Six Flags flies over Crescent City

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NEW ORLEANS -- Add screaming to the possible activities clients can choose when they visit New Orleans. In April, Six Flags unveiled Six Flags New Orleans, with roller coasters among its most breathtaking attractions.

The newly branded park is the result of a $20 million transformation of the former Jazzland theme park.

Said Gary Story, president of Six Flags, "Initially, we planned to rebrand the park over the next two years, but as a result of our growing commitment to the New Orleans region, we chose to accelerate our schedule, increase the rate of capital improvements and add the Six Flags brand to the park for 2003."

The transformed Six Flags New Orleans has two new roller coasters: Batman: The Ride, a suspended, looping roller coaster based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman.

The ride takes guests 105 feet in the air at speeds of up to 50 mph. Riders are seated in ski-lift-style chairs, suspended from the track above, as they fly through hairpin turns, two vertical loops, two corkscrews and a zero-gravity spin.

Batman: The Ride is a looping roller coaster that travels at speeds of up to 50 mph. The Batman-themed coaster is in the new DC Comics-themed area, which features additional thrill rides and retail venues offering popular DC Comics-branded souvenirs.

Other roller coasters at the park include the Mega Zeph, which climbs to speeds of 65 mph, and the Zydeco Scream, which features inverted loops.

Younger children will lean more toward the Looney Tunes characters, which are the stars in another new section, Looney Tunes Land. Bugs Bunny, Tweety and Sylvester are among those on hand daily to greet kids.

The park also maintains attractions and activities themed specifically to Louisiana, including Cajun Country and Jocco's Mardi Gras Madness, during which patrons ride through an interactive exhibit, passing through a shooting gallery where they can try out their own shooting skills.

Gator Bait, meanwhile, enables visitors to experience the sensation of riding through a swamp in one of 12 gondola swamp boats.

Six Flags New Orleans' 2003 entertainment lineup is headlined by a Batman-themed water-stunt show.

Six Flags New Orleans is located at the intersection of Interstate highways 10 and 510. For more information about Six Flags New Orleans, call (504) 253-8100 or visit www.sixflags.com.

General admission to the park is $32.99 for adults; $22.99 for senior citizens and children under 48 inches; and free for children age 2 and under.

The 175-room Best Western Avalon Hotel is the official hotel of Six Flags New Orleans. Located a few minutes from the park off I-10, the Avalon provides transportation to and from Six Flags New Orleans.

The Avalon has a full-service restaurant, a swimming pool and meeting rooms. Group and individual discount tickets are available at the hotel. For information and reservations, call (888) 819-5090.

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