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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

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Has anyone ridden both trains on Apocalypse lately? It only recently went back to 2 train operation and I rode it when it was only running 1 train right after memorial day and it was horribly rough. I'm assuming there's a noticeable difference in how they both run because half of everyone says it's not that rough and the other half (myself included) would consider it pretty much un-rideable. Which is unfortunate because i used to consider Apocalypse to be one of my favorite coasters at SFMM.

 

If that's the case I'm guessing I rode the non-maintained train, my train was practically bouncing around the course. People sitting behind me were even comparing it to Ghostrider roughness in the jackhammer department.

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Has anyone ridden both trains on Apocalypse lately? It only recently went back to 2 train operation and I rode it when it was only running 1 train right after memorial day and it was horribly rough. I'm assuming there's a noticeable difference in how they both run because half of everyone says it's not that rough and the other half (myself included) would consider it pretty much un-rideable. Which is unfortunate because i used to consider Apocalypse to be one of my favorite coasters at SFMM.

 

If that's the case I'm guessing I rode the non-maintained train, my train was practically bouncing around the course. People sitting behind me were even comparing it to Ghostrider roughness in the jackhammer department.

 

i rode the newly refurbished train. not sure if it was worse or better than the other, but i was internally debating if it was worse than ghostrider. ghostrider the last time i rode it, i felt it could really do something bad to my back. i didn't feel like that with apocalypse.

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i rode the newly refurbished train. not sure if it was worse or better than the other, but i was internally debating if it was worse than ghostrider. ghostrider the last time i rode it, i felt it could really do something bad to my back. i didn't feel like that with apocalypse.

 

Yeah Ghostrider is still way worse for me too haha

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Isn't Apocalypse's spot pretty notorious? I remember hearing a rumor once upon a time that one of the reasons Psyclone was also plagued with roughness was that the area of land where it stood was "sinking" so to speak? I know Northridge took a major toll on it, but I'm curious if there are other reasons related to Apocalypse's roughness. There are probably more logical reasons as to why the ride isn't what it used to be, but I too feel that it has drastically changed in a matter of only 5 or so years. I just rode Thunder Road at Carowinds yesterday which is 39 years old and it was incredibly smooth for a woodie.

 

While I'm on the topic of Carowinds, I also have to say that there were virtually no lines at the park. There were several people there, but the staff on each coaster (with the exception of one) were hauling ass! Fury and Intimidator were anywhere from walk-ons to 3 minute waits max! While Intimidator does have bins for each trains (it was running all three), Fury does enforce a "no loose items" policy, and they had someone at the entrance enforcing it. Nobody was leaving anything on the side of the ride.

 

My point is that SFMM definitely needs to improve on dispatches. I feel silly saying that because we're all well aware of this issue. I'm curious why they don't spend a bit of money to install løckers and to pay to have somebody enforce a løcker policy.

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^Carowinds is surprisingly solid as far as dispatches go. When I was last there, the Nighthawk crew was loading trains faster than the Tatsu crew. When you spend more time stacking on a B&M than you do on a Vekoma flyer, something is very wrong.

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Isn't Apocalypse's spot pretty notorious? I remember hearing a rumor once upon a time that one of the reasons Psyclone was also plagued with roughness was that the area of land where it stood was "sinking" so to speak? I know Northridge took a major toll on it, but I'm curious if there are other reasons related to Apocalypse's roughness.

I always thought that the reason Psyclone was so rough was due to damage from an Earthquake.

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Honestly, as far as dispatching trains goes, I never really quite realized and appreciated just how bad Magic Mountain is at ride operations until I went to Europa Park a few weeks ago. Seriously, forget the Discovery orientation class when you get hired, just make the new hires watch a video of the Europa Park crews dispatching trains. It was beautiful.

