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Lex Luthor Drop Of Doom Media Preview Day

By on July 7, 2012

Lex Luthor Drop of Doom Logo

The Media Preview Day for Lex Luthor Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain was held on Friday, July 6, 2012. The ride has been four months in the making and anticipation was running high to see and experience the latest record-breaking ride from the Thrill Capital of the World.

Lex Luthor Drop of Doom is a free fall drop ride that was attached to the side of the existing Superman Escape from Krypton roller coaster tower. The Superman tower is 415′ tall. The Lex Luthor ride goes 400′ up each side of the tower and drops riders, in matching gondolas, from a height of 385′. It’s a very intense but very fun ride.

This is always a good sign that you’re in the right place and at the right time:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

I cheated on the above photo. I actually took it on my way out of the park because it was too dark when I showed up in the morning. It was 4:30 am when I arrived and the Superman logo at the top of the tower was shining like a beacon in the night:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

For how dark it was outside, they had the tower very well lit. There were extra lights brought in and temporarily mounted on the top of the queue building to light it up:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The reason we were there at such an early hour is because all of the news teams were doing their early morning broadcasts live from the park. A group of us from American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) were invited to come in and fill the seats for the broadcasts and be among the first people to experience the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

It was so foggy from the marine layer that the gondola would actually disappear as it went up the tower. When you were on the ride, you would pop out above the clouds to a sunny blue sky. It was amazing and so beautiful, I wish I was able to take a picture. The entire city was covered in fluffy white clouds. All you could see sticking out the top of the clouds were the surrounding hills, the Sky Tower, and just the very top of a couple of the lift hills like Goliath and X2. And then the gondola would slide back down into the fog:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

As daylight broke, the news coverage continued, one live broadcast after another:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This is Steve Berto, our regional ACE representative, being interviewed by NBC:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Even a few ACE members were interviewed about their experience on Lex Luthor Drop of Doom. This is McKenna and her dad Tom being interviewed by CBS:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

There were even a few celebrities on hand to mark the event. This is Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor on the TV series Smallville:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Also on hand was Dustin Penner, of the Los Angeles Kings, winners of the 2012 Stanley Cup. Poor guy was being asked to sign autographs with a broken hand:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Of course, Dustin was accompanied by the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

I finally got a peek at the primary ride operator’s (OP 1) station:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Here is a gondola full of excited ACE members ready for another ride to the top:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Standing on the Lex Luthor exit path, you get a new view from underneath the Superman track that very few people have seen before, especially as the cars roar by overhead:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This giant drum is what makes the ride work. Four cables, two for each side, pull the catch cars with attached gondolas up to the top of the tower. After the gondolas drop, the catch cars are lowered back down, reattach to the gondolas, and repeat. Both catch cars must go up together, but I’m sure they can only send up one gondola if they choose:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The stage is prepped and ready for the official ceremony to begin at 11:00 am:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The official “lever” to launch the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Shortly before the ceremony began, they removed us from Lex and ran a few tests with the Superman cars to get the timing just right. They wanted the Superman cars to hit the peak of the tower just as the Lex gondolas were to be dropped:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Here’s a great shot of the two rides diverting away from each other:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The crowds were starting to gather as 11:00 am approached:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

There was an interesting group of stilt walkers on hand to entertain the crowd:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

At 11:00 am, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President Bonnie Rabjohn took the stage:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

After a few minutes of talking about the park’s accomplishments and a few details specific to Lex Luthor Drop of Doom, Bonnie introduced guest Michael Rosenbaum. He sounds like a very funny guy and was glad that they finally named a ride after him:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

After Michael was done, Bonnie introduced Dustin Penner:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The LA Kings Ice Crew also joined Dustin up on stage:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Bonnie, Michael, and Dustin teamed up to pull the launch lever together:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

And with a flick of the wrist, Lex Luthor Drop of Doom was officially launched:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

As confetti sprayed, the first official gondola started to rise up the tower:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

If I’m not mistaken, this first gondola was filled with kids from the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. ACE members filled the gondola on the opposite side:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Superman cars, also filled with ACE members, were launched and hit the top of the tower right on cue. Both Superman cars and both Lex gondolas started to drop as fireworks were launched from the very top of the tower:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

It’s official…this ride is complete and ready for the public to enjoy:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Attendees were then invited into the queue building to enjoy unlimited rides on Lex Luthor. As part of the theming, this building represents the LexCorp headquarters:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

When you first enter the building, you immediately walk into switchbacks for queuing. There are lots of LexCorp-related signs on all the walls:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Of course, the very first thing you see upon entering the building is the massive LexCorp Power Armor suit on display in the middle of the room:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This must be the LexCorp mission statement:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

When I first saw this elevator, I was completely tricked into thinking it was real. My first thought was that it was for handicap access. However, after I thought about it for half a second, I realized there was no need for an elevator. Nice touch! It’s very realistic:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This sign shows all of the LexCorp holdings around the globe:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

There were even several signs showing off some of LexCorp’s weaponry:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Anyone need a Heavy Assault Walker for really crowded days in the park? Here you go:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

When you’re in this room, listen to the announcements. They’re quite funny as they thank you for being volunteers for LexCorp’s latest invention.

