Déjà Vu (roller coaster)

Infobox roller coaster simplified
name = Déjà Vu


caption = Déjà Vu at Six Flags Over Georgia was one of four "Giant Inverted Boomerangs"
location = Six Flags Magic Mountain
section = Cyclone Bay
type = Steel roller coaster
manufacturer = Vekoma
model = Boomerang (Giant Inverted Boomerang variant)
height = 191 ft.
drop = 177 ft.
length = 1204 ft.
speed = 65.6 mph
duration = 1 min 34 sec
inversions = 6 (3 forward, 3 reverse)
capacity = 500
height restriction= 54
rcdb_number = 748

"Déjà Vu" is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. The ride is a modified version of Vekoma's popular Boomerang roller coasters. Slated to open for the 2001 season at three Six Flags parks, sudden errors and malfunctions occurred during testing. Often, the trains would "valley" between segments of the rides, and the vertical lift hill was not reliable. The rides finally opened in August, September, and October of 2001. As of 2008, "Deja Vu" is only open in California.

"Déjà Vu" is a departure from Vekoma's earlier Boomerang designs. These versions of the ride feature a vertical cable lift hill that slowly lifts the train up a vertical spike. Also, these rides are bigger than previous Boomerang designs. Another modification was using 4-across seating, similar to Bolliger & Mabillard's inverted roller coasters. However, the seating on Déjà Vu is "staggered" such that the outside seats are pushed back slightly behind the middle two seats in each row.

Enthusiasts often criticize these rides due to the constant downtime and reliability issues and as a result, this coaster design was not a success for Vekoma. Six Flags purchased four of these rides in 2001 (the three "Déjà Vu" coasters in America and "Stunt Fall" at Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid in Madrid, Spain). Due to the reliability issues of the existing rides, the product was considered a flop for Vekoma compared to the success of the base-design Boomerang.

When Six Flags ordered their four Giant Inverted Boomerangs (GIB's), "Stunt Fall" was the last to be installed. When Six Flags saw the issues that the first three had, they allowed Vekoma to go and work out all of the problems before installation. This is why "Stunt Fall" ran on a more consistent basis. Vekoma has since implemented this system on their other three GIB's. All of these coasters were then able to run on a regular basis, possibly due to the removal of sensors to monitor speed.

During initial testing on Six Flags Over Georgia's "Déjà Vu", the catch car (a small device that catches and holds the train) on Tower One derailed, breaking parts and destroying the components of the train beyond economical repair. The ride got a new train, the one that was originally supposed to go to "Stunt Fall".

Because of the problems with "Déjà Vu" at the three parks, Six Flags has stopped purchasing rides from Vekoma. The rides were also so costly for Vekoma that they temporarily drove the company into bankruptcy.

Layout and Experience

The ride begins when the train slowly backs out of the station and up the vertical lift hill, pulled by the catch car. Once reaching the top of the lift, with riders facing straight down, the train is released and goes through the station and heads into the cobra roll (also sometimes called a "butterfly roll" or "boomerang") inversion. This element contains two of the three inversions found on the ride going forward. After twisting through the cobra roll inversion, riders then go through a single (one) vertical loop and hit the second vertical spike of the ride. Then, a catch car there pulls the train up the second vertical tower, this time with riders facing the sky when they're at the top of the tower. After the train reaches the top of the tower, it is released to coast backward through the layout. The train then goes through the station and heads up the first vertical lift hill again, where it is caught once more and then very slowly lowered back into the station.

Removal and Relocation

In 2007, Six Flags announced the removal of "Déjà Vu" from both Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Great America. Six Flags announced that the Six Flags Over Georgia ride would be replaced with a new Thomas Town section after the ride was closed for the season in October. [http://www.screamscape.com/html/six_flags_over_georgia.htm] [http://www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/info/news_thomastown.aspx] . The Six Flags Great America ride gave its last rides on October 28 2007, and confirmed the ride's closure at an enthusiast event. [http://www.coastercrew.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=104&pos=0] .

In January 2008, Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho announced on its website that it would install the "Déjà Vu" from Six Flags Great America with an projected opening date of July. [http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/coaster-video.php] On March 26, Silverwood announced Deja Vu will be renamed "Aftershock" and the ride officially opened July 21.

Criticism

for frequently being shut down, giving most the impression that it had been officially closed.

There were also several major problems that were discovered well after the first three GIB's were built. One problem was clearance between the riders and the track overhead. After the trains were mounted to the track, it was quickly discovered that riders could easily reach up and touch the track while the train was in motion, posing the risk of a severe amputation injury. Vekoma had to improvise, adding new bars to the original shoulder restraint to prevent guests from reaching up too high.

During tests it was discovered that trains would stall in the middle of the cobra roll. Unplanned, the parks installed emergency unloading scaffolding in this location, similar to other Boomerang roller coasters.

Another problem of the ride is the locking mechanism for the shoulder restraints. The GIBs required the use of a battery pack to unlock each restraint in the event of a power loss. Virtually all other roller coasters have a quick manual release system to unload in unusual locations or emergency situations.

Many complaints have also been heard in regards to the main Lift. Some riders complained that the restraints give too much room for the riders to "fall forward" during the lift. People who are just over 54" probably should not ride this ride because of this "falling forward". Also, people who are barrel-chested or overweight may have their chest compressed for the moments that they are on the main lift.

References

External links

* [http://www.rcdb.com/installationresult.htm?column=1,10,3,4,5&order=1,2&model=17 Listing] of Giant Inverted Boomerang roller coasters at [http://www.rcdb.com RCDB]
* [http://www.coasterimage.com/roller-coaster-videos/dejavu/index.htm Video of "Déjà Vu" roller coaster]


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