Six Flags announces its 2020 new ride line-up

August 29, 2019, 6:38 AM · Water coasters and the world's tallest, fastest, and longest single-rail coaster lead the announcement of new attractions for the 2020 season from Six Flags today.

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey will be getting Jersey Devil Coaster, a single-rail coaster that will stand 130 feet tall and reach 58 mph on 3,000 feet of track. The coaster will feature two inversions.

Meanwhile, Six Flags Great America near Chicago and Six Flags Over Texas near Dallas will be getting water coasters, though from their descriptions it seems that one is more of the water slide type of that ride while the other is more a traditional coaster. (Think Krakatau versus Journey to Atlantis here.)

Tsunami Surge at Six Flags Great America will reach 28 mph along 950 feet with a maximum height of 86 feet.

In Texas, Aquaman: Power Wave will stand 148 feet tall with a top speed of 63 miles per hour along 700 feet of track. The ride will feature a backward launch and a forward launch from a 90-degree angle "for the ultimate splashdown." Six Flags is calling this the park's 15th coaster.

At Six Flags' largest park, Six Flags Magic Mountain, there is no new ride for 2020, as 2019's new attraction — West Coast Racers — just topped out track construction yesterday.

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Instead, Magic Mountain is getting an expansion of Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park, both of which will utilize the rethemed "The Underground" area around West Coast Racers.

Here is the announcement video from Six Flags Chairman, President and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson.

Replies (21)

August 29, 2019 at 7:08 AM

Funny how Jersey Devil is the name and theme of the new coaster at GADV when they just added a [self proclaimed] "coaster" a couple years ago called "El Diablo" with a big statue of a devil out in front of it. Not great long-term planning there.

August 29, 2019 at 7:42 AM

I knew Six Flags was going to pull this BS. It amazes me how they continue to disrespect SFOT, one of their most well-attended parks in the entire chain and their historic park, in the 4th largest metropolitan area in the country no less. They haven't given those fans a new original, non-conversion non-clone coaster since Titan, as good as New Texas Giant might be, then they had the gall to call the abomination Larson Looper a roller coaster, and now this. While technically a Mack Powersplash meets the guidelines, it's absolutely insulting to call this a new coaster to the millions of parkgoers who've been waiting for a PROPER new coaster. My pass has been cancelled

August 29, 2019 at 8:00 AM

I'm really concerned about the decision to install a RMC Raptor at SFGAdv. Six Flags installed one of the first of these single rail coasters at one of their smaller parks (SFFT), yet they still struggled to meet demand because of the limited capacity of the design. SFGAdv is one of the biggest, most heavily attended parks in the chain, and installing the first coaster of this type on the East Coast is sure to bring heavy demand.

Also, all of the SF parks routinely struggle with maintenance, especially on more advanced rides. While the tech on Jersey Devil is not terribly advanced, it's likely to utilize a similar conveyor belt loading platform seen other RMC Raptors. The train shown in the promo video does appear to be longer than the original RMC Raptors that carry just 8 people at a time (RCDB is reporting the trains will carry 12 riders single file), but combine a moving load platform with the obliviousness of the typical Six Flags guest, and I can easily see lines for this coaster stretching beyond 2+ hours even on the quietest days. I'm also curious how SF got around the NHL trademarks here, and why this silly name was chosen.

In typical SF form, instead of coming up with original attraction designs, they decide to one-up themselves by installing another slightly larger Crazanity in Mexico to take the record away from SFMM (for the record, I feel that bigger is definitely better for these type of rides).

The Aquaman ride at SFOT is probably the most interesting coaster announced, but it appears to be a shuttle coaster. While RCDB is reporting that this will have multiple trains (allowing for loading while one is on the course), I wonder if Six Flags understands the demand for water rides in the Texas heat. This water coaster is replacing a previous water ride, so it's not adding additional water ride capacity to meet demand to cool down on hot summer days, and I doubt they will ever operate this new attraction anywhere close to its optimal throughput even with a switchtrack/turntable.

It looks like we found out where SFMM's Green Lantern is going, as on-ride footage of the coaster was used to promote the new coaster coming to LaRonde. I'm not sure how a Canadian park can operate this coaster while the chain's flagship cannot, but I guess at least it's not going to the scrap heap.

