Six Flags New England
This year has been a really great one for me:: I’ve gotten a chance to see and go to a lot of parks that I’ve always wanted to (see my review for SFGAdv) but the year still wasn’t over for me after doing these two bucket list events on back to back weekends! Superman: Ride of Steel/Bizarro/Superman: The Ride was always a coaster I was super curious about considering that it battled Millennium Force for the title of best roller coaster in the world for many enthusiasts. I always hoped to get out to the park but in all of my childhood of moving around, we never lived anywhere close enough to visit. But now that I’m older and can afford to travel, I knew I had to get out here! So I found a cheap red eye flight that would take me from SFO to BOS and return the next day early. Even though the flight was a killer I still couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So I made my way onto my second red eye flight of the past couple of weeks. After after getting a good two or three hours of sleep I landed in BOS at 7:30. I didn’t realize that the park was SO far away from Boston (and actually closer to Hartford - which is where my hotel was at) but my early flight let me have plenty of time to get my car, make the drive, check in to my hotel, take a nap and get ready before I headed to the park.
The one thing that shocked me on the drive to the park was how it never really felt like the area for a theme park. The drive from where I was staying takes you past a bunch of quaint New England houses and towns until you turn and there’s a big Six Flags sign. It definitely didn’t feel like many other large parks I’ve been to.
After getting to the park a few minutes past opening, I headed straight to Wicked Cyclone to find out that they were still doing practice runs and not wanting to wait I headed down to Pandemonium to find what looked like a 30 minute+ wait already. At that point I decided to just buy a basic Flash Pass since it was a sneakily hot day and I knew that standing out in the sun for very long would make me miserable, which was going to be a bad combo with the fact that I had gotten just a few hours of sleep the night before. So I walked back to the entrance to buy it. But along the way I figured that I’d hit one of the coasters I needed to do but very much was not looking forward: Flashback.
Flashback - 45/100
What compelled SFNE to put not one but two Boomerangs right next to each other? I get that they’re slightly different flavors but didn’t they think that people would notice considering they’re the same model just slightly different? But Six Flags weirdness aside, I wasn’t looking forward to this ride at all considering that Boomerangs are on just a varying scale of awful. But this one was actually a little different! I found that the first drop actually gave me a really solid pop of airtime and it wasn’t half as bad as I was fearing it would be! That probably means the other Boomerang here was good, right?
Goliath - 30/100
Wrong! I was really really excited for this ride because of the fact that the Deja Vus were just getting torn down as I started getting into coasters and RCT2 gave Deja Vu signs that you could put above your own copy. Well I shouldn’t have been looking forward to it because it was really bad. I was most worried going in about the head banging that Vekomas typically feature but that wasn’t the killer here, instead it was the rattling. Going down the first drop was one of the worst, most painful moments I’ve ever had on a coaster. And that’s a huge shame because this ride has so much potential to be awesome! Maybe the one at Silverwood is better!
Pandemonium - 42/100
Another credit, another clone! At least this clone is a little better than a Boomerang. However, I still wasn’t a fan. As we were boarding I could tell it’d be trouble given that on my side of the car were me and a middle aged guy and on the other side of the car was his two small children. Sounds like a recipe for spinning for me. And indeed it was. Although the layout of this clone is a lot of fun, this time around had way too much spinning for my taste.
Great Chase - 30/100
🤷♂️ It’s a kiddy coaster.
Wicked Cyclone - 86/100
And now time for one of the most anticipated coasters of this trip: another RMC! I’ve heard mixed impressions about this coaster. Some enthusiasts consider this to be one of the worst RMCs whereas others have it in their top RMCs so I was really excited to see what I thought about it! So first off I really enjoyed even the most basic of themeing that Six Flags put into this. I loved the C.H.A.S.E. signs everywhere and the crashed boat and other crashed items in the queue. And the airtime moments on this ride were incredible. They were the violent airtime that RMC tends to be really good at.
