The Dark Knight Coaster
The entrance and show building of the ride at Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure
Park sectionMovie Town
Coordinates40°08′12″N 74°26′34″W / 40.1366°N 74.4429°W / 40.1366; -74.4429
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 15, 2008 (2008-05-15)
CostUS$7,500,000
ReplacedMovietown Water Effect
Batman and Robin: The Chiller
Six Flags Great America
Park sectionOrleans Place
Coordinates42°22′15″N 87°56′00″W / 42.3708°N 87.9333°W / 42.3708; -87.9333
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 21, 2008 (2008-05-21)
CostUS$7,500,000
ReplacedTheater Royale
Six Flags México
Park sectionPueblo Vaquero
Coordinates19°17′36″N 99°12′39″W / 19.2933°N 99.2107°W / 19.2933; -99.2107
StatusOperating
Opening dateMarch 9, 2009 (2009-03-09)
General statistics
TypeSteel – Wild Mouse – Enclosed
ManufacturerMack Rides
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelWild Mouse (compact mobile, rev. 2)
Track layoutWild Mouse
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height45 ft (14 m)
Length1,213 ft (370 m)
Speed30 mph (48 km/h)
Inversions0
Duration2:00
Height restriction42 in (107 cm)
Trains8 trains with a single car. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 4 riders per train.
=
Flash Pass available at all three Six Flags parks.
The Dark Knight Coaster at RCDB
Pictures of The Dark Knight Coaster at RCDB

The Dark Knight Coaster is the name of three enclosed steel roller coasters located at Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags México. They opened in 2008 and 2009, timed closely to the theatrical release of The Dark Knight.[1][2] All three installations were manufactured by Mack Rides.

History

Six Flags Great Adventure

At Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, Batman & Robin: The Chiller and Movietown Water Effect were removed to make way for the construction of The Dark Knight.[3] The roller coaster primarily occupies the previous location of the Movietown Water Effect, with the queue area placed in front of the building.[citation needed] Original plans called for the demolition of the Batman & Robin: The Chiller station and observatory but were later excluded from demolition plans.[citation needed] The exit was originally slated to go through the present Justice League gift shop adjacent to the ride, but this turned out not to be the case.[citation needed] On May 15, 2008, The Dark Knight officially opened to the public.[4]

Six Flags Great America

At Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, the building housing Theater Royale was extensively modified and themed as a Gotham City Rail terminal in preparation for The Dark Knight.[5] The new ride officially opened to the public on May 21, 2008.[6]

Six Flags New England and Six Flags México

In February 2008, construction on the ride had started at Six Flags New England before all of the necessary construction permits were in order, leading building inspector Dominic Urbinati to issue a stop-work order. Without the proper construction documents, according to Urbinati, there was no way he could ensure the project met state building and safety codes. In March, the park was still faced with having to seek a new set of permits after several changes were made to the plans previously approved by city boards. Park management still hoped to open The Dark Knight Coaster by Memorial Day weekend, but still faced hurdles from the town of Agawam due to changes in design from the original plans. The Planning Board and the Conservation Commission later approved the proposed changes, such as a 10-foot (3.0 m) shift in the building's footprint to meet state fire safety codes, but the plans were rejected by the Zoning Board, which had previously granted a special permit for changes in height to the original plans. References to the ride were later removed from the Six Flags New England website. In April 2008, it was announced that construction on The Dark Knight Coaster had been cancelled, and that the coaster itself would be sent to another park in the future.[7] The coaster was removed from the park and relocated to Six Flags México in Mexico City, Mexico, where it opened during the 2009 season.[8][9] It has been operating at that location since March 19, 2009.[9] Gotham City Gauntlet: Escape from Arkham Asylum took over the area at Six Flags New England in 2011.[10]

Theme

The Dark Knight Coaster is inspired by the 2008 film The Dark Knight. Costing $7.5 million, the ride is an indoor Wild Mouse coaster that puts guests through the premise of being stalked by the Joker. It is considered a family ride rather than a thrill ride.

Summary

The entrance of the ride at Six Flags Great America.
The entrance of the ride at Six Flags Great America.

Pre-show

After an outdoor, lightly themed queue area, riders enter a pre-show room where they view a TV broadcast of a press conference hosted by Gotham City district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). One of the reporters asks about the Joker cards found at recent crime scenes. Almost immediately, The Joker himself hijacks the TV broadcast and his messages (such as "HA HA!") appear all over the walls of the room. Guests then enter the secondary queue area, which features a TV screen in which guests can see themselves. The two guests closest to the camera have joker masks digitally superimposed over their faces.

Ride

At the loading station, the cars normally move through continuously. Guests unload at the rear of the platform, after which guests from the queue immediately load. Unlike almost all the other coasters in the park, there are no gates on the loading platform. Lapbars are locked and checked as the car approaches the front of the platform, then it proceeds onto the lift. The ride itself consists of several sharp hairpin turns and sudden drops, accented by various eerily lit Gotham City buildings placed alongside the track. The ride layout is a standard Wild Mouse roller coaster layout.

See also

References

  1. ^ Six Flags Great Adventure. "Six Flags Great Adventure Announces 'The Dark Knight' Themed Coaster for 2008 Season". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  2. ^ Six Flags. "Six Flags Releases New Elements of 'The Dark Knight' Coaster". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  3. ^ Marden, Duane. "Batman And Robin: The Chiller  (Six Flags Great Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  4. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dark Knight  (Six Flags Great Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Construction Photos: Six Flags Great America". Six Flags. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  6. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dark Knight  (Six Flags Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Six Flags: No Dark Knight coaster in 2008". News Article. MassLive.com. April 15, 2008.
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dark Knight  (Six Flags New England)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Dark Knight  (Six Flags Mexico)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Gotham City Gauntlet Escape from Arkham Asylum  (Six Flags New England)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 26 November 2011.