USA 06/23 – Six Flags Over Georgia + Fun Spot America Atlanta
“I’ll never go back to Georgia, not at least ‘til I have to.”
Having missed out on two B&Ms during our trip in 2019, taken ownership of Six Flags passes once more and with a little certain something now operating elsewhere within the city limits, a revisit to Atlanta was inevitable.
Day 6 – Six Flags Over Georgia
Turns out the passes were not only processed properly, but gave us access to silly little perks like the VIP entrance at each park. Here, this was a bored man on a chair hiding inside a tiny shelled out building/corridor adjacent to where the masses (and not that many of them) were queuing at the turnstiles. May as well make the most of it.
The above paint job was entirely to blame for the first missing B&M, the excellently named #1 Georgia Scorcher had needed some TLC and it was still looking rather good to be fair to it. No time like the present, time to put our feet to the flame.
Ever since the first had the capacity to box my ears, I always approach B&M standups with trepidation. We were caught off guard anyway, being batched into the back row and then immediately skipping ahead one train and before knowing it, attempting to work out the awkward contraption that is the seating and restraint system.
My tactically chosen inner seat had already been locked in the vertical plane, leaving things somewhat compromised. Thankfully this was rectified when restraint check finally arrived and, feeling relatively comfortable given the circumstances, the train headed up the lift hill.
You’re alright, Georgia Scorcher, you’re alright – my immediate sentiment upon hitting the brakes. Whether the stars were aligned and I had the absolute ideal circumstances, or it really is just running that well for a 24 year old machine of mayhem, no damage was sustained whatsoever. In fact, I found myself rather impressed with what I had just experienced.
Inversions aside, the layout was filled with a stronger than usual mix of forceful, whippy turns, some of which almost rode like GCI transitions. On more than one occasion my feet were popped off of the floor as I hit these directional changes with perfect precision, my head never once colliding with that which was in such ominously close quarters. While not having quite the same exposed feeling, this is exactly what Togo does best for the genre, putting you out of your comfort zone.
Turns out I’ve now ridden them all, ergo, this was the best one.
Following on from that success, we went to check out Goliath again. It was limping along on only a single train and staff were being rather ruthless with the clamshells. I hadn’t been overly smitten with this one before and my feelings were justified once more. Something about that first drop just doesn’t happen, it’s almost like time skips for me. I’m at the top of the lift, and now I’m at the bottom.
Whether there’s some visual trickery going on with the ever heightened valleys over pathways, roads, other rides, terrain, it doesn’t quite have the grace and speed of other counterparts. It rode worse than the B&M below it, there’s still a weird snappy crunch at the end of every hill in the last section, though Steel Eel had taken the sting out of that sensation this time. All in all it’s the perfect attraction to be sunglasses on, not caring.
Which is a shame, because I can’t relate to this one so much.
Something that does stand out in the Georgia park is their old dark ride Monster Mansion. It’s about the most non-corporate thing they own and had recently undergone a bit of TLC itself. Other than one new TV screen showing windows errors, this appears to have done well for the attraction – a characterful romp through a flooded mansion, a cute monster picnic and the marsh we are continuously advised not to enter. Love this thing.
On the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the highly cloned Justice League on park, though I do always enjoy an opportunity to experience these too. Though a staple, once again I don’t really feel like I’m at a Six Flags park once on board. A highly impressive interactive experience with a solid blend of physical scenery feels almost out of place within a chain that’ll slap a Freespin down, name it whatever DC character doesn’t have a ride in the park yet, and call it a job well done.
Talking of which, this park had also not yet managed to build their new 10ft coaster for the ‘summer season’. In fact, there wasn’t even evidence of where this one was going. At least Fiesta Texas had hired a digger. Can’t excite you with some construction today.
Nor can I excite myself with one of these any more. The other B&M that eluded us before was this, and it had no excuse for itself. As of riding, I’ve now also done every flyer installation in the world. That could have been a celebration, but, #2 Superman – Ultimate Flight clone. S’alright. +1.
The only other ride we were even remotely interested to get back on was of course the little pocket rocket that is Twisted Cyclone. The contrast to 90 minute queues and a hornet infestation was heavenly, as we managed to simply walk onto it on numerous occasions this time around.
They’ve redone something on the trains it seems, given the sides a bit more detail, changed one from black to blue and fitted some sleeker looking brushed metal restraints on one, while the other has half of its ‘pull up’ straps ripped out at the screws. On board it’s pretty much exactly how I remembered it to be, a low tier RMC that still has the power to blow minds.
