NCL Free At Sea

Bonzai Pipelines Open At Six Flags Hurricane Harbor LA

By on 05/26/2014

Bonzai Pipelines, the first new addition to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles since Tornado was added in 2004, officially opened to the public this Memorial Day weekend. Guests started riding the new speed slides as of the beginning of the weekend, however the official dedication ceremony was held today, Sunday, May 26th.

It’s good to see the gates to Hurricane Harbor open again. With how hot it’s been getting in the local area, I know this comes as a huge relief to many:


For those of you who have been asking, yes, Hurricane Harbor also uses the new biometric finger scanners:


The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the dedication. It was close to 100 degrees in the late afternoon sun as we were getting close to the start of the event at 4:00 pm:


The slide run outs didn’t seem to be very long, but they were more than adequate:


The event began with the emcee welcoming everyone and saying a few words as Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain & Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Park President, looked on:


As the emcee was talking, two brave riders took their positions inside the new Bonzai Pipelines launch capsules, awaiting that first ceremonial drop:


Carrie, from the Santa Clarita Valley Special Olympics, had the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon and officially opening the ride to the public:


The cutting of the ribbon also launched both riders simultaneously. The rider on the blue slide, having a straight shot down, reached the bottom first:


A few seconds later, the rider on the yellow/orange slide finally reached the bottom, after navigating through a few twists and turns first:


Both riders started to be interviewed by various folks as soon as they got out of the water:


These were the fabulous stilt walking assistants and the fearless emcee of the event:


From further inside the park, you can barely even see the new additions unless you know what to look for. The slides are made by Whitewater West Industries, LTD, Both slides start at a height of 75′ and the longer one is 650′ in length. Other than that, I don’t have many technical details yet::


Unlike a traditional water slide, where the rider needs to try and get into a safe lying position at the top of the slide while water is rushing past them, these new slides use capsules. The rider steps into the capsule and safely gets into position with their back against the slide without the fear of prematurely heading down the slide, and then the slide attendant closes the door. Once the rider is in a safe position, the attendant releases a trap door beneath the rider’s feet and gravity takes over. This type of launch system prevents guests from heading down the slide head first, on their stomach, or in any other type of unsafe position:


It looked like a lot of people waiting to go up Black Snake Summit, the tower that the Bonzai Pipelines are located on, because the line extended beyond the bottom of the tower, but they were controlling how many people went up the stairs at a time. There was just a small group of people at the top of the tower with the bulk of the stairs empty. I’m guessing this is for safety reasons:


In addition to the Bonzai Pipelines, today was also the premier of Dive-In Movies. Think of it as a drive-in movie, for those of you old enough to know what those are, but instead of watching it from your car, you watch it from an inner tube while floating in the pool. A giant TV screen and speakers were placed above the Forgotten Sea Wave Pool:


The premier movie was Jaws, an interesting choice given that it caused many people to avoid any body of water, even swimming pools, after it debuted in 1975. The screen was a little small from the safety of dry land in the above photo, but you could still see the picture quite well even in the bright afternoon sun. I bet it looks amazing at night! The screen is much larger if you’re watching it while floating in the pool, as it is meant to be watched:


It was so hot and crowded, that I didn’t end up staying as long as I had wanted to. On the way out, I could see guest after guest trying out the new slides:


It seemed like just a matter of seconds from the time a guest was placed in the capsule above until the trap door gave way and they were sent on their way:


Here is a promotional video from Six Flags about the new slides:

Don’t expect to see a first hand report of these slides until I drop a few pounds. You seriously don’t want to see me in a swimming suit. However, if you’ve taken the plunge, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


  1. Sean

    05/26/2014 at 9:19 pm

    These 2 guys sliding down at the opening were actually not from the Special Olympics. They were actually there for media day, and were asked to slide for the opening, last minute.

    • The Coaster Guy

      05/26/2014 at 10:42 pm

      Yah, someone else pointed that out to me rather quick and I corrected it. Thanks.

  2. Las Vegas Amusement Park

    05/26/2014 at 10:22 pm

    The girl who cut the ribbon, Carrie Hartmann, is the daughter of former Six Flags Magic Mountain human resources manager Jackie Hartmann.

  3. Jason

    05/27/2014 at 9:38 am

    My wide and I were two of the people dumb enough to jump in line right after the dedication ceremony. We hit the line at 4:10 and didn’t go down the slide until 7. The yellow slide kept going down, causing the line to move exceedingly slow. Each time they had to wait for maintenance to come reset the mechanism.

    That said, the ride experience is pretty neat, different than any water slide I’d ever experienced. Once the capsul door closes you’re greeted by the sound of a heart beating, flowed by a countdown.. “3, 2, 1…” Then the floor drops out. I tried the yellow slide, because after waiting that long I wanted the longer ride… Haha

    Two side notes. While in line one guy was turned away for being ‘to heavy’. Problem is, he was no larger than others that went before, including the two first riders. And there’s no signage about this, seems arbitrary.

