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Ninja Reopens At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 07/19/2014

Back on July 7th, there was an unfortunate accident in which a tree toppled over against the Ninja roller coaster track at Six Flags Magic Mountain, obstructing the path of an oncoming train (read more here). Fortunately, there were only a couple of minor injuries and nothing serious.

The park released this official statement on Friday, July 18th:

After a thorough inspection by Cal OSHA, Ninja has been cleared to reopen for operation. The ride will open tomorrow (Saturday, July 19) at 10 a.m. when the park opens.  The safety of our guests and employees is our highest priority.

Today, just 12 short days after the incident, Ninja has reopened, and I was there to ride it!

Ninja_Reopen_01

When the main gate first opened, most people were running to either X2 or Full Throttle, as expected. I was sure some people would head up to Ninja, but it was totally empty by the time I got there:

Ninja_Reopen_02

The coaster was prepped and ready to roll, and I was excited to be the first rider for the reopening. However, I was told that I needed to wait because they wanted more people to show up first. That’s not very fair! I told her there was nobody up on the summit and nobody heading that way, but I still had to wait. The park had been promoting that the coaster would be open at 10:00 am when the park opened, and it was, they just wouldn’t let me ride it:

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After a few more minutes went by, and nobody showed up, she then told me they needed to wait for maintenance to show up to move the water test dummies off the other side of the station platform. She said they had called them awhile ago, but were still waiting. Needless to say, I was more than a little frustrated by now, but I know the ride ops were just doing their jobs:

Ninja_Reopen_03

After a few more minutes went by, and neither park maintenance or other guests showed up, the ride op called her supervisor and asked if they could send me. They agreed and off I went…solo:

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The feeling of the ride itself is unchanged. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from a pre-accident ride. However, the visuals now are quite different. Many trees have either been trimmed way down, or completely removed, especially in what I call the center of the ride, where the track twists around Jet Stream. That whole area in now completely open and there are just stacks of wood from the trees that had been cut down and chopped up. It’s kind of sad, but it’s obviously better to be safe than sorry. On the bright side, the smell of all the fresh cut timber is amazing!

When I returned to the station, there was one maintenance guy there. I wanted to ride it again, so the ride op asked me to circle around and wait on the loading side while the guy moved the test dummies, which I was happy to do. I was a little concerned how long it was going to take one guy to move them all, but about six or seven more maintenance guys passed me as I was heading up the exit ramp:

Ninja_Reopen_06

As I looped back around to the other side, there was one guy there who recognized me and introduced himself. Ryan is a regular reader and contributor to this site. Yay! We ended up taking the next train out by ourselves in the front, and then moved to the back for two more rides as additional people started to show up to ride:

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After four consecutive rides, I circled around to the back of the park to try and get some photos of the new landscape. Here are a couple of trees that were heavily trimmed back:

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Peeking over the fence (yes, I was behind it. you can see it in the lower right corner), you can see just how much more open that entire interior space is. You never used to be able to see that much of either Ninja or Jet Stream from this angle:

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As I dropped down into Cyclone Bay, I could look over and see trees that had been cut down where I had just been standing. This next tree stump was directly on the other side of the fence I was just standing next to in the above photo, just to the left of where I took the above photo and close to the track:

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As I pan to the left, it appears that there may have been some thinning of the brush through here as well. I don’t remember being able to see this much of Ninja from Cyclone Bay:

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From Jet Stream, you can see what’s left of the trees that were cut down and chopped up:

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Lots and lots of clearing had to be done:

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I couldn’t help but notice some guys walking around and inspecting the trees. They had some hand tools and were picking at the base of the tree and the area around it. If I were to fathom a guess, I’d say there were arborists who were inspecting the remaining trees to ensure they were sound and that the surrounding soil was solid, to ensure that Mother Nature can’t easily knock them over. But that’s just a guess:

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The area they were working in was right at the base of the first drop, where there are large pools of water on the ground from all of the water leaking out of Jet Stream:

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I think it’s amazing how fast Six Flags Magic Mountain was able to get Ninja back open and running again. I applaud them for their Herculean effort to make this happen, while ensuring that guest safety is still their top priority. The view from the ride may have changed a bit, but it’s a small price to pay to be safe. It’s still a very fun ride, so go ride it today!!

