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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread


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^ I think that was mentioned at WCB and management is aware of the complaints about the parkinglot theme but is focusing $ on other projects in the near furture for now. Maybe in a couple of years they will do something to enhance the ride experience. Scream would deffinatly deserve it

 

On another note, love that the crew celebrated Screams B-Day, it's kinda cute.

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I know all of you are aware of it but did anyone here anything @ WCB about fixing this??

They did say that they are not focused on that right now. They mentioned that a short term solution might be to store landscaping that is destined for other parts of the park around the ride to give it some color.

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I have to say, that I love the Mountain...I am so extrenely appreciative of it, and the remarkable job that the new team is doing with it. I live in Vegas, and the coasters here suck! What a bore! I travel to LA as much as possible so I can get my coaster/park fix with the socal parks....I have a season pass, I paid 60 bucks for, and I visit the park at least 6 tiomes a year....so, that averages to $10 bucks a visit - I'd say thats quite a deal. I love the park, and I think it needs improvements, but has so much to offer.

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Although I have no pictures, Scream did celebrate it's 5th birthday this last Saturday. There were balloons on the lift, there were decorations in the station and the Ride Ops were wearing party hats. They made a valiant effort to have 3 trains going for it's birthday, but they had some set backs, and opened a bit late. Maybe Mike has a few pictures he can share?

 

Sorry, I have no pictures! But I can say that it was pretty cool what the Scream! crew did that day. The new area senior supervisor Christina was pretty much the one that made it happen though. She's what the park needs right now, someone who wants to find things that the park can celebrate, and she makes it happen! Hats off to her!

 

As William said, Scream had a few set backs which prevented the ride to run 3 trains which is unfortunate but the crew's amazing celebration attitude seemed to make up for it. The loading station was decked out with balloons, birthday signs, wrappings, etc.

 

Please don't quote me on this, but we've been talking about doing similar celebrations at major attractions as well!

 

-Mike

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That's really cool what they did for Scream's birthday - Although it's not my favorite, it is a solid B&M twister. It goes to show that the new employee system of 'the crew 'owns' the ride' is really working. These are the type of ideas that I wish Knott's would have adopted when I was in high school - it might have made me want to work there! (other than management horror stories)

 

For the parking lot theme around Scream, I think it's an important area to address - if not now, then soon, because it resonates the epitome of the old regime where 3 no-theme-coasters in a summer = success.

 

I hope you (Jay) have a great landscape design team because the park tends to forget it is in a hot, arid climate and some of the plant choices I've seen are really inefficient and could be costing the park hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary irrigation bills each year.

 

I see under Scream, a large collection of woody sages, salvias, tall grasses (Pampas, red fountain...), some succulents, and more Australian varieties that do extremely well in the Southern California climate - Instead of costly cosmetic grass (which guzzles water like an SUV guzzles gas) going native will provide you a much broader canvas for shape, color, texture and size - and give the coaster an excellent ground cover. You could even enhance the near-90 degree banks with close-encounter landscaping (headchopping).

 

I'm not positive what your landscape palette is (so if you are using these just ignore me, haha) but as I see it, it's a large space to plant and the less water you have to use overall would be a huge lift on your overhead beautification costs.

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I think Scream would look great with some Kumba-esque landscaping, but of course...any ride would! I say this only because a good amount of the ride is close to the ground, and I think the blue and yellow would look great next to grass. Im sure it would be quite the investment though.

 

Chris.

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Colossus will be 30 years old on June 29 and Ninja will be 20 on May 21....both are deserving of a celebration.

 

I'd be happy with them bringing back the banners that used to hang from the ceiling in the Ninja station, you can see where one was simply cut off.

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I am 100% behind the removal of the tilt a whirl and other 'lesser' carnival rides.

 

Why? MM has been doing some amazing things, but I was extremely disappointed with their decision to remove FIVE of their flat rides this past year... Freefall, Spinout, Circus Wheel, Granny Grand Prix and Sierra Twist were all good rides enjoyed by families... In a park that now has only 16 non-coaster rides. SIXTEEN! They have 15 coasters and 16 non-coaster rides! Does anyone else see anything wrong with this or is it just me?

 

Minus the water rides (5 of them), the pay-per-rides (3 of them) and the transport ride Sky Tower, and you have seven traditional flat rides plus the Bugs Bunny World kiddie rides. I just cannot see the new management's reasons behind the removal of those five flats. They say that they want to attract more families, but families don't go to parks that have nothing to offer other than high-thrill coasters. It's that simple.