 

On Blue Fire there were only two people outside of the control booth and both would check restraints once gates closed. There was one person manning the control panel. There was one person acting as grouper for the line. 4 people in total in the ENTIRE STATION and it was absolute clockwork. Even with loose articles (don't even get me started on their brilliant loose articles bins that automatically opened and closed) and people sucking at being a functional human being, they would STILL pump trains out every 30 seconds. It was phenomenal. Granted there were no mind melting, brain teasing, confusion devices to buckle (seat belts) on Blue Fire which helped speed things up a bit, but still, I was blown away. They made it look easy, which it should be but yet at Magic Mountain it isn't.

 

Sorry for the rant, but Europa Park's operations were incredible. Magic Mountain is the antitheses of that. I need to go to Europe more...

 

Isn't Apocalypse's spot pretty notorious? I remember hearing a rumor once upon a time that one of the reasons Psyclone was also plagued with roughness was that the area of land where it stood was "sinking" so to speak? I know Northridge took a major toll on it, but I'm curious if there are other reasons related to Apocalypse's roughness.

I always thought that the reason Psyclone was so rough was due to damage from an Earthquake.

You would be correct. It was the Northridge Earthquake.

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Honestly, as far as dispatching trains goes, I never really quite realized and appreciated just how bad Magic Mountain is at ride operations until I went to Europa Park a few weeks ago. Seriously, forget the Discovery orientation class when you get hired, just make the new hires watch a video of the Europa Park crews dispatching trains. It was beautiful.

 

On Blue Fire there were only two people outside of the control booth and both would check restraints once gates closed. There was one person manning the control panel. There was one person acting as grouper for the line. 4 people in total in the ENTIRE STATION and it was absolute clockwork. Even with loose articles (don't even get me started on their brilliant loose articles bins that automatically opened and closed) and people sucking at being a functional human being, they would STILL pump trains out every 30 seconds. It was phenomenal. Granted there were no mind melting, brain teasing, confusion devices to buckle (seat belts) on Blue Fire which helped speed things up a bit, but still, I was blown away. They made it look easy, which it should be but yet at Magic Mountain it isn't.

.

 

it's like no one from magic mountain has ever been to another park that runs their rides at manufacturer capacity.

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...Or nobody has any incentive to care because their wages and salaries are low and their business model is all about keeping costs down and getting as many people into the park on discounted tickets/passes as possible.

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Honestly, as far as dispatching trains goes, I never really quite realized and appreciated just how bad Magic Mountain is at ride operations until I went to Europa Park a few weeks ago. Seriously, forget the Discovery orientation class when you get hired, just make the new hires watch a video of the Europa Park crews dispatching trains. It was beautiful. .

 

Do you have a link so i can see this boarding beauty you speak of?

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SFMM isn't even that bad. I was very very disappointed with operations at SFOG. Those were probably the worst I've ever seen. 7-8 min dispatches on Goliath with 2 trains, double stacking on DDD, and don't even get me started with Superman. The ride ops were just talking the whole time. Six Flags Magic Mountain really isn't that bad with operations.

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Not pessimistic, realistic. The park's operations are among the worst in the industry. It's people making excuses for it, that got us here.

 

Btw, I don't hate the park. If you look back at a lot of my posts I do defend the park with it's being needlessly bashed. But let's not kid ourselves, the operations are the lowest of the low. So much so that I'm always nervous when planning a trip with friends or family. The terrible way the park handles crowds, the lack of ways to keep cool on super hot days, the leaving of trains on break runs seemingly forever in the hot sun because the dispatches are so awful (Tatsu and Yolo being the worst offenders).

 

I could go on, but I won't because I do like other aspects of SFMM. But something needs to be done.

Edited by Manic Monte
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There is no "mindset". The ride either duels, or it doesn't, period. And it's not. I'm not paying good money to get into the psychology of the SFMM management. Either you provide results or you cheap out and leave your guests hanging.

Edited by Manic Monte
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There is no "mindset". The ride either duels, or it doesn't, period. And it's not.

So you're telling me it won't duel at WCB at all?

 

It WILL duel if a train is dispatched in time, and it almost ALWAYS is a park guest who realizes after seats have locked that they need to put something in the bins (I've seen multiple people with purses have to get unlocked to go put it in the bin). When I went last Wednesday, I dueled once the 2nd time I rode it. Leaving the park later, I saw FOUR races in a row. And you know what? I'd bet the ride ops were maintaining the same pace, which IS good enough to allow the trains to race, but it won't race when guests hold up the dispatch.

