I recently attended a private press event at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey where the new looped coaster ride, El Diablo, was introduced to a handful of lucky folks. Being a New Jersey native and devoted Six Flags patron throughout my childhood, I was already familiar with the park and wasn’t sure what to expect from the new ride. A fully looped coaster? Now I’m all for speed and huge drops, but the thought of getting constantly spun on what looks to be a giant hamster wheel didn’t seem too appealing. I decided to champ through the doubt anyway and give it a whirl.

The day couldn’t have played out more perfectly. The sun was out and hotter than ever – the perfect setting for a devilish themed ride. Before we got to  actually ride El Diablo, there was a quick presentation from a few speakers, including park President John Fitzgerald. Collin White, the former NJ Devils hockey player, was also in the crowd, along with his trusty companion and former mascot, the NJ Devil. The inspiration behind El Diablo stems from the Jersey devil, the legendary cryptic creature believed to inhabit the southern part of New Jersey. Typically portrayed with bat-like wings and sharp claws, reports have claimed that this fire-breathing demon haunted the innocent.


El Diablo is a fiery bright red, looping coaster, located in the Mexican-themed Plaza del Carnaval section of Six Flags. It features ‘face-off’ (face-to-face) style seating, which adds light fun and slightly more fear if the person sitting across from you looks like they’re just about ready to blow chunks. After I strapped in and thumbs up were given all around, the ride began with back and forth pendulum style rocking. Picking up speed with each swing, I eventually found myself almost at the top of the circle, screaming at the top of my lungs. I now know what it feels like to be stuck in a washing machine – minus all the water and suds. After a couple stomach-turning revolutions around the circle, we were briefly suspended mid-air and completely upside down. You could feel everyone’s excited anticipation of the next reversing drop.

Alas, like all rides, it came to an end, but the adrenaline didn’t stop flowing. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but boy was I deceived. Six Flags offers a wide range of attractions. Arguably, this isn’t your average roller coaster with drops and turns, nor is it your regular swinging pendulum ride. El Diablo is the perfect balance between the two, providing the right amount of excitement to park goers of all ages. Throughout the experience, I was filled with excitement and I didn’t want the frenzy to end. It’s a quick adrenaline fix that all thrill-seekers should take a ride on. Cheers all around!


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Kim Manuel