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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

Page 2218 - Wonder Woman Roller Coaster for 2022!

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Yeah it is a million times better then it was but the propblem Six Flags has is they get collage kids or foriegn people that they can pay minimum wage and these people hate there jobs! Thus they show it when they do their job! Six Flags needs to hire people that want to work with a happy attitude!

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- Goliath Ops - Ugh. Total clog at the exit/flashpass splitoff area. Something should have been done. There were kids trying to sneak seats, people just waiting in the way, it was really annoying. Flashpass guy without even looking up just says 'how many?' no smile, not engaging nothing. Ops checking trains...like Robb mentioned I was really impressed to see them running three trains, but it didn't matter with an op checking like he was going to a funeral. Slow, bored, frown on the face, just so not what you want to see at an amusement park.

 

 

I have had that same problem when either getting off Goliath, or using the fastpass line. Their is just too many people standing in the way, and not one employee saying anything to them.

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- Goliath Ops - Ugh. Total clog at the exit/flashpass splitoff area. Something should have been done. There were kids trying to sneak seats, people just waiting in the way, it was really annoying. Flashpass guy without even looking up just says 'how many?' no smile, not engaging nothing. Ops checking trains...like Robb mentioned I was really impressed to see them running three trains, but it didn't matter with an op checking like he was going to a funeral. Slow, bored, frown on the face, just so not what you want to see at an amusement park.

 

This is EXACTLY the type of stuff that's going on around the park that brings down the rest of the improvements in the park that are very positive. The employees that are in good moods and are upbeat, typically are only that way because its their personality. They might not be happy because they're at work, but it makes their job better when they make guests smile.

 

Then there's the employees that walk around with their shirts untucked, frowns on their faces, walking in unapproachable groups wearing iPods, eating funnel cakes in front of guests because they're not on the clock any more, etc. And its sad, because guests don't concentrate on a clean park and well run rides when they're distracted by crappy employees with crappy attitudes.

 

Sadly, I've seen it happen myself. A great new employee on her first day, with a motivating attitude and a smile. Within a week, the other employees and their crappy example had brought down her spirit to "This job sucks, I can act like I don't want to be here and get away with it." And its sad, it really is.

 

Its one of those issues that seems impossible to address, cause even when I worked there, I saw crap like this going on and would address the employees about the issue on the spot, and people looked at me like I was losing my mind. Ninja would typically open at 11 or Noon, and when guests would come in the line because the ops that opened the ride were too lazy to move the sign in the way of the entrance, they would see guests walking through the line and say "We're CLOSED. Come back later." And not in a nice way, it sounded so rude! Basically like they were saying "We're closed go away!" So I would tell them, "You think you could atleast say the ride will be opened in an hour, or say 'We're closed" a little nicer?" and again, they didn't care, I'd get the look.

 

So what I'm saying is the problem stems deeper than it seems, and I don't know what the park can do to shake it off. There just aren't enough people that work there that care to make sure the employees treat the guests better.

 

Honestly, I wasn't happy to hear what some of you were/ and are saying about Magic Mountain.

 

Really, all I'm trying to say is that, get off Magic Mountain's back! They're honestly doing the best they can.

 

I'm sorry to say, just cause you're not happy to hear what some of us are saying about the park, doesn't mean it shouldn't be said. Maybe in 2-3 years if the park continues to improve, these types of issues won't be around anymore, but I really doubt it. Don't get me wrong, it's nice that the park is doing the best they can, and all of us appreciate that. But a cleaner park (that should be a basic standard in the first place) and rides finally running the way they're supposed to (which is another basic standard) does not make up for bad customer service. Or ride ops not smiling. Or employees slacking off cause they know they can get away with it.

 

Put it this way, I do the best I can to prepare for all of my exams, does that mean I should always get an A? Absolutely not. Just cause I try as hard as I can doesn't mean squat if I don't perform when it really counts. In Magic Mountains case, them "doing the best they can" doesn't mean anything if it doesn't perform that way in areas where and when it really matters.

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^ I really wish you knew how to post without just sounding so obnoxious all the time. I know what you're trying to say, and I think you may actually have a point in there somewhere, but when I read your stuff it's like someone's scraping a chalkboard at the same time.

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Honestly, I wasn't happy to hear what some of you were/ and are saying about Magic Mountain.

 

Really, all I'm trying to say is that, get off Magic Mountain's back! They're honestly doing the best they can.

 

I'm sorry to say, just cause you're not happy to hear what some of us are saying about the park, doesn't mean it shouldn't be said.

 

Maybe in 2-3 years if the park continues to improve, these types of issues won't be around anymore, but I really doubt it.

