Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Final update p. 12 - Universal Hollywood!
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests
Archived Photo Trip Reports of Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, and Donkeys!
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 5739
Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Location: Salem
Gender: Female
Age: 29

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby cal1br3tto » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:56 am

It would've been a real nightmare if you'd only gotten to ride Skull Mountain and Dark Knight! Glad everything worked out, and great pics as always.

In the past I didn't "get" Nitro, but I enjoyed it a lot more the last time I marathoned it. Turns out it's a front seat ride.
114 wood+512 steel=626 | Steel Vengeance | Boulder Dash | Twisted Timbers | Coaster | X2 | Twisted Colossus | Storm Chaser | Phoenix | Maverick | Twisted Cyclone | Iron Rattler | Voyage | Kawasemi | El Toro | New Texas Giant
Image

I love donkeys more than me.
User avatar
 
Posts: 1797
Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby azza29 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:49 am

Part Sixteen: Six Flags Magic Mountain
OK we are on the home stretch now folks. After spending a day flying back across the country (hooray for in-flight wifi!) it was time for the second California leg. We settled in to our moderately priced Glendale hotel room (one-third the price of Hollywood and 90% less chance of getting stabbed by a costumed character) and proceeded to see the sights. I'd visited Paramount studios back on my last trip and it was definitely the best of the "regular" (i.e. cheap) studio tours (although Warner Bros' deluxe tour is superb) so we headed there to get my brother his fix of movie history. The tour was basically the same as last time, although not much was filming since it was June and most TV shows were on hiatus. We got to see a few sets (Dr Phil, See Dad Run) but the highlight was definitely the backlot. It's amazing how many different areas they squeeze into such a small space - and even though it's been used for everything from car commercials to Seinfeld to Happy Endings, small changes are made all the time so the audience doesn't realise they're seeing the same thing multiple times over.

As for Magic Mountain, I went in with fairly low expectations and based on our visit, the park is probably better than its reputation suggests. It's certainly not as bad as SFA and while operations on some rides (Riddler's Revenge, Scream) were terrible, others were churning through riders like no tomorrow (Batman, Goliath). After rushing to X2 first thing we did end up picking up a Flash Pass, without which there's no way we would have managed to ride everything in one day (and even with the pass some waits were pretty long). It's kind of weird to be "reviewing" the most talked-about park on TPR, but anyway here are my thoughts on what the Mountain had to offer:
- Apocalypse: hard to believe it's only four years old but wasn't riding as rough as I'd expected. Probably the smoothest Six Flags GCI we rode on the trip, not that that's much of an endorsement. It had a station flyby AND fire, both of which make up for a slightly bouncy ride. SFMM locals might disagree, but I didn't think it was *that* rough at all!
- Batman: no idea why since they are basically the same ride, but the one at Great Adventure seemed more intense to me. Still a decent B&M invert.
- Colossus: line was 30 people deep and we still waited 20 minutes. Very big and long, surely they can do better than one train operation?
- Gold Rusher: perfectly serviceable family mine train. Not the most thrilling of rides but no wait either so I'm not going to complain.
- Goliath: pretty solid hyper with a surprising forceful helix. MCBR kills a lot of the momentum though.
- Green Lantern: I actually liked this one. Unpredictable, very forceful in spots and completely different from any other rollercoaster I've been on. A winner in my book.
- Ninja: better than Iron Dragon but not as good as Flight Deck. Literally got straight on with the Flash Pass so pretty happy with that.
- Revolution: I can recognise a coaster's historical significance and still think it's terrible, right? New trains might help this one out.
- Riddler's Revenge: Wednesday in early June. 2 hour posted wait. 1 hour with Flash Pass. 30 minutes in the mess of a station. But hilarious watching Southern Californians try to jump up into the seats rather than pulling them down to the correct height. And the best B&M standup I've been on.
- Scream!: the example used when someone argues that SFMM just don't care, and I tend to agree. Dumped into the parking lot, single train operation. At least it was themed. Takis is a theme, right?
- Superman: very similar to Tower of Terror at Dreamworld. Insofar as it is exactly the same. Another one-trick pony coaster that has a good enough trick that it doesn't need to do anything else.
- Tatsu: probably my favourite ride in the whole park, really liked how it interacts with the terrain.
- Viper: honestly don't remember much about this one, although the first loop is a pretty cool element.
- X2: another ride that wasn't nearly as rough as I'd expected. The controlled spinning is a fantastic feature and I'm surprised it hasn't been used much elsewhere (now that Arrow have done the hard work and gone broke developing it, of course!). We got on the first ride of the day, and my brother didn't know anything about the "4D" feature and was genuinely surprised (and a little panicked) when his seat started doing somersaults. Hilarious.