I noticed the doors leading to off-limits areas were labeled as Research & Development:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

In the very back corner of the room is a sign for Secured Access. This is the way to the ride, but as I was standing in the empty room taking pictures, several people came in and were confused where to go. They thought that it lead to a secure area for employees only. Once the room is filled with people waiting to ride, that shouldn’t be an issue:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Once you go around the corner, there is a hallway leading to an exterior door:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The exterior door leads up this path, towards the monitor and staging area for the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

I was standing in the exit path above, which leads out to my left. The small path in the middle, connecting the two, is going to be the single rider’s line.

Here is a shot of people who have already exited the queue building and are making their way to the ride down the path I showed above:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This is Jeff and David, part of the Six Flags Corporate Alliances team. We had just finished lunch and they decided to take a quick ride while the line was slow:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

If you’re 48″ tall, you’re good to ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

The LexCorp Weapons Training Facility was also open and ready for business:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

For $5, you get three balls. After placing a ball in the slingshot, you must keep one hand on the red base, which swivels, and the other hand to pull the slingshot back. The object is to get the balls into one of the holes in the target. There are many variables to this and I found it much more challenging than I thought it would be:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

One ball in wins you a cape, two balls for a stuffed toy, and three for an electric guitar:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

This is what the inside of the Daily Planet gift shop looks like:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

They actually have quite a bit of stuff in here:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

They even managed to squeeze in some clothing:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Don’t forget to get there early, as the crowds will be heavy:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

After a very long and exciting day, with lots of drops on the new ride, I was getting tired. There was only one place left for me to visit…

Six Flags Magic Mountain Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

If you missed it on my other post, here is a video of me taking my 15th ride of the day:

54 Comments

  1. Andrew

    07/07/2012 at 9:00 am

    Do you know if the Single Rider Line will be open today?

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 9:02 am

      I don’t know for sure, but I don’t see why not. I’d think they’d want to ensure that every gondola is full every cycle.

      • Andrew

        07/07/2012 at 9:51 pm

        It was open but not until later. The line never exceeded 2 hours and usually stayed around 1 hour all day. The crew was hustling it. I got 3 rides in today.

  2. daniel

    07/07/2012 at 9:01 am

    thank you so much for all the updates. i was also wondering if the catch car drops like the actual ride when it comes down or does it come down slowly.

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 9:05 am

      The catch car never drops. It comes down slowly as the riders are being swapped out on the gondola below. It also doesn’t attach to the gondola until everyone is strapped in and ready to go. This is likely a safety measure to prevent an accidental launch with people not secure in their seats.

      • daniel

        07/07/2012 at 12:56 pm

        thanks. also did you feel any airtime on the ride

        • Kurt

          07/07/2012 at 10:26 pm

          Ummmm, let’s see…only about 5 seconds worth as you’re plummeting towards the ground at 85 MPH.

  3. Jimmy Tovar

    07/07/2012 at 9:09 am

    As always, great photos and thanks for your update. This record setting ride is trully one for the history books. Can’t wait to ride it.

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks, Jimmy!

  4. Will P.

    07/07/2012 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks again Kurt, it was soo freaking cool watching the video with you on it, dropping to your Doom.

    Did you only ride on 1 side, or did you try both sides? Which side, or Looking from what angle, was the most intimidating? If I had to guess, i’d say both, but the South Tower you can see how far down Goliath and Colossus are. That’s what would get me on the trip up the tower, before the drop.

    You said the ride drops at 385 feet, are you still a good 100 feet or so higher than Goliath? Colossus you probably cannot even see, due to looking like a carnival ride from that height. You probably get a good glance at X2 and Viper.

    Anyhow, Thanks again for all your work, one cannot thank you enough. I hope to meet and ride with you on this ride when in town.

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 10:37 pm

      During my 15 rides, I hit all four corners and a few rides in the center seats. I didn’t find any of them intimidating. If you’re afraid of heights, any one of the seats will freak you out. However, I did find the outside seats more enjoyable because you had a much less obstructed view. The outside seat on the southwest corner is my favorite. You can see much of the park, the entrance, and best of all, the city. The other side has a good view of the other half of the park, but it’s just brown hills in the distance. Goliath tops out at 235 feet, so you actually drop another 150′ higher than that. You’re roughly at the same height as the top of the Sky Tower when you drop.

