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Slingshot Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on December 17, 2012

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride logo

Ride Type: Slingshot
Manufacturer: Funtime Group
Model/Style: M45
Year Built: 2012

Work on the Slingshot ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain began quietly in the back of the park in late 2012. There was no official announcement from the park about what it was going to be, however there was a stack of ride parts that had been sitting very close to the site for quite sometime that gave it away. It was a Slingshot ride. The ride was built extremely fast, at least compared to a roller coaster, and opened to the public on December 15, 2012.

Slingshots are manufactured by an Australian company called Funtime Group. Six Flags Magic Mountain partnered with a U.S. company called Ride Entertainment Systems to acquire and install the Slingshot ride. This is the same company that Six Flags Magic Mountain partnered with on their existing Skycoaster ride Dare Devil Dive, as well as the former S&S Power Sky Sling ride they had that was known as Thrill Shot.

The Slingshot is very simple in design, but that doesn’t mean that it falls short on the thrill level. There are two 130′ towers that each connect to a single two-passenger capsule with steel cables. Using high-compression springs, the capsule is launched high into the air, causing the capsule to bounce and spin, until all of the energy is released and it’s lowered back down.

The ride is located in the very back of the park, in Cyclone Bay, next to the entrance to Apocalypse. As seem from above, the two towers are very colorful:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

A closer view shows the rider capsule sitting in the middle of a red & white bullseye-like graphic. The main ride operator’s panel is located in that small fenced off area towards the lower-right of the concrete area. A secondary ride op panel is located in the corner of the larger fenced area in the top of the picture:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Other than all the guy-wires that are necessary to stabilize the towers, the ride looks decent as you approach it. They did a good job at planting some new trees and bushes around the ride and over time they should fill in the area nicely:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Each tower has a massive base unit that is firmly attached to concrete footers, so they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

This is the entrance on the front of the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

I took these photos before the ride opened for the day. They were doing some training, just in case you were wondering why there were so many employees around.

Here’s the mandatory warning sign:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The primary ride op is located behind the capsule, and the secondary is located in the front:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The ride capsule seats two people and I found it to be quite comfortable. The over the shoulder restraint is very snug, but there weren’t any strong forces during the ride like you sometimes get during coaster inversions. When sitting at rest, the capsule is level:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The clear shields you see on the sides are to prevent your arms from getting caught in the cables as the capsule is spinning in flight. The protruding yellow shaft between the riders is a video camera mount. The cabling was there, but no camera yet. I imagine you will eventually be able to buy a video of yourself on the ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The magic that makes this ride work so well is called the spring propulsion machine. Those silver cylinders are high-tension springs that create up to 40 tons of force when extended. Once released, that energy transfers to the cables, which in turn propel the capsule skyward. This is what the springs look like in Stage 1, when at rest with no tension on the cables:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

As the springs are extended, the tension tightens up the cables and the capsule is tilted back, held in place with a high-power magnetic lock at the base of the capsule:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

During Stage 2, the springs are fully extended, building up the forces that will launch the capsule up as soon as the magnetic lock is released. The ride operator has the ability to set the ride to 50%, 75%, or 100% power, depending on the riders and their weight. For example, if they’re small children, it would likely get set to 50% power:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Once the springs are at full power, the magnetic lock is released and the capsule sets sail. The total height of the capsule varies due to various factors, but it’s usually between 200-230′ high:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The capsule is meant to spin, and you can somewhat control it with the position of your legs. If you kick them out or pull them in at the right time, you can either help it spin or prevent it from spinning. I think I had either 3 or 4 spins during my ride:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

I watched several people ride this and everyone single one of them absolutely loved it. Like this lady, and myself, they all had huge smiles on their faces when the ride was over:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

At launch, or Stage 3, the top of the springs unit stays in place and the bottom section is released. It slides up and down as the capsule bounces, until all of the energy has been expended. When done, it’s left looking like this, with the capsule hanging up in the air:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

As the springs are lowered in the spring machine, it gently lowers the capsule:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Here you can see the springs being lowered back into Stage 1, at the bottom:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Once the ride is over, but before the capsule is all the way back down, the ride operator moves over to the landing pad and uses a foot pedal to slowly bring the capsule the rest of the way down. This helps him line up the capsule and lock it onto the magnet:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

This is what the two pieces look like that connect and secure the capsule to the ground:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

The two flanges on the sides not only help line up the capsule for a perfect landing, but they are also a secondary safety system. A pin goes through the holes in the flanges to physically secure the capsule to the base. Even if the magnetic lock were to be disengaged during this time, the capsule would still be secure and not go anywhere:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

This is the capsule fully engaged and locked onto the landing pad:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

Once secure, the remaining tension in the cables is released and the capsule rotates forward, resting on those two small posts you see in the previous photo:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

This is the capsule at rest as seen from the side:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Slingshot Ride

All of those white bumps you see all over the capsule are lights. This ride is supposed to put on quite a light show at night. I’ll have to try and get some shots of that in the future.

