Six Flags Magic Mountain
My last visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain ended on a sour note. I had just ridden a potential new number one coaster in Twisted Colossus. I went to get back in line, but the ride went down. But this was no ordinary breakdown. No, I visited on June 18, 2016, or the day of the RMC Recall.
Because of this, Twisted Colossus was the attraction I was most looking forward during my weekend in SoCal. Especially for a coaster as frenetic as a RMC, I need multiple rides to fully form an opinion and appreciate the ride’s greatness. But as I approached the park, I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Maybe it was eating 2 dozen mini donuts or maybe it was something worse…
I used my Diamond Preferred Parking and got a prime spot right in front of Twisted Colossus. I whipped out my camera and waited 3-4 minutes for a train. I know Six Flags dispatches can be rough, but that seemed slow even by their standards. Then I heard a train coming, but it was completely empty.
Hoping the ride had a staggered opening, I made a beeline over to Twisted Colossus. I was informed the ride was being refurbished. That seemed to be a weird choice of words considering a train was periodically cycling, but I was still a bit nervous since I knew the ride was down for rehab early in November.
Having seen a lengthy queue at YOLOcoaster, I backtracked to get a Flash Pass. Usually I get a Gold, but I decided to get a Regular because X2, Twisted Colossus, and YOLOcoaster are one time only attractions. Thankfully I could get bonus rides on the latter two with my Diamond skip-the-line passes (invalid on X2).
My Q Bot said YOLOcoaster was down even though it had been running since I entered the park, so I used my skip-the-line voucher to bypass the usual hour wait. In all my previous rides, I was assigned the front car. On this day, the grouper happily obliged my request for a back row ride.
I think YOLOcoaster is an underrated launch coaster. While others have superior launches, YOLOcoaster’s is no joke and has a much better layout. The hangtime on that massive loop is incredible, the dive loop is adisorienting, and the deceptively steep top hat gives some very strong airtime. 9 out of 10
At most parks a 235 foot hyper coaster would be a star attraction. At Six Flags Magic Mountain, it’s just another coaster. I don’t know if that’s more a testament to the quality of the park’s lineup or a black mark against Goliath. Hyper coasters should be about speed and/or airtime. Goliath excels at neither.
Somehow Giovanola managed to design a 255 foot drop lacking any airtime. The only moment of air is that camelback before you lose all momentum on the MCBR. And on this day, not even the helix of death caused me to grey out. Goliath isn’t a bad ride per say. It’s just a disappointing one. 7 out of 10
After seeing another train test, I made a pass by Twisted Colossus. Now they had a sign in front saying it was down. Aw fiddlesticks. While I was in the Screampunk District, I figured I might as well ride Scream. A Flash Pass reservation was laughably unnecessary for the world’s best example of a parking lot coaster.
If you care about ambiance, you will hate Scream. That is, unless you fancy asphalt and neatly painted white lines. If you care about thrills, you won’t have an issue. I always remember Scream having a rattle, but on this day, it was smooth. That allowed me to appreciate the forceful inversions. 8 out of 10
My CraZanity reservation was ready, so I made my way over to Magic Mountain’s new for 2018 attraction. SFNE got a slightly smaller version and if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I didn’t notice the extra 30 feet here. That being said, it still felt plenty tall and looked pretty darn imposing.
Maybe the added height was the culprit, but this one seemed to have less full swings than Harley Quinn Spinsanity. I counted a total of 4-5. But these full swings were worth the wait. They delivered copious floater air and offered an impressive view of the park. 8 out of 10
Construction in Cyclone Bay was underway, so Apocalypse was closed. That was no great loss. What was a great loss was that the path around the hill was closed. That meant you couldn’t avoid Samurai Summit. Fortunately, it was a piece of cake compared the stairs at Universal.
I suspected Superman was closed since I hadn’t heard the deafening roar. My suspicions were sort of confirmed. The midway to Superman was closed for the day, but the employee informed me Superman was only temporarily closed. How does that work?
Spoiler alert, Superman did not open. It didn’t even test.
When I last rode Tatsu, it was the unquestioned god among flying coasters. Granted, that wasn’t hard when the only other flyers I had ridden were Superman clones and Volares. Having recently ridden Manta and Flying Dinosaur, I was intrigued if Tatsu was every bit as intense as I remembered. Simply put, it was.
Flying Dinosaur is unquestionably the better ride, but I think I still prefer Tatsu over Manta by a hair. Perched atop the mountain, Tatsu feels like one of the world’s tallest coasters. The view cresting the lift always takes my breath away and I count my blessings that B&M has a perfect safety record.
