Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California, USA
Took a trip to Southern CA over the holiday with the family and made a planned trip to Magic Mountain. We stayed at the Hilton across from the park - nice place - recommended if you need to spend the night.
The park was fairly crowded so we ended up buying Flash Passes since we were leaving to go back east the next day and wanted to ride as much as possible (more about the Flash Pass below). I won't bore you with a long report on every ride, so here are a few of my take-aways:
When we got in the park we went directly to Twisted Colossus. We had never ridden any RMC so that was the #1 priority. The queue was already pretty full and wait was about 30-45 min. They have tried to theme it as "Steampunk" which was OK but not really needed. The turns and inversions elements of the coaster were awesome. My favorite part was the zero g roll which basically ran you weightless upside down for second. Unfortunately the cars never aligned on the 2 lift hills so you never got the "high five" experience like they show in the videos. The only negative I had was the restraints. They were very restrictive especially on the air time hills which jammed your legs into the restraint bars. Hope to ride Lightening Rod this summer to get something to compare it to. We rode a second time after we bought the Flash Pass (more on that now.....)
After Twisted Colossus we looked at the line for Goliath which was already over 60 min easy so we made the decision to buy Flash Passes. My wife made the executive decision to buy the platinum passes (highest level) for me and the 2 kids (she doesn't ride). If you are not familiar with this system it basically gets you a ride reservation for certain rides (some rides are blacked out from the different levels) similar to Disney Fast Pass. It is basically a congestion pricing plan. Given that we had bought discounted season passes at SF Georgia, it is totally worth it on a busy day even if you just buy the lowest level (which was around $30). It let you pay for the rides you want (or in my wife's case none at all). It also gives you an electronic device that gives ride updates and will notify you if a closed ride opens. I wouldn't be surprised if more parks start going to this system.
Near the end of the night we got in line for X2. It was the only coaster not included on the Flash Pass (unless you paid an extra $15). After about 20 min wait my son got impatient and left the line to hang with Mom and watch the band near the front of the park ("The Mistletones"). The girl and I waited another 30 mins. and wow was it worth it. This coaster was so original and cool. I had no idea what this ride did and because it was dark you couldn't see the track. So maybe it was the anticipation, the unknown, the darkness, the music and sound effects from the train, or staring at the stars as you go up the lift hill on your back, but it was the highlight of the day for me.
One final bonus report....we also went to Belmont Park in San Diego one night during the trip. If you like 80 yr old wooden coaster go there, pay your 6 bucks and ride the Giant Dipper and watch the sunset.
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