Last week as part of my CBS Better Mornings Atlanta segment I visited Six Flags Over Georgia to test out their new roller coaster, the Dare Devil Dive. I was pretty nervous going in. I’ve always loved roller coasters, but as I’ve gotten older and the coasters have gotten more ridiculously thrilling, I’m not as game as I used to be. Add to that that this coaster takes you up 10 stories straight into the sky (and I mean straight) then plummets down at 95 degrees, beyond vertical, I was quite apprehensive. But in the end, CBS producer Amanda Harley and I had a blast and rode it four times! If you’d like to see me screaming, here’s the video from CBS Better Mornings Atlanta.
The ride pays homage to World War II-era stunt planes and the daring aerial acrobatics of the pilots. Sitting next to me on my first test run was chief test pilot for Lockheed Martin’s F-22 program Bret Luedke. He said the ride is similar to flying a modern day fighter jet, with the exception that most jets will do an inverted drop, so you are forced INTO your seat as opposed to the Dare Devil Dive where you are flying OUT of your seat. Riders must be at least 48″ tall to ride.
In addition to the first plummet, Dare Devil Dive boasts three inversions, zero-gravity hills and high-speed turns. The barrel roll in the middle turns you upside down. The ride soars at a blistering 52 miles per hour as it makes its way through 2,090 feet of twisted steel track. For all that action, it’s a surprisingly quiet and smooth ride. A couple of observations from our morning of riding:
1. For a faster ride, find the biggest guys in line and ride with them. Our car was noticeably faster each time we went, the operators pointed out the heavier the car, the faster it will go.
2. Ride in front. Amanda and I both preferred the front. It was a better view of the upcoming twists and turns and it felt like a smoother ride. Our last trip was in the back car and it felt more jerky. That said, some of the roller coaster enthusiasts that were riding as well liked the back best. They concluded that in the back car you came out of your seat a bit more on the plummet adding to the excitement.