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[RCT3] Six Flags Adventure Kingdom

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I know this is way overdue, but I think it's time that I restart work on this park! What better way to restart SFN by writing a huge update for the park?!




Well, I guess the time has come to finally document my personal experiences with Six Flags Nebraska! Now before I start telling the story about the very first trip I ever went on to SFN, I think I should preface it with this. Remember my first post where I said that Six Flags Nebraska was the place where I went on my first coaster? Well....at the time, I didn't realize that I had actually went on a roller coaster the year prior to my first trip when I was only four years old.





A few towns away from where I live, there is an absolutely massive indoor arcade and play center known as Playworld USA. Let me tell you, in the early 1990s, Playworld USA was THE place to go to when you were a kid or a teenager. They had a wide assortment of arcade games, they had a whole bunch of billiard tables, a roller skating rink, an absolutely MASSIVE room filled with trampolines, and a bowling alley.



And that wasn't all....Playworld USA had an outdoor section which was basically a miniature theme park! This area included various rides and carnival games and you didn't need to buy any separate tickets to enter the park!



Playworld Park (the unofficial name of the outdoor section) had a pretty decent selection of flats. For people who aren't into extreme rides, there was a Ferris Wheel, a Fabbri Wave Swinger, and a Bumper Cars attraction. However, they had a good selection of thrilling flats for people who are more on the adrenaline junkie side. There was a Wisdom Rides "Sizzler" named Hurricane, there was a Wisdom Rides "Starship 2000" named....well...Starship 2000, and there was an Intamin swinging inverting ship ride named Looping Star.



However, the main attraction at Playworld Park was a steel family roller coaster by the generic name of "Speed Coaster", which as it turns out, is the very first coaster I have ever ridden in my life.



Speed Coaster is a very interesting specimen. According to coaster enthusiasts who have ridden it, they always turn out to be very surprised at how forceful this little coaster was. There are a lot of twists and turns jam packed in the compact layout and for a coaster geared towards children and families, it is quite fast at a speed of 41mph. Interestingly enough, Premier Rides was behind this coaster, which was built in 1991 to replace a small go-kart track.



I don't really remember my experience with this ride that much, seeing as how I was only four at the time. I don't think I was scared and according to my mom and dad, I enjoyed it very much.



My parents only took me to Playworld USA that one time. Unfortunatley, Playworld USA is long gone. In 2002, the decision was made to expand the nearby shopping center, which meant that the already financially unstable Playworld USA had to close down to make way for the project. Playworld Park was the first thing to be razed despite the indoor part remaining open for three more months. The space that Playworld USA occupied was so large that both Target and Home Depot were able to fit in the space.


Now that you know the story of my first roller coaster, it's time to tell the story of my very first trip to the park!



My mother and father didn't plan to go to Six Flags Nebraska at all the first time we went. What happened was that my uncle on my Dad's side was planning on spending his bonus on a large trip to Six Flags Nebraska and him and my auntie invited my parents and I to go with them and my two cousins. My dad and uncle hadn't been to Six Flags Nebraska since 1979 when it was still Riverwood Theme Park and Serpent was the newest ride. The park had grown tremendously in size since '79, so for all intents and purposes, he might as well been going for the first time. Six Flags Nebraska is a good 2-3 hours away from where I live, nothing too long but definitely wasn't a short trip.



I remember fondly when I saw the skyline for the first time and was in absolute awe...As far as the eye could see, there were roller coasters and rides....I remember that I couldn't wait to finally go inside the park for the first time.



However, upon entering SFN after settling into our hotel rooms , I couldn't help but feel a little intimidated...I remember being surprised at how large the park was compared to how little I was at that point in time....Only being five years old at that time and only being 44'' tall, I was limited on the coasters I could ride. In fact, the only ones I could ride were Bobs, Serpent, Steel Sidewinder, and River Rush. You had to be 48" to ride Viper, Rattlesnake, and Batman-The Ride and you had to be 54" to ride Ninja.



