Six Flags Magic Mountain claims coaster crown with 18th roller coaster, Green Lantern: First Flight
June 30, 2011, 2:48 PM ·
Six Flags Magic Mountain this morning reclaimed the title of "America's Coaster Capital" with the opening of its record 18th roller coaster, Green Lantern: First Flight.
Green Lantern is the first Intamin ZacSpin coaster in the United States, with dual cars of four seats mounted on either side of a zig-zagging vertical track. The seats spin up in a 360-degree revolution "up to three" times. Why "up to"? That's because the weight distribution on the cars seems to affect the spinning motion on the trains. The boy I rode with reported that on his first ride, he didn't go heels over head at all.
But on our ride? We did. Oh, yes, we did.
At first glance, I thought the rather small, 825-foot-long Green Lantern looked like "X2 Junior," a condensed version of the park's other coaster that features spinning side-mounted seats. But after riding, I'm calling Green Lantern "X2: Super Concentrated" instead. This is an intense ride experience especially on its final two turns.
Green Lantern feels nothing like the free flight and airtime of a traditional, horizontal roller coaster. No, this ride makes you feel more like a ball bearing falling down a Pachinko machine. The speed increases as you zig-zag down the ride, culminating in two whip-quick flips before you dive into the station. At a couple ticks under a minute, what Green Lantern lacks in length, it makes up for with intensity.
Doing the math in my head, at one minute per ride and eight riders at a time, we're looking at a maximum capacity of 480 riders per hour. And that's with continuous loading and no delays with people getting into and out of seats. (Four cars wait in the station while one rides on the track.) So this isn't a high capacity ride by any means. Expect long waits for the first few weeks until word gets out that this coaster isn't for rookies and casual fans. Green Lantern is a roller coaster for hard-core fans who've been looking for something fresh, with a sharp new spin.