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Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report For 06 Jan 2013

By on January 6, 2013

Welcome to my very first Six Flags Magic Mountain trip report of 2013. Today was the last day of the 2012 Christmas/2013 New Year holiday break, which means that with the exception of three miscellaneous Mondays, there will not be any more weekday operations until Spring Break at the end of March. It’s weekends only until then.

I’ve been to Six Flags Magic Mountain quite a bit over the last two weeks, so some of these pictures are from a couple of days ago. If you see clear blue skies in some of the pics, that wasn’t today. It’s currently cold, overcast, and threatening some more rain. With the exception of the season pass registration, which we’ll talk about, it was a pretty good day to go to the park.

I didn’t make the same mistake I made the other day. I looked for the new Gold Pass entrance so I could get into the park 10 minutes early:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Gold Pass Entrance

It felt weird standing on the opposite side of the main gate from the Discover card entrance, where I normally go in. There was virtually nobody in the Discover line today:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Entrance

Behind me, at 10:10 am, the line for the season pass registration already had multiple lines around the giant planter box in the middle of the plaza and was growing. Within another five minutes they laid out those extra barricades as more people flooded in:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Season Pass Registration

I confirmed with the park that today is the last day to buy season passes that qualify for the free upgrade to Gold Passes. However, due to the overwhelming popularity of the promotion, they have extended the deadline for processing those passes from today until January 27th. Therefore, if you haven’t processed your passes yet, don’t worry. You still have three weekends to take care of it. However, I don’t recommend waiting until the 27th to do it, or you’ll likely face another crowd just like this one.

The registration line got so long that they started walking groups of people over to the old season pass registration office to try and get people through the process faster:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Registration

The Gold Pass entrance is definitely the way to go. Not only did we get in before the regular ticket holders at the main gate in the middle, but we were also in before the Discover card holders on the far right of this photo:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Gold Pass Entrance

I’m not sure how old they are, but I noticed the other day that all the American flags around the Six Flags Plaza looked brand new. I certainly hope they bought one for the top of the Sky Tower. They’re probably just drawing straws on who gets to go up there and replace it:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Plaza

From the Sky Tower, lots of Full Throttle work was continuing on and around the Superman Plaza. I might have to take back what I said the other day. From this angle, it looks like they may not have even touched the Superman logo. Looks like it just needs some new paint:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

If they last for more than four hours, you should probably see your doctor:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

Ohhhhh….these open holes! That hole on the right may be the only thing affecting the Superman logo, depending on how far the cut extends under the plywood:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

Even though this one is topped by an open hole caution sign, it looks to me that it has already been filled in with concrete. That looks like some concrete dribble on the left as well:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

Just on the opposite side of this blue fence is where the markers were located on the Gold Rusher track. It’s also where I noticed they had cleared the dirt up against the retaining wall to install some footers. I’m guessing it’s easier working from up top because the Gold Rusher track may partially be in the way from down below:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

All of the rebar that was sitting up on Samurai Summit is gone, presumably dropped into all the newly dug footer wells. You can still see where the barricades are blocking the area off in the bottom-left, but since there’s nothing below there other than Superman, no problem:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

I didn’t see any heavy equipment on the back path, but you can sure tell they’ve been there:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

You can just make out the rebar cages sticking up out of the wells they are sitting in:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Construction

Is there something wrong with the bottom-half of the cover over Superman’s maintenance area? It looks like it’s sagging quite a bit:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Superman

Does anyone have any information about what is going on with Ben & Jerry’s? I heard a rumor that they were being removed from all Six Flags parks, leaving behind just Cold Stone. The sign on the door says this location is closed. Not sure if it’s just a seasonal thing:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Ben & Jerry's

It’s hard to tell looking in the window if all the boxes on the counters are filled with stuff being hauled out or supplies being brought in. There’s still a live register:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Ben & Jerry's

A couple of the old trams have been moved around to behind Apocalypse, including the wrapped M&Ms and Skittles trams. The word I’m getting is that the park has actually sold them. Can you believe that? They were already used when the park bought them over 40 years ago. The park will be keeping the two short, van-based trams to haul employees around the park during Fright Fest and for other internal needs:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trams

It looks like the fifth new bus has arrived, leaving just one to show up:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trams

What I’ve learned about these buses is that they were bought new for the 2002 Winter Olympics, held in Salt Lake City, as part of the massive transportation system that was needed for the games. They used a total of 680 buses to shuttle everyone where they needed to go, many of which were on loan from municipalities all over the country. Once the games were over, I’m guessing there was a massive surplus of buses that went up for auction. I suspect that Six Flags got a pretty sweet deal, which is why they went with these instead of the typical amusement park trams. These were probably a fraction of the cost of new trams. I’m curious how many Six Flags bought in total and what other parks we’ll see them rolled out in besides New England and Magic Mountain:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trams

Here’s a guy refurbishing Roaring Rapids rafts out back:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Roaring Rapids Rafts

With many of the leaves off the trees for winter, I spotted this little critter from the Sky Tower, cruising underneath Tatsu. I think it’s just a squirrel:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Squirrel

I’ll cover this in a dedicated future post, but the entire on-ride photography program has changed as of the first of the year. At least the pricing structure has. The one and only USB key that will be used for 2013 is red and looks like this:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Photo USB Key

You could win….A BRAND NEW CAR!!!

