Magic Mountain 2/18/06---Sheep to the Slaughter!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006 6:51 PM
Look guys, you don't decide to lose weight, go to the gym once or twice and expect to lose 20 pounds. You can't go to SFMM and expect to be all that different from your last trip. This park has *MAJOR* problems which are going to take years of good management to fix.

So when I read stuff like this:

"There is nothing that has changed about SFMM that I could see. Same old crappy park complete with crappy service and broken down rides that we have come to expect… "

I can only shake my head and say what did you expect, honestly? Mark Shapiro has proposed major changes chain-wide. But that doesn't mean he just swept through SF with a magic wand and fixed everything in 2 months. I will visit MM once this year to ride Tatsu, and I will not return until it's a much different park. And if I'm forced to go in the meantime I'm certainly not going to expect any major changes for quite some time, despite the fact that they're raising prices as if things have changed.

This isn't Rollercoaster Tycoon (how many times have I said that). *** Edited 2/23/2006 7:16:25 AM UTC by DWeaver***

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 7:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I agree totally, DWeaver, but in JRS's defense, there have been trip reports rolling in about how much better the place was already.

If anything, I'd say you nailed it on the head. It's going to take a while before the change is noticable and permanent. Which makes me think some of those other positive trip reports were people just pointing out the good - which IMO is just as bad (if not worse) as people who just point out the negative.

I think taking all we're hearing about SFMM into consideration, minor improvements have been made, but there's still a way to go. :)

/diplomatic mode

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 8:02 PM

You nailed it on the head for me. I guess reading those positive trip reports lead me to believe there might be minimal justification for the price increases. When it was same-old-same-old I do admit I was a bit disappointed! However, my expectations could not have been much lower anyhow, and they did not fail to meet...

I still had a good time hanging with my friend. It was a few hours away from being Mr. Dad and Mr. husband. Frankly it could have been an opera and I would have been happy...

...My intentions were to warn people that some of the positive stuff we've seen the last month are not consistent with what I just experienced. I saw zero evidence that would justify the price increases nor justify consistency with the recent positive Shapiro comments. I saw the same old Magic Mountain. Of course I realize it will take time to change Weaver... I was writing a trip report...not a commentary on things to come!

My intentions are to tell it like it is. I hope some of you can get some good information from what I post. I certainly am not a basher nor a fanboy of ANY park.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 9:42 PM
Holy Cow! You went on President's Day Weekend! My state funded University didn't even get President's day off. "Expecting Large Crowds" you make it sound like Memorial Day weekend. Its february its raining what did you expect from a theme park( or better yet the high school students who have to sit out in the rain and put up with you,to make enough money for an extra burrito at school on tuesday). Me and my friends while in High School (I lived in the SCV) used to go on Lincoln's Birthday and President's Day weekend because the park is empty. So what if it was one train operation. I'm sorry but if you really look at it the only reason you had a bad day was you. You went in with a negative connotation looking for problems looking for it to be bad and guess what you got what you wanted. Never go back to Magic Mountain again thats your loss, thats one less person in line for the rest of us. However next time you choose to make an "honest" report try leaving your Ill content at home. And also try maybe enjoying the fact that you can ride a roller coaster while coasters on the east coast are currently buried underneath feet of snow.

"your mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries now leave before I taunt you a second time!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 9:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

(or better yet the high school students who have to sit out in the rain and put up with you,to make enough money for an extra burrito at school on tuesday)

Worst excuse. Crappiest attitude. Exactly the kids that need fired to make things better. Perfect example of what's wrong with things.


I hate to cry 'fanboy', but some of these responses to what seems to me like an honest, valid TR warrant no other response.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:05 PM
Yes lets all cry "fanboy"!

If anyone has a right to speek on the state of Magic Mountain its people like me who have been visiting pretty much on a monthly basis for 10 years, not someone whos had 8-10 visits in the same time. I've probably been there 500+times.

I agree SFMM went down into a hole to the point where I stopped going unless it was for the Hallelujah Jubilees with my Youth Group or if taking new friends who haven't gone.

I have watched SFMM decline and experienced it first hand, however they honestly are trying to fix it up. The last time I went was the week before Christmas and the atmosphere already was starting to feel different.

In his post all he did was point out shock at things that people who go to magic mountain IN THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY (emphasis added html doesn't want to work) regularly would think absolutely nothing of. His post was trying to compare Apples to Mangos, honesty would be admitting that the one train operation was probably a result of the fact that the total attendence of the day numbered maybe 1000 and that 20 minute lines and 3 car waits was pretty darn good seeing as it was a rainy mid february day.

I see no honesty in the emphasis of holiday weekend, holiday weekend my eye, it's february and of the 260+ million people in this country a whole maybe 10 million of them got the day off.

I'd also like to offer into evidence this pic
taken the day before you went. Notice not one but THREE characters standing in the pouring rain at Valencia Falls. In previous years I have rarely seen one maybe two together but never in February.

On another note how does one make bolded text or links in this forum it uses some random something that I can't even find when googling it.

