Monday, August 2, 2010

A Bizarro Good Time At Six Flags New England - Part 1

"On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again..."

After our wonderful day at Rye Playland it was time to head up into Massachusetts to visit our next park: Six Flags New England.

Six Flags New England has eluded me for years now. I have family in Massachusetts, and have visited the state again and again but never went to the park. Watching it grow so tremendously over the past decade or so has only increased my desire tenfold.

Speaking of growth, can you believe it's already been a decade that the park has been a branded Six Flags property?

The park sports a very pretty entrance area

Formerly Riverside Amusement Park (fitting since it sits along the Connecticut River), the park was christened Six Flags New England in 2000. A change like that required some massive expansions to back it up, and the park has delivered on that year after year.

Look at it this way, the park has more than doubled the number of coasters it has in the past ten years. Also, what was a small water park a decade ago is now the largest in all of New England. There's now three separate children's areas, all themed to popular characters, plenty of flat rides, entertainment - even a nighttime parade!

The park has held on to many older attractions while these expansions took place, creating a nice blend of old and new with something for everyone.

A view of the cozy midways the park has

What guests now find when they visit Six Flags New England is a major theme park. Spending a full day there is easy - if you hit the water park as well you could easily spend two.

We were able to meet with park representatives Melissa and Ashley while visiting, and I must take a moment to thank them for the gracious hospitality. Not surprisingly the first area they suggested exploring upon arriving was the DC Super Heroes Adventures section.

I see something purple and I must walk toward it!

Six Flags New England celebrated their new name in 2000 with a bang. It was then that the 12 acre DC Comics themed area opened, forever changing the face of the park and making it a must visit for anyone who loves a good roller coaster.

Why? Well, you see that big coaster towering over everything - that's Bizarro - formerly known as Superman: Ride of Steel. It's consistently ranked the #1 steel coaster in the world in various polls, including the Golden Ticket Awards.

It dominates the entire DC Comic section with its freshly painted blue supports and purple track.

Not surprisingly, the ride is quite popular

Not long after Bizarro opened as Superman in 2000 it started flying up the ranks of everyone's favorite ride lists. Now I understand why, having finally taken a spin. The rumors are true - Bizarro rocks.

Yes, Bizarro, you is #1

Up we go!

Bizarro starts with a lift that heads up to a lofty 208 ft. The view from up there is amazing, with the park spread out on your right, and the Connecticut River on the left. But there's very little time for sight seeing, because suddenly you're dropping down steeply toward the earth.

Bizarro Towers over the park

The first drop, which measures 221 feet, is steep and very fast. And you head toward the ground you realize that Bizarro himself is waiting for you at the bottom with a very small looking tunnel entrance that has mist pouring out of it.

One of the new features on the ride is the Superman symbol tunnel

You're only in the tunnel for a brief second before you're heading back up toward the sky. From here the ride lets loose its assault of air-time filled hills, twisted helices, and unrelenting speed. All of which, I might add, are perfectly orchestrated.

Some of Bizarro's evil-doings along the track

While the track layout remains the same from when the ride was Superman, many other aspects of the ride were seriously made over during the transformation. Obviously the entire ride was painted it's stylish new color scheme, but it also received brand new trains.
The new trains that came with the Bizarro transformation

These new trains are comfortable, and feature audio in the headrest of every seat. That makes the Bizarro experience even more intense, listening to the music and chatter as you go. Bizarro's work can be seen all over the ride as well - he's spray painted sayings on the station walls, there's upside-down buildings along the track, and even fire blasting as the train goes by.

Hand up everyone!

Bizarro's track is over a mile in length, so the ride experience is considerably longer than your average roller coaster. It snakes its way through the DC Comics area interacting with several walkways, adding great energy to the park all the while.

It really is a must-ride attraction. It's tall, fast, and intense but really I think that Bizarro's best quality is that it provides a heck of a lot of fun. In the end, isn't that what we visit these parks for?

No thank you, I think I'll stay down here

The DC Comics section does have other rides and attractions, although I obviously had to focus on Bizarro for a while. This is the Blitz, a slingshot style attraction. It launches riders up 24 stories into the sky, after which they bounce up and down for a bit. It's an extra admission ride, but if you are seeking thrills then it is worth it.

One of the longest coaster trains I've seen

Catwoman's Whip is a family sized roller coaster that's perfect for those just getting their thrill riding feet wet. It's not too intense or scary, but gives a fun little ride through the trees. It's smaller size makes it a perfect compliment to the area's larger rides. Having plenty of rides that are for families right along side the big thrillers is something Six Flags New England excels at.

Who wants to bet the Joker wins?

Playing cards is often a losing bet, especially when the Joker is involved. This is the Joker's Wildcard, a spinning ride that sits aside Bizarro's twisted track. Take notice of how the riders sit in pairs facing each other - this lets you see their expression as you spin around!

As we finish with the DC Super Heroes Adventures area we'll pause for now. Our exploration of the park will continue soon!