Showing 1 - 10 of 13 posts found matching keyword: six flags

Six Flags, the United Airlines of theme parks, is getting an early start this year. It's still spring, and already they've got trouble. This time, the broken ride was the Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America leaving 24 riders stuck for 3 hours.

It seems like just last year that I was railing against Six Flag's themed rides that glorify a psychopathic serial mass murderer. My opinion hasn't changed. You mess with the Joker, you get murdered. Or stuck 100 feet in the air for hours, whichever comes first.

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Six Flags Over Georgia has blown the doors off entertainment by announcing their new ride for 2017, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis! Riders will get to help Batman and the Justice League chase down and defeat an animatronic Joker.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes it thusly:

"Riders will travel in six-passenger vehicles on a track through rooms in the 'Hall of Justice,' but the motion of the vehicle allows them to enter into a 3-D and even 4-D world."

To be clear, the park isn't in Flatland. Any rider who can ride this ride exists in a 3D world with length, width, and depth. I would think that anyone writing for a major metropolitan newspaper would know that. Clark Kent sure does. (As for a "4-D world," if you can't figure out what a 3D world is, I don't think I care to hear your theory of either spacetime or Euclidean geometry.)

To give credit to Six Flags, that statement wasn't in the original press release. The press release was much more interested in promoting the ride as "debuting one of the world’s best innovative and interactive attractions" for the park's 50th anniversary.

That's an interesting use of the word "debut." Identical versions of the ride are already operational at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Over Texas, with other copies planned for Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2017. What better way to celebrate 50 years in business than to providing the exact same shitty experience as you can get a half dozen other parks!

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News outlets reported earlier this week that Six Flag Great Adventure had to shut down its newest coaster after riders were stick for hours. Those riders should be glad that they only got stuck. They were lucky they weren't killed. But maybe that's what they wanted. After all, they were riding a coaster named for a mass murderer.

Six Flags, which has a contract with Warner Brothers to use Looney Tunes and DC Comics licensed properties, has a history of trouble on their Superman themed rides. But at least those rides are named for a hero. The ride that broke this week is named for Batman's nemesis, the Joker, a character with a reputation for killing his own henchmen because he thinks its funny.

Why would you name an amusement park ride after a mass murderer, fictional or otherwise? Despite what the Joker preaches, murder isn't fun! Would you willingly ride the Hannibal Lechter Transport or the Patrick Bateman HyperCoaster? What about riding the Ted Bundy Experience? Eating at the Jeffry Dahmer Cafe? Shopping at the Ed Gein Gift Shop? Would you let your kids?

Hey, Six Flags, just because a character appears in comic books doesn't make him kid friendly. Using a despicable character to build your brand just because he has "name recognition" is the worst kind of crass consumerism that American culture has to offer. If you care so little about context, perhaps you'd welcome having all television police procedurals refer to murder as a "code six flags." Hey, at least that would get your name in front of millions of viewers in prime time. That's all you really care about, right?

I certainly don't want roller coaster riders maimed or injured, but if you get on the Six Flags' Mass Murder Machine, you can't be surprised when it strands you to die in an uncomfortable position. You knew what it was when you got on it.

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I'm not the only one who hates Six Flags. Mother Nature seems to be holding a grudge, too. First Hurricane Katrina submerged Six Flags New Orleans, and now a forest has fallen on Six Flags Magic Mountain.

USA Today reports that "a branch" — later confirmed to be a whole tree — fell at Magic Mountain in California and derailed The Ninja on Monday. The Ninja is a suspended coaster, meaning that the cars are suspended below the tracks. The ride has been in operation since 1988, and I could find reports on only one other serious accident involving the coaster: a man was hospitalized in 2008 after ignoring security fences around the ride in an attempt to recover his hat. Six Flags can't be blamed for that kind of stupid (although it is the sort of crowd the park attracts).

Thankfully, no one was killed in this latest fiasco, but four were injured. The LA Times reports that two of those four riders are now suing the park for "neglect." I've been to Six Flags' parks, and I think they have a strong case.

