Six Flags Magic Mountain

05/22/2013
In the United States, three major organizations rule the world of amusement parks: the Cedar Fair Group, Six Flags and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Cedar Fair's largest park is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio with 16 roller coasters. The showpiece of Six Flags is this park Magic Mountain which has no less than 17 roller coasters and an 18th is on the way.

With our season pass we can also enter here and even the parking fee is included in the Gold version of the pass. A shuttle bus takes us from the car park to the entrance and we are well on time at the gates. It would not be extremely hot today, some 25 degrees but it is already really hot in the sun. For reasons not clear to us, there are long lines to get through the security gates. It seems that the park not even really open. We flee to the right entrance where there's a bit of shade from the trees but moments later Hellen suddenly faints from the heat.

Soon after there's someone from security with us and Hellen is hoisted in a wheelchair and brought inside. Meanwhile a few feet away the next person drops down to the floor. Hellen also needs to go to the bathroom and still in the chair we are taken to the water park which is closed today for maintenance. After that and a drink Hellen feels a little better and, after filling out some paperwork, we can enter the amusement park after all. According to the very friendly security guard it's definitely over 30 degrees already.

It seems to become a busy day in terms of number of visitors. In order to be able to do as much as possible today, we buy a Flash Pass with which I can skip most of the queuelines at all the major roller coasters and directly enter the station. In addition, at most of them I can stay on the train for a second ride. It is not cheap but it looks like this is the only option. Because we have seasonpasses we get a discount as well. I also buy a ride on X2, which is not normally included in the Flash Pass.

We go in the direction of X2 straight away but there is still time to do a round of Viper (#789) first. The waiting time with the Flash Pass is 2 minutes. This takes me on the platform at the opposite side from the normal queue and then I have to blend in between the others riders. Actually there is not really a choice but to queue for frontseat. It takes about 6 or 7 more rides and all in all about 20 minutes. Viper looks fairly innocent from the ground but this track is still quite high (57 meters) and fast (113 km/h). That must have been very impressive figures 23 years ago, when Viper first opened. Also the 7 inversions do not lie. Quite a fine rollercoaster to start the day.

Then I have to rush to get to X2 (#790). X2 is a special roller coaster and according to many, an absolute winner. In 2002, it was the first of the so-called 4th Dimension Coasters and certainly four years ahead of its time. What it comes down to is that the chairs are mounted to a shaft at the side of the train and this axis rotates during the ride. The chairs are tilted is such a way that you descend the first drop face down. The effect is very good and surprising. This certainly adds an extra dimension to the roller coaster ride. The only sad thing is, in my opinion, that the tilting is rather abruptly and jerky. Maybe it's because of the heat and I don't drink enough but it gives me a get pain in the neck and to me it's not such a great roller coaster.

The next roller coaster that we come across is Revolution New Revolution (#791). This Schwarzkopf course is regarded as the first modern roller coaster with a full (waterdrop shaped) looping. It was, when this coaster opened in 1976, the world's highest with a whopping 34.4 meters. For today's standards this ride is nothing special, although it is still not a bad roller coaster.

In Bugs Bunny World, we then find Canyon Blaster (#792), a short children's job. After the first round the operator asks if everybody would like to go one more time. For us, once was quite sufficient. A little further down the path is Road Runner Express (#793) and this one is at least somewhat larger than the previous one. Road Runner was transferred in 2011 from the flooded Six Flags New Orleans. It's a nice smooth roller skater although it's still just a children's coaster of course.

At the other end of Bugs Bunny World we find another kiddiecoaster: Magic Flyer is not accessible to adults. There is no visitor near the attraction but despite our explanation of why we still want to take a ride, it is not possible. Too bad because even though the ride in itself is of course nothing to get excited about, this is possibly the original prototype of the Bradley & Kaye coasters from 1946.

For lunch we find a food court where they sell both sushi and fried fish. Hellen of course picks the sushi and I myself take the fish & chips. Very tasty and friendly service.

Hellen stays here to sit quietly while I visit a few larger coasters. First the impressive-looking Goliath (#794) whose entrance is absolutely stunning. The statistics also do not lie: more than 71 meters high with a drop of more than 77 meters, indeed through a tunnel, a total length of 1371 meters and a maximum speed of 137 km/h. It Is also fun to ride? Yes, Goliath is a lot like Titan of Six Flags Over Texas and as far as I'm concerned, a winner and the first opportunity for me to stay put for a second ride, much to the annoyance of the people who want to get in.

On the other side of the food court I get to Scream! (#795), the first of the four B&M coasters in this park. With the Flash Pass I can walk straight into the station and because the trains of the B&M's offer four seats side by side I can enter the train after just moments. This is a very luxurious way of riding rollercoasters. Scream! is a mirror image of Bizarro in Six Flags Great Adventure and a very nice ride again. the 7 inversions are taken quickly and smoothly in succession. The only complaint is that the track is located right on top of the parking lot. In the 10 years since the opening nothing has been done to make it look more appealing.

Colossus is a double wooden roller coaster by International Entertainment Devices from 1978. Today, however, only one of the two tracks is open and by the looks of it the other side has not been in use for quite a while. So I'm just doing a ride on Colossus (Right) (#796). The track has been reprofiled several times over the past 35 years and this resulted in a very pleasant ride still today. Great out of control feel with 100 km/h but not painful, just like a wooden rollercoaster should be.

