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Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Preview of the New Record-Breaking Freefall Tower Ride Debuting in 2012

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Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

"40th floor. Men's and women's undergarments." Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom will be the world's tallest freefall tower ride when it opens in 2012 at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Six Flags, 2011. Used with permission.
Updated October 11, 2013
Superman's bald nemesis, Lex Luthor, will be bringing uber-hairy thrills to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2012. And like a potent piece of kryptonite, he's going to place his diabolical contraption where it can do the most damage: right next to his arch rival's Fortress of Solitude. Using the tower of the Superman: Escape from Krypton shuttle coaster -- the 400-foot tower I might add -- the Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom will take thrills to literally and figuratively unheard of levels and reduce all but the most super of men (and women and children) to whimpering puddles of mush. OK then! Who is ready to ride?

Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom Stats

  • Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, north of Los Angleles
  • Type of ride: Vertical drop ride, also known as a freefall tower
  • Tower height: 415 feet
  • Ride height: 400 feet
  • Top speed: 85 mph
  • Angle of descent: 90 degrees
  • Height restriction: 48 inches
  • See the new ride: Drop of Doom Preview Video

See what else is coming to all of the parks: What's New at Six Flags in 2012. What's new at California theme parks for 2012.

A Real Tower of Terror

The sheer audacity of the Drop of Doom is astounding. The ride will feature two eight-seat platforms that will slowly -- we're talking about an agonizingly slow pace -- lift to almost the tippity top of the 415-foot tower that supports the park's Superman coaster. That will give Magic Mountain bragging rights for the world's tallest drop ride.

Rider's legs will dangle with nothing beneath them. There won't be anything above them. And the two riders at either end of the platform will have nothing to one side of them. For a few breathless seconds, with their feet nervously swinging in the air, riders will hang there to contemplate the drop that's about to take place.

Then, yeeeeeeahhhhhhh! Riders will freefall and accelerate to 85 mph for what will surely be among the most intense five seconds they will ever experience. Magnetic brakes will kick in to slow the vehicles as they approach the bottom. Passengers will have to provide their own sedatives.

While the tower ride will offer a similar drop to the adjacent Superman: Escape from Krypton coaster, the experience should be quite different. The coaster blasts off backwards, reaching a speed of about 100 mph as it races up the tower -- as opposed to the s-l-o-w ascent of the new ride -- hangs for a few seconds, and releases to race back to the station. Because the coaster's station is above ground level, and the cars don't blast completely up to the top of the track, the drop for Superman is listed at 328 feet. The Drop of Doom, however, will climb to the 400-foot level of the tower and plummet to the ground. Unlike the coaster, which provides riders with the snug comfort of a coaster car that has sides and a floor, the drop ride will leave riders feeling alarmingly exposed in what will essentially be seats welded to the front of the platform.

This is actually the second drop tower ride to piggyback onto a shuttle coaster. The 377-foot-tall Tower of Terror in Australia (not to be confused with the comparatively puny Tower of Terror rides at the Disney parks) has The Giant Drop attached to its tower. It's a mere few feet smaller than its California counterpart and has been scaring Aussie blokes silly since 1998.

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