The first coaster my parents decided we should all go on was the Harry Baker classic, Bobs, the oldest coaster in the park. It was a monumentous milestone for me in the coaster department, seeing as how the only coaster I've ever been on was a small family coaster. It was not only my first wooden coaster, but also my first major roller coaster as a whole.....So I went on it.....



And I hated it. All I remember was that at the time, it truly felt like torture. The wooden track looked rickety and unsafe, the coaster was pretty rough, it was too fast and it was too long for my liking. All I remember was me screaming "MAKE IT STOP, I WANNA GET OFF!" while the train thundered along the various air-time hills and turnarounds.



So obviously, I was pretty shaken up after riding it and I CLEARLY did not want to go on again. My parents figured because it was an old wooden coaster, the bumpiness was too much for me. My Dad figured that I would enjoy a nice smooth steel coaster, so he had his eyes on Serpent as the next ride for all of us to go on....



And I lets just say I didn't really enjoy Serpent any more than I did with Bobs. The fast 0-55MPH without-warning launch totally caught me off guard and freaked me out. What's weird is that the loop didn't really scare me as much as....



THIS did. I was totally convinced that the operator was going to make the train go too fast and that it was going to fly off the spike. The fact that my I was seated in the second row didn't help matters much, being convinced that the front car was going to be the first to fly off the track.



Then, going through the loop backwards freaked me out because I couldn't see what was behind me....



and THEN I was scared that the train was going to fly off the back spike!



So after getting off Serpent, I made it pretty clear that I HATED roller coasters and that I never wanted to go on one ever again. However my Mom and Dad were convinced that they would find a coaster that I would like eventually on this trip.



One of the most terrifying moments on the trip was when my parents and my auntie and uncle all decided that they want to go on the newest roller coaster, Batman: The Ride. Obviously, only being 44" in height, my younger cousin and I couldn't go on. However, they decided to take advantage of the parent swap system and made me wait in line. For about an hour and fifteen minutes, I was completely terrified. I remember I didn't scream, I didn't cry, I was just paralyzed and numb with fear....I was totally convinced that my Mom and Dad were going to sneak me on the ride, which happened to be one of the largest coasters in the park.



Of course. When it was clear that my younger cousin (who was just as scared as I was) and I weren't actually going to go on, I breathed a huge sigh of relief....



For the rest of the first day, my youngest cousin and I were only willing to ride Junior Serpent, the EF Miler kiddie coaster, which did annoy my parents and my uncle and aunt. They clearly didn't want to ride a kiddie coaster all day, they wanted to go on more fun and exciting rides.



The second day was when I finally discovered a coaster I truly enjoyed......River Rush, the Arrow mine train. At first, I was a little apprehensive, despite it being a smaller coaster. Mostly because most of the layout was shrouded in trees.



The first half of the ride was a nice, meandering course through the wooded area, something I really enjoyed and thought was really fun.



The part of the ride that initially scared me, the big hill after the second lift, I found that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was a nice little drop that brought the train to a good speed, but nothing overly extreme. I learned to love the sensation of airtime with the few hills towards the end of the ride and overall, I found River Rush to be enjoyable and it became my favorite roller coaster!



So I made my parents take me on River Rush again....and again....and again...and again....In one respect, they were happy that they finally found a non-kiddie coaster that I really enjoyed, but they didn't really want to ride River Rush over and over and over again, they wanted to go on larger rides, like Rattlesnake and Viper.



Eventually, a huge storm hit, which put quite a damper on the trip. All of the roller coasters, including River Rush had closed and there were barely any flat rides open as well.



The rainstorm that hit was stemming from a large cluster of thunderstorms that were about to hit the Kearney area that were not going to let up until the day after. It was at that point when everybody decided to cancel the second night in the hotel and just go home from now. All and all, I had fun on my first trip to Six Flags Nebraska. It proves that I sure as hell was not born a coaster enthusiast, but hey, everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...




