GURNEE, Ill., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In keeping with Six Flags' reputation for leading the amusement industry in introducing state-of-the-art ride technology, Six Flags Great America announces its plans to open Raging Bull, the world's first steel "hyper-twister" roller coaster, in the Spring of 1999. Featuring a dramatic 202-foot (20-story) lift hill and a 65-degree first drop that plunges riders into an underground cavern at more than 70 miles per hour, Raging Bull will be the first roller coaster in the world to combine the unparalleled thrill of a steel "hyper-coaster" with the tight, intense twists and turns common to a wooden "cyclone-style" roller coaster. The ride features six "inclined loops" -- steep, high-speed turns banked as much as 50 degrees (or, loops lying horizontally) -- plus a combination of towering hills and gut-wrenching drops that comprise nearly a mile of track. The multi-million dollar attraction will span the entire length of the Park's Southwest Territory, wrapping behind the Stunt Show Arena, paralleling the guest parking lot and rising over the queue line for the Viper roller coaster. Featuring a bold orange track and wine-colored support structure, Raging Bull's 202-foot-lift will dominate the Park's "skyline," dwarfing its neighboring roller coasters the Viper and the American Eagle, whose maximum heights are 100 and 127 feet, respectively. The next tallest roller coaster in the Park is ShockWave, the seven-looping mega-coaster that opened in 1988 at 170 feet. The addition of Raging Bull brings the Park's roller coaster tally to 10. "Raging Bull is more than just another 'speed coaster' due to its unique design. The combination of speed and exhilarating track configurations will make this a must-ride experience for roller coaster enthusiasts worldwide," says Jim Wintrode, Vice President and General Manager of Six Flags Great America. "Raging Bull is the most exciting addition to the Park since we opened Batman The Ride, the first ride of its kind in the world, in 1992. The giant addition also represents the sizable commitment of Premier Parks toward building and expanding the entertainment product at this Park." Raging Bull is named after a ferocious beast that terrorized the citizens of the old Southwest Territory until they fled the town and built the beautiful courtyard and mission seen today. The raging bull still lurks in the ruins of the old mission, which today serves as the loading station for this unpredictable, wild roller coaster. Upon entering the old mission, riders will be ushered into one of three unique, side-less 36-passenger trains. Riders will sit high up in these open- air trains, with their feet barely brushing the floor. A simple T-bar style restraint will extend from the floor between each rider's feet, with the bar resting across the rider's lap. Vivid teal, red and yellow trains will feature a bovine animal print motif as well as bull's horns on the front of each train. "The Raging Bull train will be very different from traditional roller coaster trains because these 'side-less' trains take away a feeling of protection around the passengers," comments Wintrode. "The sense of vulnerability will make this ride even more thrilling for our Guests." When the train leaves the station, it will begin its 76-second ascent up the 202-foot lift hill. From there, it will plunge 208 feet at 73 miles per hour down a nearly straight drop into an underground cavern. The train will roar out of this tunnel and soar, practically sideways, through an inclined loop 159 feet off the ground. This will be followed by more soaring hills, steep drops and wildly banked turns before returning to the station. This non-looping, wild ride on 5,057 feet of track will last more than 2-1/2 minutes. Raging Bull is being designed and manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard, the acclaimed Swiss roller coaster design firm that brought Iron Wolf to Six Flags Great America in 1990 and introduced the inverted outside-looping roller coaster to the world at Six Flags Great America with the opening of Batman The Ride in 1992. In recent years, the pursuit of greater thrills and higher adrenaline rushes has resulted in the construction of roller coasters that deliver increasing speed. Often called "speed coasters" or "hyper coasters," these rides traditionally incorporate towering lifts and super-steep drops to achieve speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Typically, speed coasters feature long straight-aways of track and a series of small hills that gives riders exhilarating "air time." Raging Bull's design is unique even among speed coasters, due to the twists, switchbacks and "inclined loops" incorporated in a way that sustains speed and delivers a breathless ride. Construction has already begun on this powerhouse roller coaster and will continue throughout the winter months. The ride is expected to open to the public in the Spring of 1999. Six Flags Great America is owned by Premier Parks Inc., (NYSE: PKS) the world's largest regional theme park company with 31 parks, including parks serving nine of the ten largest metropolitan areas in the United States and six locations in Europe. The company annually hosts nearly 40 million guests. A publicly held corporation with corporate offices in New York City and Oklahoma City, Premier trades on the NYSE under the symbol PKS. RAGING BULL FACTS WHAT: Steel "hyper-twister" roller coaster, featuring speeds exceeding 70 m.p.h., steep drops and high-banked turns WHEN: Debuts Spring 1999 WHERE: Ride traverses the entire length of the Southwest Territory at Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois -- paralleling the guest parking lot and reaching from the Viper queue line to the Stunt Show Arena. DESIGNED AND FABRICATED BY: Bolliger and Mabillard Monthey, Switzerland COLORS: Wine-colored support structures with orange track; bright teal, red and yellow trains feature a bovine print motif and bull's horns. TRACK LENGTH: 5,057 Feet NO. OF TRAINS: 3 trains NO. OF CARS/PASSENGERS: 9 Cars and 36 riders per train NO. OF PASSENGERS/HOUR: 1,560 HEIGHT OF FIRST LIFT: 202 Feet LENGTH OF FIRST DROP: 208 Feet (into an underground tunnel) at 65 degrees MAXIMUM SPEED: 73 m.p.h. LENGTH OF RIDE: Estimated, 2-1/2 minutes SPECIAL FEATURES: Riders are secured in unique, open-sided cars by a simple lap bar restraint This high-speed roller coaster features 6 steep-banked turns and "inclined loops." The highest points on the ride are 202 feet (first lift), 159 feet (first inclined loops) and 144 feet (second hill) and 128 feet (third hill).
SOURCE Six Flags Great America