Magic Mountain, 4-30-07 - Is this REALLY Six Flags? Seriously?

Associated parks:
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Monday, May 7, 2007 11:01 PM
Day five of our coaster trip to California was to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I have to say, I was quite nervous about this day because I had read so many horror stories about the park. I was also worried that we’d miss out on some of the coasters because they’d be closed.

The day started off a little strange. We were staying in West Hollywood and the guys at the front desk said to leave at 6:00am to get to Valencia by 10:00am. We thought that was a little extreme (even for the xtreme park), so we left at 8:00am instead. The funny thing is we arrived at the parking lot at 8:45am. It wasn’t even open yet. I felt a little like the Griswold family because the gates were all closed. LOL!! After lots and lots of cars started lining up behind us, they finally opened the gates at about 10:15. There was a little “fiasco” when they only opened two gates, but it all worked out in the end. After we parked, we hopped onto the parking lot tram and I was a little nervous. I swear that tram was in operation when the park opened in 1971. It sounded like it was going to vibrate apart while driving to the main entrance. Needless to say, I was hoping the rides were better maintained than the parking lot tram. :) This was probably the “ride” I was most scared on too. LOL!!

We made our way through the metal detectors (only park in California we attended that had these by the way) and then headed over to the season pass processing center. We purchased the “buy a one day pass and get a season pass for free” over the internet before we left. So, we walked into the processing center, had our picture taken and walked out with our pass about one minute later. My friend and I were both in shock. We were like, “Uh, this is Six Flags?”

Our only exposure to a “show” was the park opening “extravaganza”. It was actually quite laughable. The best part was when it ended and the gates opened. LOL!! They had floats and employees dancing around doing “choreography” with the Looney Toons characters. We both had to laugh at the employees because they weren’t smiling, they weren’t really dancing all that well, and it seemed like they were just going through the motions. I swear the one girl looked like she was thinking to herself, “Please kill me now.” She may have even rolled her eyes a couple time while she was dancing. LOL!! Either way, we were in the park and off to ride X because a cool dude at Knott’s gave us some pointers on how to do the park.

X – This was the coaster I was nervous about missing. But, while we were waiting in the driveway for over an hour, we knew it was at least testing. The problem was, we couldn’t find the entrance. LOL!! We knew where the coaster was, we looked at the map, followed the signs, then we were past the coaster and no more signs said X. We were both like, WTF! So, we finally found it – btw, Six Flags, POOR signage and even poorer entrance for the ride. Put the sign for X down on the midway or something, not in Panda Express’ patio. Geesh. We were then confused by the queue. There was supposedly a single rider entrance and a regular entrance, but neither was really well marked. Luckily there were people in front of us so we just followed them. Unfortunately, we didn’t know how the station worked, so we ended up on the left side of the station and not the nearly empty right side which would have been smarter. We also ended up waiting for the back of the train because we thought it was the front. Oops again. LOL!! Regardless, we got on and I was FREAKED. I had no idea what to expect, thought it was going to give me a headache for the entire day, and didn’t really want to die on the first ride of the day. But, it was awesome. I didn’t think it was rough, the view on the lift was stunning, and the ride was WICKED. We loved it so much, we rode it again right away, this time riding in the front on the right side. Again, great ride. It’s really unfortunate the cycle time is excruciatingly long because it looked to be running great otherwise. Great start to the day.

Déjà vu – We trekked up the hill to pick up Tatsu next but it was *GASP* closed. That made me really nervous, but we pushed on. I’ve ridden Déjà vu at Great America in Chicago before and hated it, so I wasn’t looking forward to this one. My friend had never ridden it, so we hopped in line. Like X, there wasn’t much of a line. They were even running multiple rows empty because people just weren’t getting in the rows. Eh, whatever. It didn’t bother me too much because the line was short. Surprisingly, this version wasn’t rough. I was amazed. The coaster is what it is, though. I don’t really care for it, but it could’ve been worse. Two for two so far.

Jetstream – Since WWL isn’t around anymore, I wanted to ride the flume. After the first drop, however, I was laughing hysterically. The water moves through this thing so fast, there’s not much water in the trough. Therefore, the “canoe” just rides along the trough like a coaster. It wasn’t very flumey at all. But, I guess that’s what made it so funny. The ending drop was fun too and we didn’t get too wet. We liked this so much, we came back later in the day to ride it again. Only this time, the boat we got in was already full of water. Since we hopped in while it was near the end of the loading platform (thanks to the lack of supervision from the employees) we couldn’t really get back out. So, we just kept our feet up on the little ledge. Riders, beware! If you ride near the end of the day, inspect the canoe for internal water level before getting in!! My friend was in the back and when we started up the hill, all the water in the “canoe” rushed to the back. Luckily he sat a bit forward to avoid it. After the first drop, however, I wasn’t so lucky. The water sloshed around in the boat so much, it soaked my shoes. But, oh well. It’s a water ride, right? LOL!! It was probably the most enjoyable ride in the park as far as fun factor goes. Good ride!!