As predicted, the debut season of Six Flags Nebraska was an absolutely massive success with the new Batman-The Ride coaster being the most popular attraction with the most riders of any other coaster in the park! By 1995, Six Flags saw this obvious positive reaction to the addition of Batman-The Ride and instantly realized that the demand existed for another new major roller coaster for 1996. It's also quite interesting to know that at this point in time, lines of communication between Six Flags Nebraska, Bolliger and Mabillard, and Premier Rides were opened around this time period.



However, something came up that put a damper on the plans for a large coaster. Six Flags had recently begun planning to buy the abandoned ruins of Riverwood Zoo adjacent to Six Flags Nebraska and use that land to expand the park. While the company made a ton of money in 1994 with the success of the park's re-opening, it wasn't enough to be able to afford to build a new large-scale major coaster in 1996 and afford to expand the park in the future...Six Flags had to come up with a compromise....




The compromise was Mr. Freeze, a Vekoma Boomerang was built in the DC Universe section of the park....



As a coaster itself, Mr. Freeze is your normal, standard fare Boomerang coaster. A catch car winch brings the train up the left spike where it releases at the top, sending the train careening down the hill traveling at a top speed of 47-50mph through a cobra roll and a vertical loop and catches a chain lift to the top of the right spike which releases the train and it does the entire course in reverse.





An interesting fact is that when Six Flags contracted Vekoma to build Mr. Freeze, they didn't even ask for a train. Instead, Steel Sidewinder's second train was repainted blue, and used for Mr.Freeze. As a result, Steel Sidewinder now operates only one train, which isn't really that big of a deal considering that it usually doesn't have a long line at all.



A very interesting thing to point out is the fact that Six Flags Nebraska now has two shuttle coasters that are located next to each other. Serpent, the Schwarzkopf shuttle loop and now Mr. Freeze, the Vekoma Boomerang.



While the addition of a Vekoma Boomerang wasn't really that exciting, it slowly became quite clear that the best was yet to come for Six Flags Nebraska...We just have to wait and see....

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  • 1 month later...



While a Vekoma Boomerang wasn't what Six Flags had in mind, building Mr. Freeze did save them a lot of money for future additions for the Six Flags Nebraska....And with that in mind, a grandiose plan was proposed by Six Flags...A plan which involved the park receiving plenty of upgrades and new attractions by the year 2000....And in 1997, the first phase of the plan went into motion....




The Eyerly Aircraft company had been out of business for many years by the time 1997 rolled along, and as a result, costs to maintain Roll-O-Plane had raised to very high levels. Six Flags decided that it would be economically the best decision of they got rid of it completely....




In its place, Twister, a HUSS standard Top Spin was put in it's place! A more modern high-thrill flat ride that is guaranteed to make a lot of stomachs turn!




A second casualty of Six Flags plan was the flower garden near Bobs with the jumping fountains. Over the years, the pipes for the jumping fountains became increasingly stopped up, so for the past few years since Six Flags took over the park, they didn't operate....




The replacement was Acrophobia , a brand new 198 foot tall Intamin AG Second-Generation drop tower. This ride is the first of its kind at Six Flags Nebraska and is guaranteed to further increase the thrill factor at the park!




However, when it came to the possible revitalization of the former Riverwood Zoo area, Six Flags knew they had to act as fast as possible as vines from the derelict tram station begin to creep up the support structure of Bobs.....

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  • 3 weeks later...







When Riverwood Theme Park was bought out by Six Flags in 1994 and became Six Flags Nebraska, Six Flags had already had their eye on what they could possibly do with abandoned zoo that was located directly next to the park. However, several failed proposals had lead to the zoo being left derelict for many years after Six Flags bought the amusement park. That is, until 1997 when Six Flags proposed a plan in which the land that the zoo lies on would be used for the park....When the plans were finalized,





Six Flags Splash City was born! Six Flags Splash City is a medium-sized water park that occupied the same land as the former Riverwood Zoo which features a variety of thrilling water slides!




Reef Rider consists of two twisting body slides that soar over the hillside and splash into a refreshing pool.




Tropical Storm will sure make you feel like you were just in one as you twist down a large enclosed slide in the dark!




Grab a raft and race down a perilous twisty slide on Tempest!