While, if forced to choose, I'd still pick a day at Cedar Point, Magic Mountain has a really good collection of coasters, no question. After visiting 20-odd parks and riding over 130 coasters in the trip, there were still new "types" of rollercoaster we hadn't encountered anywhere else. It would be great to see this park get their operations sorted because it could be a really awesome destination. Anyway, time for photos! I didn't get pictures of everything because even with the Flash Pass we were still kind of rushed, and frankly after photographing two dozen B&Ms in the space of a few weeks they all start to look the same.

USA13_16_SFMM_01.jpg
It's Always Sunny in California! Here we are at Paramount Studios. This is the "regular" front gate, not the famous gate.

USA13_16_SFMM_02.jpg
Dreams are made in these big beige boxes.

USA13_16_SFMM_03.jpg
Pretty much any part of the studio lot can be used as a location. The building on the right might be a school one day, or a nursing home the next.

USA13_16_SFMM_04.jpg
These cars are parked in Paramount's outdoor filming pool. If a movie needs to film in water, and the scene is too big for a sound stage, they fill the carpark with water and use this space. This is where Charlton Heston parted the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments.

USA13_16_SFMM_05.jpg
So this is the famous gate, from Sunset Boulevard. If you look you can see the 'H' from the Hollywood sign in the distance, next to Stage 4.

USA13_16_SFMM_06.jpg
Part of the backlot. The building on the right is designed to look like the first few floors of a skyscraper, the idea being that the rest would be added digitally.

USA13_16_SFMM_07.jpg
Which trash can would you prefer, Mr. Spielberg?

USA13_16_SFMM_08.jpg
The footpaths on the backlot have lots of big holes in them, so trees/lampposts etc can be added, depending on what the production requires.

USA13_16_SFMM_09.jpg
This is part of the New York backlot. If you watch Seinfeld you'll see a lot of this street.

USA13_16_SFMM_10.jpg
This is what it looks like "inside" the buildings in the previous photo. Hollow behind the attractive facade. Sort of a metaphor for the entertainment business, really.

USA13_16_SFMM_11.jpg
Stage 32 is the best stage.

USA13_16_SFMM_12.jpg
Chiefly because it's where Community, one of my favourite shows, is filmed! Each stage has a board outside listing the TV shows and notable films which have used it. It was kind of surreal seeing stages that had been used by Frasier, Seinfeld and Star Trek. Community have taken the initiative and added themselves to this one.

USA13_16_SFMM_13.jpg
I took this photo back in 2011, when I actually got to go and walk around the Community set (literally one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced). They dressed up the entrance to the sound stage as the outside of the Greendale campus, like I said earlier productions will use any part of the studio lot they need!

USA13_16_SFMM_14.jpg
OK enough movies, time for some rides! Today we are at Magic Mountain. Or Montaña Mágica, as the locals call it.

USA13_16_SFMM_15.jpg
It's a very "special" park that gets its own onsite Sheriff's Department.

USA13_16_SFMM_16.jpg
First stop of the day: X2, with bonus lens flare.

USA13_16_SFMM_17.jpg
More gratuitous lens flare. If JJ Abrams photographed rollercoasters it would look like this. In case it wasn't already obvious how far behind I am in this trip report, X2's lift chain was intact and the ride was actually running when we visited.

USA13_16_SFMM_18.jpg
I genuinely liked X2 - fire, somersaults, onboard audio, wing seating - all kind of gimmicky on their own but somehow it all goes together here.

USA13_16_SFMM_19.jpg
The speed of fear is 100 km/h, in case you're wondering.

USA13_16_SFMM_20.jpg
Tatsu was coaster #150 for me, and I was pretty impressed. The ride interacts with the terrain really well, which definitely adds to the experience.

USA13_16_SFMM_21.jpg
Revolution was only running one train. Damned if I was going to spend all day waiting to get both coasters in this shot.

USA13_16_SFMM_23.jpg
At Magic Mountain, even the plants have graffiti!

