Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roller Coast Race: the ride

Six Flags recognizes not everyone wants to run a 5K race, so they devised an alternative: ride 5K worth of roller coasters. They even provided a chart to help figure out how to reach that distance (16,405 feet).

Roller Coaster 
Minimum Height

Batman: The Dark Knight 2,620 ft 54”
Bizarro 5,400 ft 54″
Catwoman’s Whip 1,180 ft 48” (41″ w/adult)
Flashback 886 ft 48″
Goliath 1,203 ft 54″
Gotham City Gauntlet 1,213 ft 54″ (46″ w/adult)
Great Chase 337 ft NA
Mind Eraser 2,100 ft 52″
Pandemonium 1,345 ft 47″ (43″ w/adult)
Thunderbolt 2,170 ft 48″

As a rule of thumb, I stick to the rides with the shortest height restrictions, not because I am short, but because I have become a roller coaster wimp over the years (especially after having Ashley).

I knew Batman, Bizarro, Goliath, and Mind Eraser would definitely be out. Adding up the rest, I was not coming up with 16,405 feet. 

Don (and Ashley's friend Maia) hit their goal within 2 hours. They started on Thunderbolt (2,170 feet), two trips on Bizarro (10,800 feet total), Gotham City Gauntlet (1,213 feet), Catwoman's Whip (1,180 feet), and another spin on Thunderbolt (2,170 feet). Don collected his medal. Maia was not registered, but we were able to get her a medal later.

Ashley and I rode Thunderbolt with them. It is a classic wooden coaster. I was in the last row. Just this quick spin reminded me why I am not as big a fan of being bounced about in a coaster as I once was. During the ride, Ashley was not happy about it, but later asked to ride it again.

We then sat and waited while our coaster enthusiasts worked on their challenge. As storms were threatening to shut down rides, and the lines were getting longer, we knew that was our best strategy. 

Maia won the award for being the bravest. She has not met a ride she did not like. 

It was hot and I was tired, so we left for some lunch. Before we made it on another ride, though, those storm clouds arrived. We saw a flash of lightning, heard some thunder, and felt two rain drops apiece. It was enough to shut down the rides. The answer to "what is the policy on reopening the rides" was less than helpful. It boiled down to the shorter rides would open first, then the medium sized ones, then the tall ones once it was declared that the storm was out of the area. Umm...okay?

Since it seemed to have stopped, we hung out. Ashley and Maia discovered the kiddie rides were running so they went on a couple of them. Then we saw the bigger rides were doing test runs, so we hightailed it to the back of the park to ride Sky Screamer -- at 400 feet the World's Tallest swing ride (yes, this includes the flags on top). Ashley and Maia rode together. I rode alone. Don took pictures of us having fun. Great views of the area. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures on the ride (bummer).

We rode Pandemonium together - a ride that felt like Gadgets Go Coaster meets Alice's Tea Cups. Even that description might not do it justice. Let's just say three of us laughed our way through it and Ashley tolerated it.

For future record, Six Flags New England has a water park that is part of the theme park admission. At my insistence, we left our bathing suits at home. We always pack them (they don't take up THAT much space), but I was trying to pack as lightly as possible. I learned my lesson.

In the end, I had about 6,000 feet of coasters. Yes, I could have ridden rides up to 9 times each, but when I saw the medal was the same for both riding and running, I was glad I stuck with just the foot race. Maybe next time I would be brave enough to do both -- just as long as I could skip Bizarro. 

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