New ‘Joker' 4D Free-Fly Coaster Debuts at Six Flags Over Texas

It's been six years since the last time Six Flags Over Texas opened a new roller coaster -- but that drought is nearly over. On Saturday, May 20, "The Joker" 4D Free-Fly Coaster will make its long-awaited debut.

Unlike most coasters, the seats are mounted to the sides of the track, allowing them to rotate a full 360-degrees for the duration of the ride.

"It's really something that the Dallas-Fort Worth area has never seen," said Tim Baldwin, Editor of "Roller Coasters! Magazine" and a member of national coaster enthusiast group ACE. "It uses the latest roller coaster technology ... It is just craziness on rails."

Riders are positioned facing each other, so they'll experience the ride both forwards and backwards at various points along the track. It begins by lifting them 12 stories in the air at a 90 degree angle -- then sends them down a track that contains two beyond-90 degree drops.

Magnets control the seats and determine how and when riders flip based on their weight.

"You can have four completely different ride experiences to get the whole package," said Baldwin. "Each ride is different just by your weight and the person you're with -- so people are going to want to come back again and again to really see what it's like compared to the last time they rode."

It's a quick ride -- from start to finish, it's only about a minute long. But Baldwin said it's a minute riders won't forget.

"You never know what's going to happen," said Baldwin. "I really think that uncertainty ramps up the fear factor."

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