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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Six Flags New England, July 2015

The final amusement park related stop on our way back from our weeklong honeymoon in Maine was at Six Flags New England. At the beginning of the trip we stopped at the awesome Funtown/Splashtown USA in Saco, Maine, and Palace Playland at Old Orchard Beach. This was our first visit to the park and we wanted to see what all of the hype was about regarding their perennial favorite, Bizarro, and their brand new Wicked Cyclone.

The skyline looks impressive. The 400 foot red, white, and blue tower of the SkyScreamer ride can be seen up and down the Connecticut River with ease, making the drive in to the park even more exciting. On the left you can see the brand new, 109 foot tall, Wicked Cyclone, and on the far right you can see the nearly 200 foot green towers of Goliath. 
Naturally the first thing we headed to was Wicked Cyclone. The hype surrounding this ride had us heading right to it. It was a fun ride, but I will talk more about it later on in this post.
Here you can see the 208 foot tall Bizarro standing over a coaster that is 58 years its senior, the Thunderbolt. 
But first, another view of Thunderbolt! We opted to ride instead of taking a ton of time waiting for trains to dispatch to take photos, hence the many shots without trains in them.
Our next stop is Goliath. I rode this with an open mind, as I always do when I take in rides. The twin drops off of nearly 200 foot towers are breathtaking. This ended up being my second favorite coaster in the park to Bizarro. 
Can't wait to see this at night! Gotta love classic neon!
ACE Coaster Landmark designation. This is a classic ride and I am glad that the park has taken care of it as the centerpiece of the park. 
Now it is time for Bizarro. Intamin truly made a fantastic batch of coasters at the turn of the millennium, with this coaster, the Ride of Steel coasters at Darien Lake and Six Flags America, Millennium Force, and others. The Ride of Steel coasters up until this visit were my two favorite Intamin coasters, with Darien's getting the slight edge. These coasters have the perfect balance of large drops, extreme ejector airtime, excellent floater airtime, and cutting lateral turns that make this a well rounded ride. From start to finish, these coasters never let up. Bizarro takes a slight edge over Darien's Ride of Steel because of its slightly more twisted layout due to it being built into a more compact plot of land, and the small overbanked turn after the second drop. This layout never lets up. I generally prefer wood coasters over steel coasters, but this coaster is one of only two other steel coasters that breaks into my ten favorite overall coasters. The two of us absolutely love this ride!
The raised arms on all of the riders truly say it all about this coaster. Nonstop airtime and nonstop action.
The helix elements in the second half of the ride are stunning. They are interspersed with some excellent airtime hills, often leading to raised arms getting pulled back down, sideways, and all over the place, from all of the extreme forces. 
There I am getting a backseat ride!
We ended up riding this over and over once we got through the other rides in the park. 
Stunning airtime!
While the coaster is only 208 feet tall, the drop is actually 221 feet down, with the train dipping into a  mist filled tunnel. A great way to cool off on a 92 degree day!
The park's Batman B&M Floorless Coaster is a pretty decent ride. It has the some of the intensity of the older B&M coasters, with the smoothness of their later creations. This is a solid and compact floorless and my favorite in the genre of the ones I have ridden.
I probably look like that rider in row five when I ride on the B&M trains. I always keep my hands raised and legs out.
More Bizarro action!
The airtime seldom stops on Bizarro. The only time you get a breather from the intense airtime on Bizarro is when you are in a turn with intense lateral forces.
Thunderbolt is a fun little wood coaster that should be a great ride for the whole family. 
As I was saying earlier, I did not expect Goliath Vekoma Giant Boomerang to be as fun as it was. 
Now over to a shadowy Wicked Cyclone to start wrapping up the evening. This extremely hyped ride is very fun and a nice complement to the other coasters. My first impression upon approaching the coaster was how loud it is. The park was smart to add a weather theme to this coaster, for the trains are so loud that they sound like the spiraling and roaring winds of an approaching storm. Adding some weather decorations and some TV screens playing tapes of people reporting about an "approaching storm" is a smart way to utilize the roaring sound that those RMC trains make. 
The first drop offers a nice little pop of airtime. I prefer the back part of the train on this ride due to it offering a higher intensity ride. After the first drop you are lead into a portion of straight track that leads you into an overbanked turn that feels smooth as glass and not too extreme. All of the banked elements and inversions feel this way. After the first drop there are about four moments of nice ejector airtime. The inversions are smooth and not terribly forceful. To describe the overall feel of the ride, the coaster feels and sounds like a Miler, and some of the elements feel similar to that of a TOGO. The elements reminiscent of a TOGO are the turning elements where they seem to have attempted to create airtime, similar to that of the return run on Fujiyama. Overall, this is a ride that certainly compliments the rest of the collection of coasters at Six Flags New England. 
The inversions are smooth as glass on Wicked Cyclone. If you closed your eyes while riding, you would not even know they were there. They are visually stunning to ride through and to observe from the midways.
We closed out our day at the park with a final ride on the New England SkyScreamer. This is our second favorite ride in the park to Bizarro. At 400 feet, this is one great ride. This is a beautifully executed ride. The tower is huge, the sound system on the ride plays a soundtrack that really adds to the experience, and the tower is adorned beautifully with an awesome decorative topper and a stunning package of night lighting. The ride itself is awesome as well, offering a breathtaking view of Massachusetts and Connecticut. As I mentioned earlier, you can see this tower from miles away, up and down the Connecticut River. 
The park's boomerang alley.
And another look at SkyScreamer with the lighting starting to pop on. 
This park really comes alive at night with some really cool lighting. Thunderbolt's neon looks awesome.
I really like the park's central midway. They did a great job keeping this area intact with classic rides, hearkening back to the days when this park was known as Riverside Park and park patrons arrived on steamships and trolleys. There are certain parts of the park that this old charm still shines through. 
The park's 1909 Illions Carousel is spectacular. It is one of only eight intact carousels that remain in operation from Marcus Illions, the famed Lithuanian-American immigrant and carousel carver that settled in Coney Island. It is amazing to think about how this carousel has spent more than a century at this amusement park. 
Six Flags New England is a nice park with a solid selection of rides, and Bizarro, a world-class coaster that truly lives up to the hype, in addition to some fun coasters including the new Wicked Cyclone, the giant Goliath, the floorless Batman, and others. We had a great time wrapping up our honeymoon at the park. 

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