Six Flags Magic Mountain
So I was extremely lucky to be able to fit a day in at Six Flags Magic Mountain in the middle of a trip to SoCal. It was planned for a Wednesday and since a lot of schools were still in session, I was hoping that it would be a quiet day. I was ready to buy a Flash Pass if it wasn’t since I don’t get many opportunities to go to this great park. I’d been to this park 4 years ago in early 2014 and rode most of the big coasters, including X2, Tatsu and Full Throttle. So my #1 goal was to ride Twisted Colossus (which wasn’t open during my last trip) and secondarily to ride all of the rest of the coasters that I didn’t get around to last time. I got into the park at 11am, 30 minutes after it opened to a nearly empty parking lot and headed straight to Twisted Colossus. Unfortunately, there were two employees standing out front saying that it wasn’t open yet but that they were planning on opening it later that day. That made me a little nervous but I figured that I’d just keep my eye on it and ride it as soon as it opened. So since I was in the Screampunk area, I figured I’d go ride Scream.
Scream - 55/100
So I’d read over the years about how awful this ride’s scenery was and about how it was legitimately built over a parking lot. I always thought that it must just be an overstatement but nope, they weren’t lying, you can actually still see the lines! As for the ride itself, I don’t have a ton to say about it. It was a pretty generic B&M looper. I walked right on and I don’t think I’d ever want to wait more than that for this coaster.
Lex Luthor Drop of Doom - 80/100
This is the one non-coaster ride that I really wanted to get a chance to go on in 2014 but when I came back to it at the end of the night it was already closed so I was stoked to be able to ride it today. And I was really impressed! I loved the themeing in the queue with the battle armor standing in the middle of the room and I really enjoyed the ride experience. The view you get from the top is incredible and the drop is pretty great too. I still maintain that the best drop on a drop tower I’ve ever felt is Haunted Mine at Glenwood Caverns in CO but this is definitely a top 5 drop.
Goliath - 65/100
So I’ve ridden Titan at Six Flags Over Texas quite a bit and I know that this is just Titan minus the helix before the MCBR but wow, that omission makes a world of difference. If you read my TR from SFOT, you’ll see that the positive-gs in the helixes are by far my least favorite part of Titan and this ride removes one of the two bad helixes so needless to say I did enjoy it much more. However, I still am not the biggest fan of this ride. The first half before the MCBR is good (the drop doesn’t do a whole lot for me) but the second half is too positive-g focused and as such, not my favorite. This ride was another walk-on though, which was nice.
At this point, I checked Twisted Colossus again only to be told that it still wasn’t ready yet. Ohh well… Onward to the rest of the rides I needed.
Riddler’s Revenge - 63/100
So I’ve ridden 3 B&M standup coasters besides Riddler’s (Mantis, Vortex @ Carowinds and CGA) and I was never a big fan of them. The Vortexes weren’t very exciting in my eyes and Mantis never failed to make my legs hurt with all of the forces it put on them. I was still looking forward to Riddler’s, however, since I grew up as a coaster enthusiast reading all about it and 10 years later, I was finally getting a chance to ride. So I climbed aboard another walk-on and was really pleasantly surprised! It didn’t hurt my legs and I found myself really enjoying it. I found the feeling of airtime while standing really novel and not at all what I expected. The only thing that kept this ride from being higher for me was lots of head banging. I think that’s mostly the fault of the old-school B&M restraints so hopefully one day Riddler’s gets the upgrade because this is one standup that definitely shouldn’t be converted to flourless!
Batman: The Ride - 58/100
It’s a Batman ride! You know what to expect from these clones: a fast, intense little B&M invert and this one didn’t disappoint. For what it’s worth I think this one was slightly better themed than the Great America one so that’s a big plus for it! Another walk-on here, what a great day to be at the park!
So at this point, I’d ridden most of the coasters that I hadn’t ridden (minus the other side of Superman and Revolution) so I figured that before I went off and rode Tatsu and X2, I’d check on Twisted Colossus one more time. Still down. By now I was getting kind of worried that it wouldn’t open at all today. But nothing I could do except keep my eye out. So I headed up the mountain to see about Superman. I definitely don’t remember the walk up the mountain being this steep but it’s definitely something I wouldn’t want to do many times in the day. When I got to the top I headed over to Superman to find that the side I needed to ride (the left side) was closed and wouldn’t open all day. No worries, since I was here, I figured I’d still give it a ride.
Superman: Escape From Krypton - 56/100
Meh. That’s about how I feel about this ride. It looks good on paper, right? 100mph, 400+ feet, should be an awesome ride! Not really. The launch is so gradual that it doesn’t feel even half as strong as something less than half the speed (like Revenge of the Mummy @ USH) and since you’re facing backwards, you don’t feel the wind hitting you in the face to tell you that you’re going 100+ MPH. I will say that the airtime at the top is very cool but it doesn’t last nearly long enough to make up for the rest of the disappointment of this ride.
Happy Honda Express - 8/10
This ride is incredible! For those that don’t know, it’s just a little trolley car that takes you from Samurai Summit (home of Superman and Ninja) down to the front of the park. What a lifesaver!
