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Profile: Palace Games

By on 09/21/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

With the upcoming addition of the Full Throttle roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the park has announced that there will also be a brand new themed area that will accompany it. The rumors are flying fast and furious as to what it will be and what existing buildings in the area may or may not be affected. Since the Palace Games building is located directly across the midway from where Full Throttle is being built, there’s a pretty good chance that something will happen with it, even if it’s just remodeled. Before that happens, I wanted to capture how it looks today.

The Palace Games building was built in 1972, in time for the opening of the park’s second season. It is located across the midway from what was Whitewater Lake, the former home of Log Jammer, and the future home of Full Throttle. All of the early maps have it simply labeled as ‘Arcade’, so I’m not sure if the ‘Palace’ name came later or if it just wasn’t added to the early maps. I’m guessing that it was added some years later, perhaps when the High Sierra Territory was added. It’s a decent sized building and here is what it looks like today:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

Before you even enter the building, there are games that flank both sides of the entrance. On the left, there are a couple of claw machines. One of them is so large that you could win a Sony PS3 or even a TV:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

I’ve never seen anyone walking around the park with a TV tucked under their arm. On the righthand side are more claw machines and a photo booth:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

The 2012 park map lists Palace Games as a “skeeball parlor and family fun center.” It does remind me of a family fun center because just about everything dispenses tickets as rewards. When you first walk in the door, you see the giant prize distribution center. This is where you would cash in your tickets for various prizes. The more tickets, the bigger the prize:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

Over along the righthand wall is the row of skeeball machines:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

Looking back towards the left, past the main entrance, you get a sense of the layout:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

In the far left corner are a couple of good old fashioned video games:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Palace Games

I have walked by this place many times and glanced in, but this was my first time ever actually going inside. I have never seen any park guests in here, but I usually visit the park during off-peak hours. Still, I just can’t imagine who would pay to go to a theme park and then spend their time inside an arcade. I can see the appeal of paying to play some of the games over at Center Ring Games, trying to win a life-size stuffed animal, but not these, not for tickets.  I did find it odd that there wasn’t an employee in here as I was walking around. You would think they would have at least one person manning the main counter. I can easily see this building re-purposed into something that would be used by more people, like a new restaurant. Give me your thoughts. Do you spend money in here? Would you like to see it stay as is or changed into something else?

Note: Take a look at the very first two photos. Notice anything different? I took the very first photo quite some time ago and you can still see the old Metro monorail beam going over the top of the marquee. The Metro’s Whitewater Station was located just to the left of the arcade as you were looking at it from the front. Both the beam and the station were removed when they took out Log Jammer in preparation for building Full Throttle. The former location of the station has been fenced off and will be how they move construction equipment and materials into the built site from the backstage area behind Bugs Bunny World.


  1. Ryan O

    09/22/2012 at 9:05 am

    I’ve never even thought to go inside the Palace Games. It’s been dead for as long as I can remember. But I really hope they do something with it in the mass renovation! It seems like a pretty large building.

  2. Eric

    09/22/2012 at 11:33 am

    I’m thinking that they may gut the arcade and use it as a queue building for a future attraction… 😉

    How people pay to visit a theme park and spend time playing the same arcade games that they can find at their local family entertainment center is beyond me. There are just too many other things to do that you can’t do at your local Golf ‘N’ Stuff. If in fact WTF? is being removed to make way for Full Throttle, then maybe the arcade would be a good spot for it.

    Regarding this new themed area…I wonder if the High Sierra Territory theme is going away altogether or if the new area will be the few acres that was once Whitewater Lake? Personally, I’ve always liked the Sierra theme and think that of all of the themes at the park, High Sierra Territory was one of the best.

  3. Moptop

    09/23/2012 at 9:19 pm

    You will be surprised that people do play these games. I do visit SFMF and other socal parks regularly and people do play these games. Mainly kids when their parents are eating, taking a break, or when the kids can’t get on the rides. I don’t really pay attention to these when I go to SFMF but I visited Knotts last month(When Windseeker was working) and I got a snack near the arcade and kid after kid entering the arcade. I do think they have this as disposable real estate.

    • Kurt

      09/24/2012 at 10:15 am

      But even with some kids using it, do you think they make enough money to make the arcade worthwhile, or would the location be better served for another purpose?

      • Moptop

        09/25/2012 at 8:43 am

        I don’t think they make enough to be worthwhile. I think it’s disposable real estate that is a free standing building. To make it into a snack bar or a gift shop wouldn’t take much work. I don’t think it could be used as a queue building because the location. I wouldn’t think Six Flags would be able to put a ride there but they could take out the go karts and Cold Stone and possibly fit a ride in the back. They would take down Palace Games and covert it into a Cold Stone rather then building a new free standing building.

        • Kurt

          09/25/2012 at 8:49 am

          They wouldn’t build another ColdStone in the front of the park when they already have one by the main entrance. In fact, I heard that’s the only dual-line ColdStone in the country, or at least it was when it was built. But I do hear what you’re saying.

  4. JJJJ

    09/24/2012 at 10:37 pm

    Ive also never been in there. Im guessing the only time its used is when it rains.

    Another way to make it useful is to simply set all the games as free-play and get rid of tickets. Could be a way to keep a couple hundred kids entertained every day – and out of the queues. Its not like six flags would lose, as these people are paying big money and NOT using the rides that cost millions.

    How many skeeball machines could you buy for the price of one roller coaster loop?

    • Andrew

      09/26/2012 at 6:57 am

      I sometimes go in there, but I have NEVER seen anyone else in there. Its a total waste.

  5. Eric Mares

    10/02/2012 at 9:51 pm

    Does anybody remembers that there used to be a motion simulator ride in there. The last time I went in there was the summer of 1997 and the simulator was still there, so some one else must have seen it.

    • Kurt

      10/02/2012 at 11:28 pm

      I heard about a simulator called Ham on Rye, but it was 2002 and was located in Cyclone Bay. I could be wrong.

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