Friday, June 29, 2012

A Western View - SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight

The big day has finally arrived and SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight is set to open tomorrow at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.  The park held it’s grand opening event today and NewsPlusNotes was in attendance.
The ride's entrance
The event got started at about 1030am with Park President, Dale Kaetzel, and San Francisco 49ers Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh, taking the first official ride.  After they finished they came out to say a few words about the ride.  
Dale Kaetzel and Jim Harbaugh take a spin

Dale showed his enthusiasm for the new ride and referred to it as “the best roller coaster in North America.”

Later, Jim recalled his childhood visiting Cedar Point and Kings Island, but said that the new coaster exceeds anything he experienced at those parks when he was young.

Dale welcomes us to ride.
And with that, the ride was open for those attending the event to enjoy.

Superman's back story

The man we are all here for.
The ride queue utilizes the old Zonga station, which later served as a queue for Tony Hawk’s Big Spin.  The queue snakes it’s way past informational signs about Superman’s story as well as giant giant statues of villains.   The queue ends at a large statue of Superman himself before entering the station to board the car.

The ride itself is fantastic.   The launches are quick and intense, but what really surprises is the abundance of airtime, which is enough to easily overshadow any other California ride.  Cresting over the vertical incline into the barrel roll as well as dropping off the “cliffhanger drop” offers unexpected doses of ejector airtime.

Hanging upside down is frightening no matter how many times you do it.
The large barrel roll offers a huge thrill from the hang time you experience as you very slowly roll through.  And the base of the non-inverting loop gives some pretty decent positive Gs.

I think what ultimately makes the ride succeed is how incredibly smooth the ride is as it navigates the course.  The ride rarely isn’t spiraling in some crazy direction allowing the rider easily get disoriented.

Another group taking to the skies
I heard some riders call it one of the best minutes on a roller coaster and many call this the most intense coasters on the west coast while ranking highly on people’s personal top 10 lists.  All in all, it's clear the park has a real winner on their hands that deserves to be ridden by anyone who can make it to the park. 

And now, an exclusive on-ride POV from today's event featuring yours truly along side Bob from Theme Park Review.

SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight Opens to Season Pass holders tomorrow, June 30, at 6am.  The ride will open to the public later that day at 12pm.  I’d like to thank the park for a wonderful event and wish them lots of success with their fantastic new ride!