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The first Inverted roller coaster is now running backwards

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Published: May 9, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Before there was Montu, Dragon Challenge, or Alpengeist, Six Flags Great America offered theme park fans the world's very first inverted roller coaster -- Batman: The Ride.

But this year, this inverted coaster is offering another type of "twist": Six Flags is running it backwards!

Batman - backwards

First opened in 1992, Batman: The Ride was built by Swiss coaster makers Bolliger & Mabillard. Six Flags Great America themed this roller coaster to Tim Burton’s Batman franchise, which released Batman Returns the same year. This is also one of the first themed queues done for a Six Flags ride. The line starts in the Gotham City park (donated by Bruce Wayne), which is very well kept and bright, however, once beyond the park walls, we can see the grafitti and urban decay of Gotham. We see a shot-out police vehicle that hit a fire hydrant. Then we then enter a sewage duct to make our way into the Bat Cave and on to the ride.

Turning the cars backwards creates a new and disorienting experience for the riders. Here's my video report, with on-ride video of my brother, Alex:

The one downside with Batman is that this ride was made for people sized in 1992. The ride is not forgiving for, eh, us bigger people. The way the seat is situated and the safety harness makes this one of the most difficult attractions to fit. Still, Six Flags says that the backward train will run for a limited time only, so come on out and ride this classic backwards before it's too late.

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Readers' Opinions

From Mike Gallagher on May 10, 2013 at 2:30 AM
Me like. I truly hope this temporary "experiment" is successful, and that SF Great Adventure is the next lab rat. There's no indications they're getting a new coaster next season, so I'd try this in a heartbeat. Well, I would regardless...
From 75.101.118.6 on May 10, 2013 at 2:49 AM
Whoa...riding a backwards upside down coaster with glasses. Like a boss.
You sir, have earn my admiration and awe. How such a feat is achieved amazes me beyond belief...especially since coasters (especially at the Six Flags parks) have never exactly been friendly to us visually impaired folks.
I salute you!
From Terry O'Neal on May 10, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Planning Trip Currently. Haven't ridden Batman in years. The time to revisit is now.
From Dan Barnes on May 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM
No, thank you.
From Brian Emery on May 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM
Great Job. I enjoyed this...

But I think Montu at BGT is much better...

Thanks again.

From 67.176.172.174 on May 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Man, I still remember summer of 1992 when the ride opened, coaster freaks across the country heading there to ride it as it was the first of its kind. Still an amazing thrill, can't wait to see how it feels going backward.
From James Trexen on May 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Is there a reason the trains only have seven rows this year? Or have I been so out of touch from Great America that I missed them reducing from the 8 beforehand?
From Anthony Murphy on May 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM
It is a still a great ride! Even after 21 years, it's still running great. Compared to others like Montu and Dragon Challenge, it's pretty short
From Mike Gallagher on May 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Anonymous poster said:

"Whoa...riding a backwards upside down coaster with glasses. Like a boss.
You sir, have earn my admiration and awe."

Anthony DOES deserve our admiration and awe. But he didn't ride. His brother did :)

And it's pretty darn easy to ride with glasses. Get a strap. I could not "SEE" myself riding without my specs, although I have done it occasionally. I've never been to Knotts, but I believe their policies forbid glasses, even WITH straps. Not sure if it's in effect on ALL their coasters.

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