USA13_16_SFMM_22.jpg
Vic B, whoever you are, has attempted to immortalise himself (or perhaps herself?) in flora.

USA13_16_SFMM_24.jpg
I don't want to dismiss Viper as your standard Arrow looper, but it does seem to follow the standard "loop, loop, corkscrew, batwing" pattern, with a few extra inversions thrown in for good measure.

USA13_16_SFMM_25.jpg
That is one high loop though.

USA13_16_SFMM_26.jpg
I have nothing else to say about this ride, instead I'll mention the lady who literally threw herself in front of a relatively short queue of people at one of the park's ice cream stands because she wanted a bottle of water. Right now, dammit! While on her cell phone. Yep, we were in Southern California for sure!

USA13_16_SFMM_27.jpg
This tree is more thrilling than Revolution.

USA13_16_SFMM_28.jpg
And the other half of the Tatsu/Revolution double I didn't want to wait for. Magic Mountain does have a very nice entrance plaza, once you get past the sniffer dogs and body scanners.

USA13_16_SFMM_29.jpg
I think we ended up missing YOLOcoaster by about two weeks. I generally like Premier coasters, and while it would have been nice to get the credit we were flat out getting the rides that were already open.

007_105.jpg
I was disappointed to miss the photo op with these guys though.

USA13_16_SFMM_30.jpg
The loop/top hat element is pretty cool. As much as I'm sure the locals would have liked something a little longer they still got a ride that is completely unique to their park, which is nothing to take for granted.

USA13_16_SFMM_31.jpg
It was still a full blown construction site on our visit, and I was genuinely surprised to see the ride open a few days later.

USA13_16_SFMM_32.jpg
Cactus = theming!

USA13_16_SFMM_33.jpg
I didn't stop much in the kids area, but it did seem quite well themed.

USA13_16_SFMM_34.jpg
Nice fountain. And it's actually working. Well done SFMM!

USA13_16_SFMM_35.jpg
We waited in line with a few people who definitely could have used one of these!

USA13_16_SFMM_36.jpg
This might be one of the best "entrances" to a queue ever.

USA13_16_SFMM_37.jpg
One for the support structure enthusiasts, I guess. At least there's a train on the track.

USA13_16_SFMM_38.jpg
Angry plant is angry. I'd be pissed off too if I had to live at Magic Mountain.

USA13_16_SFMM_39.jpg
Superman was only running one side. Fortunately with Flash Pass we only had a one-train wait. I'm not a big fan of rides that have a loose story based around "escaping" from some peril, only to end up back in the same place once the ride is over. It should really be called Superman: Escape From Krypton and Subsequent Return.

USA13_16_SFMM_40.jpg
The ride experience might be the same, but Superman is definitely more photogenic than its brother at Dreamworld. No giant grey tower here!

USA13_16_SFMM_41.jpg
The not-so-rare Lex Luthor/Goliath double. While Lex Luthor wasn't included on the Flash Pass, the single rider queue made for a very short wait. Unsurprisingly the experience was very similar to Dreamworld's imaginatively named Giant Drop. Taller is not necessarily better when it comes to drop towers. Waldameer's X-Scream was only a third of the height but packed a bigger punch.

USA13_16_SFMM_42.jpg
The sound my brain makes every time I see single-train operation on a B&M.

USA13_16_SFMM_43.jpg
What happens when genitals encounter airtime on a standup coaster.

USA13_16_SFMM_44.jpg
Bones: meet a poorly maintained GCI.

USA13_16_SFMM_45.jpg
The sound theme park management make after they figure out how profitable front-of-line passes are.

USA13_16_SFMM_46.jpg
Might be controversial but I liked this. Unpredictable and very different to any other ride I've been on. The forces are pretty intense, especially when the car isn't "balanced".

USA13_16_SFMM_47.jpg
I am now 3 for 3 on coasters called Green Lantern, and all of them are pretty solid, in their own way. Let's not mention the movie.

USA13_16_SFMM_48.jpg
Even if you don't care for the ride, there's no doubt it looks great.

USA13_16_SFMM_49.jpg
Colossus seemed like it needs some serious attention. An 'Iron' conversion might be worth coming back for.

USA13_16_SFMM_50.jpg
And so we come to the end of this update. One more to go - Universal Hollywood!
Image

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 15070
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby coasterbill » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:52 am

Great pictures. Despite it's reputation I really enjoyed this park when we visited early last year.

