UA-20143982-1 1971 Opening Day Attractions At Six Flags Magic Mountain - The Coaster Guy
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1971 Opening Day Attractions At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 03/27/2011

In the early 1960s, the Newhall Land and Farming Company started construction on a brand new city they envisioned on a large swath of land they owned just northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Named Valencia, after the type of oranges that the company had grown for many years, the town sold its first house in 1967. In 1968, looking to rapidly expand the number of residents in Valencia, the Newhall Land and Farming Company reached out to Sea World, who just happened to be looking for a place to build a new theme park in Los Angeles County. With Valencia owning lots of land and wanting to attract people, and Sea World having theme park experience and a desire for a new park, it was a match made in heaven. The two companies formed a partnership and construction began in January 1970 on 200 acres of land on the west side of town.

On May 29, 1971, less than 18 months after construction began, Magic Mountain opened to the world. The cost to build the entire park was approximately $20 million. Tickets were a whopping $5.00 for adults and $3.50 for children.

Courtesy: SCV History in Pictures http://bit.ly/g25gYk

The park was known as just Magic Mountain when it opened. It wouldn’t be bought by Six Flags and get a name extension for another eight years, in 1979.

A lot has changed at the park over the last 40+ years, but it’s amazing how many things haven’t. Here is a list of all the rides, attractions, retail, and food stands that could be found in the park on opening day, and check out how many are still around today:

Rides:

  • The Grand Carousel – Still there
  • Log Jammer
  • Beep Beep
  • Clown Coaster
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Red Baron – Currently known as Yosemite Sam’s Flight School
  • Mini Bikes
  • Mini Prix
  • Dune Buggy
  • Magic-Go-Round – Currently known as Merry Melodies Carousel
  • Lunar Lander – Currently known as Tweety’s Escape
  • Submarine Tubes
  • Moon Bounce
  • Galaxy
  • Bill the Squid
  • Circus Wheel
  • Crazy Barrels
  • 99 Steam Train – aka The Troll Train
  • Sand Blasters – Still there
  • El Bumpo
  • Bottoms Up
  • The Gold Rusher – Still there
  • Chevron Grand Prix

People Movers:

  • The Metro – In-park monorail
  • Eagle’s Flight – Aerial cable car with three stations; Shangri-la, Galaxy, and El Dorado
  • Funicular – Currently known as Orient Express

Performance Areas:

  • 7-Up/Dixie Cups Showcase Theatre – Currently known as Golden Bear Theatre
  • The Gazebo – Currently known as Carousel Bandstand
  • Kaleidoscope

Food:

  • The Coffee Grinder – Currently known as Cyber Cafe
  • Casa de Regalos – Currently known as JB’s Smokehouse BBQ
  • Take Five – Currently known as Johnny Rockets in the gaming area
  • Four Winds Steakhouse – Last known as Laughing Dragon Pizza Co
  • Sugar Shack
  • Chicken Restaurant
  • Top Treat
  • Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Round Up
  • The Spinnaker
  • The Anchor
  • The Creel House
  • The Gang Plank
  • Big Apple
  • Chili Walk
  • Pup Hut
  • Mini Juice Bar

Retail:

  • Holiday Bazaar
  • Feather Merchant
  • Balloonery
  • Head Gear
  • Gem & I
  • The Magic Acorn

Misc:

  • Games Area – Currently known as Center Ring Games
  • Boom Trenchard Gallery – Currently known as LexCorp Weapons Training Facility
  • Arcade
  • Sky Tower – Still there
  • Security Pacific Bank – Currently known as Guest Relations

Areas:

  • Japanese Gardens
  • The Gardens – Area of plants and trees outside the main gates
  • Valencia Falls – Water feature behind main fountain
  • Whitewater Lake – The lake that Log Jammer used to circle
  • Children’s World – Currently known as Bugs Bunny World
  • The Golden Era – Currently known as the Waterfront Commissary
  • The Lagoon – A water area in the back of the park where Apocalypse now sits
  • Pier Four – Docks leading out to a small island in the lagoon

1971 Magic Mountain Park Map

If you are interested in the park’s history, please be sure to check back often. I plan to chronicle as much of the park as possible, starting with how it all began with the attractions you see above. I’ve already gotten lots of historical information and old photos from many of the rides, but there are still lots of old rides that I can’t find any information on at all. If you have any information or old photos that you would like to share, even personal stories about the park in it’s early days, please do contact me at kurt@thecoasterguy.com. I would love to hear from you!

27 Comments

  1. Planet SIX

    08/16/2011 at 10:58 am

    Never even noticed the typo on the ticket as being open from 4pm to 12pm, which I believe should be 12am.

  2. Mark

    04/16/2012 at 4:50 pm

    THANK YOU! I was trying to remember the name of the restaurant that was there before Laughing Dragon – Four Winds Steakhouse! That’s where I ordered my first “adult” meal (Steak and Fried Shrimp, mmm), while my cousin (1 month younger than me) had to eat off kids meal. Best steak I’ve ever had!

    • Kurt

      04/16/2012 at 4:58 pm

      I wish it was still a steak house. Heck, I wish it was just open as anything! There needs to be a place to eat up on the hill.

      • ric

        06/07/2013 at 11:37 am

        I used to work at that pizza up on that hill when it was new.

  3. David

    05/10/2012 at 8:16 pm

    does anyone know where I could download the original theme song for Magic Mountain?
    “every days a Magic Mountain Day…one price is all you pay” were the words in the commercials…it would be a nice piece of nostalgia to have.

