It’s great when your work sends you to a theme park. Two KHTS interns and I headed out to the Green Lantern: First Flight media event this morning to bring you a report on the ride. Honestly, though, I forgot I was at work; it was just flat out fun.
With our rubber, flashing Green Lantern rings crushed precariously on our fingers, we stood with a crowd outside the entrance of the DC Universe themed area with red, blue, and yellow curtains blocking our view. When the curtains dropped and the freshly painted DC Universe area revealed, I’m ashamed to say that we elbowed a bunch of Kings’ Cheerleaders and Santa Clarita Boys and Girls Clubbers to get a better look.
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The DC Universe was painted in those perfect comic book bright hues and the Justice League heroes that greeted us looked fabulous in their Spandex.
At the entrance to Green Lantern: First Flight, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President, Bonnie Rabjohn gave a special welcome to visitors from groups including American Coaster Enthusiasts and those she titled “die hard comic books super hero fans.”
While Rabjohn thanked and congratulated everyone who had worked on creating, designing, and building the ride, I felt a bit out of my element. I’ll be honest, my intern buddies and I aren’t comic book readers and we couldn’t have told you if the ride’s design accurately represented the Green Lantern.
That’s why Six Flags welcomed Geoff Johns, best selling Green Lantern comic book writer and Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment, who has chronicled Green Lantern’s adventures for the last 8 years. In addition to saying that the design of the pre-show rooms was both recognizable and wonderful, Johns added that “the ride is very much like being in one of his flights.”
With the help of the crowd, the Green Lantern personally powered up the zig-zagging rollercoaster and declared that “with wisdom, discipline, and honor, any of you can be a Green Lantern” and “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power…Green Lantern’s light.” Cue fireworks, confetti, cheering, and we’re anxious to get on the ride.
As KHTS intern, Dale Fairclough commented, the pre-show rooms were pretty cool. And he meant that in both senses of the word. It was both cool in temperature (thanks to the dark rooms and impressively large ceiling fans) and cool in design. The line dodges a crash-landed fighter jet and proceeds around a large green lantern that projects images from the comics onto screens.
While waiting in line, my eyes fell on a group of men who wore “American Coaster Enthusiasts” shirts and I headed straight for them. Fresh off the plane from a coaster enthusiast convention in Texas, the four told me that they had seen a very similar ride to Green Lantern: First Flight in Sweden.
“For it being the first in its kind in the U.S., it looks great. When you get to ride this ride, you’re in for a real awesome ride,” said Dan Satffer, of Fullerton, CA.
My conversation with them got us very excited for the ride, since we’re all rollercoaster fans, but we could tell we had a long while to wait.
It has taken all of my self-control as a writer to get this far without mentioning the length of the line. The only thing I’ll allow myself to share is a little poem my intern buddies and I wrote while we waited, “The longest line shall be your plight/No rider shall escape my sight/Let those who seek this new ride’s might/Beware the lines, you’ll wait through the night.”
With a little help from my press pass and KHTS intern, Cassie Klapp’s, pleas for help, a kind, young Magic Mountain employee helped us zip with superhero speed to the front of the line.
And, the ride was definitely worth it.
Green Lantern: First Flight packs a few impressive thrills, though it is dwarfed by the size of its peers around the park. Each group of 4 riders, sitting in pairs back-to-back, rotate independently as they criss-cross down 825 feet of track from a height of 107 feet. The two-minute ride (I’d estimate it takes 1 minute of that time to get to the top) is fairly smooth and is truly thrilling when you come to the bends. All in all, it’s definitely worth it.
Our interns agreed.
“That was a pretty good rollercoaster. It is similar to “X” and the turns are really cool. There’s a lot of G-Force, so be ready for that. If you’re tall, you’re not going to have much of a headrest. Mostly good stuff, pretty intense, had a great time, and I’d definitely do it again,” said Fairclough, who barely fit inside the 77 inch maximum height for the ride.
“That is insane! I’ve been on every other ride in the park, but this cannot compare at all. You are thrown down and thrust backwards and you’re spinning and I was just confused half the time,” Klapp, bubbling over with adrenaline, was only disappointed the ride wasn’t longer.
Despite our lack of comic book hero knowledge, we had a thrilling time. Six Flags Magic Mountain’s work on the DC Universe themed area looks great and the ride is a blast. We’ll definitely be heading back after the ride opens to the public tomorrow!