Quick facts for kidsLightnin' Loops
|Six Flags Great Adventure|
|Opening date||May 23, 1978|
|Replaced by||Batman: The Ride|
|Type||Steel – Launched – Shuttle|
|Track layout||Interlocking Shuttle Loop|
|Height||56 ft (17 m)|
|Drop||47 ft (14 m)|
|Length||635 ft (194 m)|
|Speed||45 mph (72 km/h)|
|Height restriction||44 in (112 cm)|
|Lightnin' Loops at RCDB
Pictures of Lightnin' Loops at RCDB
Lightnin' Loops were two individual Shuttle Loop roller coasters located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. Manufactured by Arrow Development, the ride opened on May 23, 1978, with a unique feature at the time. Both tracks interlocked at their vertical loop element. The ride's popularity declined in the mid-to-late 1980s, and a fatal incident occurred in 1987. The ride had limited operation when it reopened later that year and was eventually dismantled in 1992.
Lightnin' Loops was built in 1977 and opened in 1978 at Six Flags Great Adventure. Six Flags had acquired the park in 1977 and Lightnin' Loops was planned by the prior ownership as far back as 1976. It was the second looping roller coaster on the east coast, although several full circuit looping coasters were in operation as far back as 1975. The coaster was located on the west side of the park that is currently occupied by Movietown, Batman: The Ride, and Nitro.
Lightnin' Loops was the first roller coaster to feature interlocking loops, a feature that would eventually be repeated on Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and the Orient Express at Worlds of Fun. However Lightnin' Loops was the world's only interlocking dual shuttle shuttle loop coaster. Lightnin' Loops featured a launch system that propelled the train downward into the loop and to another launch station at the same height as the loading station. Then the train was launched backwards returning to the loading station.
This coaster continued to be the star attraction at the park throughout the 1980s, although other coasters such as Rolling Thunder (built in 1979), Sarajevo Bobsleds (built in 1984) and Ultra Twister (built in 1986) also were major coasters. The popularity of Lightnin' Loops faded in 1989 when the bobsleds were replaced with a multiple looping full circuit then-state of the art roller coaster called the Great American Scream Machine (also built by Arrow), which featured seven inversions, three of which were loops. Also unpopular was the 56 feet (17 m) high stair-climb to reach the Loops loading station.
By 1990, the area that Lightnin' Loops was occupying became a dull area of the park due to the lack of theming. Nearby, however Adventure Rivers would be added in 1991. A new stunt show arena was built next to Lightnin' Loops, and the area was transformed in "Action Town". In May 1992, management announced that Lightnin' Loops would close at the end of July, and it was dismantled in August. One of the loops would be sold to Funtime Parks, the other loop would move to the site formerly occupied by Ultra Twister and construction of "Batman The Ride" would begin on the site of the space occupied by Lightnin' Loops. Batman: The Ride lead to the conversion of the area into Movietown.
At the end of 1992, however, it was decided that the both tracks of Lightnin' Loops would be sold to Funtime Parks. Lightnin' Loops was then sent to two different parks then owned by Funtime. The upper track was sent to Adventure World in Largo, Maryland (near Washington, D.C.). It was rebuilt and reopened in 1994 as the "Python". The lower track was sent to Frontier City near Oklahoma City. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1994 as the "Diamond Back" and is the only Lightnin' Loop track still in operation.
Funtime Parks was coincidentally sold to Premier Parks in 1995. In 1998, Premier would buy Six Flags, bringing these two tracks formerly known as Lightning Loops back into the Six Flags family.
Adventure World was renamed Six Flags America in 1999, and the Python was disassembled to make room for more modern roller coasters and attractions. It was scrapped in 2005 after nearly 5 years in storage. Frontier City was later sold along with several other smaller Six Flags parks to PARC Management.
Lightnin' Loops Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.