Getting back to SF dropping the ball on understanding demand, it looks like they are installing two "Catwoman Whip" attractions that appear to only accommodate 4 riders at a time. Either lines will be extremely long and slow-moving for these attractions or SF plans to use these as up-charge rides like other similar attractions seen around the country.

The most interesting attraction for my money is the addition for SFFT. The Daredevil Dive Flying Machine is one of the most interesting looking flat rides I've seen in quite some time. While I'm not going to travel all the way to San Antonio for a flat ride, this new addition piqued my interest more than anything else Six Flags announced today.

August 29, 2019 at 8:58 AM

As it has been for several years now, my “home” Six Flags in Saint Louis continues to be utterly skippable in 2020.

August 29, 2019 at 10:03 AM

El Diablo was already removed this year.

August 29, 2019 at 10:21 AM

Although I'm not at all happy about Six Flags' long-standing tradition of installing rides which are largely duplicative of rides at other Six Flags parks, I must say that the Jersey Devil is the most interesting - and thrilling - attraction to be announced at my home park since Zumanjaro opened in 2014. And unlike El Diablo, it's an honest-to-God roller coaster. Yes, there are capacity issues of which I was painfully aware when waiting to ride the raptor at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. At one point there was a one-train operation and you can imagine what that did to movement of the queue. However, one saving grace is the fact that - as previously mentioned - the train never comes to a complete stop during loading. The loading process was actually very efficient and with the installation at Great Adventure accommodating two more riders than the previous installations, this is a step up. Looking forward to the media event.

August 29, 2019 at 10:45 AM

@Bobbie - Based on the image and video (and RCDB), Jersey Devil appears to have trains that can accommodate 12 people, which is actually 4 more people per train than Wonder Woman at SFFT. I still don't think it will help that much, and I fear that the park will eventually scrap the conveyor belt load platform because guests at this particular park are incapable of moving with purpose. Six Flags (and SFGAdv in particular) always seems to find the most inefficient ways to operate attractions, and despite having a relatively efficient loading design to mitigate the low capacity, SFGAdv will inevitably come up with a procedure that will cut the optimal throughput of the coaster in half.

August 29, 2019 at 11:15 AM

@Russell - I agree that people at SFGAdv often seem incapable of moving with purpose. I notice this particularly with El Toro and Kingda Ka. Part of the problem with El Toro is that the loading station is not wide enough on the side from which riders board. As to KK, I find that people tend to mill about aimlessly and I get really impatient with them, wondering why they don't just pick a row and stand in that queue. With the raptor in Texas, the loading station had circles numbered from 1 to 8 in which riders were directed to stand prior to boarding. That made things fairly simple. If they use the same system at my home park, it will be good - as this system is one which even an idiot can comprehend.

August 29, 2019 at 11:47 AM

I've never ridden a single rail coaster before (other than an alpine coaster). What's appeal? Is it the aesthetics? Is there an added thrill from the fact that your on one rail and it seems less stable. It can't be any smoother than a coaster with two rails. (Wouldn't it be rougher in turns?)

August 29, 2019 at 12:41 PM

It seems this was the year of water park buyouts for Six Flags now that they own Magic Waters in IL. I wonder if this means the company is in the hunt for Schlitterbahn.

August 29, 2019 at 12:54 PM

@NCPete - I think that the primary appeal is the novelty and enhanced sense of vulnerability, which does give it a high thrill factor. I didn't find it to be rough on turns.

August 29, 2019 at 1:25 PM

Surprised already a big addition to Great America as they just opened Maxx Force and they usually wait a year or two before another big attraction. But this does sound promising to fire up the water park section on hot Chicago summer days.

August 29, 2019 at 2:06 PM

James, you do realize Schlitterbahn was purchased by Cedar Fair months ago? Already included in that chain's results this season. SeaWorld Entertainment cornered the regional park coaster orders for 2020 apparently leaving little room for either Six Flags Entertainment or Cedar Fair to get things scheduled for their 2020 plans and both those chains definitely investing in water parks....