Six Flags Magic Mountain Advertising

As I left the park today, I couldn’t help but notice all of the cars idling along the drop-off area. I’m wondering if these are parents who dropped their kids off to “quickly” run in and process their season pass, thinking today was the last day to get the free upgrade to Gold. I sure hope they have a full tank of gas, because they’re going to be sitting there for awhile:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Drop-Off

34 Comments

  1. Andrew

    01/06/2013 at 5:07 pm

    So the trams are confirmed now?

    And all those cars are a mixture of valet parking and yes, waiting parents. Security was strictly enforcing no waiting in the drop off area today, so they were all probably trying to stay away from security and park. The park was so dead this afternoon!

    • Kurt

      01/06/2013 at 5:40 pm

      They were confirmed a long time ago.

  2. Caleb

    01/06/2013 at 5:12 pm

    Ben and Jerry’s was open when I visited last Sunday, so this one is still in operation.

  3. AvgCoaster

    01/06/2013 at 5:22 pm

    Got in line at about 2pm yesterday to process my season pass (not knowing that as long as you were in line by closing(6 or 630pm) that you would still get it) and finally got processed at 5pm. Wasted a good chunk of the day but with how often im at magic mountain it was probably a good thing.

  4. AvgCoaster

    01/06/2013 at 5:24 pm

    Oh and why would they close the ben and jerrys for the winters but not the cold stones? Make one think that the ben and jerrys is going to be removed. Just a thought.

  5. Max

    01/06/2013 at 6:27 pm

    Ben and Jerry’s is gone for good. They have told us at work to stop upselling it and just stick with cold stone for ice cream.

    • Kurt

      01/06/2013 at 6:34 pm

      That’s what I’ve heard. Thanks for the confirmation.

  6. zac

    01/06/2013 at 7:04 pm

    Ben and jerrys is also a lessee, while coldstone and sfmm have a contract in which coldstone gets 5% of all sales, and in return sfmm can use their name and purchase their products. same goes for johnny rockets. so maybe b&js thought the weren’t making enough. and the park also posted flyers backstage stating that for this weekend (5-6) goldrusher and superman Wilkinson be closed. so hopefully- goldrusher will be off the list soon.

    • Kurt

      01/06/2013 at 7:28 pm

      I think Gold Rusher will be closed for awhile. They are working right up next to the track.

  7. Robert

    01/06/2013 at 7:06 pm

    Did u find out if everyone needs a Gold Pass to enter early, or just one person?

    • Kurt

      01/06/2013 at 7:26 pm

      Everybody needs their own Gold Pass to use this entrance.

      • Andrew

        01/06/2013 at 7:59 pm

        I’m curious to see if when the coupon books are released if you will be able to get friends in through that gate or not

  8. Eric

    01/06/2013 at 7:18 pm

    Seeing what those lines look like today makes me glad that I got my pass activated last weekend and “only” waited an hour! It looks like the word about the extension to January 27 hasn’t reached the masses…yet.

    It’s probably a good thing that I don’t run this park, as I’d paint the new trams in the livery of various local agencies (MTA, Santa Clarita Transit, Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines, etc.) just to see what people think. Using transit buses as park trams is going to be interesting at best—especially with doors on only one side.

    • Andrew

      01/06/2013 at 8:00 pm

      I got mine on December 16th and I got in and out within 5 minutes.

  9. Bob winek

    01/06/2013 at 8:20 pm

    Any new track yet

    • Kurt

      01/06/2013 at 8:38 pm

      Nope, not since that one piece showed up the other day.

  10. JJJJ

    01/07/2013 at 12:39 am

    Season pass: Its poor customer service to make customers wait so long to process passes….Cant believe they didnt organize that better

    Buses: Find it amusing that the NEW buses are actually 10 years old. If youre curious, a brand new articulated bus runs around a million each, not sure on the resale value for a 10 year old model. Most transit agencies keep their buses for 12-16 years before scrapping them. If those buses were in active service for the full 10 years, they may not have been a good buy, as theyll require a fair amount of maintenance, much more so than the open air trolley train would.

