The Joker looks like one of those roller coasters that make you question your sanity once you’re onboard.
Time magazine calls it “insane.”
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The new vertical coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in New Jersey is named after the Batman villain and is full of what park officials call “spinsanity.”
The ride incorporates the spins of a traditional carnival ride into a modern-day coaster, a pairing that coaster enthusiasts say is unique.
Riders feel weightless as they somersault head-over-heels in “free-fly flips.” The coaster pulls riders straight up a 12-story, 90-degree hill before flipping them at least six times before the screaming ends.
The Joker, one of more than 30 new rides opening at Six Flags parks across the country this year, officially opens Saturday after park officials work out a few early glitches.
On Thursday, just a few hours after the coaster opened to the media, roller coaster enthusiasts and assorted VIP, the park shut it down for the day because a pair of riders were stranded on it for about 15 minutes.
Park president John Fitzgerald told media that two passengers at the end of the ride were trying to swing the car and it got stuck.
“We clearly don't want that to happen, so we swapped out that vehicle,” said Fitzgerald. “No one's safety was ever at risk.”
Joe Bracco was one of the stranded riders.
He told NJ.com he wasn’t intentionally trying to flip the car but that the ride “swings back and forth so much maybe our momentum just got it stuck there.”
It’s just crazy ... It’s just acrobatics pairedwith Olympic gymnastics 100 feet in the air.
Tim Baldwin, communications director of American Coaster Enthusiasts
Bracco told reporters he wasn’t hanging completely upside down but was “definitely not where we should be.”
Mind-bending coasters are among more than 100 rides and attractions opening at amusement parks this year in the United States, Colleen Mangone, spokeswoman for the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, told CNN.
“The virtual reality roller coaster experience is a new hot trend that hit the market this year and has the potential to be game changing,” Mangone said.
“The physical sensations of the roller coaster remain the same, but now they're immersed in the story. Guests see the superhero they're flying next to and their bodies are experiencing the flight through the sensation of the roller coaster.”
New 3-D and 4-D coasters use headsets, sounds, movable seats, 3-D glasses and 4-D effects such as wind and water to make the rides come alive, said Mangone.
The minor glitches that hung up The Joker on Thursday didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of those lucky enough to ride it.
They just kept screaming.
“It’s just acrobatics paired with Olympic gymnastics 100 feet in the air.”