NCL Free At Sea

Lex Luthor: Drop Of Doom Construction Update #5

By on 06/07/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom Logo

This is an update on the construction of Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom located at Six Flags Magic Mountain from 7 June 2012. 

It was a beautiful day in the park today and construction was at full speed. Even at 10:30 am, it was already hot. Many of the workers were taking a break in the shade and drinking lots of water. The concrete ripped out in front of the queue building has been partially replaced by new concrete. It has been poured in a grid pattern and stamped on top to look like stonework. I have no idea what will go in the empty squares:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

It looks like they are extending it towards the former paintball gallery:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

I’m not sure why, but there was a lone square of concrete more towards the gift shop. It seems to me that if they were planning on adding more concrete, they would start on one side and work their way over to the other. This almost looks like they are done with the concrete and will be filling in the rest with another material:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

I couldn’t help but notice the fairly large electrical conduit that is now feeding into the back of the Daily Planet gift shop:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

While taking the above photo, I noticed that a large palm tree had just been cut down:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Here’s an old photo taken just after the construction walls had been put up. You can see the palm tree they cut down at the far right of the blue wall:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Here’s what the entire front of the area looked like as of today:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Whatever that mystery piece is on the track, they were still working on it today:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Here’s a better look at the lapbars. They have a curve to them so they will sort of wrap around the torso. It also looks like there are two horizontal green grab handles for people to hold onto in front of them, as opposed to the vertical green bars:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

I saw this next little guy mounted behind the gondola. I had no idea what it was, so I had to do a little research. It appears to be a piston accumulator from a company called Bolenz & Schafer. According to their website, “BSD piston accumulators are used to store hydraulic energy, to absorb pressure shocks, to dampen pressure shocks and/or to smoothen volume flows through use of compressed nitrogen.” My guess is that the brakes are hydraulically controlled and this has something to do with dampening and absorbing the energy as the falling gondola is rapidly stopped:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

It’s actually bolted to the base of the ride and not the gondola. Here is where it is located in relation to the gondola and the tower. You will also notice that the struts located behind each seat have since been attached to something as well, likely the lapbars:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Still no cables attached to the top of the catch car:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

I did notice that they had blocks of wood between each catch car and the gondola, on each side. I’m sure they’re just dialing in the tolerances between the two pieces:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

It’s kind of hard to see, but there were a few electrical guys working on a green panel/box mounted on the backside of the main electrical panel. I’m not sure if this is the ride operator’s station or not, but I found it interesting that it was the Lex Luthor green. I hadn’t thought about it before, but where would be the best place for the ride ops to be positioned other than directly between the two sides? However, their vertical view would be obstructed from here with all the electrical conduits running overhead:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Several updates ago I showed a picture where the cross piece did not line up with the track it was connected to. I thought they had fixed it, but I was wrong. I noticed this morning where that connection was and it was still offset. It looks like they ended up adding several steel pieces and extra bolts to remedy the problem:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

This had to be a manufacturing mistake. It’s exactly the same on both sides:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Here’s another new piece of equipment that was recently added. I have no idea what it is, but it’s mounted near the end of the massive cable drum under the tower:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

This next photo is just for laughs. As I was taking pictures, I saw this guy pull up to the job site on this little motorcycle. It must be a new way to get around the park:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

The new backstage fence has been erected in front of the service road that runs between Goliath and the Superman tower. I think it’s a nicer fence than what was there before, just because it’s new, but it sure sticks out. The old fence was faded, natural wood and blended in more with its surroundings. They either need to paint a mural on this or hide it with more landscaping. I vote for more landscaping:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

Even from the entrance to the park, the new track really blends in with the existing tower. With how much the work cart sticks out, watching the green gondolas fall from the top is going to be quite the sight:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

A massive chunk of the first parking lot was blocked off today as it was being reserved for Grad Nite tonight. As I was walking back to my car, I couldn’t help but notice across the void what I thought was a Lex Luthor-themed car. I just had to make the hike to check it out, but it turned out to be a rental car whose colors just happened to be the same:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor Drop of Doom

On a related note, I got a teaser in the mail today from the park. It says to Save the Date and Join the Battle on June 28th. I presume that will be the official media event.