 

Really, The point I'm trying to get across to you is that, no matter what Magic Mountain does, a lot of you will still find room to complain about it.

I never once said your opinions didn't matter. But really...what I said above is true, most of you WILL find something to complain, moan, and groan about...

 

Lets say, for Example, Even if Magic Mountain becomes the Number 1 best operated and most visited amusement park in the world, most of you will still find room to whine and complain. The park will "never" be the way it was so and so years ago. You'll still find things wrong. Amusement parks are a work in progress. They're always working to make things more entertaining and friendly. Finally, Magic Mountain is moving in that direction.

 

For Example, Jahan absolutely loves Disneyland. He'd marry it if he could. But yet, when he goes, he still finds things that aren't "up to par" or something that isn't "Disney Like". Not every park is perfect.

 

The point is, is that, Park President Jay Thomas and Magic Mountain are really taking steps in the right direction to improve a park that has sunk really low in the past few years. I've had the privilege to hear Jay speak at some of the TPR MM events, and I can easily say, everything he has promised so far, is happening. He has enacted a plan to help employee performance, but its certainly not going to happen overnight. Hes not going back on his word. Why can't some of you see that...?

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Interesting thing, too. During the last few years, even though I've had the Xtreme Play Pass, the thought of going out to SFMM just didn't register. Now, with everything they're doing, I find myself thinking about taking a trip over there. The downside is that gas is so expensive, so that's usually the deciding factor.

 

It is nice to see Jay and/or Neal walking through the park, and they always greet me with a handshake and ask how my day is going. Where was Del Holland? Perhaps better...who was Del Holland? Nowhere to be found except on media days, and even then he'd make his appearance, a quick speech, a few pictures, then vanish into...wherever.

 

Not Jay. He's turning the place around and it isn't an act. But keep in mind that, like a huge ship out on the ocean, you don't just crank the wheel and turn it around in 50 feet. It takes miles. And it'll take awhile for SFMM to get back to where it's supposed to be.

 

The park is cleaner for sure. And Jay said that they plan to recapture the coaster title, so for us coaster nuts, that's good news. It just won't happen in a year or two.

 

Eric

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Is the available labor pool so shallow that the - bottom of the barrel - workers can't be replaced? For what it's worth, employee morale and performance have, in my experience, improved considerably over the past couple years at SFDK. (And I have written the park to express that I have definitely noticed the strides they've made) Is there something being done differently at SFDK? I believe there has to be a solution to the employee morale situation at SFMM. Maybe they can find it by looking to other parks in the chain that have made progress in that area.

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Is the available labor pool so shallow that the - bottom of the barrel - workers can't be replaced? For what it's worth, employee morale and performance have, in my experience, improved considerably over the past couple years at SFDK. (And I have written the park to express that I have definitely noticed the strides they've made) Is there something being done differently at SFDK? I believe there has to be a solution to the employee morale situation at SFMM. Maybe they can find it by looking to other parks in the chain that have made progress in that area.

 

Jay Thomas seems to have a lot of experience in working with multiple Six Flags parks. I think he is well aware that Magic Mountain's moral is way down with all of the park staff. Jay Thomas and MM enacted a plan to try and raise moral by awarding employess with prizes and such when they do something good for the park and the public. Basically a "You do something good and get a prize."

 

Honestly, i think theyre trying to get a hand on it. But as EDL stated, its not going to happen quickly. But it is happening. We can only hope that we will see these changes sooner then later.

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lThe changes being made and that have been made really make the park more enjoyable and is considerably better than it was from i don't know, say 2005? I don't think anyone's ripping on the park, it's just that you want to strive for perfection. SFMM will never be "perfect" , but they're trying to get as close to it as possible. I know everyone in this topic has to at least like the park otherwise they'd have no input. Pure makes a lot of good points, and though some may not agree with his approach, he does make some good points. The park is better, and we as park enthusiasts may notice things like morale getting better, cleaner parks, and subtle slogans, the only changes that people on the surface may notice are things that were just horrible in the past. Ryan also makes a valid point. If the park were ran with chipper employees, and smelled like roses at every turn, with midways paved with gold some would find room to complain. It's a work in progress. No one said that the park is where it needs to be, so it's safe to make suggestions, it's not complaining. There are also great difference in how the park is now then it was in 2005 or before, it's not neglecting the "bad things."

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^ Very good points. I'm a bit confused about some of the "complaining about complaining." I think that most of the people on here know the score and read all of the reviews. If I read a perfect TR or a scathing TR I tend to take both with a grain of salt. I give more validity to a balanced review.

