SFMM: X2 / Tatsu Pretzel Loop Intensity for Older Riders

Saturday, October 9, 2021 11:51 AM

Hey everyone. First time, long time. I remember back when this place was green, white, and black, and some guy was talking to Jeff about waffles, pancakes, or something like that. I also think there was a 'Playa.

I've been looking for a chance to get to SFMM for the past 25 years. Now that I live in New Mexico, I'll be making my first trip on 11/12. I plan on hitting as many coasters as possible, and am looking towards experiencing a new park.

Here's my concern. I'm a bit older, and just like many others, my tolerance for extreme forces has dwindled, over the years. Regardless, I still would like to ride everything. I'm asking for some input on places to sit and techniques for the following two rides.

X2: I plan on sitting on an inside seat. Other than that, where can I sit that offers the most gentle ride? I'm not looking to be yanked over the top (at least on the first ride). For a good distribution of forces, where is best? Front/middle/back? What about right side vs. left side.

I've also noticed that X2 has a rotational bounce. Do y'all recommend riding in the 'head back' or 'head forward' position?

TATSU - PRETZEL LOOP: If Tatsu opens back up, I'm looking forward to riding, but that pretzel loop looks devastating for older riders like me. Same thing as above, any recommendations on front/middle/back for reducing these rib-cracking forces? Any techniques going into the loop? Do I prepare by tensing up, just relax, take a large slow breath, or just close my eyes and cry?

RIDE STRATEGY: One more question. If I plan on rope-dropping, what's a good technique? I can think of three:

1. Go to the back of the park first. Work towards the front.

2. Go on low capacity rides first such as Full Throttle, and that 'Pimp my Ride' ride (PmR:TR) in the back of the park.

3. Get the popular ones out of the way first, such as X2, Tatsu, TC.

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for the help.

-Ryan

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Saturday, October 9, 2021 3:14 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I didn't find X2 to be particularly forceful. An inside seat with your head against the head rest should be fine. And I definitely think the yank over the top in the last two is something unique and after 400+ credits, is still something that scares me just a little bit.

Tatsu pretzel is a little bit more intense than other pretzels, but is still a pretzel. Back row is probably the most intense, but it's pretty strong anywhere in the train.

My experience from fall 2019 was that most of the rides did not come up when the park opened. Full Throttle and X2 in particular took 30 and 120 minutes respectively. I'd definitely start with the popular and low cap rides near the front. Full Throttle, X2, Superman, and West Coast Racers would probably be my priority, just for line reasons, but Twisted Colossus was easily my favorite coaster and it wasn't really even close.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, October 9, 2021 3:51 PM

Crazy... I thought X2 was insanely forceful. I absolutely loved it, though. I legit was breathless by what my body just went through on the thing. Thankfully our single day visit was completely dead and X2 was a single train wait... Took advantage of that, for sure!

From what I recall, sitting in the middle of course was milder than the back or front (especially back, especially first drop... ohhhhh my lort!) and an inside seat was less 'bouncy'. I am super sensitive to rough rides, but X2 didn't bother me at all because it was like a legit out of body experience on the thing. Very few rides completely blow me away, but X2 was one of them.

As far as Tatsu, the ride is quite mild for the most part, except the pretzel... Which as Andy mentions, feels no real different to me than say Manta or one of the Superman clones. It is intense, but if you been on a B&M flyer with a pretzel loop, it feels like that.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Saturday, October 9, 2021 3:52 PM
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Saturday, October 9, 2021 4:40 PM

Andy, that's what I've heard from others. The pull off the top seems to be the only element that routinely makes even the most seasoned enthusiasts nervous. Good info on the ride order approach.

Steve, I've been on Superman at SF:GAm opening year, and didn't think the pretzel was anything special, at the time. Hopefully Tatsu will be open so I can compare the two.

Don't laugh, but I'm really looking forward to Ninja, Viper, Revolution, and Jet Stream. I'll throw TC in there, too. That looks insane.

Thanks guys.

-Ryan

Last edited by Wildcat_Four, Saturday, October 9, 2021 4:44 PM
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Saturday, October 9, 2021 10:10 PM
LostKause's avatar

I know people will think they are in the Twilight Zone when they read this comment coming from me, but I think if you are concerned with long lines, you should consider getting a Flash Pass. This depends on when you are visiting, and if the park is busy, of course.

It has always been a dream of mine to get to SFMM. Since you've not been there yet, it's not goofy to want to experience the classic rides at the park. I get it. Ninja especially has been on my bucket list, and has been my main reason for wanting to go to this park for so long.


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Saturday, October 9, 2021 10:34 PM

Thanks Travis. I'll keep the Flash Pass as an option.

I've always wanted to go on Ninja. Great setting, weaving though the wooden terrain, and unfortunately, a rare model, for these days. I'll need to get the credit, as I'm sure parts are limited, and its day may be numbered. Just something about that loud clanky rhythmic sound that an old Arrow suspended makes....

As I get older, I try and go for a more 'well rounded' experience. But, I like the idea of ripping off the band-aid first with X2, and knocking out the low cap rides early.

Does anybody have any restaurant recommendations for Valencia / Victorville / Barstow?

Thx.

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Saturday, October 9, 2021 11:53 PM

Wildcat_Four said:

Does anybody have any restaurant recommendations for Valencia / Victorville / Barstow?

