NCL Free At Sea

Full Throttle Capacity At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 06/12/2013

Six Flags Magic Mountain Full Throttle Logo

People keep asking me about the Full Throttle capacity, or how many people per hour will be able to ride it. As the brand new roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the undisputed Roller Coaster Capital of the World, you would think it would be a very high throughput. However, if you crunch the numbers, it doesn’t look very promising.

Full Throttle has two trains that it can run simultaneously, each holding up to 18 riders. We learned during the hard hat tour that each cycle will be between 1:20 and 1:30 minutes long from start to finish, and that they expect to accomodate between 750-800 riders/hour. If you look at the table below, I’ve broken down the maximum throughput based on both the 1:20 and 1:30 anticipated times given. At maximum efficiency, with a ride time of 1:20 minutes, the most riders you can accomodate in one hour is 810. With a 1:30 minute cycle time, only 10 more seconds, that number drops down to 720:

Ride Length 1:20 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00
Rides/hr 45 40 30 24 20
Riders/train 18 18 18 18 18
Riders/hr 810 720 540 432 360

Of course, that also assumes that every single train is going to be full, which is unlikely. With people taking their time getting into the trains, and setting their purses, backpacks, and drink bottles off to the side before loading, these times are likely to increase. For each additional 30 seconds spent in the loading station, the throughput plummets severely. Take another look at the table to see how fast the Full Throttle capacity drops with each additional 30 seconds. I hope I’m wrong, but I can see this coaster eventually settling in with an average capacity of 500-600 riders/hr. That’s far too low in my opinion for a brand new, record breaking roller coaster in a theme park that is considered a roller coaster mecca for many people. Also, when one of the trains gets taken out of service for maintenance, you can cut all of those numbers in half. 250-300 riders/hr? Ouch!

People flock to Six Flags Magic Mountain in droves every summer to ride roller coasters. Unfortunately, this means that wait times for said coasters can be excruciatingly long. Even after 11 years, X2 is still known to have upwards of 2-3 hour waits at peak times. With such popular rides, it is my opinion that Six Flags Magic Mountain needs to be investing in rides that accomodate more riders per hour, not less. As a comparison, at maximum efficiency and maximum trains, Viper was designed to handle 1,700 riders/hr. Goliath can handle 1,600/hr and the mighty Colossus can handle a whopping 2,600 riders/hr with six trains and running both sides. Of course, none of these coasters do anywhere near those numbers today for a variety of reasons, such as no longer having enough trains, only running one side of a two-sided station, and slow coaster operations. But for a brand new coaster to only be able to handle 800 riders/hr, that’s just asking for customer complaints in my opinion.

There is an argument to be made that more roller coasters means more rides to spread the people out in, creating shorter lines everywhere, but I don’t buy into it. I believe that more roller coasters will bring in even more people, which is great for the park, but it doesn’t help the long line situation. What are your thoughts?


  1. Jeff Wesson

    06/12/2013 at 3:16 pm

    I agree that capacity should be one of the main considerations when SFMM is looking into new rides. I am wondering if they will have a single rider line for this ride?

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 4:56 pm

      I certainly hope so, but looking at the queue setup, I’m kind of doubting it.

  2. Bryan

    06/12/2013 at 3:18 pm

    Maybe its just another reason to push the flash passes?
    (And I predict that this will be a reservation upcharge like LL/X2 due to that low capacity)

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 4:58 pm

      I bet this won’t even be on the Flash Passes for awhile, at least not until the initial crowds start to die down. I suspect that whether or not it’s an additional upcharge like X2 will depend on how popular it ends up being.

  3. Andrew

    06/12/2013 at 3:20 pm

    I have to agree with u on the ride capability of holding people! I think the best bet is the Fastpass with with the additional 15$ witch suck , But this ride is goings to be an 3hour wait aleast ! And as for adding more coasters , it Just bring more peoples then waiting less….

  4. mark

    06/12/2013 at 3:22 pm

    It’s about quantity of coasters and marketing hype, not quality.

    I rode their intamin zac spin (named after some silly “superhero” character I’ve never paid any attention to) and thought it was a terrible, bruising ride.

    Building fewer coasters so they can save up for a Skyrush, El Toro or I-305 ride would make much more sense for MM.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 5:02 pm

      As much as I’d like to see one of those coasters in SFMM, I almost think I’d like to see a year’s investment spent on fixing up older coasters instead. Paint and some new trains to increase capacity on the rides with the longest lines. Who wouldn’t like to see Tatsu and X2 running three trains each again?

  5. Adam

    06/12/2013 at 3:52 pm

    Well find out on June 22nd exactly how bad it is.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 5:03 pm

      By ‘bad’ I assume you mean the line. The coaster looks great!

      • Adam

        06/12/2013 at 5:32 pm

        Yes the line. I agree the coaster looks awesome!

  6. Brenden

    06/12/2013 at 4:08 pm

    June 22!!!! Can you get us an update, to get the station built in 10 days seems like a stretch

  7. Adam

    06/12/2013 at 4:15 pm

    Brendon sfmm facebook confirmed it’s opening that date.

  8. Bruce

    06/12/2013 at 4:32 pm

    I totally agree with you. As I did my homework on full throttle, I won’t lie I was a bit disappointed. I see it’s short and….short. I love coasters. This coming from a person who has sky dive already. So as you can figure yes I’m a coaster nut. But with 18 passager trains and as you mention people take their time, 800 an hour wow. I don’t think it will be such a great hit on fans. I remember deja vu was awesome and it too had long lines but idk this ride will be interesting. Especially since it seems it’s gonna be the last coaster open in this season. I heard gatekeeper was ok. Maybe I should book a flight and ride that lol.

  9. Andrew

    06/12/2013 at 4:48 pm

    I agree with Brenden, I would definantly like a station update. I’m very curious as to how the roof/tent cover is doing. How close is the station to completion?

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 5:03 pm

      I should have at least two updates between now and opening.

  10. JJJ

    06/12/2013 at 5:47 pm

    They should have made it a little bit longer so that the final drop is actually fun, AND they could run three trains.

    What was the capacity on the logs? That line was always moving

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/12/2013 at 9:59 pm

      That’s a really good question. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the theoretical capacity on Log Jammer, however it would be interesting to compare it to the ride that just replaced it.

  11. Looper

    06/12/2013 at 6:49 pm

    I will go with 540 per hr using your chart.

    If they get a great team from perhaps Tatsu doing loading and unloading and a great supervisor (one that cares) then that number might be improved. Of course Tatsu would suffer as the park is just loaded with so many hosts and hostess that really just don’t care to provide great customer service.

    • Eric

      06/12/2013 at 7:46 pm

      One thing that is helpful with Full Throttle is that the restraint is just a lap bar. Goliath’s crew can scoot through and check lap bars quickly if they want to (I’ve actually seen it), and these trains only hold 60% of the passengers that the Goliath trains do.

      Very honestly, if Magic Mountain is going to discourage riders from bringing their stuff aboard or into the station, then they need to toughen the locker policy. People won’t like it, but they’ll learn. The new lockers are an improvement in that you can rent a locker for a longer period of time and “move” your rental to another ride.

      • The Coaster Guy

        06/12/2013 at 10:05 pm

        I used to be extremely impressed with the Goliath operations. Those ride ops would hustle getting people off the ride and out of the station and then run down the line as they check the restraints. However, the last 2-3 times I’ve been there, they’ve been super slow. No hurry at all and they just seemed to meander down the line as they checked restraints. I wish the timer would go into negative numbers so we know how long they missed the mark by, by it just flashes 00:00 forever. I’m hoping I just caught them at bad times.

        • Eric

          06/13/2013 at 10:44 pm

          The last time I was there, the crew was hustling. But I’ve long thought that an in-park contest between employees for moving the most people through the line would be a good idea. They could give a prize to the best crew. The one downside is that hurrying to do their job could produce inadequate restraint or height checking.

  12. Aussie Wayne

    06/13/2013 at 2:57 am

    Looking at the animated video on the Six Flags website, I noticed as the train was completing the Top Hat, there was a train whizzing out of the station. Is the midway launch used as a safety stop for two train operation? I assume launch of the second car is immediate as the first car clears top hat. That’s is rider placement is efficient. Looks soooo good.

  13. J.D. Walters

    06/13/2013 at 10:53 am

    Honestly, I wish they’d invested a bit more into Full Throttle by making it longer & increasing its capacity. I also think that SFMM needs a ride like Nitro or El Toro, something just dedicated to drops and mega-airtime that is long & has a high capacity, as well. I just got back from both Ca’s Great America & SFMW, 2 beautiful parks with immaculate bathrooms, & both with GREAT, EFFICIENT & SOAKING versions of our Tidal Wave, or Shoot-The-Chutes ride. Why is ours so lame?! Tidal Wave doesn’t get us wet, the line drags on & on, and the drop isn’t nearly as much fun as the 2 drops up North! I don’t get it. I vote for a Tidal Wave replacement/removal!

    • J.D. Walters

      06/13/2013 at 11:06 am

      Btw, the loading & unloading of their Shoot-The-Chute rides were incredibly efficient & allowed for easy back-to-back rides throughout the day. They were just so much fun! 😉

      Superman UF by Premier Rides was really awesome, too! I think I expected a tad more, but, it was definitely a fun ride! I’m really hoping Full Throttle surpasses Superman UF in intensity & thrills!

  14. James Z (not the other James)

    06/13/2013 at 1:50 pm

    Ugh! You know, what can you say? Six Flags misses the mark too much!

    This ride could have easily been the 2013 breakout coaster, but they went for tricks instead of overall experience. No reason this coaster couldn’t do a couple other things to lengthen the ride time, taken up more of the area, added trains to improve capacity. A little maneuvering on the other side of the mountain after the loop, a helix or well executed coaster path after the top hat, changing the angle of the ride so not so much room is left open and the ride doesn’t feel so awkward. To me this ride experience may be fun, but the potential to accommodate such a large space with practically “nothing but a coaster” will become the biggest blunder of this years addition at the park.

    Throw in poor capacity and you’ve got a terribly researched coaster with a lot of concrete in an area that used to be a big, original, distinguishing part of the park.

    I’m sorry, but when it comes to overall park experience and long term attractions, do any of these people in charge at SF have any clue what the hell they’re doing? Judging by the product thus far, the rush to finish, and terrible opening day, they don’t. And it’s both ridiculous and sad. This parks been running for 40+ years and still the place doesn’t have a damn clue how to create a ride and atmosphere that won’t fall apart and look like crap in a couple years.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/14/2013 at 4:28 pm

      Green Lantern and the whole DC Universe makeover is now a couple of years old and I think it’s holding up pretty well.

  15. Pingback: 2013 Neuheit: Full Throttle (Premier Rides, Launch Coaster) @ Six Flags Magic Mountai - Seite 11

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