The West Coast first Floorless Coaster: Part 3 of our Floorless Coaster Series.

Six Flags Marine World had been successfully transformed into a theme park/animal park facility that was quite successful.  By 2000, Six Flags was ready to continue with its assault on the Northern California theme park market with a new thrill ride.

Whereas the roller coasters added to the park were compact, Six Flags used what was remaining of the parking lot near the main gate to install a giant new roller coaster.  Due to the animals in the park and local ordinances, the park has a hard 150 feet height limit, and louder attractions need to go in the front of the park, close to the road.  The parking lot was perfect for that, and to that effect, all parking was moved further along the way or across the street at the Solano County Fair.  Strangely, the parking surface was kept under the ride, and you can see still remnants of the painted lines and the pavement.

View of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom from the new parking lot

View of the park of the park main parking lot after Medusa was built.

Transfer Track (1)

On this picture of the transfer track of Medusa, you can still see 18 years after the parking lot lines.

Medusa would anchor the right side of the main entrance and would go across the midway from the Kong roller coaster.  As the park is loosely themed to animals and Africa in general for its ride names, Medusa here did not need a complicated back story and mine station building.  The station is a stone temple with snakeheads where we presume Medusa was worshipped.

A lot of the queue is housed at the bottom of the temple and guests then move upstairs to the loading platform.  Like at Kraken and its eastern sibling, Medusa here use three 32 passenger trains. Guests board one of the eight rows and sit four across in the beautiful purple and lime green train.  The train exit the station and drops down to the left in the signature Bolliger & Mabillard pre-lift section.  The lift is precisely 150 feet tall to comply with the strict height restriction.  Like Kraken, the train drops down a little, past the speed adjusting brake and aligns with the straight first drop to the right.

Medusa Flex 2

The train exiting the station, courtesy of Flex.

Listed at 150 feet tall, the drop goes slightly below grade in a small hole dug in the parking lot. The train reaches 65 mph,  then navigates the tallest vertical loop on the United States West Coast at the time, 128 feet tall.  The train then navigates the Dive Loop, followed by a floaty Zero-Gravity Roll.  A speed adjusting brake was mounted on the way down from the Roll.

Medusa Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Flex

The lift hill and drop, shot by Flex.

Medusa Six Flags Discovery Kingdom First Drop

The train going down the first drop.

Medusa Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Loop

The 128 feet tall vertical loop.

This is where Medusa is unique: the only Sea Serpent element on a Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster.  Also using trenches dug into the parking lot, the Sea Serpent is composed of a half loop, large half corkscrew and unlike a Cobra Roll, the corkscrew rolls out in the same direction, ending in another half loop.  A rising 270° turn leads into the mid brakes.

The train is barely slowed as it abruptly plunges to the left.  Near the ground, the train is twisted around in a giant Corkscrew.  A rising turn follows, with the train again going below the parking lot before the second Corkscrew.  A figure 8 element ends the ride with the train reaching the final brakes.

The ride is 3937 feet long, hundreds of feet longer than the next longest roller coaster in the park.  It added a signature attraction to the park with massive capacity.  It also created some balance in the park as the next roller coaster additions to the park went to the left of the main entrance.  Superman: Ultimate Escape (Premier Rides Sky Rocket II added in 2012) later joined Roar (wooden roller coaster from Great Coasters International that was transformed into the Joker hybrid roller coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction in 2016) and Batman: The Ride (S&S-Sansei Freespin roller coaster added in 2019) on that side of the park.

The only notable modification was removing the speed adjusting brake calipers at the top of the lift hill and after the Zero-Gravity Roll.  The park name was changed  to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in 2007 when the park areas divided into three subsections which were later abandoned.

Medusa Six flags Discovery Kingdom removed speed adjusting brake

The removed brake caliper after the Zero-Gravity Roll.

One thought on “The West Coast first Floorless Coaster: Part 3 of our Floorless Coaster Series.

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