November 10, 1999
Vallejo, CA – Six Flags Marine World and its visitors will be flying into the millennium on the world's first floorless, back-to-back super loops steel roller coaster, park officials announced today.
Medusa, a $15 million, 150-foot-tall, purple and green serpentine supercoaster that reaches speeds of 65 mph through seven inversions is taking shape in the Six Flags Marine World parking lot. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2000.
Medusa is a new and unique "floorless" roller coaster -- one of only five floorless coasters in the world and the first such ride in the West. Six Flags Marine World's Medusa will feature the world's first "Sea Serpent" element, a high-speed, twisting set of powerhouse loops.
"Medusa is a blockbuster ride that will bring a new dimension of thrills to Six Flags Marine World," said Tom Mehrmann, the Park's vice president and general manager. "Medusa will be the tallest, fastest ultimate thrill flying machine in Northern California, and that's no secret. No other park in the Bay Area even comes close to Six Flags Marine World in delivering the family fun, the entertainment and educational value, and now the favorite thrill rides," he added.
On the floorless coaster, designed and built by the Swiss firm Bolliger & Mabillard, passengers ride in comfortable, open-air seats on top of Medusa's 4,000-foot-long track, legs dangling, and experience an unprecedented feeling of flying. The series of tall hills, loops, a zero-gravity roll, high-speed spins, spirals and the never-done-before back-to-back inversions called "the Sea Serpent" deliver an exhilerating ride that is non-stop fun.
High Praise For Medusa
The innovative floorless coaster design debuted in 1999 at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey when that park's floorless "Medusa" opened to high praise from roller coaster experts and enthusiasts.
Medusa is "the finest steel multi-inversion roller coaster in the world," according to Steve Urbanowicz, and he should know. Urbanowicz is author of "The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the World's Best Coasters" and publisher of the on-line magazine "RIDE!" He's ridden over 500 coasters world-wide.
"There's no question that Medusa conveys a sense of 'freedom of flight' better than any other thrill ride currently available," Urbanowicz said. "The sequence of inversions and other elements are packaged together so exquisitely, Medusa is one non-stop ultimate thrill after another. I am naming Medusa the world's Number One Steel Coaster."
Paul Ruben, roller coaster historian, veteran of 534 different coasters and North American editor of Park World magazine, says "Medusa pushes the envelope of what is possible with roller coasters. It's a major-league thrill ride, the first on the planet with the rails visible beneath your dangling feet -- and no floor."
Ruben likens riding Medusa to "flying in your own easy chair, but an easy chair that's run amok. On Medusa you are rarely in the upright position. Every moment of the ride is pure fun." The Medusa experience is fast and wild, but gentle, according to Ruben. "It's unrelenting and butter smooth. It's built like a Swiss watch by the Cadillac of coaster builders."
"The feeling of flying is amazing," writes Sean Flaharty, correspondent for the American Coaster Enthusiasts newsletter after his first rides on Medusa at Six Flags Great Adventure last April. "The ride is ultra-smooth and filled with all kinds of surprises that will excite even the most jaded enthusiasts. Walk -- no, RUN, to Six Flags Great Adventure and get 'turned to stone' on Medusa."
Coaster #4 For Six Flags Marine World
Medusa will be located in the northeast corner of the Six Flags Marine World property in an area formerly reserved for employee parking. It will be the Park's fourth roller coaster. Plans call for a landscaped plaza to connect Medusa and its neighbor, the suspended looping coaster Kong, which opened in 1998. ROAR!, the classic wooden coaster that debuted in 1999, is rated one of America's best wooden coasters by Paul Ruben and members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts.
Riders on Medusa will sit four across on open-air, pedestal-like seats, feet dangling above the track. The sensation of flying starts after climbing and then plunging over the 150-foot lift hill. Enthusiast riders report wildly different experiences from Medusa's front seats, with only you, the sky, the ground and lots of negative G-forces, and the coaster's back seats, where positive G-forces dominate. Three trains operate on Medusa's 4,000-foot track, each carrying up to 32 people.
Medusa is scheduled to open at Six Flags Marine World in Spring 2000.
Six Flags Marine World Medusa Ride Facts November 10, 1999