Flight Deck (California’s Great America) Review


Flight Deck is a B&M inverted coaster located at California’s Great America. It has some unimpressive stats, but completely makes up for it in execution and intensity. I was really impressed with this ride, as it really packs a punch in a short amount of time.




This coaster has a rather neat entrance, with the track curving over a rather small sign. It’s very minimal, but pretty cool:

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This line is surprisingly well-themed for being a Cedar Fair coaster. It’s nowhere near Disney quality, but it’s still nice. There’s usually only a station wait, so you just kinda rush through it. The coaster itself is themed to Top Gun, just without all the Top Gun references as CGA doesn’t have that license anymore now that it’s a Cedar Fair park.

You enter facing a large screen with an aircraft carrier on it (I don’t have any good photos of it). To the other side you have a statue of a fighter jet and behind a large warehouse with the words “Fightertown USA” on it. It’s pretty nice!

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Hey – it’s a bigger sign in case you actually don’t know what ride you’re in line for:

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You then go through some narrow walkways which have walls themed to the inside of an aircraft carrier. This section is outdoors, which kinda ruins the effect, but it’s better than nothing.

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Next you get to the station, which is open air (interesting) and has the coaster go right above it. It’s like a station fly-through:

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The station is largely unthemed, but it’s amazing because of one thing: bins that are locked! Yes, CGA does not charge me $1 to store my filming equipment every time I go on a ride! *cough Six Flags cough*.


The trains are your typical B&M invert trains with the typical B&M OTS restraint. The seats are, as always, comfortable and the restraint is as good as OTS harnesses get. They also have a pretty nice looking silver, red, and yellow paint job. This ride is so much better and more forceful in the back, but the front’s pretty awesome too.

As you leave the station there’s a small turn that leads into the lift hill. There’s some huge arrows pointing fowards on the catwalks beneath, which looks like runway markings. It’s very clever and does give the ride a bit of on-ride theming. The lift hill gives really nice views of the park (to your left) and the parking lot/Levi Stadium (to your right).

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After is the drop. Considering the drop is not the main focus of most inverts, and that most drops on inverts are curved (I don’t really like curved drops); I was expecting it to be meh, but you are pulled down quite fast and it’s surprisingly forceful! Still not as good as a straight drop, but it’s the best curved drop I’ve done. Very nice. P.S, sorry about the awful picture.

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Next is the vertical loop, and again this is one of the best loops I’ve done. You are just yanked over the top (especially in the back) and it’s just so forceful! WHY CAN’T EVERY LOOP BE LIKE THIS?


Next up is the helix. This might sound repetitive, but this is one of the best helixes ever. So forceful. So intense. Actually, it so intense I greyed out in the back row. Wow. It’s followed by a really fun small dip:


And hey, that dip then soars into one of (surprise, surprise) one of the best zero-g rolls on a coaster. You just fly right through it, and it’s so effortless and weightless. It truly makes you feel like you’re flying in a fighter jet. This element is just so perfectly executed and smooth. And it also gives some nice pictures too:


After that is a twist as you fly over the station (which I already pictured). This is actually pretty jerky and forceless. It’s the only part of the ride that’s just OK. The element after, is amazing. You dip down towards a small body of water and then are thrown into one of the fastest and most forceful corkscrews. Be careful of this element though, it’s so sudden and fast you might hit your head on the restraints.

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After is the final helix, which is super forceful (not as much as the first though) and then a quick curve into the brakes. My only complaint with this section of the ride is that there’s a few kinks, and the final turn into the brakes is kinda jerky. It’s not very noticeable, but it is there. It’s a pretty good finish to the ride.

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Flight Deck is awesome. It’s fast, intense, well executed, and packs a punch. And it also has some decent theming! My only two complaints are that it’s kinda jerky in a few places and it’s over too fast. It’s the best invert I’ve done at the time of this being published. In conclusion, this coaster earns a double thumbs up!


What are your thoughts on this coaster? Did you like or dislike it? Let me know the comments! And, make sure to check in often to catch the latest content!


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