I'm a person that tends to let a single thing really cloud my judgment about an entire day. Because of this I don't tend to do reports because even I recognize that it would not be valid most of the time. I'll be visiting on Thursday and if I think I had a balanced day I'll post a report or just mention something that stood out. Good or bad.

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Alright, woo hoo! It sounds like we're starting to get somewhere with understanding eachother! Good points everyone.

 

I know everyone in this topic has to at least like the park otherwise they'd have no input.

 

Exactly! I think we all want whats best for the park, otherwise we wouldn't be in here discussing it so in depth.

 

As I'm sure with most people on here, I'm very optimistic that Magic Mountain can continue to turn things around for the better. Its just frustrating when you go to the park and still see things going on that we all thought were part of the past (like sub-par employee morale). I have faith that Jay, Tim and the rest of the higher ups can take care of those issues eventually. Keep it up Magic Mountain!

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Took a turn myself at Magic Mountain this Sunday. Lots of good, some bad. here's what we hit:

 

X2: First ride of the day. Had some significant problems with line cutters... People who run to the ride, and then pull the rest of their group up to them. I like to ask people who are standing up waiving for people to come to them "Do you need to wait for somebody?" Later in the day security was holding people up at the main gate, handing out tickets, making sure groups were together. Much better. The first time we rode, the speakers were VERY quiet. You couldn't hear any music on the ride. This was better the second time I rode. I'm pretty sure one train had the music cranked, and one had it very quiet. Definitely better when you can actually hear it.

 

On the, well nasty side after the line split on the side that goes under the ride and up a stair case by the entry road, there is a ride support that appears to have become a gum magnet. it's getting pretty nasty and definitely gets the attention of everybody in line.

 

I love that there is a grouper for X, and they seem to get the job done but just barely. Different girls each time, but both seemed pretty lost.

 

After X we hit up Revolution for the new trains. Much smoother, and the 'patriot' paint job is absolutely fantastic. Very very VERY well done. Even the 10 year old kids in front of us were super excited to see that they were getting on the "new hotness" train. I'm telling you Magic Mountain... there's a gold mine to be made in retro merch.

 

Something must have changed between Saturday and Sunday because the Goliath Sunday crew was by FAR the best of the day. Only two trains were running, but that didn't stop them from just powering through people. This one guy in particular, older fellow with some gray in his mustache and very heavily muscled with his sleeves rolled up, was just FLYING checking the restraints. Seemed like he was trying to make it a challenge with the younger fellow on the other side who wasn't exactly rising to the challenge, but was still adequate. Well done all the way around.

 

One thing I did notice, and felt bad for the fast pass op: The line didn't leave the Goliath station, so there was no reason to use a fast pass... A woman at the front of the fast pass line was really letting the poor ride op have it. Apparently she thought she would get to the front of the line, and having paid $75 for her and 2 kids to stand in the entire ride line wasn't going over easy with her. I think the problem here is communication on Six Flag's part. Fast Passes are very expensive now... and while everybody here knows how they work and just how far they get you, not everybody shelling out the big bucks for them does. Particularly families... which is the group Six Flags is trying to get back into the park. When people buy the things don't tell them they get to 'skip the lines' Tell them they get to skip the majority of the line, joining the line at the queue station. The things aren't cheap... people buying something that isn't what they thought it would be only breeds resentment. You want them to be thrilled with what the fastpass got them, so they buy them again in the future.

 

Scream was running 3 trains.... though I'm not sure why. On a busy July weekend day the ride was a walk-on. A significant portion of each train went out empty. Nice to see the effort, but just seemed like overkill to me.

 

Tatsu on the other hand, had exactly the opposite problem. 1 train. Forget 2 trains on 2 stations, only one train at all, with a completely full line. I can't imagine how painful that wait must have been. I believe someone else here has described it as 'soulcrushing" Batman was also running only one train, but that's a little more forgivable.

 

While Goliath wins the award for the best run ride of the day, Riddlers was a disaster. They were running 2 trains, but were stacking badly. Part of this seemed to be that each time they needed to unlock a train because somebody sat down. I wonder if they should invest in some signs to let people know that this is a standing roller coaster. Coaster nuts might laugh but it's obvious the GP doesn't get it. Not only that but the queue station was a madhouse. The grouper at the bottom of the stair case needs some way to know that things are getting out of hand up there. You all know how packed that area can get and how unpleasant it can be in there when you're packed shoulder to shoulder with a few hundred of your closest friends.... in the middle of a metal box in the desert. Not only that, but I can't imagine it's safe. ... what would happen if there was some sort of fire emergency?