 

 

 

Other than that, the park is looking amazing and I'm really looking forward to my second trip of the year in the next few weeks!

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Regarding any and all Scream landscaping, for the record:

 

At West Coast Bash Tim made the comment that he could either PAINT the parking lot a different color - which is by far the cheapest solution - or for the same amount of money he could paint and rehab about 15 buildings like the Goldrusher station. And that was the end of it. Now before you point out that you'd rather see a better theme for Scream rather than having 15 other buildings fixed up, understand that's exactly the *opposite* ideal of the park's current direction. We want things fixed. We want a raised standard of maintenance. We want the beautification dollars spent (painting older rides, Cyber Cafe, etc).

 

I love Scream too - but I love a fixed-up theme park with all the little 10 year old nagging issues addressed *even more*.

 

Besides, if I had my druthers I'd say the repair of Batman's theming elements should come before the Scream blacktop. I mean there's the cop car lights and sounds, the water from the hydrant, the fan and sound effects in the tunnel, the dripping sound effect on the stairs, the huge Batman logo and lighting issues in the station, the fog in the ride trenches AND the fog after the transfer track.. it's a long list of 7+ year old issues! And Scream is only 5!!! Priorities people, hahaha just kidding. No I'm not. :o)

 

-Sam @ San Diego

 

 

 

I think Scream would look great with some Kumba-esque landscaping, but of course...any ride would! I say this only because a good amount of the ride is close to the ground, and I think the blue and yellow would look great next to grass. Im sure it would be quite the investment though.

 

Chris.

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One thing to remember about the lack of flat rides: Jay said at WCB that the park has a 5 year plan put in place that will address all of the parks needs. Removing the flat rides now could very well be the start of replacing those rides with more modern family rides/attractions/flats/coasters/etc. that will ultimately (in theory at least) make the park a more well rounded place for families.

 

While I agree that losing rides in the short term sucks and makes no sense, I am interested in seeing what they do what all the new real estate in the park.

 

The one replacement so far has probably done much better for the park than the Circus Wheel ever did. I never saw a line for Circus Wheel, but so far every single time we have walked by the 3-point challenged the area has been PACKED. Definitely makes the midway more lively than an extremely dated flat ride with no line ever did.

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I visit parks with my wife and 3 kids (2 young teens and 1 tween) and occasionally the kid's aunts and/or uncles. By no means are we hard core "enthusiasts", but we do enjoy theme parks. We've been taking a visit to SFMM as a family at least once each year since '03. I've got to tell you that honestly, had I not known about some of the flat rides being removed because I'd read about it here, I doubt that I'd have noticed anything except Free Fall missing. I believe it's even less likely that my wife or kids would have noticed. All of us however, have noticed the improved park operations, cleanliness and maintenance. I like the direction the park is headed. I've seen more than enough so far from the new management team that I don't have any reservations about placing my trust in them to continue doing what's "right" for the park. If that means removing some flat rides to facilitate the greater plan, then so be it.

 

Oh, and sorry if I came across poorly with the "craptacular" remark about the X2 video on the official site. I can appreciate that some people would like to see that footage, (as Jay mentioned) and I probably shouldn't have been so rude with my comment. It's just that it looked like something I'd have shot, and I know that I'm not any good at shooting video. I'll definitely check out any new video(s) when they're available.

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While Joey pretty much said my thoughts one additional voice coudn't hurt...

 

I just cannot see the new management's reasons behind the removal of those five flats. They say that they want to attract more families, but families don't go to parks that have nothing to offer other than high-thrill coasters. It's that simple.

To paraphrase what Jay, Neal, Tim, and Shapiro have said about this very subject over the past few months:

 

"We had to remove some rides that were old and tired. But there is a 5-year plan in place to fill in the park. Sometimes you need to take a step back to take a step forward. Please be patient and over the next few years you will see this plan unfold."

 

Personally, I couldn't agree with you more. Remember, I'm the guy who put this EXACT same question in front of Shapiro. I went to bat for all of you to make it known that removing rides was not a popular thing to do. But I was told by the man himself that the future years will bring good things, we just need to have some patience.

 

If indeed good things are coming, I'm willing to wait it out....

 

That being said, I have seen bigger crowds around the 3 Point Challenge game than I had seen in line for the Tilt-A-Whirl in *YEARS*.

