Six Flags New England

5th September 2021

The final coaster day of my trip began with a completely inaccurate weather forecast. All of the usual sites told me that it would be dry at Six Flags New England until early afternoon, but they were wrong; drizzle started when I was about twenty minutes away, and while it wasn’t particularly heavy it was significant enough to make me glad that I’d brought my raincoat with me. I was a little worried that the conditions might shut down rides, but fortunately pretty much everything was testing for my arrival. Having said that, in deference to the laws of Six Flags, absolutely nothing was ready to go at the advertised opening time.

Six Flags

I decided to camp out in front of Joker (#2972), the third and final S&S Free Spin of the trip. The ride opened about twenty minutes behind schedule, allowing me to claim a backwards-facing inside seat. This flipped right over on the first bump after the lift hill, making me wonder if I should have waited a little longer to digest my breakfast – but as things turned out this was the only really aggressive moment. The experience otherwise was relatively sedate, and almost enjoyable; there’s no doubt that these rides are growing on me as time goes on, though I definitely prefer the milder variants. I’d like to see more parks do what Adventureland Iowa has done with theirs and offer guests a choice of different intensity levels. With ten examples open already and a further two under construction I daresay I’ll be riding a few more of these at some stage whether I want to or not.

Batman - The Dark Knight was more or less a walk on, as it was running both of its two trains. The experience today was top notch, to the point that I did a small double-take when RCDB revealed that the hardware is twenty years old. The tracking was smooth, and the forces thrilling – delivering exactly what a good floorless coaster should. The difference in comfort level between this machine and the abomination at Six Flags America could not have been more pronounced.

The final coaster of the morning was Superman the Ride, which unlike its former namesakes is a completely bespoke airtime machine designed around the park's terrain. I'd forgotten just how aggressive the layout actually is, perhaps because I hadn't ridden it since my first visit to the park back in 2006. My one and only circuit was in the back seat, from where the experience was more reminiscent of Rocky Mountain than Intamin. After about half of the course I switched my hand position to brace against the lap bar as it was beginning to leave an imprint on my thighs.


Palace Playland

5th September 2021

I’d arranged to meet my friends Bill and Sam at Palace Playland, a seaside park in Maine with no connection whatsoever to Ebenezer Dorset. Anyone who gets that reference without having to click on the link is encouraged to award themselves a cookie.

For the 2018 season park management decided to replace their end-of-life Galaxi with two new coasters. The larger of the pair is Sea Viper, a so-called “Anaconda 2.0” from Preston & Barbieri, and a clone of the ride I enjoyed in Romania in June 2018. Unfortunately I discovered on arrival that it had closed for the season due to a technical fault requiring a replacement part. I've no idea when or if I'll be able to get back to ride it; c'est la vie.

Sea Viper

The loss of the main event meant that Wipe Out (#2973) became my last American coaster for the foreseeable future. My brief irritation faded at the realisation of just how appropriate it was to wrap up a serious never to be repeated credit whoring expedition with a figure eight spinner. Readers who doubt my veracity here should look at the dates on my trip reports published over the last two decades; I much prefer to do frequent short trips, rather than occasional long ones. A month-long expedition with 11,350 miles of driving was a product of circumstances that I fervently hope will never arise again. (As a fun aside, 18 out of the 72 coasters ticked off over the trip – or for preference 25% – were of the ubiquitous design; what can I say? I am not proud.)

We also enjoyed the Ferris Wheel and the Grand Orient Fun House, which featured moving floors, rollers, rotating discs, punch bags, and two rotating barrels at the end – though these had been switched off, presumably to reduce the potential liability in the event of an accident. The experience wasn’t bad really, though it’s fair to say that it paled in comparison to some of the more exciting fun houses on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean.