Magic Mountain's funicular IS on the other side of the mountain, and has been operating every time I have visited the park. I understand that did not used to be the case.
You understand what wasn't always the case?...that is was always in it's current location or not always open when you visited? (I kid, I kid). The funicular is original to the park's opening. It and the sky ride were the only non-walk methods of reaching the Skytower. In fact from the front of the park the funicular was the only way up to the top as the park loop was not completed until the rapids ride was built and the only walking path was just past Gold Rusher.
The only time the ride has seen excessive closures is when rides built over it were constructed. Of course I'm speaking only of Revolution and Tatsu. I don't recall it ever having excessive down time unless its been in the last few years that I've avoided the park.
As for the Dragon Car, thanks for the photo. Looking at the site, though, it seems rather weird and I can kind of see why it closed. Not only is the lower station positioned halfway up the hill, but the stairs are on the high side of the station. So if you were going up, you would apparently have to walk halfway up the hill, then take the stairs down to within 10' of the bottom, ride to the top, then climb the stairs out of the station. Going down, you walk down the stairs to the sunken platform, ride down, then climb the stairs back up to exit on the high side of the station. Maybe it wasn't that bad, but that's what it looks like from today's midway. I'd think it would have made more sense to pull the lower station away from the mountain a bit and elevate it over the midway, with stairs *down* from the lower station to the midway.
It wasn't as bad as you describe.
There are actually only two rides on top of the mountain. The only rides which require you to go up there to enter are Ninja and Superman: TE.
To be completely correct Sky Tower is the only ride in the park at "the top" - i.e. located at the highest point in the park. The other two attractions with entrances along the spine of the mountain are Ninja, Funicular, and S:TE....all lower in elevation than Skytower. During Fright Fest there is a fourth: the old Magic Pagoda, which is used as a fright maze.
Revolution isn't so lost... it's still there, buried in brakes and shoulder bars. I still believe! Yes, I know... it will never - blah blah blah... I still have hope :)
Hell, Colossus too!
I was counting the Tower, Superman, Ninja, and Tatsu, although in fairness, Tatsu's *entrance* is not at the top of the hill. I was under the impression that the Funicular had considerable unexplained downtime until recently. On my recent visits, it's the tower that has been down, which is unfortunate. Last time I was in the tower it had apparently just re-opened and was very nicely equipped, but the museum hadn't opened yet. Now that the exhibit is up there, it's never open on the occasional day that I make it to the park (that would be exactly two days in 2009, so it's not like I am a regular visitor).
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
/X\ _ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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The Skytower is ususally open, but has to be closed during windy conditions(which can happen rather often).
By the way, the skyride was not a triangular layout like Busch Gardens. It was two out and backs (or should I say down and ups). They removed the East-West at one point and kept the North-South one operating (my first visit was after the removal). Perhaps Moosh knows that, was the cable continuous for the two routes, or were there separate cables?
Also, I *think* they removed the first route after "the accident" right?
Each route could be operated separately and I recall in some early visit only one of the two legs being open -- and we all know both legs open is better! - rimshot ;)
The Funicular was taken out of service for the installation of Tatsu. The dumped lots of dirt over the tracks to protect it from the trucks and cranes that were brought in for that job. The idea, I heard , was that all they had to do was remove the dirt, clean off the tracks and put the incline back in service. Apparently that didn't work. What issues surfaced after that I haven't heard, but I can surmise any number of problems that could have been created during Tatu's erection, considering what the weather was the winter they installed it.
I have been to SFMM 25 times in the last two and a half years and the Funicular has been open on all but one visit.
My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437
The Funicular(Orient Express) opend up again with Tatsu's opening(give or take a week or two). There were no problems
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