California Screamin' 2016 Part 5

Monday, October 31, 2016 8:37 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

SoCal Day 7

We got up early, picked up breakfast, and headed north to Six Flags Magic Mountain. This was the only time I’ve ever actually been in any of the infamous LA traffic. Friday morning wasn’t bad, but we did get in and out of it, wasn’t terrible. I think if you go into it with the mindset of it IS going to happen. I had gotten online a couple days before on Wednesday and signed up for a Six Flags membership, which is like a season pass (and gets you in to all of the parks), but you’re locked in for 12 months of around $7 per month payment. After the initial year, I can either cancel or continue. With taxes and fees, SFMM was around $12 on this trip (and the first non special event theme park admission I’d paid for).

Untitled by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We got there, paid for parking, went to the front gate, and Isaac got his season pass ticket all before opening. We headed over to the Season Pass processing center to process our passes. It was quick and painless. I will say this, the park needs a lot of cosmetic and infrastructure work (nothing that hasn’t been said before), and the Season Pass center could use just a few touch ups to be really nice, but it looked run down. A theme for the day. Once we got in we headed directly to one of my favorite coasters of all time.

X2-I still love this coaster. We ended up on the left side, which I believe was my first time on that side. We put our stuff in a locker and got in line for the front seat. Isaac was excited to try it out. The audio was different than my last time around. Line was about 30 minutes or so. That first drop is still amazing. You swing to face straight down (well, almost) as you fall down a nearly vertical drop. The ride is a little rough, and shakes, but I like it. The whole ride is just sow different that most coasters out there, and I’d really like to see Six Flags purchase a non-free spinning 4D coaster by S&S Sansei at one of their parks for a marquee attraction.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We were very close to Viper, so Isaac made the command decision to try it out, hoping it would ride more like Anaconda (KD) did earlier this year, and not Vortex (KI) did over the summer. Before I get in to the ride breakdown, I’d love to see a different colour scheme, perhaps tan supports and a forest green track, with new trains, and mag brakes instead of the pneumatic ones for trims. I think it would be a great investment to the ride, but anywho…

Viper-It...wasn’t bad. In fact, it was a good ride. There was a small jarring section just before or after (I can’t remember) the batwing element, but the ride was really decent. With some enhancements and refurbishments, I dare say it could be a really good ride. The first drop was fun, and the sequence of inversions was actually good without being painful. The midcourse hit hard, but that’s okay. We were both happy that we rode.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We walked over and around the mid part of the mountain, into the western themed section, which is actually one of the nicer sections of the park. If the company would focus on getting every area of the park to this level, like replacing the dry rotting canvas shades, power washing the walkways and blowing leaves/debris regularly, and painting and fixing up all of the buildings, rides, and coasters, it could really be a very nice park. We were going to ride Tatsu but the line was long and I couldn’t tell if there was only one train running or two, so we decide to skip. We probably should have ridden it, because a week later during a conversation, we realized we forgot to go back and ride it. Shame, I really like Tatsu.

We headed across the massive park and went to our next coaster. I liked it the last time. They could clean up the queue area a bit, and actually take some of the switchbacks out because I can’t believe they use the massive queue on it, but I will say I liked the stain that they used on the ride.

Apocalypse-I really liked this on my last visit, and this time was no different. The ride has a great first drop that reminds me of Kentucky Rumbler. And honestly, the ride is so quick that there isn’t much I can say about the layout, other than I like it. I always miss the station fly thru because it isn’t like Thunderhead where you know exactly where you are. Another great GCI, and probably a great choice for the park with the lower maintenance that GCI and MF trains provide.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We were hungry so we stopped by Johnny Rockets. I am glad that the quality seems to be consistent with this particular chain. I’ve eaten Johnny Rockets at a few Six Flags parks, Kennywood, and even a Cedar Fair park, I believe, and they’ve all been good for what they are.

Another negative about a park the size of Magic Mountain is that this particular park has very, very few flat rides. Now, the kid’s section was well done. But there are hardly any family or thrill flats in the entirety of the rest of the park. And there are empty spaces all over. I’d love to see them take some of the empty spaces besides the long walkway to X2, add in a small food stall, a souvenir stall, a restroom, and 1 or 2 flats. There was a ton of room over there. And really, all over the whole park.

I actually like kiddy coasters and we were going to ride the 3 (out of 4) kiddy coasters that adults are allowed to ride, but either the rules changed, or the ride op didn’t know what they were talking about, but they wouldn’t let us on any of them, which was kind of unfortunate. I really wanted to ride the Speedy Gonzales one and the Road Runner one. On well, maybe next time.