And the first half of the ride made heavy use of this airtime and added in some cool inversions. The second half of the ride is where I had my issue with. Specifically I didn’t really get the point of a lot of the elements. The section in the bowl didn’t have the airtime that was featured throughout the ride, didn’t have great hangtime in the inversions and didn’t really do much in terms of speed. And it’s not impossible for RMC to get it right since Texas Giant does a really good job of keeping speed and airtime through its last section. Overall this was a good RMC but definitely not one of my favorites although it’s still my favorite ride at this park!
Superman - 82/100
And this was the most important ride at this park to me. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading about and watching the POVs for this ride for nearly 10 years now. I remember the teaser campaign for the Bizarro retheme! The knock against the newest iteration of this ride has always been the restraints and I was really curious to see whether I agreed. Long story short, the answer is yes. The layout is world class. The first drop is awesome, especially with the view of being right next to the river. The airtime is great in the first half of the ride and the back half of the ride is a great twister section while still mixing in some airtime moments. It’s definitely one of the best layed out coasters ever. But… the restraints are miserable. My first ride, throughout the first half of the ride I wasn’t feeling the restraints at all and was thinking that it was just enthusiast complaining but by the time we hit the twister section I was actually in pain. It’s the issue of the portion that sits on your thigh being triangular in shape. Which means that any airtime (which there’s a lot of) sends these triangles directly into your thigh which hurts a lot. It’s a shame that Intamin’s T restraints can’t be used here because this coaster would be in my top 10 without a doubt with better restraints.
Gauntlet - 35/100
Another weekend, another Kentucky Kingdom relocation. This time is Kentucky Kingdom’s wild mouse! Well, I really wasn’t a fan. Whereas I normally like Wild Mouses, this one just hurt, specifically in the top section. I get that the idea of Mice is to really emphasize the laterals but this one just seemed to take it too far. On the plus side I really enjoyed that each car is themed to a different Batman villain, I thought that was pretty cool!
Catwoman - 40/100
I must be getting close to riding all of these Zierer kiddy coasters. After all this is my second one in 2 weeks after riding one in July, one at SFDK in June and another at MoA last year. I always love how silly the massively long trains are. These rides are always pretty fun little coasters and this one is no different! I loved the views you could get of Superman from the queue and ride and think that SFNE’s superhero areas are more well done than most Six Flags parks!
Riddler - 49/100
The things I do for the credits. This is the second SLC I’ve ridden this year and after having a surprising experience with Kong at SFDK I was cautiously optimistic about Riddler. Well, I was right to be feeling that way since I felt nearly the same way about it that I did about Kong: better than expected with little to no headbanging but some amount of rattle. Riddler had even less rattle than Kong hence why I liked it a little more. I don’t think I’ll ever reride this coaster but I’ve had far worse rides on other coasters so I consider that a complete win when talking about an SLC!
Batman - 59/100
I feel like I’ve been expanding my floorless coaster count pretty significantly lately, adding Bizarro @ SFGAdv, Hydra @ Dorney and now Batman @ SFNE. Whereas I thought Bizarro was fairly run of the mill B&M looper, I liked Hydra’s layout much more but thought the rattle on it was borderline unbearable. Batman was a smaller one on the scale of Hydra but I hadn’t heard much about it at all. I was rewarded with a solid little coaster! I thought the layout was super interesting and the best part for me was that it had little to no rattle. Because of that fact, I liked this ride a good bit more than Hydra!
Joker - 67/100
I’ve been pretty vocal with my love of these things. If you’re going to clone a cheap ride, you can do so much worse than Joker. Like all of the clones of this model, your experience varies so much from install to install. Some models you barely get any flips (SFOT) whereas others you’re upside down from nearly the start to the end. I’m very glad to say that this one was one of the latter variety! From the beginning to almost the end you were constantly flipping and hanging against the restraint. I did like GAdv’s a little better since it seemed to go on until you actually hit the brakes but SFNEs is definitely my #2 Joker install! Side note: the guy sitting next to me decided not to take his sunglasses off before the ride. The first flip over the top and they were gone, never to be seen from again. Definitely hold your glasses for this ride!