  5. Will P.

    07/07/2012 at 12:43 pm

    Also, 1 of my questions was just answered in 1 of your pics I believe, and that’s that there are 2 seperate Lines for the 2 different sides you ride from.

    Is Line 1 for the Side facing Scream and Batman and Line 2 facing Goliath, X2 and Viper? Or the otherway around?

    Thanks!

    • Myles

      07/07/2012 at 10:04 pm

      Yes. Line 1 is for the side facing Barman, Rittler’s Revenge and the rest of DC Nation. Line 2 faces Goliath, X2, Tatsu and that whole area. I went on today and the line was like a 2 hour wait, but it was worth it. I can’t wait until they announce their 2013 attraction.

  6. Will P.

    07/07/2012 at 12:57 pm

    At the end of 1 or 2 of the videos, on the South Tower, you can get a very good clear view of how Tall you are when waiting for the drop. It shows the view from atop the Gondola, looking way down to the loading station. What’s shocking is how similar the view is to the Animated version. But rather, how much more real in real life, it looks.

    I am very impressed with what I saw on all the Videos of Lex Luthor in person, and I’d bet you wouldn’t really notice another 10 or 20 feet, when up that high.The world and Universe must look soo tiny from soo high up.

    I will do whatever I can to make it to LA this year and ride Lex Luthor. This makes Giant drop at Great America look like a joke. Love the Lex Luthor feature, Warning you of the drop about to take place, and laughing as you drop.

    • Zac

      07/07/2012 at 10:30 pm

      i heard it say something. What does it say exactly?

      • Kurt

        07/07/2012 at 11:15 pm

        I think there are a couple different recordings. The most common one says “Today is your lucky day. Today your life changes forever and this may very well be the high point of your insignificant existence.”

        • Will P.

          07/15/2012 at 10:42 pm

          Correct, it does say that. Or something close to that.

          Also, doesn’t the ride drop you to where you dont even get to listen to the whole recording?

          • Eric

            07/17/2012 at 8:59 pm

            From what I’ve seen, the car is dropped at random points during the little spiel, so you never know whether you’ll hear the entire thing or not.

  7. reggie

    07/07/2012 at 1:31 pm

    for a joke they should sell some underwear in the gift shop hahaha

  8. mike

    07/07/2012 at 3:53 pm

    What can I say? …. Was great to follow your journal of the building of Luthor and hope SFMM has at least flipped you some season passes for years to come as you gave some pretty good insight of this ride and kept the interest up when it was slatted for opening in Spring then delayed until what was now July 6th. I never will go on this thing as its not on my 26 things needed to do on my bucket list but again we enjoyed following your site looking for info.

    I guess at least if you try to follow the construction of their next ride at least its closer to main gate.

    Peace out Kurt

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Mike. Even though I’m always respectful and follow all the park rules, I can’t help but feel like I’m an annoying little gnat the park wishes would go away, assuming they even know I exist. I don’t want to presume anything. With regards to the 2013 project, I’m very anxious for that to begin so I can start covering it. I tried to pry any information I could out of Bonnie, Neal, and other park reps that I spoke with, but nobody would budge. I’ll just have to wait patiently until the official announcement is made.

  9. Neil

    07/07/2012 at 6:54 pm

    The ride is still a 400 foot drop. The top of the Lex track is 15 feet below the top of the tower, which is 415 feet.

    • Dylan Reich

      07/07/2012 at 9:09 pm

      It is actually a 385 drop. This comes straight from SFMM themselves.

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 10:47 pm

      Dylan is correct. The Lex Luthor track is 400′ high, but when you account for the size of the catch car and associated hardware, the gondolas actually drop from a height of 385′.

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  11. Eric

    07/07/2012 at 9:26 pm

    I read somewhere that the red, blinking lights on the tower (and I’d guess inside the Superman logo at the top) were upgraded to LEDs to increase brightness and eliminate the need to replace light bulbs.

    SFMM did a great job with theming on this ride. The queue building was well done, the ride vehicles look great, and the soundtrack at the top was a nice touch. I hope they can keep all of this up.

  12. Zac

    07/07/2012 at 10:32 pm

    its funny how we all first thought the color of the building was “eh” but now understanding its supposed to be a factory, it’s so well themed. Well done SFMM!

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 10:50 pm

      Actually, it’s not supposed to be a factory. It’s supposed to be the lobby of the office building for LexCorp. That’s why you see all kinds of different signs for what LexCorp does, the elevator, and even the pleasant announcements that are made over the PA system.