Tradewinds is an family-friendly rafting adventure down gentle turns and drops!




The crown jewel of Six Flags Splash City is High Dive, an exhilarating 8 story speed slide!



At this time, Six Flags had also made the decision that the moniker of "Six Flags Nebraska" was much too generic and plain....And so, with the arrival of the water park, Six Flags Nebraska was officially no more....





And SIX FLAGS ADVENTURE KINGDOM was born, a much more exciting and unique name for a park that Six Flags plans to put on the radar for adrenaline junkies by the beginning of the 21st century....Much more is to come for this park.....

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Splash City is an excellent choice of replacement for the zoo. A few body slides, family raft, and a high-thrill slide is a decent start. Splash City has the potential to draw in a lot more customers. This could be just what the park needs to skyrocket it into a top-tier regional park. This park has done a complete 180 since Six Flags has taken over, and I expect more great things to come.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Back in 1970, when Riverwood Zoo opened adjacent to Riverwood Theme Park, it was an absolutley massive success that brought in tons of revenue for the park...28 years later in 1998, will Six Flags Splash City do the same for the park, now known as Six Flags Adventure Kingdom?




Judging by this photograph of the entrance pavillion, I'd give it a big "yes"!




High Dive instantly became a huge hit amongst the daredevils and adrenaline seekers!






Reef Rider had also become a very popular attraction at the new waterpark!




Despite being home to a variety of waterslides, some patrons would prefer to hang out in the park's gigantic wave pool, which despite looking like a relaxing oasis, can sometimes be anything but.....




Especially with the presence of some strategically placed water cannons near the edge of the wave pool!




While the wet side of the park is insanely popular, that doesn't mean that the dry side is in any sort of trouble! In fact, Six Flags Adventure Kingdom is more successful than ever!




Serpent was celebrating it's 20th birthday that season! The Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop is widely regarded as a classic among SFAK parkgoers.






Steel Sidewinder and Viper, both nicknamed the "Arrow Brothers" by coaster enthusiasts, are still very popular attractions!




Batman-The Ride was unfortunately facing some unprecedented downtime when this picture was taken...




While rides like Steel Sidewinder, Serpent, and Viper have enjoyed a lot of fame....Ninja, however....has become quite infamous. Despite being the only Arrow Dynamics twisted pipeline coaster in existence, most coaster enthusiasts criticize Ninja for being very rough, very painful, and on top of that, unreliable as it has become quite known for it's downtime.




While Six Flags Adventure Kingdom and Six Flags Splash City has had a very sucessful season, Six Flags is not resting on their laurels at all....In fact, rumors had been flying around that there is something BIG coming to this park....

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By August of 1998, Six Flags had released a press release discussing possible future changes and additions for their parks in 1999, including Six Flags Adventure Kingdom. The press release didn't reveal any major details concerning what was exactly going to come to SFAK, but there was one line that caused coaster enthusiasts to go in a frenzy...."The Kearney, NE property may get one for the edge of the century, and one for the birth of the 21st.""


Even before the release, rumors and sparks started to fly BIG TIME in 1998 about a new coaster coming to Six Flags Adventure Kingdom, and to have a statement come directly from Six Flags which states "one of the edge of the century and one for the birth of the 21st" not only further solidified the rumors of a new coaster, but indicate that SFAK is going to get two coasters in a span of two years......







P.S, if you want a hint on what's to come,


"0,255,0, =========>"

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For all of those who guessed a hyper coaster….ehh….almost. But not quite. For all of those who guessed a launched coaster….well….I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with what Six Flags Adventure Kingdom had announced for the 1999 season…..


And as for the hint,


0,255,0 is the RGB code for “GREEN”

==========> is exactly what it looks like… an "ARROW”



NEW FOR 1999





THE GREEN ARROW: An absolutely exhilarating launched shuttle roller coaster! Built by Premier Rides of Baltimore, Maryland and themed after the vigilante archer Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow, this thrilling attraction breaks the record of the longest shuttle coaster in the world at a whopping 4,442 feet! Riders will feel as if they were an arrow shot from a bow at an acceleration rate of 0-68mph in 3 seconds into one of the largest inversions in the world, a massive 120 foot cobra roll! Then comes a hi-rise “floater airtime hill”, a high G-force turnaround into a low-rise “ejector” airtime hill. After that is a tight overbanked turn that busts immediately into a helix! Suddenly the train rises up into a massive “zero-g-roll” and up the 188 foot tall spike where the train will fall backwards and do the entire course for a second time in reverse!








