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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

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I think SFMM cuts corners anywhere they can get away with it.

 

A perfect example of this would be the park not ordering 3 trains for Terminator, so when 1 goes down or has a train rehab, they can still run 2 trains instead of having 1 train operation with terrible capacity (with a ride that already has low capacity with 2 trains) for half the Summer.

 

Same with this ONE team for rehabbing trains in a park that has 18 coasters! That's absurd! That is cutting corners and providing inadequate staff for such a big park that already has problems with operations and efficiency!

 

Oh, but it's okay, you can pay the park an extra $50 for cutting corners, and that eliminates the inefficiency problem by letting you cut in front of all the people that are waiting in unfair long lines due to these poor operations!

 

They have one dedicated team for rehabbing trains and they just work on the ride that needs it the most.Running a park the size of Magic Mountain is not easy. There's a lot more to it than just turning the power on and opening the main gate.

 

Hey californiaroar, trust me, we know it's a lot more than a simple "flip of the switch," and with only ONE team for rehabbing trains, I'd bet the maintenance team is overworked and underpaid, trust me, we're on their team! We know they do great work and probably work their asses off to get the rides we love open and ready to go! Our point is more of the infrastructure of the company and the park, how every other chain seems to figure out this maintenance and rehab schedule just fine, but for some reason Six Flags always has an issue with this stuff year after year. After so long, it's kind of hard to just excuse them with "well, maybe they've had a rough offseason and haven't caught up," and like the poster above mentioned, the only reason after years of this going on can be that they cut corners and make the guests pay for it!

 

We know they work hard and we appreciate all the hard work they do, even if Six Flags doesn't!

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If they were to send trains out to be rehabbed, wouldn't that cost the park A LOT more money than doing it in house? You would have the cost of shipping it there and back, the cost of parts, labor charges..which would be pretty high. That just seems like something a park would never do due to the cost involved. And to do that for multiple trains for multiple ride? That just seems like way too much. Yeah, that's never gonna happen!

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"That just seems like something a park would never do due to the cost involved"

 

PTC had plenty of trains in for rehabs this past offseason. I don't remember all of the rides Tom Rebbie said, but it included all 3 Mean Streak (CP) trains, both Blue Streak (CP) trains, both Screamin' Eagle (SFSTL) trains, and Raven trains. Those are just the ones I remember, but there were atleast a few more

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Just "add another maintenance team?" I'm sure that's an option because I'm sure the park has $250,000 sitting around to pay out in annual wages so they can run an extra train on a coaster. I don't think you kids understand how much these crews cost. While I wouldn't say they are 'cutting a corner' not having a second team (since we can assume they have always just had one in the first place), I would think it is more of a possibility of adding one person to the team instead of creating a whole new one.

 

You can't just say *poof* and have the world fix itself. Sure, Disney, Busch, and Universal can pull it off. Does SFMM have a movie studio, television network, record label, or animation studio attached to it? It is expected that things at SF and CF parks are on a more constrained budget, and I think the team they have does a great job with the resources they have.

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^While I agree with you that it's not really a feasible option to add an entire extra crew as it would be expensive, Six Flags chooses to keep the park open year round with the staffing they do. They only have themselves to blame for the operations and word of mouth they give and get. Long (especially SLOW) lines make people unhappy, especially when you don't have many things to do instead of waiting in another long line for another coaster. I think that's my biggest gripe about SFMM is that you really don't have much to do outside of the coasters and I'm not just saying this as a flat ride fan, or to bring out that old argument that comes around every so often about lacking flat rides. If the coasters are not running the best they can then I don't even want to go, which is why I haven't had a season pass in two years despite it's low price range and only attend West Coast Bash. Also the parking is too high and the food sucks lol.

 

 

 

 

(General statement now) Don't think Disney is exempt from this type of situation either as Matterhorn went down for rehab on July 11 and will be down until the beginning of September; that leaves a lot of the summer out of operation. Everyone should know shit happens, but Six Flags seem to do a much worse job at planning out their rehab schedule it seems.

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I think the team they have does a great job with the resources they have.

 

I just want to make sure its understood that nobody here is saying the rehab team does not do a good job! In fact, by what it sounds like with what they have, they are doing a terrific job. Things could be a lot worse!

 

I believe the opinion a majority of us have is that the park is lacking a sufficient number of train rehab members due to poor infrastructure of the company, and cutting corners to save on costs, which eventually has unfavorable effects on the customers who pay and wait to ride the coasters. It's just frustrating, considering after 40 years of operation you'd think the park (and company) would know how many people it takes to rehab trains for a park with 18 roller coasters.

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Just "add another maintenance team?" I'm sure that's an option because I'm sure the park has $250,000 sitting around to pay out in annual wages so they can run an extra train on a coaster. I don't think you kids understand how much these crews cost. While I wouldn't say they are 'cutting a corner' not having a second team (since we can assume they have always just had one in the first place), I would think it is more of a possibility of adding one person to the team instead of creating a whole new one.

 

You can't just say *poof* and have the world fix itself. Sure, Disney, Busch, and Universal can pull it off. Does SFMM have a movie studio, television network, record label, or animation studio attached to it? It is expected that things at SF and CF parks are on a more constrained budget, and I think the team they have does a great job with the resources they have.

 

You're 29, and you're dismissing anyone questioning the maintenance schedule/performance as "kids"??

 

I've read some very good critiques of the park in this thread - and not one of them really sounded like a 13 year old screaming for MOAR REHAB CREWZ SO MY COSTER DUZNT GO DWN!1!! But you've read it how you want to read it, and summarily dismissed everyone as "kids" who "don't understand how big business works".

