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Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report For 27 Nov 2013

By on 11/28/2013

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for Thanksgiving already, but the good news is that Six Flags Magic Mountain is open all week long, including Thanksgiving Day. I remember the park being somewhat quiet this time of year, however this Monday and Tuesday have been surprisingly busy. I think that was because both days were bonus “Bring a friend for free” days. I spent most of Wednesday in the park and it was not as crowded.

Wednesday, November 27th was the park’s 11th Annual Bag-A-Ticket Food Drive. Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, the park offers one free admission ticket in exchange for a grocery bag full of non-perishable food items to help feed families in need. Park staff were located in front of the park, along with KIIS-FM, to collect the food:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Something else that’s new is a series of stanchions and chains that have been located in front of several of the ticket booths. I’m sure these will help keep order on very busy days next season. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think these are brand new. I’ve never seen them before and looking through older photos I didn’t see any post holes in the ground:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Six Flags Magic Mountain isn’t listed as participating in the Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park program. There’s no massive Christmas tree, festival of holiday lights, special Christmas shows, or sledding through snow hills like you’ll find at some of the other Six Flags parks, but there are still a couple of small holiday things they do. One of them is a giant snow globe in the Six Flags Plaza that kids can climb into and play in a flurry of fake snow:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

They put a few holiday wreaths and garlands around the outside of the Flags gift shop, which ironically was originally called the Holiday Bazaar when the park first opened:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

The gazebo becomes home to Santa, who is available for photos throughout the holiday:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

When I arrived Wednesday morning, I had totally forgot that in addition to the annual food drive, there was also some Exclusive Ride Time, or ERT, being held on Full Throttle for season pass holders from 10-10:30 am, before the main gate opened. It was now 10:15 and I had already missed half of it, but I made my way over there anyway. As you can see, the lines are pretty short during ERT events, making them very worthwhile:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I walked right up to the loading area and only had a one train wait. With the new seat belts, you’re asked to buckle your belt, but not put down your lap bar. The attendants need to check your belt and will put down your lap bar for you, as seen here:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

This is what the new seat belts look like on Full Throttle:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I’ve already written about how much slower the load times are with the new seat belts and loading procedure, but it becomes even more painfully obvious as you’re waiting in line to ride. For example, in addition to checking the belts on riders, the attendants must also take the time to latch and tighten the belts in empty seats, like the one next to me:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Park management did tell me that they’re aware of the extra time it takes with the new procedures, but they are experimenting with different ways to try and speed it up.

I was happy to see that the bungy cords on the exit turnstile were replaced by a more permanent chain. It’s still a little primitive in the way the chain is just wrapped around the bar of the turnstile, but I will admit that it does look a lot better. I did see several people in front of me jumping over the chain after both of my rides, presumably because it’s more fun, so I’m not sure how accurate their ride could will be with this setup:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

After only two rides during ERT, the main gate had opened and the queue was now full:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I next made my way over to Goliath to check out those seat belts. The procedure was exactly the same. They ask you to tighten your seat belt, but they’ll lower the lap bar:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

These are the new seat belts on Goliath:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Once again, securing seat belts in empty seats takes even longer for the ride ops:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

These are the new seat belts in use on both Full Throttle and Goliath:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

As I’ve said above, the new procedure to get people into the seat belts and secure the lap bars is painfully slow and extremely noticeable. It’s going to be even worse once we get back to super busy days, like Spring Break. However, I will admit that after two rides on both Full Throttle and Goliath, the seat belt was not an issue once the ride started. It did not hinder my ride in the slightest and I honestly forgot it was even there. In fact, I tried standing up after both rides on Goliath before undoing the belt because I forgot about it.

While I was at the park, I ran into a good friend and long time reader of this site, Ezra, and his dad Jamie. Ezra is the one who had provided family photos from opening day of Magic Mountain back in 1971. The three of us went on several rides together, including Ezra’s very first ride on Lex Luthor, and he liked it! Here we are on Colossus:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in the park! The crowds were light, the temperatures were in the mid-70’s, and there were virtually no clouds:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I still can’t get over coming around this corner and not seeing the General Sam tree:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

The concrete pathway that ran through the middle of the tree is now gone:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I’ve been very surprised at how busy Bugs Bunny World has been lately. It must be that more families with small kids are hitting the park during the holiday break:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

In case you haven’t already heard, Six Flags Magic Mountain is adding a brand new roller coaster for the 2014 season. It’ll be a family coaster located in a freshly revamped Bugs Bunny World. We still don’t know the exact make and model yet, but we do know where it’s going, and unfortunately a couple of existing rides are in the way.

