Six Flags Magic Mountain 2/16/03

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, February 19, 2003 11:56 AM
Weather: Partly Sunny - high 60's

We took this trip on a whim. Our trip was essentially a Disney trip, but we were navigating that park so well over the weekend, we thought we could squeeze this park in.

We agreed from the start that this park was just "icing" on an already incredible trip. We anticipated HUGE crowds and long lines. It was agreed that we wouldn't complain about crowds - because it was all bonus stuff.

We got to the park - pulled up to the parking booth and, hello(?), they were only open until 6:00PM. We were there at 12:30PM - there are, what, 15 coasters and we only had 5 and one half hours. Jeez!

We pulled around into the parking lot and found it empty! This was very bizarre considering the throngs pouring into Disneyland an hour south of here (which, by the way, was open 8:00AM to 12:00AM).

We asked the girl at the gate if the park was crowded and she said, "no". We asked if it was expected to get crowded. She said, "no".... Alright then... we have just about 5 hours to ride the rides!

The Park
Magic Mountain is a beautiful park and yet it is distinctly Six Flags. The older parts of the park: by Revolution, Ninja, and around the Samurai Peak (or whatever it was called) were beautiful and lush. Even Goliath - a relative newcomer, had some nice landscaping going on. But true to Six Flags tradition, new rides seem to have been dropped into place with no real landscaping plan. I guess this is why Six Flags is moving from a self proclaimed moniker of "theme" park to "extreme" park. Extreme is the lack of landscape - henceforth referred to as "moonscape" - in their parks. But, where they didn't futz with nature, it thrived beautifully.

SFMM's Gotham City was certainly the most elaborate I have encountered. (For the record, I have been to SFDL, SFGrAdv, SFA, SFoT, SFNE, SFWoA). The park was clean and, surprisingly, it was the first SF park where I didn't feel as if a fight might break out at any moment. Don't get me wrong - I am complimenting this park.

The ride ops were effective, but still had a uniquely Six Flags "I wish I was anywhere else" attitude. But, they got us on and got the trains out. I'm a coaster fan, but I do take in the surroundings. It seems that if you are not a coaster fan, this park has little else to offer.

Line cutting was non-existent except at X, where an extended Mexican family seemed to think it was ok to have half the family try to cut ahead of the queue line. I don't know if it is just my New Yawkish-ness - but I was the only one who gave them a hard time about it. Everyone else politely let a whole trainload of people step right ahead. Again, this was the only incident - for Six Flags, I consider it good. The practice, of course, is near non-existent in other parks.

Food was expensive with lots of concession stands closed - perhaps due to the off season. Bathrooms were clean.

Overall I would give this park a 7/10.

My limited time allowed me to ride all but three coasters. I skipped Goliath Jr., because I'm a Goliath Sr. kind of guy. Colossuss was closed, much to the disappointment of my travel buddy who was looking forward to riding, since it was closed last time he visited years ago. (Did it ever re-open?)

Deja Vu we skipped because the line was easily over one hour long and the ride seemed to have consistent mechanical problems.

ATTENTION SIX FLAGS: Do we need yet another slow loading shuttle ride - a Boomerang no less? Oh look, it is bigger and faster with vertical lifts... Big friggin deal. A boomerang is a boomerang. I wasn't disappointed that I wasn't riding it.

Finally, my criticism of this park is the same as all other Six Flags parks. I am a coaster enthusiast who travels and pursues unique and exciting new rides. There were some good rides here, but the collection here isn't much better or more varied than other Six Flag parks. The sameness of all their parks is precisely the reason their park was empty while Disney was packing folks in from around the world on the same day. I rode all the other twelve coasters once. With the exception of Goliath, X, Ninja and Riddler's Revenge, I can't say I had any strong desire to reride their coasters. I want to root this company on and see them succeed, but they just aren't interested in what customers have to say. So....

The Coasters
X (9/10)
Here's a coaster that's unique - A stunning ride. A totally disorienting ride - a new dimension (as they say) has been added. I loved the first drop - I loved the whole ride. I waited about 30 minutes for this. I penalized one point for a couple of reasons: not running their top ride at full capacity (two trains only), some drops could've been smoother for a new ride, for a first ride my legs were banging all over the place, a very hectic station queue. I would've really liked to ride this again to get a better sense of the ride. Right now, I view it similarly as I did when I initially rode Batwing and X-Flight. I love it - new sensation! But, Batwing and X-Flight's weaknesses are exposed after a couple of rerides. I'm sure I'll have the chance to reride this coaster as it spreads like Boomerangs to every park in the Six Flags chain.

