El Diablo Opens at Six Flags Great Adventure - But What Is It?
May 15, 2015, 11:32 AM ·
El Diablo, Six Flags Great Adventure’s new attraction for the 2015 season, opened for a preview to the media and season pass holders on Thursday, May 14.
Located in the Plaza del Carnaval area of the park, near TPI award-winning coaster El Toro, and standing seven stories tall, El Diablo features a train with face-off seats – forward and backward - the first of which are level with the loading platform and the last of which are at an elevation. Restraints consist of an over- the- shoulder harness and attached seat belt. Upon dispatch, the train rocks backward and forward until it gains sufficient momentum to make it to the top of the 360-degree loop. From that point riders are treated to a suspension in mid-air and reversals of direction.
The ride begins rather tamely but as the train picks up speed it becomes pretty intense. I rode El Diablo twice, once in the first car and once in the last car. The ride in the last car proved to be the more exciting and disconcerting, as finding myself suspended between the top of the loop and the loading area with the hold brake on felt like hanging perilously – and yes, almost diabolically. This reminded me of the top spin rides during which you feel as if you are going to pitch forward. The revolutions through the loop were a blast, especially when the direction was reversed.
But is it a roller coaster? The park is advertising it as their 13th roller coaster although RCDB does not recognize it as such and historically rides of this type have been defined as flat rides. However, Larson, the manufacturer, describes their Giant Loop – which this is - as a “larger dominating compact roller coaster,” so take your pick. I raise this issue only because numerous individuals, upon seeing the announcement of this ride, referred to it disparagingly as a carnival ride. And I personally am of the opinion that this is selling the ride short. Whatever it is or isn’t, El Diablo is a fairly aggressive thrill ride and a welcome addition to both the park and Plaza del Carnaval, where it fits in perfectly with the theme and other rides in that area. It will open to the general public on May 16.