Chang @ Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom: A True Diamond in the Rough
Chang is an exception in more ways than one. It’s a stand-up roller coaster at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. That should be two big strikes against it. Stand-up coasters have a history of being uncomfortable and rough. Mantis at Cedar Point and Shockwave at Kings Dominion are two examples. And Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom widely considered at the bottom of the Six Flags barrel. Somehow, Chang not only bucked the odds, but it delivered the best ride I’ve ever experienced on a stand-up coaster.
Like Mantis, Chang is located in a sort of marshy area in Kentucky Kingdom. I saw several laughable, strange, and unique things at SFKK. I got a kick out of the run of the mill restraint buckle latches that had “FOR MARINE USE ONLY” etched into them. What the heck could that mean? Well, if the buckles were good enough for the Armed Forces, I figured they were good enough for me.
After the 15 story climb, you’re treated to a 144′ drop. A large vertical loop follows, then a dive loop, and next there’s a transitional turn. After the turn, the train roars up and into an inclined loop. Inclined loops are similar to vertical loops, just bent to one side. A brake run is followed by a two corkscrews. The first corkscrew flips riders over a support building. And the second corkscrew was the highlight of the ride for me. It begins low, hugging the ground. If you sit on the outside edges of the four across cars you feel like you can reach out and touch the ground. After dipping down to the ground you swoop back up and spiral over the queue line. Then the train careens back to the station.
The entire ride is smooth and fun, the way it was meant to be. I have no idea how Chang offers such a different ride than Mantis does when they are pretty similar, but I’m glad I didn’t swear off stand-ups after that painful experience at Cedar Point. Chang definitely defies the odds and delivers a great ride. Finally, a stand-up coaster that makes the case for stand-up coasters. Chang is the jewel in the not so shiny crown that is Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Final Rating – 8.0 (Great)