We headed over and up to Samurai Summit on our way to the park’s tallest coaster. This area has a lot of potential, and again, just a little bit of work would really help it. Last time I was up here, Superman was down for Full Throttle construction, so I didn’t get to ride Supes. I had been severely let down on my first ride, as it barely made it up the tower ⅓ of the way, and it launched very, very slowly. But that was before the refurb a few years ago.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Superman Escape from Krypton-The inside queue was nicely air conditioned and lit up in green. We were somewhere in the middle of the car. This time, there was an actual launch, instead of the roll out and speed up from the last time. Launching out backwards and going up the tower, all while looking straight down was really amazing. As was falling back down the tower face first. This was a great job in making an otherwise unimpressive coaster move up in my personal rankings.

Next up we headed towards Ninja.

Ninja-I was surprised how much I liked this last time. I’d missed it on my first visit, and am not a huge suspended coaster fan, but Ninja was really good, and it still is. The first drop goes into a layout full of laterals, which is what this kind of coaster was made for. Plus the view you get from the station was really great. Ninja holds up, and I hope they continue to keep it around.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

At the top of the mountain, the sky tower was closed, which was a bummer as I wanted to take pictures with my new camera. We checked on Tatsu, but again, didn’t want to wait, and, again, probably should have, but oh well. So we walked around and hit up the park’s classic but newly refurbished Schwarzkopf. The line said about an hour from this point, but it looked closer to 45 minutes (and it was slightly less than that). Before I get to the ride, a few things. It looks really great and I love the new trains (and lap bar/seat belt combo).

The new landscaping shows that the park can put money into landscaping and it look good. And I like what they did with the station, it just flows better. They’re doing the whole VR thing on here, which we opted not to do this time (we toyed with doing it later, but time ran out). My biggest complaint was that they do not load the front or back seats with VR people for whatever reason, so if the next few people in queue (which is assigned seating) aren’t going sans VR, then those 2 seats go empty. I think they should have a separate non-VR line or at least a single rider line to keep these 2 seats filled as lots of trains went out with them empty.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

The New Revolution-The ride experience was great. I love Revolution, and with the new trains, it was running very well thru the foliage and around the mountain. It is a shame that they still trim it to death just before the drop in to the loop, and just before the track that threads the loop. If they want to trim them, they had the perfect chance to add mag brakes that slowed them down a bit during the refurb, but they didn’t, and that is a shame. Otherwise, I’m at least glad this classic got some much needed love, and though I loved the all white paint job, the blue stands out nicely.

Up next was another new credit in Full Throttle. I like the queue for the ride (though the sound for the screen is LOUD), but I would like to see them move it back. You wait in the regular switchbacks, then are directed into a large open area and to another separate queue. It was weird. They could move that queue section back and have a ton of space on the midway for another thrill ride to go beside the coaster. Oh, and the videos they were playing were spot on for the theme of the ride.

Full Throttle-I love me some Premier rides. The launch into the loop is really fun, and you get MAJOR hang time in the loop, with just the comfy lap restraints. That loop is something else. Next you twist and turn up the mountain and over the Superman plaza before you run and dive into the tunnel that the monorail used to go thru and stop. Not sure if anything happens at nite (I know that was the original plan), but some smoke and lights in there would really add to the black painted tunnel. You shoot backwards and up into the inversion while twisting, which was fun, then fall back down into the launch again, thru the tunnel this time, then up over the loop/top hat hybrid track. My only 2 complains about the ride are the brakes on the bottom of the top hat stop you a bit hard, and the ride was really good and needs a few hundred feet of track (with bunny hops) at the end. But it was a great ride and a nice addition for the park.

Untitled by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Untitled by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We walked back down and around, getting some water. I hate that they changed the name of the Mooseburger Lodge to a generic sports restaurant. The sports and such is fine, but they could have kept the name. We walked back towards the other side of the park where the majority of the coasters we’d yet to ride were located, and came across another favorite of mine.

Goliath-I wish they would rework the queue, replace the dry rotting canvas shading, and shorten that queue up. They probably don’t need that much. We took a back seat ride, and I still love Goliath. The first drop is great, the bunny after the turn around gives airtime, and then you hit those MCBRs. They hit, hard, and almost stop you. And yet you still go so fast thru the helix that you black out. Every. Time. I wish Giovanola still made coasters, because the 2 (out of 3) that I’ve ridden that they made were really great.

There was literally no line for the drop tower, and I like it a lot, so we did that next.

Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom-Now the second tallest in the world, I love some Lex. The last time I rode, Supes wasn’t running. I was sitting on the far left side of the gondola, so when the car comes launching up the tower, the whole tower shakes. I didn’t care for that. Also, unlike last time, the whole tower swayed in the wind. I also didn’t like that. But what I do like is that long freefall down. It is amazing. I’d ride it a bunch more if I were there more often.

