Batman fans will get to try their favorite ride from a whole new perspective at Six Flags this year: backward.
Batman: The Ride opened in 1995 and was the first inverted, looping coaster at the Eureka, Missouri, amusement park. The ski-lift-style chairs send riders along 2,693 feet of track with their feet swinging free as they fly upside down and through the loops.
Now one of the two tracks on the ride will have a train run backward, so that riders will travel up the 10-story rise and go through the entire ride without seeing what’s coming next. Batman flips the riders five times, more than 110 feet in the air, at 50 mph.
Trains on the other track will remain in the traditional forward position, so riders can choose which experience they want, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Gotway. The ride will continue to operate with a single line; riders will choose their experience when they arrive on the loading dock.
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It’s not the first time Six Flags has run its rides backward. The SkyScreamer elevated swings have run backward on occasion, and Mr. Freeze became Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast in 2012. The original ride launched forward, reaching the height of 218 feet, before reversing and running the whole track backward. When reversed, riders launch backward up to 70 mph in 3.8 seconds, reach the height and then proceed forward back through the loops.
The reversed Mr. Freeze reopened in 2012 with an appearance by then-Cardinals player David Freese. Gotway said it has continued to the present day in its “Reverse Blast” mode because the riders seemed to like it better that way.
But the first ride to run backward was Six Flags classic The Screamin’ Eagle. A traditional wooden roller coaster, it opened in 1976 and was briefly run backward in 1994, Gotway said.
Batman will run backward from opening day March 24 until May 13.
Also coming to Six Flags in 2018: a new water attraction called Typhoon Twister, which is set to open in the Hurricane Harbor water park this summer. It features four-person rafts entering a 125-foot whirlpool bowl that spins riders 360 degrees before a five-story drop, pumping 300,000 gallons of water an hour. The rafters are then propelled up a 45-foot zero-gravity wave wall for a “moment of weightlessness” before falling back down into the splash pool.