Six Flags Ride Still Closed Following Roller Coaster Death

Rosy Esparza was apparently concerned that she wasn’t properly fastened into her seat before her ride began on a Six Flags roller coaster Friday. That ride led to her tragic death when she fell out of her seat on the Texas Giant, which reaches a height of 153 feet. The Arlington, Texas Six Flags announced on Saturday that the ride will remain closed until the end of an investigation into the death, which they are conducting themselves.

This tragedy is now added to the list of other deadly roller coaster accidents in the United States, including:

  • 2011, Ride of Steel, Darien Lake, New York: Sgt. James Hackemer, 29, came back from the Gulf War as a double amputee. When asked employees of Darien Lake for a list of rides that would be safe for him, the Ride of Steel was included in that list. He bounced out of the restraints to his death toward the end of the ride.
  • 1930, Big Dipper, Krug Park, Nebraska: A loose bolt on this ride caused four cars to plummet to the ground, killing four people.
  • 2011, Python Pit, Go Bananas, Illinois: A three year old boy fell out of the little roller coaster to his death.
  • 2004, Ride of Steel, Six Flags, Massachusetts: After being ejected mid-ride, a 55-year-old man died after sustaining serious injuries.
  • 2002, Rainbow Ride, Six Flags, Colorado: After unfastening his seat belt, a man fell to his death.

Six Flags Steps Up Entertainment, Cirque Style

California’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom this week announced a partnership with Cirque Productions’ Neil Goldberg and his Cirque Dreams entertainment brand to add a new cutting edge dolphin show featuring Cirque Dreams in spring 2013 titled Cirque Dreams Splashtastic – the Most Amazing Show Above H20.

This new aquatic production teams up the park’s marine mammals with Cirque’s company of acrobats, aerialists and Cirque Dreams acts that promise a unique theme park experience. If this is anything close to the quality of Cirque Dreams and Dinner, featured on Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest cruise ship, Norwegian Epic, theme park fans should love it.”We are excited to bring the unique magic of Cirque Dreams to our guests,” said Dale Kaetzel, park president, in a Wall Street Journal Marketwatch article. “This mesmerizing new water spectacle is a great complement to our existing line-up of rides, shows and animal attractions making us Northern California’s best entertainment destination.”

Cirque Dreams Splashtastic joins wildlife shows and animal attractions that include Pinnipeds of the Caribbean sea lion show, Odin’s Temple of the Tiger, Birds of the World, Elephant Encounter, and Walrus Experience educational demonstration shows.

Cirque Dreams stable of popular shows include Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Illumination, Cirque Dreams & Dinner onboard Norwegian Epic and upcoming Norwegian Breakaway, Cirque Dreams Rocks, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze, now in its fourth consecutive touring season and success from The Kennedy Center.

[Photo- Cirque Productions]

Six Flags Magic Mountain to add insane Drop of Doom ride in 2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain recently announced an unexpected and exciting addition for 2012. The park was already able to boast the most roller coasters of any theme park in the World this year and now it looks to claim another record next year. Magic Mountain has unveiled plans for LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom. At over 400 feet (40 stories) tall it will be the World’s tallest drop ride.

The park’s Superman: Escape from Krypton roller coaster features two twin 415-foot tall towers. Roller coaster cars are launched from zero to 100 mph down the twin tracks and then up these two spires. Those two skyscraping towers are going to be used as the structure for the LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom where riders will drop 400 feet at an unreal 85 mph. After falling for five seconds, which will probably feel like an eterntity, the riders will come to a halt just a few feet from the ground.

To put this insane drop in context, the tallest drop rides in the United States are around 300 feet tall. The view from 400-feet up should be beyond breath-taking. I have to imagine that the wait will be ridiculously long with only two eight-person wide gondolas, but I’m betting that many will gladly wait hours for such an experience. Read more about this new ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain’s LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom page and watch the preview video below.

Six Flags Great America announces X-Flight for 2012

Earlier this year rumors surfaced that Chicago area theme park, Six Flags Great America, was going to remove their stand up roller coaster Iron Wolf. Some fans were sad to see the long running coaster go as the ride has been a fixture at the park for more than two decades. Iron Wolf was also the first roller coaster from World renowned roller coaster designers, Bolliger & Mabillard. Thankfully, the park has planned an exciting new ride to take its place in 2012.

Last week, Six Flags Great America unveiled details for X-Flight. The 3,000 foot long steel roller coaster will boast a new seating configuration where guests will be seated completely outside of the track rather than above or below it. If riding completely exposed wasn’t enough, riders will face five loops that mimic fighter plane maneuvers including a barrel roll, zero-g roll, and an Immelmann loop. X-Flight’s most thrilling element will likely be when the roller coaster threads the needle as it narrowly passes through a themed air traffic control tower. The ride will begin with a 12-story drop generating a top speed of 55 mph. X-Flight is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2012.

Cedar Point opens WindSeeker in the year of the tower ride

Cedar Point opened their new tower ride WindSeeker last week. The 301 foot tall ride spins riders in two-person swings at speeds of 25 to 30 mph. At 30 stories above the park, guests are treated to a great view of Lake Erie, the beach, and Cedar Point’s massive collection of roller coasters and theme park rides.

Here’s a video covering the Cedar Point’s WindSeeker as it opens. At about 4 minutes into the video you can see the ride operate with its impressive lighting system. It looks pretty incredible at night.

Like Hollywood’s summer of sequels a number of theme parks are all inexplicably opening tower rides this year. There are WindSeeker clones that will be popping up at sister Cedar Fair parks Kings Island (near Cincinatti), Knotts Berry Farm (near Los Angeles), and Canada’s Wonderland (near Toronto). Add to that Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Mach Tower and Six Flags’ SkyScreamers at Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (near San Francisco) and you’ve got quite an unusual trend.