The rides are subject to regular inspection under California state law, but how often is Six Flags doing any inspection of the surrounding trees? If they aren't paying anyone to pick up trash, how likely is it that they're paying to have the trees trimmed?

It's no secret that I have an axe to grind with Six Flags. Visiting Magic Mountain was the worst amusement park experience of my life (so long as I don't count that time my date flirted with every guy who wasn't me during a trip to Six Flags Over Georgia). But I have to give them credit for solving one of the world's greatest riddles. If a tree falls on a Ninja in the woods, it does indeed make quite a sound!

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Six Flags strikes again! A woman was killed yesterday at Six Flags Over Texas when the Texas Giant roller coaster restraint system failed. She fell up to 14 stories to her death. On the surface, that sounds terrible. But at least she doesn't have to spend any more time in a Six Flags park.

The Dallas Morning News reports that there was some question of whether the seat restraint had locked before the train left the station. Photos circulated of the doomed woman make her look on the large side, and most coasters aren't designed to accommodate someone the size of an average American in 2013. The ride operator was described as nonchalant about the possibility of malfunction, which could just as easily describe any employee at a Six Flags park.

It's been more than 20 years since I went to a Six Flags park that wasn't understaffed or under maintained. Generally, their employees act like they don't want to be there. That doesn't give visitors like me much reason to want to be there, either. If the people most familiar with a park aren't amused by it, what are guests going to think?

I've been discussing going to an amusement park with some old friends later this summer, and our cruise director has been trying to get us to go to Six Flags Great America in New Jersey. I have been resisting that plan, mainly because I want to have fun when I go to a park. It's hard enough to have fun in New Jersey. If you have to go that way, I don't recommend handicapping the experience further by going to Six Flags.

If there is any bright side to this story, it's that the Texas Giant coaster isn't Superman-themed. It's a refreshing change of pace for 2013 to hear that Superman is not killing people.

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Overheard on my local newscast: "I don't think Superman is going to want his name on this ride any longer." Oops, he did it again.

That comment was in reference to a malfunction on the brand new roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. An unlucky dozen riders were left stranded high on a twisted track for an hour this weekend. As you should be able to guess by now, the coaster in question is a Superman-themed coaster, the ironically-named Superman: Ultimate Flight.

Clearly, the newsreader was not a Wriphe.com visitor. As my well-informed readers already know, you should never, ever get on a Superman-themed thrill ride in a Six Flags park. At least this time, Superman didn't maim or kill anyone. You should count yourself lucky if you're mistreated by Superman and all you get is a little dehydrated.

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Those of you with long memories (and iron stomachs) will recall that back on June 22, 2007, I blogged about a 13 year-old girl who was made a paraplegic on a Superman ride at a Six Flags amusement park in Kentucky. Now a different Superman ride in New York has stepped up to finish the job.

One week ago today, a paraplegic Army Sergeant was thrown from the Ride of Steel roller coaster in Darian Lake Theme Park in New York state. The soldier, who had lost his legs in an explosion in the ongoing Iraq War, was thrown from the coaster when the lap bar restraint -- designed to fit securely over his non-existent thighs -- surprisingly failed to restrain him. When Iraqi insurgents are unable to kill someone, it sounds like a job for Superman!

According to published reports, the soldier's sister told reporters, "that minute he was on that ride, he probably felt the happiest and most normal he's felt in three-and-a-half years...." Of course, in the seconds afterwards, when he was thrown from the ride onto the track and struck by a steel coaster moving 50 MPH, he probably wished he was back in Iraq. With all due apologies to his family, it must have been a real roller coaster of emotion.

It will come as no surprise that in 1999 when the coaster was built, Darian Lake was a Six Flags park and the Ride of Steel was originally named Superman: The Ride of Steel. The park was sold in 2006, but that only proves that you can take the park away from Six Flags, but you can't take the Six Flags out of the park.

