Six Flags America |
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August 17, 2001
August 2001 was filled with a few firsts. My first big concert the night before seeing my icon, Janet Jackson. My first trip to D.C. without my parents. My first trip to Six Flags America. The concert was on Thursday, August 16 and on Friday we decided to go to Six Flags America for a day at the park. This was my second trip to a Six Flags park, and I wasn’t really expecting much since my visit to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Il wasn’t up to my expectations. Six Flags America, however, was quite better than I had expected, though they could’ve used a fresh coat of paint on quite a few rides and some renovation of the older buildings, not to mention more landscaping and shade.
We woke up around 9 AM and headed to the park from our motel room in D.C. Six Flags wasn’t very far from where we were staying out by the beltway. After our trip to D.C. proper the day before, in which we spent over 4 hours lost, I half expected us not to find Six Flags but it turned out to be very easy and we were there in short order. After paying to get in Jamaal and I went to get in line for Two Face, the park’s Vekoma Invertigo Coaster. I had always wanted to ride one.
Two Face: The Flip Side- The park wasn’t really crowded so we didn’t have a long wait in line. I used to always try and ride coasters in the front row and this one was no exception. Though most of the seats have front/back facing seats, we opted for the front. This ride looks much tamer than it actually was. After being pulled up the first back spike, we were released to go thru the circuit, fly thru the station and into a cobra roll, then into a vertical loop and up the second spike. After getting to the top of the second spike you do it all again…backwards. It was a lot of fun.
After getting off of Two Face we headed over to the park’s newer wooden coaster, Roar! I had always thought it looked like a lot of fun with it’s extreme twisted track. This would be my first Great Coasters International coaster.
Roar!-This was probably my favorite ride in the park, and the only one we rode twice since Jamaal liked it too. Roar is a wooden twister with some great drops, good airtime, and an all out fun ride. This definitely ranked as one of my favorite wooden coasters at that point. And it was my first GCI coaster!
Getting off of Roar we sat down for a bit to rest and eat before we headed to the Gotham City section of the park. Six Flags America’s new ride for 2001 was Batwing, a Vekoma Flying Dutchman Coaster, in which the rider is facing the ground when in the train in a flying position. Batwing was in the back of Gotham City and wasn’t up and running that yet for the day, so we headed for the LIM launched Joker’s Jinx blast coaster.
Joker’s Jinx-This was my first launch coaster. The train launches out of the station at about 60mph and in to a cobra roll. This is called a “spaghetti bowl” coaster, as its track resembles a large, jumbled mess. My only problem was the restraint system, which has since been changed, but Joker’s Jinx was great with a nicely themed station that looked like a fun house.
Next we sat and watched the Batman Stunt Show Spectacular. I had always seen this advertised in Six Flags commercials, and had really wanted to see it when I was younger, but it just didn’t have the same effect when I was watching it at 20 years old. Not that it was bad, it was just mainly for kids. After the nice rest in the Batman amphitheater we went to ride Superman: Ride of Steel. This was my first time on an Intamin Hypercoaster and I fell in love!
Superman: Ride of Steel-This coaster has a 200+ foot first drop, which is amazing! The line was a bit long, but not unbearable and as with Two Face, Roar, and Joker’s Jinx we got to ride in the front once again. This coaster has great airtime, a nice layout, and is just an overall fun coaster. The hills provided plenty of airtime, and I especially liked the non-inverting corkscrew hill towards the end.
While we were in line for Superman we noticed that they had finally opened up Batwing, so we decided to ride it next since it was close to the exit. Batwing had the longest wait time in the park, no surpass since it was the newest coaster and this was a Friday. The design is supposed to allow for two trains and a dual loading station, with the seats reclining as u go up the hill, but Vekoma had yet to get this working, and so the wait was even longer than normal at about 2 hours. Batwing was the only coaster in the park that we didn’t get to ride in the front, since there is no line for the front car because of the aforementioned station and loading problems, so we had to sit in the second row.
Batwing-Batwing was an experience. It would be better if I didn’t have to take my glasses off; I was blind for the duration of the ride. You maneuver thru an incredible vertical loop, horseshoe curves, inline twists, and a helix. There is no themeing, but it was worth the trip just for the chance to ride on a new type of coaster.
We headed over to the western themed area next to eat and ride the next to last adult coaster in the park, Vekoma’s suspended looping coaster, Mind Eraser. There wasn’t a long line for this one so we got our seats in the front again.
Mind Eraser-Though it was kind of rough, I like inverted coasters and Mind Eraser was no exception. After the first hill, there is a sea serpent inversion that was awesome. The trees around the coaster are great, and it’s just a fast, furious, fun ride. It could have used some paint, however.
We headed back to the center of the park to ride the Tower of Doom, an Intamin Freefall machine and then got in line for the other woody, and the parks oldest coaster, Wild One.
Wild One-I wasn’t expecting much from this Wooden Out and Back, but Wild One packs a punch! It goes almost the whole length of the park and back, with a good bit of airtime. Wild One was definitely the surprise of the pack.
After that, we road the Shooting Star, another flat ride and headed back for a second dose of Roar. There were plenty of flat rides that we missed in the park but it was time to head to Jamaal’s aunt’s house in Falls Church, VA. Overall, Six Flags America has made me re-evaluate my first impression of Six Flags parks.