Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rejected Amusements: Dungeon Drop at Six Flags Astroworld and Thriller Coaster at Sports Plus Entertainment Center

Built in the Nottingham Village section of Six Flags Astroworld in 1997, Duengon Drop was a second-generation Intamin drop tower. Dropping riders from a height of 20 stories, the 230-foot tower was one of the tallest rides in Texas when it opened. The queue line began in a castle to go along with the theme.

In 2005, Astroworld closed for it's last season, and shortly after, the ride was dismantled and trucked to Six Flags St. Louis. Here, it was to become Acrophobia, patterned after a similar ride at Six Flags Over Georgia.

In 2006, the ride was re-constucted on the hill close to the park's Screamin' Eagle wooden coaster. Mark Shapiro, who took over as head of Six Flags after Kerrian Burke was ousted by the shareholders, wanted the ride to tie-in with the Superman franchise instead of the original plans. He had the ride re-painted and renamed to "Superman: Tower of Power."

The indoor Thriller Coaster at Lake Grove, New York's Sports Plus Entertainment Center opened in 2004. The custom Wisdom Rides coaster weaved in and out of the center's former 3D theater, which was outfitted with new blacklight-accented scenery and paintings.

(Note: I apologize for the blurry photos. These are my own, and the lighting was bad as I was shooting them indoors in 2005.)

The coffin-like coaster cars were designed with some unique features. The train's lap bars could only be opened by a ride operator with an air hose at the end of the ride. Also, because the ride only made sharp left-hand turns, the couplings for the trains were on the far left.

Even though it was advertised as "Long Island's Greatest and Only" indoor coaster, it would not last very long. Around August of 2007, the amusement section of Sports Plus closed for good, and the Thriller Coaster along with it.

Sports Plus still operates as a bowling alley. As for the Thriller Coaster, it is currently for sale for a cool $199,000.