This isn't the first time that a Superman Ride of Steel coaster has killed. There were three such coasters built for Six Flags parks in 1999/2000, one in New York, one in Massachusetts, and one in Maryland. The Ride of Steel in Massachusetts killed a man in 2004. The Ride of Steel in Maryland hasn't killed anyone. Yet. Don't let your guard down, Maryland: Superman coasters are killers, and disaster can strike faster than a speeding bullet.

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This past Thursday, a school bus collided with a pickup truck on Interstate 44 in Missouri, killing two teenagers. Apparently the tuck stopped suddenly to avoid hitting a semi truck that had slowed for road construction. The truck was totaled by the school bus which was in turn hit by a second school bus that was "following too closely." According to the Associated Press, the driver of the pickup truck (the son of a Missouri politician) and a student in the rear of the first bus (voted "friendliest girl" at St. James High School) were killed in the collisions.

That sounds horrible, right? Think about it this way, World According to Garp-style: the buses were transporting the kids, reportedly all band students, to Six Flags St. Louis. And attendance of a typical Six Flags park is a fate worse than death. So actual death on the way to a Six Flags park is really not the worst possible outcome of this tragedy. And even the survivors got an experience superior to that of a typical Six Flags "thrill" ride with a considerably shorter wait time.

Yes, I recognize that I just followed a misogynistic post with a post making light of the death of a young girl. I am indeed a monster. But at least I didn't make any comments about the sorts of activities that go on in the back of a high school bus or what it takes to be voted "friendliest girl" in a high school. And I also restrained from making disparaging comments about the doomed future prospects for band geeks in high school and beyond. Even monsters have boundaries.

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Just in time for the July release of the latest sure-to-be-schlock Batman movie, The Dark Knight, Batman has killed again. But it wasn't some policeman or stunt driver this time. This past Saturday, the Batman: The Ride roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia decapitated a 17-year old boy.

Sure, the boy had jumped some fences to enter an unauthorized area around the coaster, but isn't that what Batman would do? The boy was only trying to protect his property, after all, and Batman is all about defending one's territory and goods. And what was the boy in search of? That's right: his cap, which as we all know is the key to any teenaged Southern boy's identity.

Six Flags, you've done it again. Like every great super villain, you attack your heroic nemesis where it hurts the most: their reputation. Last year you rip the feet off of a girl on a Superman: Tower of Power ride, this year, you tear the head off a boy with a Batman ride. (This is actually the second reported fatality for this ride. In 2002, it killed a ride operator.) And these aren't the only instances. Six Flags Darien Lake's Superman: Ride of Steel nearly killed a rider in 1999, a manslaughter successfully perpetrated five years later by the identical ride at another park when Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flag New England killed a rider in 2004.

So be careful out there, people. If a dancing centenarian or screaming Asian arrives on your doorstep with a can of Coke offering a Six Flags admission discount, it's probably a trap.

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Last year I was pretty rough on Superman rides at theme parks, especially Six Flags. (Especially after they made a girl a paraplegic, as noted a year ago yesterday.) However, I do have to give them credit for being some of the only places on Earth where you can see statues devoted to Earth's greatest hero.

Superman Krypton Coaster in Six Flags Fiesta TexasSuperman Great Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain (c) www.joyrides.comSuperman Escape at Waner Brothers Movie World, Australia

To be fair, the ride above right is not a Six Flags park but Movie World, a former Time Warner venture, now divested, in Australia. Maybe not so coincidentally, it's also my favorite concept, with the Superman figure attached to the rear car, pushing the cars around the track. That's inspired!

Though they have more of a life-sized cardboard cutout than a statue, I think that some credit should go to the all-but-defunct Six Flags New Orleans for including Superman aside the JLA Fountain, where he's much more approachable than his brethren pictured above.

Superman at Six Flags New Orleans.Superman at Six Flags Atlantis.

These are pre- and post-Katrina pics, obviously. (Note the wall, visible clearly in the photo on the left, appears as barely a curb in the picture on the right. That's quite a leaky fountain.)

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