Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Will you take a look at a coaster like that! Riddler's Revenge, located at Six Flags Magic Mountain, currently stands as the world's tallest, most inverted stand-up roller coaster. Built by the Swiss engineering geniuses at Bolliger & Mabillard, this green, slithering structure of steel features a huge, 160 foot tall lift hill and six sensational inversions: an enormous vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill, two dive loops, an slanted oblique loop, and two corkscrews.
The coaster is located in the park's Movie District themed area, on the opposite side from the main entrance, next door to Gotham City. In fact, from the top of the lift hill, Batman: The Ride can easily be seen. The entrance to Riddler's Revenge is marked with the signature Riddler's logo set in front of a question mark. On packed days, the line can easily run to three hours, even when the stand-up is running it's maximum three trains. From the entrance, the line snakes underneath the track. A few areas are covered by canvas to provide shade on those inevitable hot, sunny Southern California days. While waiting, guests can easily hear the metallic groan as the train roars by. Granted, B&M roller coasters are known to be exceptionally smooth, but the Riddler is also exceptionally LOUD. The friction between the polyurethane wheels and the cold, hard steel produce a thunderous echo as the train flies by. It's loud enough to make some people put their hands to their ears.
Towards the actual station, there is an area for riders to place their backpacks and "other loose articles." Naturally, payment is required, but riders can also put their back packs on the other side of the station, near the exit, when they board. It's just that lockers offer more security, and the park is not responsible if a guest's bag that was placed to the side of the station is lost or stolen. Still, for those who play the odds and don't want to spend the dollar for lockers, it's okay to lay back packs or bags on the side.
Entering the station, guests are greeted with a catchy techno tune. The station itself is decked out to look like a dance club. It seems Edward Nigma is using this club as a front for his headquarters of crime. For those who are curious, the song playing repeatedly on the speakers is called "Ecuador (Bruce Wayne Remix)" and is by the group Sash!
As with many Six Flags major attractions, guests can choose where in the train they wish to sit. Lines for the front and back cars are usually longer than the middle cars, of course. Once the gates open, riders walk through and board the train. B&M stand-up coasters use a very nifty system to "seat" their riders. The seats are capable of sliding up and down to adjust to an individual's height. Riders merely have to climb on, pull the over-the-shoulder-harnesses over their body, and then stand up straight. After the ride operators check the restraints, a bolt will lock the position in place. The ideal position is to stand up, and then bend the knees just a bit, so that there is a bit of give and the person is neither too stiff standing up nor put in an actual sit-down position.
After the go ahead is given, the train slow rolls out of the station, turning about forty degrees to the right to ascend the lift hill. If guests are lucky and the trains are timed perfectly, they will be able to catch the train ahead of them soar through a dive loop position right over the start of the lift hill. As they continue their nearly one-minute ascent, they will thread another inversion, the vertical loop.
Upon reaching the top, thrill seekers take the customary B&M dip to free the train of the lift chain. A sudden tilt to the left, and it's time to plunge down the curving drop. Roaring at well over sixty miles an hour, the train enters its first inversion, a towering 110-foot tall vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill. Swooping back down, the Riddler makes a slight lunge to the left before rising up into the second inversion, a dive loop. A second dive loops follows as the coaster flies up high above over the lift hill then plummets back down.
The fourth inversion on this coaster is an oblique loop, which is sort of like a vertical loop, only it is slanted at an angle to the ground. Riders are never completely upside down, technically, but the sensation is quite unique. Like the previous inversions, this one is not intense at all. Some might even complain that the train is going too slow at the top. Of course, a stand-up coaster does not exist to be intense. It exists to provide a revolutionary ride experience. Coming out of the oblique loop, riders zoom across, cutting over the line and sliding up to the right into the mid-course brake run.
A straight dip leads to a corkscrew as the train veers away to avoid running into the main pathway. Ducking over to the left, this coaster navigates a few hills over the lift hill and then back, racing parallel to the station before dropping in for a final corkscrew, a tight, pressuring element. A climbing turn to the right finally takes the coaster into the final brakes, where, after waiting for the ahead train to leave the station, this train enters, returning riders back to their origin.
Riddler's Revenge is arguable the best stand-up roller coaster to date. It is also the last one built, although others are bound to follow. Maybe B&M is just taking a break. Regardless, the Riddler's Revenge is three minutes that few theme park visitors will ever forget!
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Bolliger & Mabillard
April 4, 1998
Steel Stand-Up Coaster
- Vertical loop passing through
- Two dive loops
- One oblique loop
- Two corkscrews
- PHOTOS -
Photos courtesy of America Coasters Network.
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