    • zac

      01/07/2013 at 11:58 am

      well if they games were in 2002, I’m sure the buses were auctioned off not long after the games had finished. Six flags probably bought their surplus and stored them until the individual theme parks decided to purchase them from the company when they wanted/needed too.

      • Kurt

        01/07/2013 at 12:42 pm

        The individual parks would not have to purchase them from corporate. It’s all the same company, with all assets belonging to SFEG.

    • Kurt

      01/07/2013 at 12:40 pm

      I don’t believe these buses were used after the Olympics. I hear they all have very low miles and are like brand new. I suspect they’ve been parked somewhere waiting for a buyer. I’m sure SF got them for a song, especially since it appears they bought several of them.

      • JJJJ

        01/07/2013 at 3:48 pm

        That would surprise me though. The bus market is quite active, agencies buy thousands of new buses every year. I dont understand how like-new buses would sit for so long without finding a buyer. Maybe they had a similar job to what SFMM will use them to. Making the trolley loop wont exactly add too many miles to these things.

        • Eric

          01/11/2013 at 10:30 pm

          By my estimates, each round trip will be about 1.35 miles if the trams go all the way out to the end of their run on busy days. I don’t know how many round trips each tram will make per operating day, so it’s hard to say how many miles the fleet will rack up and how quickly. It will also depend on how (or if) they realign the route for passengers to use the doors on the right hand side. Try and picture how that might work. ;)

  11. Casey

    01/07/2013 at 8:12 pm

    Maybe they bought the buses a while ago and waited till’ now to use them?And,does anyone know if you can use your season pass to get into a media day for a ride?I was told by someone that you can.Does anyone know if they’re planning anymore new attractions either?

    • Andrew

      01/07/2013 at 9:07 pm

      Media day is invitation only for the media. There will most likely be Season Pass previews, though.

    • Kurt

      01/07/2013 at 9:38 pm

      Andrew is correct. Media Days are by invitation only. If they decide to hold public previews of the ride prior to opening it up to the public, then it would most likely be for season pass holders only.

      • Eric

        01/08/2013 at 11:58 pm

        They used to hold season passholder previews for new rides a long time ago, but haven’t in many years.

        • Andrew

          01/09/2013 at 4:54 pm

          2011- one month of previews for S:EFK
          2012- One whole week of early admission for LL:DOD (one was supposed to be early).

          • Eric

            01/10/2013 at 8:04 pm

            OK…I forgot that the preview for Superman: Escape From Krypton was a season passholder event. I thought it was for people who “Liked” the Six Flags or Six Flags Magic Mountain page(s) on Facebook.

  12. Victor C

    01/10/2013 at 9:17 pm

    Nice post!! They need to have a MTA express line run between North Hollywood Station and Six Flags!!! Its too difficult to get to the park by public transportation from Los Angeles. I can’t visit SFMM unless one of my family members drives me there.. I can take ONE bus from Los Angeles to Disneyland and Knotts.Metro runs express line 460 between Downtown LA, Knotts Berry Farm, and Disneyland. Its a busy line and it has been running for around 25 years… I would LOVE to see a MTA run a line between NH and SFMM. I am very confident many people will use the bus as an alternative to the parking..

    • Eric

      01/10/2013 at 10:47 pm

      I agree that an MTA express line to the Santa Clarita Valley would be a good thing; however, I wouldn’t count on a dedicated line straight to Magic Mountain. Should such a service be put into place, Santa Clarita Transit would likely set up some kind of hub that would incorporate their buses, MTA’s buses, and Metrolink. SCT has service to Magic Mountain, but it’s not very frequent and I don’t think it serves the park really late. Start here and look for schedules.

      • Eric

        01/10/2013 at 10:49 pm

        Actually, I stand corrected…a bit. I believe that Santa Clarita Transit does run buses into the Valley, and I think one of them stops at the Metro Red Line station in North Hollywood. That has become a mini transportation hub of sorts with the Red Line subway, local buses, and the Orange Line across the street. The site I linked above should have info on the Santa Clarita bus.

  13. AlexInLA

    01/11/2013 at 12:45 am

    There is also a Santa Clarita Express(Freeway)bus leaving from Union Station that gets you rather quick to Santa Clarita where you switch to another bus for a 5 min ride that dropps you off right in front of X2.

    It has been a couple of years since I took those, but I remember that it was actually quite easy to get there.

  14. Tyler Chinappi

    01/13/2013 at 4:20 pm

    when is the next full throttle update going to be? what day?

    • Kurt

      01/13/2013 at 5:52 pm

      Sometime after my next trip to the park. Likely either next Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.

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