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I was not expecting this coaster to be so great, but it was nonetheless. It is my #1 steel coaster and I've been on over 100. The air is insane, lines were minimal during both days I visited.
Where's the love for the Superman just outside our nation's capital? I went on the coaster over ten times last season and couldn't get enough of it. I'll echo many other critics' comments about the turn out of the first drop. It makes all the difference. The sense of speed is incredible, as is the hill that follows. The giant helix packs a punch the whole way and leads into an unbelievable air time hill that for me rivals only the most ferocious parts of El Toro. The next helix is strong (but a little weaker), but the twisting drop into the final bunny hops generate excellent airtime. Overall, there wasn't much I could fault with this coaster. With the new paint job for the 2009-2010 season it looks as good as ever and rides very smoothly. Only downside is I have experienced one train operation during my rides this season thus far. If you ask me, the uniqueness of this ride, particularly due to its sense of speed and incredible airtime moments, bring this one notch above its counterpart at SFNE. I'm nuts, I know.
Date Ridden: Summer of 2008. Times Ridden: 1 in the middle of the train. As most enthusiasts are aware, there are three of these Ride of Steel rides. The number one ranked ride in the world is at Six Flags New England. Another is located at Darien Lake and this final on is in Maryland. The Darien Lake version and this one are clones with identical lay-outs. The ride in New England is a beast as I have already reviewed. I loved the Darien Lake ride and it landed just outside my top 20. Unlike many enthusiasts, I enjoy straight track sections and the sensation of massive amounts of speed. That is why Millennium Force at Cedar Point still ranks as my number one coaster because no coaster I have ever ridden gives that sensation of speed for that long spread out over a mile of track. I was hoping this Ride of Steel would challenge my top coasters as I knew I loved the lay-out. Unfortunately, there were problems. The ride itself is located at the very back of the park as far from the front entrance as is humanly possible. This is not an issue, as we normally go to the back of the park first to beat the crowds and then work our way around to the front. However, the ROS was not operating when we entered the station house. They were still running test trains so we grabbed an open back seat spot in the line and waited patiently. I noticed immediately that only one train was being run. I quickly calculated that re-rides would be difficult as there were many people beginning to enter the line to ride the park'..s signature ride. Watching a few test runs gave me time to look at the station, the ride ops, and the train. I was not impressed with any of the above. The station was shabby and dirty when compared to other parks (and even other rides I found out later as the park'..s other coasters were well-kept and clean). The ops were sitting around laughing and eating while totally ignoring the guests. Lastly, the train they were running did not look as if it were made from "..Steel"... It was bashed in pretty severely on the front. looking as if it had rammed a light pole. Then, when they allowed the gates to open and guests to finally enter, there was a problem with the retrains not coming locking so they had to block off half of the train! Yes, our seat was one of the non-locking ones so we had to get in another line and wait about three cycles before we got on. The ops placed nasty trash cans in the aisles that did not work so only half of one train was running. Since we were busy, we only rode one ride and it was superb. Despite the bashed up train, the ragged seat belts, the chewed up lap bar, and the nasty garbage cans in the station, the ride itself delivered. I had a blast dropping down the first hill and enjoying the smooth, air-time filled ride known for its great series of camel backs at the end. I simply do not understand why parks that have world class coasters do no perform regular upkeep on them. The rest of the park was clean, the ride ops were friendly, and overall experience was pleasant. However, on their signature ride, the experience was lessened due to poor maintenance and operators with no personality. Now I do understand that all coasters have problems and issues that must be dealt with. I may have visited on the only poor operating day of the year for this coaster. However, running only half of one train is totally unacceptable on a ride of this caliber. Hopefully over the winter, Six Flags will dive in and give this coaster some much needed TLC. Seriously, this ride could easily rank much higher if it offered a more pleasant overall experience to its guests. The ride itself received a 9 but I am subtracting a point for the poor experience, operators who were rude, and the horrible smelling station. Overall Rating - 8
I was all set to give this ride an eight, but when I saw how often it has been damned by faint praise, my reactionary tendencies almost boosted my rating to a nine. Almost. Maybe this relative indifference proves nothing so much as how far steel coasters have come. This ride, for me, is indicative of the SFA roller coaster line-up as a whole: solid, fun, above average, even, but still lacking that last increment of genius or daring that separates the sturdy stand-bys from the great ones. Among the Superman trio, this seems to be the Kate Jackson to New Englands Farrah Fawcett; no one would complain about Kate unless hed seen Farrah.
