Monday, December 8, 2003 2:47 PM
My family traveled to Los Angeles during Thanksgiving weekend to attend a cousins wedding. Luckily we had some free time to visit some of the local amusement parks. Due to various scheduling conflicts, Thanksgiving Day was chosen for our Magic Mountain trip.
My sister and myself were really looking forward to visiting SFMM. Not so much for the new coaster, but to ride many of the classics that were always featured in the roller coasters specials when we were kids. My family lives in the Cleveland area and we always thought of MM as the west coast Cedar Point. So we were excited about riding Superman, Colossus, Revolution, and Viper.
Our group included my parents, sister, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, and their four daughters. We got stuck in some of the famous L.A. traffic and didn’t arrive until after 11:00. Judging by the crowd of people lined up at the ticket booths, it looked like it was going to be a busy day.
We were all very impressed by the parks skyline as viewed from the parking lot. Colossus, Goliath, Superman, and Scream all grouped together make an awesome sight.
Our first destination was Goliath. The line was extremely slow moving because of a one-train operation. For those of us that frequent Cedar Point on a regular basis, this was extremely frustrating. The theming in the queue was well done. The lush plants and trees combined with a line that zig-zagged in different directions made waiting almost enjoyable. The ride itself was only OK. The first drop didn’t seem as exciting as the other hyper coasters I have ridden. The best part of the ride was unquestionably the helix, which packed a ton of G-Forces. I would place Goliath at the end of the list compared to the other hypers I have ridden (Millennium Force, Magnum, Phantoms Revenge, Dragster).
Next we got in line for Colossus. I was surprised to see that they were running the trains backwards. The ride turned out to be a lot of fun with nice airtime on the start of each hill. Plus we had the double element of surprise, not knowing what the layout was like and not being able to see were we where going!
We decided to skip the Trio of B&M coasters since we had all ridden similar rides and each coaster was only running one train. I would have liked to have ridden Batman, but no one else was really interested.
We were also disappointed to see that Superman wasn’t running, as this is one of the rides we really wanted to try.
As an aside, do Californians ever were shorts? I think that my brother-in-law and myself were the only people in the park not wearing blue jeans. Or is it that Californians consider temps in the low 60’s to be cold? Considering it was in the low 30’s back home in Cleveland, we were very comfortable.
We decided to go on Ninja next. It took some wandering around before we figured out that he station was at the top of the hill. We were all very happy to see that the ride was a walk-on and was running two trains. Ninja was a big surprise for those of us used to riding Iron Dragon. The ride is pretty much non-stop and has comes very close to the trees and water. We had so much fun we rode it again.
We then took the Orient Express down the side of the hill and walked over to Revolution, which was also a walk-on. This ride would be so nice if it wasn’t for those stupid headrests. The scenery is incredible and layout is unique. We all liked the long build-up before the vertical loop. I would have loved to been able to ride Revolution when it first opened. We did two laps on this ride also.
My sister, cousin Stephanie, and myself decided to take a walk over to X while everyone else was souvenir shopping. On the way we saw that Viper had a short line, or so we thought. Thanks to the ridiculous one train operation, a line that began at the base of the station took 45 minutes. The ride itself was great. It was dark by this time, which really added to the ride. All of the loops were surprisingly smooth and I really liked layout and pacing.
We never made it to X because everyone was ready to go and find a place that was serving turkey (ended up eating at King Hawaiian in Torrence, which had an excellent Thanksgiving buffet). Despite the crowds and slow moving lines, everyone had a good time. I would like to come back some day and ride all of the stuff we missed. Unless it’s a really dead day, I think 2 days are needed to cover MM. *** Edited 12/8/2003 8:33:46 PM UTC by JustBob***
Monday, December 8, 2003 3:17 PM
You never made it to X?? Water under the bridge, but next time you go, make a beeline over that pink and yellow coaster.......and ride it over and over again. And you deserve lashes too for choosing Viper over X :) Anyway, glad you had a good time.
Fate is the path of least resistance.
Monday, December 8, 2003 4:32 PM
Yes, we Californians are weather wimps. a high of 60 degrees is about as cold as it gets here.
You should have given Riddler a spin. It is a unique layout, and (IMO) the only standup coaster worth riding. Some consider it boaring, but I sure don't.
Thanks for concentrating on the plusses and not dwelling on the minuses. Good report.
Monday, December 8, 2003 4:33 PM
As an aside, do Californians ever were shorts? I think that my brother-in-law and myself were the only people in the park not wearing blue jeans. Or is it that Californians consider temps in the low 60’s to be cold?
I thought it was pretty cold that day... actually I wore a sweatshirt all day in addition to jeans.
Monday, December 8, 2003 5:09 PM
California is weird about clothing - I noticed that while I lived there. I guess there is more than one reason for that.
As a natural reason, in the desert that is L.A. and expecially up in Valencia, it turns quite cold as soon as the sun is gone, so it the changes in temperature throughout the day are quite intense compared to the standards of more "temperate" climates. In L.A. itself, it isn't even that warm most of the time - especially if the city is covered with haze.
Another reason seems to have cultural roots: Even though its so warm and sunny outside throughout the day, the indoors are generally cooled down so much you have to wear long sleeves+long trousers everywhere if you don't want to catch a cold - basically, the indoors are so cold that you don't really have any kind of chance of "sweating". I think that is intentional and hints toward a general attitude toward the "dirty" and "animalic" body. It has something to do with the concept of "nudity" (that I don't even know a truly appropriate translation for in German) that seems to make people avoid to display naked body parts such as legs or arms in public- worst nightmare: A hairy, sweaty armpit!