 

As has been mentioned, they run their own park. They're the ones who decided to become a year round park. They're the ones who continue to strive to hang on to the "most coasters" title. It is COMPLETELY understandable that people would complain when multiple attractions are either completely or partially down because of maintenance issues. Six Flags created this situation, it's on them to run the park in a way where reasonable expectations are met. If they don't (big rides being down in the middle of peak season, various rides only running one train etc), I would think that they'd expect "kids" complaining online AND to guest relations.

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For those who have implied criticism of SFMM for choosing to continue to be a year-round park given its current maintenance schedule, which is better?

 

Option 1) A closed park with no rides open

 

Option 2) An open park with all rides open except for one or two, and one or two others on 1-train operation due to rehab.

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We can compare it to say, Disneyland. Even them, with their huge resources that dwarf SFMM, take rides/attractions down for refurb during the summer. It's just the reality of parks with a year long operating schedule.

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^ Well, that didn't use to be the case. There was definitely an "off season" in the past at Disneyland and you would NEVER see a ride rehabbed during the summer.

 

But now with AP's, HalloweenTime, HolidayTime, etc ... they have to do it.

 

The AP program has totally changed the crowd dynamic of the park. Very rarely do you have an "off season" day anymore and many summer days are less busy than say a Sunday in October. Which is kind of sad.

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I was at SFMM last Tuesday and while in line for Deja Vu I heard a lot of activity around the old dance coaster site. Lots of trucks moving in and out and a few workers wandering around.

 

I'm pretty positive that the 2012 addition will have something to do with this area of land. Drop tower going here?

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Awesome home video of the park from 1971...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmZR1UwqdxM

 

Cool video. I can't recognize the place! You can actually see Gold Rusher's layout, a sky ride with a steep incline, and the place looks a lot more desert-like than today with 40 years for the trees to grow. All though I love sky rides and seeing the Metro operational, I'd still take the Magic Mountain of today with its 18 coasters and trees/plants grown to full size - even with crowds, long lines, and slow operations.

 

Someone on here mentioned that Six Flags is not tied to any movie studio or TV network. They were in the 90s when Time Warner owned them - I kinda wished Time Warner would have stuck with Six Flags so they would have had the $$ necessary to make maintenance and operations improvements.

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^ Well, that didn't use to be the case. There was definitely an "off season" in the past at Disneyland and you would NEVER see a ride rehabbed during the summer.

 

But now with AP's, HalloweenTime, HolidayTime, etc ... they have to do it.

 

The AP program has totally changed the crowd dynamic of the park. Very rarely do you have an "off season" day anymore and many summer days are less busy than say a Sunday in October. Which is kind of sad.

 

No doubt! It's just crazy busy when you least expect it. I read a rumor that they are looking at changing the AP system for the parks because of what you described. Agree 100% it's sad.

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This year the parks maintenance team was very busy getting their three new coaster experiences ready. They had to assemble the trains for Green Lantern, Road Runner Express, and Superman. Then they finished the apocalypse train. It takes fifteen weeks for a train to be fully rehabbed. Scream is getting worked on now because it needs it more than Tatsu. They have one dedicated team for rehabbing trains and they just work on the ride that needs it the most.Running a park the size of Magic Mountain is not easy. There's a lot more to it than just turning the power on and opening the main gate.

 

This is not the first time I've seen someone cite insane per train maintenance schedules. What is your source on this figure?

 

With a 3 man maintenance crew working regular hours, 15 weeks breaks down to 1800 man hours, 1200 hours for 2 people.

With some exceptions these are not super complicated machines with engines and transmissions. It does not take 1800 or even 1200 hours to rebuild them.

 

The army breaks down and rebuilds giant complicated locomotives in slightly over twice the time it supposedly takes to rebuild a coaster train:

 

Each locomotive weighs 120 tons, generates about 1,800 horsepower and requires 3,887 man-hours to overhaul.

 

"We essentially rebuild the locomotive from the ground up — it's bumper-to-bumper work," said Billy Funderburg, chief of the center. "There is not one bolt that isn't taken off."

 

-SOURCE

 

 

15 weeks to rehab Apocalypse is nonsense. If you just heard it somewhere else and are repeating it then good job further spreading lies. If 15 weeks is an actual number publicly stated by SFMM then they are full of crap . I bet I could disassemble one car on an Apocalypse train in a day.

 

I don't doubt that trains are actually offline in maintenance bays for months and months. I'd like to know how much of that time there is actually a mechanic working on them though.

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...This is not the first time I've seen someone cite insane per train maintenance schedules. What is your source on this figure?

 

Great post! So many people post things as fact without any kind of proof or source where they got that info.

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If you would like to know my source, I'm fine with that. I actually work at Magic Mountain. Not all rehabs take that long, but that is the average. I know over those weeks the trains are not being continuously worked on. Apocalypse took so long to get the second train back because it kept getting put off because of other projects. Coaster trains are a bit more complicated than a frame with wheels. There are a lot of small sensors that have to be aligned just right and a lot of time is used to adjust them properly. Also, some of that time is spent waiting for parts.

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You've made my point for me. The trains are not continuously worked on. They sit there waiting and waiting.

 

I think a truer statement would be "It takes SFMM an average of 15 weeks to rehab a train because they are slow, understaffed and don't have parts on hand."

 

I understand that the trains aren't simply sleds on wheels but there isn't tons and tons of sensors either. Its grasping at straws to try and use them to justify 15 weeks of rehab.

 

How many ppl are on the maintenance team? Would be cool if you could ask them how long it REALLY takes to rehab a train, in man hours.

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