    And second, the reason the hold the line at the base of the tower is to keep the wait shorter for Flash Pass users. The attendant mentioned this, and then at 6pm, when the park officially closed and Flash Pass was done, they let everyone up the tower (Bonsai stayed open until 7).

    • Jason

      05/27/2014 at 9:39 am

      * my wife and I… Whoops, that’s a bad autocorrect.. Haha

    • Andy

      05/27/2014 at 11:06 am

      Are you sure it wasn’t because he had rivets on his swim suit. They turned me away for that and made me buy new shorts at at the giftshop. #Lame

      • The Coaster Guy

        05/27/2014 at 11:52 am

        That’s something I wouldn’t even have thought of, but it makes sense. Metal rivets can scratch and damage the fiberglass, which in turn could do serious bodily harm to others as they slide down at high speeds. Not lame in the slightest!

      • Jason

        05/27/2014 at 1:39 pm

        They were turning people away because of the rivets at the bottom of the tower, but no, the issue at the top was definitely weight.

    • The Coaster Guy

      05/27/2014 at 11:53 am

      That makes sense about the Flash Pass. Thanks for the insight!

  4. Scott C.

    05/27/2014 at 12:40 pm

    Directly from the website, dress code section:
    Proper swimwear is required. Swimwear with rivets or any other metal ornamentation is not permitted on the water slides.
    Not lame at all.

  5. Scott C.

    05/27/2014 at 4:55 pm

    According to the California Coaster Kings (a site you link to), they were the first two to launch at opening.

    • California Coaster Kings

      05/29/2014 at 4:00 pm

      Still have no clue why we were asked haha. We were just sitting down at the bottom of the slide waiting for the opening, and suddenly we were approached. Obviously we couldn’t say ‘no’!

      • The Coaster Guy

        05/29/2014 at 5:37 pm

        Asked for what?

        • Scott C

          05/29/2014 at 9:14 pm

          Look at what I typed above Kurt! And congrats coaster kings. That is pretty cool indeed. I like your site too. Going to coaster con?

          • California Coaster Kings

            05/30/2014 at 1:30 am

            Can’t make it, but will visit all parks several times separately! Kind of bummed I can’t make it, finally a coaster con near by. Saw the program, that’s some nice ERT and events planned! I’m sure everyone who’s attending will have a seriously great time!

        • California Coaster Kings

          05/30/2014 at 1:28 am

          To slide during the opening ceremony.

  6. Mikey

    05/29/2014 at 7:13 am

    I wonder why they took out venom drop.. They could of built those slides somewhere else in the park,The thing is the blue slide is kinda like the venom drop. Is this because the guy went crazy and jumped head first off the slide so they had to make the feet first trapdoor?

    • The Coaster Guy

      05/29/2014 at 7:24 am

      I suspect that played a big part of their decision.

    • Spike

      05/29/2014 at 8:09 am

      Venom Drop had also dropped immensely in popularity after that incident. It fits right in line with the park’s business strategy to replace an aging unpopular ride with a new, shiny, safer version that people will line up for to experience a safer version of what they could have had last year. No judgement on the park here, I’m sure it’s paying off already.

  7. dylan

    06/02/2014 at 11:05 pm

    Just a to let you know Colossus is closing permanently in august according to the banners around the park. see here > I think there going to do A rocky mountain construction makeover like iron rattler or the new Texas giant. the reason I believe this is because it closes right when they announce the new rides for 2015. seams like quit a strange coincidence if you ask me 😉

    • Eric

      06/03/2014 at 2:21 pm

      I read about that yesterday… and I’m also leaning more toward Colossus getting the RMC renovation.

  8. dylan

    06/03/2014 at 3:24 pm

    well I’m 100 percent sure it gonna happen at this point because iron rattler and Texas giant where both advertised as closing like this to. rolling thunder at great adventure wasn’t advertised and it was just torn down. there is a pattern here. cyclone at six flags new England is also being advertised as closing so it guess colossus and cyclone are the two getting RCM’ed next year

  9. James

    06/03/2014 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, they will be shutting colossus. It will be interesting to see if this blog follows construction this time…. seems to have gone a bit off the boil.
    There are a few other sites that are a bit better

  10. Domingo

    06/03/2014 at 7:56 pm

    The blue one is kind of like venom drop just newer

  11. tina

    11/08/2014 at 9:53 am

    I came across this recently while looking for Bonzai Pipelines info. I was there by accident that day when it “officially” opened and I was actually number 7 or 8 in line waiting when they opened the line at 4. I did the orange slide because I was too chicken to go on the blue slide. I’ve since gone a couple more times and riden the blue slide a woping 7 times and never gone on the orange slide since (I don’t know why). I would advise everyone that goes to hurricane harbor to try the blue slide.

  12. jenny jackson

    08/04/2015 at 4:10 pm

    this looks really fun im going this saturday

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