  4. bmommyx2

    11/30/2012 at 12:26 am

    I have fond memories going there as a child in the 70’s. I always loved the troll & spillikins corner (spelling?), I loved making candles & watching the glass blowers. As a teen in the 80’s I went to many all night parties & saw a few concerts there I think I saw Oingo Boingo there. Later as I changed I didn’t like it so much always preferring to go to Disneyland instead.

    • Kurt

      11/30/2012 at 5:54 am

      It’s interesting to hear the then and now comparisons from people our age. I’ll be curious to hear my kids thoughts in 20-30 years comparing it then to today.

  5. ric

    06/07/2013 at 11:42 am

    Does anyone have any info on a old red derby style cap with a green troll driving a green car,waving? It has Six Flags Magic Mountain printed above the troll. Thanks

  6. tom

    08/11/2014 at 4:21 am

    Hi, Thanks for the information. I went to a pre opening party for Magic Mountain when I was 12. Couldn’t compare to Disneyland I thought at the time. Didn’t realize at the time there was no intention of doing so. Just that loose use of the word theme park…I loved Magic Mountain, and my first job was at the 4 winds restaurant – bus boy – didn’t last long.

    But, looking at the original logo, which I never liked(doesn’t look like fun at all) and is quite sophisticated. Interestingly that font (graphic designer) is very hip right now! Loved Magic Pagoda – wish they’d bring that back.

    Anyhow, thanks for all the information!!!

    T

  7. Greg Dixon

    03/26/2015 at 7:24 pm

    I recall seeing the Jackson 5 perform at Magic Mountain in the mid 1970’s … I would love to find the exact dates & if there is any information about that performance. Cheers

  8. Rob

    07/29/2015 at 3:13 pm

    Revolution in 1976 was so new and different with that 360 degree loop! My friends and I rode it over and over. I never imagined coasters since then would have so many types of inversions now.

  9. Jerry McClusky

    08/14/2015 at 3:49 pm

    When they opened, there wasn’t many rides, but it truly was a family park. The “big” rides were the gold rush roller coaster which hugged the mountain contours, and the log ride. I also remember bumper boats and bumper cars. They also had big-name family entertainment for free. I remember seeing Bill Cosby and Jimmy Durante there. As they started to grow, they replaced family entertainers with rock bands. I saw Missing Persons there (my daughter’s first concert at about 4 years old.)

  10. Nora

    02/27/2016 at 11:22 am

    I was there that day for the private party. I was 9 years old. Wow!!! Many memories

  11. Teddi Lynn

    04/27/2016 at 9:41 pm

    Worked there opening day. Would love to see pictures of the old uniforms.

  12. Karen Lindekugel

    05/16/2016 at 8:04 pm

    I seem to remember in the 1970’s Fleetwood Mac on a gazebo to the left of that huge swirling roller-coaster. I was too scared to go on that roller-coaster, so I held my friend’s shoulder bags. (I claimed the roller-coaster would be hard on my heart) Back in high school we had all piled into my friend’s vw bug for the rides,and I chickened out
    😉 Even after we drove all the way up from Laguna Beach!!!

  13. Amaar Khan

    07/12/2016 at 9:27 am

    It is cool i wanna visit it one day and have a lot of fun

  14. scionmouse

    08/09/2016 at 10:09 pm

    I remember a little critter as the mascot when it opened as with Mickey Mouse being
    For Disney and the one ride that is like a sky people mover. ?? not sure what its called.

    • The Coaster Guy

      08/09/2016 at 10:47 pm

      The park used a wizard and several trolls as their mascot when they first opened. They switched to the Looney Tunes characters at a later time. The sky bucket ride you’re thinking of was called Eagle’s Flight. The station up on top of the hill (Samurai Summit) is still there, but used for a Fright Fest maze each year.

  15. Jack

    08/11/2016 at 1:21 pm

    Magic Mountain opened when I was in 5th grade, as a result my memory is a little hazy. I seem to recall that not long after it opened it closed down so that some kind of a rebuild or other improvements could be made. My recollection is that it didn’t do well initially and the owners had to bring in some new attractions. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

  16. John Osborne

    10/04/2016 at 7:18 am

    Does anyone remember the “Diamond Hunt” at Magic Mountain? I can’t remember what year they did this? I know it was in the early 70’s

    • The Coaster Guy

      10/04/2016 at 8:50 am

      I remember hearing stories about this. Something about the park hiding fake gems up on the hillside? Would love to learn more if anyone has details!

    • Robert Bequette

      04/26/2017 at 12:04 pm

      I remember this. I think it was a one time only thing at least I only remember doing it once. I was so jealous of my older sister since we had decided to give up and leave but she tripped and slid down an incline and wound up finding a piece of jade.

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  18. Peggy Montgomery

    04/01/2017 at 2:19 pm

    I was there opening day, and many many times thereafter. But I’d like to ask for any pictures of MAJOR THE LION because I sat right next to that lovely beast and hugged him with all my heart. It’s one thing in my past, I do not have a photo of… please send to seattlepeggy@gmail.com THANKS

    • Julie

      01/11/2018 at 11:22 pm

      I have photo of me and my brother with Major the Lion!

  19. Robert Bequette

    04/26/2017 at 12:12 pm

    I wasn’t quite eight yet when it opened so the memories are a little vague but I know we went on pre-opening day. My mother worked as a waitress in a restaurant near the park during construction and knew a lot of the people who worked on building it so she was given a bunch of free tickets to a special opening.

    We always had season passes while growing up and I later worked there for a couple of year after high school (while going to classes at the near by College of the Canyons).

    My little sister met her future husband while they were working at Magic Mountain.

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