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The Flight Deck (previously named Top Gun) is Canada's Wonderland's offering of a Vekoma SLC coaster, often referred to as a hang and bang, and for very good reason. The inverted concept is interesting, and having the track overhead, with your legs and feet dangling freely is a great concept, and serves the lift-hill, and first drop nicely. The unfortunate part is, after the first drop, the ride experience deteriorates immediately, and that fun inverted track concept, actually serves to make the inversions, and transitional elements very aggressive and to some riders, even painful. I found most of the ride disorientating, and unpleasant.
If you are really interested in riding this coaster, I found it to be slightly less unpleasant at night. It is crucial that you keep your head firmly against the headrest, which does prove to be difficult at times, as this coaster has a strong tendency to rattle, bang, and jutter riders as it runs its course. Keeping your head back will help minimize the harsh features of this ride. One of the positive elements of Flight Deck, is the efforts put into the theme. It is one of the more elaborately themed coasters in the park, and the efforts to make the line interesting is worth mentioning. Unfortunately, the quality of the ride experience isn't on par with the quality of the theme work. The lines are surprisingly long, and likely a divestment for day pass holders. With all the great rides, and attractions that Wonderland offers, it is my opinion that time is probably better spent on another ride. I know a few people that are fond of this coaster, so taking that into account,I will try to be objective, and give it a cautious 3 out of five. Personally, I feel a 2.5 would be more appropriate.
Have you ever wanted to fly a fighter jet? As a kid I often had dreams of executing daring barrel rolls and death-defying dives, so its not a shock that I am such an avid roller coaster enthusiast. Well, Canada’s Wonderland’s Flight Deck is a Vekoma SLC that appears to contain several maneuvers that a fighter pilot would seemingly execute as it has sweeping dives, barrel rolls, and sudden twists and turns. However, Flick Deck does not at all simulate flying a fighter jet, but rather it simulates a violent plane wreck. Sadly, saying that it simulates a violent plane wreck does not do this ride justice, as this is by far the most painful and worst roller coaster that I have ever ridden.
Vekoma SLCs are often some of the most condemned roller coasters out there by the roller coaster community. Affectionately called Vekoma “hang and bangs,” SLCs are criticized for their incredibly rough and painful rides. Prior to visiting Canada’s Wonderland, I had only ever been on two Mind Erasers- one at Six Flags New England and one at Darien Lake. Now I actually find the one at Six Flags New England to be relatively smooth when riding in a brace position, and while the one at Darien Lake wasn’t all that good, it at least did not consist of constant head-banging from start to finish. If you just asked what roller coaster has constant head-banging from start to finish, look no further than Flight Wreck (I refuse to call it Flight Deck for the rest of this review).
Previously called Top Gun when owned by Paramount Parks, Flight Wreck is located adjacent to the main entrance. As a result, this was the first ride I hit during my visit to Canada’s Wonderland. Prior to visiting Canada’s Wonderland, I had always heard nightmarish reports about how awful the queue times were for all of their rides. I was fortunate enough to visit Canada’s Wonderland on an off-day this past summer. Despite this, I still waited too long for Flight Wreck, as I waited 20 minutes. While the line was basically empty, incredibly slow loading was the primary culprit for my wait, so I could see this having an incredibly long line on a busy day.
Honestly, the ride’s appearance is the only thing going for it. With a very cool looking sign, Flight Wreck appears to have kept almost all of the theming that it had during its days as Top Gun. While making my way through the line, there were several army trucks and airplanes. Also, there even was a spinning satellite and a very cool looking control tower. Now onto the ride itself…gulp.
The ride began with my favorite part- the lift hill. Actually, I can’t say that for sure since I though the brake run was incredible as well, but anyway, after cresting the top of the lift hill I was treated to 45 seconds of sheer torture. The first drop set the tone for Flight Wreck, as the entire train was already jostling the whole way down, and simultaneously my head whacked the poorly-padded restraint repeatedly. In rapid fire succession, Flight Wreck then executed the roll-over, sidewinder, and double inline twist elements. While the ride definitely possesses an action-packed layout, my head got plenty of exercise. It would whack the left side of the restraint; then it would whack the right side. But there was variety- sometimes my head would whack the right side first. Regardless, Flight Wreck was just a disaster.
