Looming high among the Six Flags Magic Mountain skyline is a soaring beast beckoning your name. Tatsu, Japanese for Dragon, is a monster that sends thousands of guest daily on the ride of their life. It flew its way into the massive park in 2006 and has been one of the most popular coasters ever since. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, who is known for the flying coaster style ride such as the Superman Ultimate Flights (various Six Flags Parks) and their latest, Manta (Sea World Orlando), Tatsu still remains the tallest, fastest, and arguably the scariest flying coaster in the world. Unlike any other coaster, Tatsu takes you high above the trees and flings you around the sky on your journey, creating a one of a kind experience. This beast of a coaster remains one of the best in the west and is not one to be fooled around with!
The ride begins with a 160 foot climb to the top of the lift. This creates a lot of suspense as you slowly rise to the top unaware of where it ends. Your head is facing straight towards the ground and looking at spectators below gazing at how crazy riders are for taking on the challenge of the beast. Once you reach the top of the lift the fun begins; you spiral down a 111 foot drop, just missing the trees beneath you. You are whipped into a powerful 103 foot tall corkscrew with plenty of G-Forces keeping you pressed against you harness. Then you soar pass the trees underneath you and get a view of the entrance before being pulled back up again by the beast into 96 foot tall zero g roll before plummeting to the ground only to be shot upwards. An egg turn sends you facing the heavens before the most powerful, and unexpected part of the ride, a quick over bank style turn. You creep upward before heading face first to the ground in a unique Pretzel Loop before your back being pressed against the seat and rising back towards the top. Finally your journey concludes with a inline twist and 270 degree turn over the main entrance into the brake run.
The ride itself is really quite intense. It pulls some great G-Forces and some really unexpected feelings. In the begging, the drop begins with a bang; it throws you against your harness and makes you feel as if you will fly out of your seat to the ground. The first half is fairly easy and is more of a flying sensation due to the lack of G-Forces compared to the rest of the ride. The corkscrew goes through nice and swiftly in a smooth transition. The Zero-G roll is great fun because it sends you down just a few feet from the ground.
From here on out, the coaster is total madness. The egg turns makes you lose sense of everything; first you are feet from the ground then you are being rocketed skyward! After this the overbank turn too the pretzel loop is a very pleasant, surprise. Not only does it come out of no where, but it pulls some of the most powerful G-Forces in the entire ride.
Finally, the grand daddy of all the elements, the Pretzel loop. It begins with a relatively slower climb to the top of the inverted loop before you lose your sanity. Once you begin to drop downward, your body goes from being pused against your harness, to be pushed against your seat, so quickly that it provides the hardest G-Forces on the ride. When you are going down you can see the other cars however since your head is going into the ground, your mind freaks out and sends you into a whole new adrenline rush. The rise back to the top is not the end to this though as you are whipped out of the element with yet more G-Forces. This is, by far, my favorite element of all time.
The finale is pretty basic and calm. An inline twist and a turn around the park entrance gives great views and is a great conclusion to the ride. It goes into the brake run that doesn’t slow you down at all, and dips into the final brake run.
Only problems with the ride is that usually it doesn’t utilize the dual station technology by only using one side. Therefore you are left on the track for a long time with your body dangling out of the seat and onto the over the shoulder strap.
Even with that small flaw, this ride is flat out amazing! Truly a one of a kind experience. Six Flags did a great job of using the high terrain of Six Flags Magic Mountain to their advantage. Is it my favorite ride? I am not sure but it is definitely in my top 3! I recommend anyone to brave it and ride this beast, that can only be called Tatsu.