Size is its only real shortcoming, though the pre-lift section is great fun and makes the experience feel a little longer. It’s the double inversion sequence up, turn and down that does the least for me and things only amp up through the wave turn, which is ridiculously good, kicking you out of the seat and pinning you there, putting all these other manufacturers ‘sideways hills’ to shame, though they’re all trying to capitalise on the trend.
Powerful airtime moments round out the rest of the sequence, hitting hard and one after another as you bounce around what’s left of the old cyclone wood. It whips into the brakes at an excessive pace, becoming somewhat of a signature move for this trip. Fantastic stuff.
We interluded a small marathon on that by riding the Joker Funhouse Coaster, for some reason. I guess Chance family coasters are hard to come by. It’s an intriguing one, though I don’t remember it crossing every kicker wheel along the route with the grace of a Zamperla Thunderbolt trim brake last time around.
Back to TwiCy once more it was a matter of tactically warming up the thigh bruises with the correct number of laps as opposed to wearing ourselves down too much, for what was to come.
As such our time at Six Flags came to an end. Yes, we missed half the other rides, but they ain’t all that.
Fun Spot Atlanta
And they certainly ain’t this. God damn Iron Gwazi, Jesus Christ on a cracker (R.I.P. Mine Blower), let’s get all of the superlatives out of the way because I’ve just sat here staring at this photo for 5 minutes not knowing how to move my fingers across a keyboard any more.
In fact, let’s get the other creds out of the way, out of sequence. This Fun Spot, as with the other two, was plenty quiet, allowing free reign of pretty much anything at all times.
To the point where the smaller rides were on rotation. We had to make our presence known at Iron Rattler’s young cousin #4 Sea Serpent in order to experience some classic E&F Miler.
And again over at #5 Hurricane Coaster, but bigger. Some kids wanted to do the adjacent slides about 10 times over, while an operator had to supervise before they could run this for us. As you scale up their rides they get pretty wild, the wicked laterals in the wild mouse turns contrasting nicely with clunky airtime. I think we peaked at the Kissimmee one of these though.
Here it is again, and the same can’t be said for the star attraction, #3 ArieForce One. Of course this is now the best Fun Spot, how ridiculous that this RMC even exists here, with no one riding it, by the side of a road in what feels like nowhere, looking like a Colgate advert.
To be fair, there were people riding it. 10-20 at most, and all the same faces, many of which showed off the wide range of enthusiast life. It ran a single train continuously throughout the night, every few minutes or so. There was one particular legend who was on every single one of those laps from the moment we arrived until he bade farewell to the ride staff a couple of cycles before closing, seemingly unphased by the entire experience. In fact you couldn’t tell that he was enjoying it at all, it was purely ritualistic. The moment the restraints unlocked he, having always chosen the seat nearest the exit stairs, performed exactly the same run towards them, out the exit, in the entrance, up the stairs and into the same air gates before they could open them again.
While he was clearly no conversationalist, we got chatting to another guy who had just taken the same route as us, from Six Flags and, with an even more impressive level of dedication, had just come from Wildcat’s Revenge, and was flying out to Carowinds next, this same night. His intense screams of “OH MY GOD!” added a third superlative to proceedings, punctuating many a brake run moment and the word Tylenol was thrown around a lot in that station.
Point is I’m still distracting myself from talking about the ride in an attempt to find the words to describe it, so… theming. The small queue area at the base of the shed has a few props that gear you up to the idea that this is about simulated space flight. In the station there’s some rather cool despatch announcements led by screens to describe that you’re all buckled up and ready to take off. The back of the front of the train looks like an aircraft console. Being somewhat impacted by the experience, the details have faded on me.
So, how was the ride? A sharp drop out of the station precedes a short pre-lift section of straight hops before an ascent up the not overly massive lift hill. This is a medium boy.
As with most RMCs of this nature, the near vertical first drop signifies the start of the layout proper. Almost hugging the floor, the train pulls up into a reasonably high inversion that acts as a change of direction, flipping you round to head back towards the station. This journey is made through a low, speed hill, a zero-g stall alongside the lift structure.
Having now reached the station, a large, outerbanked hill passes you right over the top of it and signifies the beginning of the second out and back sequence.
A double up of hills follows immediately after.
Leading into the first of two high-speed barrel roll-style inversions, which are separated by a single wonky hill and an also high-speed low turnaround.
Having exited the final inversion, the ride is lined up with and concludes by hitting six back to back airtime moments of varying shapes and sizes before coming to a stop on the brake run.
Nah, let’s do that again. This thing hurt me from the off. That drop out of the station towards the back of the train was so vicious that, stomach full of Firehouse Sub for at least half of the evening, I could do nothing but groan like I was slowly dying inside. The pumpy little hills after are emphasised to the point of flopping around all over the place like a rag doll before you’ve even begun.