 

Finally, we caught the Batman show. To which I can only say that I think the folks here calling it 'horrible' have been spoiled by Disney and the level of show that Disney puts on. This is as good a show as I've seen a six flags put on. Sure it is cheesy, hokey, and all that... but that's what these things ARE. There's a certain goofy aspect that is part of the deal. It's part of the charm of these things. You're supposed to get a giggle out of how cheesy certain parts are. There are some parts that don't really work (The ninja stars) but for the most part you've got acrobatics, pratfalls, a big custom car, a few explosions and water effects.... that's pretty darn good for a theme park stunt show. I agree that they aren't for everybody, but as far as these shows go, this one isn't bad by a long stretch. You guys should have seen the motor bike one at Darien Lake... now that was painful..

 

All in all, not a bad trip. Some things I wasn't thrilled with, some things I really liked, and one employee who was a shining example of how you'd like to see things go.

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While Goliath wins the award for the best run ride of the day, Riddlers was a disaster. They were running 2 trains, but were stacking badly. Part of this seemed to be that each time they needed to unlock a train because somebody sat down. I wonder if they should invest in some signs to let people know that this is a standing roller coaster. Coaster nuts might laugh but it's obvious the GP doesn't get it. Not only that but the queue station was a madhouse.

It seems that almost every time I've been to SFMM and gone on Riddler's the load times seem atrociously long. They should have put in some TVs with a video spiel telling everyone how to put on the restraints and the standing and whatnot. This would really speed up the whole process and get people through the lines a lot quicker. With all of the improvements as of late, it seems that Riddler's is one of the last rides that really needs some work on it. Get the station dance lights working again and the add the spiel.

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^Yeah, I love Riddler's, but the wait times and station sucks. It's even worst when they're running only one train. I wish they'd gut the station queue line and restructure it. It's so pointless. And it's hard to figure out which line is which.

 

Maybe they should do what they did for X and release it as "Riddler's Revenge: Part 2"

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Maybe they should do what they did for X and release it as "Riddler's Revenge: Part 2"

 

That's really not such a bad idea when you think about it! I must say, when I've been to Magic Mountain on a rather busy day, the line for Riddler's is so screwed up that its hard to make sense of it all. People loading process. The lines really pour out of the queue and get totally backed up. Maybe we need to pull an X2 and revamp the loading process....?

 

Furthermore, The last time I was there I was disappointed at not seeing the light effects working, the awesome beat music, and or some of the other lighting effects that are normally working in the Riddler Line. Not only is Riddler like this, but Batman is also. No more fog, the lights were on (Last time I was there), no creepy bat cave music etc. I feel like all of these things really help to set the stage for a good ride, and yet, the effects don't even work half the time.

 

Look at me...complaining...

But really, these are probably problems that Magic Mountain is well aware of, and hopefully, we will see these things change in the near future.

 

-Ryan

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^I'm not knocking SFMM but I'd rather spend a day riding SROS than a day at SFMM, I love SROS that much.

 

I'm really pleased with SFMM's progress over the last couple of years, maybe not everything's perfect but It's improving a lot.

 

The Riddler station queue is cool in a way because I have found the front row line to be the same length as the other rows because people are so confused by it.

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^Me too. And I haven't even ridden S:RoS!

 

I think seeing what the stations have deteriorated to is one of the more saddening things about some of the coasters at MM. I don't so much mind seeing the track color fading; when the stations are kept up well, it sets a good mood for the rides.

 

The Riddler's station used to be so bad ass with the lights and ride ops "clear, dispatch" breaking the music up like a DJ at a club ("The Riddler's train can accommodate 4 riders per row..."). Same with Batman, really cool effects like the fan that used to spin in the storm drain and the drip drop sounds. I also always liked X's queue music, same with Scream and Goliath, and all of those are now gone. Even Superman's "Stand by for launch!" Sorry if it sounds like it but I'm not trying to complain.

 

I'm just saying I dug 'em when they were there and its sad that they haven't been kept up. But I have faith, maybe someday they'll be back!

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Is the available labor pool so shallow that the - bottom of the barrel - workers can't be replaced? For what it's worth, employee morale and performance have, in my experience, improved considerably over the past couple years at SFDK. (And I have written the park to express that I have definitely noticed the strides they've made) Is there something being done differently at SFDK? I believe there has to be a solution to the employee morale situation at SFMM. Maybe they can find it by looking to other parks in the chain that have made progress in that area.

 

Magic Mountain has never been able to retain its best employees. And despite Jay's best efforts, they probably never will. With two parks within 75 miles that offer much better pay/benefits/work environments, Magic really only serves as a training ground for USH and Disneyland. And that's just in operations/maintenance. The same thing applies to food service, guest relations, merchandise, and so on with all the restaurants/stores/hotels/etc. in the area to lure them away.