  1. Nathan

    06/07/2012 at 9:48 pm

    Wow!! Things seem to really be picking up speed! I have also noticed that the lap bars are almost identical to the new Skyrush bars, despite the fact that the Skyrush bars that connect the restraint to the locking mechanism is “underhand” as opposed to LL:DOD which is “overhead.”

  2. caleb

    06/07/2012 at 10:01 pm

    I wish media day was not invite only, I am taking my friend on the 30th and going on the 28th would be much better in terms of lines :/ will there be a pass holders day? Like on the 29th?

    • Kurt

      06/08/2012 at 9:09 am

      I have no idea. It does seem odd to have a full day between the media event and the public debut. I’m sure they’ll let us know if they do decide to do something like that.

  3. Eric

    06/07/2012 at 10:26 pm

    Just to make sure I have things straight, the queue building was the arcade, correct?

    So far, I’ve heard nothing about any kind of passholder preview for Lex Luthor, but if there is one, it won’t take long to get e-mail out to us. I hope there is an event like that because I can’t imagine what lines will be like on and after June 30 when the ride opens.

    • Kurt

      06/08/2012 at 9:10 am

      That’s right, Eric. It was the Boardwalk Arcade.

  4. Jeffrey

    06/08/2012 at 7:54 am

    I am hoping sfmm will take care of the people with freaked out girlfriends and offer a single rider line. I am so grateful they put one on GL. Also, would like to see where the brake section begins as relation to the ground….pretty much wanna know how much freefall(in feet). Appreciate the updates, so stoked

    • Will P.

      06/09/2012 at 1:10 pm

      great and reasonable question to ask, as I stated the same in the Update #4 posts.

      If I had to guess, I’d say you probably start braking once you get to 1oo feet, possibly a little sooner. I’d say you Free fall for a good 300 feet, and that last 100 you start to slow down. At least I hope so. I wish you would Free Fall the whole 400 feet, but I doubt it. I know at my park at Six Flags great America in Gurnee IL, the Giant Drop is 220 feet. But you start braking once you reach 95 feet or so, possibly sooner.

      The great thing about Lex Luthor, you drop from 400 feet. So you will have a little more Free Fall due to the Towers height.

  5. Alex V.

    06/08/2012 at 9:31 am

    Superman:EFK will it be opening on the 30th also or earlier?

    • Kurt

      06/08/2012 at 9:57 am

      The word from the park is that Superman will re-open with the debut of Lex Luthor, so you should expect to be able to ride them both on June 30th.

      • Andrew

        06/08/2012 at 10:21 am

        I think on the 30th I’m going to try to ride Lex Luthor and Superman then get out of there!

        • Ryan O

          06/08/2012 at 11:23 pm

          I had the same plan in mind! Run to Lex Luthor, ride Superman a couple times depending on the line, then fight the crowds to the exit.

  6. Andy

    06/08/2012 at 5:08 pm

    A bit off topic, but does the park still close the line to X2 one hour before the park closes? I remember they used to do that back when it was just “X” years ago.

    • Kurt

      06/08/2012 at 9:43 pm

      I’m honestly not sure, Andy. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at the park up until closing. And when I was, I wasn’t waiting in line for X2. Anyone else know?

  7. Luis

    06/08/2012 at 10:38 pm

    It does stay open I always stay late so that if I get they let me ride it twice

  8. Ryan O

    06/08/2012 at 11:28 pm

    Today, they had added some more rebar in front of Lex Luthor. It’s certainly an interesting pattern that they’ve poured the cement in. Part of me is hoping that they’ll use some nice landscaping and plant some trees in front of the buildings.

    I also noticed that the seats were covered with a brown tarp at the end of the day. And there were two mysterious greenish grate covers sitting behind Colossus. I’m really hoping that these are NOT going to be added to the cars–I want an unobstructed view when I’m on the ride!

    • Kurt

      06/09/2012 at 7:28 am

      If I remember correctly from the concept art, there was a grate attached over the top of the gondola, like an umbrella, to protect the riders from anything falling from above. It will only obstruct your view as you look straight up.

      • Will P.

        06/09/2012 at 1:17 pm

        So Long as riders get a glimpse of the View looking down and towards the Superman cars racing up the tower, all is cool.