The Green Arrow is scheduled to open May 1st, 1999! Only at Six Flags Adventure Kingdom located in Kearney, Nebraska!




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  • 3 weeks later...




Before anyone twisted and turned, the 1999 season rolled around not too much longer after the new attraction was announced! As expected, the season was yet another extremely successful season for Six Flags Adventure Kingdom!



and the park had The Green Arrow, their newest scream machine to thank for that!



At a top speed of 68mph, by a mere few miles per hour, it's technically the slowest of the other Premier shuttle coasters, however that does not stop The Green Arrow from being an absolute adrenaline-surging thrill machine!



While the inversions pack a large punch, coaster enthusiasts have credited The Green Arrow as having absolutely amazing floater and ejector air time.



The large helix traversed at fast speeds delivers absolutely crushing Gs!



Unfortunately, one of the only drawbacks to The Green Arrow is the fact that because it's a shuttle coaster that does not have a transfer track, it can only operate a single train, causing the coaster's overall capacity to drop. This, combined with the fact that in 1999, it was the most popular attraction being brand new, queue lines for The Green Arrow easily exceeded two hours on busy days.



Despite the fact that The Green Arrow was the hot new thing for 1999, Six Flags did not rest on their laurels at all! By August of 1999, land had begun to clear adjacent to The Green Arrow, signifying that construction was about to begin for the second roller coaster that Six Flags proposed and soon....Coaster enthusiasts were left wondering...what could it possibly be? could it live up to the same hype that The Green Arrow gets?

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  • 4 weeks later...



At this point in the saga of Six Flags Adventure Kingdom, a news website and message board dedicated to coaster enthusiasts was founded around September of 1999, it's was called Coasters4U.com....And one of their first news reports was on this...





Last week was our inaugural article on Coasters4U news after the launch of this new site. Today, I am proud to be writing our very first news article about a new coaster/new ride announcement for a major theme park! As most coaster freaks know, this year, Six Flags Adventure Kingdom saw the opening of The Green Arrow, a world class Premier Rides launched shuttle coaster and that Six Flags had a plan to add two new roller coasters to SFAK between the years of 1999 and 2000....Well today, it was finally unveiled to us what will be coming to the park for NEXT YEAR!!!






MEDITERRANEAN MADNESS is the name of a brand new Greco-Roman themed area coming to Six Flags Adventure Kingdom in 2000 which features not one, not two, but THREE new attractions!




The first of the new attractions is the addition of a new IMAX movie theater within the park simply known as The Arena this theater will be dedicated to showcasing various sword-and-sandal/warrior films.




The second of the new attractions is the addition of a Zeirer Flying Carpet ride simply known as "Flying Carpet". This new attraction hopes to appeal to both families and thrill seekers alike!





And the coup de grace of the new attractions....CERBERUS. A brand new Bolliger and Mabillard sitdown looping roller coaster! This coaster marks the first coaster in Six Flags Adventure Kingdom manufactured by B&M and at a height of 170 feet and a top speed of 68MPH, it is also the largest and fastest of the B&M Sitdown coasters!




After Careening down a gigantic 160 foot drop, you go straight into a one-two punch inversion combo of a classic vertical loop and an immelmann!




And after the immelmann, you bust right into a massive zero-G roll!




And then comes a one-of-a-kind inversion for the B&M sitdown model, a gigantic Batwing inversion similar to those found on Arrow loopers and B&M inverts like the new Top Gun-The Jet Coaster at Paramount's Carowinds and Montu at Busch Gardens in Florida!




The coaster finishes off with a cluster of swooping turns, twisting helices and forceful corkscrews!



