SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN
WEST COAST RACERS
Six Flags Theme Parks
(7/21/22) Screamscape was invited to send Rob, our local area guy, out to try their newest roller coaster, Wonder Woman: Flight of Courage last week who sent back the following report about his experience on the park’s 20th roller coaster.
This is the latest creation from Idaho based Rocky Mountain Construction, and it also sets a few precedents for the coaster world. It's the tallest and longest single rail roller coaster, with single file seating that allows for a smaller footprint. It is also Magic Mountain's second Rocky Mountain coaster, after the massive overhaul of [Twisted] Colossus.
The battle of the roller coaster titans continues with Six Flags Magic Mountain's newest salvo, Wonder Woman: Flight of Courage. This latest entry reaffirms Magic Mountain's status as the amusement park with the highest roller coaster count. Again.
Set in the DC Universe area of the park, the loading station for Wonder Woman: Flight of Courage is carried over from the former Green Lantern: First Flight, a disappointing Intamin Zac Spin ride. Entry is accessed via the Embassy of Themyscira, the American office for Wonder Woman's homeland. Once inside, guests file past displays of indigenous weapons and homages to the gods of Mount Olympus.
Lockers are situated near the end of the queue, before a flight of stairs that leads to the loading station. Appropriately, no loose articles are permitted onboard, though zippered pouches are affixed to each seat to accommodate smaller items.
The most glaring drawback is that the single file seating arrangement means the wheels are situated directly under the train, necessitating that riders' legs be uncomfortably splayed apart at awkward angles. Add to that an aesthetically inelegant, cumbersome and painful overhead restraint system that often comes down hard on riders' thighs, and you have this rider wishing Rocky Mountain would spend more effort developing their harnesses. At least the shoulder restraints are fairly unobtrusive fabric straps that allow for some wiggle room.
The ride begins benignly enough, with a steep climb to the top of the 131 foot lift hill, affording an expansive view of the surrounding area. Unexpectedly, the hill employs noisy rollback teeth, giving the ascent a traditional feel due to the steady metallic "clack clack" sound during the trip up.
Unlike the other Rocky Mountain single rails coasters, Flight of Courage doesn't have a turnaround after the first lift; it goes straight into the first 87° drop. This first drop will feel radically different, depending on the location of your seat. Those seated in the front will hang over the edge, looking straight down toward the baking concrete below before picking up steam. Those seated toward the rear of the train won't even have a chance of seeing the ground before they are catapulted over the edge at considerable fury. This is the joy of seat selection on coasters. Riders can modulate the intensity of their experience, that is if they are permitted to select their own seats. It appears that staff will be assigning seats to maintain a smooth loading process, though I am certain most will be open to requests.
The remainder of the ride is a relentless sequence of textbook maneuvers, including a raven dive, zero-gravity roll, and overbanked turns. It hits all the right buttons and more. As expected, the ride is smooth as glass.
The duration also feels just right, not too short. If there are any drawbacks, the relentless nature of the sequence of elements begs for a little relief. The mid-course brake does not seem to be activated, so trains fly through the only flat section and hurl right into the final sequence of twists. We'll see if that lasts.
Capacity looks to be decent as well, with a continuous loading system in which the train steadily creeps through the station as passengers disembark and then board in a simple procedure. No waiting for gates to open and close or for riders stashing belongings in a station cubby. Though not new, this is a revolution for loading procedures.
One of the aesthetic byproducts of these single rail designs is that the structure overwhelms the track itself to the point of making it look rather flimsy and delicate, which it is not. It pretty much looks like a toy; one expects little metal balls to come rolling down the rail at any point. But let's not quibble: this is a real ride, made for real people with the courage to subject themselves to extreme speeds and forces in the name of recreation and leisure. And on that front. Wonder Woman does not disappoint.