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Lex Luthor Track Going Up At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 05/03/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom Logo

The Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom construction may have began a couple of months ago at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but the first pieces of track were just installed this week. Excitement is running high as the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride gets closer to opening this summer.

I saw guys working on the queue building, but it didn’t look any different to me from last week. I’m sure there’s lots of work being done inside:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

A peek around the construction wall shows more guys working at the base of the façade, plus I see a roll of tar paper, so they’re probably getting ready to weatherproof it:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

There was a little bit of work going on at the Daily Planet Gift Shop:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The gift shop also got a new window:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The 2012 park map shows this as still being the Paintball Gallery, however it looks like it’s getting a bit of makeover, no doubt to fit in with the Superman/Lex theme:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The weather was very poor for photography today, but if you look really close you can see the new rails attached to the left-hand side. They go about 2/3 of the way up:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Zooming in a bit closer, you can see the massive blue beams that we saw with the brackets from previous updates. Here you can see they have rails bolted to them:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Pulling back a bit, you can see the rail going up the left side but nothing on the right just yet. Looking through the tower you can see the rail on the other side:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This next shot shows a close-up of what was actually attached to those brackets. I know nothing about drop ride mechanics, but I’m guessing it’s some sort of a guide rail that keeps the gondola on track as it’s going up and down:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This is the very top of the left side of the tower, where they have left off. You can see the bracket sticking out of the tower at the very top where the next piece will attach to:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The clouds broke for a few minutes, providing some blue sky. As seen from the right side of the tower, you can see the one rail making its way up the righthand side. If you look really close, you can see where it ends about 2/3 of the way up. It looks like a ladder:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

They appear to be adding the rails to both sides at the exact same rate, presumably to keep the forces balanced between the two sides of the support:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Looking from the front of Superman, I saw this next piece hanging on a hook and ready to be hoisted aloft. It’s red at the top because this piece will be attached to the piece you saw in the previous photo and that’s where the Superman tower changes from blue to red:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Here’s the same piece as seen from behind the tower. Take a look at how far from the tower the already attached rail system is:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

I had commented in my previous post how long the rails were as they were sitting on the ground in front of Colossus. I couldn’t imaging how they were going to install such a massive piece. It’s obvious now that they built the entire track horizontally on the ground to make sure they had all the pieces and that everything fit. They then broke it down by section and are hauling up each piece one at a time.

Here is a close-up of the rail system from the back, after it has been attached to one of the cross pieces. I have no idea why it still has the temporary strap attached to it, unless the bolts on the tower clamp haven’t been tightened yet:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

I’m no mechanical engineer, but do I really need to be one to realize that something isn’t right here? It reminds me of buttoning up your dress shirt and realizing you’re one button hole off. I hope that gets fixed before the ride opens:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Lots of cables and wires snaking their way around the base of the tower:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The entire lower part of the park was closed off due to the construction trucks. Both Colossus and Scream were closed and the guy had no idea for how long. There was a special event going on in the Magic Moments Theatre, so there was a path cleared to it down the lefthand side:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This picture does not even begin to convey how freaking huge this crane was that they had wedged in between Goliath and Superman, but trust me, it was big:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

They were using one of the forklifts to help raise the front of the crane for something:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Lots of construction activity. It looks like everything is being kicked into high gear. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see a completed track and the gondolas.

30 Comments

  1. Evan

    05/03/2012 at 5:04 pm

    Better late than never! Good to see this amount of progress!

  2. Eric

    05/03/2012 at 5:49 pm

    I was out at the park yesterday and saw how much work has been done on Lex Luthor. Some of the shiny pieces looked like part of the braking system, but I couldn’t get close enough to tell. They are really screaming along on the construction of this ride, though, and I look forward to seeing pictures and videos of testing (unless, of course, they do that after hours).

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:08 am

      That makes sense about the brakes, since they are only on the lower part of the ride.

