This 4-D free fly coaster from S&S rides has been installed at a number of Six Flags parks.  It’s known as The Joker at all parks with the exception of Six Flags Fiesta Texas, where it’s called Batman: The Ride.  (Of course they had to name it Batman at Fiesta Texas, as it seems that every Six Flags park must have a ride with Batman in the title.)  I’ve ridden the installations at Great Adventure and Fiesta Texas, which are identical, so am basing my review on those and more specifically, The Joker at Great Adventure.

The Joker operates with five vehicles seating four riders in swivelling face-off seats on either side of the track.  (There’s a purple and a green side, representing The DC Comics villain’s signature colors.)  The seats are tilted slightly backward.  When the vehicles are dispatched they ascend a 120-foot 90- degree chain lift hill and riders get contrasting views depending upon which way they are facing.  The inclined seats rock while going up the lift hill, adding to the anticipation.  After reaching the top the seats flip over for the first of half a dozen times, at seemingly random intervals.  As is evident from the photograph, this is a multi-level ride with a series of dips and short hops.  And because there is no way to anticipate when the seats will flip, the ride is utterly chaotic.  There are two 90-degree “raven drops” which feel like free falls.  The riders find themselves facing almost straight down. 

The ride experience is disorienting and unpredictable with everything topsy-turvy.  At times it can be pretty intense and I find that it varies according to weight distribution.  The most intense ride I had occurred when I was riding with two people facing me while there was an empty seat beside me.  The combined weight of the two riders facing me caused me to flip over harder than had I been riding four to a vehicle.  While The Joker is by no means an extreme thrill ride, it’s a fun ride that wreaks havoc with the senses.  3 ½ out of 5 stars.  For more information about rides at Six Flags Great Adventure, visit https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure

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