August 29, 2019 at 2:45 PM

Wait times be damned. With SFGAdv B&M people eaters averaging 30-45 min waits on a weekday, I'm finding a single rail coaster installment perplexing at best. Unless this is just a ploy to increase flash pass sells.

August 29, 2019 at 4:14 PM

@Dave, thanks, I must have forgotten.

August 29, 2019 at 4:58 PM

A few observations here:

-This year is definitely heavy on the waterpark attractions, which is not necessarily a bad thing. At many regional parks, the waterpark is nearly as popular as the ride park, so it's good to see Six Flags investing in these attractions.
-Obviously, Jersey Devil is the most impressive 2020 attraction, and while it doesn't look as exciting as some other RMC rides it still should be an excellent fit for SFGAdv. For those worried about capacity, keep in mind that this runs four 12-seat trains (the other raptors run three 8-seat trains), so capacity shouldn't be too much of an issue (I'm guessing it will be about the same or slightly better than a two train IBox).
-Three coasters in a row is a huge surprise for SFDK, but they've been lacking a proper family coaster for years so this is a great fit. I just wish they'd gotten this in 2018 instead of Harley Quinn.
-In my opinion, SFNE is the only park that should have maybe gotten something a bit better (maybe 2-3 flat rides instead of just one). The other parks are all adding something that will be a great fit for the park.
-SFMM is conspicuously absent from all the marketing materials and put out a very generic press release. While it's possible the park truly isn't getting anything next year, my hunch is that they're delaying their announcement until after West Coast Racers opens. I don't expect them to do anything game-changing, but I can't see Six Flags not doing something at their biggest park when they advertise a new attraction at every park every year.

August 30, 2019 at 10:38 AM

@AJ - I think capacity on Jersey Devil is going to be a HUGE issue, and SF is foolish to install this coaster at one of their highest attendance parks. Even with 12-seat trains loading on a moving platform, it's still not going to satisfy initial demand. Wonder Woman at SFFT has an optimal capacity of 600 people per hour, so increasing the train size by 50% is only going to yield an optimal capacity of 900 people per hour. The key word here being optimal, since we all know that SF rarely, if ever, achieves optimal capacity on its attractions for one reason or another. As sxcymike noted, SFGAdv has a hard enough time operating people-eating B&M coasters with less than 60-minute waits, so you can only imagine how long lines will be for a brand new roller coaster that is completely unique to the east coast with a fraction of the capacity and reliability of a B&M. Guests have kind of accepted long waits for Kingda Ka that are now complicated by the intermittent operations forced by Zumanjaro, but I doubt people are prepared for a "big" new roller coaster that will only trickle 12 guests through every 45-60 seconds at best.

August 30, 2019 at 12:40 PM

GADV has decent operations especially compared to most other SF parks. The first time I went there in the early 2000's they were horrendous, but the past many times i've been there since then they have had 3 trains on Nitro and 2 trains on everything else (sometimes 3 on Bizarro) with respectable dispatch intervals even with short lines. I'd say GADVs operations are just as good if not better than the Busch parks.

Don't get me wrong its still a dumpy SF park...but i've got to be fair =P

August 30, 2019 at 12:45 PM

That's not been my experience the_man. I'll admit that I don't go to SFGAdv very often (once or twice a year), but my experiences have not been nearly as positive as yours. I will say that it has gotten better over the past 3-5 years compared to the previous decade or so where you rarely saw a coaster operate out of single train mode, but it's never been what I would call efficient.

I've typically observed the following at SFGAdv...

1. Superman is almost always single train, and even if it is running 2 trains, they are stacking because there are not enough employees checking restraints to keep the dispatch intervals brisk. Let's just say being stuck in the brake run/transfer track on this coaster for 5-8 minutes is not the most comfortable situation, and probably why they rarely run both trains anymore.

2. Green Lantern has almost always been 2-train operation on my recent visits, but it might as well be single train because of stacking. Also, the single rider line (one of the few in the whole park) is always closed even if the regular line extends beyond where it starts at the base of the station.

3. El Toro is usually operated pretty efficiently, but I cannot forgive the awful station design that has the narrow pathway for guests to enter inevitably clogged by people waiting for the front rows. I don't know how many times I've been sitting in the lower switchbacks watching trains go by with the back third of the train completely empty because guests simply can't get to those rows due to the stupid station design.