 

With rare exceptions, the people who stay at magic only stay at magic because they can't really do much better for themselves. There are some genuinely good "lifers" currently in management roles at the park that were simply held back under the "old regime", but there are probably a lot more people who thrived under the "old regime" and keep that culture alive because it's the only way they keep their jobs.

 

So the challenge for the new management team is to find a way to get rid of those bad "lifers" while also finding a way to retain good employees to replace them. With all the competition and an ever tightening job market...it's going to be VERY VERY VERY VERY tough.

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I can sum up Magic Mountain's employee problems pretty quick:

 

There's a job opening that Magic Mountain has put on a job board as available for $8.75/hr. (I'm leaving out what it is because I don't want that to be a distraction.) Several other companies in the Santa Clarita area on the same job board have offered this same job - title, description, requirements, etc - for $12/hr, $13/hr, $15/hr, one went as high as $17/hr! For the SAME JOB! Now me being a job seeker, who do you think I'll want to work for?

 

If Magic Mountain was paying a competitive rate, I'd most certainly give them a second thought. Heck I've even thought of e-mailing Jay Thomas with these facts and asking him what he thinks about it, and what he can suggest to me as a job seeker on what to do about it.

 

Bottom line is, on average, they don't pay a competitive wage across the board. Magic Mountain's going to get the people that accept what Magic Mountain's willing to pay, and it's not going to get the people who don't. The results speak for themselves in terms of quality, morale, service, etc.

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I think seeing what the stations have deteriorated to is one of the more saddening things about some of the coasters at MM. I don't so much mind seeing the track color fading; when the stations are kept up well, it sets a good mood for the rides.

 

For once PURE, I think we agree on something! These effects on all the stations really need some attention. I was really glad to see that Magic Mountain pulled out all the retro-TVs in the Bat-cave, but was sad to not see much of anything else working. Especially with the new Movie coming out, I would expect people to want to ride it more.

 

I don't know. I hope that these "problems" are on one of Magic Mountains "To Do" Lists.

 

-Ryan

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^Well, as I'm sure you know, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 

So the challenge for the new management team is to find a way to get rid of those bad "lifers" while also finding a way to retain good employees to replace them. With all the competition and an ever tightening job market...it's going to be VERY VERY VERY VERY tough.

 

So from you're limited experience working at SFMM, you are now an expert on the economy and the local theme park market?

 

To add to the employment situation at SF...

 

Anyone who's worked there can tell you its not a kush job. Summer days hit the 90's on a consistent basis with little to no breeze in the Valley (Santa Clarita forecast this week is 94 across the board), there's few break rooms with air conditioning, the employee food they offer is bad, as others have mentioned the jobs aren't high paying, and some of the employees there work up to 10-12 hours a day, 5 or more days a week. Combine that with the fact that the parks huge and the ride ops and food staff have to walk to their attractions, and it gets easier to understand why employee morale is the way it is.

 

Sadly, they've kind of dug themselves in a hole. I don't know if they can afford, or have the ability to dig themselves out anytime soon.

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To add to the employment situation at SF...

 

Anyone who's worked there can tell you its not a kush job. Summer days hit the 90's on a consistent basis with little to no breeze in the Valley (Santa Clarita forecast this week is 94 across the board), there's few break rooms with air conditioning, the employee food they offer is bad, as others have mentioned the jobs aren't high paying, and some of the employees there work up to 10-12 hours a day, 5 or more days a week. Combine that with the fact that the parks huge and the ride ops and food staff have to walk to their attractions, and it gets easier to understand why employee morale is the way it is.

 

Sadly, they've kind of dug themselves in a hole. I don't know if they can afford, or have the ability to dig themselves out anytime soon.

 

So pretty much, they just need to build some janky dorms so people can from all over the nation/world can come to and work there! Hell, it seems to work perfectly for CP! Everything you described is equal to or better than the conditions at CP, with the exception of Saturdays being the glorious Macho Nacho Day at the employee cafeteria.

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^^I'm not sure why you felt the need to dig up my old post, since you're taking it completely out of context. I'm pretty sure my experience working as an employee is relevant to a discussion about working at magic mountain, as opposed to a discussion about the parks marketing strategies and the economy.

 

But while you're quoting me, you could have at least dug up the quote where I said essentially the same thing you just did almost two weeks ago:

 

As far as employees go...the moral of the story is "you get what you pay for." The park has never really invested in their employees. Breakrooms, perks, incentive programs, etc. All that stuff has never mattered to SFMM. That only compounds the pay situation.

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