Riddler’s Revenge – On to the parking lot coasters! This was pretty evident by the mile-long-queues. LOL!! Regardless, there was no one in the station, so we hopped right on. I did notice the ride ops were doing nothing about where people were sitting/standing. Unlike on Mantis where they unlock/relock to make sure everyone is standing properly. But, we knew what we were doing, so off we went. I’m not really big on the stand-ups because I’m short. But, it was still pretty good. I didn’t think it was any better or worse than Mantis, so that’s good I guess.

Gold Rusher – The park’s first roller coaster. This was a tad better than I expected. It was definitely more intense than I thought it would be for the first coaster the park had. But, I should expect nothing less from the xtreme park, right? :) Seriously though, it was pretty good – again, no waiting. My friend claims he could’ve had his arms amputated on the Log Jammer overhead, but I didn’t see it since I’m basically a midget compared to him.

Batman – Identical clone to the one in NJ, so we’ve been there, done that. But, it was still pretty good. Luckily, no queue. The station was actually nicer than the one in NJ though, so that was a plus.

Colossus – I was excited to ride the coaster from “Step by Step!” LOL!! Instead of the ocean, there was a parking lot. WTF!! :) It was a little painful waiting for single train operation on this coaster even though there were only a couple people in line. But, we got in finally and we were both amazed at the roominess of the trains. I’m not sure who made the trains, but they were nice for a woodie. I didn’t think the ride was all that bad either. There was only one valley where it was really rough. But, I still didn’t mind it too much. It wasn’t the best woodie by any means, but it wasn’t Mean Streak either.

Scream – I’m pretty sure this is a semi-clone of Medusa at Great Adventure which I LOVE, but this one wasn’t so good. I didn’t think it was the head banging nightmare most people make it out to be, but it wasn’t like Medusa either. I can ride Medusa like six times in a row, but after one ride, I was done on Scream. Oh yeah, my friend and I were both like, “Uh, could you plant some grass or put some gravel under this ride please?” LOL!! This ride gives new meaning to parking lot coaster!!

Goliath – Again with the single train operation. :rolleyes: I know the park wasn’t THAT busy, but come on. Even Knott’s was running multiple trains on their coasters and they had even LESS people. Call me a bad coaster enthusiast, but I didn’t know who made Goliath. I just assumed it was B&M, but then after seeing the trains, I was all kinds of confused. LOL!! I know who makes it now though. Anyways, I thought it was a great ride, until the brake run. OMG, just stop the coaster already. It wasn’t until afterwards when my friend said he “almost” blacked out on the helix after the brake run did I understand why the brake run was so intense. I still had a good time mocking my friend for almost blacking out. Lightweight! The queue on this ride was actually pretty cool. I loved the big bamboo and stuff.

Log Jammer – We saw all kinds of people getting off this soaked, so we were leery and didn’t ride. By the way, what’s up with the freaky tree stump slash cell phone tower? Does anyone else find it a little odd the children’s park is right below a cell tower? LOL!!

Orient Express – Since Tatsu hadn’t been operating ALL DAY, we decided to take Orient Express up to the top of the hill just to check on it. I thought it was really cool something so old was still operating in the park. Anyways, we get to the top, and see a new pathway right next to the tram. Stupidly, we thought it was the entrance to Tatsu and saw people going down it, so we were like, “OMG its open, run run run!!”

Tatsu - Yeah, we felt a little stupid when we got down the flight of stairs and realized it was just a pathway. Ha ha ha!! Anyways, the good news is, there were people waiting at the entrance to Tatsu and it appeared like there was activity in the station. So, we took the chance and waited. Trains started cycling and maintenance people were walking out of the station. We were like – SWEET! By the way, this was like 3:30 or 4:00pm and Tatsu hadn’t been open ALL DAY. But, it finally opened and I rejoiced!! This was also the only time we had an issue with line jumpers per se. A couple kids went sliding down the hill into the queue before it technically opened. The other peeps almost trampled the employee who was trying to move the gate from the entrance. But, it all worked out and we were in the station. They were only using one side of the station, but they were running two trains. Plus, we were one of the first people in the station. The weird thing is they had the last three rows of the train roped off for Flash Pass I’m guessing. Lucky for us, no one was using Flash Pass that day, so that last row of the station was really loading four rows on the train. We got on instantly. OMG. Tatsu is THE best flyer I have ever been on. I’ve been on several of the Supermans, X-Flight and Air, so I have a pretty good idea what they’re all like. Air used to be my favorite because it’s so calming and fun. But, you can’t really beat the lift of Tatsu or flying basically over the entire park. It was truly a stunning experience. The reverse loop or whatever they call it was wicked intense too. Man, I’m so glad it opened because it was the highlight of my day – well, second to the parking lot tram I guess. :) We rode it again later too with about a 20-25 minute wait. Again, stunning coaster. I have to give SF mad props on the siting and integration of this coaster into the park too. After their other parking lot additions, this coaster is really a step above all the rest. I was truly impressed.