Goliath (10/10)
Having ridden Titan at SFoT, which is this with an added helix. I greatly prefer this ride. The landscaping and station are elaborate when you consider it is Six Flags - the coaster logo and sign are effective. The ride itself was excellent - smooth, fast and thrilling. Can anyone tell me what was in between Colossus and the rest of the park before this ride?

Viper (5/10)
I gave this an extra point just for its location and layout. It looks absolutely majestic. However, time has proven loops - particularly seven consecutive loops - to be excessive and nauseating. I didn't love it.

Revolution (6/10)
Beautiful setting and landscape. A classic ride. Penalized a point for the OTSR - which are TOTALLY unnecessary (see Hershey Park). The ride was alot longer and more complex in layout than I expected.

Riddler's Revenge (9/10)
This was a good stand-up. I liked it better than Mantis - on which my ears got totally boxed by the OTSR. The loops here were wide and majestic and the tight elements at the course's end were near perfect. The ride ops were very efficient and kept the trains moving in and out. Excellent!

Batman (8/10)
Same ride as the ones I rode at SFGrAdv & SFoT. Difference is that SFMM was running only one train - excruciatingly slow. Loved the Gotham City this ride was part of. Another clone epidemic (see previous Boomerang remarks). I want unique rides worth traveling to!!!

Ninja (9/10)
Why a nine? Go ride Iron Dragon at CP or Top Gun at PKI. This ride had elements that help me understand the promise suspended coasters once held. This ride works on every level.

Gold Rusher (7/10)
A solid Mine Train. Smooth ride - a nice head chopper under the flume. A good ride cannot be denied a good rating.

Psyclone (2/10)
This was horrible. A rough, rough ride and good example of why I hate Dinn & Summers coasters (see Predator, Wolverine as examples). The real Coney Island Cyclone is my home coaster. This crappy imitation fails on every level. I gave one point for nice looking B&M cars and one point out of respect for the trees that gave their life to this torture device. Is Curtis Summers dead yet? If not, tie him to this thing for a couple of circuits.

Flashback (5/10)
Crappy ride but I admire the vision in the design. Of course, that vision proved to be all wrong - but it is something new and untried. I appreciate that. It was worth the bruises.

Superman: The Escape (7/10)
I think the launch track is too long and actually diminishes the sensation of speed. They can call it a 415ft hill, but it didn't feel like it. I love Superman standing at the top. I had greatexpectations for this ride - It failed to live up to the hype. Xcelerator and Hypersonic make much better use of their launches and put that speed to work!

Canyon Blaster (3/10)
Smoother than Psyclone. Faster than Flashback.

In the end, I think Magic Mountain was pertty mediocre. No real need or desire to go back anytime soon. A good place to visit to build up your track record.
*** This post was edited by BrooklynRider 2/19/2003 4:59:31 PM ***
*** This post was edited by BrooklynRider 2/19/2003 5:14:59 PM ***

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:08 PM
Another great TR! Just three comments....

You couldn't have ridden Goliath Jr even if you had all day in the park. Only those under 54" can ride.

X has never run three trains and probably never will. You experienced it in as good a running condition as its ever had.

The reason Batman was running one train is that the park feels its better to keep the ride open while doing annual rehab on only one train at a time than closing it completely.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2003 12:55 PM
Nice TR! I hope I have luck when I go in April.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2003 4:42 PM
Great trip report! This is one of the few I actually enjoyed reading. It wasn't full of comments that are not related at all. I am glad you gave rides like Flashback a chance, it's always good to try it! The only thing I have to say is, IMO Deja Vu is NOT like a boomerang. It scared the crap out of me on the lifts and I loved it. You really should ride it at least once if you haven't ridden one.
*** This post was edited by Willh51 2/19/2003 9:43:39 PM ***
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Wednesday, February 19, 2003 5:15 PM
"They can call it a 415ft hill, but it didn't feel like it"

The maximum vertical difference it can achieve (and NEVER does) is 320 :( (I still like it, though!)

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- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

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