Six Flags Magic Mountain, 10/12/09, A great day at the park, but somewhat bittersweet

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 1:22 AM

Hours: 10:30-6:00. Park was nearly deserted. There was only one lot of cars, which usually makes for a perfect day with little to no lines. This is the third year in a row I have gone to MM on Columbus Day itself or the weekend leading to it. All three trips worked out very well, and I have found this to be a great option in order to go to the park in October without having to fight Fright Fest crowds. I got on 33 total rides, including 5 times on Terminator Salvation, which is the most I have rode that one in one day. Traffic was also very light. We left at 8:15 and got to MM at 9:20. Very nice for the 65 mile drive on a weekday. In fact we got to the park so early that the parking lot wasn't even open yet. That is the first time that has ever happened to me. When I showed my Xtreme Pass to get free parking, the attendant yelled over to the next booth that he had a VIP. I found this amusing and it gave me a nice, fun start to the day.

My coaster enthusiast dad, who got me started riding when he took me to MM for the first time in 1983, went with me for the first time since 12/2/07. Due to a long line of serious health problems he had been taking care of my mom. My mother was never a coaster or park lover but she always liked to listen to me tell her my stories about my visits. I feel somewhat sad typing this right now because I normally tell her about my visits before I post them here, but after struggling with detioriating health since March, 06, she passed away on 9/27/09. My dad has been unable to visit MM with me because he was her primary caregiver. He is 65 years old and still riding everything that I do. I hope I can still do this when I am his age. He sat out a few here and there today, but still rode every coaster which I did.

OK, back to the fun stuff. I used the $9.99 friend admission ticket in my value back to get my dads ticket. We did not use a Q-bot, since the park was nearly empty. I also used my Xtreme pass to get 25% off of our meal. For 2 meals and 2 sodas it was only $20. Although food at a park is always expensive, I think that this is a relatively decent price for 2 people to eat. I also bought a X2 t-shirt and a Tatsu t-shirt, using the buy-one-get-one-free coupon in my value book. This made it only $16 for 2 shirts, which I think is a very good deal. It drizzled on our way there and a little bit during the day, but not enough for any ride closures, so no big deal. It started raining fairly hard around 6:30, while we were in the souvenir shop, but since the rides were closed and technically the park was too, it didn't matter. I always look at the shops after the park closes so that it doesn't cut into my ride time.

Here is the day in order:

Tatsu: once, walk on

Terminator Salvation: twice, walk ons. My dads first rides on TS. He loved the air-time, speed and banked turns. He said that the ride felt much faster than it actually is, which I have thought myself. He also liked the theming of the queue and the sound effects and flame effects very much.

Deja Vu: twice, walk ons. Front row 2nd time.

Terminator Salvation: once, walk on

Tatsu: once, 10 mins.

Superman: 3 times, walk ons. On 2nd and 3rd rides, didn't leave the train.

Tatsu: once, 10 mins.

Revolution: once, walk onto front row.

Viper: twice, walk ons. Only had to switch rows.

X2: 3 times. 10 mins, then 2 walk ons. My dads first rides since the remodel. Loved the new paint job, flame throwers and sound effects. Also thought the new trains looked "cool", and enjoyed the big video screen in the station. He said he wanted to get one to watch football on.

Canyon Blaster: twice, walk ons. Just for the heck of it.

Goliath: once, 20 mins. Longest line of the day.

Colossus: once, 5 mins. If anybody wants to know, they are running the backwards trains on the left track. Ride was not nearly as rough as when I rode it in August.

Scream: twice, 10 mins, then walk on.

Batman: 3 times, walk ons. Didn't leave the station.

Riddler's Revenge: twice, 5 mins, then walk on.

Gold Rusher: twice, didn't leave our seats.

Terminator Salvation: twice, walk ons.

X2: once, walk on.

Totals: X2, 4 times, Revolution-1, Viper-2, Tatsu-3, Superman-3, Terminator Salvation-5, Deja Vu-2, Gold Rusher-2, Riddler's Revenge-2, Batman-3, Scream-2, Colossus-1, Goliath-1, Canyon Blaster-2

Last edited by SFMMAddict, Tuesday, October 13, 2009 1:26 AM
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:18 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose someone that you care about that much and someone who has been such an integral part of your life for that long. I hope that the good day you had at the park with your dad was a small step in the healing process. It really makes you appreciate how little time we really have here and to try and appreciate every moment to its fullest.

I gotta say that you seem to be the authority on SFMM! If you ever decide to write a definite "how to visit SFMM guide" I'll definitely be interested. Speaking of which, if you absolutely had to visit the park on a weekend during any time of year, what would be the best way to do so?

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 12:23 PM

^My opinion is April. Small crowds, good weather, good hours, and no rehab concerns.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 12:26 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your loss, SFMM. That is such a terrible thing to endure, to watch a loved one (and above all, your mother) wane and then pass. My condolences.

