NCL Free At Sea

Six Flags Magic Mountain Trip Report For 11 May 2014

By on 05/11/2014

Happy Mother’s Day! Since my mom lives in Oregon, and my wife is also up in Oregon visiting her mom, I decided to take a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain today and see what I’ve been missing for the past couple of weeks. I also finally got my camera back from the shop and have been eager to try it out. This photo trip report is from Sunday, May 11, 2014.

I forgot that Mother’s Day means that it’s also Bring a Friend for Free day, which means lots of people. Since I wasn’t planning on going on any rides today, I wasn’t too worried about it. This first photo was my place in the Gold Pass line. I’m not even sure I was at the end either, because this far back it started to get really squirrelly with people spread out everywhere. I may have inadvertently cut in front of some people, but I’m not sure. Absolutely no line management at all:


The Gold Pass gate opened right on time at 10:20 am, but nothing happened. After 10 minutes, the main gate opened and we had only advanced about 10-15 feet. With that line moving faster than ours, a bunch of Gold pass holders jumped into the main line. I stayed in the Gold line because a bunch of people had just left it and I was positive that it was going to start moving faster. I was wrong.

The problem was the new biometric finger scanners. I’m not sure if people jet can’t figure out how to use them, or if they just don’t work that well, but all they are doing right now is massively slowing up the entry to the park. I kept an eye on the people who were in front of me and jumped to the main line. They got into the park a lot quicker than me. What I didn’t take into account was that that the Gold line zig-zagged through barricades towards the front of the line, whereas the regular line did not, so it was a much shorter line.

When I finally did reach the turnstile, I put my season pass under the scanner just like I was supposed to, but it didn’t get scanned. The employee then tried and couldn’t get it to scan either. She did something on her side and finally told me to put my finger down. I did, but that wasn’t working either. She finally said I was good to go ahead and go in, but the screen never did turn green and say I was good to go. I’m still not sure if it finally approved me or if she just gave up and let me pass. It took 35 minutes from the time the Gold Pass line opened until I got through the gate. Before the new scanners, it probably would have taken 5-10 minutes for that many people to be scanned in.

I was standing at the turnstile for at least a minute before being let in. Needless to say, my mood instantly soured and I was now feeling very negative towards the park before I even got inside. This is not a good thing. If half of the park guests felt as frustrated as I did before their day of fun even started, what does that say about the park? The park needs to address this issue and quick. They can’t keep the existing process as it is because it simply isn’t working.

My friend Gregg over at Park Journey has a great suggestion that I completely agree with. The park should start scanning passes and letting people into the main plaza very early. People can get coffee, doughnuts, sit in the shade, and even browse the gift shops before the park officially opens. Ropes would keep people from going beyond the plaza before opening, but those ropes would drop and everyone could flood in right at opening. It’s a great idea and one that the park should seriously consider. They could at least try it as a test on a weekday. /rantoff

All of the light rigging is still up in the entry plaza for Grad Nites, but the stage and giant graduation hats are gone:


Revolution was finally testing on both Friday and Saturday. I was hoping it was going to be back open today, but it wasn’t. From what I’ve been told, a branch had fallen on the track during a period of heavy wind and a train coming out of the tunnel dragged it through that set of block brakes, completely destroying them. They have successfully replaced the brakes and are now thoroughly testing everything before reopening the ride:


As you can see in the above photo, there are new advertising banners all over Revolution for a Korean cell phone manufacturer called Pantech Mobile. I hate ads in theme parks as much as the next guy, but I do appreciate that they at least customized the advertising to sponsor the ride:


The train in the station has been wrapped to promote the new sponsor, but the second train sitting over on the transfer track has not:


I kept hearing this huge raven scraping its talons on the metal, trying to get inside this light pole:


Upon closer inspection, I realized there was a small nest of unprotected baby birds it was trying to get. They were chirping like crazy:


As I continued up the hill, I noticed another unfortunate advertising banner that’s impossible to miss:


I was only at the park for about four hours today, but X2 was closed the entire time due to the winds:


Continuing up the hill, there is another Grad Nite stage setup near the base of Revolution’s first drop:


It’s been well over a year since the new lockers were put in. I was hoping they were going to do something with all this extra space around the Tatsu lockers, but they haven’t. It just looks very unfinished to me:


