Six Flags Magic Mountain
I apologize in advance, but this update won't have many photos. With limited time at a park this huge, I was too busy riding coasters to take many photos.
Every time I visit Six Flags Magic Mountain, I fully expect that I’ll need a Flash Pass. It seemed especially likely on a sunny 70 degree weekend day. But the coaster gods were on my side and the park was relatively empty.
It did require me to make some concessions. For the most part, rides were a walk-on but there were a few exceptions. Twisted Colossus was running at half capacity so that ride had a 60-90 minute wait all day. Fortunately my Diamond Elite skip-the-line passes worked like a charm there. YOLOcoaster had a 30-45 minute wait, but I’m not willing to skip that ride.
I did skip Goliath though. As far as hypers go, it’s at the bottom of the barrel. But it’s still a hyper. However, it was only running one train and posting a 2+ hour wait all afternoon. The other ride we skipped was CraZanity. It’s a fun ride, but I have a similar flat back at SFNE.
Our first stop was X2. Even with a Flash Pass, X2 was a tedious 30-40 minute wait back in December due to one train operations. Fortunately X2 was back to two trains and even better, it was just a one train wait. I have never seen X2’s line that short, so I was ecstatic.
I was even more interested to see my buddy’s reactions on X2. Every other time I’ve been to SFMM, no one in my group wanted to ride X2 with me. Since it would be his first time on X2, I graciously offered to take the outside seat, knowing full well it was the bumpier of the two. But he wanted the extra freedom.
X2 had both of us laughing like preschoolers. The whole concept of the ride is absolutely insane- a vertical drop with a 360 degree flip, a zero-G roll mixed with a back flip, some sort of side flip, and ridiculously forceful raven turns. Without hesitation, he proclaimed X2 as his favorite ride ever.
So naturally we went back around. This time I took the outside and while it was noticeably bumpier, I am willing to look past it simply because of how unique and ambitious X2 is. Much to my shock, my buddy actually preferred the outside seat since he thought the bumpiness added to the ride, so there was zero conflict on any subsequent rides. It’s not perfect, but it’s truly breathtaking. 9.5 out of 10
I was also happy to see Viper reopen after its rehab. Now I really like Viper, but I only ride it once per visit simply because of the rest of this park’s lineup. The first half is very forceful. You have a snappy first drop followed by three loops that had me seeing grey. Arrow loops are very underrated in this department.
I could see others complaining about the second half, as the MCBR brings the train to a complete halt. This causes the second half to drag. However, I love the unintended effect of the batwing and corkscrew having really funky hangtime for an Arrow looper. 8 out of 10
Tatsu barely had any queue, so we decided to wait a few extra trains for the very front. Outside of Flying Dinosaur, this is my favorite flyer. The ride’s placement on the hill is what makes this ride. Well that and the absolutely bonkers pretzel loop. All pretzel loops are awesome, but the Tatsu’s is gargantuan in size and you can feel the additional G-forces. 9.5 out of 10
Superman was also closed during my fall visit, so I was interested in reriding it. Luckily we rode it earlier in the day since both sides were operational. This allowed us to board in 20 minutes. Later in the day, the posted wait was an hour. Plus it allowed me to finally get my credit on the right side.
Superman’s launch isn’t the most forceful, but it lasts forever. You reach a point where you keep thinking you can’t possibly accelerate anymore, yet you keep doing so. I remember all the old Discovery Show channels showing Superman giving ridiculous hangtime. Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t feel it. I never really do on vertical spikes.
That being said, I did appreciate the sheer height of the ride and the amazing view though. Plus by riding in the front row (or back row, reversed trains are confusing), we got one heck of a breeze speeding back towards the station. 7 out of 10
My buddy had never been on a suspended coaster, so he was caught completely off-guard by Ninja’s violent swings towards the end of the ride. I love those final swings by Jet Stream, but the ride does take a while to get up to speed. That’s something where Vortex and Bat don’t have an issue. 6 out of 10
As mentioned, the skip-the-line passes were absolute saviors at Twisted Colossus. Interestingly, Twisted Colossus wasn’t even listed as an option on the Flash Pass board for the day, so I was shocked our skip-the-line passes were even valid for the park’s awesome RMC.
