We Ride Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth at SFDK

Friday night Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, the new Giant Discovery pendulum ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, opened to season pass holders, and on Sunday it opened to the general public. Saturday morning the park held an event for media members to come try out the ride, and learn more about it.

The giant pendulum ride built by Zamperla (technically a Giant Discovery) stands 147 feet high and swings riders through a 240 degree arc. During the largest swings, it reaches speeds over 70 mph. The ride adds to the DC themed collection of attractions at Discovery Kingdom, and sits nestled between the Joker and Superman: Ultimate Flight roller coasters. The location makes it easily visible from the front of the park, as the ride actually swings out over the pathway that leads to the park entrance.

The ride was introduced to the media by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom President Don McCoy. He was joined by Wonder Woman to cut the ribbon and officially open the attraction.

Park President Don McCoy and Wonder Woman pose after the ribbon cutting for the ride,

I’ve never been on a giant pendulum ride like this, so the experience was something new for me. The ride starts out kind of slow as it swings low to the ground before rising higher. The low ground spins were a little dizzying for me, but as the ride reached what Discovery Kingdom Maintenance Supervisor Charles Laureano called the “power swings”, it instead felt smooth and sweeping.

The peak power swings take riders up 120 degrees from vertical, creating a nice weightless sensation at the top.

Currently the ride goes through two of those swings at a full 120 degrees up, but that is programmable. Laureano said the current program was chosen after testing as a balance of operations and maintenance. The ride is about 2 minutes as is, but Laureano did add that he has created programs with four and six of those main “power swings” that could be used in the future.

The swings create quite a rush of wind for people on the ground in front of the ride.

The large motions meant it didn’t feel as intense as 70mph does on a roller coaster, but the rush of wind from it gave a sense for the speed. At its peak the ride provided a nice bit of weightlessness at the apex of the swings, with a powerful force into the seat at the bottom. My favorite part, though, is how it swings over the entrance path of the park. When hanging out over the path, starting straight down, riders look into the eyes of guests who stare straight back up. Every guest walking underneath inevitably looked up as the pendulum swung over them. And the largest sweeps also create a nice blast of wind and “swooshing” sound for the guests underneath.

The far swing takes the ride directly over the pathway to the park entrance, meaning arriving guests can look up directly at riders and wave.

The ride also looks good, brightly colored, and with a lightning package that McCoy said “shows unbelievably at night.” The lighting package is also programmable. Laureano mentioned that they had just recently tested a red, white and blue scheme to use during Fourth of July weekend, so it’s safe to assume we’ll see some seasonal variation on the lighting. This is great news, as one of the downsides of the park, especially during the Holidays, is that many of the rides are kind of dark, so a bright, themed package should add a lot to that corner of the park.

All the DC rides in that part of the park feature the large logos painted on the ground in front of the entrance. Wonder Woman is no exception.

I’m also a fan of the entrance design. Adding the ride to the location makes it much nicer, with the fencing now open and some new landscaping as well.

Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth adds a solid new experience to the park, and is by far the largest pendulum ride in the region. Maybe the best part of it is how well it looks and how it will entice visitors. It helps that it sits in what was an unused part of the park (one I would never have guesses could fit such a large ride). The spot it sits on is one that had previously been used basically to store old equipment. Any time a park can add a unique new ride in a previously unused space is a win in my book. I can’t wait to check out how it looks at night one of these days.

Nestled between Joker and Superman, the ride takes advantage of a previously empty spot.

The ride opened to the public on May 28, and you can find out more about Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on their website. If you get a chance to ride Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, or any other Giant Discovery pendulum rides, let us know what you think in the comments. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we’re going to be visiting lots of parks for new attractions over the next week or two!

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