Tatsu alternates between intensity and gracefulness. The first drop, particularly in the back, really whips you back towards the ground. That’s followed by two acrobatic corkscrews that give you an amazing but fleeting view of SFMM. Then it’s back to the intensity with a very snappy bank leading to the pretzel loop.
Tatsu’s pretzel loop is one of the world’s most intimidating elements. Pretzel loops in general pack a mighty punch and Tatsu’s seems twice as large as the others. The Gs are so strong that it felt like Tatsu would rip my pants off. That’s followed by one last inline twist and a surprise pop of air into the brake run. 9.5 out of 10
My Q bot said Ninja was a 70 minute wait, so I skipped the black belt of roller coasters in favor of Gold Rusher. The park’s oldest coaster was a total walk-on. Without a doubt, the ride’s strength is its use of the terrain. It’s mostly turns, but there are two sizable drops for a mine train. 5 out of 10
I had heard SFMM’s Justice League was superior to the others. Was that why the attraction opened late? Probably not, but I can say that the ride is a cut above the others. For one, this one has not one, but two preshows. It’s almost as if they wanted to take a page out of Universal or Disney’s playbook there.
The screens were identical to the others, but the practical sets were better. Unlike the others, there actually were a few physical targets. Everything was going perfectly until the finale. The train and street race scenes were far too dark. I’m pretty sure I drilled Superman a few times (not that he felt it). These Justice League rides are a real treat and don’t feel like they belong at a Six Flags park. 8.5 out of 10
Next I rode the world’s most terrifying drop tower, Lex Luthor Drop of Doom. I know Zumanjaro is taller and Falcon’s Fury points you to the ground, but there’s just something far more terrifying about Lex. This tower sways more than the neighborhood drunk.
The ascent is deceptive. About a third up the tower, Lex slowed to a crawl. I was dumbfounded. 400 feet didn’t seem as tall as I remembered. Then Lex sped up; we still had another 300 feet to go. Lex did a similar pause 2/3 of the way up. I don’t know if this quirk was intentional, but it was very unnerving.
The view is incredible, but I was focused on the drop. It’s sudden and accompanied by some floater air at the start. The drop lasts forever and you feel like you’re about to break the sound barrier before braking at the last second. Lex Luthor never fails to take my breath away. 10 out of 10
I swung back over to Twisted Colossus and there appeared to be a positive development. The sign was gone and there were six employees by the entrance! Surely it was about to open. But the employees told everyone that Twisted Colossus was probably down for the day.
Distraught, I made my way over to Riddler’s Revenge. To put it mildly, my view on B&M stand-ups isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I have no issue with the standing position. Rather my issue is with headbanging. With most OSTRs, my ears rest above the restraint. On the stand-ups, my ears are trapped.
With the single rider line, I walked right onto the front row. Through a minor miracle, I found a comfortable riding position. I got several inches between the bicycle seat and my crotch. The end result was the OSTR resting firmly on my shoulders. That sounds painful, but it got my ears above the restraint.
As the train crept up the lift, I mentally prepared myself for the beating I was about to take. But in the distance, I saw a mirage. It appeared to be a quasi mobius coaster racing. Could it be? Yes it was! Twisted Colossus had opened! Closed for the day my butt
I was overcome by pure jubilation.
Then we crested the lift and I remembered I was on Riddler’s Revenge. But somehow, it didn’t kill me.
In fact, I loved it. The riding position made all the difference. My skull didn’t take a single concussive blast. That allowed me to appreciate the forceful and leg-numbing inversions. I knew Riddler was the tallest stand-up coaster, but I forgot just how long the coater was. That final corkscrew took me by surprise. Something was wrong; I liked Riddler’s Revenge. 8 out of 10
I sped walked over to Twisted Colossus. I was fully prepared to whip out my skip-the-line pass, but the standby queue was only one switchback deep. I still had a sinking feeling in my stomach the ride would break down (this ride and Lightning Rod are my kryptonite), but soon enough I boarded the back row.
Was Twisted Colossus the coaster that started the funky RMC pre-lift fad. This one begins with some sort of tire driven launch and wobbles riders about like a top about to fall over. Maybe there was a speck of airtime on one hill, but it was inconsequential compared to what was about to unfold.
That first drop yanks riders towards the stratosphere and that’s followed by an airtime-filled speed hill. Up next is arguably the strongest moment of the ride, the camelback leading into the first turnaround. It delivers the ride’s best moment of sustained ejector air. Immediately after you recover, you’re launched sideways out of your seat on the high five/wave turn thing.