New Revolution - 45/100
This was probably the biggest disappointment of the trip. I’d also grown up hearing how this ride revolutionized the industry - actually I even wrote a report about Schwarzkopf and how their battle with Arrow changed the industry in 8th grade. So I was very disappointed when it was closed my last visit. But this time I got a chance to ride! What I got was a meandering layout, mostly forceless with drops at weird angles of descent. Honestly it felt like something I’d throw together in Roller Coaster Tycoon. Now I accept that almost certainly this was something you have to look at the context to appreciate but when I ride a ride, I want to be entertained and context and history comes second. With that being said, I’m very grateful for this ride unlocking the potential of roller coasters and paving the way for all of the amazing creations we have today!
So it was around noon and just about lunchtime for me. But while I was riding New Revolution, I saw Twisted Colossus testing in the distance so I immediately headed over there even though it was on the opposite side of the park. When I got there, I got the news that it still wasn’t open. I was pretty frustrated with that, but what more could I do at that point? On my way to get my stuff from the locker I got sidetracked at Lex Luthor and the kids coasters!
Lex Luthor x2 - 80/100
Since I was right next-door and it was a walk-on I figured that I might as well give it a spin! I love the queue line. So I’m a big superhero fan and I loved seeing inside of the LexCorp building with the huge battle armor in the center of the building. The rest of the theming was just posters on the wall but I really appreciated the effort that Six Flags put into theming. Keep it up, Six Flags! And the ride itself didn’t disappoint either. I was on the opposite side of the first time I rode and enjoyed the view of Twisted Colossus’ empty queue 😔 As I was leaving, one of the ride ops asked me if I wanted to hop on the other side to balance it out. Not sure what exactly that does considering that the two towers are independent but I’ll never turn down an immediate re-ride!
I have a confession to make: my name is Josh Imbriani and I’m a credit whore (for those who aren’t aware, this is referring to a theme park fan who will ride any coaster - even the ones designed for a small child - in order to add that sweet, sweet plus one to their coaster count) so after my second ride on Lex I headed over to Bugs Bunny World to get on their three kiddy coasters that I could ride as an adult without a kid. One of them was closed - no worries, there are two more - so I headed over to Speedy Gonzales’ Hot Rods and walked up the platform to be asked those dreaded few words from the ride-op: “Do you have a kid with you?” After answering no, he told me that I needed one in order to ride even though the sign out front and the park map/website both don’t support that. I told him this and he told me that no, I couldn’t ride without a kid. I didn’t argue further beyond that - what more will it accomplish me? - but it’s a little frustrating that Six Flags is inconsistent like that. So since guest services was right next to the lockers, I decided to stop by and ask for clarification right after I picked up my stuff. They seemed amused by my request to ride the kiddy coasters but didn’t give me anything beyond do whatever the ride op says. Ohh well!! Six Flags, if you’re reading this, please be consistent and clear about what your policy is about your rides. So I decided to eat at Full Throttle Sports Bar and I was walking past its namesake, I saw that it just reopened after a breakdown and that it was a walk-on so how could I pass it up?
Full Throttle - 75/100
Take notes Superman, this is what a launch should be. I always am surprised that it launches straight from the station but I always enjoy it. The loop gives crazy hang time and is really fun to watch other people’s expressions during it. The second launch is pretty good as well, and the hang time you get up the back spike is also a plus. The weirdest part of the ride comes after you launch over the top half and you immediately hit trim brakes. I was sitting in the front half of the train and as we were coming down the top-hat I was launched into the lap bar. Kind of a weird way to end this ride but overall, still a cool little ride. I wish it were a lot longer.
Then was off to finally get lunch. Like I mentioned I headed over to Full Throttle Sports Bar. What a great idea for a restaurant! There’s been multiple times in a park when there’s a game on and I want to watch but no place in the park so I end up watching on my phone. I can definitely see myself hanging out in this restaurant for a few hours during games! But I ended up getting a burger and was pretty pleased with the food, service and price. It wasn’t much more than a normal theme park meal but it was much, much better quality than the usual one. I’d recommend it!
After lunch and putting my stuff back into a locker, I took my well-worn route to Twisted Colossus and this time I was really happy to see that it was running! So I hopped in line to my (second) longest wait of the day: 25 minutes.
Twisted Colossus - 82/100
So here are my thoughts for my first ride, my opinions changed later on and I’ll note it then. So I was a little disappointed. I know a lot of people have this ride as one of their top RMCs but I actually had it as one of my bottom ones. With that being said, even a bottom RMC is still better than 95% of coasters. The first half was very fast and I was constantly out of my seat. The second half I was less impressed with. So my favorite RMC element of all time is the zero-g stall on Goliath at Six Flags Great America so I was pumped to ride another ride with one. I was really shocked that I didn’t like this one nearly as much. I think it was that this one seemed to have much less hang time that the one in IL. The one caveat I need to add for this mini-review is that I didn’t get a racing ride, both times around, the other train was just leaving the station as we were going down the first drop. So I held out hope that a true racing ride would be better. And was my faith ever rewarded!