Untitled by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

I’ve been looking forward to Twisted Colossus for a while, as I look forward to every RMC I get to ride. It hadn’t been running with people, but was testing on and off. We went over, but it was still closed, though you could tell they were trying to get it open for Fright Fest. The whole Screampunk area around Scream and Colossus looks amazing. Again, if this is what Six Flags can do, it's what they SHOULD do to the rest of the park, and keep it up. So we rode Scream! and as we were getting on, noticed people on Twisted Colossus.

Scream!-I didn’t ride this on my last visit, though I did ride the old Colossus (only ever got one side of it). Scream is a run of the mill floorless, but it is a good layout, and I like the new colours better. Drop, loop, an amazing zero G roll. Inversion. Inversions. Small hops. Inversions that interlock, and then you’re done. I see why they cloned this ride from the east coast.

So we hurried over to Twisted Colossus. The line had swelled, but it shouldn’t have been more than a 30 minute wait. Unfortunately, whatever problems they were having all day continued on and off. It seemed to be a train, sensor, and restraint problem. They were having issues launching the trains, as well as releasing restraints, so we waited about an hour, thru 2 breakdowns. Then finally it was our turn.

Twisted Colossus-I have to say, this was one of the better crews of the day, and they were working hard to get the trains to race, telling us that if we wanted to race, we had to be in our seats in so many seconds to dispatch. The lead up to the first lift was fun, I liked it a lot. We hit the first lift and then catch up to the other train already slowly going up. The first drop is steep RMC goodness, and that first bunny hop is ejector air all the way. Then into the turn around with airtime, that great hi-five element with the opposite train, and dropping off into inversions, airtime, near misses, and double ups (and eventually double downs. Then you turn around and part ways with the other train while you head up the second lift hill. The train behind us caught up, but unfortunately not in time to match the elements perfectly, but that’s okay. Another great drop down and pop of ejector. Then twisting the other way, another hi-five, turn, drop, and up and OVER the other train while hopping up and down again. Then it all ends smoothly in the final brake run. Twisted Colossus was great. A definite hit, and way better than the shell of a coaster that used to be there.

We headed to DC universe which was all decked out for Suicide Squad. Our first ride over here was a favorite from my last visit, Green Lantern.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Green Lantern: First Flight-Our car was way imbalanced this time, which would normally have been good. You go up the lift, and then on the course you spin, flip, and drop. It can be great fun, but we were so off balance that Isaac and I ended up facing down and violently flipping (not in the good violence type you want on a coaster) towards the ground and it wasn't comfortable. When it was finally over, the mechanism that rights your car couldn’t catch us because of the angle our seats were facing (way to go, Intamin). The op kept telling us to swing our feet towards the station and see if it catches. It did not. So we were stuck there for about 5 minutes, uncomfortable face down until he could get out there and push us into the right position. Fail. I can’t wait to ride an S&S free fly 4D. I used to like Green Lantern. Now it's just some coaster that I used to know.

Whilst on our Superhero kick, we headed to Batman next.

Batman The Ride-This is your typical intense B&M first gen invert. Amazing. Looks great. The queue still has it’s theming. And we ride in the front row. I’ve ridden these many times, and this one was no more or no less intense. And that is a good thing.

Having forgot to ride Tatsu, we thought our last ride of the day left was Riddler, so we headed there next. I’m not a huge fan of the ride, but it is fun, and I didn’t ride on my last visit.

Riddler’s Revenge-The station should be dusted and cleaned up, but otherwise the ride is fine. I do like that the lift threads the first big loop. I see why so many people like this stand up. It wasn’t painful as many are, and I think turning it into a floorless (with a park that already has one of those just across the way) would be a mistake. Riddler is a fun ride, just not fantastic.

Six Flags Magic Mountain 2016 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

So that was it. We were tired, had to fly out in the morning, and I had plans for the evening. Isaac and I headed out of the park after a decent day, stopping at the nearest Starbucks on the way back to Buena Park. As we got thru the LA traffic and got home (about 2 hours later), Isaac decided he was going to spend the evening in after dinner. We had gotten a recommendation for dinner to go to the Packing House in Anaheim. It was an old meat packing place that has been transformed into a large food court. And it was great. Charlotte needs one of these, stat! And we have enough old industrial buildings to make it happen. Our indian food was really good (and authentic).

Isaac headed into the house and I headed out. There were a few nite spots I wanted to check out in LA, and they did not disappoint. Saturday morning we turned our car in and headed back to LAX where we got breakfast and boarded our flight back to the east coast. I slept most of the time from LAX to ATL, which is rare, I never sleep on planes.

Once in Atlanta, we grabbed a light snack and waited for our flight to Greenville. That was a short flight, then it was an hour back to Charlotte drive time to catch a show we’d wanted to see that was one night only, then head home, late.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 11:18 PM
kpjb's avatar

It was great reading about your adventure. Nice TR(s).



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