The Green Lantern roller coaster at
Magic Mountain looks tame enough from the ground, but the new ride packs a wallop once you climb onboard.
With an official opening set for Friday at
, my advance test ride on
left me feeling like a villain on the receiving end of a superhero's right hook: Wham! Boom! Kapow!
The new-concept, fourth-dimension vertical coaster is a completely different experience depending on whether you're facing forward or backward.
The forward-facing seats deliver a multiple G-force karate kick, usually accompanied by a guttural "Ughhh!"
I preferred the backward-facing seats, which offered a better perspective of the upcoming flips, freefall drops and head-chopper near misses.
Built vertically on a tight footprint, the towering serpentine track shuddered as each of the eight-person cars cycled through the head-over-heels spinning ride.
I expected Green Lantern to be a kinder and gentler version of its older, fourth-dimension cousin,
. But there was nothing kind and gentle about Green Lantern. While X2 remains more extreme, Green Lantern definitely delivers on the thrills.
Eventually, the rocking and spinning Green Lantern cars will be allowed to rotate more freely after the initial test-and-adjust phase, adding an extra layer of intimidation to an already exciting ride in the coming weeks.
Magic Mountain has done a beautiful job of adding a graphic-intensive, comic book theme to the redubbed DC Universe with oversized superhero marquees, including a 25-foot-tall Green Lantern cutout character.
The thematic overhaul of the land also changes the names of the undulating Himalaya-style ride to
Flash: Speed Force
and the tilting roundup ride to
Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth
Green Lantern, a first-of-its-kind ride in the U.S. that I called the "
," is the perfect addition to Magic Mountain's record-setting arsenal of now 18 coasters, the most of any amusement park.
I'd put Green Lantern in my
, somewhere between the flying
and the wooden twister