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Back to the future: Batman coaster going in reverse

The Batman roller coaster Six Flags GreAmericGurnee. | Special Sun-Times Media

The Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 24, 2013 2:24AM

GURNEE — Taking a cue from The American Eagle, Batman: The Ride will run backward for “a limited time” when Six Flags Great America opens for the 2013 season May 4.

“No matter how many times you have been on Batman: The Ride, nothing compares to the thrill of racing down 10 stories facing the other direction,” park President Hank Salemi said.

“You literally have no idea what is coming next.

“This is a tremendous new experience for our guests and one to take advantage of quickly since it will only be available for a limited time,” he added.

Located in Yankee Harbor, Batman was the world’s first inverted — or outside-looping roller coaster — in the world when it opened in May 1992.

Since then, park officials report, the 100-foot-tall, 2,700-foot-long ride, which whips up to 50 mph through hairpin turns, vertical loops, corkscrews and a zero-g roll, has carried more than 28 million passengers — 32 at a time.

The Bolliger & Mabillard product was awarded landmark status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts in June 2005 and is considered one of the most popular coasters in the world.

The Eagle, a 127-foot wooden coaster that was the tallest and fastest of its kind when it opened in 1981, has been run backward during more than one season, starting in 1991 and including 2002.

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