New ride takes shape at Six Flags

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New ride takes shape at Six Flags

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Steve Schaefer
The media mill around the new 4D interactive thrill ride, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis during the recent hard hat day construction tour at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell. The ride is scheduled to open in May 2017. CONTRIBUTED BY STEVE SCHAEFER

Six Flags Over Georgia is offering a peek at what lurks inside its new-for-2017 adventure ride, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.

“It’s our birthday present” to the metro area, said Dale Kaetzel, president of Six Flags Over Georgia, referring to the park’s upcoming 50th anniversary on June 16.

But that birthday present still has some assembly required.

The Joker’s lair, Lex Luthor’s LexCorp and more are taking shape inside the ride’s massive building, which covers nearly half the size of a football field. Next spring it will be ready for the pair of villains to wreak havoc and capture the Justice League heroes. And for riders to come to the rescue.

“It’s not really a traditional dark ride; it’s an action adventure that you are in the middle of,” Kaetzel said. Sort of like riding through a video game.

Riders will don 3-D glasses and aim laser guns in an effort to save Metropolis from the evildoers, in the process scoring points that are totaled and displayed during the ride. Surprises including fire, mist and fog effects, plus a vehicle that rocks and spins, turn Justice League: Battle for Metropolis into an impressive action adventure.

“People are going to experience an ‘Orlando attraction’ right here at Six Flags,” Kaetzel said, comparing the quality of the experience to the offerings in Florida at the Disney and Universal parks. The high-action thrill ride is a joint effort created by Six Flags and ride maker Sally Corp.

But there’s plenty of work to do before that can happen. The inside of the ride building still looks more like a remodeling project than an amusement park attraction, but there are signs of progress.

Scenes that will become a subway station and LexCorp are coming together. The ride combines props, sets and animatronic characters with 3-D projections on giant screens to immerse the riders in the Battle for Metropolis.

For now the ride’s white screens are barren, but during the ride they will jump alive with action from huge projectors that can be seen hanging from the ceiling (but won’t be visible during the ride). It will be tough to tell where the physical set pieces end and the video projections begin.

The construction project is on schedule, said Terry Stephens, Six Flags Over Georgia’s director of maintenance and construction. The ride is expected to open in late May 2017.

The addition of the new Justice League ride is also bringing more changes to Six Flags, Kaetzel said.

The area in the back of the park that had been known as the Cotton States Exposition is getting a new identity. The part that includes the Great American Scream Machine and Blue Hawk roller coasters will become part of the neighboring Lickskillet area.

The Metropolis theme will expand into the remainder of Cotton States, enveloping the Superman Ultimate Flight coaster and the nearby games. Superman will boast a fresh coat of paint, and a new food court will be added by remodeling and adding to an existing snack stand.

A few games will be removed to open up the area leading to the Superman and Justice League rides, offering a clear view of what will be the impressive entrance to the new ride.

Right now that entrance area isn’t all that impressive. It’s a gray metal building. But with a little Six Flags magic, that’s not how it will look come May.

Remember: Some assembly required.

About the reporter

Tom Kelley is a lifelong roller coaster and amusement park fan. He grew up in northeast Ohio near Cedar Point, an amusement park known for its rides and roller coasters. He is a member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and has ridden more than 300 different roller coasters.

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