Still, Kate aint bad, and neither is this. I enjoyed every trip I took on this coaster. Nothing about it was a bummer; from start to finish, good things were always happening, and I had no sense of frustration or letdown. Id go so far as to say it has three great moments. The first drop has that excellent sensation where you seem to freefall and then come back into contack with the track about 2/3 of the way down. And, hey, how about that speed hill between the helices? I had one ride in the back seat where I somehow managed to avoid being stapled and caught so much air on this hill that when we hit bottom I involuntarily flopped over the front of the car as if rendering the classic "I-am-not-worthy" supplication to Chancellor Stengel himself. Whats not to love about that? And I really like that funky little bend that dishes you off into the bunny hops (which sadly are themselves somewhat lackluster).
I guess if I have any complaint, it would be that one helix would have sufficed. Oh yeah, and the ankle-grabbers. Those, too. I will say that they were not as bad as I imagined, just kind of stupid and unnecessary. But between them and the sort of stapling you get on El Toro, Ill take the ankle-grabbers any day.
Finally, although Im not usually one to care much about themeing one way or the other, even I was embarrassed that Superman, the premier superhero in the DC Comics pantheon, gets a station that from the outside looks like a latrine. I mean I wasnt expecting the Fortress of Solitude, but lets give the man his due. Im tempted to end this review by saying something like, "Geez, people, lets lighten up and just enjoy the fun to be had," but I understand. The New England ride, especially before the new restraints, was so insanely studpendous that any coaster with the Superman brand cannot but exist in its considerable shadow. Yet I am very happy with this ride, and bestow upon it that distinguished variety of eight that I have henceforth awarded to other meritorious steel hypers like Nitro, which is perhaps a better design but is slightly less raucous. On that note, you havent ridden this ride until youve ridden it in the back seat. Youll get a little rattle, but nothing unpleasant, and the sensation of speed and intensity of airtime are remarkably enhanced. We all know that only one true Superman can rule the skies, but even if this ride falls short of heroism, it still ably answers the call for those us within blast range of the Nations Capital.
Superman: Ride of Mediocrity
This is by far the most ho-hum hyper coaster around. As coasters go, its not a complete failure, but compared to other hyper coasters its in the back of the class. The fact that this S:ROS is made by the same designers that have built a masterpiece in S:ROS @ SFNE is baffling to me.
Up, Up, and Away
The experience starts with minimal theming in the queue and station. Wheres the Superman movie theme like in the New England version? The rides ops were indifferent and did nothing to further rile up the excited riders. Intamins seats arent as wide open as B&Ms, but the back seat of each car did appear to be raised slightly in a stadium seating fashion. I sat in the last car on all of my rides. After a long climb, youre treated with the highlight of the ride. You drop down a great 200 hill next to a green pond. Theres no telling if its green by design, if its some form of toxic waste, or if its just algae. It should be dubbed Kryptonite Creek, because from there on the rides less than super.
