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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

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On a different subject...

 

I rode LL:DOD for the first time at West Coast Bash. While the height and swaying was incredible, I couldn't help but think the actual drop felt like an elevator that quickly picked up speed. While LL:DOD is taller, I didn't get nearly the same the freefall sensation one normally feels from a Giant Drop. Anyone else notice this?

 

Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun ride, but the drop isn't nearly as crazy as other Intamin towers.

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I think what it is (for me anyway) is the drop is very intense, but it's so high and so long that as you are free falling you get used to the falling so it becomes kind of meh near the bottom. With shorter drop rides, you experience the intense drop during the full duration because it's shorter and you don't have time to get used to the free falling.

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The drop on LL:DOD is actually the least thrilling part of the ride. Weird, but true.

 

Same here. I got more airtime on 1st and 2nd generation Intamin towers. LL:DOD still has a "fear factor" with its height i'll admit but that's about it.

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Yeah, LL:DOD also felt to me like a really fast elevator during the drop, and didn't give me any stomach tingles like the 2nd-gen Intamins. And...

It definitely felt tamer. I actually find a puny 70' ARM/Larson drop tower more intense...never underestimate those little guys
^Those things are incredible. Scare the crap outta me everytime. Imagine a LL:DOD ride built, but with that old Intamin Freefall technology (with out the run out, of course). Those things really gave you the dead-weight-drop feeling that I haven't felt since.

THIS!!! Those puny little ARM/Larson towers pack a nasty punch, and I have yet to ride a tower that has a more scary drop that those things. Also, there is absolutely no warning as to when it'll drop unless you observe the shadow of the tower (the overhead panels make it impossible to see the top of the tower) or hear the *whiiiiiiir* of the motor stop (and after that, there's only a second of silence before BAM!). The rather loose-fitting OTSRs on them also mean a LOT of airtime, like at least 5 inches off your seat (that's how it feels to me at least). I really want to ride the 140 ft versions of those, like Scandia's Cliff Jumper or Silverwood's Panic Plunge.

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Brady MacDonald posted the list of Fright Fest mazes and some commentary. Should be interesting to see if the event improves each year. I do think last year's event was it's best yet. I still don't think it's at the caliber of Knotts and Universal but I still don't believe it needs to be until they decide to make it a separate ticket event like the other two parks. Right now, it's still a cool bonus to your normal SFMM day.

 

By Brady MacDonald

September 17, 2013, 8:15 a.m.

 

Magic Mountain is in the middle of a four-year expansion of Fright Fest that will see the Six Flags amusement park in Santa Clarita add more monsters, better mazes, additional nights and longer hours to the annual Halloween event.

 

Magic Mountain's Fright Fest is playing catch-up to the 41-year-old Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm, the granddaddy of all Halloween events, which itself is furiously trying to keep up with the upstart Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, which has emerged as an unstoppable beast to be reckoned with in recent years.

 

Magic Mountain's revamp of Fright Fest began in 2011 with the addition of Aftermath, a massive outdoor maze that significantly raised the bar for quality.

 

A complete renovation of the perennial Willoughby's Haunted Mansion in 2012 saw the addition of elaborate visual effects and improved props and sets to a haunted maze that had grown tired and predictable over the years.

 

This year Magic Mountain will convert the space used over the last 11 years for the woeful Jokester's Hideout into Toyz of Terror, a new maze that is expected to rival Aftermath and Willoughby's. And much like Willoughby's, Toyz will be located in a permanent year-round location that justifies the significant investment.

 

Looking ahead to 2014, Magic Mountain has already announced plans to further improve Fright Fest with the addition of at least one and possibly two mazes in keeping with the new higher standards.

 

Change takes time, though. In the interim, Fright Fest's older mazes will continue to stand in stark contrast to the newer ones, with the great gulf between the fading past and emerging present growing more vast with each passing year.

 

With that said, let's take a look at the mazes on tap for Fright Fest 2013 at Six Flags Magic Mountain:

 

Toyz of Terror (New for 2013) — A crazy inventor unleashes his deranged playthings on anyone who dares step inside his toy factory in a new maze replacing the long-running Jokester's Hideout. Located in an otherwise unused building near the park entrance, Toyz is expected to include detailed set dressing, digital effects and triple the number of "scareactors" employed in Jokester's.

 

Total Darkness (2013) — Magic Mountain will take another shot at delivering on the promise of a simple but intriguing premise that just didn't work in 2012. This pitch-black maze will attempt to improve on last year's boring and pointless Blackout, which amounted to little more than a long and winding walk in the dark with no scares. Relocated from a ride queue to the stage of the Magic Moments Theater near the Colossus roller coaster, Total Darkness will actually feature two mazes that feed into one.

 

Weepy Hills Insanetorium (2013) — The hospital's mental patients join a medical staff gone berserk in this riotous insane asylum maze replacing the cookie-cutter Lecter's Slaughterhouse in a backstage area near DC Universe.

 

Willoughby's Resurrected (2012) — The completely refurbished attraction combining detailed set dressing, imaginative practical effects, inventive video projections and high-energy monsters into a fantastic maze was head and shoulders above virtually everything else at last year's Fright Fest.

 

The Aftermath (2011) — The post-apocalyptic maze of overturned vehicles, hovering helicopters and fireball explosions in the former Batman stunt-show arena typically features the biggest cast of any Fright Fest maze.