So I don't think the beef should be with the ride ops, rather management who decided not to post signage or a video or something to tell guests to put their stuff away (the time I raced the ride ops announced "If you want to race, please quickly put your belongings in the bins and buckle your seatbelt").

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I'll go into it further in my trip report, but people just don't seem to have the urgency even if they have no bags. When I went the ops were trying to do everything possible but people just take their sweet time.

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Just rode 10 minutes ago and dueled both laps. Has been consistently dueling all day.

 

i still am looking for the dual, duel after like 25 GP rides. i've actually only had a 4-5 good duels out of those rides. btw, i count a duel as one where the trains drop off the lift together in less than a second. anymore than that, and one train is just chasing the other with practically no interaction.

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Well we finally made it to the Magic Mountain. Definitely the hype was building up as we flew down from Oakland to Burbank that morning. Failed to secure the Honda so we decided on Denny's for breakfast. Coming up into the park it feels more isolated then in pictures. Parking was already open and we could see the crowds coming in. Sad there was no preferred parking as the $5 is always worth it. Still parked a little close but then the walk, not as bad as Discovery Kingdom, but still. Coming into the park detectors only took a minute then straight for the gates. The line to get in? Horrendous. Luckily I asked security about gold pass entrance and they pointed me to the far side where there was no line.

 

As per advice went straight to Full Throttle. With probably only 100 people in the park if that, was about five minutes to get on. (They had fired up almost all the rides and boarding before the gates opened.) Just before we got off they released the flood and I was eager to move on, however my dad liked it so much he wanted to go again so I bowed in and another quick wait. A very solid coaster overall, some great airtime and hang time. 5/5

 

Hoping the lines weren't to long for Colossus we head that way. But by then it was way out past the entrance so we headed around for the summit. Past DC Universe the park was completely empty. Walked on Gold Rusher to get that out of the way. Afterwards the push to the summit commenced. Reaching the first point yet another walk on with Superman. My first 100+ coaster I considered riding it again but I just didn't feel it. Left side was running only at that time. (Right side would join later.) 3/5

 

We made bid for the summit and Ninja. This was my first anticipated coaster of the day. Strangely enough the shortest wait was for the front. Here we encountered the only one train op of the day. The main op was even kind enough to apologize for it. The line quickly built behind us, I think it was a max 15 minute wait for us. It's sad more of these don't exists as they are a fun coaster. Swinging by the trees and the near misses caps it off. Some rough spots in there but not bad. Oh ya, did I mention this is #50 for me? Excited it was this one. There were no trains on the transfer tracks... 5/5

 

Next we decided to head down the opposite way to Tatsu. At first we thought the line was minimal but of course it was a hold back. Que was full and since I'm not the most fan of flying coasters so it was a skip. So we decided to head down to Apocalypse. A near empty station as we headed for the back row, and then it happened, the power outage. At that time we thought it was just Apocalypse as the op stated that it was down and they said it was a minor delay. Not know what was going on we decided after 10 minutes to head to Jet Stream. Well as you know and we figured out, it was the whole park. The strange thing was that right after it happened and while we waited for the next 15 minutes is that they were able to run stuff.

 

Of course it ended and we got on Jet Stream, nothing exciting though the run out is nice. Then back to Apocalypse. This time a wait of 10 minutes as we finally encountered the terrible ops. Nice thickly padded seats. Good thing was the ride was rough in more then a few places. I can overlook most of that as it was very relentless until the final turn into the break run. Hey, even the fire effect was working. The station fly-though is a nice effect for those in the station. 4/5

 

