Six Flags adds a ‘floorless’ roller coaster

WASHINGTON — A stand-up roller coaster is out at Six Flags America, and a new floorless roller coaster is in.

Six Flags America’s newest roller coaster at its Upper Marlboro, Maryland theme park—opening in the 2019 season—is the Firebird.

“Floorless trains will give riders the sensation of being airborne as they soar along a half-mile track with nothing beneath their feet but the wind,” Six Flags said in a statement.

Firebird replaces Six Flags America’s Apocalypse stand-up roller coaster, which closes for good Sept. 8 after six years. Six Flags says Apocalypse has given 1.6 million rides since it was introduced in 2012.

Firebird’s state-of-the-art, sit-down floorless trains are designed and built by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard.

The roller coaster starts with a nine-story drop and includes two inversions.

The Firebird also has multiple high-banked curves with high-speed carousel and corkscrew rolls, and a figure-eight ending.

Six Flags America has several other roller-coaster rides, including one of the first virtual reality roller coasters in the country, Superman – Ride of Steel.

Six Flags America is one of 25 parks across the U.S., Canada and Mexico owned by Six Flags Entertainment Corp, the largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of water parks in North America. It had $1.4 billion in 2017 revenue.

Watch the Six Flags America Firebird preview video to see what a floorless roller coaster is all about.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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