*Edited for spacing and to add pic*
*** Edited 2/22/2006 3:26:53 AM UTC by coaster_freak00***

"your mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries now leave before I taunt you a second time!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:59 PM

You went on President's Day Weekend! My state funded University didn't even get President's day off. "Expecting Large Crowds" you make it sound like Memorial Day weekend. Its february its raining what did you expect from a theme park

Maybe SFMM doesn't draw crowds for President's Day, but that quaint little theme park in Anaheim blocks out all but the top-level passholders for the weekend. Just like Memorial Day. Hell, even DCA was open from 10-10 on Monday, and that disaster is almost *never* open that late.

So, someone in the greater los angeles area has the day off.

Jeffrey can from time to time hold passionate opinions, and is certainly known to hold passionate opinions about SFMM. That said, his TR comprised mostly checkable facts, and not too much in the way of opinion. True, he may well have been looking for negative things to report, but my my count he found plenty of them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:06 PM
I do invite all fact checks...the truth is damning!
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 11:14 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar Hey Jeff, thanks for the congrats.

I guess my point is that if I were going to SFMM, I'd expect a hellish experience and would be pleasantly surprised if something actually did go right. I don't know you personally but I gathered that you went into the park knowing that it'd be hell (heck you were tricked into going for crying out loud) and ended up being hell. Then you posted here that it was hell.

I'm just glad I had the experience that I had, I distinctly remember the awful, awful dispatch times with 1 or 2 train op on all the rides. But I was with a few close friends and we entertained ourselves to pass the time. We all expected hell, we sort of got it, but still had an amazing time there.

~Rob Willi

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 12:08 AM
I can understand what you are saying and why you might think I was being too harsh! I should have made a statement in there that I had a good time so as to not come off as a grump! What I want you and the readers to understand is that frankly I do not care about Magic Mountain or any park…good or bad. I laughed the whole time they were taking that train off of Riddler as I could plainly see that the sun was on its way. Who could not get a chuckle at such tomfoolery? My intention is not to bash OR over-glorify any park. I write my trip reports straight from the heart. Brian sort of hit this one right on. I did not really add too much in the way of opinions per say. I merely chronologically laid out my day and the events that unfolded.

I will admit that my reports tend to emphasize the overall experience versus individual rides. Operations and guest service are more important to me than individual rides. Those who place emphasis on individual rides will certainly see things a bit differently than I. However…anybody notice that the facts are not in dispute? It seems my motives and timing of the visit has taken the brunt of opposition commentary. This alone speaks volumes about how far this park has to go before reasonable patrons would consider Magic Mountain a good value.

To clear up a few misrepresentations that my detractors have stated…

It rained no more than one hour the whole day. Weather was not a factor. It is certainly a weak excuse to defend lousy operation practices in my opinion. One-train operations, while certainly a disappointment, pale in comparison to poor employee behavior, closed retail outlets (especially right next to staffed up-charge rides), inability to order a $10 Panda Express meal the way I like it, and reducing Riddler’s operations to the detriment of those already in line. In fact…I would not have mentioned the one-train operations if they were working hard at cycling the one train through as they did on Scream. I assumed (maybe wrongly) that most understood, for example, that Riddler is made for 3 trains and that stacking with just 2 in operation shows either a lack of effort, a lack of skill, or a lack of staffing. Anyhow, it is the overall laziness that reaches out and beckons me to report about it.

The fact is that I had/have no agenda. I did not have to look for anything bad, nor did I try. These things smacked me right in the face with zero effort. Sadly, this has happened to me a lot at this particular park. I made no bones about my disgust for this place. However, none of this changes the facts of what happened that day. Those of you who want facts can rest assured that I am telling it as I see it without regard to any agenda. You can bet your bottom that had I had a good experience, I would have posted about it!

If those trying to discredit my report take a few moments to just chronologically read about what happened, I cannot imagine that they could not understand why my report would not have too many positive remarks. I’m not sure reasonable people can justify the stuff that happened by placing blame on me for my timing of the visit…? I don’t care when you go to a park. Nobody should have to listen to employees openly hope for ride shutdowns and rain. Nobody should have to eat that which he or she does not like when the only effort needed was a scoop from a different container. Nobody should have to be told that the reason the front seat is running empty is that the rain will “sting” when there is no rain.

Rest assured that I type this with no malice whatsoever. The experience and attitude of the whole situation is sincerely hilarious to me. My sheep to slaughter title was my weak attempt at humor as it is indeed the way I felt this past Saturday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 12:41 AM
Jeffrey, methinks you doth protest too much. ;)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 1:21 AM
coaster freak00 said:

"I'd also like to offer into evidence this pic"

Where's Judge Judy when you need her! ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 2:10 AM
I personally apologize if you think that I would be trying to discredit your trip report. That is not my stance or place to judge as to each person has his or her own opinions and taste on how quickly things should take place whether or not the company is in the middle of a big mix up.

I must say that I like your candor and the way you stand behind what you say, but sometimes I think it's best to leave opositions at the door. Let me clear myself before I catch hell from the crowd, everyone clearly knows of the issues that the park has and they stem from the un-flattering customer service to under staffing rusulting in limited operations. Magic Mountain and Six Flags as a whole are in the middle of restructoring and like stated by a couple before, need sufficient time to improve the conditions park by park not just at Magic Mountain. My opinion for the price increase has nothing to do with things that are implemented yet or down the line for that matter, it's just charging the price that a park of this size with the inventory that they have (Working or not) should charge, minus the parking, I still think that's insane.