  13. Bob winek

    07/07/2012 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for all the amazing updates

    Is there any word for 2013 rides

    • Kurt

      07/07/2012 at 11:14 pm

      Not yet. The most I could get out of Bonnie about the announcement was “soon”.

    • Someone

      07/07/2012 at 11:48 pm

      Rumor has it that a world record breaking roller coaster called “Full Throttle” will be built on the site of Log Jammer

      • JIMMY TOVAR

        07/11/2012 at 8:23 am

        That seems to be the rumor….

  14. Byron Lopez

    07/08/2012 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for all the effort you put on the updates and all the gas and time you spend it meant a lot and when are u planning to make your next trip u should make a trip report

    • Kurt

      07/10/2012 at 3:31 pm

      Now that Lex is open, most of my updates will probably be trip reports until construction on the 2013 project starts.

  15. Byron Lopez

    07/08/2012 at 11:28 am

    OmG Kurt what I am about to tell u is not a rummor it’s true a employee at the park told me that dejavu will be replaced by a extra fee ride it only takes one day to built u sit in a ball and it swings you and spins u at 100 mph it is going to open late August

    • Myles

      07/08/2012 at 12:48 pm

      aww maaaan they already had something like that called slingshot. I was hoping for a B&M vertical drop ride.

  16. Michael

    07/08/2012 at 11:32 am

    remember a couple updates ago where everyone was wondering what that mystery pice oh the tower was? Well I think that when the lex luthor cars go passed it thats when the sound system starts.

    • Myles

      07/08/2012 at 12:47 pm

      Nope, it helps to keep the cables from wobbling as it brings the gondolas to the top. When the gondolas reach that piece, it goes up along with it to the top.

      • JIMMY TOVAR

        07/09/2012 at 5:59 am

        True, you can see it on the videos. It’s painted blue.

  17. Byron Lopez

    07/08/2012 at 1:08 pm

    First of all it was called thrill shot second how good could it be when it Only takes one day to be built

    • Myles

      07/08/2012 at 2:03 pm

      It just doesn’t seem fun at all

  18. Jaryd

    07/09/2012 at 9:21 pm

    Was the ride scary because its looks short?

    • Kurt

      07/10/2012 at 3:35 pm

      It depends if you’re afraid of heights. I’m pretty scared of heights, but knowing that I’m strapped into a protective seat and that the ride has been inspected and deemed to be safe makes me trust it. You just have to let go of any fear you have and enjoy it for what it is, a fun thrill ride.

      • Jaryd

        07/10/2012 at 4:45 pm

        Thanks I’m a little afraid of heights and last time i went the ride wasn’t done yet

  19. Charles Napier

    07/10/2012 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks so much for the wonderful updates and information, I have been following them with utmost interest. You did a wonderful job.

    If you had to compare it to any other ride you have been on what would be the closest?

    Freefall – Magic Mountains first drop ride (That scared me)
    Supreme Scream (Knotts)
    Superman Escape from Krypton

    What would it be? I am afraid, but will ride it next time I make it out from Vegas.

    • Kurt

      07/10/2012 at 9:38 pm

      To be honest with you, I’m not sure that I’ve ever been on a pure free fall ride like this. From the rides that I have been on, I’d have to say that it’s a combination of Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere and the Hollywood Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. The dizzying height reminded me of being on the Big Shot and the rapid drop was similar to the Tower of Terror.

  20. Byron Lopez

    07/10/2012 at 9:10 pm

    I went to the park today an employee told me about the sky tower museum coming back but I don’t know if to belive her because she told me a bunch of lies such as flashback was in current place of riddlers log jammer moving for main trance cost not 2013 attraction kinda ka moving to sfmm all her lies made me look stupid in front of people

    • Kurt

      07/10/2012 at 9:41 pm

      I’ve heard from some pretty reliable sources that the museum will be coming back. The problem was that the museum pieces were getting ruined by people playing with them. What I’ve heard is that they are going to invest in proper display cases so that they can showcase items without park guests being able to touch them.

  21. Daniel

    07/25/2012 at 10:09 am

    how do you go to media events for rides like this. How does it work

    • Kurt

      07/26/2012 at 7:49 pm

      If you’re a member of the media, or do any type of reporting on amusement/theme parks, contact the park and inquire about being added to their media contact list for future events.

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  24. Marcia

    11/28/2013 at 10:01 am

    I loved reading this!! Lots of details (that elevator really looks real!), really interesting, and makes me want to try it! I can’t wait to (hopefully) try next year the one they’re putting in at Great Adventure now.:) (What does anyone want to bet I’ll end up trying it alone?…I bet my parents won’t ride it.;))

    I hope I have a chance to go to a media preview event someday. That’s something I wouldn’t mind getting up at 4:30AM for.;)

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