Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Mountain -- 9/9/12 - 9/8/12

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:31 PM

Just got back from a trip to southern California for the first time in nearly four years. I hadn't been to Magic Mountain in more than 6 years.

Disneyland:

- This is a thing that most people don't care about, but I really dislike the Disney characters that were added to It's A Small World. I very much like the art of Mary Blair and very much love what IASW represents and hate that they've changed it.

- Love the Voices of Liberty at the Main St. Opera House; wish we could see them perform without sitting through Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

- Space Mountain remains great fun -- probably one of my favorite rides anywhere in the country despite its small size and simplicity.

- Captain EO is awesome. I was scared by it when it was first released in 1986, so this was my first time seeing it. I love the 80s.

California Adventure:

- Carsland is nice and Radiator Springs Racers is fun. The dark ride portion is too short and goes by too fast. The outside portion is fun but could be a tiny bit more thrilling, I think, without being off-putting to other folks. Are there people who don't ride Test Track because it goes too fast? In the end, though, I think the Carsland expansion is a bit too big for what it provides and might have liked more varied offerings a bit more.

- World of Color is amazing at its beginning and end and sometimes in the middle, but relies too much on projections to really work for me.

- Midway Mania is a blast; I wish there was an easier way of riding it more often.

Magic Mountain:

- Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

- Park wasn't too crowded, but bought a Gold Flashpass anyhow. Made a reservation for Ninja, only to have it canceled when we arrived as we were told that they'd removed the ride from the Flashpass system since they were only running one train and the wait time was very long. Isn't that exactly why people buy the thing in the first place?

- One train on Riddler's Revenge; Flashpass was worthless.

- One train on Scream; Flashpass was the only way we'd have ridden.

- Flashpass also worthless on Green Lantern which is, by the way, an awful ride. It is boring and punctuated only by brief moments of extreme discomfort. Loading was terribly slow, often with no trains being dispatched for several minutes at a time.

- Apocalypse is great; maybe one of the best rides in the park. It has a few nice pops of air and good speed. I preferred the front a bit more than the back.

- Dr. Angry's Fallfest of Falling is fun and most of what makes it scary is psychological. I am terrified of heights and was mostly okay on this; the most unnerving thing is how much the Superman tower sways in the wind and how loud the Superman cars are when they race by. The drop is long and fun, but not really that intense.

Those are the things that stick out to me. Operations at SFMM were pretty terrible across the board with a few brights spots -- the operators of Mr. Cranky's Elevator of Deafness did a great job of grouping riders and filling seats and the crew on Batman The Ride seemed to actually care about moving trains through as quickly as possible.

Another weird note -- we had several operators make announcements throughout the day to the effect of, "Thanks for riding X2; check out Green Lantern and tell them they suck." Why? I don't understand what this is meant to accomplish.

I might've enjoyed another day at Disneyland a bit than I did the day at Magic Mountain. Some of the rides, individually, are quite fun but the frustration that comes with being in the park wasn't really worth the time. It probably didn't help that it was 97* (I didn't eat any burritos).

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:05 PM

Love your nicknames for Luthor (being partly deaf, I'd really like to ride Mr. Cranky's Elevator Of Deafness) I'm assuming that one and Dr. Angry's Fallfest Of Falling are one and the same...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:52 PM

- Park wasn't too crowded, but bought a Gold Flashpass anyhow. Made a reservation for Ninja, only to have it canceled when we arrived as we were told that they'd removed the ride from the Flashpass system since they were only running one train and the wait time was very long. Isn't that exactly why people buy the thing in the first place?

Yeah, this seems like a huge failure all around. On one hand, if the wait is going to be excruciating either way, it would be a little more than excruciating if you don't have a Flashpass, but on the other hand, if I'm paying for a Flashpass I want to be able to use it in that situation. In the end, I think the real failure is running only one train when clearly there needed to be more.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 5:01 PM

It's stories like that, consistent over the years, that get me to thinking I may never visit Magic Mountain. I don't care for LA in the first place, but if I do move back to the Northwest, it'll have to do. I suppose I'll have to stick to Knott's and Disney.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:45 PM

Don't forget that the Universal Studios-west is getting its own Potterland.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:04 AM

Visiting Magic mountain used to be a dream of mine. Now, it might be something I'd consider doing sometime if the opportunity shows itself.

I still wonder why a park with so much to offer is run so poorly. It doesn't make sense. The only think that I can come up with is it's about saving money, but wouldn't you think that running the park efficiently and keeping your guests happy would amount to higher sales and more tickets sold?

Here's an idea. Instead of building a new coaster every year or so, spend the money running the rides you already have. Make your guests giddy with happiness, and make them want to return asap. Show them a great time for their money, each and every time they visit, and they will be fans for life. The increase in sales will benefit the park enough that you will be able to provide good service and build new coasters at the same time.

I still hate Six Flags.

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:04 AM
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:01 AM

I've really enjoyed Six Flags Magic Mountain during my visits. That said, they're starting to lose their luster a bit with me. As one of my friends put it, they're becoming giant ads. Train wraps, a load of stupid exclusivity agreements, and too many in-your-face advertisements detract from the atmosphere of the parks. On top of that, it still feels like they're trying to market themselves to teens, what with the annoying programming on the TVs in the queue lines and such. Magic Mountain seems to be especially representative of the failures that got the chain in trouble in the first place.

I guess my issue is that where other parks seem to ensure that each addition to the parks is worthwhile, the Six Flags parks so many times just slap rides in just to say they added rides. It's like building is all they know how to do.

Again, I like Six Flags, and I think they do a lot of things right. However, Six Flags Magic Mountain seems to be getting a little sloppy, and trip reports like this seem to confirm that.

Last edited by sirloindude, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:03 AM
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Sunday, September 16, 2012 3:55 PM

I have not gotten to Great Adventure this year, but I have heard the advertisements are very blatant at this point. I would one day love to go to Magic Mountain, but all the things I have been hearing have somewhat diminished this desire. I do not have the hate for Six Flags that Travis does. However, I find myself wishing that the Six Flags experience WAS a little more well-rounded. If you don't absolutely love coasters, there is not much for you there except long lines and overpriced food.

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