The drop off the turnaround offers copious air enhanced by headchoppers. Then comes back to back airtime hills before a wild zero-G roll. It’s not uncommon to get some serious hangtime on these maneuvers. What is uncommon is being thrown to the side like a ragdoll. Twisted Colossus did both. That was followed by a double up and outward bank, which all gave powerful air.
That right there would be an amazing coaster on its own, but Twisted Colossus treats riders to seconds. Basically it’s SFMM granting riders the Hail Mary request of one more time. I don’t think enthusiasts have a problem with the lift in the middle of the ride. I think they’re just bitter they only get one credit.
I have no qualms with the lift since it lets me repeat the ride’s best sequence – the killer drop, speed hill, camelback, and wave turn. Then Twisted Colossus differentiates itself by treating riders to an impressive double down. That’s followed by a stall with a similar mix of airtime and laterals, another airtime hill, another double up, and one last pop of air entering the brake run. What a ride!
Guests must have heard Twisted Colossus was open as the overflow queue filled up. Without hesitation, I whipped out my skip-the-line pass and grabbed a front row ride. While I missed the air on the first drop, the laterals were even more pronounced. I also got my first taste of a duel and it was quite the effect.
Twisted Colossus was exceptional and I knew I wasn’t done with the ride yet. I knew it was one of the world’s best coasters, but just how great was it? I was torn whether or not I preferred it to Steel Vengenace. 10 out of 10
Few coasters in the world can match the intensity of Twisted Colossus. SFMM actually has a coaster that tops it. And that coaster would be none other than X2. My Q bot had the ride listed as a 2 hour wait. As I approached the ride, it was apparent why. They were only running one train…on a Saturday.
Eejanaika and X2 have similar layouts. To be honest, I think Eejanaika is the better ride. It’s taller, faster, and better paced. Both coasters are comparably smooth (or rough depending on your perspective). But X2 has an advantage; it allows glasses. I don’t think SFMM even checked if I had a strap.
With my glasses, I could better appreciate that ludicrous drop. When I think of the best coaster drops out there, coasters with insane airtime like Skyrush, Iron Rattler, and El Toro come to mind. One that I always forget about is X2. It’s crazy to be plunging face first towards the ground Falcon’s Fury style, but instead of braking at the bottom, you perform a backflip. Alan Schilke is a mad genius.
From that point onward, I had no clue which direction was which. The raven turn started with the Gs of a pretzel loop before switching to crazy airtime. The subsequent hill does a front flip. Or was it a back flip? Whatever it was, it was insane. The far turnaround is the one lull on the ride, but the ride rebounds.
Up next is a funky zero-G maneuver where the seats again flip. You come out of the element backwards and then navigate a super compact raven turn that violently whips the train to the ground. Last but not least, X2 has a speedy inline twist. X2 really gets my adrenaline flowing like few coasters can.
X2 isn’t for everyone. I definitely wouldn’t call the ride smooth. In many ways, it feels like you’re riding a barrel uncontrollably rolling down the track. The ride definitely threw me around, but at no point did it cause me pain or discomfort. It was simply a relentless coaster. 10 out of 10
As great as Tatsu was during the day, it was better at night. It was quite the juxtaposition shifting between the darkness of the hillside and flipping through the air with thousands of Christmas lights on display. And speaking of lights, Six Flags did an excellent job lighting up the park. They left no area untouched, which is quite the feat considering how massive of a park Magic Mountain is.
I wasn’t going to forget to pay tribute to the great Anton Schwarzkopf. I made sure to ride his original looping coaster twice, once up front and once in the back. I love the ride’s setting and the vertical loop is every bit as forceful as you’d expect from a Schwarzkopf.
But the coaster is paced really awkwardly. It feels like you’ll barely make it up those three big hills at the start of the ride and there are several brakes along the course that bring you to a halt. I really wish I could experience Revolution untrimmed, but then again that loop may be lethal. 7 out of 10
My Q bot still said Ninja was an hour wait, but the station was pretty empty. I felt awkward boarding through the exit, so I waited for a fellow single rider. know Flash Pass gives you the right to skip the line, but I still feel sort of bad coming up the exit. I much prefer merging with the standby line in the station.
