While Six Flags is still in the middle of its summer portion of the operating season, many park enthusiasts are anxious to find out what is coming next year. In 2017, Six Flags Over Georgia turns 50, and the park is sure to celebrate this in style. With its 50th anniversary season in mind, fans just can’t wait until the announcement in September to find out what new attraction is set to be unveiled for the 2017 season.
What Do We Know?
Again, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the park, and the park has not unveiled a new roller coaster since Dare Devil Dive back in 2011. Certainly, some of the current roller coaster line up has gotten maintenance since then, and a few coasters have gotten a little more attention. For example, Dare Devil Dive received the virtual reality treatment in early 2016. Wile E Coyote Canyon Blaster kiddie coaster received some attention during the 2016 renovation of the Bugs Bunny BoomTown area and installation of the new DC Super Friends area; it was repainted, rethemed, and renamed Joker Funhouse Coaster. Lastly, 2016 brought a revamp and reworking of its old Ninja roller coaster. New trains with new restraints were installed, new theme was implemented, fresh paint applied, and track work was completed to improve the overall ride experience. When it reopened as Blue Hawk in June 2016, it delivered on these promises.
There are some interesting trends within the industry and that are specifically found at numerous parks within the Six Flags chain. First, many parks are getting Larson Loopers. Second, Six Flags has continued to add Sally dark rides, specifically the popular Justice League: Battle for Metropolis attractions. While the park has the Monster Mansion dark ride that is quite popular with families, Six Flags Over Georgia has yet to get one of these. Third, the newer S&S 4D free spin roller coasters look to be popping up at more Six Flags parks. In 2015, Six Flags Fiesta Texas was the first within the Six Flags chain to add one; Six Flags Great Adventure added one for 2016. Lastly, Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) is very popular in the industry these days, especially within the Six Flags chain of parks. Of RMC’s eleven major roller coaster construction projects in recent years, seven were designed and installed at Six Flags properties across North America. Six Flags Over Georgia, however, has not worked with RMC on a new or redesigned coaster project.
What Have We Heard and Seen?
Gene Petriello, park communications director, did an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The article that drew from that interview outlines a major attraction coming to the park to top off the 50th anniversary celebrations. Specifically, it was noted that the new attraction site occupies a “couple of acres” and that some of the pieces for the attraction have already been delivered. In addition, Gene mentioned that this new attraction would not be a “first-of-its-kind” as similar rides already can be found at other amusement parks around the world. However, Gene was quoted as saying, “We always say that it’s in the DNA of Six Flags to provide innovative attractions. The ride that is coming next year defines innovation at its finest. I think it’s going to be very well received.”
A few weeks after that interview, it appears that some enthusiasts came across two local council agendas – one for the Jackson Township Planning Board where Six Flags Great Adventure appears to be looking for approval to build a 25,000 square foot building that is 33 feet tall that will be used to house a theme park attraction, and one for the Cobb County Community Development Agency where Six Flags Over Georgia is looking to get approval for a “Justice League Ride.” Most assume that these are both going to be Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark ride attractions.
Analysis & Thoughts
Again, nothing has been announced by any of the Six Flags parks, so there is no official word about what Six Flags Over Georgia will get for 2017. Taking the information that is available into consideration, here are some possibilities.
The Justice League: Battle for Metropolis attraction is likely the leading guess right now. It fits the bill of being a Justice League Ride (noted from the planning meeting agenda), and it is rather innovative while still already being available at other theme parks. However, it was mentioned in that interview with the AJC that is would be an attraction that spans across a couple of acres, so does a Battle for Metropolis really fit that? In the case of Six Flags Great Adventure’s 2017 plans, it appears all but certain because the agenda notes showed an attraction within a building that spans 25,000 square feet. If the AJC interview is to be held true and the size reference was not including anything around the area, maybe the Atlanta-area park will have something bigger than the Battle for Metropolis since a building between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet only represents about ½ acre. Also, most of the Six Flags parks that have already installed a Battle for Metropolis attraction situate the building in a more wide-open space. In the case of Six Flags Over Georgia, the old bumper cars location and the area behind it might be a tight squeeze for that sort of building. Many contend that, in a perfect world, the current spot in and around the go-karts would fit the building a bit more, yet the theming in that area would not optimal. Others contend that the older Axis Arena area might be better fitted for a Battle for Metropolis attraction as it would be located in Gotham City and have plenty of room and the theming to go with it! Does this mean anything? Likely not!
One additional thing to consider regarding a Battle for Metropolis attraction is that the current building trends calls for two Six Flags parks to get this each year. While Six Flags Great Adventure has been rumored to be getting one for a little while now, so has Six Flags Magic Mountain. Could they be getting one too and see three go in throughout the chain in 2017? Sure, it is possible but unlikely.
On the other hand, if there is a roller coaster going in, it also looks like a tight fit. While the exact acreage is not disclosed, it appears that trying to fit a roller coaster the size of Blue Hawk, for example, would even be tough. Is there enough room for an RMC? Certainly, it is possible, but overhead views of the projected construction site appear to show an area that is limiting if a roller coaster is in the cards for 2017. Likely, if it is a roller coaster, the park would likely have to pick between an RMC and an S&S 4D Free Spin coaster. Our friends at Coaster Chit Chat mention that those free spin coasters take up less than one quarter of an acre of space.
Overall, it appears that Justice League: Battle for Metropolis might be the attraction heading to Six Flags Over Georgia next. It is a fun family-friendly attraction that is quite popular within the chain. However, the park is turning 50 years old. Most people want to see a new roller coaster this year and then maybe add in a Battle for Metropolis in the next year or two. Better yet, it would be fantastic if they add a roller coaster and a Battle for Metropolis for 2017 and turn to a waterpark expansion in 2018. Sure, that is likely wishful thinking, but coaster enthusiasts wouldn’t complain! Will Six Flags Over Georgia do its 50th anniversary season justice? Our fingers are crossed!