Theme Park Insider

Mayhem in Gotham City: Ride Batman Backward at Six Flags Great Adventure

July 8, 2015, 10:13 AM · It was inevitable. Several Six Flags parks have operated Batman: The Ride in reverse, for a limited time, so it came as no great surprise when Six Flags Great Adventure announced that they would be running Batman backwards, too. And why not? A new twist is always titillating to thrill seekers. While coasters as dissimilar to this as the old Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain have been run backwards, the ability to flip the train 180 degrees is obviously unique to inverted coasters, making Batman the perfect candidate for conversion.

I should first point out that Batman: The Ride when running forward is intense in the extreme. The ride features five inversions: vertical loop, zero-g roll, vertical loop, corkscrew and corkscrew, in that order. These elements, particularly the two wicked corkscrews at the end of the course, combine to provide a ride experience which is disorienting and sometimes dizzying at the same time as it is exhilarating. So I had every expectation that going through the inversions without being able to see them coming up would be doubly disorienting and more than a little strange. Also, whereas the best airtime is normally to be gotten from the eighth row, in this case it was likely to be from the first.

The media event for Batman backwards took place on July 7. It began with a presentation, led by awesome spokesperson/communications director Kristin Siebeneicher, who talked about some of the thrill rides at Great Adventure and mentioned the fact that El Toro had won Theme Park Insider's award for best roller coaster for the second year in a row! She was followed by park president John Fitzgerald, who talked about Batman: The Ride in some detail, and NJ Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, who plays an active role in Jersey travel and tourism. Oh, and last but not least, Batman and Robin were on hand.

Batman and Robin edited photo 01785419-81c6-4d9d-ab00-2a2871fd5132_zpsumqe1uqs.jpg

Now it was time to go for a ride. Once the train was dispatched and started up the 105-foot lift hill, I felt some of the same forward gravitational pull that I experienced on boomerangs except that it was much less pronounced. So far, so good. It wasn’t until we reached the top and began to descend that everything seemed topsy-turvy and the ride turned into total mayhem! Diving 80+ feet head first in a supine position was cause for alarm or stupefaction. The first loop came up very quickly and whereas I had become accustomed to floating on my back, looking up at the sky, I felt as if I was practically standing on my head. Immediately following was the zero-g roll, hyped-up and enhanced by the change of direction. The second loop was a repeat of the first. At this point all that remained were some twisting turns and the corkscrews. Traveling through the corkscrews when facing forward is chaotic enough; going through them backwards struck me as complete insanity! While these elements were essentially a blast, I also found them to be rougher than when the train is operating in its customary direction. In any case, regardless of whether you know what’s coming up, you can’t really anticipate it when you can’t see it and don’t know whether you’re coming or going.

Namtab lift hill edited photo 2bffe25a-c61b-4962-9f5a-958673b86f1c_zpstroueqbb.jpg

Namtab corkscrew edited photo dfc65859-1fe3-4765-8000-397edd46f569_zpsdsoewrng.jpg

NAMTAB (spell it backward) is a startling and immensely entertaining ride. Not for wimps! I enjoyed the novelty as well as the presentation. Thanks to Kristin, John, PR supervisor Kaitlyn Turi and everyone else who made this event possible.

Let's take a ride:

Replies (6)

July 8, 2015 at 4:17 PM · Good stuff, Bobbie! Thank you for sharing. Looks like a great way to make an old (but still good) coaster novel again.
July 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM · Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na

NAMTAB!

July 9, 2015 at 8:42 AM · Great job as always, Bobbie! Your descriptions are always vivid, and paint a verbal picture that's as much fun as actually riding the ride! Ok- almost as much fun! I was initially inclined to regard "Namtab" as somewhat of a gimmick; a clever gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless. Now, I feel that this will be like riding an entirely new ride, and a fairly terrifying one at that! And Batman (and Robin) were back in the park-how chill is that?! It sounds like Great Adventure has a stone-cold hit on its hands, bringing some much-needed pizzazz to a season, which so far has only boasted an oversized carnival ride. Thanks, Bobbie- can't wait to see where you pop up next!
July 9, 2015 at 8:50 AM · Good report Bobbie. Thanks for submitting.

We had NAMTAB running at our home park of SFOG earlier this Spring. It was very popular so they extended it another month. I have to agree that it ran rougher in the hotter weather of June than it did when we 1st rode it in April.

July 10, 2015 at 7:40 PM · Thanks for the feedback, guys! I wouldn't call this terrifying as much as disconcerting and different - as well as aggressive. When I first watched the video and saw the extent to which I was being shaken up and tossed all over the place I had to laugh. This wasn't all that apparent to me while riding but after seeing it documented I found it interesting that the human body can absorb so much turmoil and be none the worse off for it. I was aware that SFOG had done this; maybe SFGAD will also extend the run. At the moment Namtab is scheduled to run through Labor Day weekend. I seem to have posted this comment twice, sorry, and can't manage to delete the duplicate entry.
July 13, 2015 at 8:20 AM · Thanks for the feedback, guys! I wouldn't call this terrifying as much as disconcerting and different - as well as aggressive. When I first watched the video and saw the extent to which I was being shaken up and tossed all over the place I had to laugh. This wasn't all that apparent to me while riding but after seeing it documented I found it interesting that the human body can absorb so much turmoil and be none the worse off for it. I was aware that SFOG had done this; maybe SFGAD will also extend the run. At the moment Namtab is scheduled to run through Labor Day weekend.

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