It looks like another Grad Nite stage is getting ready to be built up on Samurai Summit:


I was still pretty tense from my long wait to get in the park, so I decided to take a ride on Superman. It was just me in the back and two girls up front. The ride was great, but the guy wouldn’t let me stay on for another ride. Even though there were only a couple of new people getting on, with lots of empty seats, he said I had to exit the building and go back around and get in line again. I left:


I think Apocalypse may have only been running one train. Either that or they were having really slow ride ops. It took forever as I waited for a train to come around for a picture. I eventually gave up:


It was a warm day and Jet Stream was open, much to the delight of hot guests. The line stretched across the bridge and into the entry queue:


I like Ninja a lot, but it just sounds really loose as it barrels down the track. I know it’s getting quite old, but it sounds like it needs to be tightened up or it’s going to rattle itself to pieces:


Welcome to the Promotion Kiosk! I asked the lady what they were promoting and she rattled off some mumbo jumbo that didn’t make much sense. I finally got her to admit that they were a Corporate Alliance (i.e. advertising) partner with Six Flags and they were selling time shares. I get that Six Flags needs to sell advertising to help boost revenue, but they should make them be clear that they are not Six Flags employees and that they are trying to sell you something. There is absolutely nothing on that kiosk that looks like it’s an advertisement. People thought it was a free game (see the spinner?) sponsored by Six Flags. I also don’t appreciate the fact that they are working the midway, trying to get you into their booth. Again, if it was a free giveaway that Six Flags was doing, then great! But it wasn’t. I don’t pay for park entry only to have carnival barkers yell at me to come buy their stuff. That’s just not cool:


Another Grad Nite stage ready to go in front of The Riddler’s Revenge:


In addition to Roaring Rapids and Jet Stream, Tidal Wave was also open to help people beat the heat:


I was surprised that not a single outside carnival game was open over an hour after the park opened:


Batman was a walk-on, so I decided to take another spin. So much better backwards:


The big Grad Nite stage has been completed in front of DC Universe:


I think the park has either forgotten about or given up on Swashbuckler. Just out of curiosity, is there enough room here for a Sky Screamer? I’m asking for a friend:


Still no track work on the Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers coaster. I bet they have Amazon Prime and will simply order the track two days before they actually need it:


The Carrot Club Theater in Bugs Bunny World is finally starting to show signs of the new WB Kids Club show that will premier there this summer:


It’s nice to see signs of life in this venue after sitting dormant for so long:


One of the small buildings next to the Speedy coaster has had the exterior removed from it. Wile E. Coyote is getting ready to do away with of the rest of it:


The new hanging sign for the Full Throttle Sports Bar has been installed:


The outside of the building is now complete. The A/C flowing out of the open doors felt so good:


The Full Throttle queue was full and showing an hour wait time:


Anyone know why the top of the Full Throttle loop was spray painted with red markings? I was trying to get a picture of it and the train decided to photo bomb me right as the shutter released:


Full Throttle Nights will return to a bigger, better stage on Memorial Day Weekend:


Nothing special about this photo of Viper. I was just trying out my max zoom to ensure I didn’t still have dust specs in my lens. Looks clean! I took this while standing in front of Full Throttle:


It was so hot by the time I bought my lunch. I just wanted a cool place to sit and eat in the shade, but none of the umbrellas were up. I tried opening one, but it wouldn’t budge. I finally stopped an employee as she was walking by. Between the two of us, we eventually got it to go up. When it’s hot out, you would think they would already have these up for people:


If anyone from the park happens to read this, especially from Food & Beverage, please check the water lines at both Loaded Dogs and High Octane Wings. There is definitely something wrong with either the water lines or the dispensers, as the water from both places is always foul and undrinkable:


Despite the warmer temps, it was an absolutely gorgeous day to play in the park:


Whoops…I think someone forgot where Flags is actually located (hint: it’s to the left):


This was absolutely perfect to see at Magic Mountain on Mother’s Day. If you’re familiar with the park, then you know that the Canadian Geese migrate here every year and have babies. I saw this mama and her babies as I was leaving the park:


Switching gears to Hurricane Harbor, one of the new Bonzai Pipeline drop tubes has been installed and is very hard to miss with the bright blue slide:


