The Cliffhanger was a 128 foot tall “L” shaped tower built by Intamin.
Riders sat in small gondolas which were lifted by an elevator mechanism 128 feet to the top of the tower’s structure. There they moved forward, outside of the lift mechanism, onto an outside track. Once properly positioned, the units were released for a free fall ten floors straight down the tower. Near the bottom, the track gradually curved, changing directions 90 degrees, so that it was parallel to the ground. The car then ran down the parallel track with the riders on their backs until it stopped.
The first of its kind ride cost the park 2.1 million dollars. A Six Flags press release for the ride notes that when riding the Cliffhanger, “the sensation is the same you would feel if you stepped off the roof of a ten story building.” As with the Flume and the mine train, the Cliffhanger was immediately copied.
Later, the Modern section was rethemed as an “Air Force Base and Astronaut training center” as part of the addition of the “Right Stuff Theater”. At that time the Cliffhanger was renamed as the “G-Force”, and themed as an astronaut training mechanism. Even later the ride was renamed as the Wildcatter and themed with the Boomtown section. Despite the fact that the ride became part of the Boomtown section, it was not physically moved. Its location was always on the border between the Boomtown and Modern Sections. Instead of moving the ride, the Boomtown section was simply expanded into the area around the Cliffhanger. The size of the Modern USA section was reduced accordingly.
The ride imploded in 2007.