There’s never usually a huge amount to say about a lift hill, but there are very few rides in the world that, when I’m on the lift for the umpteenth time, there’s this inner monologue of screaming, yes yes yes, this is what it’s all about, magical moments and all that. If I had to come up with a visual comparison for this feeling, it would likely be the poster for the film Smile.
The drop is the most pedestrian moment of the whole thing. It’s no slouch by any means, just very par for the course for anyone who’s done, say, 20 RMCs. It’s straight, it’s powerful. It doesn’t have the extra momentum into it like a Wildfire or a Whale, but it’s serviceable.
The pull out felt a little stronger as the day progressed, likely as my body weakened, with some semi-decent positives before flopping up into the, whatever it’s called, it’s got a silly name. This perfectly and gently lifts you out of your seat as the track rotates around you and then drops out from under you in a well-executed manner that any engineer should be proud of. It’s all very ‘jolly good show’ so far.
Speed hill has some punch to it, it’s more impactful than, say, the silly little ones at the base of the drops on Steve or Zadra. This is the first real high speed lurch that, if you have problems with the restraints, is going to start causing some issues. Stall is standard fare, it’s the longest in the U.S. don’t you know, which I’m guessing means something in Europe beats it.
Amusingly the length of it was perfectly demonstrated by some kids in front on one lap who had a little rock, paper, scissors, secret handshake-style manoeuvre, perfectly planned out to take place within the allotted time frame. It has some pop either in, or out, depending on where you sit, but it’s still not an inversion that blows me away like it used to. Let’s blame Intamin for that one.
In my boring rendition, this thing marked the second half. It also marks the point at which lives are changed. If there’s an allotted time frame in the stall, then the sustained ejection on the outer banked hill provides enough time to drink a cup of tea. I struggle to recall anything quite like it. There’s very few rides in the world that give you this moment where you can essentially close your eyes and stop and think about the blissful sensation of being strongly flung outwards towards the sky, held down by nothing but the thigh, as it’s happening. And it’s at some ridiculous angle to boot.
Violence in the first hill, another ridiculous sustain in the second. This brings out the feels of the Twisted Timbers big hills, ones that are probably up there in coming close to what I described above. Lengthy and powerful, the best of both worlds.
The speed of this inversion is ridiculous, it hits so hard that you don’t even really know what hit you. There’s something slightly off-kilter to it, not your average straight line affair as it forms part of a direction change immediately after. If anything this manoeuvre feels like the most accurate portrayal of the ‘theme’ on the ride.
After that is a little off-axis moment which restores some balance to those who got the outside seat on the bliss-hill. A brutal pop that on occasion put me out of sorts into the most positive-heavy moment I’ve encountered on any RMC. It has a silly name that describes the exact force, but it’s certainly a hard hitter, bringing life to what has always appeared to be my least favourite part about rollercoasters – corners. Let us take a moment to appreciate that there’s only one corner on this ride, and it tried to break my neck.
Having not recovered from that, a counter-inversion restores balance to the previous one in an insanely fast whip back in the other direction, also unconventionally shaped and, if possible, even more incomprehensible. The exit simply leaves you thinking ‘whoa, what just happened?’
Or it would do, because, having not recovered from that, the ending sequence of hills is like nothing else. The rate and pace at which they are taken and the fact that no two are the same provides the most out of control sequence I’ve ever experienced on a steel coaster, perhaps any. There simply isn’t time between each one to react to anything, such that any notion of defensive riding goes out the window. Thighs are hammered, stomachs are battered and bruised, the rag doll effect of the start has been amplified by a factor of 10 and before you know it, the brake run finishes you off.
The one thing I knew about this ride beforehand was to brace for the brakes. If you’re in the back of each car, you can push against the seat in front to alleviate some of the force. In the front of each, there’s nothing to be done. You’re going 100-0 through whatever part of your body happens to be caressing the restraint at that time. Such was the chaos, I failed to time the brace properly in the first few laps. In the hysterical laughter and screaming, it was never even clear which was the final moment. Again, there’s nothing else like that out there.
It took just two laps for me to definitively declare that this was my new favourite RMC. It’s been a long time coming. Pain, welcome pain to be specific, had been the deciding factor beforehand and this ride simply destroyed me and everyone else around us (except that one guy who had become one with it). If you don’t like intense RMCs, if you have any issues with the trains and restraints, this is not the one for you.
It’s exactly the one for me. Not only the intensity, but the fact it provided several standout and varied sensations that I simply haven’t found elsewhere before makes it the perfect candidate for a top ten. A top five. A top three.
Do I stop there?
“When it’s my day, put me in that clay and remember what I told ya. When I die, bury me in Georgia.”