Alexander: We’ve got a long road ahead of us, folks. In the ever-changing fight against CoVid19’s triple threat of illness fears, financial anxiety, and quarantine-induced boredom, we’ve decided to fight fire with Fives – Top 5s, that is.
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We’ve taken every coaster contracted out by Six Flags and fleshed out an across-the-board Top 5. Ride characteristics such as individuality, graceful aging, and unwavering “wow-factor” were taken into account as well as countless others. We came to some challenging conclusions, but we hope that (despite some compromises) you find the list as satisfactory as we do.
5. Mind Bender – Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, Georgia, United States)
Our list commences with by far the oldest inclusion: the Schwarzkopf masterpiece, Mind Bender. As far as vintage steel goes, you’d be hard pressed to find a ride layout as exquisite as Atlanta’s “Triple Loop” icon, which explores dramatic, waterfall-laden terrain with fearless abandon. Airtime, G-forces, a tremendous “third loop” of a slanted dive into a ravine, and an underground tunnel pepper the 42yr old emerald gem with nonstop highlights that continue to appreciate in value long after the marketability of its multiple upside-down loops expired.
4. Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast – Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington, Texas, United States) & Six Flags St. Louis (Eureka, Missouri, United States)
It’s been 23 years since the pair of DC Villain-themed Premier shuttle coasters blasted onto the scene, and (despite an early stumble with shoulder harnesses) remain some of the most impressive and shocking rides anywhere. Any park could build an exact copy of these enigmatic launchers and pass them off as avant-garde thrill rides – even Premier’s latest works can’t compare to the wicked brilliance of Six Flags Over Texas’ & Six Flags St. Louis’ star coasters. Better still, Reverse Blast elevated the experience farther than what seemed possible from a mere train-flip – back car headrushes into the inverted tophat (a grossly underused element, we might add) and spike-top views now make up some of the ride’s strongest moments.
3. Goliath – Walibi Holland (Biddinghuizen, Flevoland, the Netherlands)
Surprise! One of the absolute best coasters Six Flags ever contracted isn’t even owned by Six Flags anymore – but the ex-Six Flags Holland is still seeing returns on this nearly-20yrs-old investment. Though not one the 200ft juggernauts that the Millennium-era “coaster arms race” was flush with, Goliath remains stronger than a vast majority of its taller counterparts – Intamin or otherwise – thanks to a quirky and irresistible mix of air and laterals, plus a gorgeous location and the still-iconic “Stengel Dive.”
2. El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey, United States)
Switching gears now: perhaps the least surprising inclusion on this list is, of course, El Toro. The Intamin “plug and play” woodie remains America’s sweetheart (or at least Central New Jersey’s) despite the narrowing of lapbar locking envelopes and the introduction of forced lockers. Even the departure Rolling Thunder, whose layout dictated El Toro’s 2nd half – and whose presence elevated El Toro’s overall ride experience – cannot shake this furious bull’s lofty honors.
1. X2 – Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California, United States)
It’s been 20 years now since resident roller coaster mad scientist Alan Schilke blessed us with the verging-on-nefarious 4D coaster, and X2 remains the most frightening and, well, “XTREME” ride experience in the North America. While the 2008 transformation of X into X2 was more about recouping the capital necessary to upgrade the ride into a reliable attraction than about improving the experience in any meaningful way (unless you’re lucky enough to catch the flame throwers on one of Magic Mountain’s less-windy days), the core attraction remains an untouchable standard of mind-boggling technology and sick, crowd-pleasing horror.
And so concludes our Six Flags Top 5! Be sure to weigh in our social media channels and check out more of our recent articles below: