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Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report For 26 Jan 2013

By on 01/26/2013

This Six Flags Magic Mountain trip report comes just one day after heavy rains swept through the Los Angeles area. We were supposed to get more rain today, but it ended up being a really nice day. Now, let’s see what’s happened in the park this past week.

I arrived around 2:00 pm and as soon as I passed through security, I noticed that there was still a healthy line at the season pass processing center. Don’t forget that tomorrow, January 27th, is the last day for the free upgrades to a 2013 Six Flags Gold Season Pass. If you bought four or more 2013 Thrill Passes prior to January 6th, you qualify for the free upgrade. Just make sure you get your vouchers processed by the end of tomorrow or you will miss out:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

This is the second weekend in a row that the Orient Express wasn’t working when I was at the park. I’m grateful for the extra exercise walking up the hill, but holy cow it’s a climb. Anyone know why it’s down? The couple of employees I asked did not know why it was closed:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

One positive effect of the Orient Express being closed is that they have extra employees to work the Sky Tower. This means that you can actually go up in the tower and stay there for as long as you like. When there is just a single employee working the tower, everyone has to go down at the same time, even if you’re not ready to. It’s not very guest-friendly. With multiple employees, one will stay up in the tower with whoever wants to stay while the other employee shuttles the elevator up and down for other park guests. This also means that you don’t have to wait very long at the base for the elevator to come back down for the next group.

While up in the tower, I noticed a whole bunch of lockers lined up in the back lot, with a truck from a sandblasting company next to them. I’m thinking these are probably employee lockers that are getting stripped down and refurbished:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

As I was walking through Center Ring Games, I noticed a big change at the Air Ball game. Instead of having air powered pistols, there are now two of the slingshots that used to be over at the LexCorp Weapons Training Facility. In talking to the employee, he indicated that the Lex Luthor game wasn’t doing very well, and it may have been because the game was too difficult. Having played the game myself, I will attest to it being very hard. The park decided to mix it up a bit and move the slingshots here, where guests might have better luck. The idea is to shoot a small ball from the slingshot and knock one of the balls off the column of air they are floating on. The slingshot isn’t any easier, but at least the target is bigger and closer:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

This is what the LexCorp Weapons Training Facility now looks like:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

The slingshots have been swapped out with the air pistols from the Air Ball game. A small ball is loaded into the tip of the barrel and shoots out using compressed air. The idea of the game is to shoot the balls through the holes you see in the targets in the above picture. The employee said he thought it was a little easier. When I asked him if the park guests liked it, he said he wasn’t sure because he hadn’t had any yet. Sounds like some marketing is in order:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

The broken water pipes in Whistlestop Park have been fixed and the concrete sealed back up:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

I didn’t think there was enough change since my Full Throttle Construction Update #6 last week to warrant a new update, but here are a couple of things that I did notice. First, check out the size difference between these rebar cages. It really goes to show that the anticipated load on a footer is a big factor in determining how big it needs to be:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

It looks like they spent some time cleaning up the dirt above and below the access road through the middle of the main Full Throttle construction area. I wonder if this was a way of compacting as much of the hillside as they could, in anticipation of the rain, to try and minimize how much dirt was washed downhill:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

On the lower side of the access road, you can see some new footer locations being prepped:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

Not much appears to have changed in the main construction area since last week:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

It looks like most of the footer wells had already been filled with concrete before the rains hit. However, there are a few open holes that were just covered with a piece of plywood. I’m sure they expect weather like this during construction, but it still can’t be fun to deal with:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

How do they drill for footers in an existing tunnel, or do they even need to? Here you can see some new footers lined up and leading right into the center of the tunnel:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

More footers leading up to the tunnel:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

Looking up towards the tunnel from the back path. It looks like they might have covered some newly dug footer holes with plastic to protect them from the rain:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

Remember that footer I called out in the last Full Throttle update that was using a concrete form? This is why they are used. If the footer needs some height up from the ground, the form is what holds the concrete and gives it shape until it cures. Once cured, you can peel away the form and be left with a perfectly round, good looking concrete footer:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

Still a confusing mess looking out from the ground level:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

Yup, looking to the right doesn’t help much:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

At least now you can start to see a straight line of footers heading up the hill. This is presumably the direction the vertical loop is going to be installed:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

There still aren’t nearly enough to build an entire roller coaster, but more track and column pieces continue to show up and be stored in the overflow parking lot out back:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

I’ve gotten reports that all six of the new tram buses are now onsite. However, they still haven’t had any graphics applied and the employees have yet to begin training on them. I’m also hearing that a couple of minor changes need to be made to the parking lot in order to accomodate the size of the buses and the reverse loading order. Here are five of them:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

On my way out, I passed either a new sign or one that I’ve never noticed before. I suspect that with the new signage that was recently added to the Flags building, this is another piece of marketing to try and get guests into the store before leaving the park for the day:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report 20130126

If it is a new sign, I think a $2.00 can of white spray paint and five minutes of time would do miracles on that frame. Or while you’re at it, go wild and have fun with a high gloss blue.

Don’t forget to sign-up for my email list on the top-right of this page. Many of you already have and I thank you for that. I’m think I’m going to start sending these updates out first via email by the end of February, so sign-up now so you don’t miss out.

18 Comments

  1. Eric

    01/26/2013 at 9:46 pm

    I wonder if Orient Express cars have problems with slipping on the track, which would necessitate closing that ride? A little extra exercise certainly wouldn’t hurt me, that’s for sure. In all the years I’ve been going to Magic Mountain, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Sky Tower with only one employee running it.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the bolts that are sticking out of the footers look awfully thin. Seems like they’d be several inches in diameter to avoid having the support shear off of the footer. However, as we already know, Premier knows what they’re doing.

