In the late 80's and early 90's, Arrow Mega-Loopers were THE type of
coaster. Rides like Shockwave at Six Flags Great America, The Great American Scream
Machine at Six Flags New Jersey were all great examples of these, but the biggest of the
bunch opened in 1990, at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Standing 188ft tall, Viper is the first structure you see when you pull up into
the parking lot. Its huge lift hill, twisting drop, and wild inversions all stand
tall, almost as if they are taunting you. So what do you do? If you are like
most people, run straight towards the giant steel structure known as Viper.
You board the ride in standard Arrow mega-looper trains equipped with over the
shoulder restraints. Your restraints are checked, and you slowly make your climb up
the gigantic 188ft lift hill. Viper's lift hill is one of the largest and longest
in the park. It takes over a minute to reach the top.
As you crest the top of the hill, you can spot X directly in front of
you. But you won't have much time to look as you speed down the long, steep, and
twisted first drop, reaching speeds of 70mph.
Viper's first drop is very intense and leads straight into the ride's
first inversion, one of the world's tallest vertical loop.
Soon after the first loop, you head into a 180' turn-around, which leads
into two more consecutive vertical loops. These can be very disorienting, and have
even caused some people to black out.
Exiting the third and final vertical loop, you head up into the mid-course
brake-run. Sitting near the front of the train, this part of the ride can provide a
wonderful pop of air.
After the brakes slow you down, you start heading into Viper's fourth and
fifth inversion, the Batwing. A batwing is what Arrow Dynamics calls its inverse
version of the boomerang. Basically it is a pretzel like inversion, where the exit is
parallel to the entrance.
From the Batwing, you head into my personal favorite part of the ride - the
double corkscrew. Although some people complain, I enjoy the hang time you get from
these inversions because of the moderately slow speed you enter them at.
From this point, you head up into a straightaway, and take one more surprising
dive underneath the station and into the final brake-run.
Viper is a very fun and intense roller coaster. I enjoy the high speeds
and array of inversions. Like all Arrow coasters, Viper can be a bit rough. But,
if you are tall enough you should not have a problem. Viper is definitely one of the
best Arrow Mega-Loopers and should not to be missed.