I was at the park today. Got there around 10:30. With the thermometer inching close to 100 degrees, most people were heading to Hurricane Harbor.
SFMM was primed for a typical Sunday -- Revolution running one train, Riddler's Revenge running tests for hours but never opening, Ninja closed all day, wind shutting down Drop of Doom, Colossus trains dispatching too slow to race -- everything proceeding as expected.
It was probably between 12:00 and 12:30 when I exited Batman and there were huge plumes of smoke billowing from the brush area on the far side of the park entrance. The sky turned orange and there was a lot of ash in the air. From where I was in the back of the park, no one was panicking and most rides continued to operate. Many people just went inside stores and restaurants, planning on waiting out the poor air.
It wasn't until between 1:00 and 1:30, after smoke had overtaken most of the park, that rides started shutting down across the back. Rides towards the southern end of the park (Tatsu, Superman, Roaring Rapids) held on for a bit longer. Around 1:30 the park appeared to have decided to call it a day and shut everything down -- all rides, restaurants, shops, etc. No one could leave the park since LA County Fire had shut down Magic Mountain Parkway and the ramps to and from the southbound side of the 5. So they directed everyone away from the fire towards DC Universe and Colossus.
By this point, Hurricane Harbor had already been completely cleared and evacuated since the blaze was directly across the street. People were sitting in their cars in the parking lot and the exit road trying to leave, but couldn't go anywhere because of the road closures.
I needed to get some water, and whatever the Mooseburger Lodge is called now was the only thing still open, so I stopped in there. At that point, a small congregation of people were camped out in the lovely air conditioning. We waited it out in there for about 45 minutes before we heard LA County Fire had opened Magic Mountain Parkway and we exited the park for the day.
While driving out (probably around 2:30) it looked like Superman and Goliath had both reopened with people on the trains. Many people, both SFMM and HH guests, were walking back from the parking lot to try to get back in, seeing that rides were operating. I just wanted to get out of there and away from the ashy air.
Overall, SFMM's emergency response protocol seemed disjointed. Employees didn't have any more information than the guests, and the only way information seemed to be spreading was supervisors calling each ride station and instructing them to close and evacuate guests to certain areas. Came home smelling like I had just gone to a beach bonfire. Interesting day to say the least.