NCL Free At Sea

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report For 04 Nov 2012

By on 11/04/2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Entrance

It was dark and a very crisp 52° F when I arrived at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday morning for a film shoot. It was an even colder 50° F when I arrived at the same time on Sunday morning, but thanks to the time change the sun was already starting to rise. As you can see in the above photo, it was going to be an absolutely gorgeous day in the park.

Looks like it’s time for the annual Friday Night Live day at the park:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Entrance

The film shoot I took part in was for the Travel Channel’s Insane Coaster Wars. They put a call out for members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) to fill the seats during filming. We filmed on both Tatsu and X2, which will both appear on future episodes:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Insane Coaster Wars

If you’ve never been involved in a production like this, there’s lots of downtime. You must have a lot of patience as they position and secure cameras, move cameras, try different angles, move people into different seats, etc. For the few hours that we were there on Saturday, I think we only rode X2 a total of five times:

Six Flags Magic Mountain X2

This was the main camera rig on the back of X2, being tested on an empty train. It obviously didn’t rotate. It remained stationary throughout the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain X2

For comparison, here is the camera rig used for Tatsu on Sunday. They mounted it to the brackets on the foot restraints on the very front car. When the seats were rotated into the flying position, as they are in this photo, it had a clear view of the riders in car #2:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Tatsu

I’ve always wondered how they fairly picked a winner in these coaster showdowns since the same people don’t get to experience each ride. There is a voting booth setup in the exit path with iPads to capture people’s thoughts on the ride. You enter your name, address, and email address, then you are presented with a series of categories, such as speed of ride, length of ride, inversions, overall thrill, etc. There is a slider bar for each category, from 0-100. It only takes a minute or two to complete. At the end of the day, they tally the overall score for that ride and they then have a fair way to rate the rides against each other:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Insane Coaster Wars

The Sky Tower elevator got stuck halfway up the tower on Friday, putting it out of commission. Fortunately, they got it fixed and I was able to head up this afternoon.

According to L.A. County Department of Public Works, the building permit application for the sling shot ride was submitted on 26 June 2012, but wasn’t approved until 28 Sep 2012, which explains why the ride has been sitting in pieces in the back of the park with nothing happening with it. The application states that the ride has two 130′ towers, which are less than half as high as the 265′ towers that Thrill Shot had. It looks like the concrete pads for the sling shot installation are complete:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Sling Shot

You can see lots of electrical conduits popping up from the ground. The electrical permit for this ride was just recently issued on 11 Oct 2012:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Sling Shot

The ground must have been slopping downward towards the hill, which seems odd, because they had to do a bit of excavating to get this corner pad installed:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Sling Shot

Roaring Rapids is officially closed for the offseason and the rafts can be seen lined up behind Apocalypse getting refurbished:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Roaring Rapids

There are what appears to be panels all lined up and being painted light blue in one of the backlots. My first guess was that they would be used as perhaps a queue cover for the Sling Shot ride, but there are way too many for that. Then it occurred to me – these are most likely going to be the construction walls for the Full Throttle area:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Misc

Speaking of Full Throttle, nothing new since my update yesterday, but at least we now get an aerial view. You can better see how that path from the tunnel follows the curve around the Gold Rusher track and then curves back towards the station:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle

Here is what it looks like from the ground:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle

Looks like they’re still clearing lots of trees and rocks from the site:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle

Look at that blue sky! We are so fortunate to have such great weather all year long here in SoCal. Blackout is still in the station. I suspect that won’t be touched for awhile:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle

Lots of What the Fried? demolition debris seen through a hole in the fence:

Six Flags Magic Mountain What the Fried?

Looking in the window, you can see they’ve already started gutting the place:

Six Flags Magic Mountain What the Fried?

I posed a question yesterday, asking if anyone knew the future of these two places:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle

A short walk around to the backside of the park answered that very question this morning. They are taking over the old Surfer Girls retail building back by Cyclone Bay:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Retail

They weren’t open and I have no idea when they plan to open:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Retail

There was a Dance Fest at Golden Bear Theater today, so lots of dancers milling about:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Dance Fest

All of the Fright Fest decorations have been removed from the park, including the main stage that was built over the top of this planter. The freshly planted flowers look good:

Six Flags Magic Mountain

You would never even know there was a huge Fright Fest sales kiosk built here:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest

That’s it for this week. Talk to you all next weekend!


