Six Flags Superman Roller Coaster Apparently Cursed By Kryptonite, Gets Stuck Yet Again

After shutting down and stranding passengers for about two hours, it took almost week for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. to tinker around with its Superman Ultimate Flight roller coaster and get it back in operation. There must not have been enough tinkering going on, however, as the ride stalled again shortly after reopening yesterday.

The coaster had been cleared by safety inspectors after the previous incident and was going through its usual routine early on Sunday, a park spokeswoman told CBS San Francisco, before it stopped in its tracks with passengers stuck in their seats.

Unlike last week’s incident, this time passengers were escorted quickly from the ride. They were given passes to skip to the front of the line — a line that may or may not have gotten considerably shorter after parkgoers realized it had gotten stuck yet again.

We can imagine it now…

“Hey, since we just got stuck on that ride, whaddya say we jump back in line and see if we can get stuck again? Here’s to hoping!”

Officials believe the problem has been related to a computer glitch both times. Or maaaaybe someone put kryptonite on the tracks! That’s gotta be it.

Six Flags Roller Coaster Reopens, Strands Passengers Again In Vallejo [CBS San Francisco]


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  1. Coffee says:

    That particular park used to be Marine World Africa USA, an animal-centric theme park without rides, where people watched trainers do shows with things like seals or exotic birds. I was never the biggest fan, but it was all right.

    Then Six Flags bought it and is in the process of running it into the ground. Went there a couple years ago and remember waiting in line at a roller coaster for about 30 minutes, only to have a large screw fall to the ground just as we arrived at the front of the line. They eventually shut it down and we essentially wasted our time. Security vehicles in the parking lot were dented…there’s a lagoon with a stage where they used to do water skiing shows that’s now in disuse, the platform having fallen into the water and never moved.

    We ended up leaving after about an hour at the park, and the entire affair was a complete waste of time and money.

    • Caprica Six says:

      The most telling thing for me is that whole area used to be a municipal golf course and to fathom an actual theme park there still freaks me out. As I drive by it always stuns me that they fit a “whole” theme park there!

    • BigDragon says:

      I had a similar experience at Six Flags America in 1999. The star new attraction, Joker’s Jinx, was “broken down” for the entire day. It had been open for months but never run reliably. Paramount got pretty bad at times with their parks, but they at least made an effort to have Volcano running for several hours each day. The upkeep was so bad Six Flags defined a new category of crappy amusement parks. My family perma-banned all Six Flags parks as a result of that experience. This ban has been in place and observed ever since. The experience there was so bad it prompted a trip to Cedar Point the following year to make up for things.

    • Coalpepper says:

      How long ago was that? I would’ve said the same thing about Six Flags Great Adventure better part of a decade ago before i left NJ. Having recently went to Six Flags St Louis i was pleasantly surprised, wasn’t perfect, but much better than the last visit to a Six Flags park. Checking Wikipedia, ownership had changed three times since i was last there, and it seems the new owners are taking care of the place, albeit the advertising is rather thick at times.

  2. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    It’s perhaps unfair to single out Six Flags, given they have operated multiple parks for decades and statistically have very safe rides. But still, for my own twisted amusment…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      About a third of those were apparently patrons being very stupid. Another third was the employees being stupid or negligent, and then the rest appear to be actual technical issues.

      Of all of them, the one I felt the worst for was the woman in the water ride who died in 3 feet of water because she was trapped under the deflated floation device. That’s just mean.

      • 180CS says:

        Personally, I felt pretty bad for the girl who had her feet severed because of Six Flags poorly maintained ride with inadequate safety features.

        And although a third of those where probably employee negligence, and another third was stupid customers, I still think the company is to blame. Your patrons are going to be stupid, and that’s a fact of life. You need foolproof systems in place so they don’t accidentally kill themselves. As to the employees, have more training, stricter requirements, and better pay. Yes, this means raise ticket prices. I’ll gladly pay more if it means I’m safer.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Hmm. Two of the rides on that list are Superman themed. Add that to the story here on consumerist, and that’s a pretty high occurance of the Man of Steel in these stories.

      And with the Superman Curse already in effect*, I think I’ll avoid any Superman themed items.

      *George Reeves’ suicide, Christopher Reeve’s parylization, Lee Quigley (baby superman in 1978 movie) dead at 14, plus other supporting cast misfortunes.

      • dru_zod says:

        There is no “Superman Curse”. The character of Superman has been around since 1938. There are literally hundreds of people who have been associated with the character in movies, TV, radio, etc. Odds are some of them are going to have tragic things happen to them. The same thing goes for anything that involves enough people or lasts long enough.

  3. JoshUng says:

    Line skipping passes are generally good for any ride in the park.

    And I doubt it was just a computer glitch, at least the first time. If it were just a glitch, the ride wouldn’t have stopped until the first set of breaks, which should have an evacuation point. If it didn’t stop there, it would need to be something mechanical.

  4. Bladerunner says:

    Anybody have thoughts on where the best roller coasters in California are? The ones hopefully least likely to fall apart mid-ride…

    • Coffee says:

      I think you have to divide the state in half, and in Northern California, the best ones are in Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara. At least, that’s my opinion.

      • Bladerunner says:

        Mrs. Bladerunner and I were planning on going to SouthernCalifornia for our upcoming honeymoon, but honestly, we don’t know much about it except it’s closer to drive to than the east coast. Any thoughts for down there?

    • BigDragon says:

      Knott’s Berry Farm is a Cedar Faire park. They’re pretty good at keeping things clean and running. Every time I’ve been to a Cedar Faire park with family and/or friends the experience has been a positive one where everyone wanted to stay until close.

    • ChunkyBarf says:

      The best roller coasters are at Six Flags Magic Mountain. However, be warned that X2 has extremely long lines (even as soon as the park opens) because they do not load/unload as fast as is theoretically possible — this is partially done to make the ride safer. Also, Tatsu has long lines because it is one of the newer extreme rides. If you love roller coasters, Magic Mountain is the place to be. Just be warned that the quality of the park outside of that is terrible (apathy by staff, little shade, leaky water rides, expensive drinks, teenagers running amok, etc.) Try going on weekdays while school is in session if possible.

  5. aja175 says:

    They ran that for the last hour the park was open on Friday. I got on the 2nd or 3rd run after the tests finished, it was totally worth risking getting stuck!

  6. Outrun1986 says:

    The same thing happens here on the (formerly) superman ride of steel at Darien Lake. I have sworn off that coaster ever since. It breaks down a lot and the ride is obviously in need of some TLC. Everyone still calls it superman even though the name has been removed and changed to just “ride of steel”. Thankfully SF doesn’t own this park anymore, but the fact that the park has changed owners something like 3 times since 2006 is not good news.

    I have already been on the ride, back when it was more reliable, and I don’t really see the need to go on it again.