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Superman: Ride of Steel

Six Flags America, Mitchellville, MD


Superman Ride of Steel

Superman is a great hypercoaster with an exhilarating first drop.

© Arthur Levine. Licensed to About.com.
The highlight of Six Flags America, Superman is a great hypercoaster with an exhilarating first drop.

  • About Guide Rating (0=Yich!, 10=Wow!): 9
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 8.5Extreme height, acceleration, and speed
  • Type: Steel out and back hypercoaster
  • Highest point (feet): 200
  • Max. speed (mph): 75
  • Height restriction (minimum, in inches): 52

Its red track dominates the Six Flags America skyline. Just looking at the impossibly high and steep first drop of Superman: Ride of Steel from a distance gets your adrenaline pumping. Up close, it takes more than a bit of nerve to hop into line and board the super-sized ride.

The coaster cars have elevated seats and low-slung sides. Instead of an over-the-shoulder harness (there are no inversions), an unobtrusive seat belt and a single ratcheting safety bar add to the car's open and exposed feeling--the better to scare the daylights out of you.

The coaster uses a traditional lift hill. The train click-clack-clicks up, up, and WAY up, until it seems it should be approaching the planet Krypton. Then eeeeyah!, a delirious high-speed first drop followed by an equally exquisite second drop.

From there, the coaster loses a bit of its oomph. Superman certainly doesn't limp along, but the second half of the ride, featuring an over-banked double helix, doesn't pack the same punch as its first act.

It is not quite up to the standards of similar Superman rides at Six Flags Darien Lake or especially, Six Flags New England. All manufactured by master coaster makers Intamin of Switzerland, the New England version is taller, faster, positively screams to the end, and is centrally located in that park for maximum visibility. The Six Flags America Superman is set back and is in a more remote section of the park. Its relative speed feels slower without other rides and crowds of onlookers rushing past.

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