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Full Throttle Opening Day At Six Flags Magic Mountain
Saturday, June 22nd was the official Full Throttle opening day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The day before was the Full Throttle media day, however today was the first day that the general public was able to take their first ride on Full Throttle. I knew it was going to be crazy busy, and I was going to avoid the park all together, but my son really wanted to ride it and I thought it might be fun to gauge the public’s reaction to the ride, so we headed over to the park.
I knew there was a special ERT event on Full Throttle for Gold Season Pass holders from 8-10:00 am today, and that the park opened at 10:00 am, yet we still didn’t pull up to the parking toll booth until about 9:30 am. To my surprise, every single lane was open for business and there was virtually no line. The first parking lot was not yet filled, but it was getting close. There were multiple buses running, but we still walked to the front gate. Again, all the security lanes appeared to be open and there was virtually no wait here either. Nice! We ended up in the Gold Pass line at about 9:45 am with only about 30-40 people in front of us. The general entry line was already backed up across the plaza.
At exactly 9:50 am, the Gold Pass gate swung open and we were off to the races. Almost everyone started running to the Full Throttle Plaza. By the time we got there, the single file line was already stretched out across the plaza:
I was informed yesterday that the park will likely install removable stanchions underneath the plaza canopy. That will allow them to reconfigure the queue layout as needed, as well as remove them completely for special events. In the meantime, barricades have been setup to keep the queue orderly. We were handed a numbered ticket upon entering the queue to mark our place and prevent people from cutting in line. There was a sign at the entrance to the queue that said ‘1 hour wait’ from this point. However, having never had this many people in line for it before, it occurred to me later that they probably hadn’t timed it yet to see how long the actual wait would be:
Since there was an ERT event already in progress when we entered the park, we ended up about halfway through the queue. The FTTV (Full Throttle Television) was easily viewable from just about anywhere under the canopy:
The line was moving remarkably fast. It seemed like we were almost constantly moving, until a train would misfire, but they seem to be getting much quicker about resetting everything after that happens.
By the time we reached the entrance to the station ramp, it looked like the entire queue behind us had been filled. This is also where they collected our numbered ride ticket and they were checking to make sure the numbers were sequential. I appreciated that:
From the station ramp, I could see that the entire queue under the canopy was filled, but there didn’t appear to be a line backed up across the plaza anymore:
There’s actually quite a bit of distance between the canopy and the top of the ramp, which obviously holds quite a few people:
It took us about 25 minutes to get from the middle of the queue to next in line to ride. I noticed the park president, Bonnie Rabjohn, was asking people their impression of the ride as they exited. Everyone really enjoyed the ride, which put a big smile on her face:
Bonnie was gone by the time we got off our ride, which kind of bummed me out, because I never got a chance to speak to her yesterday.
As you exit the ride, you pass underneath this canopy, which is where they were handing out the numbered tickets to people getting in the queue. As I passed through, I realized why there wasn’t a line of people through the plaza anymore:
They had setup a makeshift queue out of ropes and a few barricades that extended through High Sierra Territory, past the old Log Jammer station and Mooseburger Lodge, past the construction wall, and almost to the Golden Bear Theater plaza. And this was only around 10:30 am or so! As we walked past, the line was still getting longer:
I heard whisperings of an eventual four hour wait today, but I never did get a confirmation from anyone on that. With how fast our line was moving, I find that hard to believe, but I also don’t know how many times they had to reset the ride due to rollbacks. I’d appreciate people posting their longest wait today if you were in that line.
I went up to the Superman Plaza to get some video and guess who I ran into? Bonnie! She was just quietly observing the Full Throttle trains go by overhead with loads of screaming, happy park guests. Of course, that made her very happy as well. We had a nice conversation about the ride and how well it fit in the park. I was glad I got to speak to her here rather than during the hectic day we had yesterday. It was very pleasant:
With a line that long, I was happy to get in one ride. I’ll probably ride it first thing in the morning during each visit, but wait for the crowds to die down a bit before I attempt any night rides. Unfortunately, I think that’s going to be awhile. If you have some good stories about your first ride on Full Throttle, let’s hear them!