Maryland’s largest theme park is about to take a new roller coaster for a spin.
Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro on Saturday launches Ragin' Cajun, a ride that is billed as the first of its kind at the park.
At just over 40 feet, the ride isn't the tallest but it offers riders a different kind of thrill. Its "uniquely designed train cars" spin 360 degrees, traveling in circles along 1,378 feet of track.
“There's nothing quite like Ragin Cajun anywhere in the region. With its twists, turns, dips and spins, Ragin Cajun is going to be the best new ride of the summer," said Rick Howarth, park president.
The ride, which takes just about two and half minutes, is stationed in the Mardi Gras section of the park, which features a celebration of New Orleans style décor,food and music.
"This entire section of the park is filled with the festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras," said Howarth.
Ragin Cajun is the park's ninth roller coaster attraction, including Apocalypse, which opened in 2012. Prior to that, no new roller coasters had been opened in over a decade.
"We made a commitment to our guests," said Havilah Ross, the park’s marketing communications manager, "to add something new every year. We have and will continue to do so."
Ground broke on Ragin Cajun last February and the ride car was assembled in April but design for each individual ride can vary.
"It really depends on the ride. Something smaller can go up much quicker than a roller coaster. Safety is our primary concern and there is more licensing and inspection that goes on when putting up a bigger thrill ride” Ross says.
Cajun’s debut doesn’t stand alone. This weekend the park is also introducing French Quarter Flyers, a family-friendly, stationary ride where flyers can control their own speed and direction. The eight-car ride has wings that can move you left to right and up to 40 mph.
Both attractions have no age requirement but do require that if the rider is between 36 and 44 inches tall that they be accompanied by someone who is over 54 inches.
Ragin Cajun and French Quarter Flyers both open to the public this weekend. Regular season day passes are $59.99. Season pass holders are granted a special ride time from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. before the general public can ride. The first 100 pass holders will receive a free gift.