Yesterday, my family and I went to Six Flags Great America so I could do research for my upcoming article about taking young kids to the massive theme park. (Tough job I have, I know.)
Because it was a weekday, we experienced very short lines at every ride except the new Dark Knight Coaster. The first time we checked, the wait was 90 minutes and we decided not to stay. A few hours later, the wait dwindled to about an hour, so my daredevil son and I decided to give it a whirl.
The roller coaster -- which is indoors -- coincides with "The Dark Knight" Batman film, and the premise of the ride is that you’re a citizen in Gotham City that’s under The Joker's wrath.
Waiting in line is supposed to be part of the experience. Pre-boarders wait in a mock subway station and watch a "live" news broadcast featuring characters from the film alerting the public to The Joker’s evil ways.
Unfortunately, despite the elaborate pre-boarding build-up, the ride itself is no marvel. It really isn’t thrilling or scary. Instead, it’s more like a mediocre haunted house experience. The coaster rides mostly through the dark, with lots of flashing lights, backlit effects, screens with creepy images and loud noises.
The experience lasts less than two minutes, and at the end, I felt like it was still working up to the scary part. Plus, the coaster ride is mostly a series of abrupt turns, which cause a lot of uncomfortable heads thrashing.
Unfortunately, the Dark Knight Coaster comes off more like a marketing gimmick to support the film. At most, it was a good idea that just doesn't deliver enough thrill.
I was hoping to include the coaster in this week's "OnMilwaukee.com Recommends" column, but instead I walked away feeling duped.