Thx.


There’s a Red Lobster right outside Magic Mountain.


But then again, what do I know?

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:23 AM
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

X2 is one of my favorite steel coasters, probably so much so because it's so unique. Plus, it scares the crap out of me; that sudden view staring at the ground from so high up, love it!

I ride with my head away from the headrest, and sometimes will stick my legs straight out to ease of on the back-of-leg punches. It seems the worst during that last element coming into the brakes. Both of those are probably "improper riding positions" but it works for me.

As a lift hill enthusiast, X2 has one of my favorite lifts too. The view is outstanding!

Tatsu is fun, and more than anything offers surprising and excellent (scary!) views. The pretzel is fun, and gives me a great tummy tickle.

My main concern with these 2 rides is that they are at Magic Mountain, and as an over 40 rider, dealing with the (in my opinion) low operating standards of Six Flags presents the biggest problem.

But with some great classic steel rides like Revolution and Ninja, then add in the awesomeness of X2, I gotta get there every few years. But only for a few hours, it's all I can take.

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 11:06 AM

LostKause said:

I know people will think they are in the Twilight Zone when they read this comment coming from me, but I think if you are concerned with long lines, you should consider getting a Flash Pass.

I agree with you. I got the chance to get to SFMM several years ago as a perk of a work trip. Figured this might be my only chance to get there so I made the most of, including the Flash Pass or whatever it was back then. Did I end up looking like a fool that day - yes as there were not many people there at all. But I didn't care, this was my trip and I had a blast. In fact I was glad that I looked like a fool as that meant I had great day with the low crowds.

My only regret is not riding Tatsu a few more times. I really liked that coaster.

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 12:59 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

As much as operations are probably terrible, I went on a random Friday during fall 2019 and everything was a walk on. I was done by noon and moved up my flight to save a night’s lodging.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 2:12 PM

Wildcat_Four said:

I'm really looking forward to Ninja, Viper, Revolution, and Jet Stream.

-Ryan

Only look forward to Viper as a historical curiosity being the only remaining Arrow mega-looper. Jet Stream has been down for a while I wouldn't expect it back up till the spring. Plus it's terrible. It looks run down, it rides badly... they need to just wipe the hillside clean under Ninja and start over. It's an eyesore.
Edit: Looks like Jet Stream may be reopened. But it's still ugly and awful so..

Last edited by ThemeDesigner, Sunday, October 10, 2021 3:00 PM
"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
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Sunday, October 10, 2021 3:39 PM

I don't know - if you're going to ride Viper to experience the last Arrow megalooper, you might want to ride Jet Stream to ride one of the few remaining Arrow hydroflumes (minus the bump at the bottom, it seems).

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 5:39 PM

I'm curious when you say "older", how old are we talking?

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 5:55 PM
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

ThemeDesigner said:

Edit: Looks like Jet Stream may be reopened. But it's still ugly and awful so..

I rode it back in May, loved it despite the garbage (bottles and assorted trash) being all around it. I skipped the new-ish racing coaster in favor of Jet Stream.

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:18 PM

My only visit to Magic Mountain was in 2014 and none of the stereotypical Six Flags issues were present in operations. Granted I know the park has a rightful reputation of awful operations and I truly got lucky more than anything else. But the random January Sunday I visited (back when they were only open weekends in their offseason) had every coaster open and running multiple trains, with the exception of Batman: The Ride. It ran one train and had an A-frame sign at the entrance apologizing for my "longer than usual" wait time because the ride was running only one train because the other was undergoing annual maintenance

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:40 PM

hambone said:

I don't know - if you're going to ride Viper to experience the last Arrow megalooper, you might want to ride Jet Stream to ride one of the few remaining Arrow hydroflumes (minus the bump at the bottom, it seems).

Exactly. Rare rides that have to be on the back side of the life cycle.

I've been looking forward to Viper, as <DUCKS> KI's Vortex was the coaster where I transitioned from being terrified of coasters, to truly enjoying them, back in the early 90's </DUCKS>.

-Ryan

Last edited by Wildcat_Four, Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:41 PM
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Sunday, October 10, 2021 7:49 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

X2 seriously hurt me in ways I never thought a roller coaster could…


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Sunday, October 10, 2021 8:20 PM
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

^I could totally see that, it's overly janky (as much as I love it). The ride that hurt me more than anything was the dreaded Son of Beast. Second to that would be that Green Lantern Intamin thing Magic Mountain had... I didn't know all the blood in your body could be forced into your head. Very painful.

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Monday, October 11, 2021 1:03 AM

hambone said:

I don't know - if you're going to ride Viper to experience the last Arrow megalooper, you might want to ride Jet Stream to ride one of the few remaining Arrow hydroflumes (minus the bump at the bottom, it seems).

All of the bumps in the trough along the entire length of the ride more than make up for the missing bump at the bottom. I've never ridden a water ride that made me need to visit the chiropractor afterwards.


"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
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Monday, October 11, 2021 2:32 AM

Apropos of nothing, I hate and despise Pretzel Loops. Flying coasters would be much better if they'd never been invented.

Perhaps that's why I like F.L.Y. so much.


I develop Retro Games for macOS, iPhone, and iPad when not riding coasters.

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