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Ride Profile: Scrambler

By on 08/08/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

Ride Type: Flat Ride
Manufacturer: Eli Bridge Company
Model/Style: Scrambler
Year Built: 1973

The Scrambler, located at Six Flags Magic Mountain, is a classic amusement park and carnival ride that has been around for more than 50 years. It’s delighted generations of people, old and young, and still continues to put smiles on people’s faces, whether they are experiencing it for the first time or reliving childhood memories.

The Scrambler was built by the Eli Bridge Company, which originally started out as a bridge builder. The founder, W.E. Sullivan, was inspired by a Ferris Wheel ride in 1893 and started making his own amusement rides. The Scrambler made its public debut in 1955 and is still manufactured to this day.

Magic Mountain (pre-Six Flags) added the Scrambler to the park for the 1973 season, just two years after the park opened. It remained virtually untouched until 2003 when a nearby tree became uprooted and irreparably damaged the ride. Six Flags Over Texas had an identical Scrambler that had opened with that park in 1961 called Missile Chaser. They removed their ride in 1977 and put it in storage after it was involved with an injury to a park guest. They reinstalled Missile Chaser in 2000, but removed it again after the 2002 season to relocate it elsewhere in the park. When it became known that the Scrambler at Magic Mountain, now a part of Six Flags, had been damaged, the ride was shipped out to California and became the new Scrambler.

The Scrambler is located in The Movie District area of the park, directly across the midway from the entrance to The Riddler’s Revenge. The entrance is located on the righthand side of the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

There are a few switchbacks in the queue, but I’ve never seen it get completely full. You can also see that after 40+ years, the ride area is starting to show its age:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

The Scrambler consists of a rotating center section from which three large arms are extended. Hanging off the end of each arm is a cluster of four bench seats for the riders, with each seat assembly positioned 90 degrees apart from each other. As the center section begins to rotate, each seat cluster rotates as well. The seats interlace with each other as they spin, but they never touch, much like a giant egg beater. Once you are up to full speed, it looks and feels like you are going to smash into the other seats as you rotate, but you obviously don’t. That’s where the thrill comes from:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

Each seat can hold up to three people, with a maximum weight per seat of 510 lbs. With a total of 12 seats, the ride can handle up to 36 riders per dispatch. The ride is very efficient and reliable, operating off of a single 10HP electric motor. Maximum speed is 11.4 revolutions per minute. The length of the ride can be controlled by the operator. I have never timed it and and have no idea how long Six Flags lets the ride go for.

One thing to be aware of is that you always want to put the biggest person on the outside. In fact, it’s a park rule. Once the ride starts spinning, centrifugal force will force everyone to the outside, meaning that person takes the brunt of all the weight. Even when I’m just with just my son, we always get separate cars if possible to make it more comfortable:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

Once the ride comes to a complete stop, the operator will unlock your car and everyone exits through the fence on the left side of the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

Due to the heavy foliage, it’s hard to see many of the smaller rides in the park from the Sky Tower. However, you can make out the very distinctive top of the Scrambler:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scrambler

The Scrambler is a fun ride. It’s not going to give you the rush of a roller coaster or the heart-stopping thrill of Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom, but it’s a great family ride and the younger kids love it. If you haven’t been on it before, give it a spin.

24 Comments

  1. Donovan Boczko

    08/08/2012 at 8:44 pm

    Love the profile, as usual!
    Thanks for the info on this ride, I always love learning about a rides history.

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  3. Eric

    08/08/2012 at 8:53 pm

    The popularity of the Scrambler after so many years ought to tell park management something about smaller rides like this. Families love ’em and the park needs more to help divert people away from the big coasters and thrills. It’s been a long time since I rode the Scrambler; perhaps I’ll give it a whirl on a visit in the near future.

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  5. Byron Lopez

    08/08/2012 at 9:56 pm

    Its so wierd about a week or so when I was at the park there was a log jammer log thrown in the next to colossus

  6. JIMMY TOVAR

    08/09/2012 at 7:09 am

    As a child I used to love this ride. It was one of my all time favorites. Now I get to enjoy it with the next generation of new thrill seekers as my 7 yr old nephew. Awesome profile and thank you for not overlooking it Kurt.

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  8. DC Marvel

    08/09/2012 at 10:55 am

    Hey Kurt,

    If you dont already know which ride you’re doing next, can you do a profile on Riddler’s Revenge? I love that ride and I know it has a lot of history with Freefall and that catchy techno tune they play.

    • Josh

      08/09/2012 at 4:11 pm

      I agree. Riddler’s was my favorite ride for years! Kurt, you do really good profiles!

    • Kurt

      08/09/2012 at 7:27 pm

      Road Runner Express is almost done, then Revolution. Batman or Riddler’s should be after that, but I might squeak in Bugs Bunny World first.

  9. DC Marvel

    08/09/2012 at 11:00 am

    I noticed you did a lot of flat rides’ profiles. I like Batman: The Ride. I guess I like all the DC rides. You can probably tell by the name!

  10. Thomas

    08/09/2012 at 11:22 am

    Kurt, it is not that the ride is showing its age, it’s that Magic Mountain does not maintain their park.

    Think about it. In the off season, they are closed 5 days a week. Is it that hard to paint the park and maintain it without guests around you? SFMM chooses to let the park be this way because people are still coming to it. I wish they would put some effort into keeping it nice. I mean, they don’t even pick up the trash or empty the cans at night so the new guests in the morning get to see full trash cans.

    Look at the fact they ripped out the log jammer and there has been ZERO construction on the new roller coaster for next year. The log jammer would be of some benefit right now with this heat.

    • WolfenDragoon

      08/09/2012 at 4:54 pm

      I have notice six flags generally waits until off season to commence ground breaking on new rides (or at least larger ones, correct me if im wrong) to avoid having the hassle of closing paths for vehicles and personel to access the site.

    • Kurt

      08/09/2012 at 7:35 pm

      I don’t think they would have had time to rip out Log Jammer and install the new ride before the opening of the 2013 season if they hadn’t started until after the 2012 season had ended.

  11. Byron Lopez

    08/09/2012 at 11:48 am

    Ha one time I came with a journalism partner during construction of lex we were going to test flat rides he took the right side of the park I took the left and one of the flat rides I tested was scrambler there were no seats left so I was asked to ride with a maybe 14 year old kid who maybe weight 250 to 280 and I was like 110 when the ride started he didn’t even bother not trying to go on top of me

  12. Byron Lopez

    08/10/2012 at 9:50 am

    Don’t forget the up charge attractions

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  18. Justin Lowery

    06/27/2014 at 9:42 pm

    Is there a standard or a maximum height setting for the carriage compartments to be off of the ground?

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/29/2014 at 9:45 pm

      I have no idea. High enough not to scrape the ground? 😉

      • cottonball carl

        07/20/2015 at 2:23 am

        HI, Coaster guy
        Would you by any chance know where I could get a set of SCRAMBLER PLANS ? I build working models,& I want to build a working scale model of THE AWESOME RIDE “THE SCRAMBLER”
        THANKS FOR ANY HELP YOU MAY HAVE.
        Gary.

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