X-Flight Experience at Six Flags Great America
Get ready Chicago land because you're in for one wild ride when you board X-Flight at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee!
X-Flight is the theme park's brand-new roller coaster opening to the public on May 16. I was invited to preview the coaster and it's unlike any other ride I have been on and unlike any ride the park has constructed. It's a wing coaster where the track is neither below or above you, it's to the side. 32 riders sit in pairs, suspended on either side of the track with their feet dangling.
Once you're buckled up and ready for takeoff, you are lifted up a 12-story hill where you fall 120 feet and coast through 3,000 feet of twisted steel with extreme drops, fly-throughs and five inversions including a zero-g roll, in-line roll and barrel roll at 55 miles per hour.
My favorite moment was venturing through an extreme fly-through where the coaster speeds straight toward a structure, before making a last-minute vertical flip to fit through a keyhole cut-out.
In celebration of The Local Tourist's ten-year anniversary, I rode X-Flight ten times and coincidentally, ten in Roman Numerals is "X".
X-Flight cars have eight rows, so I sat in the middle rows once and the front and back rows twice.
If you're looking for the slowest seats, then sit in the front. By the time you prepare the first free fall, it feels like you're already finished with the big drop. The front right seat is pretty unique because you feel like you're the 'leader' of the car. You have very limited view of other riders and an excellent view ahead of you. One rider said she felt like a jet pack was strapped to her back in the front right seat.
In my opinion, the middle seats provide the most g-forces. I got lifted out of my seat and felt that weightlessness the most in the middle rows.
The back left seat is definitely my favorite because it's the fastest. I encourage everyone to give that spot a try. You get the best view of all the cars ahead of you. When the front few rows are upside down, you're still right side up and vice versa. Also, when you hit the free fall, you're the highest person and the last to fall.
I met other riders who had been on X-Flight 20+ times before I even took my first ride. I was wondering how they did it because most coasters are rickety and give me a headache by the time I'm finished. Once I rode the coaster, I knew I wouldn't ever have any headache problems.
This was definitely the smoothest coaster I've been on. The only place to put your head is on the headrest, if you tilt it back. There are bars placed far away from your head on both sides for you to grasp onto. The harness is a really comfortable plastic that locks in place, and for added safety, a manual seat belt is strapped from your seat to the harness.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 11 am and featured faux pilots who marched in to the stage area, announcements from Park President, Hank Salemi, extrememly large scissors that cut an extremely big ribbon, red confetti explosions and fireworks.
X-Flight was designed by acclaimed manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, who also designed Six Flags Great America favorites: Raging Bull, SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight and BATMAN: The Ride.
View a video below of my first ride on X-Flight. There is also a point of view camera. The Local Tourist meets The Not-So-Local Tourist. Sitting next to me is Marc from Quebec, a reporter for www.NewsParcs.com. If you have trouble seeing the video below, click HERE.
MORE PHOTOS OF X-FLIGHT CAN BE FOUND HERE.