Ride Type: Roller Coaster
Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard
Model/Style: Floorless Steel
Year Built: 2003
For the 2003 season, Six Flags Magic Mountain was desperately hoping that their planned new roller coaster was not only going to be a hit with the public, but it was also going to be hassle-free. In 2001, they debuted a Giant Inverted Boomerang shuttle roller coaster called Deja Vu that was riddled with technical difficulties. In 2002, they debuted a radical new 4th dimension roller coaster called X (now X2) that was so plagued with technical issues that it actually bankrupted the company that had designed it. Six Flags Magic Mountain needed a new roller coaster that would satisfy their thrill-seeking guests while not giving them any more headaches and Scream! Ride Out Loud was born.
Scream! Ride Out Loud (or just Scream!) is a floorless model steel roller coaster from one of the world’s premiere coaster manufacturers, Bolliger and Mabillard (B&M). A floorless roller coaster is just like it sounds – there is no floor. Once a rider is secured in their seat, the floor of the loading station drops away leaving the rider’s feet dangling and exposed on top of the track. It’s a very liberating feeling for coaster enthusiasts. B&M debuted the world’s first floorless coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1999 with the introduction of Medusa (now Bizarro). After four years of operation and multiple installations, the floorless roller coaster proved to be both popular and reliable.
Scream! opened to the public on April 12, 2003 and is located in the Colossus County Fair section of the park. It is a reverse copy, or mirrored clone, of the original Medusa coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure. Six Flags Magic Mountain did not miss the mark in catering to their thrill-seeking guests. Scream! is 150′ high, 3,985′ long, reaches speeds up to 63 MPH, and has a whopping seven inversions – tying the park record with Viper. The ride has three trains, each with eight cars that seat four people each, allowing 32 riders per dispatch. Ride time is approximately 3:00 minutes from start to finish and maximum capacity is roughly 1,440 riders per hour.
In my opinion, Scream! suffers from being poorly located in the park. Despite being one of the most prominent roller coasters when viewed from the parking lot, you really can’t see it as you are walking through the park. The entrance is located around a corner and at the end of a path that shoots off of the main midway that circles the park, right next to the Colossus entrance. As you walk by and look down the path, it doesn’t look like anything is down there, so I think most people walk right on by. If you do venture down to the bottom of the path, this is what the ride signage looks like:
The name of the ride doesn’t really jump out at me. It all looks like verbs and adjectives, but nothing that really sounds like a roller coaster. Just to the right of the above signs is where you will find the the main entrance tucked into the trees:
The main path is well shaded should you find yourself waiting in a long line:
At the end of the main path is the loading station, with stairs on the left leading up to the loading area. A bank of lockers is located here for your convenience:
You can’t really see it in the above photo due to the shade cover, but here is what the loading station looks like from a distance. The path from above is located just on the other side of this fence. The loading station is open air and you can see where the track enters the station between the two yellow columns. The smaller building to the right, with the white beam, is the maintenance area and transfer track:
These are the stairs leading up to the loading/unloading area:
These signs are so big that you really don’t see them as you are walking up the stairs. The only people that really get to see them are the employees in the backstage area:
At the top of the stairs, you find yourself in the loading area. Other than the signs that you’ve already seen, there really isn’t any theming to this ride. It’s very utilitarian – basic steel I-beams, exposed pipes and conduit, and a corrugated steel roof:
From the exit side of the ride, you can see the configuration of the trains. Once everyone is secure in their seat, the diamond-plated metal flooring you see will drop away and leave nothing between the rider’s feet and the steel track:
The ride operator’s station is located on the front right side of the train:
This is looking up at the front of the station. Once the floor drops away, these metal gates will swing open, freeing the train from the confines of the station. Since there is no front of the coaster train, these gates prevent guests from falling off the front of the station:
A quick right turn and the train will be headed up the 150′ chain-driven lift hill. At the very top of the hill, you will be overlooking the main parking lot:
As a B&M roller coaster, Scream! has the signature pre-drop feature at the top of the lift hill, designed to reduce tension on the lift chain. The first drop is 141′ down and banks to the right as you drop:
Immediately after the first drop you go into a 128′ vertical loop:
The bottom of the vertical loop drops slightly below grade and you then transition into a 96′ dive loop:
As the train nears the top of the dive loop, it rolls 90 degrees to the right:
Here is a close-up showing the front of the train at the apex of the loop while the back of the train is still completing the roll:
After the dive loop, you perform a zero-G roll right over the top of the loading station. If you go back and look carefully at the photo above of the girl strapping herself into the seat, you will see one of the magenta support columns for this part of the track coming through the loading station, just behind the guy in the sunglasses:
Looking back towards the station, this is where the train exits the zero-G roll:
The train then moves directly into a 78′ cobra roll:
Here is a good shot of the track transitioning from the zero-G roll to the cobra roll:
After the cobra roll, the train heads up and into the mid-course brake run (MCBR):
The MCBR is located just on the opposite side of the lift hill from the station:
After the MCBR, the train drops down into what I believe is just a 360 degree helix, low and fast along the ground. The train enters the helix along the first piece of track you see at the top of the photo and exits back up along the second piece:
A lot of people make fun of Scream! for being themed after a parking lot, and the above photo shows why. The park erected Scream! right on top of the existing parking lot and didn’t even bother to remove the lines. Combine that with the fact that this coaster doesn’t have a theme and you can see where the jokes come from. It’s unclear why Six Flags Magic Mountain did this, but speculation runs from this being a rush job to the park just being cheap and/or lazy. However, after nine years of operation, I don’t anticipate them doing anything about it now. The only exception would be if they end up re-theming the entire coaster and transforming it like they did to the Medusa coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, when they added special effects and called it Bizarro.
After the helix, the track juts further out into the parking lot and forms one of my favorite elements, an interconnected pair of corkscrews:
As seen from the parking lot, I think this element is very unique and cool looking:
After the first corkscrew, the train turns around and heads through the second one:
After the corkscrews, the train slides into the final brake run before returning to the station. This is a good shot of what the floorless coaster cars look like as they are returning to the station, with the rider’s feet dangling freely just above the track. It’s just rows of four seats riding the rails, a very liberating feeling if you like roller coasters:
These next two shots were obviously taken on a very rainy day. I like this first shot because it shows you where the vertical loop drops below grade, the lift hill, the MCBR, the final brake run, the on-ride cameras, and the maintenance building. Most of all, I like the contrast of color between the wet steel and the dry steel. I would like for the entire roller coaster to have that high-gloss of a paint job when it’s dry. Unfortunately, the hot, dry Southern California heat makes that near impossible to maintain:
The on-ride photography system uses quite the bank of cameras. It snaps your picture just as you are exiting the first vertical loop. The photo booth is located on the exit path just as you are leaving the ride area. In the background, you can see that the track passes by the maintenance building and transfer track just before it reaches the station:
Google Maps provides some great aerial images of this ride. The smaller building is the maintenance area and the larger is the station. You can also see the zero-G roll go over the top of the station with one of the support columns sticking through the roof. You can also clearly see how the entire thing was built on top of the parking lot, with the interlocking corkscrews jutting even further out into the parking lot:
After nine years, Scream! is starting to show it’s age. Although not quite as smooth as it once was, it still packs a punch and provides quite a few thrills. If you want a fun roller coaster, with lots of inversions, give this one a whirl.