This is an upcharge attraction, meaning that it is not included with the price of your park admission. There is an additional fee required to ride it. It costs $30 for a single rider or $40 for two riders. If you are a Season Pass holder, you can get two riders for only $30. Tickets are sold in the Epic Rides gift shop, located just in front of the Slingshot ride.

I would like to extend my personal thank you to both Mario B., the ride supervisor, and Six Flags Magic Mountain, for providing me with a promotional flight on Slingshot so that I could properly evaluate it. It’s an extremely fun ride and if you ever have the opportunity to ride it, I highly suggest that you do so.

Here is a video I shot of the Slingshot ride from start to finish:

20 Comments

  1. Boosha

    12/17/2012 at 9:13 am

    I went for the “first hour of operation” to the public. Wanted to ride but my girlfriend didn’t. A staff member said since it would only be me that he would ride with me. Since it was “not busy” he said I would get a second ride for free. The price for one individual to ride with my season pass discount is $25.50. I was confused when he said it would only be $15.00 a person, which I was under the impression that’s what I would pay. It is $15.00 a person if two people put their money together. Didn’t ride; was pretty bummed about the high price.

  2. JJJJ

    12/17/2012 at 10:34 am

    The price is pretty high

  3. Eric

    12/17/2012 at 10:51 am

    Very low capacity rides like this one usually are fairly expensive to ride.

    If I’m not mistaken, Funtime is the company that makes the Star Flyer, the high swinging ride similar to Windseeker at Knott’s.

    • Kurt

      12/17/2012 at 10:54 am

      You are correct about the Star Flyer, Eric. I should have mentioned that since Six Flags has some installed at other parks.

    • Justin

      12/18/2012 at 1:11 pm

      Actually Mondial built the Cedar Fair Windseekers. Six Flags built the Funtime Star Flyers.

  4. Baller

    12/17/2012 at 1:16 pm

    so how fast does that go at? and is it worth it?

    • Kurt

      12/19/2012 at 12:23 pm

      If it takes 3 seconds to go up 220′, then my rough calculations shows that it’s traveling around 50 MPH. As for it being worth it, that’s a question that only you can answer for yourself.

  5. Casey

    12/17/2012 at 3:39 pm

    Looks Fun,Cant wait to ride next time I go to SFMM!

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  7. Josh

    12/17/2012 at 5:24 pm

    It actually looks nice. I don’t really care about the price, since I never ride upcharge attractions. I’m sure if the high price is deterring enough riders, they’ll lower the price as needed.

  8. AvgCoaster

    12/17/2012 at 6:29 pm

    It looks to me like you could scrape your heels clean off on one of those white topped posts, if you swing your feet back at the wrong moment during launch. (though I seriously doubt that possible)

    • AvgCoaster

      12/17/2012 at 6:29 pm

      **that’s

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  10. Thomas

    12/18/2012 at 7:55 pm

    I like how in many of the pictures the one employee is not paying attention but appears to be texting on his phone. Typical Magic Mountain employee.

    • mike

      12/18/2012 at 8:39 pm

      I see no employees texting … send me the photo and I shall take care of it… Aside from that I watched this ride (?) this past Sunday and watched 2 guys flip their car a min of what must have been 30-50 times while coming back into the station … needless to say when they got off they weren’t feeling so well and staggered to a area where I sure didn’t want to watch what they had for lunch.

    • Kurt

      12/19/2012 at 12:10 pm

      I was watching them all very closely and I can attest that none of them were on their phones. They were being trained and paying very close attention. Must just be an unfortunate camera angle.

      • Thomas

        12/23/2012 at 3:31 pm

        I should clarify. Meant to say “appeared” to be texting. It will happen soon enough. It is magic mountain after all. ;>)

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