 

Go figure....

 

--Robb

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The flats that were removed from the park were old, and last but not least, kinda dumpy as well. Prior management let some of the rides rot away to conditions which were more costly than the rides themselves to maintain. So, to side with the park in this case, considering their new "quality park" mentality:

 

Dumpy ride + high cost margin + the parks new and improved attitude of decreasing the amount of SBNO rides in the park = Removal of said ride

 

To add, since I've been going to the park for 15 years, Its rare to see more than 15 minute waits for anything besides coasters and food. Flats just aren't a crowd puller at MM.

 

Although some of the best times I've had at Magic Mountain were night rides on the Sandblasters...

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Sand Blasters always has a line so I think that ride is safe. I agree with what everybody else has said, the park is in a stage of transition right now. Before they can put in the new, they've got to do away with the old. It does suck losing rides, but I see it as a necessary evil.

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One thing to remember, at WCB they said that they have a different mentality. They weren't going to keep rides around that were in bad condition and were rarely ridden just to say they have X number of rides. If a ride isn't up to the standards of the park, they're going to remove it. Sure, they could have kept Spinout around and only tear it down when they had something to replace it, but it was old, busted, and was negatively impacting the general experience of the park. It seems to me that if they don't plan on keeping it long term, they aren't going to bother fixing it up and instead will get it out of there. I am on board with this. But only if there ARE plans in the future to fill out the park with more quality flats. There is a difference between a carnival quality flat like a scrambler and a theme park flat like the SkyHawk at Cedar Point.

 

Which makes me wonder about the status of the Buccaneer. I'm a firm believer that -EVERY- theme park needs 'the swinging boat' but it is certainly a ride in desperate need of a paint job. [/i]

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Ok, I've gone through and "cleaned up" the last couple of pages of this thread.

 

Honestly, I'm completely sick of the go nowhere circle of complaining about the flat rides and the lockers. It's been discussed TO DEATH.

 

The park has been showing nothing but improvements over the past 6 months and to keep coming back to old discussions like the flat rides is just ridiculous.

 

The last thing we need for those people in the parks management who actually DO read and respond to this site is to bring up old topics that have already been discussed over and over. I really don't want parks coming here and getting the impression that TPR is nothing but a bunch of whiners or complainers. There are *other* groups who do a good job of that already. TPR will NOT fall into that category.

 

Let's please keep this discussion moving FORWARDS not backwards. From this point on, any further discussion of lockers or flat rides may be deleted.

 

With all the great things going on at the park right now I would hope that we could find something more positive to discuss.

 

Thanks for your understanding.

 

--Robb

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Now, I've only had an annual pass for the past two years and i must say that even in that small span there has been a huge improvement in the operations and cleanliness of the park as a whole. The repaints of Viper and Ninja have made those classic rides even more beautiful. X2 looks amazing as well.

 

Thanks for all the hard work you guys have been putting in over there and here's to more success in the future!!!

 

- Eddie

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I really think they need to paint Colossus. When you are riding it, you see all the worn out paint, and in my opinion it's looks bad.

 

Not to be a Pollyanna, but I honestly believe they know, and have a plan for handling this, and every other obvious major flaw in the park. Allow me to explain why:

 

In 2004 I visited MM with a good friend of mine who had, to then, only been to SFNE, Cedar Point, and the Disney Parks. I grew up in Southern California and went to SFMM all the time. I -loved- MM. I openly revolted against my family when they wanted to go to Disneyland because of how much I preferred MM, and you can just forget about Knotts right now. I had left Southern California for college and was on a visit back home with my friend from back east, and boy was I going to show her a park. "A true rival to CP" I claimed.

 

That 2004 visit was one of the toughest days I ever had. I mean this. Eventually I ran out of excuses for the park. I was so disappointed that I contacted Dell Holland (I am pretty sure that's what his name was, though I could be off) about the experience, wondering what could have happened. That all it took was some attention to detail... that all the small things mattered. Disney once said "If we lose our customers by being cheap, it will cost us 10 times as much to earn them back" To his credit he offered me a free return trip, though I never took him up on it. I had been back to the park a few times after that and it was always the same state of disrepair.

 

With that background you should understand how skeptical I was going to WCB. I liked what I had read, but I was not willing to give MM ANY benefit of the doubt. They had to earn it, and I wasn't going to make it easy. I was already preparing my defenses for them to either ignore questions, poo-poo the complaints and say 'that's just how it is and how it has to be to make money', and basically excuse themselves from responsibility.

