When people list roller coaster havens, Six Flags Magic Mountain is certainly hard to ignore. With fifteen scream machines, this Southern California theme park is tied with Ohio's Cedar Point for the record of most roller coasters in one park. On any typical day, thousands of guests will stream into the park for the chance to ride some of the most incredible thrill rides on the planet!
Driving into the parking lot, guests will immediately notice the towering fuchsia and yellow structure of X, the world's first (and only) "4th-Dimensional" roller coaster. This type of ride flips riders backwards and forwards on independent axes while the train runs through its course, turning thrills seekers upside down in front flips and back flips.
The parking lot is actually located around the other side of the park, next to the park's racing wooden roller coaster, Colossus. From the lot, guests can either choose to walk back to the main entrance or wait for a tram. Upon reaching the entrance, guests who already have their tickets can bypass the ticket booths and proceed directly through the gates. However, those with bags, backpacks, or other such carrying items will be searched for weapons, contraband, and other illegal items.
Then entrance area turns toward Six Flags Plaza, a beautifully landscaped area featuring a flowing fountain and an incredible backdrop. This is as good of a place to take a picture as any, but thrill seekers will probably have other matters in their minds. If X happens to be open, RUN to it. From the entrance, the 4-D coaster lies to the left. Roller coaster fans can sprint toward the station by heading toward Baja Ridge and crossing a bridge located by the park's Panda Express restaurant, speeding over toward the queue line of X. Even on regular, non-peak days, X's line can quickly build to be over three hours long within a matter of seemingly moments. The line has been heard to be as long as eight hours!
Like many other Six Flags parks, Six Flags Magic Mountain offers "Fast Lane" tickets for sale. By coughing up about fifteen dollars or so, guests receive the ability to cut through the lines of some of the park's most popular attractions. There is a limit of four rides per pass, though, so spend wisely. The Fast Lane booth is located near the front of the park, near Guest Relations.
After experiencing X, guests have a choice as to how to spend the rest of their day at the park. Magic Mountain is shaped in a general circular pattern, so that guests can basically explore the park and ride all of the rides (except for Ninja and Superman: the Escape) by walking around in a general circle. Thus, after tackling X, visitors can either explore the rest of the park in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
Before they make their decision, though, visitors may want try Viper, a red, seven inversion sit-down roller coaster made by Arrow Dynamics. Also located in Baja Ridge, this roller coaster features a 180-feet curving drop, three vertical loops, an "Arrow Boomerang" (also known as a batwing), and two consecutive ground-hugging corkscrews. On most days, however, the line for Viper is usually short, so thrill seekers can actually wait until later to ride this slithering steel snake.
Goliath, the park's towering orange and turquoise hypercoaster, lies on the other side. From Baja Ridge, guests who choose to explore Magic Mountain in a counterclockwise manner can make their way back across Six Flags Plaza , pausing to take a quick picture if they have not already, and cross over into High Sierra Territory. Goliath is technically located in the adjacent themed land, Colossus County Fair, but guests will quickly recognize the entry by the giant stone letters carving out the word "GOLIATH." If there is a long line forming from between the letters out into the main pathway, guests can expect a good two and a half hour wait. However, if it is early in the morning, the wait should be substantially shorter--perhaps half an hour or a full hour.
Goliath features an incredible 255-foot drop, one of the tallest in the world, that dives underground before ascending into a turnaround looming a hundred feet over the woodie Colossus. This fast, airtime-filled roller coaster also packs a wallop in the lateral G category, though the trim brakes have cut some of those intense G-forces down since the ride opened in 2000. Still, it is an incredible roller coaster and one that no thrill seeker should miss.
Exiting Goliath, guests can continue on their counterclockwise tour by sampling Colossus, the racing coaster. However, there is an almost certain chance that only one side will be running, thus eliminating the racing element of the coaster. Wait times for this coaster are almost always low--half an hour at the most. The station is slightly "out of the way," though, since guests must venture into a short path that branches out of the general circular park layout.
For those who prefer something more intense and choose to skip Colossus, Batman: The Ride, located in the Gotham City Backlot is for them. This Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster is one of many across the country--proving that the model is so popular that it has been cloned many times. By now, the lines throughout the park will probably be building, so guests need to be surprised if they must wait an hour to board Batman. On peak days, the wait can be as long as two and a half hours! However, most fans who crave a vicious ride will say that the wait is worth the ride.
Right next to Gotham City is The Movie District, home to Riddler's Revenge, Magic Mountain's premier stand-up roller coaster. This green beast, also crafted by B&M, features six incredible inversions--a giant vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill, two dive loops, an oblique loop, and two corkscrews. An amazingly popular attraction, this coaster may command wait times as long as three or three and a half hours on peak days! Even waiting an hour is well worth it for this attraction.
If it is a hot summer day and visitors want to cool off, they may find themselves in line for Tidal Wave, a standard flume ride that is guaranteed to soak all passengers. Riders board large boats carrying 25 passengers each. The boats then climb a 50-foot lift hill, turn around, and crash down a drop that sends water rushing up and crashing into guests standing on a bridge built over the circuit. If riding Tidal Wave doesn't wet people enough, standing on the bridge in the path of this man-made tsunami will!
From The Movie District, guests have three main choices. They can either make the long climb up Samurai Summit to ride Ninja, the park's suspended (non-looping) roller coaster, or Superman: The Escape, Magic Mountain's "tallest and fastest" attraction. Superman uses Linear Synchronous Motors (LSMs) to propel the train from zero to 100 miles per hour, jetting them up a 415-foot tall tower, giving them six full seconds of weightlessness! These days, however, guests will seldom, if ever, see the trains actually reach anywhere near the 100 MPH or catch the trains climbing up the whole tower. In the view of this writer, any wait over twenty or thirty minutes is not really worth the wait unless the person in line is a huge fan or is a tourist who may never be able to ride such a roller coaster ever again.
