Superman: Ultimate Flight (Six Flags Great America)

Superman: Ultimate Flight

(Review and Photo Credit: Ember)

 

This ride gave me two firsts— riding a ‘Flying’-style coaster, and going through a new and special inversion. And I can say that Flying coasters are certainly a unique experience. You sit down, lock yourself in with padded, very comfy over-the-shoulder harnesses (and leg restraints), and then the ‘seats’ either flip back from the top so you’re faceup (if the track is below you) or up from below so you’re facedown (if the track is above you, as it is for this ride). In other words, you end up lying either on or in the seat. And for the rest of the ride, you’ll be in that position— parallel to the tracks, and headfirst— so if you can fight the fear and take your hands off the harness handles, you’ll seem to be soaring like Superman himself (hence the name ).

 

To your left as you enter the park (or to your right as you leave), Superman: Ultimate Flight is waiting. During your walk through the line you can read about the comic book characters, such as Superman (of course), Brainiac, and (*snicker* ) Mister Mxyzptlk. Once you’ve picked your seat, hopped in, lowered your shoulder restraint, and the leg restraints are in place, the bottoms of the seats flip smoothly back and from this unnatural yet somehow quite comfortable position you stare at the platform below you. Then it’s time to fly!

Climbing the not very long but purposefully slow lift hill, you have a while to stare down at the world below you. To those who have never ridden a ‘flyer’ before, it’s been a strange start— but just wait until you see what’s coming up! Once at the lift’s top, you roll down the right-curving drop smoothly, and as you near the bottom the ground seems very close (another purposeful feature of the ride; you’ll soar fairly close to the ground and the coverings over the waiting line several times, heightening the sensation of free flight). Curling up and away from the ground, you soar up again and then down into that completely unique, upside-down Pretzel Loop. Headfirst and your back to the track, it’s utterly wacky and incredibly fun.

Out of the loop you float left into a curving dive, speed low over the ground again, and then fly up and around a highly banked turn. Diving to the right, skimming the earth again, and around another banked turn, the train enters a ‘straight’ stretch of track. Only those in the very front row have the viewing angle to know that this supposedly straight stretch houses an inline Barrel Roll— so it’s a pleasantly unexpected surprise to almost everyone. Twisting around this second and final inversion, the train reaches the brake platform, and then it’s back into the station. Short and sweet.

Our rating for Superman: Ultimate Flight: 5 Stars. 5 Stars

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