The Foghorn Leghorn’s Barnyard Railway train will be removed and put in storage. The area where this currently sits will be used for the bulk of the new coaster:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

This is a little kiddie train that takes small children around a short loop of track:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

This is all there is to the track layout:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Tweety’s Escape, which sits next to the train, will also be removed to make the necessary room for the new coaster. You can see Tweety’s Escape in the background above. This ride, which are small bird cages that kids stand in while the ride moves in a circle, will be relocated to another part of Bugs Bunny World. I’m not sure if the theme will change:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Sylvester’s Pounce & Bounce, which had been closed for rehab, is now back open:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

One of the biggest downsides to living in an area like ours that has nice weather almost all year long is the damage the sun causes. I think most of you are well aware of just how faded the roller coaster track and supports become not long after receiving a fresh coat of paint. Check out how pink the background scenes have become on Road Runner Express. These were all a nice desert brown color when it opened in the summer of 2011:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Despite the park’s hopes to get X2 back open by Thanksgiving, it obviously didn’t happen. Now, I can’t even get them to confirm that it will even be open by the end of the year:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I think some of you would be amazed if you saw how massive the X2 chain is up close. It comes coiled up in small sections, shrink wrapped, and on pallets. A whole bunch of pallets! It then needs to be reassembled and threaded onto the ride. If you consider how long and heavy it must be, it’s no easy task to replace it, and it takes time.

It sure seems to me that the leaks on the Jet Stream flume that passes over the path in the back of the park are getting worse. The right side used to be pretty safe to walk under if you didn’t want to risk getting dripped on, but not any more, as you can see by the second column. You now run the chance of getting wet no matter where you walk:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

The leaks on the flume further down the hill, where it turns around, are really bad. A couple of them are free flowing so heavy that it sounds like a waterfall as it hits the pool of water that has formed underneath. All of the grey spots you see on the flume are patches that have been made over time, and they’re almost all leaking, even though you can’t tell in the photo. What you can see is the dark ring in the ground where the leaking water has eroded away the earth. Considering that this ride was installed in 1972, and has never had the trough replaced that I’m aware of, it’s understandable that there are leaks. If you look next to the right support, you can see a stream of water leaking down:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Speaking of leaks, I’m not sure what’s going on here. Water was flowing underneath the wood gate from Jet Stream and flooding into the old Thrill Shot pad:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

The 2014 souvenir cups are already out. They’re orange and have a new shape this year:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

As I was leaving the park around 2:00 pm, the Full Throttle line wasn’t even backed up to the canopy, however people were still reporting it taking 45 minutes from here:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

Speaking of canopies, I did see that Six Flags Magic Mountain was issued a building permit on 11/13 for a permanent shade structure over the Full Throttle queue. I’ll try and get more information as to when we might see that go up and what it might look like.

I saw this sign hiding as I was leaving the park. Although I’ve never seen it in use while the security line crowds were heavy, I’m glad to see it exists and I really do hope they start using it more. It’s frustrating waiting behind long lines of people with bags:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

I stopped and chatted with the park staff manning the food drive booth on my way out. It was an incredibly successful event. Large boxes on pallets were just stuffed with food:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

They actually filled this entire truck with food. All the donated food was given to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, a very worthwhile cause. I applaud Six Flags for hosting events like this and giving back to the community that supports them:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report

From my family to yours, I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

21 Comments

  1. Michael Ochs

    11/28/2013 at 11:29 pm

    So on the note of X2, my brother was told by a Goliath operator that X2 would be open by this weekend, do you think it’s possible?

    • The Coaster Guy

      11/29/2013 at 5:20 am

      Nope. Like I said, they wouldn’t even commit to having it open by the end of the year. Maybe they’re pulling the wool over our eyes so they can surprise us, but I don’t think so.

  2. Marcia

    11/29/2013 at 6:19 am

    Cool trip report! I liked all the pictures.:) I wish it was in the 70’s here; it’s around freezing this morning.:)

  3. Angel

    11/29/2013 at 8:53 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too Kurt (:

    I’m guessing they’re opening X2 by Christmas week, if not then as a New Years gift. In my last trip to the park about a month ago, I saw two workers in the maintenance area that appeared to be working on the X2 trains. I really hope they fix the audio system as well when it re-opens.

  4. Ezra

    11/29/2013 at 9:16 am

    Had a great time meeting up with you, Kurt! Thank you for helping me get the courage to finally go on Lex. My dad has been begging me to go on with him. I got to go on it twice more after we departed. Also, Tatsu had no line, so I don’t know if you took up on this offer. Thanks again for an awesome day.

    • The Coaster Guy

      12/01/2013 at 11:52 pm

      It was nice to finally meet you and your dad. I typically don’t go on Tatsu when I have my cameras with me. I usually ride that at night when I pop over for a few evening rides right before the park closes and it’s dead.

