In 1996, Six Flags Magic Mountain finished construction on the tallest and
fastest thrill ride on the planet. Built by Intamin AG, Superman: The Escape was set
to feature a launch of 0-100mph in just 7 seconds, making it the fastest thrill ride in the
world. Instead of using LIMS, Superman: The Escape uses a new technology called LSM's,
or Linear Synchronous Motors. After reaching full velocity the ride heads up straight up a
415ft tower, making it the tallest thrill ride in the world. Once it reaches the top,
it falls back down the tower, once again reaching 100mph before riders return to the
When it finally came time to test the ride, after months and months of
construction, the worst possible thing happened - the ride completely failed. Instead
of being accelerated 0-100mph in 7 seconds, the ride went about 5ft. This was a
disaster for both SFMM and Intamin AG. The 1996 season slowly came to an end, and
Superman: The Escape was still not open. Finally, in 1997, they got the ride working
but had several problems with it such as the wheels burning out. Also, the brakes on
the top of the tower were backwards. Eventually, they fixed almost all the problems
and the ride opened to the public in March of 1997 - one year after the expected opening
date. In 1998, the trains were replaced, and finally, the ride was fully
Once you enter the ice cavern, you have the option to choose the right or the
left side. Once you reach the automatic opening doors, it is your turn to enter the
Launch Chamber. The trains are very comfortable but are a little lacking on legroom.
The T-shaped lap bars on Superman: The Escape are among my favorite lap restraint ever.
They are unrestricting, and can be set very high allowing for monstrous airtime.
Finally, as your anticipation builds up, the launch button is pressed, and you
start accelerating at an incredible rate. The launch is very fun and intense.
When you finally reach the maximum velocity of 100mph, you near closer and closer to the
415ft tower. You make your way up to the top, and for 6.5 seconds you experience an
incredible feeling of weightlessness.
Many coaster enthusiasts agree that Superman: The Escape offers the
best airtime sensation of any roller coaster. When your 6.5 seconds are up, you
start to head back down the tower. Once again you reach 100mph, and then are slowed
smoothly until you finally are back inside the launch chamber.
Superman : The Escape is an amazing and very fun ride. The launch is
great, and the weightlessness you experience at the top of the tower is incredible.
The ride's only major flaw, however, is that it is too short. In under a minute
the ride is completely over. Still, it is one of the coolest rides in the world.
The only other ride like it is the Tower of Terror at Dreamworld, Australia. I
definitely recommend riding Superman: The Escape. It is a ride you will not