Tatsu - 71/100
I was very glad to come back and ride this ride after I rode another B&M flyer (Superman @ SFGAM). It confirmed my suspicion that this is one of the best. I think a lot of that comes from it’s setting. Where Superman is mostly on flat ground over cardboard cutouts of Superman characters, Tatsu is built over the side of a mountain so when you look down, you see down more than 170 feet. The other difference between the two seems to be different goals. Where Superman seems like be built around soaring transitions that emphasize the feeling of flight, Tatsu is full of snappy, forceful transitions and inversions. The pretzel loop always knocks the wind out of me and produces a feeling that’s unlike any other coaster I’ve ridden. What’s even more shocking is that Tatsu was a complete walk-on.
X2 - 45/100
The last time I came here I rode X2 twice but unfortunately I don’t remember a whole lot about it. So I was glad to get on it again now that I’m a little bit more well traveled with respect to coasters. Since this ride was only running one train it was by far the longest wait of the day at around 40 minutes. The first half of the ride was absolutely incredible. I was thrown out of my seat WAY more than I remember in a way that I’ve never been before. I completely lost track of where I was through the course and was laughing my head off. That was, until the final turnaround when I hit my head hard against the back of the headrest. I ended up with a headache that totally ruined my ride. What a shame because most of this ride was incredible.
Since it was just about dinnertime, I headed over to Chop Six since I’d heard that this eatery was spreading to more Six Flags parks. I got orange chicken and thought it was delicious and a pretty good amount for the price. Now that I had ridden everything that I wanted to ride I had about 2 more hours until the end of the night. So naturally I headed back to Twisted Colossus, hoping to see if I could get what was great about the ride. I hopped into a mostly empty station. Things were looking up for a night full of reriding.
Twisted Colossus x2 - 88/100
So after two more near racing rides I’m starting to like this ride. I sat in the back one ride and the front the other and found that like on most RMCs I find the rear much faster with more airtime. It’s a little frustrating that on this ride you can’t stay in your seat even if your row is empty.
Another great ride on Lex, another walk on. The park is amazing when it’s this empty!
Justice League - 86/100
So this was maybe the most pleasant surprise of the day. So I’ve been on two other Justice League Battle for Metropolis rides at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Great America and found them to be excellent rides, especially for non-Universal and Disney parks. I went into the ride expecting this version to be more or less the same. This was shattered right away with the double preshows. I recognized the first as more or less the video that plays in the background at the Hall of Justice when you queue for the other installations. The second with Cyborg was pretty great, even if the moment where he shoots the drone would have been enhanced with some small smoke and light effects. I also noticed some definite changes in the ride itself culminating in the addition of Harley Quinn in the ride footage, some extra animatronics of thugs and a Harley Quinn animatronic at the end of the ride. Even more than this ride’s siblings, I’m shocked that this is in a Six Flags park. Good on you. Six Flags, please make more rides like this! For what it’s worth, I ended up putting up 125K which was a pretty solid outing for me!
Twisted Colossus x7 - 94/100
Wow, here’s where it all clicked for me. So the first six rides in this mini-session I felt just about the same way as I previously did with some partial races. But then on my seventh ride of this session and tenth ride of the day, the stars aligned for me and I got a double race. Wow! So I sat near the back for this ride and every element was so much better when the trains are racing. On the high five turn, both sides extend their arms and it feels like you’re just about to touch the other train. The best part of the ride bar none is the zero-g stall. When you’re under the stall, it’s pretty amazing seeing the other train fly over you but the real peak of the ride comes when you’re the train on top looking down. When you are upside down, look over your head and can see the other train just under your outstretched fingertips. This is a cooler moment than anything I’ve ever experienced on a roller coaster and Twisted Colossus jumped to the #3 spot in my steel coaster rankings, just a hair behind Steel Vengeance. If you could guarantee a perfect race every time then Twisted Colossus would be higher for me than Steel Vengeance but since there’s so much variability, I’d choose Steel Vengeance over TwiCo. But I’m so thankful that I got to ride a perfect race!
On the way out I had to stop at this empty ride. Another awesome ride! I’m really hoping to be able to get on Zumanjaro before too long. Maybe Cedar Point will put a drop tower on Top Thrill Dragster at some point.
So I was on my way out and saw Full Throttle was a complete walk-on so even though I was in a hurry, you know I had to stop. This time I sat in the back of the train. The launch was just as great as last time and this time as I went over the top-hat I braced myself for the brake just to find that they weren’t nearly as strong when you sit in the back. Still a really fun ride!
As I was heading out of the park, I stopped at the gift shop and found four more pint glasses with X2, Full Throttle, Goliath and Twisted Colossus on them. I was really glad to find these and add them to my collection that already has Titan and New Texas Giant as well as five of Cedar Point’s best. Even more than my Frontier City trip a few weeks ago, I think this might’ve been my favorite trip to a park. Magic Mountain is a great park and having walk-ons to most things makes it even better.