Six Flags New England opens bizarre new ride
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
AGAWAM -- Buy some new coaster cars with audio, install a few flame throwers and slap some purple and blue paint over what was the Superman: Ride of Steel and Six Flags New England has got itself a brand new coaster -- sort of.
Bizarro -- formally Superman: Ride of Steel -- officially opened last Thursday, providing park-goers with the bizarre and twisted experience that is Bizarro World.
"We're proud of the Superman coaster and of its awards and recognition but we've taken it to the next level with Bizarro," Park President Larry Litton said. "People come from all over the world to ride this [coaster]."
He noted that Amusement Today, a trade publication, honored the Superman with its third consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Steel Coaster last year.
Bizarro boasts an initial 221-foot drop with speeds up to 77 miles per hour. The ride is 5,400 feet long and lasts two minutes and 35 seconds. The new trains fit 34 passengers with 33 on-board speakers.
"I'm nervous because I'm more of the panicked, reluctant [roller coaster] rider," Brenda Collins of Boylston, Mass., said with a smile.
Russell Denver, executive director of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield Inc., said reinvigorated rides and attractions such as Bizarro are what help drive the economic engine in the Pioneer Valley.
He noted that Six Flags New England will entertain two million people this season who will seek accommodations in 45 different area hotels that employ over 3,000 people and generate approximately $4 million in tax revenue.
"I wish Six Flags the best of luck this season because we all know in tough economic times people stay closer to home," Mayor Susan Dawson said. "I encourage everyone to come out to Six Flags."
Bizarro and Six Flags New England are officially open daily for the 2009 season. General admission is $41.99 per person and those less than 54 inches tall pay $31; children under the age of two are admitted for free.