  5. matthew romine

    11/29/2013 at 9:37 am

    I think they think while getting the chain installed they can get some refurb work done as well killing 2 birds with one stone

  6. Zach

    11/29/2013 at 9:45 am

    I thought it was confirmed that the new coaster is a Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster – a clone of the one at Holiday World.

    http://zamperla.com/en/zamperla-details-rollercoaster-family_gravity_coaster

    • The Coaster Guy

      11/29/2013 at 10:06 am

      Nope. That was an assumption that somebody made based on the coaster used in the announcement video.

  7. Thrill Capital Insider

    11/29/2013 at 8:02 pm

    I believe the new canopy is for the station and the current station structure is suppose to be replaced in December by a permanent one. That’s what they told me during Media Day as I recall.

  8. Brenden

    11/29/2013 at 11:56 pm

    I pray for a pony ride, like Pony Express at Knott’s. That ride is fun for me too!

  9. James

    11/30/2013 at 3:12 pm

    The chain on the turnstile at Full Throttle is laughable, that’s some quality Six Flags! The huge fake tree being gone really makes the entire area by Bear Theater and Mooseburger lodge feel a lot smaller than it used to because you can see almost through to the front of the park in your photo. It’s sad they’ve let Jet Stream get that bad, just an example of complete neglect by the park that will probably end up costing the park the ride soon.

    I also can’t believe the X2 chain has taken this long. I also don’t get why they can’t just replace the link in the chain that broke, instead of having to replace the ENTIRE thing? Seems really wasteful. Think they just throw away the old chain? And I know its the offseason, but what are we at 3 months now? Bottom line, waaaay too long for one of the main attractions in the park to be down IMO.

    Anyway, I shoulda gone out to the park last week! Had a couple days off and didn’t think of taking advantage. Although with X2 closed I always kinda feel like the trip is missing something.

    Thanks for the Trip Report Kurt! Always enjoy your photos and your take on things! You are without a doubt my favorite update site!

  10. Andrew

    12/01/2013 at 12:11 am

    I agree, a ride like Pony Express would be epic! Btw Kurt, when they announce the kiddie coaster will we get an update as far as its design and theme?

    • Sean V

      12/01/2013 at 7:22 pm

      The model is already announced, it will be a Zamperla Family Gravity Coaster 80STD. The same as Road Runner Express at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Name is still unknown of course.

      • The Coaster Guy

        12/01/2013 at 8:43 pm

        The make/model of the new coaster has not been announced yet, at least not by the park. They won’t release that information until after the contract has been finalized, and that hasn’t happened yet. Can you please point me to the announcement that you are referring to?

        • Andrew

          12/05/2013 at 7:25 pm

          Sorry I meant when the kiddie coaster is officially announced by Six Flags will we get an update from you as far as its name and the design type?

          • The Coaster Guy

            12/05/2013 at 10:24 pm

            Absolutely, Andrew. You’ll know as soon as I know. My response was to Sean V, where he said it had already been announced.

  11. Faisal

    12/01/2013 at 8:25 am

    I like the new layout !
    I have to say I enjoy reading your ride profiles as it goes indepth on each ride yet it I find it interesting ! I was wondering when will yourself be providing one for Full Throttle ?! I’m from the UK so chances are I won’t ever be able to visit SFMM but this website is as close as I’m getting and I like it !

    • The Coaster Guy

      12/01/2013 at 11:55 pm

      I haven’t forgotten about Full Throttle, I just know it’s going to take awhile to do it right, and I can’t talk my lazy self into starting it. I still have Lex Luthor to do as well. I’ll get to them eventually, I promise.

  12. Jeff Wesson

    12/02/2013 at 8:22 am

    Hey Kurt, I was there on Friday. I was hoping it would be a slow day to process my season pass and I was right! We walked right in to the processing center with no wait. Unfortunately, Full Throttle was closed that day along with Superman due to the weather, although there was no wind and very little rain, so not sure why. As for the seatbelts on Goliath, the wait for loading was ridiculously long! There was almost no wait on any rides that day, but the line for Goliath went half way through the switchbacks. The countdown clock that lets you know when the train is supposed to be dispatched counted down to zero and it still took around 3 more minutes for the train to move. They would go down to check each seatbelt first, and then would go down again to check lap bars, meanwhile the other train is just sitting on the track for several minutes. Maybe they will get smart and open a single rider line for Goliath as they have now for Lex Luthor, Green Lantern, Riddler’s Revenge, Viper, and Revolution.

    • The Coaster Guy

      12/05/2013 at 10:28 pm

      A single rider line on Goliath would be awesome, although it won’t help the load times at all. I’m not sure how some people can say the belts aren’t adding much time to the dispatch cycle. From what I’ve seen, and people like you are confirming the same, it’s really bad. I guess we just need to remember that it’s all relative. If these rides had opened with belts from day one, this would be normal and we wouldn’t know any better, right?

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