Magic Mountain is improving, slowly but surely, I don't think anyone can honestly deny that.

This is my edit: You have notice from Screamscape as to your wonderfully horrible day Saturday. I thought that was funny and how they posted a link to you Trip report for many to see.

*** Edited 2/22/2006 7:22:01 AM UTC by Magicmike***

Six Flags is a Diamond in the rough!
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 2:29 AM
I just logged on to point out that this was on screamscape, but Magicmike beat me to it by a few
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 3:29 AM

Jeffrey R Smith said:

As for "bad luck" or "poor timing"... Again, I must respectfullly disagree. This report is the same as EVERY other time I have been at the park. I'm guessing I've got 8-10 visits in over the past 10 years, and EVERY time it has been the same in terms of poor operations and ride breakdowns! It is one thing to have a lot of rides down as advertised. It is another thing to have so many rides down during the day.

Not really. It is very much bad timing on your part, really sorry to say. I visited two weekends ago, and found all rides that were not down for rehab or closed for Tatsu's construction to be at minimum two-train operation with very efficient dispatch times. So I suppose it's safe to say the 8-10 visits you've done at the park were just "bad days." Either that, or you were so caught up in how bad you think the park is, it didn't matter whether or not things were run efficiently, you'd still have that negative aura drowing the possibility of you actually having a good time. those on the edge...YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Magic Mountain indeed has defenders who always counter attack any negative trip report.

I find that awfully impossible considering there is no such thing as a "good trip report" ever about this particular park at Coasterbuzz. It's funny you'd make a statement like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 3:46 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I find that awfully impossible considering there is no such thing as a "good trip report" ever about this particular park at Coasterbuzz.

It's all part of the conspiracy. The pamphlet should have described everything.

Oh wait, there was a 'good' trip report posted just a few weeks ago.

Before that, well...

...if it looks like it sucks, sounds like it sucks and indeed does suck...then it's a suckily run park and the TR's will show it.

(I implore everyone to fit the word 'suckily' into conversation sometime today :) )

EDIT - and I do have faith that the new guys will make it suck a whole lot less in the future.

*** Edited 2/22/2006 8:47:24 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:15 AM
janfrederick's avatar Jeffrey, not only did you miss the Zoo, but Travel Town and LALS! I don't know about you, but I'd ride a miniature steam train any day over Scream.

Sorry to hear that. I'm thinking someone needs to smuggle a couple of those parks in Indiana to Socal.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:21 AM
I drove by that Travel Town on Sunday! It sure looked great for my "almost" 2- year old son! He love trains right now. Have you been there?

By the way...the zoo is only $8 with a coupon from any motel brochure! Talk about underpriced...! This was a great value! They had African bands all over the park banging bongos and such. It certainly added to the atmosphere!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:41 AM
janfrederick's avatar Travel Town is more of a museum...but the live steamers is great for kids. Speaking of which, have you been to the huge one if Phoenix?

Also, there is a small train ride on the other side of the zoo that's pretty fun. But $8???! Sure beats the San Diego zoo in terms of price. And I didn't see any bands the last time I was there (too busy hiking back to the Polar Bears).

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Thursday, February 23, 2006 1:15 AM
Mamoosh's avatar I was at SFMM the Sunday prior [2/12].

The girl taking my $15 at the toll booth gave up a half-hearted "Have a good day" as if she wished she was home [not making any money]. But when we got into the park there was a group of WB characters standing in front of Revolution Plaza and all was forgiven.

Amy, the girl operating Buccaneer [Intamin Swing Ship] neither spoke one single word nor made eye contact with any of the riders in my cycle. No ride spiel either although it was taped to her consule with the words, "Must Be Recited Every Ride Cycle." A broken mic is no excuse...the ride op stand is right next to the ride and she could have easily said it to everyone without shouting.

Thankfully after we got off Buccaneer Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig walked by and magically I forgave the park for having such a lousy employee.

Kelly, who was operating Swashbuckler [the Chance Yo-Yo right next door] did her opening spiel but then stared off into space during the ride, never watching to make sure everything was OK. And when the ride ended she forgot her closing spiel.

But wouldn't you know we exited the ride Foghorn Leghorn and Daffy Duck were there for a photo op and I suddenly felt that I was getting a good value on my money.

We found apathetic employees all over the park but when we saw all the new paint sprucing up the park all was forgiven.

Although Riddler ran three trains and Ninja ran two Colossus, Batman, X, Viper, and Gold Rusher ran one with spare trains on the transfer tracks. But does it really matter when Tazmanian Devil is right there making everyone laugh?

Changes at SFMM? Sure I noticed a few steps in the right direction. I don't expect miracles from Snyder & Shapiro right away but other than a cursory trip for a credit on Tatsu I'd still rather be down in Anaheim and Buena Park.


*** Edited 2/23/2006 6:16:02 AM UTC by Mamoosh***


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