Six Flags Magic Mountain aims to reclaim coaster crown with Green Lantern in 2011

(Six Flags Magic Mountain)
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Six Flags Magic Mountain will reclaim the Roller Coaster Capital of the World title with the addition of two coasters in spring 2011, including a first-of-its-kind ride in the U.S., amusement park officials said.

The Green Lantern will bring Magic Mountain’s coaster count to 18, allowing the Valencia amusement park to recapture the coaster crown, taken by Ohio’s Cedar Point in 2008. Magic Mountain snatched the crown from Cedar Point around the turn of the millennium after adding a coaster a year during a building binge that stretched from 1997 to 2003. Cedar Point, with 17 coasters, plans to add a tower swing thrill ride in 2011.

The Green Lantern vertical coaster, with green zigzag track and black supports, will sit on a compact footprint near the Batman and Riddler’s Revenge coasters. The new-concept 4th dimension coaster, similar in style to X2 but more tame, will reach a top speed of 37 mph over 825 feet of serpentine track during the two-minute ride. (Watch concept video of the Green Lantern.)

The Intamin ZacSpin coaster will be the first of its kind in the U.S. The Grona Lund theme park in Stockholm added an identical ZacSpin called Insane last year, with smaller versions of the ride also operating in Spain and Finland.

Coaster enthusiasts who have ridden the European ZacSpins invariably describe the experience as fun, intense and weird but gripe about capacity issues.

Upon boarding a train that straddles the track, eight riders per car face in two directions, forward and backward. A chain lift carries each car up an inverted curved section to a height of 107 feet. From there, the suspended trains rock back and forth on the straight-aways and rotate head over heels as the cars plunge over freefall drops.

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey will also add a stand-up coaster called Green Lantern in 2011, relocated from a shuttered park in Kentucky. The debut of both themed coasters will coincide with the 2011 release of the “Green Lantern” movie based on the DC Comics superhero with otherworldly powers.

Magic Mountain will also add a kiddie coaster in spring 2011, relocated from a now-shuttered Six Flags park in New Orleans. Mr. Six’s DanceCoaster was announced as a new addition for 2010 and later postponed because of construction delays. Magic Mountain has since dropped the Mr. Six name from the coaster.

The as-yet-renamed red-and-black junior coaster will replace the Sierra Falls water slide between the Thomas Town and Bugs Bunny World kiddie lands. Eventually, the kids’ coaster will likely get a Looney Tunes theme, officials said.