Extinct Attractions Vol # 2 {Batman & Robin: The Chiller}

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In 1997, Six Flags Great Adventure's "Batman & Robin: The Chiller" opened to the public in conjunction with the release of the film. Unfortunately, as a prototype, the coaster had a ton of issues its first run, so it didn't open full-time until 1998. The coaster, which was a "dual launching coaster" also featured elements themed around its main villain Mr. Freeze, hence "The Chiller" being added to the attraction's name. The exterior of the attraction featured what looked like a giant fridge or cooler and a recreation of the observatory at the climax of the film (Where Batman and Mr. Freeze have their final battle.) The coaster's layout consisted of two separate tracks, each representing the titular character--blue for Batman and red for Robin. Each side was a different experience, which would then repeat backwards after hitting a banked Incline . The Batman side featured a "Top Hat inversion" ( I had to look up what it was called) and the Robin side features a "Cobra Roll" (again, both official coaster terms.) 

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I didn't get to ride Batman & Robin when it initially opened. I was in the anti-coaster phase of my life and it intimidated the hell out of me (I was 12 or 13). Regardless, I was still intrigued by it, being a huge fan of the Batman films. I still wanted to experience it, eventually. Finally in 2002, I gained enough courage and got on. Unfortunately by that time the Batman side was almost always down. I visited Six Flags every year (primarily during their Fright Fest event) and don't remember ever seeing that side functional.

Now onto the actual ride experience. Both sides start by launching you at 65 mph, not in an uphill incline like most coasters. This was the only jarring part of the ride because I remember the restraints being clunky and giving me a massive headache. After a bunch of loops and flips you're led to a dead end incline. The coaster then rolls back and you experience the entire attraction again, but this time backwards. That was my favorite part.

The attraction experienced several maintenance issues until its close in 2007. It was eventually torn down to make room for another Batman-themed ride, The Dark Knight. Most of my memories of Batman & Robin: The Chiller are on the negative side. I remember my mother and other friends calling it the "headache" roller coaster and preferring the original Batman coaster (which is still standing today) over it. I always thought it was a great looking ride and had a "wow" factor, but usually after riding it, I wouldn't want to get on anything else the rest of the day because I was a bit shaken up. Another retired coaster at Great Adventure had that reputation (I'll probably visit it in the future.) The Dark Knight Coaster which took its place is a completely different monster altogether.  Unlike its predecessor, this coaster is an indoor mouse coaster. The building itself is about half the size of B&R and is more theatrical than a conventional coaster. I'm guessing Great Adventure wanted to create more of an experience instead of a succession of thrills. There is a pre-show video and a ton of Batman/Joker related set design on the actual ride. The Dark Knight is also way more suitable for younger park visitors. Overall I wasn't a massive fan of B&R the few times I was able to ride it. Again my judgement is solely on me riding the Robin side. Maybe the Batman side was a completely awesome experience. I'll never know.

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