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.
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 (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.
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