Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: Tallest, fastest looping roller coaster

Try to hold down those nachos on the new Full Throttle roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California.
Try to hold down those nachos on the new Full Throttle roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Full Throttle coaster goes 70 mph and up to 160 feet in the air
  • The coaster opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California on June 22
  • Full Throttle prides itself on having the world's first ever "top hat" loop

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- I've always found amusement parks very unamusing, for it's hard to justify standing in a hot, 40-minute roller-coaster line so I can promptly lose my car keys and barf up a churro.

That's what whiskey is for.

But lots of people dig this kind of entertainment. And it seems all the theme parks around the world try to out-amuse each other with technologically advanced new rides promising wild and exciting fun.

\
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"Hey kids! Come try The Agonizer! It will literally give you second-degree steam burns to the face!"

You see, when it comes to roller coasters these days, they have to be super-├╝ber extreme to stand out. And, right now, thrill seekers on the Web are all talking about Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California.

The ride opened last weekend to rave reviews, and it's being touted as the "world's tallest and fastest looping coaster." Which sounds pretty amazing, save for the part about it being tall and fast and looping. My ideal roller coaster is a hammock.

Nevertheless, this thing goes up to 70 mph, reaches a height of 160 feet and uses something called a linear synchronous-motor magnetic launch system.

I don't know what that means, but I'm fairly certain it causes diarrhea.

"Did anybody else just ...?"

"Yes. Get the kids. We're going home."

Full Throttle also prides itself on having the world's first ever "top hat" loop, allowing riders to fly across the outer rail of the circle as well as the inside. Everything I've read suggests that this is actually a rather big deal when it comes to roller-coaster engineering.

Though, to be fair, I'm still trying to figure out button-fly jeans. So, in my book, pretty much anything more sophisticated than a ballpoint pen counts as an major scientific accomplishment.

Hell, my ceiling fan is certifiably magic.

Anyway, never mind all the wild technology. Just know that Full Throttle is really big and really fast, and if the train ever flies off the rails, there's a pretty good chance you'll end up somewhere near Pittsburgh.

"Ha-ha. Now that's what I call being thrown for a loop!"

"Shut up, Dave."

And if the overall speed and height weren't wild enough, Full Throttle also minimizes the protective harnessing that prevents you from dropping painfully to your death. Which, to some, might be slightly concerning.

Here, there's nothing covering your chest -- just a simple lap bar to keep you and your bladder snugly in position. But it's said to be very advanced, and the limited upper-body protection totally enhances the fear factor when, at one point during the ride, you apparently almost slow to a stop along a curve.

It's a terrifying pause that lasts just long enough to make a deathbed confession to the stranger sitting next to you.

"Hi. I'm Jim. I like Nickelback."

These are the dirty secrets we share when roller-coaster technology rises to the next level.

Tim Burkhart, director of maintenance, construction and engineering for Six Flags Magic Mountain, was the project lead for creating Full Throttle, and told Theme Park Insider that, "Anyone can take a track and flip it. I've done it a million times -- it's easy to do. But to build an actual loop, with all the supporting structure, and the dynamics you have to do to be at 160 feet, that is a much (more) difficult thing."

If this all sounds completely amazing, it is. Roller-coaster engineering continues to test the limits of your lunch, and Six Flags Magic Mountain has quite literally raised the bar.

So, if you're an adrenaline junkie and you make it out to California, make sure you head over to Six Flags to give this thing a shot. Do it for me.

