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 Review of Superman: Ultimate Flight @ Six Flags Great America
1 Rating Posted by: STWoodBlur on 2/19/2009 5:57:00 PM
Fear. Adrenaline. Flight. These are the top three words to describe the sensations experienced on this ride. Six Flags Great America's 4th Bolliger and Mabillard coaster, this is also their first flying coaster, and by far one of their best. The experience all begins in the Mardi Gras section of the park where a sign saying "Superman: Ultimate Flight" on a Victorian-style building beckons potential riders to the long and winding line. While neither the ride or plot line have anything to do with New Orleans, it fits right in like a puzzle piece. However, after strolling under that brightly-colored sign, we leave every ounce of Louisiana behind. As we walk by the life-size cardboard cutouts of Superman's allies and his enemies, we feel the wind from the trains rushing overhead, and watch the riders screaming their heads off. We can see the train's wind blow the grass back as it heads over the restricted area. We want to go on it. We head down the long and winding path to the glassy, space-age station bearing the bright Superman logo, and we brace ourselves for what is coming: Superman: Ultimate Flight is about to leave the ground. Boarding in the station is pretty complicated: You pull down a massive upper-body restraint that covers your entire chest and a lap bar from below you that rises up between your legs and meets the upper-body restraint at your waist. Finally, the operator presses a button and two leg restraints go across your feet to keep them in place. At last, all the restraining is finished and we are ready to fly! With two swift motions and anxiety boiling inside our stomachs, the floor lowers and the seats are raised into a flying position. Parallel to the ground. Going up the lift hill is nerve-wracking. You have nothing to do but to watch the ground beneath you get farther and farther away and think about what catastrophe would happen if the state-of-the-art restraints and safety technology would fail and send you hurtling toward your instant doom. And then it happens. The drop is amazing. An outerly-banked curve drop makes you feel as if you have sprouted wings and are flying away. However, that's not Ultimate Flight at its craziest. Immediately after, the trains all rise and dive straight down. 90 degrees down. This, my friends, is one of the world's first pretzel-loops, and definitely the most intense section of the coaster. Screaming my voicebox out when I rode this, the scariest part is when it levels out at the bottom and you can see nothing but the sky and the track below you as you blaze down the track and back up again in a completely vertical loop back up to flying position. What follows is a series of over-banked curves that is very hard to describe, but two words come to mind :"HOLY CRAP!". These two words are quoted to describe the flying sensation in this section of the ride, and finally the ride has a grand finale of a complete barrel-roll, and then, sadly, it's all over. After strolling down under the entire structure you are offered an opportunity to buy a photo of yourself from a camera mounted at the bottom of the pretzel loop. But there is no way we need something to bring back memories of this roller coaster. We can re-live the amazing sensation in our minds. The screaming of the vertical-dive into the pretzel loop, the barrel-roll, and the terror-striking lift hill we can all replay in our minds. Yes friends, this coaster is one that, after riding, nobody will soon forget.
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