Six Flags Over Georgia unmasked its newest rides on Friday—the Joker Chaos Coaster and Harley Quinn Spinsanity—and Theme Park University got to be one of the first to try them out.
After a brief welcoming ceremony and opening remarks, Park President Dale Kaetzel cut the ribbon signaling the duo’s grand opening. The Chaos Coaster’s first official ride launched amidst a softly cheering crowd and columns of celebratory smoke blasting into the air.
Calling the new Joker ride a coaster seems a bit ambitious, however. Although it fits the definition of a car riding along a track, Chaos comprises entirely of one simple loop. No more. No less. Just one giant circle stretching 72 feet into the air and one train of cars that rotates around this track over and over again. Not what you would expect from a typical coaster.
So, is it worth it?
Coaster fans seem divided over the Joker’s appeal– are you Team Loop Lover or Team Tummy Tickler? If your favorite coaster characteristic features flipping upside down, or if you ride roller coasters just for the loops, then this may be the ride for you. The Joker Chaos Coaster offers upside-down-loop-loving enthusiasts the opportunity to experience more loops in a single coaster than typically offered in one stand-alone ride. While the average coaster may cycle through three or four loops in one run, the Joker Chaos Coaster circles around its sole loop approximately seven times during a single ride– twice as many loops as average. And they’re all back to back. Welcome to loop heaven.
Team Tummy-Tickler, on the other hand, may deem this new ride a tad bit boring. The Joker’s impressive quantity of loops comes at the expense of the much-loved hills that characterize most roller coasters. If your ideal coaster features the butterflies-in-your-stomach tingling feeling that can only arise from tall hills and steep drops, then the Joker Chaos Coaster may have little to offer you.
As a proud member of this latter group, I had only minor hope for an exciting experience on the ride, but the Joker Chaos Coaster surprised me. After slowly rocking back and forth up the sides of the track, each time rising a little higher along the walls, the coaster eventually reaches the top of the loop, where it leaves riders suspended, hanging upside down seven stories in the air–a thrilling experience that I had not anticipated—before propelling the train in the opposite direction to begin its series of speedy loops. The slow crawl of the coaster during these opening moments provides riders with a unique perspective not offered on coasters that zoom by at much higher speeds– the experience of pausing to take a look at the coaster’s surroundings. As you realize just how high in the air you’ve been elevated, you also grasp just how powerless you are to your environment. It’s a heart-pounding rush that makes the Joker Chaos Coaster worth checking out at least once.
Though given less attention by the media, Harley Quinn Spinsanity whips up a delightful treat for both kids and adults. Anyone who grew up riding the Tilt-a-Whirl at neighborhood carnivals will immediately recognize the classic ride schematic born again in Spinsanity.
Riders board one of seven cars aligned around a circular track. Each car individually spins on its own axis while simultaneously rotating in a larger circle around the perimeter of the main track. I’d convinced myself that I was too old for such dizzy-inducing rides, but moments after instructing my ride partner, “Don’t make it spin,” I couldn’t contain the loud guffaws of laughter escaping from my own throat as I threw all my body weight against the back of the car, trying to turn it faster myself. I was 10 again, and Spinsanity was my childhood. For the full two minutes of the ride, I was a little girl, and nothing existed in the world besides giggles and spinning.
Despite their novelty, however, the lines for these new rides never surpassed those of park favorites like Batman and Superman, whose wait times each more than doubled the times for the Joker Chaos Coaster and Harley Quinn combined.
Until late June, Six Flags will be running its popular Batman: The Ride backwards on its tracks, giving park guests the chance to experience one of its most popular rides in a different way. Fans seemed more eager to buddy up with Batman for this rare thrill than to join up with the Joker for his latest hijinks.
Perhaps there should be no surprise there. The Joker offers some thrills, throws a few curves, and puts up a good fight, but at the end of the day, as any comic enthusiast will surely tell you, Batman prevails in Gotham City.
Images Copyright © Jillian Michelle for Theme Park University
Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Twitter and like our Facebook Page! Doing any online shopping? Click on the Amazon links on this page, and it helps us pay the bills and costs you nothing extra!