|Batman: The Ride|
|Type||Steel – Inverted|
|Manufacturer||Bolliger & Mabillard|
|Model||Inverted Coaster – Batman|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Capacity||1280–1400 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.|
|Height||100 or 105 ft (30 or 32 m)|
|Length||2,693 or 2,700 ft (821 or 823 m)|
|Speed||50 mph (80 km/h)|
Flash Pass available
Batman: The Ride is an inverted roller coaster based on the DC Comics character Batman and found at seven Six Flags theme parks in the United States. Built by consulting engineers Bolliger & Mabillard, it rises to a height of between 100 and 105 feet (30 and 32 m) and reaches top speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h). The original roller coaster at Six Flags Great America was partially devised by the park's general manager Jim Wintrode. Batman: The Ride was the world's first inverted roller coaster when it opened in 1992, and has since been awarded Coaster Landmark status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. Clones of the ride exist at amusement parks around the world.
The concept of an inverted roller coaster with inversions was developed by Jim Wintrode, the general manager of Six Flags Great America, in the early 1990s. To develop the idea for the park, Wintrode worked with Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard – from Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard – and engineer Robert Mampe. The ride soft opened to the public on May 2, 1992, with an official opening one week later on May 9. Although the full cost of the ride was never disclosed, it was the single biggest investment made by Six Flags Great America on one attraction.
After the ride's huge success, then-parent company Time Warner devised an expansion plan to install clones of the original at the rest of the US parks throughout the rest of the 1990s. These parks included Great Adventure, Magic Mountain, St. Louis, Over Georgia and Over Texas.
In mid-1992, Six Flags Great Adventure announced that Batman: The Ride would be added to the park. In order to build the ride, Lightnin' Loops would have to be removed. Batman: The Ride would open to the public on May 1, 1993.
On August 4, 1993, it was announced that Batman: The Ride would be coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain. The ride would open on March 26, 1994.
On September 7, 1994, Six Flags St. Louis announced that they would be receiving Batman: The Ride for the 1995 season. It would be located towards the front of the park in the Studio Backlot section. Batman: The Ride would give its first rides on April 22, 1995. It was the first one to be mirrored and have a different queue line.
In late 1996, Six Flags Over Georgia announced that Batman: The Ride would be opening in 1997 as part of a new Gotham City section, the park's ninth themed area covering 8.6 acres (3.5 ha) of land. The ride would become the park's largest capital investment in 30 years. The ride opened for the first time on May 3, 1997.
Six Flags Over Texas began teasing the attraction at the end of summer 1998. On November 4, 1998, the park revealed more details about the new attraction. It would be a new inverted coaster named Batman: The Ride. The ride would be located towards the back of the park next to Mr. Freeze. This would create a new Gotham City section. Batman: The Ride made its debut on May 26, 1999. Unlike the other locations, the one at Six Flags Over Texas has a different station. Instead of being Gotham Public Works, the station is Wayne Foundation Industrial Park.
Since the original Batman film series was ongoing, the Six Flags St. Louis installation opened to coincide with 1995's Batman Forever and the Six Flags Over Georgia version opened to coincide with 1997's Batman & Robin.
In 2002, La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec, Canada opened a mirror clone of the ride under the name Le Vampire (The Vampire). As La Ronde is not a branded Six Flags park, the licensing agreement with Warner Bros. and DC Comics for the name Batman: The Ride is not valid. The La Ronde ride was expected to become Batman: The Ride when the park was scheduled to be converted to a Six Flags-branded park in the mid-2000s, however, these changes were never initiated. That same year, Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid also opened a clone under the name Batman: La Fuga (Batman: The Escape).
The final installation of Batman: The Ride was at Six Flags New Orleans in 2003, having been relocated from the Japanese amusement park Thrill Valley, where it operated as Gambit from 1995 to 2002. In 2005, the effects of Hurricane Katrina caused Six Flags to abandon its New Orleans park, and after standing unused for two years, the ride there was relocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where it was refurbished and repainted. The ride reopened as Goliath on April 18, 2008.