Following the five inversions, Flight Wreck loses a ton of speed. At the time I was hoping that the final few drops would be relatively smooth, but I could not have been more wrong. Even while being taken at literally 10-15 MPH, there was still a ton of headbanging. Then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel- the brake run. I was eager to reach the brakes for the first time ever on a roller coaster. With a deep sigh of relief, the carnage ended.
Congrats Flight Wreck! You have claimed the infamous spot as the worst roller coaster I have been on from a now defunct roller coaster that operated at Enchanted Forest, a small Rhode Island kiddie park that closed in 2004. From start to finish Flight Wreck was an absolute disaster that did not at all simulate flying a fighter jet. I will admit that it simulated crashing a fighter jet fairly well; however, I think some of the headbanging was a bit too excessive at times. As I wrap up this sarcasm-filled review, I leave you with one of the best pieces of advise that you will ever hear- avoid this roller coaster at all costs!
Times Ridden: 1
Favorite Seat: Youtube
Best Part: Queue Line
When I first rode this I was a chicken and the most thrilling coaster I had even been on was Dragon Fire. I was totally shaking when I got in my seat, and I was almost going to chicken out when the Top Gun theme started playing. Just when I thought it couldn'.t get any freakier, the train lurched into movement. I was panicking all the way up that lift hill. Then it dropped. Withing a second the ground was everywhere, the sky was spinning, and my insides seemed to be caught in a tornado. Then it was over. I rode it again four times that day.
A poor SLC, but not quite as bad as SFA'.s or SFNE'.s Mind Erasers...if that matters
I actually liked the themeing, and the themeing at Wonderland overall seemed a little less ".riped to shreads". than the themeing did at the other two x-Paramount parks I'.ve been to.
Flight Deck Top Gun is definitely one of the worst SLCs out there. From the poor attempt of theming to the medocrity known as a SLC, Flight Deck just isnt all that good. There was tons of headbanging throughout on this one, but the inline twist actually was pretty smooth on this one so at least that was enjoyable. Im planning on heading here this summer, and I really doubt I will be up for experiencing the pain this ride can dish out. To sum this ride up, it felt like a fighter jet that was shot in mid air and experienced a massive crash landing.
This was just your garden variety SLC. The theming certainly added to the ride, but the ride itself was pretty bad. This one was quite rough throughout, but the double inline twist seemed pretty good on this one. Lines for this one were a nightmare though.
I am stunned this SLC has an above 7 average. APPEARANCE-3 The ride is done in boring colors and 50% or more of the theming is gone or closed off. CAPACITY-3 One of the two longest lines of the day. I waited way too long for this credit run. Very slow ops. RIDE QUALITY-2 They are all just varying degrees of sucking and this was no different. FUN-3 This is what annoys me is I always have some fun because my wife and I make comments the whole time like we are talking to the ride. Saying things like" give it to me Bi#$% is that all you got" and things to that nature so they are always funny. RERIDE-1 NO CHANCE. I dont even reride this on versions that are better let alone this pile of poo. I got the credit it is time to move on. OVERALL-12 AVG-2.4. It gets the 2 because it is one of the worst.
It is quite a fast coaster, but the fast speed coupled with the over the shoulder restraints creates a rough hang and bang experience. The lines are usually long for this one and I would definitely advise riding at the front to reduce roughness. It has some good tight aerial type manoevers that bump up the rating to a 6.
Top Gun was an amazing Vekoma SLC! It was themed excellently with the Army truck as a Food stand outside and the airplane, spinning satellite, pictures of the movies and the control tower. And the ride itself was pretty good too! Of course it was very bumpy and rattled my head but just simply keeping my head back and to one side did just fine for me. The ride is actually very intense with 5 inversions including a double in line twist, a rollover and a side winder all of which are very intense. The two tracks actually touch each other on the double in-line twist which was very scary. Overall the ride is very intense, very thrilling pretty bumpy and had a fairly long line with some awesome theming...an 8.
Top Gun is a steel sit down roller coaster (Inverted). It was built by Vekoma in 1995. It has 5 inversions.It is 105' tall, 2,172' long. It is fun, rerideable, it has a large capacity, and a long duration. The inversions were terrific and the theming was great.It has a batwing, 1/2 boomerang helix, and several 0-g-rolls at the end of the ride. Its a must ride for any enthusiast.
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