39 Comments

  1. Eric

    07/19/2014 at 9:23 pm

    And besides, it’ll grow back. 😉

  2. Josh

    07/19/2014 at 10:40 pm

    Next time you’re up in the Sky Tower, get a shot of the cleared trees from above! I’m sure it would be an interesting perspective.

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/19/2014 at 11:44 pm

      The Sky Tower has been closed for some time and isn’t expected to reopen for awhile.

      • domingo

        07/20/2014 at 2:33 am

        ? In awhile what happened?

        • Looper

          07/20/2014 at 2:38 pm

          I love the Sky Tower and it need’s to get back up soon.

          • tatsuuuUUU

            07/20/2014 at 3:21 pm

            it won’t. go to sixflags.com/magicmountain, click on park map in the top right corner, then click view map, and you can see its no longer “2” in the pint sized fun category. its not even in the key. its SBNO. it might get torn down and gen turned into a polercoaster. kurt actually did a poll:”should six flags magic mountain install a polercoaster?” so, yeah, sky tower is just a tower that is for decoration right now.

          • The Coaster Guy

            07/20/2014 at 5:02 pm

            It’s not being torn down and replaced by a Polercoaster. That was a joke post I did on April Fool’s Day. The Sky Tower will return to service once the elevators have been rebuilt, but it probably won’t be this year. That’s why it’s not on the park map or web site.

  3. A.M.99

    07/19/2014 at 10:47 pm

    I hope so, and I believe the park over reacted with the whole tree cutting thing. A TREE fell on the track, not anything else, so why butcher so many trees, if all they had to do was hit the ground with the pick axe thingy that guy was doing?

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/19/2014 at 11:45 pm

      How do you know they didn’t do that? Perhaps the trees they cut down were found to be a hazard by the work these guys are doing?

      • A.M.99

        07/20/2014 at 10:55 am

        But then why would they leave so many trees? Just without branches

        • The Coaster Guy

          07/20/2014 at 11:38 am

          I’d guess that those trees are sound but perhaps the branches were getting a little unruly. As long as the professionals were there, why not trim everything up?

          • A.M.99

            07/21/2014 at 8:16 pm

            True

  4. A.M.99

    07/19/2014 at 10:49 pm

    Oh, and Kurt, I was wondering if I could use some of the pictures from your site on my wikia page on Magic Mountain (with full credit to you of course). Ill post a link to the site once it’s done.

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/19/2014 at 11:46 pm

      I’d like to see the site first before I grant permission for my photos to be used.

      • A.M.99

        07/20/2014 at 10:56 am

        Ok, the whole wikia thing wasn’t working for me, so I changed it to another site, it won’t be ready for a while, I’ll let you know when it’s ready

  5. domingo

    07/20/2014 at 2:32 am

    This is kind of sad that they trimmed down so many trees it kind of dosent interact with the trees anymore but you are right better be safe than sorry. But I think some people may like it and you get some good pictures on how ninja interacts with the mountain also. Was ninja ever crowded at all today?

  6. Sarah

    07/20/2014 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for the updates Kurt. Figured it wouldn’t take them too long to get it up and running again. Great to see that it wasn’t as bad as the media says. Oops, I am saying the media, right? Media does blow things out of proportion sometimes.

  7. domingo

    07/20/2014 at 4:47 pm

    Kurt what happened to the sky tower? I don’t even see it in family rides anymore if you look at the sfmm website

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/20/2014 at 5:00 pm

      It’s not on the park map or web site because they knew it wouldn’t be operational thus season. It will reopen eventually, after a lengthy and expensive refurb on the elevators.

  8. James

    07/20/2014 at 9:27 pm

    Anyone know if they’ve reopened Green Lantern since it was closed for precautionary measures?

    • The Coaster Guy

      07/20/2014 at 10:16 pm

      Yes, it’s been open for a few days now. Not sure if you use either, but I announced that on both Twitter and Instagram.

      • James

        07/20/2014 at 10:34 pm

        Thank you! Sorry, not a big social media guy, but your site is always my go-to source for up to date Magic Mountain news.

