Security Express Lanes At Six Flags Magic Mountain
If you’ve ever visited Six Flags Magic Mountain on a very busy day, you know how long the lines can be. I’m not talking about the ride lines. And I’m not talking about the ticket booth lines. I’m talking about the line after the ticket booths but before you can get to the rides – the dreaded security line! How would you like to use express lanes to get through security quickly if you have no bags? Apparently, once upon a time you could.
Just beyond the ticket booths, you must pass through one of fourteen security lanes, complete with metal detectors, before even getting to the entrance plaza and the main gate. On a normal day, this is no big deal, assuming they have enough security guards to staff an appropriate number of lanes. However, during busy summer days and other special events, with every lane open, it can look like this:
Every single lane is open and they’re still backed up to the ticket booths, and sometimes even beyond. Why? Because every backpack, purse, stroller, and fanny pack has to be visually checked by the security guard, and this is very time consuming. Add to that the fact that any food or beverage item they find must be tossed out, which is usually followed by a plea and/or argument by the park guest, and things move even slower. If a belt buckle, keys, or anything else left in your pocket sets off the metal detector, then they have to use the wand to determine what it is. It’s a very slow and tedious process.
There are actually five more security lanes off to the left of the main row of fourteen. I actually took the above photo while standing in line for one of those. They’re the exact same thing, but mainly used as an overflow for extremely busy times. The lines are usually shorter because people don’t notice them, but not by much:
The sixth lane on the far right does not have a metal detector. It’s used as an exit for people in the entrance plaza. One you exit, you must go back through security.
If you’ve already done the math, that’s a whopping nineteen open security lanes, and they’re still backed up! I’ve waited as long as 40 minutes to get through this security line, which provided me with lots of time to think about how they could improve the experience. One hot day, while watching bag, after bag, after bag be manually checked in front of me, it finally occurred to me. Express lanes! Why should those of us carrying absolutely nothing, be subjected to these long lines where bags are being searched? There should be express lanes where we simply hand them our keys, cell phone, and anything else metal in our pockets, and just walk through and be on our merry way. These five odd security lanes way off to the side would be the perfect place to set that up. In fact, one of the lanes used to be a special lane reserved only for Discover Card holders, which was fantastic! Unfortunately, they took that away and we had to get in line with the masses.
While visiting on Monday of the busy Labor Day weekend, all security lanes were open and I ended up on the far right. As I was waiting patiently, I looked up and saw this:
Express Lane? What? Are my eyes deceiving me? Upon closer inspection, I saw this this:
The very rightmost two lanes were outfitted with Express Lane signs that could be swung down to provide the very thing I had been longing for. Why aren’t these used?!? They look older and are currently folded up in the “not in use” position. I’ve only been coming to this park regularly for just a couple of years, but I’ve never seen these put into use. Does anyone know when they were last used? Or why they stopped using them? These should be permanent, in my opinion, at least during the busy season. I have no doubt that people would fly through well ran Express Lanes, especially us regulars who would know how the system works. This would also help reduce the congestion in the other lines as those of us who aren’t carrying anything would no longer be in those lines. What do you think? Would you like to see dedicated Express Lanes put into service?