I was really surprised about that as California has such a liberal attitude about many things, but this extreme sensitivity really struck me as being specifically special. There were "shocking" reports on American TV about nudist colonies in Germany, where people would walk naked on the roofs of Berlin--- something that people simply do normally in Germany as part of their visit to a Sauna. Or, the school I visited in L.A. was trying to throw someone out who had appeared "naked" on the campus - in Germany, no one would even care (nobody would do it: it wouldn't create the desired shock, it would just look stupid)
Well... maybe I'm overinterpreting your statement about people at SFMM not wearing shorts, but I definitely think it hints at an attitude on how exposing the human body makes us disgustingly look like an ape or mammal.
:) *** Edited 12/8/2003 10:30:32 PM UTC by superman***
Monday, December 8, 2003 5:19 PM
Oh btw. thanks for the report!
It really made me wanting to get back there and ride my all time favourite coaster again.. the Riddler! And... I have yet to ride X.
I know SFMM is getting a lot of criticism right now - and probably rightly so, but I think it still is an amazing park, and its the same for me: All my childhood-dream coasters are in there.
Monday, December 8, 2003 5:50 PM
Scream! is always on a two-train operation. The Riddler's Revenge and Batman do single-op on the slower days. It's too bad you missed out on the B&M trio. The Riddler's Revenge and Scream! have layouts with a different feel to them, and even though Scream! is a mirrored layout of Medusa, it still is mirrored
so the ride experience is still different in terms that all the elements are manuevered in the reverse direction.
Monday, December 8, 2003 7:31 PM
Superman, that has more to do with US mentality than anything specifically California. In actuality, California is by far much more liberal about nudity and such that the rest of the US IMO.
It really is silly that nudity is such a big deal in this country, whereas like you said, in Europe, it's no big deal at all. I would have loved to ride Air in my birthday suit like a few folks got to do a few months back!
Monday, December 8, 2003 7:38 PM
I would not like to be the next patron in line and have to sit where someone else's gadunkadunks was rubbing up on.
Fate is the path of least resistance.
Monday, December 8, 2003 7:42 PM
Wow - guess I'm just a stupid American cause even the thought that some other dude's bare junk was up against the restraint I was in would be enough to make me think twice about a ride! But on the report - good one man. Missing X is a bummer, but at least you got on IMHO the best coaster in the park: Viper. For an old Arrow, its just a wonderful ride. I'm hoping to one day get back to MM to ride their collection in the dark - especially Viper! Glad you had a good time, and nice to see a similar reaction to the park from a CP homer.
Brett, Resident Launch Whore
Anti-Enthusiast (the undiplomatic one)
Monday, December 8, 2003 7:51 PM
Well, I imagine the seats were definitely covered with a towel or something! For sanitary purposes, I highly doubt anyone would be allowed to ride otherwise. Even at nudist colonies, I've heard it's mandatory that you have to carry a towel with you and place it anywhere you sit.
Monday, December 8, 2003 8:29 PM
SFMM was pretty empty during thanksgiving, so would it be less/more populated during Christmas?
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 12:23 AM
First off, GADUNKADUNKS? Wow.... The final sign of the apocolypse, folks. Gadunkadunks in type. OKay, moving on. I agree with what others have said here. X is a MUST RIDE, I daydream about going back to Cali just to ride it, and to get my wife on it as she was sick when we went last spring. And Riddlers Revenge was unreal. Granted you can hit Scream (as Medusa East) or Batman in other places, I would've personally tried to ride them. Scream wasn't open yet when I was there, they were testing it with employees and their friends. I actually offered to fill out an application for employment to ride the thing! But anyway, I'm glad you had fun and again, good job focusing on the positives.
But then again, what do I know?
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 7:38 AM
Thanks for all of the replies. In hindsight, I guess wearing more clothing is probably preferable to wearing less. I’m specifically thinking of some of people I saw this summer at CP wearing tight shorts or belly shirts. Very scary :)
I really did want to get on X. But out of our large group, only three of us were willing to wait for it. So we couldn’t make the rest of the group sit around while we rode.
Scream did look very cool. I don’t know if it was running two trains, but it appeared to have a very long line. Because of the slow lines and the 8:00pm closing time, we couldn’t have possibly ridden more then one more coaster anyways. *** Edited 12/9/2003 12:38:26 PM UTC by JustBob***
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 12:08 PM
I just wanted to add that I wasn't meaning to say that I thought people or society or anything is better in Germany or Europe than in the States... I enjoyed my time there extremely - it actually was the most happy time of my life so far.
I was just rendering my impression coming from another place.
Of course I wouldn't be enthused about sweaty bare bums on coaster seats defying my desire for hygiene. Aesthetically, dressing up properly is a question of politeness. It just struck me that the rules and sensitivities about display of and contact with our physical bodies were far more pronounced over there.
I'm sure you'd have similar things to say about Europeans - like - Europeans are rude because they smoke everywhere, etc.
I totally aggree with the underlying fundament of aesthetic and hygienic considerations... no offense intended.
peace - love - happiness *** Edited 12/9/2003 5:17:05 PM UTC by superman***
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 12:21 PM
Nonsense. Europe rocks. A standard for what can be called "chocolate" is only the tip of the iceberg.
On a more serious note, the privacy rules in the EU actually have teeth in them.
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 3:45 PM
Scream! was running only one train. As was just about everything. At the end of the evening, X had a 3-4 hour line with one train operation.
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 6:47 PM
Will it be busy @ christmas?
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 7:26 PM
I would say just expect it to be busy, only cause eveyone's off school for 2 weeks. And from experience, I've noticed we get ALOT of Australian tourist out here since this time of year is summer for them.