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The Bat Opening Day - 1981


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The only person in my family that took a ride on it is my uncle. We talk about it almost every time we have a family function. He knows I'm an enthusiast and loves to talk about how crazy the ride was.

He said that the main reason it scared him so much was the fact that it was so different from everything else. So, I wonder if it hadn't been the first if it would have been considered by many to be a fun ride?

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The only person in my family that took a ride on it is my uncle. We talk about it almost every time we have a family function. He knows I'm an enthusiast and loves to talk about how crazy the ride was.

He said that the main reason it scared him so much was the fact that it was so different from everything else. So, I wonder if it hadn't been the first if it would have been considered by many to be a fun ride?

My brother-in-law rode it a few times as a kid and is the only family member who ever had that opportunity. Naturally, he and I discuss the ride upon occasion as well. Obviously, the swinging motion set this aside from every other coaster of its time, as well as for coasters to come. Traditionally, you get pretty much the same ride each time you ride a coaster where factors such as heat, cold, night, day, etc will effect the overall ride experience. From what others have noted, who actually rode the ride, the swinging motion created a less controlled and uncertain sensation that played into the thrill factor. Arrow was always playing with gravity to move riders outside of the natural motion you would expect from a coaster. I speculate that the unimpressive statistics of The Bat may make some believe that it couldn't hold a candle to todays standards of thrill rides, but if you have ridden a Wild/Mad Mouse you'll know that it doesn't take impressive stats to make for a thrilling ride ;) And lastly, everyone always notes the non-banked turns that lead to the Bats demise. However, if the track turns/curves had been banked it wouldn't have swung as violently as it did. This, albeit faulty, was intentional.

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One additional thought, I believe is important to understand about this ride - the suspended coasters that are still operational today are not the coasters Arrow was initially shooting for. The Bat design and overall unique ride experience was the ultimate vision. The suspended Arrow coasters we ride today are faster, more controlled and far more reliable, yet they are still a watered down version of The Bat.

Fun Factoid: The Bat may have been advertised as the "Worlds first and only suspended roller coaster" but it wasn't the first. Can you guess who else had a suspended coaster of sorts that was unsuccessful and only lasted a few seasons?

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^^/^ Wasn't it a Schwarzkopf? And wasn't Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens supposed to be a Schwarzkopf, too?

It was a suspended airplane ride that worked similar to The Bat called The Zoomer at Cincinnati's Coney Island

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