  9. Ryan O'Neill

    07/21/2014 at 9:30 am

    Great to finally meet you, Kurt! The park got extremely crowded around noon, so I’m glad I headed to Ninja first. Batman’s “new” trains from SFOT are running really fast – it seemed more intense than I remember (in the back row).

  10. chilton Schilling

    07/22/2014 at 3:11 am

    That was a lot faster than I thought. Great job by six flags to get it back up and running.

  11. Sfmm inside

    07/22/2014 at 9:46 am

    The sky tower should be operating again around October that’s what I’ve heard

  12. Matt

    07/22/2014 at 8:12 pm

    SMALL PRICE?

    Jetstream and Ninja are literally ruined. They are not worth going on, safe or otherwise. The entirety of your view on the ride, instead of an exhilarating flight through the forest or a gentle boat ride under the canopy, is now dominated by an ugly landscape of exposed dirt and tree stumps. Disgusting. Jetstream in particular, even the small trees only an inch in diameter that were NO THREAT to the ride whatsoever that previously lined the approach to the final drop were slaughtered by those idiotic BUTCHERS they hired to annihilate the beauty of the rides.

    Small price my butt. Someone should be fired for this.

    • Scott C.

      07/22/2014 at 8:54 pm

      Wow Matt….not worth going on? I guess you don’t go on Scream either.
      These rides are not “literally” ruined. It tweaks me that people do not seem to understand what that word means.
      Now don’t get me wrong…I loved diving through the trees on Ninja. But I don’t want one of those things falling on my head, or falling on a track that my coaster is rolling on.

      • Matt

        07/22/2014 at 9:09 pm

        Considering Scream has some of the shortest lines in the park even on a crowded day, there’s obviously some merit to visual appeal or lack thereof playing a large part in the matter. I do occasionally ride it, but it’s an ugly ride devoid of any scenic appeal. The visuals make up a large proportion of the coaster experience to me.

      • domingo

        07/22/2014 at 10:06 pm

        Exactly!

    • A.M.99

      07/22/2014 at 9:01 pm

      Plus, what would you rather have, ninja and jet stream minus a few trees, or nothing

      • Scott C.

        07/22/2014 at 9:02 pm

        Apparently nothing, as they are “literally” ruined.

        • Matt

          07/22/2014 at 9:10 pm

          Apparently you like ugly rides. Hey, if that’s your thing, more power to you.

          I dont.

          • Scott C.

            07/23/2014 at 7:35 am

            It is not that I like ugly rides. I do like scenic rides, and think they should do something, especially with Scream, to make it nicer. However, my point was, I will not choose to skip a fun ride because of the scenery. I will still ride Ninja and Jet Scream, and will enjoy the ride. I also like Scream as well.

  13. Matt

    07/22/2014 at 9:12 pm

    And considering no one bothers riding that bare-pavement sheet-metal station eyesore Scream, I’m not the only one who doesn’t like bad visuals for my coasters.

    • Ryan O'Neill

      07/23/2014 at 2:58 pm

      Scream’s line was actually pretty long on Saturday – so long that my friends and I skipped it to ride X2 instead. There were plenty of people waiting to ride it, regardless of the scenery (or lack thereof).

      Ninja will continue to be a very scenic and enjoyable ride, especially once the cut logs and dirt are cleared off the hillside. Kurt only took pictures where the trees were heavily trimmed, so to get the full experience, you should go ride it and see for yourself.

  14. Matt

    07/22/2014 at 11:34 pm

    I will at least say this though, they made Apocalypse a lot nicer since my prior visit. They just reupholstered the trains and they are COMFY, I mean I almost wanna sneak into the park and sneak one of those train cars out to use as a new living room chair, that’s how comfy they are. Like a solid 2 inches of padding, with nice imitation-leather material.

  15. Katie

    07/24/2014 at 10:41 pm

    Hey, does anyone know if they’ve done any trimming on other forest-heavy rides? Like say Revolution?

  16. Brenden

    07/28/2014 at 9:08 pm

    Rode it on Saturday… guess who got stuck?

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