 

Chupacabra (2011) — Last year's most improved maze will be revamped again this season to further improve a thematic experience that relied on painted plywood walls rather than props and three-dimensional sets. With a little more attention to detail, Magic Mountain could turn this compelling story about the legendary Latin American creature into a unique signature maze not found at any other Halloween event.

 

Cursed (2011) — This pathetic gypsies-and-werewolves maze located in a ride queue covered in camouflage netting is just the type of attraction Magic Mountain needs to get rid of if the park hopes to continue improving the quality level of Fright Fest.

 

Black Widow (2012) — What could have been a terrific she-mates-and-then-kills spider-themed maze proved to be an unmemorable and unbearable dud during Fright Fest 2012. Located in an otherwise unused building at the top of the park, last year's worst maze would be a perfect candidate for a Willoughby's-style makeover in 2014.

 

Fright Fest 2013 at Six Flags Magic Mountain runs on select Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights Oct. 4-27. Up-charge tickets for the haunted mazes are $13 to $30 in addition to regular admission.

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It definitely felt tamer. I actually find a puny 70' ARM/Larson drop tower more intense...never underestimate those little guys

 

I'd love to see a park do one of those towers, but on the scale of a giant drop or LL:DOD. The airtime would be orgasmic from those heights!

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I disagree with Cursed as well as, as mentioned, Blackout. During my last year's visit to Fright Fest, These were the two that stood out the most to me as well as nearly all of the people I went with. Even though Curse and Blackout are simple, those jump scares are 10 times more effective as the actors blend in with the surroundings in an eerily uncanny way.

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I actually liked Blackout too, I thought it was a cool concept. I just wished it had more talent but I guess the constant fear of wondering if someone is going to jump out is just as powerful as 20 monsters jumping out.

 

My only complaint is I wished they would let you go in with your own group. Our group went in with three teenage girls and once a monster would scream, they would literally run us over to get away from them. It's not bad when you're in a regular maze and you can see them and get out of the way but when you're in the pitch dark and all holding the same rope, you're stuck with them.

 

I'm also curious to know whether the new Toyz maze is going to be in that same building as Jokers because the article says they're spending some $$$ to make it more permanent and I would think that building would be the first to go when a MM or a HH expansion comes to that area. Or perhaps they're going to move it to the back of the old Palace/FT building. That is the only thing I think they could use that space for.

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^ I don't think there is enough room in the palace games building for a full size maze. Yes there is space left but I believe it's a storeroom.

 

I think they are going to be redoing that building there for Season Pass processing so the new permanent maze location may be a part of that? That building is kind of on the "edge" of all of the available space in that area and I don't think it would be too needed for any kind of expansion.

 

The picture below illustrates what I mean. The red is the existing building and maze, the yellow is all of the space that is empty with the removal of Flashback and the Metro. I think this spot would be perfect for a nice HH expansion although this could also be where the new kiddie coaster is going. I hope not, but it's possible.

MMexpansion.jpg.4ed93babfa918abd9f976df0f3908b38.jpg

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From the last page, I am glad I am not the only one who felt the same way about LL:DOD. I also rode a 70' Larson carnival tower, and CGA's drop tower within a month, and I found the drops on both of these to be superior to Lex Luthor. It is probably because these have much looser restraints; the ops tend to staple you in on LL. Still, LL is a good ride, but, overall, I actually found it to be my least favorite of the post 1st generation Intamin towers. This one has probably the worst view of any of the Intamin towers I have been on (it is of an open desert), and the drop was not as, since you are stapled in. I still think CGA's tower reigns as the best tower in California, as on one side you get a view of the San Jose skyline, while the other side allows you to see across the entire park, as well as the 49ers stadium.

 

This may be the only instance I can think of so far in which lap bars actually make the ride worse.

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^I couldn't disagree more. I went on DropZone (or whatever it's called now) at CGA and LL on back to back days last year, and the sheer height of LL, combined with the swaying effect you get at the top of it make DropZone seem very tame in comparison to me. The freefall itself is much longer, and the speed is faster. I don't find the view on LL to be bad at all, as you see the entire park when you're at the top. Obviously beyond the park there isn't much to see, but I still enjoy it.

 

To each their own though.....

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^ maybe we're in the minority, but I agree with you. LL may be my overall favorite ride in the park. I LOVE the restraints, the long raise up to the top, the incredible view and the speed the ride builds on the way down. I pretty much planted myself on this ride during ERT.

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^ I love all those things about LL:DOD, too! It's just that the drop itself doesn't feel like as much of a freefall as Intamin 1st or 2nd gen towers, or ARM towers as others mentioned. Heck, even a Moser Spring ride gets my stomach more than LL:DOD!

 

Don't get me wrong, the whole package still makes for an excellent ride. I just think it's funny that the world's tallest drop tower has one of the worst freefall sensations.

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It's funny how having only been on two intamin drop rides (one of then was 1st gen - Demon Drop at Dorney, and the other one was 2nd - Hurakan condor at Portaventura) it was the first gen one that got me anticipating the drop the most. I'm not saying it is a better ride, I just find it interesting how I somehow was a bit more nervous on Demon Drop (even though Hurakan was my first freefall ride). Just saying that because they're bigger doesn't necessarily mean they'll be more thrilling although it is usually the case.

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