Suspended coasters are a dying breed, so I always make it a point to ride them. Ninja utilizes the park’s hillside to perfection and offers some very good moments of swinging towards the end of the ride. It lacks the intensity of Vortex or Bat, but it’s a pretty enjoyable coaster. 6 out of 10
I reserved my time for YOLOcoaster and killed time by reriding Riddler’s Revenge. I needed to verify my enjoyment of the attraction was genuine and not just a product of seeing a sexy RMC operating in the distance. And I can confirm, I did really like Riddler’s Revenge. Even in the back row, it was smooth.
For YOLOcoaster, I requested the front row this time and received it. As good as my back row ride was, my front row ride was even better. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering YOLOcoaster is a launch coaster, but the reason is because of the final drop.
Every so often, I encounter a coaster drop profiled so oddly that it manages to provide two killer pops of air. Skyrush is the prime example of this. Another example of this is YOLOcoaster. For whatever reason, this effect only happens in the front car. As you crest the top hat, you are launched out of your seat. Then you are sent skyward a second time when the brakes engage. YOLOcoaster is meant to be ridden up front.
Not only is Six Flags Magic Mountain the self-proclaimed thrill capital of the world, but it’s also the kiddie coaster capital of the world. Not wanting to spend too much time in Bugs Bunny World and draw suspicious looks from parents, I carefully limited myself to one kiddie coaster per visit.
This visit left me with Canyon Blaster. And to be perfectly honest, this was a pretty darn good kiddie coaster. It was slightly taller than most and in many ways, it felt like a pre-lift on a RMC. This is probably the first and last time a kiddie coaster is compared to an RMC on this site. 4 out of 10
I was conflicted. I really wanted another ride on X2, but I also didn’t want to wait in a glacial line. Then an ingenious idea struck me. What if I purchased a second regular Flash Pass? Two regular Flash Passes still came out cheaper than gold and it would grant me bonus rides on Twisted Colossus, X2, and YOLOcoaster. FYI to anyone with this thought, you can’t get more than one device in your name per day.
With no other choice, I trekked into X2’s queue. I mentally prepared myself for a 1.5 hour wait. But X2 barely had any line! Now due to the circumstances, it still took about a half hour but X2 is well worth a half hour wait. I anxiously boarded the back row and was treated to another balls to the wall ride.
As bonkers as the first drop is up front, it’s even crazier in the back. Being catapulted face first towards the ground left me speechless. The rest of the ride was identical to my front row ride, insanity at its finest.
After a 1.5 hour wait, my reservation for Twisted Colossus was ready but it was laughably unnecessary. Twisted Colossus’s queue wasn’t more than 10-15 minutes in the hour leading up to close. This enabled me to get 3 final rides on this beast and even a few duels.
My final ride was the most magical. I was seated in the back row and got the rare double duel. And these weren’t partial duels. No, they were perfectly timed duels. Twisted Colossus is incredible even without dueling, but the added visuals on such an intense coaster really take Twisted Colossus to another level.
It’s definitely one of the best 2-3 coasters I have ever ridden. I can’t quite put it ahead of Lightning Rod since it’s missing a great setting, but it’s a coin flip if I prefer Steel Vengeance or Twisted Colossus. I feel like this opinion will make all the Cedar Point fanboys out there weep.
You may have noticed a few other omissions in this report. Viper. Closed for rehab. Green Lantern. Also closed for rehab. Road Runner Express and Speedy Gonzalez. Already had the credits. Batman. This one is sort of embarrassing, but I honestly forgot about it. I love the Batman clones, but at Magic Mountain it was easy to forget. I won’t make the same mistake at Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park.
With my dining pass, I nervously sampled some of the park’s food. In 2016, one of the worst meals I’ve ever eaten at a theme park trespassed into my body. That was the most vile turkey sandwich I’ve ever seen in my life. Neither myself nor my sister could muster more than one bite of this sandwich.
So trying a gyro seemed like a bold move. But it was actually quite good! Later in the day, I tried some wings. They were minuscule in size, but they were actually quite tasty. I’m so glad I have the all-park meal plan again since I definitely get my money’s worth out of it.
Over the past two years, without hesitation I have called Six Flags Fiesta Texas the chain's best park. My visit to Magic Mountain gives me pause. Magic Mountain has the better coasters, but Fiesta Texas beats it everywhere else (operations, theming, friendliness, etc). SFMM's coaster lineup is so strong, that it can compensate for a lot of shortcomings.
In the event the park closes early and you're looking for something to do (or the park closes late and you still are looking for something to do), Valencia is home to the infamous crash site of Paul Walker. PeoplemoverMatt was kind enough to drive me there (at a much more responsible pace) after park closing. It was pretty apparent how someone could wipe out on that road.