As I was driving past Six Flags Magic Mountain tonight, I started thinking about the lighting of the rides at night. Most roller coaster parks are very exciting to look at during the day, at least to us coaster enthusiasts. The massive amounts of steel and wood frames, twisting and curving through the sky with their high gloss paint jobs. When you have a park with as many coasters as SFMM, it’s quite a sight just to drive by it. I guarantee that it grabs just about everyone’s attention that is driving into Los Angeles for the first time from the north.
Unfortunately, you can’t even really tell what it is at night. The only lights that stand out are those that go up the initial hills. You can basically see a string of lights from Goliath, Scream, and sometimes The Riddler’s Revenge, but you really can’t tell that they are roller coasters. Colossus, the park’s wooden coaster, is lit up by some flashing multi-colored flood lights, but they’re low enough to the ground that they don’t have that dramatic of an effect from the freeway.
What I’d like to see are all those sexy curves lit up at night, like a siren from the sea calling out for her next victim. I know in these tough economic times that money is tight and the last thing a park operator needs is higher electricity costs. However, how much would it really cost to outline the tracks with something like low-voltage LED rope lighting? Wouldn’t that look cool, especially from a distance? Bonus: What if the trains were lit up somehow as they rolled across the track?
Does anyone know of a park that does anything like this? Please leave a comment and tell me about it. I’d be curious to find out how different parks light up their coasters at night.