Behold: The Ho-Hum Hyper
The banked turn along the ground is actually pretty fun, but the second hill is weak and offers NO airtime. The first helix is fast, but nothing special. The third hill, a short drop into the second helix offers a good pop of air. The second helix offers more of the same. Then you enter the finale. The bunny hills are adequate and one of them has the camera. Then you hit the brakes. For a hyper coaster, this S:ROS is subpar, if I were comparing it to others it would get a 4 or 5. As a roller coaster, its still good. Theres nothing offensive about it, it just scratches the surface of what a hyper coaster can be. Did I mention it wasnt as good as the SFNE version? Final Rating - 7.0 (Good)
Its definitely worth riding, but I wouldnt even call it the best ride in the park (I enjoyed Batwing and Tornado more). I thought the first drop was going to be more intense, and the rest of the ride wasnt too exciting. Overall, its still enjoyable and when I visit this park again, Ill definitely head for this one multiple times. I suggest buying a Flash Pass for $10 to skip the lines. Especially since Six Flags doesnt do theming.
Once I figured out where this would rank with me (#15 for steel) I pretty much have to give it a nine since there are probablyh 20 other coasters that I have given a 9 to that are below this. However, I couldnt help but be disappointed with the ride. For the past several years, it has ranked in the top 10 of nearly every poll, and was nearly-universally accepted as better than its predecessor at Darien Lake, a coaster which I really liked. I disagree with the masses. The ride I got on this ROS was comprable to the rides I got on Darien Lakes in 2004 - however, when I visited Darien Lake last year, it was running much better than it had the year before and compared to what I rode two weeks ago. The line wasnt bad but I was sad to see the back car closed. I still rode in the second to last car and off we went. The valleys of the ride have become rilled with that Intamin rattle, but I at least hoped for the best when cresting the hills. Well.. as you can probably guess, I was let down. Not even the fantastic third hill did much for me, nor did the s-shaped bunny hop, both of which rank among my favorite hills anywhere (at least on the Darien Lake model). The helixes seemed long and boring (again much like DL in 04, wheras last year it was bookin through them) and the final series of bunny hops continued to do little for me. I came into the station disappointed, wondering why is had let me down. Maybe Im just crazy, but this solidified my preference to B&M hypers over Intamin ones, and that Id rather ride Silver Star than GeForce right now.
Superman Ride Of Steel is a steel sit down roller coaster. (Hyper). This coaster was built by Intamin in 2000. Its 200 feet tall and 5,350 feet long. It is fast, fun, rerideable, it has a large capacity, and a long duration.
My redone review for SROS:
I rode SROS for the first time in 3 years on July 25, 2006, and it wasnt all that I remembered, but it was still awsome! Speed going down the first drop was great, but the drop didnt quite get me as it had in the past. Then you head into a huge second hill. There seems to be a small pop of air at the top of that hill, but that hill is mainly for speed and having a nice long drop, much like the first. Then, the train somehow turns into a highly banked helix very smoothly and effortlessly. Although I didnt like the helixes quite as much as I did last time, they are still some of my favorite helixes ever. Very long, fast, smooth, and at an awsome angle. You get a lot of wind in the helix and even made my eyes water a bit! Then you head into what is generally considered by most (and by me as well) to the best part of the ride: the third hill. Its not anywhere near the size of the first two, but it is still fairly large. However, airtime, not size is what this element is about! I must tell you that until my third ride on this thing, I didnt get all the airtime I was hoping. On my third ride I was literaly off my seat the entire way down, which had never happened to me before. I was then finally satisfied with that hill. Next up is yet another helix, basically the same as the first although you do seem to loose a little speed at the end of this one. The fourth hill (the "twisting hop"
was really a surprise for me. There is great airtime and the twist really makes it unique. This is my second favorite element SROS has to offer. The next two hills are small, yet still somehow pack in great airtime. All in all, this ride is great with a speed-dominated first half and an airtime-crazy second. I was very dissapointed at SFA how they handled this ride. The combination of one train oopperation and terrible ride opps made an in-station-wait all day over 20 minutes on each of my three rides. Still, thats not a bad wait for a coaster of this caliber.
The first drop is amazing! A very smooth ride. The 3rd hill delivers insane airtime!!!
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