We decided to take the long hike to Baja Ridge which turned into a big mistake. Coming in we saw Revolution down. First up here was Viper. My dad was wearing down and starting to get hungry so I advise him to sit this one out due to all the inversions. Taking advantage of the single rider line was able to get right on the first train in, very car. I was not expecting the ride to be intense, turned out very wrong of course. (The end of the double loops I almost blacked out, not expecting that.) My personal opinion is the ride was smooth expect for a few points. Mid of the first drop, batwing, and the trims into the corkscrews. Oh my, the trims into the corkscrews, they slam the train into a crawl along with your head. I honestly though we weren't going to make it. We did thankfully. Those pesky trims is the reason it is getting: 4/5

 

Passing X2 (still long line as I saw from Viper) we tried to find a map for food. Cyber Cafe was closed and the nearest food was far away. So we decided to take Orient Express back up for the restaurant across from Tatsu. Quick backstory, we saw the power company entering near it and Revolution. Turns out the train arriving was the last one as they had entered the ride area. (Never saw them though.) So now began the walk back up the hill, not happy. Here we encountered the only rude employee of the day. She was guarding the entrance for Revolution. She of course told me it was closed (thanks) and then I asked if there was a shortcut up to the summit. She said no and I pointed out the sign pointing this way for Superman and Tatsu. She in the kindest way possible (not) said that I was lying. I couldn't be bothered and I had the last word as I walked away. Tsk Tsk Anyway finally got back up and ate.

 

Coming back down finally took on X2, the second anticipation coaster of the day. The line from starting to on ended up about shy of an hour. Fire and audio did not work during the ride. (Oh well.) I got off wondering what just happened (and still trying). No wonder this ride is the most popular. Good job Arrow, also pretty smooth. Did I mention three train ops? A ride that I would of loved to ride again but time was running short. Also I found the first coaster my dad refused to ride. 5/5

 

With just over an hour to go, it was time to head back across the park for Colossus. By this time Revolution was open. I used single rider but it was in vein as there was no line anyway. It was going up the lift hill I realized this was going to be painful ride. Whoever designed those OTSR should ride it all day. The layout? Solid. The speed? Perfect. But darn, it was painful. I can see why people call it a shell of its former self. Looked like three train ops. I'll be nice this time and forgo the restraints for a 5/5.

 

With an hour to go it was time for the final anticipation coaster of the day, Colossus. The line was a few people out of the station with a sign saying an hour wait, perfect. It was not too long in we realized it was going to be much shorter. By the time we were at the gates, it was 30 minutes. Three train ops with an incredible crew. Two working from the back and two working from the front. While in line we saw it duel a few times and I could see the point at which it would be impossible if the train wasn't dispatched. The crew was trying everything to get trains to duel. They rushed people to get out and opened gates as soon as the train stopped. The biggest issue was people who just didn't have a sense of urgency. They took their time getting settled in despite the persistence of the crew. Most people literally ran to drop their items in the bins and head back. Sometimes though the crew must of fallen asleep as the board op was yelling to check these seats and it would take them a bit to realize. With such a short line I hopped in the single rider for a second go around. Sadly non of the times we dueled though at the start of the second ride we were very close. As some have been saying front is airtime city and I agree. (Also rode back.) 5/5

 

Not a bad day at the park without Flash Passes. This was exactly the crowds I was expecting on a Friday. I was glad to exit the park without having a ride I wish I rode. To top it off, we made it to LAX in 50 minutes! There were no five minute dispatch times and everyone seemed to be on top of it going was fast as they could minus Apocalypse. Tatsu was running both station and as mentioned only Ninja was running one train. Again, kudos to the Colossus crew who never had a dispatch over 2 minutes. I also liked that at least the newer rides had que's that were wider then normal. I'm planning on coming back possibly this Fall.

 

 

At Burbank, here we come!

 

 

Viper is very photogenic.

 

 

Obligatory shot.

 

 

And of course this one. Park does seem smaller then in pictures.

 

 

And though you probably can't see it, there is a duel.

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And they actually have four trains believe it or not. Basically one train in the station, and then one behind it in what appeared to be an unloading station (not used), other is on the track. The arrival brakes are also under shade so if the train gets double stacked. (That happened a couple of times.) Of course you are going to get stacked once. However when I was on, we waited about 15 seconds before coming in. As I said, greats ops that day.

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