventure)
Ultra Twister = Viper (Six Flags-Great Adventure) Longer and Faster
Dungeon Drop = Drop Zone (Paramounts Canada Wonderland) which is 23 stories
XLR-8 = Vortex (Paramounts Canada Wonderland) faster
The Serpent = Practically anyone who has been to a “mini-theme park” like Martin’s Fantasy Island has been on one of these.
**

This isn’t entirely accurate. There are some key differences between some the rides your comparing.

{b]Serial Thriller is a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC). The SLC is the third most popular type of roller coaster in the world. It is a ‘catalog model’ in that each one is exactly alike. there are only two ‘custom’ SLC’s on the planet. One, Jubilee Odyssey, is in England. The second is exactly like every other SLC, except that it’s a newer generation model and features an additional helix at the end.

SLCs can be found at (among other places) Astroworld, Six Flags Marine World, Six Flags Darien Lake, Canada’s Wonderland, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, Six Flags New England, et al. Each SLC is exactly alike. Six Flags’ marketing department often quotes incorrect statistics.

Batman: The Escape is an Intamin first-generation stand-up roller coaster. It was formerly located at both Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Magic Mountain as Shockwave. There is only one other exact clone of this ride in North America - Le Cobra at Six Flags La Ronde in Montreal, Canada. Mantis at Cedar Point, along with Riddler’s Revenge and Chang (the largest stand-up coasters in the world) were designed by Bolliger and Mabillard of Swizterland. Their designs look similar because Bolliger and Mabillard worked with Intamin on many of their projects. Mantis, Riddler’s Revenge and Chang are each unique coasters.

Viper is a portable Schwarzkopf Looping Star model. It was formerly located at Six Flags St. Louis as the Sky Screamer. It was also a ‘catalog’ model, however there are few remaining in operating condition. The only other I can think of is Scorpion at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. These rides are exactly alike.

Viper is similar to other rides named Viper at Six Flags parks in name only. Viper at Six Flags Darien Lake was designed by Arrow Dynamics of Utah, was the first roller coaster in the world with five inversions, and is considerably larger. Similarly, Viper at Six Flags Great Adventure was a prototype coaster that never went into large scale production. The only other similar type of coaster ever built was the Manhattan Express at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. There are many other roller coasters named Viper in Six Flags parks across the globe.

Texas Cyclone was built in the early 1990’s as part of a wood coaster boom spurred on by Charles Dinn. Along with this pseudo-clone of the Coney Island Cyclone (its larger than the original), similar rides were also built at Six Flags over Georgia (as the Georgia Cyclone) and Six Flags Magic Mountain (as Psyclone).

Predator at Six Flags Darien Lake was also designed by Charles Dinn, but their layouts share very, very little in common. Predator happens to be one of the worst roller coasters I’ve ever ridden.

Greezed Lightnin’ is a flywheel-launch Scwarzkopf shuttle loop coaster. These are amazing rides, and there are very, very few of them operating. These include Turbine at Six Flags Holland, Montezooma’s Revenge at Knott’s Berry Farm, Tidal Wave at Paramount’s Great America, and Viper, soon to be rebuilt at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

I’m not sure what you mean by the Ranger. The only thing that comes to mind is a Huss Ranger, which is a rare flat ride. It goes upside down repeatedly in a loop. The Schwarzkopf shuttle loops aren’t terribly similar.

Maybe you could clarify?

Mayan Mindbender was manufactured by Vekoma. Skull Mountain is an Intamin-designed ride. Otherwise, they’re similar. :slight_smile:

Ultra-Twister is a Togo Heartline prototype from 1985. It is a shuttle coaster whereas Togo’s later prototype (Great Adventure’s Viper - 1995) is a full-circuit coaster. Ultra-Twister formerly resided on the spot that Viper at Great Adventure currently occupies. Its lift hill was modified from the 90 degree version that Japanese versions of this coaster have to meet fire codes and facilitate an evacuation.

Dungeon Drop is an Intamin second generation freefall. Aside from being taller, most other rides are similar. Newer models, called Gyrodrops, feature a round platform of seats that rotates. Six Flags over Georgia’s Acrophobia allows riders to stand.

XLR-8 was the first successful Arrow Suspended coaster, predating Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Big Bad Wolf by only a few weeks. I’m not quite sure why this ride is so tame as compared to the Big Bad Wolf. I suspect it’s because it followed the Bat, an ambitious design installed at Paramount’s Kings Island. The Bat lasted only a few years before tearing itself apart. Vortex occupies its station and plot of land.

The Serpent is an Arrow Dynamics mini-mine train and is historically significant as the only remaining one of these in the world. It was designed for children.

So - while Astroworld does have some historically significant rides, there is little that is unique. For FIRST students, this probably isn’t that big of a deal. For roller coaster enthusiasts, it’s a bit disappointing.

Again, as I think the post I quoted illustrates, most people can’t really tell the difference between the rides. Only someone like me, with too much free time and an insatiable desire for thrill rides really knows. But, there are some distinctions that should be made, maybe.

Still, there’s your little lesson on the history of Astroworld’s roller coasters.

Just to add some comments

I really want to try the Ultra-Twister type of coster. Not that it’s new or anything, I’ve never seen one in person nor have been one one.

Second, B&M has a totally differnt track design as Arrow and Mantis is also very differnt in layout and such.

Yes it is ok to have a hobby/obsession with Coasters like me :slight_smile:

BTW, GO CEDAR POINT!!

Just as a random comment, the Ultra Twister is pretty cool. It’s not really the heartline sprialling that’s cool, so much as the near vertical first drop. Man but that’s scary.

*Originally posted by Kevin Sevcik *
**Just as a random comment, the Ultra Twister is pretty cool. It’s not really the heartline sprialling that’s cool, so much as the near vertical first drop. Man but that’s scary. **

Now this is a great ride.

I love the launch (0-82.5 in 1.8 secs!!!) and it has a vertical assent, top hat with lots of air, then a vertical decent.

But there is also…

http://www.coasterforce.com/images2/xcelerator1.jpg

being added to Cedar Point, a very good ride too, but didn’t get a chance to ride when I went to Disneyland over the summer.

My favorite coaster in my admittedly limited coaster experience: Poltergeist at Six Flags: Fiesta Texas. It’s a LIM launched coaster that shoots you into this wonderfully twisted knot of steel:

Poltergeist

Sorry, The site doesnt like direct linking