Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster, located at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, is one of two coasters incorporating RMC’s (Rocky Mountain Construction) innovative Raptor track to open in 2018. (The other is RailBlazer at California’s Great America.) What makes the design innovative is that in lieu of the conventional two rails found on most coasters, Wonder Woman’s trains ride on a single 15.5-inch steel rail.
Layout, Elements and Theming
Themed after the DC comics superhero, Wonder Woman features a triple out and back layout with 1800 feet of yellow looping track. The setting is a scenic one with a quarry wall in the background. Images of Wonder Woman greet those entering the ride queue. The ride operates with three open-sided trains seating 8 riders in single file and over the shoulder harnesses. It features three inversions, in this order: dive loop, cutback and corkscrew. There is some disagreement as to the inversions; the park’s website refers to the final inversion as a zero-g roll but as a rider and observer I would have to go with rcdb’s (Roller Coaster Database) perception that it’s a corkscrew. Ride designer Alan Schilke described the coaster as one big element and this is actually a very good description, as there is so much action with so many changes of direction that it’s difficult to assimilate what’s going on or isolate any particular element.
Prior to boarding a train, riders are lined up in rows and directed to stand in spots marked one to eight. As a train returns to the station, the next group moves up to board and what I found interesting is that the train doesn’t stop for unloading and loading. As the riders on the train are exiting, the next group is entering. The ride ops lower and secure the restraints very quickly. I’ve never witnessed this type of operation except on Wild Mouse rides, spinning coasters and dark rides. The system would be extremely efficient if all three trains were running but for two of my three rides there was a one-train operation so there were serious capacity issues.
The ride begins with an ascent up a 113-foot lift hill. Upon reaching the top the train makes a 180-degree turn to the right and plummets 100 feet at a 90-degree angle. The drop is wonderful. From that point it goes up into a dive loop followed by an airtime hill and upward left turn. It negotiates a couple of crazy turns followed by another airtime hill before entering a cutback and travelling through a corkscrew. The ride concludes with an overbanked turn which leads into the brake run. The ride is short but extremely intense. I found myself being whipped around to the point at which I felt completely off balance. This would have been great except for the fact that on my first ride, in the last row, I banged my ankle against the partition in the car and on my second ride, in the first row, the shoulder straps were digging into both shoulders before the one on the right came completely off. Although the ride is not fast, reaching a maximum speed of only 52 mph, it feels faster because of the lightning quick transitions. The first and last rows offer a different ride experience but are roughly equivalent in terms of intensity.
Final Thoughts and Rating
Woman offers a thrilling ride, without question. It has a small footprint but a big impact. It’s also refreshingly novel. It was very cool to ride on a single rail and I liked the fact that the trains are open on the sides, enhancing the sense of vulnerability. I just wish that it were smoother and more comfortable. The headrest is as hard as a rock so that leaning back to enjoy the ride is not a viable option. The soft restraints were a good choice in theory but because of the way riders are whipped around I actually think that hard restraints which don’t move might have been a better option. And I’m not sure that the lap bar or lap bar plus shin guard used on other RMC coasters would be compatible with this ride design.
Final Rating – 7.0 out of 10 (Good)
What’s your take? Have you ridden Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster and if so, what did you think of it?