This Six Flags Magic Mountain trip report comes just one day after heavy rains swept through the Los Angeles area. We were supposed to get more rain today, but it ended up being a really nice day. Now, let’s see what’s happened in the park this past week.
I arrived around 2:00 pm and as soon as I passed through security, I noticed that there was still a healthy line at the season pass processing center. Don’t forget that tomorrow, January 27th, is the last day for the free upgrades to a 2013 Six Flags Gold Season Pass. If you bought four or more 2013 Thrill Passes prior to January 6th, you qualify for the free upgrade. Just make sure you get your vouchers processed by the end of tomorrow or you will miss out:
This is the second weekend in a row that the Orient Express wasn’t working when I was at the park. I’m grateful for the extra exercise walking up the hill, but holy cow it’s a climb. Anyone know why it’s down? The couple of employees I asked did not know why it was closed:
One positive effect of the Orient Express being closed is that they have extra employees to work the Sky Tower. This means that you can actually go up in the tower and stay there for as long as you like. When there is just a single employee working the tower, everyone has to go down at the same time, even if you’re not ready to. It’s not very guest-friendly. With multiple employees, one will stay up in the tower with whoever wants to stay while the other employee shuttles the elevator up and down for other park guests. This also means that you don’t have to wait very long at the base for the elevator to come back down for the next group.
While up in the tower, I noticed a whole bunch of lockers lined up in the back lot, with a truck from a sandblasting company next to them. I’m thinking these are probably employee lockers that are getting stripped down and refurbished:
As I was walking through Center Ring Games, I noticed a big change at the Air Ball game. Instead of having air powered pistols, there are now two of the slingshots that used to be over at the LexCorp Weapons Training Facility. In talking to the employee, he indicated that the Lex Luthor game wasn’t doing very well, and it may have been because the game was too difficult. Having played the game myself, I will attest to it being very hard. The park decided to mix it up a bit and move the slingshots here, where guests might have better luck. The idea is to shoot a small ball from the slingshot and knock one of the balls off the column of air they are floating on. The slingshot isn’t any easier, but at least the target is bigger and closer:
This is what the LexCorp Weapons Training Facility now looks like:
The slingshots have been swapped out with the air pistols from the Air Ball game. A small ball is loaded into the tip of the barrel and shoots out using compressed air. The idea of the game is to shoot the balls through the holes you see in the targets in the above picture. The employee said he thought it was a little easier. When I asked him if the park guests liked it, he said he wasn’t sure because he hadn’t had any yet. Sounds like some marketing is in order:
The broken water pipes in Whistlestop Park have been fixed and the concrete sealed back up:
I didn’t think there was enough change since my Full Throttle Construction Update #6 last week to warrant a new update, but here are a couple of things that I did notice. First, check out the size difference between these rebar cages. It really goes to show that the anticipated load on a footer is a big factor in determining how big it needs to be:
It looks like they spent some time cleaning up the dirt above and below the access road through the middle of the main Full Throttle construction area. I wonder if this was a way of compacting as much of the hillside as they could, in anticipation of the rain, to try and minimize how much dirt was washed downhill:
On the lower side of the access road, you can see some new footer locations being prepped:
Not much appears to have changed in the main construction area since last week:
It looks like most of the footer wells had already been filled with concrete before the rains hit. However, there are a few open holes that were just covered with a piece of plywood. I’m sure they expect weather like this during construction, but it still can’t be fun to deal with:
How do they drill for footers in an existing tunnel, or do they even need to? Here you can see some new footers lined up and leading right into the center of the tunnel:
More footers leading up to the tunnel:
Looking up towards the tunnel from the back path. It looks like they might have covered some newly dug footer holes with plastic to protect them from the rain:
Remember that footer I called out in the last Full Throttle update that was using a concrete form? This is why they are used. If the footer needs some height up from the ground, the form is what holds the concrete and gives it shape until it cures. Once cured, you can peel away the form and be left with a perfectly round, good looking concrete footer:
Still a confusing mess looking out from the ground level:
Yup, looking to the right doesn’t help much:
At least now you can start to see a straight line of footers heading up the hill. This is presumably the direction the vertical loop is going to be installed:
There still aren’t nearly enough to build an entire roller coaster, but more track and column pieces continue to show up and be stored in the overflow parking lot out back:
I’ve gotten reports that all six of the new tram buses are now onsite. However, they still haven’t had any graphics applied and the employees have yet to begin training on them. I’m also hearing that a couple of minor changes need to be made to the parking lot in order to accomodate the size of the buses and the reverse loading order. Here are five of them:
On my way out, I passed either a new sign or one that I’ve never noticed before. I suspect that with the new signage that was recently added to the Flags building, this is another piece of marketing to try and get guests into the store before leaving the park for the day:
If it is a new sign, I think a $2.00 can of white spray paint and five minutes of time would do miracles on that frame. Or while you’re at it, go wild and have fun with a high gloss blue.
Don’t forget to sign-up for my email list on the top-right of this page. Many of you already have and I thank you for that. I’m think I’m going to start sending these updates out first via email by the end of February, so sign-up now so you don’t miss out.