  3. William

    05/03/2012 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks Kurt! Great pics, despite the Weather you folks have been having. We all truely appreciate your hard work and time into this, and updating all of us on the progress being made. I feel great reading this site, that I dont have to worry about waiting long on Lex Luthor Drop of Doom Facebook site. The last Construction pics posted on Facebook site were from like early April. Not a Long time, but always nice to have updated pictures of the construction. I’m also sure they will check that 1 area of concern you stressed in 1 of your new pics. I’m sure they’ll get to it. Lotts of progress being made, and Love what I see. People upset that Superman has been closed for a while, will come to learn that you cannot have both pieces of the pie at their convenience. When this thing get’s built and starts test runs and Opens for riders, people will see that Supermans closure was well worth it. It’s impossible to have Superman open when people are working up 415 feet. Anyway, Thanks again.

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:09 am

      Thank you, William.

  4. William

    05/03/2012 at 6:56 pm

    Just 2 questions in 1 question. My 1st thought after seing first hand that the sides which Lex Luthor are being attached to, looked to be at an angle. Are they adding or making the 2 sides of the tower somewhat wider,to better support the structure? When I first saw the 1st pictures from about 1/2 weeks ago, that was my 1st thought.

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:18 am

      While I’m sure the addition of Lex Luthor is in someway strengthening the overall tower, I don’t think that is the primary reason for the angles. I think they needed to ensure that the two gondola tracks were perfectly mirrored with each other. Since the tower isn’t perfectly square, the gondolas would have been angled towards each other. This would have added complications, like differing lengths of cable on either side of the same gondola. By keeping the two sides perfectly parallel with each other, everything is exactly the same all the way around.

  5. Myles

    05/03/2012 at 8:45 pm

    Hey I was their today for my Senior trip from Bellflower high. I seen a lot of people working at the base of the tower and the building for the queue line.

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:20 am

      As I was pulling in, there was a convoy of about 10 empty school busses from Simi Valley pulling out. I was a little concerned, but the rest of the park was so empty that you couldn’t even tell once inside. I hope you and your classmates had a good time.

  6. Myles

    05/03/2012 at 8:48 pm

    oh yeah, and Ronnie fro Jersey shore was there today. maybe he was part of the reason why the theater was closed.

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:21 am

      Nope, it was a marketing meeting of some sort. You’ll see me mention it in my weekly trip report going up later today.

  7. Daneil

    05/04/2012 at 5:38 am

    Still do not understand. If SFMM sees itself as a top thrill destination, why put in a ride with such awful capacity? SF has made some decent improvements over the years, but they are still decades away from being a Cedar Fair or Busch park.

    • Kurt

      05/04/2012 at 7:25 am

      Until the ride actually opens, how do you know there is going to be a capacity issue? I know a lot of die hard coaster enthusiasts that will go on a gigacoaster in a heartbeat, but they are saying they won’t go near this thing. It’s way too high for their comfort level on a drop ride. Perhaps the lower capacity of the ride will perfectly match the volume of people actually interested in riding it.

    • SoCalJasonland

      05/04/2012 at 5:57 pm

      The existing towers were only designed for so much weight so it was lower capacity cheaper option of attaching rails to side of existing tower or building a expensive new tower.

      If they can dispatch 16 people every 2 minutes that would be a maximum of 480 people per hour or 5,760 total people on a 10 am to 10 pm, 12-hr day.

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  9. Jacob

    05/04/2012 at 12:07 pm

    yay!!! can’t wait!
    i do hope that they fix that off set piece though. but one thing iv’e noticed is that in the animation/announcement the parts holding up the track are different than the ones that are here. in the animation the parts are L shaped and not just a beam that goes across the middle. whatever.

  10. Mike Ford

    05/04/2012 at 2:41 pm

    Keep me posted as to when they have an exact opening date. I want to be out there to ride this bad boy.

