This season, the Six Flags parks in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Illinois will all be getting The Dark Knight rides, indoor family coasters themed to the new Batman film--conveniently called, The Dark Knight
--debuting in the summer. Details about the attractions, which the park chain says will cost $7 million each, have been a bit sketchy, but new preview photos just released show that there will be some attempts to tell a story amid the coasters' dips and turns. Six Flags also says that the rides will include filmed footage of District Attorney Harvey Dent (performed by Aaron Eckhart). I'd imagine the filmed sequences would be in the pre-show areas leading up to the coaster experiences. A number of parks have been introducing highly themed coasters, including the wonderful Revenge of the Mummy
attractions at Universal Studios parks in Hollywood and Orlando and Expedition Everest
, the wild ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida. Coasters that attempt to tell a story are not a recent phenomenon. While they were not nearly as sophisticated as today's high-tech marvels, early coasters dating back to the late 1800s were known as scenic railways and included dioramas along their routes.