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Article updated: 5/10/2013 5:12 PM

Holy Backward, Batman!!!

Batman the Ride roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.

Batman the Ride roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 20

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text size: AAA

Same ride, different feeling.

That's what theme park officials are touting this year as they turn the cars around on Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America, which opens for the season Saturday in Gurnee.

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History of rides at Great America

1976
Cajun Cliffhanger
Willard's Whizzer
Gulf Coaster
Columbia Carousel
Sky Whirl
Delta Flyer
Eagle's Flight
Orleans Orbit
Rue Le Dodge
1977
Sky Trek Tower
Big Top
Davy Jones' Dinghies
Hay Baler
Southern Cross
Fort Fun
1978
Tidal Wave
1979
The Pictorium IMAX theater
1980
Demon
1981
American Eagle
1982
Picnic Grove
1983
The Edge
Bottoms Up
Traffique Jam
White Water Rampage
1985
Z-Force
1988
Shockwave
1989
Rolling Thunder
1990
Iron Wolf
1991
Space Shuttle America
1992
Batman
1997
Giant Drop
1995
Viper
1999
Raging bull
2001
Déjà Vu
Vertical Velocity
2003
Superman Ultimate Flight
2004
King Chaos and Ragin' Cajun
2005
Hurricane Harbor Water Park
2006
Tornado
2007
Kidzopolis
2008
The Dark Knight
2009
Buccaneer Battle
2010
Little Dipper
2011
Riptide Bay
2012
X-Flight
2013
Batman running backward
igNIGHT -- Grand Finale

"It's a completely different experience because you can't see where you are going," said Six Flags Communication Director Katy Enrique. "You go into every twist and turn completely blind."

Enrique said she felt the experience when ride operators ran the cars backward around during test runs in September. She said the G-forces from the twists and loops remain, but it feels like a completely different roller coaster.

"With the Eagle cars running backward, you can turn around and still see where you are going," she said. "But, because of the headrest on Batman, you can't see a thing. It makes the ride much more intense."

Enrique said Batman has been open for 22 years, and has given more than 28 million rides.

"It's only fitting that the world's first suspended looping coaster be the world's first suspended looping coaster to run backward," she said.

The ride will run backward "for a limited time," she added, but no end date has been scheduled.

In addition, Enrique said the 100 millionth guest will walk through the front doors at some point in May.

She said that guest will be treated to an "amazing experience" at Six Flags, complete with park tours and complimentary gifts.

"It should be a lot of fun," she added.

Tickets for opening weekend at Six Flags are $61.99 at the gate, Enrique said, but added that numerous discounts are available throughout the Chicago area, including online at sixflags.com.

Season passes are also available for purchase at their website or in person at the gate. People who buy four or more season passes pay $66.99 per pass, and purchasing those tickets before May 12 will get parkgoers free parking as well.

Six Flags is open this weekend and May 10-12 before daily operations begin May 15.

For more information, schedules, and discounts, visit sixflags.com.

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