Six Flags Texas Debuts Record-Breaking Hybrid Coaster (VIDEO)

Coaster enthusiasts, get ready to roll. Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio is introducing a new coaster with a first-of-its-kind looping zero-gravity barrel roll on a hybrid coaster. The new coaster, dubbed the Iron Rattler, will also feature the world’s tallest and steepest drop, an 81-degree fall from a height of 180-feet. The coaster is fast, too; it tops out at 70 miles per hour as it snakes through four over banked turns and eventually flips riders upside down.

Here’s a summary of the record-breaking stats, according to Six Flags Fiesta Texas:

  • A 180-foot lift hill makes it the tallest hybrid coaster in the world.
  • An 81-degree drop makes it the steepest hybrid coaster in the world.
  • A top speed of 70 mph makes it the fastest hybrid coaster in the world.
  • A zero-gravity barrel roll makes it the first hybrid coaster in the world to flip completely upside down.

Season pass holders will get a sneak peek at the Iron Rattler on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, and then the coaster will be available for public rides on Saturday, May 25.

Six Flags theme parks re-theme rides for 2011

While theme parks around the world add more rides, more shows and more dining options for guests in 2011, there’s one thing you will find less of at Six Flags parks next year: character.

Six Flags plans to re-theme many of its rides in a cost-cutting measure.

Evel Knievel, Tony Hawk, Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wiggles are among the losers in the deal as Six Flags unravels some licensing agreements.

As the Los Angeles Times reports:

  • The Tony Hawk Big Spin ride at Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Six Flags Over Texas will be rethemed as the Big Spin, without the famous skateboarder’s name or likeness.
  • At Six Flags St. Louis, a wooden coaster named the Evil Knievel will renamed American Thunder.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine will disappear from Thomas Town kiddie lands at Six Flags America (which just opened its Thomas Town this June), Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Six Flags New England and Six Flags Over Georgia.
  • The Wiggles will no longer sing at the Wiggles World children’s areas at Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Great America, Great Escape, Six Flags New England and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where five rides have already been stripped of the kid’s band theming.

Despite the re-themed rides, characters from the Looney Tunes, DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera will remain at the parks.

[Image credit: Flickr user bravo!]

Tony Hawk’s Big Spin: New Roller Coaster in Two Places

Dollywood isn’t the only amusement park to get a new roller coaster. Here’s another one. If the name Tony Hawk’s Big Spin makes you feel dizzy, it’s no wonder. This new roller coaster, made by Gerstlauer in Germany, is patterned after the moves of professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. Instead of zipping along on tracks where each time you ride you move in the same pattern of ups, downs and arounds, this roller coaster has cars that spin as if you’re free-styling on a skateboard. None of the spins match each other so each time you ride, the experience is different.

The cars are also what make this ride unique. Each seat only four people who sit across from each other. Both Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio and Six Flags St. Louis have one of these new rides.

The question I want answered before I climb aboard is how sick does the spinning make you feel? Because people sit across from each other, getting sick could be a bit of a problem. Here’s a link to the promotional video that gives a pretty good idea about what this ride is like. I’d get sick for sure. That’s a lot of spinning.