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  12. William

    05/05/2012 at 1:34 pm

    Note to those whom Oppose a Drop ride: Everyone loves a Rollercoaster, and my guess would be that yes, people prefer a Rollercoaster than anything else. I Love Rollercoasters and would Love for one day for Magic Mountain to have a ride like King da Ka, or Top thrill Dragster. However, with Free Falls departure in 1998, it makes so much sense to have a Drop Tower, because all other parks either have them, be it 2nd Generation, or 3rd generation Drop rides, nearly all parks have these rides. For Magic Mountain to be the Best park, or in the Top 5 or Top 2 for that matter, ask me, Why should Magic Mountain not have a Drop ride?Furthermore, why would Magic Mountain build a whole New 400 foot structer, when they already have 1 in Superman? This attraction makes sense for all the right reasons. This will pay off, and people will ride and those who dont, or whom feel they cannot, they will or can watch from the park.I see this New ride Lex Luthor as a Win/Win, no Lose attraction.

    • William

      05/05/2012 at 1:36 pm

      actually I stand corrected, Free Fall departed in 2008, not ’98 sorry.

  13. William

    05/08/2012 at 2:23 pm

    Are there going to be like 2 tracks to each side, or just the 1 we see so far in your pics?? Also, you stated that the built in rail is quite a few feet from the actual Tower, but are you sure that’s so? Maybe, they just placed it like that for a while due to work on some other part? My understanding was they were just going to plaace the tracks or clamp them onto the tower.

    • Kurt

      05/08/2012 at 2:38 pm

      There will be two rails per side. The side you see sticking out from the tower, what I call the back rail, is in its final location. The reason for this is because the tower is not perfectly square. The back of the tower is narrower than the front, so they used those cross beams through the tower to give the back rail the extra depth it needed to remain parallel with the front rails. The cross pieces have been bolted to the tower. There are no cross pieces on the front side, so I presume those rails will be bolted directly to the tower. I’ll be able to tell for sure when I do my weekly update in a couple of days, but I’m pretty sure this is how they are doing it.

      • William

        05/09/2012 at 8:18 pm

        Thanks! I knew there had to be a reason for this. So I take it the Gondolas while riding up and dropping down the tower, will have some space between the track and Tower? I just Cant wait to see what this thing and what it will look like when complete and ready to ride. Thanks again for the reply, and all your updates.

  14. William

    05/08/2012 at 2:25 pm

    It would have been something to see the size of the crane you reffered to earlier in picture album.That sucker must have been huge, and very tall as well I’m sure.

  15. William

    05/10/2012 at 8:51 pm

    Kurt, do the gondolas have all the restraints on them and are they done and ready to be tested when construction is complete? Be neat to see this whole new ride when cpomplete.

    • Kurt

      05/10/2012 at 9:09 pm

      The gondolas disappeared shortly after arrival. I’m sure they took them inside the maintenance building to finish assembling them and have them ready to go after the construction of the track is completed. Unfortunately, I don’t have any sources on the maintenance staff to get any updates from.

      • William

        05/11/2012 at 3:30 pm

        Thanks! Sounds about right to me. As far as the height of the ride where it will reach, and drop from. Technically, both Superman and now Lex Luthors tower is 415 feet if not mistaken. However, if you took the Red Sky Tower off of the hill it’s standing on, would the Lex Luthor gondola go up higher than the Sky tower? If so, than I assume not by much. I’ve always used to be intimidated by Sky Towers height, mostly because it’s taller than most other amusement parks towers. I never imagined or could erven fathom any ride dwarfing it’s height. It shows just how tall the Superman and now Lex Luthor tower really is.

        • Kurt

          05/11/2012 at 4:46 pm

          The Sky Tower is 385′ tall, a full 30′ (or 3 stories) shorter than the Superman tower. That means that while sitting in the gondola at the top of Lex Luthor, you will actually be higher than the Sky Tower is tall. If that doesn’t put it into perspective, I’m not sure what will.

          • William

            05/11/2012 at 7:24 pm

            Thanks, Great perspective. WOW! The view must be sick from 400 feet then. Thanks again.

  16. Rubennnnn

    06/01/2012 at 6:58 am

    when it’s testing???

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