After riding Joker I thought that I was done with my coasters I needed to ride (I was actually missing Thunderbolt) so I decided to catch a show to cool myself off and get some rest. The one that was playing near me was Hell’s Belles which was SFNE’s Halloween musical show so I took my spot in line and got a front row seat!
Hell’s Belles - 7/10
And it was a good little show telling the story of a person accidentally unleashing monsters by reciting a Latin spell in a book (haven’t the characters ever watched a movie and seen that you never do that??) and then having to try to put the genie back in the bottle as it were. I liked the choreography and enjoyed the music!
Side note, I’d heard that my camera (the Sony a7iii) had a silent shooting mode but I’d never really bothered to try it before until I noticed that my shutter clicking was actually noticable when the show was silent. So I switched it into silent mode halfway through and way it was awesome, I pressed the button and images got taken but there was zero noise. I feel like a ninja when I shoot in stealth mode like that!
After watching the show it was time to grab the one credit that I still needed and then it’d be time for pictures and rerides!
Thunderbolt - 54/100
So I’m definitely not the biggest wooden coaster fan and I’ve ridden some dull ones lately (Grizzly @ CGA, Roller Coaster @ Lagoon) so I didn’t have the highest of hopes when it came to this one. Well overall it was a decent little coaster but not a whole lot more. There were a couple of moments that I really liked (specifically the double down) but I think that it suffered from a fairly dull layout. I think most of that is attributable to the era it was constructed in instead of the material. So overall good coaster but not anything I felt the need to ride again!
Wicked Cyclone x2
This was the first of my rerides. With my Flash Pass I was able to make a 30 minute wait into essentially a station wait (book my next ride as soon as I get into the station and as soon as I get off the ride, it was ready to go). I still think that this is an excellent coaster even if it is a lower tier RMC. After getting of my second WiCy ride, I was shocked to discover that Superman, my next target, had a Flash Pass wait of around an hour. But I wanted to ride it and needed to take pictures anyways so I went ahead and booked it, figuring I’d take pictures until it was ready.
So after my time was up, I stowed my camera in the locker and headed over to ride. My second time riding I liked the coaster a little more since I tried to do a better job of giving myself the space I needed for my restraints. I still was a little sore at the end of the ride but better this time!
Not wanting to wait another hour off the bat, I booked WiCy and headed over to ride it again. After riding it Superman was still an hour so I booked it and went and took some more pictures.
A quick aside about Fright Fest at Six Flags. I’m still not entirely sure why Six Flags Halloween events are so much worse than Cedar Fair ones. Maybe it’s that they know you’ll show up anyways so they don’t particularly care if it’s great? Aside from one excellent zombie in the zombie area at SFNE (and wow, did he take it seriously, drooling, limping around, making crazy noises. He was probably the best scaracter I’ve ever seen!) I was unimpressed by the whole thing and wasn’t willing to pay an extra $35(!!) on top of my admission to get into the mazes.
A night ride this time and wow, it definitely makes a difference! Plunging to the ground parallel to the river feels faster at night and it was a very cool feeling diving in and out of the Halloween fog in the twister section.
So I was going to close out my night by riding WiCy as many times as I could. But to my dismay after I got out of Superman, I found that the wait time for WiCy was 35+ minutes. But I booked and after walking over there and waiting for 10 minutes or so outside the ride I got on and was rewarded with an excellent night ride. It felt faster and more intense at night and I’m glad I was able to experience it! But after I got off there was around 50 minutes until park close so I figured it wasn’t worth waiting for 30+ minutes outside the ride just to get in one more ride before the park closed. So I decided to just turn in my Flash Pass, grab my backpack and head back to my hotel to get ready for Canobie the next day as well as my flight to London!
Overall I liked SFNE although it doesn’t place in my top 5 Six Flags parks. I feel like it suffers from a really top heavy lineup. WiCy and Superman are one of the best duos that any park has but whereas most other SF parks back it up with a solid middle class full of B&Ms and Premiers, SFNE has Batman and then ?. So I don’t really feel the need to come back until they do get something big and new which may be a while. But I still had a great day and very much enjoyed my visit to a park I’d been wanting to go to forever!
Now enjoy some Halloween pictures from the park!