Cerberus and Mediterranean Madness is scheduled to officially open on the first day of full-week operations in the Spring of the new millenium! We hope to see you there!





"This looks like an awesome addition for SFAK! I can't wait to go this year!


"So, SFAK is finally getting a B&M! It's about time!


"I love the fact that instead of a Cobra Roll, they decided to put a Batwing instead! This looks to be a very unique and awesome coaster!"


"While I think the theming is kind of cheesy, this looks to be like a great new area for the park! I can't wait to ride Cerberus though.
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  • 5 weeks later...



Despite the fact that 2000 was sort of the "infancy" for the modern day forums and message boards, people on the new Coasters4U.com message board were already beginning to post trip reports! One of those early trip reports came from someone who visited Six Flags Adventure Kingdom during the 2000 season!





So I arrived at the park at around 11:00 AM last Sunday...I figured that because it was a Sunday, less people would be at the park and it wouldn't be so crowded...I was partially right and partially wrong. There might have been less people in the park, however the day I went to the park just so happened to have been the dreaded "one train day" which meant one thing, long lines on all the major coasters.




The first coaster of the day was Bobs, which only had a 15-20 minute wait. This coaster is an undeniable classic and is one of my personal favorite wooden coasters! It's a bit rickety, but the sheer amount of airtime on this coaster really makes up for it.




The next ride of the day was a flat ride, Sea Monster, the HUSS swinging ship ride. It's a pretty decent flat, you can't really go wrong with a pirate ship ride!




I decided to skip Steel Sidewinder. It's pretty much a family coaster with two inversions and I was simply in the mood to ride something a little more....thrilling.




Something like Viper, the larger Arrow looping coaster, which had about a 45 minute wait.




Viper is a pretty exciting ride with a pretty unique element, as it's the only Arrow looper in the U.S with a "Bowtie" inversion, it's gotten a bit rough, but it's still a very enjoyable ride!




The last time I went to Six Flags Adventure Kingdom in 1998, Rattlesnake was among my top ten wooden roller coasters and was almost my number 1 spot. Unfortunatley, this year...it got bumped down quite a bit due to the fact that they put a trim brake after the first drop which cut down the speed quite a bit for the first half of the ride....Where you used to fly over those first three floater air hills, now it's like you crawl through them and barely get any air at all. The second half of the ride still has a lot of small ejector air hills, but....it simply just isn't the same since they trimmed it.




The only advice I could really give about someone who wants to visit SFAK is this, DO NOT RIDE NINJA. This ride is by far, one of the most painful and rough steel coasters ever in existence. I know it's the only Arrow Twisted Pipeline coaster, but that doesn't make it a good ride at all. For starters, the OSTRs on the trains only have a VERY thin layer of padding on them...basically meaning that you're whacking your head against solid metal and this coaster has a LOT of headbanging on it. I believe I actually have a bruise on the side of my head because of this ride. In short, this coaster is crap and if it were to be dismantled one day, no tears from me.




As the evening went on, I made the decision to skip Batman because I wanted to ride something that was really going to knock my socks off. Fortunately, the answer was right in front of me. The Green Arrow! Unfortunately, like it always does because it's a capacity nightmare, it had a long wait...It was about an hour and ten minutes....but it was SO worth it. The inversions were pretty forceful, I love the fact that you blaze through that one helix at such a high speed...overall it's a great ride! I only wish that it had better capacity and less down time. (The Green Arrow breaks down CONSTANTLY)




And...I saved the best for last....The final ride of the day was the new B&M sitdown coaster, Cerberus! It was a long and arduous hour and thirty minute wait, but it was SO worth it! I mean, it's just one inversion after another and it is a very intense ride! Some coaster critics have even said that they like it better than Kumba or The Incredible Hulk! Personally, this is my favorite B&M coaster by far and one of my favorite coasters at SFAK.




All in all, despite the fact that the waits for the coasters were a LOT longer than I expected, I still had a good time at SFAK and I would LOVE to go back again on a day where the operations are a little better and the park is less crowded.

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