Alexander: After the enjoying so much of the Southeast lately (in addition to our usual dosage of Southwest), it’s time for another California Coaster Kings first: A quick northeast visit for Six Flags New England!
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Being a flight attendant takes me to all kinds of places on short notice. Today I’m killing time in southern Massachusetts; what is a coaster enthusiast to do?
Enter: Six Flags New England. Opened in 1870, Six Flags New England spent its first 130 years as Riverside Park. The acquisition by Premier Parks in 1997 and a full re-branding of the park in 2000 was an era of enormous growth for the park; after quickly becoming the flagship member of the Premier Parks chain, Six Flags New England remained one of their strongest properties following the Six Flags merger.
These days, additions to Six Flags New England are a bit more gradual (as is the case with most Six Flags parks), but with infrastructural improvements making up a larger part of the annual budget. This year’s freshly redeveloped FlashPass center is a great example.
Six Flags Magic Mountain fans may recognize one of Six Flags New England’s major coasters:
Yes! It’s none other than Déjà Vu! And yes! They also have a traditional Vekoma Boomerang right next to it! They even face the same way!!
Sadly, the old Déjà Vu (now called Goliath) has seen better days. The ride’s custom-built Premier Rides train tracks horribly; the experience is best likened to being stuffed in a metal trash can and hurled down 12 flights of stairs. If you’re looking to relive Déjà Vu‘s glory days, I’d suggest a visit to Silverwood Park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; their Déjà Vu from Six Flags Great America (now called Aftershock) runs like a dream.
In addition to the park’s two Boomerangs, Six Flags New England boasts several other roller coasters and rides, including the world’s tallest Star Flyer, the New England Sky Screamer.
There are a handful of relics from the park’s Riverside days, like their Scrambler (and the towers left over from their recently retired Von Roll 101 Sky Ride), but almost everything in the park was added in the last 20 years.
Because so much of the park is composed of relatively new attractions from the Premier Parks and Six Flags-circa-2000s eras, the park comes off as a collage of everything that the chain was doing at the time. Premier Parks particularly enjoyed buying duplicate attractions in bulk for their parks, and Six Flags New England’s status as a flagship park ensured that it received pretty much one of everything.
Six Flags New England boasts an impressive roster, but only a handful of its rides are unique to the park; most can be (or used to be) found at other Six Flags parks, whether it’s Goliath, Flashback (the park’s other Boomerang, which came from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom), Gotham City Gauntlet: Escape From Arkham Asylum (a low-budget, outdoor version of the Batman: The Dark Knight Mack Mouse coasters; also from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom), Pandemonium (the first of 4 Gerstlauer spinner clones throughout the chain), Fireball (one of countless Larson Mega Loop “coasters”), Mind Eraser (a Vekoma SLC that shares its namesake with two other SLC installations of the Premier Parks era) or their-new-for-2017 S&S Free Spin Joker coaster (the third such coaster opening this year at a Six Flags Park).
The park’s more unique coasters, Wicked Cyclone (Twisted Colossus’s counterpart 2015 RMC remodel), Batman: The Dark Knight (Six Flag’s smallest B&M Floorless coaster; not to be confused with the Dark Knight indoor mouse coasters) and Superman The Ride (one of three Intamin hypers in the northeast that opened as Superman: Ride of Steel, one of two rides to undergo a makeover into Bizarro, one of countless rides subjected to Six Flag’s nasty new obsession with Virtual Reality (which, like Magic Mountain’s New Revolution, received its 3rd moniker along with the VR addition) all feature their own special strengths despite having a great deal in common with at least one other Six Flags coaster.
Perhaps the most unique ride at Six Flags New England is also its oldest; the 1941-built Thunderbolt wooden coaster. The oldest roller coaster in the Six Flags chain, Thunderbolt is perhaps the one ride that most sets apart the New England park from the others.
In the distance are Six Flags’s two biggest crimes of attraction of over-population: Fireball and the soon-to-be-open Joker.