    Do you think there will be a light crowd tomorrow, or will there be a lot of people there trying to squeeze in their Gold upgrade? It’s been over a month since I was there, and I guess I’m getting an itch to ride a coaster or two. I kind of wish I’d gone today, but I’m still of the “don’t go on a Saturday” mindset. But I’ll see if I can get up and out of the house early enough to go.

    • Andrew

      01/26/2013 at 10:00 pm

      Today was walk right up on everything, including X2. No season pass line after like 4. Shouldn’t be bad

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/26/2013 at 10:10 pm

      I’ve pretty much only ever seen one employee in the Sky Tower for the last two years.

      Read my last FT post for my take on the bolts.

      Tomorrow should be a phenomenal day to go to the park. I predict very light crowds.

      • Eric

        01/27/2013 at 1:24 am

        I just re-read your last update, and now I remember you noting how minuscule those bolts were. The giant square holes will align the support pole with the footer, but it does seem like they’d use heavier bolts. It would be interesting to check out any other Premier installations to compare.

        We’ll see if I get out there tomorrow. Even if I get up early enough, it will depend on how I feel.

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/27/2013 at 9:10 pm

      I don’t think the Orient Express cars slip on the track. Since both cars act as a counterweight to each other on opposite ends of the same cable, I think the tracks are merely there for guidance. The motor and pulley at the top of the hill are what really control the movement. No traction on the track is required.

  2. Andrew

    01/26/2013 at 9:58 pm

    I think I saw you in the sky tower! I was with my friends and went down the elevator right after you came up.

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/26/2013 at 10:20 pm

      Yah, I think I know who you are. I saw you take a double-take when I walked by, like you recognized me, but you didn’t say anything. Say hi next time. 🙂

  3. Casey

    01/26/2013 at 10:31 pm

    I went to the park on a rainy weekend (and I mean really raining!!!) and the only rides that were closed were SEFK,Green Lantern,and LLDOD.There were also NO LINES!!!!! Its a great time to go to the park! Also,anything new about the action theatre? In one of your December updates you said that they were chlorinating the water around it. Thanks for the update!!!

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/27/2013 at 9:13 pm

      They had probably just dumped a bunch of chemicals into the water to kill off any algae that was building up. I am not aware of any plans to do anything with the Action Theater (unfortunately), other than continuing to use it as a Fright Fest maze.

      • Eric

        01/27/2013 at 10:44 pm

        While I didn’t go to many shows in the Action Theater, I’d hate to see it go if that’s what they’re planning. The park really needs an additional major venue for shows besides the Golden Bear Theater. The only other theaters are the small ones they’ve had in Bugs Bunny World or the temporary ones they’ve set up in front of the entrance to DC Comics Universe or the fountains out in front. If they do end up bulldozing this theater, they can always add Coaster #19. 😉

  4. SFMMCrazy Productions

    01/27/2013 at 1:56 pm

    I notice there were lots of security over by the metro tunnel yesterday.I don’t know why though, and there was also a photgrapher that works at the park taking pictures aswell.

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/27/2013 at 9:14 pm

      You should have asked someone what was going on.

    • Eric

      01/27/2013 at 10:48 pm

      There was nothing going on inside or near the tunnel today, but of course today is Sunday. I didn’t bring my phone or camera into the park, so I couldn’t take any pictures. But any pictures I would have taken wouldn’t have been any different than what others have taken.

      My guess is that security may have been there to keep people from going inside the tunnel. I did notice that the path from the midway up to the tunnel entrance was not blocked off today. Anyone could have gone up there and gone inside the tunnel.

      • The Coaster Guy

        01/27/2013 at 10:53 pm

        You can go up the stairs next to the tunnel, but the old wrought iron fence is still there and padlocked, preventing you from actually going inside the tunnel. As an active construction area, it’s definitely off limits.

  5. Eric

    01/27/2013 at 7:38 pm

    As threatened here earlier, I did indeed get out to Magic Mountain today. It was cold and started raining within an hour of my arrival, but that didn’t seem to cause any ride closures. Crowds were pretty thin, and wait times were minimal. Here’s all I did:

    X2, twice, Row 3 and Row 4, stair side.

    Tatsu, once, front row.

    Ninja, once, front row.

    On my way down the hill, I stopped to check out the footers for Full Throttle. It almost looks like the twist and dive might approach the tunnel differently than how the video shows, but we’ll see. On to rides:

    Gold Rusher, once, back row. Got to check out all of the Full Throttle construction while rounding the bend over the now-dry lake.

    Ran into a friend who works at the park, and he offered to get me on Slingshot, with his compliments. I took him up on it, and had a little unexpected fun, being that I hadn’t planned to ride that. It packs quite a punch on the launch, and there’s some good airtime and flip-flopping, too.

    Apocalypse, once, back row.

    Lex Luthor, once on each side, no wait because I used the single-rider line.

    Then I left. Except for it being chilly, it was a good day.

    • The Coaster Guy

      01/27/2013 at 9:14 pm

      It sounds like you had a fun time, Eric.

  6. Dylan

    02/02/2013 at 3:45 pm

    Before they actually started construction on full throttle I went inside the tunnel. You can slip right beside the padlock fence, wasn’t much inside though

    • The Coaster Guy

      02/02/2013 at 3:58 pm

      A fence with a padlock is a clear indicator that it’s an off-limits area of the park. If you get caught, you will likely be ejected from the park. It can be really dangerous, depending on the area, and it’s never worth the risk.

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