On Sept. 17, Tech students swarmed to Georgia Tech Night at Six Flags for a fun break from school work, but for some students the experience was much less than enjoyable.
With several rides open on the Night at Six Flags, students were able to go on as many coasters as they could during the six hours of the event.
Popular rides included Goliath, Dare Devil Dive Flying Machine (commonly referred to as Daredevil), and Superman, but some attractions at Six Flags experienced a few problems during the night.
Rollercoasters are always subject to intermittent breakdowns at any amusement park, and Six Flags Over Georgia is no exception.
Students may have noticed certain rides being out of order for some period of time, such as the Superman and Georgia Scorcher rides temporarily breaking down with many students in line.
Other breakdowns were more traumatizing for some students as the rides would halt with students in the cars.
“Once they were able to get Daredevil back up, the ride was running normally until it was our turn,” said Macy Khamsa, a guest attending the event from UGA.
Khamsa said that the Daredevil ride had broken down while she was waiting in line with her friends, but she waited until it was fixed and sat in the front seat with her friend. The ride started and they then realized that it was not going to be the fun experience they had expected.
“Right before we get to the top it stops,” said Raneem Rizvi, IE ’22, who sat in the front car with Khamsa.
“We had a few nervous chuckles [and] after about 30 seconds it begins to set in that we are actually stuck.”
The ride stopped while Khamsa and Rizvi were going up the first big hill of the ride before their car would be released and could fly through the rest of the tracks.
The unique feature of Daredevil is that the ascent up its first hill is completely vertical, so the riders stuck in the car were staring straight up at the sky.
“We are there for like 10-15 minutes before [the car] starts moving again and they make us do the ride,” Rizvi said, which surprised the two frightened riders. “We go through the ride and it even stops halfway and is going really slow,” Rizvi said, who added that the Six Flag workers only briefly apologized about the ordeal afterwards and wished them a good day.
While Rizvi and Khamsa were able to finish the ride, other students were forced to dismount their cars when their rollercoaster broke.
“We got to the top and it stops and starts making this weird, worrying sound coming from the motor,” said Daniel Hudson, BMED ’24, who got stuck at the top of the Blue Hawk rollercoaster.
“So we wait there and we kind of just settle in because we couldn’t do anything about it,” Hudson said, and after about 20 minutes Six Flags technicians ascended the staircase along the first Blue Hawk hill.
Hudson said that the technicians intended to check out the ride to see where the noise was coming from but soon realized it would not be a quick fix and instructed the riders to get out of the cars and climb back down to ground level.
Hudson and the other riders walked down the stairs and ended their night at Six Flags there, also a bit shaken.
While the night was enjoyable for most Tech students, problems with the rollercoasters plagued the event for some unfortunate riders.
The random nature of the breakdowns is not unheard of for amusement parks, but it is something to be aware of each time Tech hosts the annual event.