The colors pop nicely, but it sure makes the existing slides look old and dated. I never really thought about how drab all the white and black was until the new slide went in:


I’ve never been in one of these, but I believe it’s a capsule that you step into, they close the door, and the floor drops away, plunging you down the slide. You can see the silver door handle and I’m guessing all the white is a protective coating on the clear plexiglass door during construction:


This is a good shot of the new structure they had to add to get the drop tube far enough out so that it cleared the stairs that come up from below it:


Water was being added to the pools as I was walking by today:


You can actually see the water pouring in from the sides of this pool:


During construction of the Bonzai Pipelines, the walkway to the main gate has been moved slightly into the bus lane, around the sidewalk:


The sidewalk is temporarily being used for construction equipment:


Do you know how long these tubes have been up in these bushes? I think I photographed one of them a couple of years ago, when it first fell in. I bet they’re still there next year:


This woman on the left was completely decked out, head to toe, in a homemade Wonder Woman outfit. I really wanted to get a picture of her as we passed, as it was quite spectacular, but I didn’t think I could keep a straight face as I asked her permission. I am not making fun of her. To the contrary, I really applaud her confidence, as she clearly has way more than I do:


This was a bigger than normal update as it’s been a couple of weeks since I was last at the park. I don’t have any business travel scheduled for awhile, so I should be back on a more regular update cadence. As usual, if you like this post, or this site in general, please do me a favor and help spread the word by clicking on one of the social media buttons below, like Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Marcus L

    05/11/2014 at 10:40 pm

    awesome update cant wait to try the new water slides looks really fun hopefully hurricane harbor gets a lot more in the future

  2. benjamin

    05/11/2014 at 11:23 pm

    Nice update. I remember those geese. When ever they appeared on the sidewalk there was always someone pushing a kid in a stroller. The kid was always strapped in and would be at eye level with the geese

  3. Andrew the Epic

    05/12/2014 at 12:55 am

    When it was announced, the Bonzai Pipelines said that you’d go through “twists and turns”. Well I guess that idea was thrown out. Shame. I also hope they get rid of the snake theme. But that’d probably cost too much for SFMM…

  4. Gregg

    05/12/2014 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the shout out Kurt. I really do think that SFMM is the only park that doesn’t do some kind of “rope drop”. I’ll be at Six Flags Great America next Thursday (the 22nd) so I’ll see first hand if they do. They did when I was at the park in 2011.

    The rope drop worked REALLY well when they were putting in the new turnstiles and I was hoping they would keep it that way. Just makes more sense especially if they are having so many issues with the scanners.

  5. Arjan

    05/12/2014 at 2:06 pm

    At Walibi Holland (former Six Flags Holland) the gates always open arround 09:30. U can enter the main street and hall of fame, and take a ride on Xpress. At 10:00 the doors of Hall of Fame open, and u can enter the rest of the park. The system works here. I dont know if it will work for Six Flags Magic Mountain.

  6. JAIRO

    05/12/2014 at 7:34 pm

    awesome update. a SKY SCREAMER would be good at the mountain in that spot and even better now that knott’s doesn’t have the wind seeker. i will probably go on June 2.

  7. Eric

    05/13/2014 at 10:16 pm

    I could see the location that housed former Swashbuckler attraction housing “Super SkyScreamer” ride. Six Flags Magic Mountain and 4 other Six Flags parks (Great America, Mexico, Great Escape, and Mexico) have yet to receive a SkyScreamer ride. I picture SFMM’s being taller than SFOT and SFNE SkyScreamer rides… and “saving the best for last”.

    Hope that SFMM is getting close to assembling track pieces for new Speedy Gonzales Hot-Rod Racers coaster. SFMM’s Hurricane Harbor Bonzai Pipeline attraction is looking good too. Hope that Revolution coaster will be back up and running again soon.

  8. dylan

    05/14/2014 at 9:09 am

    Not sure if any of you guys know this but magic mountain released a statement a while back saying that they would not add a sky screamer due to the fact that magic mountain has to many tower attractions in the sky line already. Plus if it where to go in that spot it would be way to close to superman and cause a cluttered sky line witch is why they won’t add one in the first place

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