        Even if you looked streight up, you couldn’t really see or notice much with exception to that reel or pulley at the very top. This ride does not have a cap on top of it, like the Edge at both Great Americas years ago, and like other Free Fall rides.

  9. John

    06/09/2012 at 12:49 pm

    We do close x2 early but only on Saturdays it closes at 7. I work there.

  10. Will P.

    06/09/2012 at 1:21 pm

    So long as everything has been Fixed and Tested before June 30th, all will be cool.

    note to Kurt, I’m also wondering about that piece you said you thought got fixed but appearantly did not. Just wondering if there is any reason as to why that is like that and maybe there is reason why it has not been changed or is still like that.

    Keep up the good work Kurt, everything is falling into place just nice so far.

    • Kurt

      06/09/2012 at 1:41 pm

      It looks like a manufacturing mistake to me. Somebody was slightly off on their calculations for that one piece. However, I have no doubt that their remedy is just as strong, if not stronger, than the original connection would have been.

      • Will P.

        06/09/2012 at 7:07 pm

        Thanks and good call.

        If you look closely at the 2 peices which looked like they were supposed to connect, the one pipe or support is rounded while the other looks more sqaure. Not saying it’s why it’s like that, but that’s what it looks like to me.

  11. joseph

    06/09/2012 at 11:24 pm

    nice update

  12. mike

    06/11/2012 at 8:23 pm

    Just wondering if they will be installing Spit/Scream shields like DCA did on the Maliboomer?

    • Will P.

      06/12/2012 at 2:15 pm

      I’m just wondering wheather the people sitting on both ends of the gondolas, will be able to see the Park somewhat from soo high? Countless of articles have stated how the 2 people on both ends of both gondolas will have nothing on the sides of them except the ground, and will get a great veiw of high they are. Yet, with these new restraints, I’m not seing it, if these lap bars totally lock you in, to where you wont really be able to see much. I imagine you’ll be too locked in and that If this Lap bar covers your torso area, I find it hard to take a peek on the side of you, either looking down at the Superman cars racing up the tower and looking down on the other rides and Parking lott.

      Can anyone verify this?

      • Nathan

        06/15/2012 at 9:40 pm

        I don’t think that will be a problem. The new restraints are designed to give a more open view rather than the old shoulder-harnesses used on the previous Intamin drop towers. Although the sides of each gondola will have a gate-like protection wall, the ride will still provide a spectacular view, no matter what seat you’re in. The only thing holding you in is a lap bar that covers your thighs. Besides that, all there is are the green grab-bars, so your whole upper body will be free.

        • Will P.

          06/16/2012 at 4:22 pm

          Thanks! That’s great to hear that we still get a great view while riding. Also, are riders allowed to hold onto the overhead restraints, if they even can? Can they, or are they too fragile to hold onto?

  13. J.D. Walters

    06/15/2012 at 2:03 pm

    BIG Thanks, Kurt, for all of your in-depth coverage and detailed photos! I’ve been designing furniture, interiors, exteriors and landscapes for 16+ years, but my heart is with roller coasters, water-slides and amusement parks, period. I find that most your aesthetic critiques of the park in general are spot-on. I want badly to manage the general design and flow of the park, including its ride set-ups/theming, as well as the general hard-/landscaping… I’m just wondering how I could get that position. My heart is with SFMM in particular, since I was born and raised in SoCal, and cried on Freefall the first time I rode it at age 6 🙂 I’m too excited for LLDOD! Cheers!

    • Will P.

      06/16/2012 at 4:26 pm

      Walters, I hope you apply and land that position you stated in the above paragraph to Kurt. All the best, and ho;pe you get it. If not right away, soon after hopefully. Best of Luck.

      • J.D. Walters

        06/18/2012 at 12:30 pm

        Thanks so much, Will! I promise to DELIVER if & when!

  14. A.J

    06/18/2012 at 9:34 pm

    Is it testing yet??? they better start if not! it’s opening soon!

    • Kurt

      06/19/2012 at 10:12 pm

      I’ll find out when I’m there on Thursday.

  15. Cyrus

    06/19/2012 at 10:56 am

    I think that piece of equipment is a motor. That’s what it looks like to me.

  16. Six Flags Employee

    06/24/2012 at 2:58 am

    Media and employee day is on the 28th season pass holders on the 29th and public on the 30th I work there I should know

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