It almost seems trivial in comparison, but I'm glad you did have a nice visit to the park with your dad.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:38 PM

SFMM, I too, feel for your loss. I hope you have some good memories of her, and I hope she's looking down on you, if you get my drift. :)

Sounds like you had a day that mose people can only dream about at a park.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:36 PM

Thank you to all of you for the kind words. There were some difficult times for me and my dad at the park yesterday, but we did have a great time together and he was very happy to go to the park again after such a long time. A few times I thought about how well the day was going and how my mom would have wanted to hear about it. I teared up a few times during the day. Last December I won a white teddy bear at the Guess Your Weight game and my mom kept it on her bed with her from the night I won it until she passed away. The night she left us her last words to me were "I love you and we will always have Magic Mountain". Yes, that is really true. Because of that I decided to have the white teddy bear buried with her. Yes, I do have many great memories and I know that she was watching us yesterday. Watching what she went thru for the last 3 1/2 years was almost unbearable. I am crying while typing this right now.

As far as weekend visits, I have always had very good luck in Dec, Jan and Feb. Sometimes they do rehab in Jan/Feb, but the crowds are very light. In December everything is usually open. It can be cold at MM at that time of year, but to me that is a small price to pay for short lines. Just avoid the last weekend of Dec, and do not go on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Presidents Day weekend. Also, make sure there are no special events going on. That probably goes without saying. March is pretty good too, as long as you avoid Spring Break and all school events. Follow the order of my TR from this visit or 8/20/09. Disclaimer: All but one of my weekend visits have been on Sunday.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:39 PM

Cold in LA in winter is about like fall here in New England, right? 40s & 50's, maybe low 60's if I remeber correctly?

Sounds like perfect t-shirt weather. :)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:46 PM

Yes, cold is relative, lol. It is usually nice at MM during the daytime in the winter, but when the sun goes down it does get into the 40's. A few years ago I went to MM the first Sunday in January. Our weather was way below normal and the high was about 45. The park was about as empty as SP night.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:53 PM

Only 45? Gimmie a light jacket and I'd be PERFECT!!!!, and you'd be breaking out your long underwear. If LA got down below 35 for a temp, don't they close the schools? Wimps! :)

You wanna talk weird? A few years ago it was 70! In New Hampshire! In JANUARY!!!!! Normally, if the temp gets about freezing in January, it's a big honkin' heat wave! ;)

Last edited by Hopman, Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:55 PM
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:06 PM

This isn't as crazy as that, but at MM on Columbus Day weekend in 07 and 08 it was in the 80's and I wore shorts and a t-shirt. Yesterday it was in the 50's and rainy so I wore pants and a light jacket. When I first planned this visit I thought I would be able to wear shorts one more time.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:54 PM

Very sorry for your loss, Addict. Your story is very touching. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. It sounds like you have some great memories.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:07 PM

Very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you and your mom shared some real special times because of Magic Mountain. Every time you go to the park you can remember all the good things about her and live the joy you two had together. The story about the bear was especially touching.

Glad you got your dad out and about and created some special memories with him. Your dad sounds like a guy I would love to meet sometime. He is fun loving and willing to share in your interests.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 12:09 AM

Thank you both of you. My parents and I have had many great times which have left me with many great memories. Due to my dad and I loving coasters so much a lot of our happy times were at MM. Although my mom did not ride she liked to watch the two of us doing what we enjoyed so much. We got her onto the Gold Rusher a few times in the 80's but that was as far as she would go. We might even get my dad a season pass next year. He has indicated that he would like to start going to MM with me a few times a year like he used to, now that he is able to again. I still have some free and discounted tickets he can use for the rest of this year.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 2:09 PM

That's cool Addict. On one hand you tragicly lost your mom, but on the other hand, it gives you more time to spend with your dad.

Maybe you two want to do a cross-country coaster trip? I'd be thrilled if you two droped into New England!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 3:36 PM

Yes, it was nice to have my dad be able to go to the park with me again. I would love to do a trip like that but we cannot afford it. It is a nice idea though. Maybe someday if our financial situation improves. We were already barely middle class and the massive medical bills of the last 3 1/2 years sure didn't help. MM and KBF are about as far as we can go. We are going to go to KBF later this month. My dad has not been on Sierra Sidewinder or Pony Express yet. After that he will have been on every coaster at both parks which was built during the time he was unable to visit.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:28 PM

Okay. If want a road trip, maybe head up to San Fran and hit GAm?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 11:12 PM

Good idea. I have actually been considering doing that for a while. My parents and I went to GAm in 1991. We were there on a weekday in mid August and the park was nearly empty. The only coasters there which I have already been on are Demon, Vortex and Grizzly. I have been thinking about making a trip to GAm and SFDK if my financial/job situation improves for a long time now. It would be a relatively short trip which would add 11 coasters to my track record, not counting kiddie coasters, and not totally break the bank.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:24 AM

SFDK? Never heard of that one.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 2:34 PM

Hopman said:
SFDK? Never heard of that one.

I think SFDiscovery Kingdom is the same park as SFMarineWould, near San Francisco. Went there in 2001.

Roz

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Thursday, October 15, 2009 2:36 PM

Please excuse the typo. Roz

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