Terminator Salvation: The Ride, reviewed

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 9:31 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Terminator Salvation at Six Flags Magic Mountain has everything I like in a roller coaster — a smooth ride, unrelenting speed and plenty of off-your-seat airtime. There’s even some theming thrown in for what’s sure to be long waits this summer. So, is the $11-million Terminator Salvation the greatest roller coaster in the world?

Read more from The LA Times.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:14 PM

It looks interesting, but is short, low and slow by today's standards. Even Test Track at Epcot is faster. I think that SFMM is just trying to go after CP's coaster count before they go bankrupt.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:14 PM
Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:15 PM

Yeah, that's exactly it. (sarcasm)

Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:30 PM

Here's some media day and b-roll footage of the coaster.


DaveStroem said:
It looks interesting, but is short, low and slow by today's standards. Even Test Track at Epcot is faster. I think that SFMM is just trying to go after CP's coaster count before they go bankrupt.

This ride is on par with nearly every GCI coaster built to date in terms of stats. I'm sure if Magic Mountain wanted to go after Cedar Point's coaster count, they wouldn't have taken down Psyclone and Flashback, and instead of a GCI for this year, they would have opted to plop down something cheap and theme-less, like a Wild Mouse.

Last edited by kRaXLeRidAh, Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:33 PM
Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:10 PM

The theming just seems so ridiculous.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:33 PM

I agree. The theming seems forced.

The coaster, although short, still looks like a lot of fun.

Friday, May 22, 2009 2:13 AM

The theming is cheesy (although well done in spots). The on-board audio is amazing! The ride itself is of course, a winner.

Friday, May 22, 2009 2:57 AM

The LA Times reviewer lost me at "Colossus remains my favorite wooden coaster at Magic Mountain."

This ride is awesome. 55 mph never felt faster. The theming is well done. It actually works despite all the apprehension about the wood/terminator thing. Clearly it's no Disney attraction but with it being a heck of a great ride without any theme, the theme makes it stand out even more. Night rides are pretty much amazing too. There's one stretch where the train barrels through complete darkness. Great job with the limited footprint.

Friday, May 22, 2009 2:59 AM

DaveStroem said:
It looks interesting, but is short, low and slow by today's standards. Even Test Track at Epcot is faster. I think that SFMM is just trying to go after CP's coaster count before they go bankrupt.

Isn't Maverick low and slow by today's standards too?

Friday, May 22, 2009 3:57 AM

It looks freakin' awesome!

Friday, May 22, 2009 4:26 AM

No matter how much we all disagree on the choice of theming or how good it compares to other GCI's, I think we can all agree on one thing:

It's 100000000x better than what was there before. And I think that's all that matters. :)

Friday, May 22, 2009 7:31 AM

It looks lame and short

Friday, May 22, 2009 7:52 AM

Okay, let me play Devil's Advocate for a sec and ask one HUGE question:

Will this ride hold up in 5, ten or 20 years? Would it still be fun if and when the effects go down? Being an "east coast" fan, I probably won't have a chance to get out Cali anytime soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009 8:32 AM

From the photos and video, I'd say yes, this will be a fun coaster to go on with or without theming and effects. I'm a big fan of these GCI woodies, and GCI has proven their coasters will last over time. From what I have read, this coaster has great pacing and speed, and pops of airtime, so it sounds like a great addition to a park that was in need of such a ride.

I actually thought the pre-screening rooms before getting on the ride were actually very cool. The ride does look very Disney or Universalish during the queue line, which will give everyone somethnig to talk about and enjoy while waiting in line.

Friday, May 22, 2009 9:55 AM

Methinks this reviewer from the LA Times is no coaster enthusiast. But when does the media ever get anything roller coaster related correct?

And if Mean Streak is an example of big & modern, I'll take low and slow any day. BTW, thats somewhat sarcasm, the SFMM vs. CP thing was over a long time ago.

Friday, May 22, 2009 12:52 PM

jwhoogs said:
It looks lame and short

Really? That's what she said?...

Friday, May 22, 2009 1:06 PM

RockDown, Agreed that Mav is not tall, but being steel, it have elements that can't be done with wood. From looking at the stats and ride videos, I would not travel cross country to ride Terminator.

Soggy, I agree that Mean Streak was a pain in my back from the first time that I rode it during its opening media day. My bud, the reporter and I rode it 10 times and could have done more but we were sore by that time. Most of the other media rode once and then left.

Last week I rode in the front seat and it was much better.

The 30 year old Beast is still my all time #1 coaster. But DB & MF are a close 2 & 3

Last edited by DaveStroem, Friday, May 22, 2009 1:12 PM
Friday, May 22, 2009 1:24 PM

Things that can't be done with wood:

Steep drops.. erm.. uh.. wait.
Over banked turns..uh hmm

Oh, corkscrews!

Friday, May 22, 2009 3:16 PM

I am sure I will LOVE it. Most people will think it's boring, especially the guys. I will give ya my educated, honest opinion once I try him...probably sometime next year. :)


Friday, May 22, 2009 4:00 PM

Well I got my chance to ride last night at the KROQ event and let me say this thing is hands down awesome. It's fast and intense from start to finish and reminds me of the Batman of woodies IMO.

I was the main one upset SFMM was getting this and not some EL Toro clone or better plug n play, I was the main basher of this coaster from day one from the theme to it looking like IMO an oversized kiddy coaster during it's construction BOY was i wrong. This is no kiddy coaster at all, it doesn't let up, nice solid little pops of air, and your just whipped around those turns.

The preshows themeing of this ride is the absolute best that SF has done imo of course it's not Uni or Disney yet it sure as hell don't look SF either. The pops are very very nicely done and the video story all comes together imo. Once you walk into the que of this ride the whole Terminator wooden coaster debate goes right out the window because this is a package that delivers.

At night this thing becomes a monster it just rips through the course the dive into the structure into pitch blackness is just down right crazyness the pop of air after that is bliss and the rest of the ride is gravy. The fire ball is huge I thought they were going to turn this beauty into a bonfire lol


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