We walk a little further, pass underneath Superman, and arrive at Batman The Ride (#797), the second B&M here and one of the older ones around. There have already been build 12 of these Batman coasters and they all give a rather wild intense ride. Not that there's anything wrong with that, on one of these I have previously made several rides in succesison, but today I have some difficulty with it.

Of the 4th Dimension Coaster, of which X2 was the very first, so far only seven have been produced worldwide. It is therefore quite remarkable that two of them are located here in this Six Flags park. The second one is called Green Lantern: First Flight (#798) and this version of Intamin is completely different in appearance and in terms of riding experience than X2. Green Lanterns looks funny and riding it makes most people laugh out loud. Histerically almost. Frankly I like this one a lot better today than the other 4th Dimension. Unfortunately the capacity is (too) limited and thus the wait lasts very long, even with a Flash Pass.

We go back a bit to Riddler's Revenge (#799), the next B&M and this time a stand-up coaster, like Vortex Patriot in California's Great America earlier this holiday. This version is a whole lot higher, longer and faster and I like it a whole lot better. Wonderful inversions and overall a nice feeling. Riddler's Revenge is the last of the 7 existing stand-up coasters from B&M for me and I only really like the three largest ones.

We quickly move on to Superman. This is yet another unique roller coaster: the trains are launched backwards from the station building accelerating to 160 km/h in 7 seconds and then shoot straight up the 126 meter high tower. This is the 3rd highest roller coaster in the world. In the tower the riders experience weightlessness for 6.5 seconds. The whole thing is accompanied by a deafening sound of a jet taking off what is audible throughout almost the entire park.

Superman: Escape from Krypton (Right) (#800) is my 800th coaster and therefore Hellen also goes along to take a picture. We take the last of the four doors which turns out not to be such a smart choice because that row only has two places and the other three doors lead to rows of four. But then again, being in the back of the train just the two of us also has it's charm. The ride takes only 28 seconds but it is very spectacular. Especially the weightlessness and the view of the park from an altitude of over 100 meters is superb.

The oldest existing roller coaster in the park is Gold Rusher (#801), a Mine Train coaster of Arrow from 1971. For an Arrow of that age is not a bad ride, but it's not exactly top 10 material either.

Finally, we go back up the mountain, this time for the fourth and final B&M that Magic Mountain has to offer: Tatsu (#802). Tatsu is a Flying Coaster which means the riders are lying underneath the track. For this a nice tilt mechanism is applied on the train which unfortunately takes a little more time when loading. To overcome this issue they have a solution at this park in the form of a dual charging station: very smart and effective. The construction of the coaster makes good use of the slopes of the mountain it's built on. Of the eight existing B&M Flying Coasters Tatsu is the highest (52 meters) and fastest (100 km/h). This results in a very spectacular ride, especially the gigantic pretzel loop of nearly 38 meters high is enormously intense. A suitable end of this day.

We decide to come back again tomorrow, to take pictures among other things because there was not much time for that today.


The entrance in colossus / superman theme. The crowd goes in.


Behind the cash registers are considerably rows and the heat starts taking its toll.


The first roller coaster today. Viper looks innocent but surprises.


What was supposed to be the sensation of the day quite disappointed me. X2 provides a pain in the neck that lasts for the rest of the day.


The access route gives the best photography opportunities.


There we have Pepe again. In this case a (closed) kiddie tea cups ride.


Lots of colorful children's attractions in Bugs Bunny World. Canyon Blaster fits in nicely.




Not really high, yet fun.


A well-kept part of the park. In here it's very clean everywhere and not as noisy as in some of the other Six Flags parks.


Road Runner is a few sizes larger than Canyon Blaster.


Good thing this coaster was rescued from New Orleans.




Magic Flyer is possible the prototype from 1946. Unfortunately not allowed to try.


The construction of Full Throttle is progressing well. As far as I am concerned is ready though. This looping has track on the inside and outside.


Sushi!


A large pile of fish. And a bucket of diet coke to go with it.


Brilliant entrance of Goliath.




One of the best coasters in the park if you ask me.


The 39 meter high loop of Scream!


There is nothing wrong with this ride but the decor could use some approvements after 10 years.


Zero-G roll, delicious element. Behind it the cobra roll.


Colossus running with just one of the two tracks.


Fine woodie. Nothing to complain about.


A good overview of Colossus from the parking lot.


I don't agree with this Batman the Ride very well today.


Well-known layout. In Europe we have also a copy: Batman la Fuga in Parque Warner Madrid.


Hilarious coaster, this Green Lantern.




The square in front of Superman with the 126-meter-high tower in the background. Beautiful entrance to the building.


I have chosen Superman to be my 800th rollercoaster.


The tower also serves as Lex Luthor Drop Doom freefall tower.


The sound is impressive when another train skyrockets.


Riddler's Revenge is one of the three stand-ups that I can appreciate.


He also looks very good this way.




Gold Rusher, the Arrow Mine Train from 1971.




Also this track is built against the mountainside.


Tatsu is for me the other topper here.


The principle of flying really adds to the experience.


Happy riders.