 

It didn't happen.

 

The folks were open, honest, accepting of criticism to a fault (do the words candy machine mean anything to you), and absolutely bent over backwards to explain as much of their plan as they could and make sure we were having fun. I can't remember how many times someone like Jay said "Are you having a good time?". For the first time in a long time, the staff cares.

 

And they have a plan.

 

We go to parks often, we see things day in day out, and sometimes we get an inflated opinion of our ability to perceive the problems with the park that others are missing. I am as guilty as anybody. This may be due to the fact that the old SFMM never did anything about the problems.... they just let them fester. How could they know about the ugly chipping paint and rotting stations? They never do anything about it.

 

This staff knows.

 

During WCB they went on and listed a number of the problems they have on their list, and what they plan to do about fixing them. That they have years worth of upgrades and only so much money to spend on each one at a time, but they have both a list and a plan. They have fixed so much already that you have to believe they know about the big ones you and I notice. What is exciting to me is that they aren't overlooking the little guys too. Help for Revolution, the repainting and general updates to goldrusher.. These are exciting developments.

 

Do I feel a little sad going up the Colossus hill and seeing the flaking pink-was-red-once-upon-a-time paint? Hell yeah I do. Still, through the improvements both large and small I've seen through my 4 visits so far this season (probably 5 after this weekend... it's a bit of a drive from San Diego) I have to believe that it is on the list. My disappointment is tempered by my faith that in 5 years or so it will be addressed along with the myriad of other issues. Just where on their list does repainting Colossus fall is an interesting question... It would have to be one of, if not the, major updates of the year in which it is done. I can't imagine how expensive it would be to repaint that beast.

 

Please don't take this the wrong way... I am in no way saying not to bring up the things that bother you when you go to the park here... Everyone is very familiar with my stance on the lockers at this point and I won't get into it again. Management has a good finger on the pulse of the community by watching these sites, and we have been granted the rare chance to influence their direction through quality feedback. Comments were made during WCB that 'keeping gates closed' was made a priority through a coaster enthusiast website (I won't get into which one). It's good to let them know what is a problem and, just as important, what they've done that is working and what you really like. In an effort to get this thread turned in a more positive direction, I'll offer one of mine. One small thing I saw that I really liked was the physics competitions a few weeks back. Simple, easy, but well attended and just the sort of thing families with kids would appreciate.

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Let's please keep this discussion moving FORWARDS not backwards. From this point on, any further discussion of lockers or flat rides may be deleted.

 

--Robb

 

If we really wanted to voice our opinions in a helpful manner, my vote would be to let Tim and Jay know what *we* think the bigger issues are to address in the next off-season. I'm a little reluctant to suggest this as if we'd put this list together 3 years ago it'd be a mile long. But now there's a culture of "improve upon what we have" in place (instead of a "build it and forget it" attitude); improvements are being made by the handfull. Since they're listening, let's help out in any way we can. You can't complain about something never getting fixed if you never ask. My 2 cents:

 

1) I've documented the 8 (!!) aspects of the Batman theming in dis-repair on the previous page. That is below standard. Compared to what it could be it's a shell of its former self. Very entertaining queue line and on-ride effects.... about 7 to 10 years ago when they worked. The BatCave puts an old castle with dragons to shame! Please consider showing some love.

 

2) Restroom teardown and rebuild discussed at WCB. 7 large, modern restrooms with autoflush hardware instead of 12 small, outdated and smelly buildings would please the masses and is a must-do.

 

3) Colossus repaint is a colossal idea, heh heh heh. Couldn't help it. Granted, Superman is more of an eyesore and it's more visible to the masses from the I-5... either paint one or the other in 2008/2009.

 

4) The SixFlags TV Network would be great IF it ends up being entertaining (Looney Toons classics along with new programs) and informative (queue line wait times, etc.) Watching TV in line is a great way to please bored parents.

 

5) Another parent-friendly area or activity to complement the Cyber Cafe in the back of the park somewhere. Gotta have more places for non-riders to spend money and feel relaxed- not forgotten.

 

6) I hope one of those insane S&S Wild Mouse On Drugs is on tap for 2010 or 2011. I mean really that POV render at WCB gave me chills.

 

 

-Sam @ San Diego

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