Throwback Thursday- Shockwave!

Shockwave was on of the world’s first stand-up coasters! The ride has a rich history due to the popular ride rotation program Six Flags used in its earlier years. It’s now in storage, but we’ll show you what happened before it ended up at Darien Lake.

The ride was originally built in 1986 for Six Flags Magic Mountain as Shockwave. The coaster was a very popular attraction at Magic Mountain regardless of its roughness due to the positions of the restraints. At the time, Six Flags had a ride rotation program, in which some coasters would remain at a park for a couple years and then transferred to another park, therefore in late 1988, the Shockwave was closed, in 1989 removed, and in 1990 relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure and opened there. At Magic Mountain, the former Shockwave location became the new area for the Psyclone wooden coasterwhich opened in 1991.

Shockwave was 2,300 ft long, was 90 ft high, and had a drop of 85 ft. It had 1 inversion, which was the 66 ft tall Loop. Shockwave was made by Intamin, and had Giovanola as sub-contractor, and pulled a mild 3.4 G’s, which were a lot at the time of opening.

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At Great Adventure, the Shockwave would open a month into the 1990 season and be plagued with many technical difficulties. The ride continued to be quite rough but would have some of the longest lines in the park. At times Shockwave would not even open until 12:00 noon while the rest of the park opened at 10:00 am. It was still a very popular ride at the park, like when it was at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The ride was painted blue instead of its prior color, black. The restraints also had been changed while at Six Flags Great Adventure, removing the padding, making it a more comfortable ride.

In June 1992, it was announced that Six Flags Great Adventure would add Batman The Ride, a then-state of the art steel inverted coaster for the 1993 season and begin building it on the then-current site of Lightning Loops. Lightning Loops would shut down at the end of July to be disassembled and for construction of Batman to begin. Then in August, the park told they would also be losing Shockwave, which closed after Labor Day weekend. The site is now the location of the paid attraction, Slingshot.

Shockwave would be dismantled in September 1992, relocated to AstroWorld in 1993, and reopened in 1994. The coaster was painted a blue shade of white and renamed and rethemed “Batman The Escape”. A Batcave adjacent to the coaster was created out of a manmade mountain for a previous attraction and heavily themed as guests would prepare to ride the coaster. This was later removed in 1998 (the bat-cave), and the ride received a new color-scheme.

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On September 12, 2005, Six Flags CEO, Kieran Burke, announced that the company’s legendary AstroWorld theme park in Houston, Texas, would be closed and demolished at the end of the 2005 season. After being dismantled, Six Flags placed the coaster in storage at Darien Lake. It remained there in storage through the sale of the park to PARC Management and CNL Income Properties. Future plans under current park operator Herschend Family Entertainment are still unknown.

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