Back in December I seriously debated if Twisted Colossus was better than Steel Vengeance. I must have been high on Flags Famous Chicken Strips or something.
Twisted Colossus is still a world-class ride, but the intermission mid-ride is a major downside compared to the non-stop nature of Steel Vengeance.
The halt in the middle does allow riders to experience the first drop twice. The ride is littered with abrupt and forceful ejector air with the strongest moments occurring on that first turnaround. The entries and exits to that turnaround are among the best airtime moments on a RMC. 10 out of 10
Scream is a ride that would be a star attraction at most parks. At SFMM, it’s just another coaster. That being said, I always ride it at least once and it is a solid floorless coaster. The parking lot setting is Six Flags at its finest, but I prefer to focus on the barrage of inversions. Now while I enjoy this ride, is it wrong I sort of prefer Viper? 8 out of 10
As a whole, I didn’t have an issue with SFMM’s operations. Dispatches were tolerable, most rides were open, and the staff was friendly. The one issue I had all day was at YOLOcoaster. It was the shortest queue I had ever seen for YOLOcoaster; we started near the end of the tent.
Anyone who has ridden YOLOcoaster knows there’s that awkward plaza between the first and second part of the queue that intersects with the exit. Unfortunately, the park was not monitoring this so people were immediately getting off the ride and getting right back onto the second part of the queue. Meanwhile the employees weren’t allowing us to proceed into the second part of the queue until it shortened.
I know YOLOcoaster usually has assigned seating, but I figured I could try requesting the front row. We were told the front row queue was too long, so instead we were assigned row two. Except the messed up part was that the front row queue actually had the shortest wait. Instead I had to wait an extra 3-4 cycles for the second row plus a 10-15 minute breakdown.
These operational hiccups aside, YOLOcoaster is an absolute rush. The juxtaposition of the slow, hangtime filled inversions and fast launches makes for a neat ride. And then you have that bizarre top hat that delivers two major pops of ejector air, one over the top and another when you engage the brakes on the way down. 9 out of 10
In the last hour, we made a lap getting a reride on X2 and hitting the three looping coasters we had missed. The first was the New/Classic Revolution. Outside of the loop, which naturally delivers, Revolution isn’t the most forceful coaster. But it does have a wonderful setting through the woods. 7 out of 10
I thought it was a Christmas miracle getting good rides on Riddler’s Revenge and Green Lantern (Great Adventure’s, not that lawn ornament at this park). But Riddler’s Revenge again delivered a comfortable and intense ride. I feel like I’ve finally cracked the code how to properly ride these B&M stand-ups. For me, the key is to have the OSTR bottom out on my shoulder so I can avoid headbanging. 8 out of 10
My buddy was blown away by Batman. To me, it’s one of the best clones out there. To him, it felt completely unique. He had ridden Great Adventure’s Batman clone a few years ago, but that was while they had the backwards train. Batman was absolutely hauling, even more so than usual. My legs felt like they were about to explode as we surged into the brake run. 8.5 out of 10
We finished the night with one last ride on Twisted Colossus. Even though the queue was only 1.5 switchbacks deep, I believe it took us 30-40 minutes to board the front row of what ended up being the final train of the night. As an added bonus, we got a half duel. I would have loved to have ridden Twisted Colossus more than twice, but it just wasn’t feasible with that queue.
While we only had time for one lap on most coasters, we had a fantastic time. My buddy proclaimed it as the best amusement park he has ever visited. While I won’t go that far, it does have the best coaster collection outside of Cedar Point. For that reason alone, it is one of my favorite parks. Plus they’ve been revitalizing different sections of the park with each new addition.
Really my biggest gripe against the park now is the hours of operation. Yes it’s awesome that the park is now open 365 days (assuming none of those 365 days have rain), but I just wish the park was open longer than 6-7 hours. Even with no queues, you really can’t do everything in one day.