Next spring, Six Flags over Georgia in Austell will offer an expanded Gotham City area. In its first major expansion since the Batman-themed part of the park opened in 1997, a new rollercoaster and Tilt-a-Whirl-type ride will join the Batman: The Ride and Mind Bender roller coasters.
Park officials say The Joker Chaos Coaster will be unique because four riders will face each other as the coaster travels forwards and backwards through its twists and spins — including a suspended, upside-down roll 72 feet in the air.
“You’re going to look up and this seven-story monstrous ride is going to be right in front of you and it’s going to make an incredible statement,” said Atlanta parks President Dale Kaetzel, who oversees Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water in Marietta.
At White Water, officials say next season’s visitors won’t be able to miss the thrill ride called the Dive Bomber, because it will tower above the park’s tree line at more than 100 feet tall.
Communications manager Gene Petriello gave the rundown on how the new attraction will work.
“They’re going to put a clear, enclosed capsule on top of the slide,” Petriello said. “You’ll step inside the clear capsule, a lifeguard will close the capsule door and you will stand there on a trap door and unexpectedly, that trap door will disappear and you will freefall straight down at nearly 90 degrees, at speeds of more than 45 miles per hour.”
He said younger guests who aren’t tall enough to ride the Dive Bomber will enjoy watching family members going through that unexpected drop.
Kaetzel would not give an exact dollar amount for the new rides, but said they and the expansion of Gotham City continue a multi-million investment over a number of years to continuously provide entertainment options families can enjoy. He cited recent changes such as a “scarier” Fright Fest, which starts in late September and runs through Halloween, and the upcoming Holiday in the Park festival, which will mark the first time in almost 25 years Six Flags will be open for the Christmas season.
“I can’t wait for Cobb County and the whole Atlanta market to see what we’re going to produce,” Kaetzel said, adding it will include one million LED lights, Christmas trees, visits with Santa, areas that pays tribute to Georgia, the military and a Nativity presentation — along with some of the major rides such as the Georgia Cyclone rollercoaster.
“We asked our guests what they wanted, and they want lights and they want rides,” Kaetzel said.
Cobb Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Connell said the two theme parks are huge contributors to the local economy.
“Tourism is the largest industry segment in Cobb and (Six Flags’) continued investment in their facilities supports this industry segment in a big way, generating consumer spending, taxes to provide quality services to our citizens and jobs for Cobb’s citizens,” Connell said.
Kaetzel said he takes the parks’ impact on Cobb seriously.
“We’re very committed to doing everything we can to contribute to Cobb’s economy,” Kaetzel said. “We want to continue to grow on that tradition and continue to support the economy here.”
Both Kaetzel and Petriello said that includes keeping White Water open, even though Six Flags opened its own water park, Hurricane Harbor, this year.
Kaetzel said season passes to both parks have remained popular and Petriello said recent investments, including the Dive Bomber, show Six Flags’ commitment to keeping White Water open.
“White Water’s here to stay,” Petriello said.
For more information on the parks, including pricing, visit www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia or www.sixflags.com/whitewater.