Remember way back in August of 2014 when Six Flags announced that they’d be building dark rides at Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Over Texas? Well now that nobody’s laughing anymore, and construction is well underway, I figure it’s about time that we are PureCoaster take a look at what makes us incredibly excited for the pair of Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark rides coming this year.
1 – The Big Name Manufacturers
When this thing was announced, the one thing that managed to stun all enthusiasts was the list of high profile manufacturers and suppliers attached to the project. Amoung those? Lets start with SALLY Corp, one of the industry’s most prolific dark ride creators. Film by Pure Imagination and interactivity by Alterface. Oh yeah, and did I mention that Oceaneering will be making the ride vehicles?
The reason we were all shocked? This is an attraction, for and financed by Six Flags. Lets be honest here, they aren’t exactly renowned for being big spenders, but this has certainly redefined what the company is willing to do in order to create a more immersive, dare I say upscale attraction for their parks. This lineup of manufacturers and suppliers have proven track records of successful attractions around the world, which makes us incredibly excited to see what they provide for Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.
2 – The IP and Story
The DC Comics catalogue is a treasure trove of classic characters and storylines, and Six Flags has certainly drawn from it in the past with rides themed to Batman, Superman, Mr Freeze, etc.. But this ride takes a whole team of heroes: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Cyborg, and is cramming them all into one attraction of epic proportions.
The story is that The Joker has teamed up with Lex Luthor to dose the city in deadly “Laughing Gas,” and is even holding some Justice League members hostage! I mean who wouldn’t want to ride that story? In my experience one of the keys to a successful darkride is an IP and story that guests are familiar with and can attach themselves to, and the use of popular DC Comics characters to craft a story like this one makes Justice League: Battle for Metropolis even more compelling for visitors.
3 – What We’ve Seen So Far Looks Pretty Damn Good
The hype got real for this pair of dark rides at the 2014 IAAPA trade show in Orlando, when SALLY showed off some of the animatronic figures for the attraction. Both The Joker and Cyborg looked really well done, both in terms of figure fabrication and programming. Then, the vehicle with the spinning turret that sprayed ‘laughing gas?’ A showstopper moment that nobody saw coming from a ride going to Six Flags.
Shortly thereafter, Oceaneering demo’d a ride vehicle for the attraction, showing off the motion capabilities the company is known for. Motion base ride vehicles have always been considered a very ‘theme park’ technology, with a history of being used at Disney and Universal parks. Seeing it brought downmarket for this ride was what took Justice League: Battle for Metropolis from something that could be good, to something that could be great. (And did I mention that the ride vehicles are costing half a million dollars each? For the two rides combined, that’s $8.5 million on ride vehicles alone!)
With these two unveilings combined, Justice League:Battle For Metropolis was the star of IAAPA, and the whole enthusiast community was buzzing with hype. Fast forward to the present, and Six Flags is continuing with strong marketing for the attractions. The parks have been doing press tours showing off some of the completed scenes for the ride and queue, and I won’t be the first to say that they blew me away.
The level of detail on these sets is extraordinary. I mean, these are PHYSICAL SETS people! With walls, and props, and animatronic figures, and lighting, and special effects! They look really, really well done, and certainly display a high level of showmanship. Six Flags and it’s partner manufacturers have gone above and beyond to make this a quality attraction that I already know guests will love, (myself amoung them.) Oh yeah, and the facades look nice too…
At the beginning of it all, the majority of enthusiasts were skeptics, but as of right now I’d vouch to say that we’ve been persuaded to a point where we are beyond excited to ride Justice League: Battle For Metropolis when the pair of dark rides open at Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Over Texas.