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The New Revolution Opens to Everyone at Magic Mountain

April 21, 2016, 12:00 PM · Six Flags Magic Mountain officially opened its new virtual reality coaster to the public today, following a month-long preview for season passholders.

The New Revolution updates the original Revolution — the world's first steel looping coaster — with an optional on-board virtual reality experience. Six Flags also installed new trains and repainted the track to celebrate the coaster's 40th anniversary this year.

We rode The New Revolution during its media preview day last month.

Here is our review of The New Revolution, along with a follow-up post on why we (and many other riders) felt that putting virtual reality on a roller coaster actually enhances both experiences, rather that creating the stomach-churning horror that many fans envisioned.

Six Flags has added or soon will add virtual reality on coasters at eight other parks this season.

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Replies (7)

April 21, 2016 at 12:43 PM · Those graphics look worse than a PlayStation 1
April 21, 2016 at 1:54 PM · Can't wait to ride this one!
April 21, 2016 at 4:09 PM · So it wasn't open to anyone before?
April 21, 2016 at 4:47 PM · It was open for season passholders last month.
April 21, 2016 at 6:50 PM · Looks like a phone is strapped to a VR goggles. Definitely something to try out.
April 22, 2016 at 8:31 AM · It's the Samsung Gear VR which is available to all consumers. VR smartphone graphics are limited in their abilities because of the processing power needed. We will see this improve dramatically in upcoming years.
April 26, 2016 at 10:43 AM · I rode this on Friday (April 22nd), and, while the concept is exciting, its practical execution leaves much to be desired.

First, the headsets - The novelty and excitement of this "revolution-ary" (heh... heh... ) is quickly drowned out by the chorus of riders complaining about the "calibration" of the Gear VR headsets. No announcements or ride operators mentioned the calibration, and the process is a bit confusing. Add that onto the fact the headsets often do not calibrate correctly (I had to calibrate it 3 times to prevent the "forward view" appearing 90 degree to my left, and my friend's view was stuck sideways the entire ride), and Six Flags is primed for disappointment.

Second, the VR experience - The good: It's completely synced up with the movement of the coaster. That alone makes it worth a visit. The not-so-good: The video is choppy, the graphics are sub-par, and the interactive elements fail almost immediately.

Third, the industry implications - Frankly, I'm worried this relatively cheap trend is going to replace the building of new coasters. The ability to quickly create a "new experience" without dealing with things like infrastructure and construction could easily become a shortcut. Six Flags already seems far too confident in its past accomplishments and is daily losing ground to Cedar Fair parks.

All in all, it's better than the "old" Revolution, but there's only so much you can do with a smartphone and some paint.

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