Because I'll be in my hammock, confidently eating a churro.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
updated 5:20 PM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting animal skins is called taxidermy, and it can range from classy to creepy depending on whether your subject is a moose, or, say, a homeless drifter.
updated 12:16 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
The July 21, 1969, headline of the New York Times read, "MEN WALK ON MOON."
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
I once uploaded an Instagram of me at Old Navy trying to get all kissy-face with a mannequin. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but she was rather unresponsive.
updated 5:13 PM EST, Fri March 7, 2014
I use a Keurig coffee machine at home because I'm lazy. And, quite frankly, don't feel like I've really done my duty to God and country until I've added a little something to the landfill.
updated 1:38 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a true germaphobe, but if entering a domestic partnership with a bottle of Purell were legal I'd certainly consider it.
updated 6:31 PM EST, Fri February 21, 2014
Fact: The most underrated cute animal on the face of the planet is the walrus.
updated 4:08 PM EST, Fri February 14, 2014
A wise man once said, "I'm not wearing pants today."
updated 4:47 PM EST, Fri February 7, 2014
Let me tell you about the time I spent $388.58 replacing a single light bulb.
updated 11:22 AM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Attention minions of Colonel Meow:
updated 1:10 PM EST, Mon January 27, 2014
It's the stuff of movies. Bad movies. But movies.
updated 9:42 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
crying baby
I rarely get to experience fine dining. Mostly because, generally speaking, it also requires fine currency. And pants.
updated 3:40 PM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
There's a classic rap song from the early 1990s called "It Was a Good Day" where Ice Cube chronicles 24 hours of peace and happiness on the otherwise rough and dangerous streets of South Central Los Angeles.
updated 4:11 PM EST, Sun December 22, 2013
Growing up in Arizona, the common joke was that one day a giant earthquake would tear California out into the Pacific and then we'd all have oceanfront property.
updated 11:15 PM EST, Mon December 16, 2013
I'm really not sure how I feel about the color purple. It's elegant and regal, but part of me also wants it to die in a ditch.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Mon December 9, 2013
A dog's life is fairly easy. It usually involves waking up late, eating some food and then passing out for eight hours in the backyard.
updated 3:22 PM EST, Fri November 22, 2013
The other day I was engaged in a rather thoughtful conversation with one of my CNN co-workers, an Ivy League-educated, award-winning journalist who's admired for her compassion and charm. She asked me to fart.
updated 1:48 PM EST, Mon November 18, 2013
Just did some power lunges. Quads getting huge. Can only speak in fragments. Because my quads are so huge.
updated 3:49 PM EST, Mon November 11, 2013
I'm typing this in bed, lying next to my dog, Mikey. We're best buds, and it's sort of a thing we do. There's also the occasional tongue kiss.
updated 1:49 PM EST, Mon November 4, 2013
At best I'm a 5.
updated 6:57 PM EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
Here's the short, tragic story of a little car in China that nobody wanted.
updated 12:47 PM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
Nobody wants to underwhelm when it comes to their final words on this planet.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Fri October 11, 2013
My dad still uses an old flip phone. It's gray. It's clunky. And its two ringtone choices are an early recording of Greensleeves or a dramatic poetry slam by Grover Cleveland.
updated 2:30 PM EDT, Sat October 5, 2013
I go to the gym. It's an excellent place to watch SportsCenter while occupying a bench press that somebody else might otherwise use for actual exercise.
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
It's been quite a while since I last soiled my pants. Easily a week or two. Maybe three.
updated 4:22 PM EDT, Fri September 20, 2013
cocktail
Crammed three-deep at the bar on Friday night used to be my idea of good time. But years have passed, and now I prefer the quiet solitude of rearranging my sock drawer, pretending that TV commentators speaking proper British are doing the play-by-play.
updated 3:28 PM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
When the apocalypse comes, I'm pretty sure I can get by for a while on Diet Coke and Klondike Bars.
updated 2:34 PM EDT, Fri September 6, 2013
Certain products are definitely OK to rent. Like a car. Or a tuxedo. Or the cheapest room at a Motel 6 when you find yourself strolling down I-85 at midnight with no pants.
updated 7:49 PM EDT, Fri August 30, 2013
There are a lot of things in my freezer. Animal sperm isn't one of them.
updated 4:03 PM EDT, Fri August 23, 2013
I've often said I'd like to smother my entire body in soy sauce. But enough about my eHarmony profile.
updated 8:05 PM EDT, Mon August 19, 2013
To call myself a true ginger is rather an insult to all the legitimate redheads of the world. You know, the super shiny ones you carefully hide from your children.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Sat August 10, 2013
When I was a kid I used to write fan letters to the Chicago Cubs. I was young and didn't know any better.
updated 10:58 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
When I was growing up, to open my parents' refrigerator was to take a magical journey deep into a strange land of Tupperware that ultimately ended in sadness, confusion and some sort of round, congealed blob of food that may or may not have dated to the Carter administration.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Fri July 26, 2013
It's been a rough month for chickens.
updated 11:21 PM EDT, Fri July 19, 2013
At home I drink from the tap. Not so much because I particularly love the taste, but because the automatic water dispenser on my fridge doesn't work.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Sat July 13, 2013
We all have bad habits. Nobody's perfect. Especially the booger eaters.
updated 5:03 PM EDT, Fri July 5, 2013
Children of the '80s and '90s fondly remember a time when MTV actually played music videos.
updated 6:09 PM EDT, Fri June 28, 2013
I've always found amusement parks very unamusing, for it's hard to justify standing in a hot, 40-minute roller-coaster line so I can promptly lose my car keys and barf up a churro.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Fri June 21, 2013
One day, a rather inconsiderate caveman turned to his cavewoman and said, "You know, Diane, you should really think about shaving your legs."
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Sat June 15, 2013
George Carlin once said, "I don't automatically wash my hands every time I go to the bathroom. You know when I wash my hands? When I s**t on them."
updated 8:26 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
A lot of people don't know this, but for every 30 minutes of legitimate work, all employees must be allowed one full hour of Internet cat videos.
updated 10:46 AM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
Sing it with me, kids!
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
I've been camping countless times in the forest -- as one does -- and without fail, there's always plenty of wood just lying around.
updated 3:11 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
We just can't leave well-enough alone.
updated 4:39 PM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
There's a great song by Todd Snider called "The Ballad of The Kingsmen." In it, he sings, "Marilyn Manson gets a lot of chicks. They're weird chicks. But they're chicks."
updated 5:37 PM EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
In my bedroom there's an amazing wall-mounted hideaway ironing board. It even has an affixed light and timed electrical outlet for safety. The thing is absolutely brilliant.
updated 3:44 PM EDT, Sat April 27, 2013
"Wow! I totally just watched the awesome cell phone video you shot at that concert!"
updated 6:11 AM EDT, Sun April 21, 2013
We're all thirsty and we don't even know it.
updated 10:56 AM EDT, Mon April 15, 2013
Abraham Lincoln once said, "In life, what counts is the size of a man's heart, not the size of his disproportionate willie."
updated 10:18 AM EST, Sat February 2, 2013
Sometimes pet tortoises vanish for 30 years and end up in a box of records. Still alive. Or they live with San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks.
ADVERTISEMENT