For entertainment, there is the Batman and Robin Live Action Show, located in the Batman Action Theater, right next to Riddler's Revenge. This is a nice stunt show featuring Batman and Robin and some of their most infamous nemeses.
However, for guests whose appetites for thrill rides have not been satiated, there is Deja Vu, located in Cyclone Bay, home to another wooden roller coaster, Psyclone. Deja Vu is super suspended looping boomerang coaster. Take a nod from its wildly successful boomerang coasters, Vekoma concocted this "Invertigo on steroids." Towering 196 feet tall, riders board a ski-lift style train. The train then backs up, lifted onto a vertical tower before being released and diving through the station, up though a huge butterfly inversion, down through a vertical loop and up another vertical lift hill. From their, riders are lifted up the spire and then released, where they navigate the same course in reverse.
The wait for this coaster is rather random. Sometimes, it can be half an hour while on others days, if there are problems, the line can stretch to three hours! Yet, as with Batman: The Ride, many people who have ridden Deja Vu have conceded that the experience was well worth the wait.
From Deja Vu, guests can either ride Psyclone (a replica of the legendary Coney Island Cyclone) or come back down through Rapids Ramp Crossing (home to a rapids ride called Roaring Rapids--another good cool down on a hot day) to Baja Ridge, where they can ride Viper if they have not already.
There are a few other attractions worth mentioning. At this point, if they did not do so earlier, visitors can climb up to Samurai Summit to try the attractions located there. There are three ways to reach the peak of the hill: from The Movie District, through a stairway in Rapids Camp Crossing, or on the Metro, a tram that takes guests from Samurai Summit to Six Flags Plaza and back.
Also in Baja Ridge is Revolution, the world's first vertical looping roller coaster. This ride, designed by the late Anton Schwartzkopf, is usually a "walk-on" (meaning the wait is virtually nonexistent). For the old-fashioned fans, this coaster is a great way to reminisce about the old days. Over-the-shoulder restraints do detract from the thrill of the single-inversion ride, but if guests have time, Revolution is certainly a ride they can try.
From Six Flags Plaza, brave visitors with strong skulls can venture onto Flashback, the world's first and only hairpin coaster. There's a reason they only built one of these things. While the experience is certainly unique--there are three diving drops that zip straight back up into straightaways--the ride is very, very rough. The head banging here is often unbelievable, and despite the padded shoulder restraints, many riders come off the ride wishing for some aspirin.
Two other rides that might be worth trying on a hot day are Log Jammer, a standard log ride with two drops, located in High Sierra Country, and the Arrowhead Splashdown (formerly known as Jet Stream), a similar type of ride located in The Movie District, across from the Batman Action Theater.
Children will probably spend their day in Bugs Bunny World, which is a part of High Sierra Country. For the little tykes, Goliath Jr. can satisfy their needs.
Finally, there is a group of attractions located between Cyclone Bay and The Movie District that require patrons to pay in order to ride. Dive Devil is a "skycoaster," a bungee jumping type attraction that swings riders between a tall arch and two towering spires. Thrill Shot is another freefall type ride, only this one has a twist. Riders are shot into the air, but they have the option of experiencing the ride completely right-side up or having the train invert at the top of the launch and send riders careening back toward Earth upside down or having the train slightly invert so that riders come down with their bellies facing the ground, as if sky diving! There is also a go karts in the area as well as a virtual simulator. Finally, fans of the creamy substance will be delighted to know that a Dippin' Dots stand is also located in this area.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the more beautiful Six Flags parks, but most guests will still probably spend their time riding only the roller coasters. On the less busy days, some visitors may find themselves having ridden all of the major attractions before dusk. On other days, patrons may only be able to take on four or five scream machines, maybe less.
As with any theme park, the best time of the week to visit is usually during the weekdays. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are historically the lightest days of the week (unless a holiday happens to fall on one of those days) while the weekend days are the busiest.
Careful planning will inevitably lead to a better, more brightly memorable experience at Magic Mountain. Finally, be sure to call the park to check whether or not some of the more popular rides are open or not. During the off season, many of the popular attractions undergo standard maintenance. Of course, rides also break down, and that is another reason to call just to check.
~ FACT SHEET ~
Six Flags Magic Mountain
(664) 255-4100 or (818) 367-5965
Take the I-5, exit Magic Mountain
Parkway, turn west.
$26.99 for Children (48" & under)
$42.99 for Adults
$26.99 for Seniors (55+)
FREE for Children 2 YRS & under
$7.00 for Parking
3. Deja Vu*
4. Riddler's Revenge*
5. Batman: The Ride*
6. Thrill Shot**
8. Superman: The Escape
13. Tidal Wave
14. Dive Devil**
15. Roaring Rapids
16. Free Fall
17. Log Jammer
18. Gold Rusher
* Indicates "Can't Miss" Attraction
** Indicates Pay-Per-Ride Attraction
This theme park is geared mostly toward teenagers and young adults who seek high-octane thrills. The park's numerous roller coasters may be too intense for younger children and some older adults. Seniors will most likely not be able to enjoy the main attractions due to health concerns.
Excluding money to buy tickets, guests should bring at least $50 to $60 to pay for food, possibly Fast Lane, and some of the pay-per-ride attractions. Note that trying all of the pay-per-ride attractions will probably set guests back about $40 to $50 by themselves. There are also several arcades and many midway carnival-type games scattered throughout the park.
Photographs property of Roller Coaster Central
These photos may not be used without the expressed permission from Roller Coaster Central.
Layout & Site Copyright 2002 Roller Coaster Central
Site first created on June 8, 2000 :: Ver 2.0 Implemented August 23, 2002