4. I've never been to SFGAdv when Nitro is running fewer than 2 trains, though whenever I've seen it in 3-train operation, they're always stacking, mostly because of incompetent guests wanting to take selfies and on-ride videos with their cell phones, or not paying attention when it's their time to board. The inefficiency of the Nitro platform is what scares me most about Jersey Devil. While I think SFGAdv might come up with a decent plan to load the coaster efficiently, I have absolutely ZERO faith that the majority of guests that visit this park will be able to execute that plan, which will cause the park to change that plan, which will dramatically affect throughput.

5. Joker is constantly up and down, and ride ops do little to keep guests informed as to what is going on most times. Also, the balancing of guests between the 2 sides of the load platform is rarely executed well in addition to the poorly managed single rider line.

6. Zumanjaro is one of the few attractions in the whole park that has run efficiently every time I've been there. However, I think much of that has to do with the low number of guests that actually bother to venture the half mile back to the loading station.

7. Bizarro is decently operated, but every time I've been at the park, the meshing of Flash Pass and regular guests at the station always seems to cause problems.

8. The operation of Kingda Ka is an outright disgrace. It is still the tallest roller coaster in the world, yet few people actually get to ride it anymore because of SF's terrible operations. I understand the safety issues between the launch coaster and Zumanjaro, but if there's only a 10 minute line for the drop tower and a 2-hour line for the coaster, why do they alternate a single train for every drop tower cycle? Add to that the utter waste of what used to be a pretty efficient loading platform, and it represents what I fear could happen to Jersey Devil before long.

Maybe I've just had particularly poor luck at SFGAdv, but I have little faith that they will be able to operate such a naturally inefficient coaster in an efficient manner. I occasionally see glimpses of what they can do when they put their mind and resources to the task, but even if it's running at max capacity during the first week or so, I strongly doubt it will stay that way throughout an entire year of operation. Throw in the typically incompetent and inconsiderate guests that overrun this park, and I think this coaster could be a unicorn - you might see it, but you'll never actually ride it.

August 30, 2019 at 1:26 PM

That's a shame, I know SF parks are wildly inconsistent and the experience varies greatly even in the same season, I guess I got lucky in my recent experiences as everything was running full capacity and there were basically no lines. And I admit I don't pay much attention to Kingda Ka as I hate that ride lol.

August 30, 2019 at 4:40 PM

Russell, either you've had a lot of bad luck or I've been very fortunate on my visits to SFGAdv, but I've found it to consistently have the best operations in the Six Flags chain. Granted, I've only visited the park a few times, but on my most recent visit (July 2018), rides were being operated with minimal stacking throughout the park. With the exception of Kingda Ka (which is seriously hindered operationally by Zumanjaro) we didn't have a single wait greater than 15 minutes. I was particularly impressed that the Nitro crew was able to run three trains with no stacking, something I haven't seen at a Cedar Fair or SeaWorld park. While lines haven't always been that short, I haven't seen consistent waits over 30 minutes for any coaster at the park except Kingda Ka or El Toro on any of my visits.

Based on my observations of Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster earlier this year, they were sending out trains about a minute apart. If the same interval and loading procedure is used on Jersey Devil, that would give an hourly capacity of 720. Since SFGAdv is likely to have a locker policy on the ride (SFFT does not), I think it's safe to assume they will hit this interval or be close to it most of the time. By comparison, a ride like El Toro has an actual capacity of 1,080 riders per hour (I've heard directly from ops on that ride that 30 trains per hour is their target), and while the B&Ms may have higher theoretical capacity I'm guessing the actual throughput is not much higher than that (actual capacity is typically 70-80% of theoretical with max trains). Lastly, keep in mind that while this ride may be new, it will not be the ride most will run to...that will remain El Toro, Kingda Ka, and Nitro.

Does Jersey Devil have a lower capacity than many of the coasters at SFGAdv? Yes. Is it so much lower that I expect it to be a major problem, especially once the newness wears off? No. I guess we won't really know for sure until next summer.

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