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The New Revolution Construction Tour At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 02/15/2016

Today I was invited over to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a construction tour of The New Revolution. If you’re new to this blog, or the roller coaster community, The Great American Revolution was the world’s very first modern roller coaster with a vertical loop when it opened at Magic Mountain in 1976. It’s been a fan favorite ever since, but it’s been getting a little long in the tooth. For the 2016 season, Magic Mountain is completely refurbishing the old girl and breathing new life into it.

The update to Revolution is just one of many changes coming to this area of the park in 2016. I’ll post a separate article outlining all of the other changes that you will also see later this year.

The painting of the coaster continues and it has reached the vertical loop. The new theme of this coaster traces its roots back to 1976, when the ride first opened during the American Bi-Centennial celebration. It will be very red, white, and blue with a heavy Americana vibe. One of the other new changes you will see when the coaster reopens is tracer lights that will outline the loop, highlighting the feature that gave this coaster the nickname The One Loop Wonder:

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Close-up of where the painting has reached on the top of the loop:

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The painting crew was hard at work today applying the first coat of paint:

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The painters are so quiet that you really have to look to find them. This guy was painting the white track at the bottom of the first drop:

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There is a bunch of brand new fencing surrounding the electrical boxes in the center of the final helix. This is already a secure area, so I’m not sure what the need for an additional fence is, but I guess you can’t be too careful:

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The old sign in front of the ride has been removed. A brand new The New Revolution sign will eventually be installed here:

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Our first peek behind the construction wall….Ta Da!!! Oh, wait…active construction areas are never quite as exciting as people think they are:

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Since many have asked…yes, the shortcut path up the hill will still exist. You can see the metal posts where a brand new fence will be installed keeping people out of secure areas:

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The crews were working hard prepping for a new retaining wall going around this bend. You can see the new grey wall they are extending, just past the guy in the orange vest:

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The main entrance to the ride will remain the same, in the front of the ride, with the Flash Pass entrance being moved here from the back of the station. Once they are done running underground lines, all the concrete walkways will be patched up and painted:

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The old waterfall that used to grace the entrance to the ride, which also hadn’t been used in many years, has been removed. In light of Southern California’s drought situation, the environmentally responsible thing to do was to landscape this area instead:

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The queue path leading up to the station will pretty much remain as it was, with two lanes. One side will be the stand-by line while the other side will be the Flash Pass line:

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New retaining walls are being added along the queue path and holes have already been dug to receive new trees that will be planted through here to provide shade:

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Looking down on the entry path from above, you can see the new walls that have already been added (grey) and the old walls (tan) that have been patched up:

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When the entry path reaches the bridge to the station, it will feed two lanes. The far right lane (the left lane in this backwards looking photo) will be the Flash Pass lane. The middle lane will be the stand-by line, and the far left lane (right, in this photo) will be the new ADA (aka handicap) line:

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The new ADA line feeds into the station from a brand new path that was just added. This is where it starts in the X2 plaza, and you can see the New Revolution station through the trees:

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This is where the path enters the station, looking back towards the X2 plaza:

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The old Revolution queue from way back when will continue to be used as a Fright Fest maze during Halloween. This juncture between the existing queue path and the FF maze will have a new gate installed. They can’t completely seal it off because it serves as an emergency exit from the FF maze:

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If you’re familiar with Revolution’s queue, you may recall a dead space just to the right as you entered the station from the bridge. They have sealed up that area and it will now serve as a brand new break room for the New Revolution employees:

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Other than some new lights, new paint, and a new back fence, the station itself won’t be changing much:

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Since the new Flash Pass entrance will now be at the front of the ride, this old Flash Pass entrance at the back of the station will be blocked off:

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The track through the station has been painted and looks spectacular:

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The primary ride operator’s panel was demolished and will be rebuilt about 19″ further away from the track. It was within what they call the “ride envelope” and had to be relocated. The ride envelope is the distance around a coaster train that a passenger could theoretically reach with their arms and/or legs (depending on the ride). With no shoulder restraints, the ride envelope for The New Revolution has expanded and they need to ensure the ride envelope is clear throughout the entire ride so that people don’t get injured:

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Looking backwards on the track from the station, you will notice that parts of the side of the building have been removed, making the entrance wider. Again, this was due to the new ride envelope:

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Here’s a closer shot of where they widened the building around the track:

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There is a lot going into this refurb that guests will never even see. I noticed a ton of new electrical boxes, conduit, and other mechanicals that have been added to the ride:

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With the new paint job, somebody who has never seen or heard of this ride before would never even know it wasn’t brand new:

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That new paint job is absolutely gorgeous:

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There was a bunch of work being done for the paths behind the station. If you’ve ever been on that path before, you might have noticed that there was another older path just next to it that had been blocked off. With this refurb, they are bringing both paths back, so there will now be two paths behind the station:

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When you exit the station, you will still have the option to head down the hill, back towards the entrance, or head up the stairs going up the hill. Here is a fence company installing a new fence along that exit path:

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Here you can see new fencing ready to be installed along the stairs heading up the hill:

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The space behind the new windows in this next photo is where the new employee break room is located. Also, there will be new illuminated block letters that spell out The New Revolution that will replace the painted name under the bridge:

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As you are approaching the station, the runoff from the old waterfall used to run along a creek on your left, creating a nice water feature. With no more waterfall, this area has been filled in and will also be landscaped. There will also be another large The New Revolution sign located here, illuminated with lights:

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If you’re getting excited to ride The New Revolution, be sure to sign up for our special event in June, Mountain Madness 2.0: Revolution’s Revenge, where there will be lots of ERT on The New Revolution, among many other things.

I’d like to thank Sue, Connie, Alex, Connie, Robert, Bruce, and everyone else at Six Flags Magic Mountain that made today’s tour happen.

That’s it for this New Revolution update. We hope to have a similar update in a few weeks, with a sneak peek at what the new trains look like, so stay tuned.

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14 Comments

  1. Steve Austin

    02/16/2016 at 12:31 pm

    Awesome update as always Kurt! Just curious, near the beginning, one of your pics showed where the old sign for the ride was and a new one was going in its place. Any chance you asked what they did with the old sign? You could put it in your man cave. i would. 🙂 Take it easy.

    • The Coaster Guy

      02/16/2016 at 9:21 pm

      I suspect it went into the landfill. If I’m not mistaken, it was stucco, so it was probably demolished during the removal. Way too big for my man cave!

  2. Freddie

    02/16/2016 at 12:36 pm

    I like that SFMM is taking this refurb seriously. It doesn’t appear that they’re cutting any corners on a 40 year ride. The additions to the queue make it seem like they anticipate the ride will have a lot of original fans back including new ones. Great post as always.

  3. Steve Austin

    02/16/2016 at 12:42 pm

    I forgot to ask, are they going to do anything special with the tunnel portion of the ride?

  4. Eric

    02/16/2016 at 4:13 pm

    That small doorway—the old Flash Pass entrance—was originally labeled “Chicken Exit.” Really! they had a sign above it that read “Chicken Exit.” I’m sure someone out there has a picture. Sadly, I don’t. Those poor souls who just couldn’t handle this ride could leave through that door.

    I’m so glad to see this classic ride getting the attention that it has deserved for so long. Anton would be proud.

    • Steve Austin

      02/17/2016 at 9:45 pm

      I have been trying to locate a picture of the “chicken exit” for years without any luck. I have a theory that MAYBE that sign that is there now might just have the chicken exit on the back of it. Wishful thinking i guess

      • The Coaster Guy

        02/17/2016 at 9:58 pm

        I doubt it would be on the back. If anything, they probably covered it up.

  5. Dane

    02/17/2016 at 6:44 pm

    Any idea when it will be finished?

    • The Coaster Guy

      02/17/2016 at 7:07 pm

      Not yet. They promised us a date in a couple of weeks.

  6. Pingback: Six Flags Plaza Getting Major Makeover At Six Flags Magic Mountain - The Coaster Guy

  7. Ryan

    02/18/2016 at 12:13 am

    Hi Kurt, awesome update as always.

    Since revolution used to originally only have lapbars, any idea why the ride envelope needs to be increased now they are going back to that configuration?

    Cheers

    • The Coaster Guy

      02/18/2016 at 5:24 am

      That’s an excellent observation and one I didn’t think of until I was writing the article. There are only two explanations I can think of. First, since it was a really long time ago that it only had lap bars, perhaps the envelope wasn’t as wide back then. Ride safety these days trumps all. Second, it’s possible the building was tightened up during the re-theme when the OTSRs were added.

  8. josh.f

    02/18/2016 at 8:43 am

    What about the observation deck at the loop?

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