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.
History of rides at Great America1976
Rue Le Dodge
Sky Trek Tower
Davy Jones' Dinghies
The Pictorium IMAX theater
White Water Rampage
Space Shuttle America
Superman Ultimate Flight
King Chaos and Ragin' Cajun
Hurricane Harbor Water Park
The Dark Knight
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.