Though Wicked Cyclone is the new favorite for many Six Flags New England visitors, many would still call Superman: Ride of Steel / Bizarro / Superman The Ride their favorite in the park.
Winner of the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Award for Best Steel Coaster in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, + 2009, Superman The Ride boasts a layout unique to the other Superman: Ride of Steel coasters (at Six Flags America and Darien Lake), considered by many to be one of Intamin’s best layouts.
Sadly, an accident in 2004 left the park with no choice but to alter the lap restraints in a way that hindered the overall comfort of the ride. The 2009 Bizarro re-launch included re-designed restraints that improved the ride experience but still lack the freedom of the original lap bars. If you look closely, you can see the lap bars come down on either side of each leg, instead of down the middle like tradition Intamin lap bars.
Despite the shortcomings of its lap bars, Superman The Ride is still an exceptional hyper coaster.
Joker trackwork is complete. Not that I care.
Superman The Ride passed the VR buck to Mind Eraser this year, which also features some handsome new trains. Like most Six Flags VR rides, the flavor of the season is Galactic Attack.
Vekoma’s new vest trains for looping and inverted coasters can make even the most un-rideable rides rideable. The VR experience remains a burden, but only running VR on every other train (and only during a specific window of time each day) keeps the crowds from being too dreadful. Dispatches were pretty consistent, but my VR didn’t work the first try. The park was kind enough to give me another go ’round.
The entrance for Joker will be at the far end of the south side of Six Flags New England, right next to Batman.
Batman: The Dark Knight is a solid ride despite its size. It’s shorter than Scream! or Medusa; more on the scale of the Batman: The Ride clones.
Like the Batman inverts, Six Flags New England’s Batman is a ferocious, tightly-coiled ride with lots of strong G-forces in a short span of time. It’s a much different experience from the larger floorless coasters.
Here’s a better look at Fireball. I know you probably didn’t want one, but here it is anyway.
Much more interesting than Fireball is the snack stand next door, which features an enormous soda fountain.
Wicked Cyclone is definitely my favorite ride in the park. Some like it better than Twisted Colossus due to its unbroken pacing and substantial length, while other prefer Twisted Colossus for its various dueling components.
I had a tough time deciding which I preferred; I would say TC is my favorite, but only when dueling. Otherwise, it’s WC all the way.
Thunderbolt is now the park’s sole wooden coaster. It’s also an American Coaster Enthusiast Roller Coaster Landmark, just like Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Revolution.
Obligatory selfie with my pal Rus, who was kind enough to host me on my short visit.
Thunderbolt only operates with one train. Guess who’s too lazy to wait for a train shot of the ride?
*Hint: it’s me.
Goodnight Six Flags New England! Thank you to Rus and park management for taking such good care of me!
And that’s a wrap on my first (and last) CCK trip report. How’d I do?
Why is it my last, you ask? Because we’re putting together something EXTRA SPECIAL for y’all!
Some of you may know me from my blog, Thrillography. I’m excited to announce that I will be moving from Thrillography to a brand-new CCK counterpart page called:
–CABIN CREW COASTER KINGS–
(or CCCK for short)
Get it? It’s because I’m a flight attendant! Clever, right?
Just say it’s clever, ok? Thanks ^_^
Cabin Crew Coaster Kings will be launching in about two weeks, starting with the first of several reports from the parks of Mexico! I figure it’s a great place to start, since Mexico is basically like California, only more south. 🙂
I’m so excited to take y’all with me on my flight attendant roller coaster adventures. It’s gonna be LIT, fam!
We have a lot more exciting new content live, here’s a list of recent articles and updates that will definitely interest you:
- Six Flags Magic Mountain Update
- Six Flags Over Georgia Report
- Boysenberry Festival Report/ Knott’s Update!
- Patriot Review – California’s Great America
- Dollywood Trip Report
- Carowinds Trip Report
- Guardians of the Galaxy Update
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