From 2013-15, the Batman: The Ride coasters at five locations operated backwards at different times throughout the three years. On February 1, 2018, it was announced that the St. Louis location would run backwards for the first half of the 2018 season.
|Six Flags Great America||Yankee Harbor||May 9, 1992||Operating|||
|Six Flags Great Adventure||Movie Town||May 1, 1993||Operating|||
|Six Flags Magic Mountain||DC Universe||March 26, 1994||Operating|||
|Six Flags St. Louis||Studio Backlot||April 22, 1995||Operating|||
|Six Flags Over Georgia||Gotham City||May 3, 1997||Operating|||
|Six Flags Over Texas||May 26, 1999||Operating|||
|Six Flags New Orleans||DC Comics Super Hero Adventures||April 12, 2003||Relocated[a]|||
The original installation of the ride at Six Flags Great America features a maximum height of 100 feet (30 m), while the installations to follow reached 105 feet (32 m). Each installation of Batman: The Ride has a track length of approximately 2,700 feet (820 m). The rides reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) and exert up to four times the force of gravity. There are five inversions, which are two vertical loops, a zero-g roll and two corkscrews.
Batman: The Ride clones operate with two steel and fiberglass trains, each containing eight cars. Each car seats four riders in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
The ride's original layout was specifically designed to fit in the Yankee Harbor themed area at Six Flags Great America, on the space previously occupied by Tidal Wave. The layout for each successive attraction is either identical or a mirror image of the original.
While some later Batman: The Ride clones opened with dark blue track and supports, the originals were all black. Over the years there have been modifications in Batman: The Ride color schemes, with more incorporating yellows, blues and purples. The original ride at Six Flags Great America retained the original black color scheme until 2004, when the track was painted yellow and supports dark purple. Six Flags Great Adventure's originally featured a black color scheme with yellow rails until 2004, when the track was repainted yellow. For the 2010 season, the clone at Six Flags Magic Mountain was repainted medium blue with black supports. As of 2019, the only installation of Batman: The Ride to retain its all-black color scheme is Six Flags St. Louis.
The decorative theme of Batman: The Ride attempts to capture the spirit of the fictional Gotham City for those queuing to board the ride. As the queue moves through Gotham City Park, the theme transitions from bright and peaceful, to dark and ominous. Modeled after Nigel Phelps' award-winning art direction on the 1989 film Batman, the atmosphere indicates a crime-ridden and dirty environment, with discarded pieces of equipment, crumbling concrete, and in some versions, a Gotham City Police Department car riddled with bullet holes. After the outside queue, guests enter the ride structure through an entrance themed after an access to a storm drain. The ride passenger loading area is modeled after Batman's Batcave and features a replica of the Batsuit from the 1989 film.
Batman: The Ride begins with the track floor in the station descending. The train moves out of the station and up a chain lift hill. At the top of the hill, the train dips down through a Bolliger & Mabillard pre-drop, coasts down a 190-degree swoop to the left and drops into the first vertical loop. It then flips through a Heartline Spin (zero-G roll), followed by another vertical loop. The train then travels upward around a tight spiral to the left, then through a wider turn to the right, drops slightly and quickly turns through the first corkscrew (referred to as a "flatspin" by the manufacturer). Following this is a tight right turn and another flatspin, then a tight left turnaround before the train enters the final brake run.
See also: Incidents at Six Flags parks
On May 26, 2002, a 58-year-old park employee working in the roller coaster's restricted area at Six Flags Over Georgia was killed after being struck in the head by the dangling leg of a 14-year-old girl riding in the front. The girl was hospitalized with a leg injury.
On June 28, 2008, a 17-year-old South Carolina teenager was decapitated after being struck by the Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. The teen, who was on a trip to the park with his church's youth group, scaled two fences with a friend into a restricted area and walked into the ride's path. Although witnesses stated he was trying to retrieve his hat, a Cobb County police spokesman reported the teens were attempting to take a shortcut into the park.
Batman: The Ride has generally received positive reviews. The Dallas Morning News stated the ride "is proof that new thrills on the cutting edge of technology generate excitement". They also praise the theme of the "smooth-riding coaster" stating "the mysterious crime-fighter is a proven crowd-pleaser". American Coaster Enthusiasts have also praised the ride, awarding it Coaster Landmark status in 2005. They describe the ride as a "revolutionary design" which offers "unprecedented intensity, while maintaining remarkable smoothness, comfort, and pacing". Ultimate Rollercoaster describes Batman: The Ride as "the ride of your life". They state "the sensation created by an inverted coaster is very different from that of traditional roller coasters. It is a sensation that every coaster fan must experience".
In Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards for Best Steel Roller Coasters, Batman: The Ride ranked in the late 1990s before dropping off the poll and returning once in 2005. The original installation at Six Flags Great America was ranked 23 and 25 in 1998 and 1999, before returning in 2005 at position 45. In 1998, the Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags St. Louis installations ranked 19 and 21, respectively.