It’s the start of the summer season for amusement parks and that means a new ride to conquer at Six Flags New England.
The seats aren’t on a track. Instead, they’re hanging off the side. They turn over, end over end, from the first drop until you’re back at the starting gate.
The JOKER is the newest roller coaster providing thrills at Six Flags New England.
“May is my favorite time of year because that’s when most of the parks open, especially here in New England,” Mike Thompson, of Augusta, Maine, said. “Whenever Six Flags opens a new ride you’ve got to be one of the first to ride it.”
Thompson is part of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, or ACE. They were welcomed to ride the JOKER first, before it opened to the public Wednesday afternoon. Members of this group have each ridden hundreds of roller coasters and they said this ride is no joke.
“I just love the complete unknown because it flips at different intervals and it just constantly keeps you just like the Joker, you don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Chuck Wagor, of Cairo, New York, said.
“This ride is especially unique because it’s got the height, it’s got the speed, you spin, it spins you in just about every way possible,” Collin Smith, of North Haven, said.
The JOKER marks the 13th roller coaster at the park. Thirteen might be unlucky to some, but the park president said the JOKER’s timing couldn’t be better.
“The Joker’s always up to some tricks but, hey 13 leads to bigger numbers 14, and 15,” John Winkler, president of Six Flags New England, said.
“There’s drops, there’s hills, there’s air time, there’s flips. It’s totally unpredictable,” Thompson said.
The ride boasts two beyond-vertical drops and it moves at 40 miles per hour. As you glide off the side of the track in a total free fall, the seats rock and flip, two to eight times depending on the weight of you and the person seated beside you.
The park’s spokesperson said it took a feat of engineering to design this coaster.
“If you actually look at the ride throughout, there is magnetic targets that will actually assist the chair you’re in to flip upside down. It’s unpredictable,” Jennifer McGrath, communications manager for Six Flags New England, said.