Gaaahhhh! Six Flags’ Firebird roller coaster has helixes, loops — and, yes, fire

The first thing that happens after you strap into the Firebird roller coaster is that the floor underneath you drops. And then, it gets better.

You build up a little momentum coming out of the gate and then begin a 10-story climb that gives you a good look at the rest of Six Flags, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and well beyond.

That slow ascent then gives way to a nine-story drop into a maze of loops and helixes — all of it on bright orange track.

The ride gets up to 56 mph over more than a half-mile of track, said Dave Johnson, the director of marketing. He added a lot more, but it was tough to hear him over the noise of the roller coaster and the screams of the people behind us. It moves quick, and it’s a lot of fun.

I couldn’t tell you how many helixes there are, because I lost count. Near the end, you’ll also see a volcano spitting out fire as you get moved around a sharp turn.

It times out to about a two-minute ride, but it feels like about a minute or so. If you like roller coasters, you’ll probably enjoy the heck out of this ride. And, if you don’t like roller coasters, this isn’t a good first choice for kicking your phobia.

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