The Joker
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
LocationSix Flags Discovery Kingdom
Park sectionDC Universe
Coordinates38°08′17″N 122°13′58″W / 38.13806°N 122.23278°W / 38.13806; -122.23278
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateMay 25, 2016 (2016-05-25)
Opening dateMay 29, 2016 (2016-05-29)
ReplacedRoar
General statistics
ManufacturerRocky Mountain Construction
DesignerAlan Schilke
ModelI-Box
Track layoutI-Box
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height100 ft (30 m)
Length3,200 ft (980 m)
Speed53 mph (85 km/h)
Inversions3
Duration2:00
Max vertical angle78°
Trains2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Must transfer from wheelchair
The Joker at RCDB
Pictures of The Joker at RCDB

The Joker is a steel roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. The ride opened on May 29, 2016, as a rebuild of former wooden roller coaster Roar, adding a new steel track on top of Roar's wooden support structure. This hybrid configuration was implemented by Rocky Mountain Construction and is themed to the Joker, a comic book character villain featured in DC Comics publications.[1][2] The original Roar roller coaster was constructed by Great Coasters International and opened in 1999.[3]

History

Roar was a roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom constructed by Great Coasters International. When it debuted on May 14, 1999, Roar was the park's first wooden roller coaster and one of its first rides overall during the transition of adding amusement park rides to the marine mammal park. The coaster featured a height of 94 feet (29 m), a first drop of 85 feet (26 m) and a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h).[4]

In July 2015, Six Flags announced plans to permanently close Roar on August 16, 2015.[5] On September 3, 2015, the park revealed plans to resurrect and convert Roar into a steel-tracked coaster called The Joker for the 2016 season.[6] Rocky Mountain Construction was contracted to perform the renovation using the company's patented I-Box steel track technology married to the existing wooden support structure.[6] The wood-steel hybrid was designed to incorporate three inversions, including a new element described as a "step-up under-flip inverted roll", and it also received new trains themed to the Joker comic book character.[1]

Based on the success of previous roller coaster conversions in its partnership with Rocky Mountain Construction, Six Flags anticipated that Roar would benefit from the overhaul and transition into The Joker.[7] Discovery Kingdom held a soft opening, a media preview event for The Joker, on May 25, 2016.[8] The roller coaster was well-received and opened for Memorial Day Weekend on May 29, 2016.[8][9]

Characteristics

Roar in 2009
Roar in 2009

The table below compares the original Roar, with the updated Joker ride. The original ride by the Great Coasters International was an approximately 94 feet (29 m) tall and the length of 3,291 feet (1,003 m). The refurbished ride by Rocky Mountain Construction features a steeper and taller coaster, thus achieving a faster speed.

Statistic Roar[10] The Joker[11]
Years 1999–2015 2016
Manufacturer Great Coasters International Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Mike Boodley Alan Schilke
Track Wood Steel
Height 94.6 ft or 28.8 m 100 ft or 30 m
Drop 85 ft or 26 m
Length 3,291 ft or 1,003 m 3,200 ft or 980 m
Speed 50 mph or 80 km/h 53 mph or 85 km/h
Inversions 0 3
Max vertical angle 45° 78°
Trains Great Coasters International Rocky Mountain Construction

Ride experience

The Joker's trains are themed to the character widely known in the Batman comics. Each train has six cars, each seating four people with two across in two rows, for a total capacity of 24 riders per train. As the train departs the station, it enters several small 'bunny hills' and turns, reminiscent of pre-lift elements on Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The train will then ascend up its first hill of 100 feet (30 m), followed by a curved drop at 78 degrees – re-profiled as a steeper drop from the original Roar coaster. It accelerates to a maximum speed of 53 mph (85 km/h) before entering the "step-up under-flip inverted roll" element.

After turning left out of the inversion, the train goes up a hill into a 180-degree stall featuring several head chopper beams. A wave turn element and several air time hills follow, along with an over-banked turn and two camel back hills. The track winds sharply through another over-banked turn before entering the final inversion, a barrel roll. Finally, the train undergoes another banked turn and airtime hill before reaching the final brake run and returning to the station.

References

  1. ^ a b MacDonald, Brady (September 3, 2015). "Six Flags unveils new attractions for every park in 2016". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Glidden, John (September 3, 2015). "'The Joker' roller coaster set to open next year". Vallejo Times Herald. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  3. ^ MacDonald, Brady (September 3, 2015). "Meet the latest contender for best new roller coaster of 2016". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Great Coasters International trains". Great Coasters International. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  5. ^ "Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to Silence Roar For Good". NewsPlusNotes.
  6. ^ a b MacDonald, Brady (September 3, 2015). "Meet the latest contender for best new roller coaster of 2016". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  7. ^ Miller, Keith (2013). "New Rides & Attractions 2013 - Wooden Coasters". Funworld Magazine. IAAPA. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Sestito, Maria (May 27, 2016). "The Joker doesn't disappoint roller coaster enthusiasts". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  9. ^ "The Maniacal, Twisted New Coaster, The Joker, Makes Its Highly-Anticipated Debut at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom". Six Flags. May 25, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roar". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Joker  (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 5, 2015.