  1. Josh

    11/04/2012 at 3:57 pm

    It’s exciting to see what Six Flags is up to this year. It’s not really Full Throttle I’m excited about. I just want to see what they’re doing to the old and dilapidated buildings and refurbishing or replacing them.

    For the last decade, peeling paint and dusty/old buildings has been a legitamite complaint about the park. With DC Universe last year and this section of Six Flags Plaza that is being redone, there seems to be a lot of change for the better at SFMM now.

    • Josh

      11/04/2012 at 3:58 pm


      Thanks for the report, Coaster Guy, as well!

  2. Aaron

    11/04/2012 at 4:58 pm

    Did every ACE member receive an invite to the coaster wars filming? Or were just certain people invited? Thanks for the report as always!

    • Eric

      11/04/2012 at 7:44 pm

      I got an invite, but wasn’t able to make it. My guess is that ACE members in the L.A./SoCal area were invited because they’re closest to the park and would be most likely to be able to participate.

    • Kurt

      11/05/2012 at 4:25 am

      I have no idea who all got them as I was not involved with sending them out.

  3. Michael

    11/04/2012 at 8:12 pm

    I got invited and I’m in NorCal.

  4. mike

    11/04/2012 at 8:35 pm

    Was X2 closed to the public until this filming was concluded around 6pm on Saturday, as Saturday was crazy loaded with Teen Life going on bringing over 300 bus loads of kids to the park.

    • Kurt

      11/05/2012 at 4:26 am

      Oh no…we were done by the time the park opened at 10:30 am each morning so normal park operations would not be affected.

  5. Byron Lopez

    11/05/2012 at 4:33 pm

    Since WTF is gone are dole whips also gone

    • Kurt

      11/05/2012 at 4:41 pm

      For now. No word if they’ll be back or not.

  6. Rusty

    11/05/2012 at 5:47 pm

    I went the same day and the Travel Channel filming explains why staff were asking us to fill out a survey. Was X2 a little bit rougher in your opinion or did I just get a bad ride?

    • Donovan Boczko

      11/05/2012 at 11:45 pm

      My recent rides on X2 have really kicked my behind. Usually on that last “Loop” and roll before the brake run, my head gets slammed back and forth and my legs tend to flop about in a really painful manner. It seems to be back to its former pink and yellow glory! Funny thing is, in a few places you can see the original colors coming through the new colors…

      • Kurt

        11/06/2012 at 7:31 am

        It wasn’t that bad. I think we were using train #1 and I was sitting on the outside in two different seats. My legs bounced pretty good if I tried keeping them up against the seat, but they were fine if I just stretched them out in front of me. Overall, I felt it was running pretty good.

        • Rusty

          11/06/2012 at 4:33 pm

          Thats exactly what where that happened to me donovan! That’s the last time i’ll sit on an outside seat for a long time. That’s a good idea though Kurt. I’ll stretch my legs next time around haha.

        • Eric

          11/06/2012 at 6:48 pm

          One thing I do to help minimize leg banging is to cross my legs at the ankles. Seems to work for me.

    • Andrew

      11/06/2012 at 7:20 am

      Really depends on which train you get in. For the smoothest ride, ride in the front of train 3 and put the heaviest person on the outside seat.

      • Brendan

        11/06/2012 at 1:20 pm

        Whenever I ride I have to think about pressing my head against the seat going into the last loop part before returning to the station. That part is the only really rough part about the ride when I have gone recently. I will remember this about Train 3 too.

        • Andrew

          11/07/2012 at 7:05 am

          They constantly switch which are smoother, so just try to stay near the front and put the heaviest person on the outside. At the end, have your head about an inch off the headrest and don’t let it move.


    11/06/2012 at 6:54 am

    Very cool. Can’t wait to see what the park will look like next season.

    Thanks Kurt!!

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