Superman – Uh, boring. LOL!! It sounds way cooler than it actually is. There was NO queue for this, so we rode it twice just because we could. But, Xcelerator launches faster than this thing does. Plus, it doesn’t even make it near the top of the tower. I guess when it opened, it was a phenomenon, but now it’s just a dud. It was amusing listening to the other people get off and rave about how cool it was. Ladies and gentlemen – let me introduce you to Top Thrill Dragster!! :)

Ninja – So, we saw Ninja’s storage area down by Jetstream and thought the coaster was closed. LOL! Oops. We were a little bummed too because with its new paint job, the coaster looks amazing. Luckily we found it up by Superman, and got on. Can anyone confirm if the loading station used to be a Carousel? It looked like it to me. Regardless, Ninja was hot. I loved it. It’s definitely the best Arrow suspended I’ve ever been on. Kudos to SF for repainting this bad boy too, because it looks great. I chuckled a little bit with the lift that goes right into the station, but it was still a great ride. I’m glad we finally found the entrance.

Sky Tower – Unfortunately, Sky Tower closes an hour before the park does, so we missed it by like two minutes. I was looking forward to going up there, but I guess we’ll save that for next time.

Viper – Viper gets the award for worst coaster evAr. :) I assumed from looking at this that it was similar to Great American Scream Machine, etc… But, I had no idea it was going to be as bad as it was. OMG. I was doing my best to hold my head steady and not let it hit the seat, but at the bottom of one of the loops my head just slammed backwards into the seat and it hurt like a mofo. Even my friend was like, “Ooooh, I bet that hurt.” Thanks genius. Yeah so that headache didn’t go away for a while. But, eventually it did. Thank God I don’t have to ride that piece of S ever again.

Revolution – Since I’m giving out awards, Revolution gets the award for most insane restraint. A lap bar and separate shoulder restraint? Seriously? I mean really. LOL!! This wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be. I’m sure it would’ve been a LOT better had I not just ridden Viper and practically smashed my head in half. But, for the world’s first looping coaster, it was pretty good. I liked how it was in the midst of the trees.

After repeating a couple other rides, we headed for the exit. We did stop at the ice cream company, though. My friend got a two scoop waffle cone and it was massive. I got the same thing, but when I told the dude what flavor, I asked if I could have less than my friend because it was just too much. Apparently at Six Flags, less means more, because he gave me so much more, he snapped a huge portion of the cone off the side. I had to hold that on while eating to keep it from all melting down the cone. It was pretty amusing. But, it was REALLY good.

Anyways, that was our last day of coasters in California. Six Flags ended up being WAY better than I thought it was going to be. The park was actually very scenic, the rides were all operating – at least long enough for us to ride them all, and we had a great time overall. Yes, they were running single trains on practically all the rides, but it didn’t affect us too much. I’ll give SF the benefit of the doubt and assume they run more trains when there are more people in the park. Like I mentioned in my Knott’s TR, they did a horrific job of marketing the on-ride photos. Even on Tatsu, they were bad. Again, kudos to the park on their cleanliness and having all the rides operating. They may want to invest in a new parking lot tram though. :) To be fair, the ride ops were just there. They were neither good nor bad in my mind. None of them stuck out as being awful or extra nice, so I guess that’s good in general. Also, I can see the park attracting some “riff raff” in the busier season, but luckily everything worked out for us.

I’d definitely go back. *** Edited 5/8/2007 4:43:02 AM UTC by halltd***

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Monday, May 7, 2007 11:52 PM
Glad to hear you had a great time at Magic Mountain. But believe me, if you had visited in July, your experience would not have been so great. The park tends to lose its footing once the summer season picks up and crowds start showing up -- that's when most of the horror stories you hear about Magic Mountain stem from.

Also, The Riddler's Revenge is not a parking lot coaster.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 12:33 AM
Sounds like a *MUCH* better day at the mountain than I had back in late August...or was it early September. I can't remember. Anyway, good for you...and here's hoping they can hold it together when summer starts.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 12:47 AM
Nice report. In statistical news, you used "LOL" 15 times.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 12:51 AM
That's actually pretty good considering how much I wrote! I like to laugh, sue me. :)
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 7:05 AM
Thanks for your report!
I pretty much agree with all of it, I can see how one could describe the park like you did.
I never had a really excruciating experience at MM, but I never went to the park during summer months.
I'm kind of envious you got to ride X - when I was there last, it was still not open yet.
I like the way you described the Looney Tunes parade - must have been a really unique sight - LOL :)

Hope they keep the good work up at SFMM!

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