Alan Schilke is my "man crush".
User avatar
 
Posts: 2855
Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Location: On my laptop
Gender: Male

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby Woodie Warrior » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:56 am

Image
That actually is a pretty cool entrance sign.

Nice trip report :)
Top 10: 1. The Voyage 2. Outlaw Run 3. Millennium Force 4. SkyRush 5. Maverick
6. El Toro 7. Fahrenheit 8. Storm Runner 9. Thunderbird 10. Powder Keg

Don't make me kick you in the donkey!
User avatar
 
Posts: 1932
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Location: SLO Cal
Gender: Male
Age: 38

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby 805Andrew » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:19 am

Great Trip Report! Loving the outsiders perspective on US parks and sites.
Image
http://coaster-count.com/userinfo15854.xhtml and http://www.coastercounter.com/805Andrew
(I don't count traveling fairs and casinos as parks, and I count Coney Island as one park)[url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/07c56b6e6c57795b5e848cab51dd406e.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/4bcb6d715cbe293b80fdfea5d0baf0b0.jpg[/img][/url]

Why do I still have a donkey title???
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Location: Huntsville, MO
Gender: Male
Age: 33

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby Vonni » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:08 am

Very enjoyable, and great pics! SFMM really does have great potential.

I just swallowed a whole donkey!
User avatar
 
Posts: 731
Joined: 23 Jul 2013
Location: North Carolina
Gender: Male
Age: 50

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby arby » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:45 am

Great pictures! I enjoyed reading this.
Image

When I grow up, I want to breed donkeys!
User avatar
 
Posts: 644
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby mattnz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:42 am

I completely agree with your review of SFMM and its rides. I haven't been since 2010 and can't believe how many coaster line-up changes have occurred since then. Definitely time to give the park another go!
Image

Bonafide Donkey Expert
User avatar
 
Posts: 1007
Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby Invertalon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:27 am

I was really surprised how much my girlfriend and I both enjoyed SFMM, after hearing so much bad about it. One reason may be the most absolute perfect day you could imagine there... A cold, January day... Walk-on everything in sight, including X2 where we did not even leave the station at times and re-rode. We had one day there, so we were so excited to see it so dead.

My top ride at SFMM was easily X2... Nothing compares to that experience I have been on (Around 180 coasters?). My near-death experience on my last ride that night also made it more memorable (my harness popped up at the top of the lift causing me to go sideways in my seat and both legs on one side of the seat divider)... I seriously could have wiggled out if I tried, but I did not want to try that for obvious reasons. Needless to say, I was holding on quite tight for that last ride! I find it interesting how those harnesses will not lock down tighter throughout the ride. Wherever they lock in the station is where they stay during the ride. I think what happened with me is that the harness did not lock where it should have, and popped up when force was put on the harness to the next setting, which opened the two part vest quite a bit. Anywho...

I actually liked many of the rides most don't... Revolution we rode front seat and I loved it... My favorite Anton design (I have been on a few including the ones at Hershey, Dorney, SFoG, SFoT) and Ninja was fantastic... My top suspended coaster right behind Big Bad Wolf. All the others were in the middle somewhere. Viper was the worst of them all, and I generally enjoy arrow loopers.

Compared to Cedar Point, I would probably pick CP as well... If only X2 could be at CP, though... I think SFMM has a greater collection of "mid-card" attractions, while CP has more "high-card" ones... IMO, CP at the top end has MF, Dragster, Gatekeeper, Maverick and Raptor... While SFMM has X2 and Tatsu.

At the mid-card CP has Mantis, Blue Streak, Magnum, Mean Streak, Wicked Twister... While SFMM has Riddlers Revenge, Goliath, BTR, Ninja, Apocalypse, Scream, Viper, Intamin-Zac Spin, Superman, Colossus...

Both excellent collections, but I do prefer CP's a bit more.
-Steve

If the donkey is rockin, don't come knockin!
User avatar
 
Posts: 954
Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Location: Behind you, dancing, probably naked
Gender: Male

Re: Photo TR: Coastin' Coast to Coast

Postby Randomman295 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:02 pm

azza29 wrote: It should really be called Superman: Escape From Krypton and Subsequent Return.

Not going to lie, I laughed really hard at this.

PreviousNext

Return to Photo Trip Report Archive

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 0 guests

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron