NCL Free At Sea

Insane Coaster Wars Filming At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 07/26/2013

Insane Coaster Wars Logo

Insane Coaster Wars was back filming at Six Flags Magic Mountain this week for a brand new season. Both Full Throttle and Goliath will be competing in season 3 of the Travel Channel show that pits roller coasters against each other for the title of champion.

Even though it was filmed in the fall of 2012, season 2 of Insane Coaster Wars just finished airing about a week or so ago. Six Flags Magic Mountain had two roller coasters in that season as well. Both Tatsu and X2 were featured in different episodes and X2 beat out its competition! I was fortunate enough to be involved with both of those film shoots. You can read more about that season, and see a video, here.

Our first day of filming was Wednesday, July 24th, and it was on Full Throttle. We started around 7:30 am, allowing just under three hours to complete the shoot before the park opened for the day. The first order of business for the film crew was to find a spot to conduct their interviews. They chose a location in the Full Throttle Plaza, in front of the Freestyle building, with a nice view of the roller coaster in the background:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

The special guest they brought in for the day was Diablo Cody, who won an Academy Award in 2008 for writing the screenplay for Juno. She also just happens to be a huge roller coaster enthusiast and was very excited to ride Full Throttle for the first time:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

They were using a very cool array of ten GoPro cameras mounted across the front of the train. I’m not sure why they needed so many, but that’s why they get the big bucks:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

If you’ve ever been involved in a production like this, you know there is a lot of waiting:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

Once they got everything just right, they’d start the cameras and send us on our way. I’m in the light blue t-shirt, second row from the back. In addition to the camera array across the front, they also had a camera mounted on each side towards the back of the train looking forward, and a solo camera in the very back looking forward over our heads:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

Photo © Cathy Rowe

They eventually took the cameras off the train and started cycling us through to get some shots without the cameras showing:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

Photo © Cathy Rowe

If you’re not familiar with how the show works, riders are asked throughout the day to rate the ride as they get off of it. There is a voting station with three iPads. You rate the ride from 1-100 on several different criteria, like speed, length, inversions, etc. They then use those scores to compare the coaster to other coasters that it’s competing with to see which one was ranked higher by the general public, and crown the winner:

Insane Coaster Wars Full Throttle

We showed up at the same time on Thursday, July 25th to film on Goliath. Their interview location was in front of Buccaneer, with Goliath in the background:

Insane Coaster Wars Goliath

Unlike the first day on Full Throttle, it was much cooler the second day because we were in the enclosed Goliath station and there was a very nice breeze blowing through:

Insane Coaster Wars Goliath

The multi-camera array was already installed and ready to roll for the day:

Insane Coaster Wars Goliath

Here’s a better picture of the array after they took it off for the wide shots:

Insane Coaster Wars Goliath

There were two young girls brought in as the special talent for the day, but nobody seemed to know who they were. The blue vest you see measures G-forces. One of the girls wore it during a cycle, but I was unable to find out how many G’s it registered:

Insane Coaster Wars Goliath

This filming was done for season 3 of the show, which I’m guessing will air on the Travel Channel next summer. One of the producers I was talking to told me they are already in discussions for a fourth season, so the show appears to be doing quite well. You can read more about it on the Travel Channel web site.

If you are interested in participating in events like this in the future, you need to become a member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE). They are who the park usually turns to when they need riders for commercial shoots, film shoots, and new ride openings. You can get more information on the official ACE web site.


  1. Kieran

    07/27/2013 at 2:10 am

    Cool! What did you rate the rides?

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/27/2013 at 6:29 am

      I can’t even remember all the categories, much less what I rated each one.

  2. Jim

    07/27/2013 at 9:36 am

    Hi there, I’ll be out in LA at the end of August and plan on going to Six Flags Magic Mountain to ride Full Throttle. I also want to ride the Superman ride backwards which was closed when I was there last year because they were building the drop ride on the sides of the tower. Hopefully, I’ll get to ride the drop ride too.

    Happy Coastering! Jim

  3. blake

    07/27/2013 at 10:57 am

    FullThrottle will win any coaster 😀

  4. Justin

    07/27/2013 at 12:50 pm

    Do you know what other coasters will be in the competition next season?

  5. joshi_6411

    07/27/2013 at 3:28 pm

    have you heard any rumors of what they are bringing to SFMM in 2014?

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/27/2013 at 6:12 pm

      I’ve heard lots of rumors, but they’re just that…rumors. The only one that might hold water is the Colossus remake for 2015. I haven’t heard anything I believe yet for 2014.

  6. Eric

    07/27/2013 at 6:05 pm

    In this picture, I’m in the last row, left side of the train wearing the dark blue shirt. If I counted correctly, I got seven rides that day.

    I also went the next day to film on Goliath and got seven rides on that, too.

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/27/2013 at 6:10 pm

      We’re you ok on that ride, Eric? In all the pics I have of us riding it, you sure don’t look you’re having any fun.

      • Eric

        07/27/2013 at 6:53 pm

        I was extremely tired and I know my blood sugar was playing havoc with me. Also, I have so much on my mind these days that it’s sometimes hard to let loose and really have fun.

        • The Coaster Guy

          07/27/2013 at 11:09 pm

          Ahhh…I can understand that. It was good that you were still able to make it over for the event.

  7. Dennis

    07/28/2013 at 11:14 pm

    Check out go pro array on YouTube it creates a matrix slow motion effect.

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/28/2013 at 11:23 pm

      Ahhhh…very cool!! That makes so much more sense now. I can’t wait to see the final footage!

  8. Julio

    08/24/2013 at 3:34 am

    I was there when voting took place for Goliath, not for the cameras though

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