SIx Flags Magic Mountain is entering into the final week of operation for what is arguably the second most iconic roller coaster in the park, Colossus. We’ll also give you an update on Ninja, take a look at the growing intrusive nature of the sponsorships in the park and ponder what the heck they are thinking about the awful aesthetics of the reworked areas of the park.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have corrected the misleading information that Magic Mountain is the only Six Flags Park in the US.  We apologize for this misleading information.

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As we enter the park we come upon the entry plaza and the Revolution coaster, which in our opinion is the most iconic coaster in the park.  To be honest, the Tatsu coaster is actually growing on us here.  If only they would freshen up the pain a bit.

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Season Pass

Season passes are being promoted throughout the park. With the year more than half over it’s still a decent deal.  Especially when you consider that this is one of two Six Flags parks in the US opened year-round and they have added the new Holiday in the Park event towards the end of the year.

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Colossus

Colossus, the King of Wooden Coasters, ends its reign Saturday, August 16th.  The monstrous woodie has held multiple records over the years including the tallest fastest coaster in the world, the first coaster to feature two drops over 100ft, the largest wooden coaster in the world, and is still the largest dual track wooden coaster in the world. To say this roller coaster, which was opened on June 29th 1978 at a staggering (for the time) cost of 7 million dollars, is a landmark attraction is an understatement.

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As time rolled on, this towering ivory masterpiece became dwarfed in the search for more extreme thrills.

As we stated at the outset, we have to hand it to Magic Mountain and their approach to closing this important ride.  They are giving fans plenty of time to say goodbye and relive the memories.  Six Flags has also created displays to explain Colossus’ place in movies and television setting up a variety of displays.

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We took one last ride on the King of wooden coasters.

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Inside the once-bustling queue, was an empty station to the right.  In fact, they were already doing a bit of work on that side.

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The black train still running.

The ride felt surprisingly smooth.  Smoother than Ghostrider over at Knott’s, that’s for sure.

On a personal note, Colossus means a great deal to me.  I can remember the very first time I set eyes on this astounding structure.  I was 6 years old and a tiny little guy.  The wait on opening day was just over 7 hours and my mom, dad, sisters, and cousins were all there, all in line.  They took turns walking little me over to the kiddie land to take a spin on the rides there, while everyone else waited for the big new ride.

As our group inched closer to the queue building, anticipation grew.  We were all getting so excited to ride this, the biggest coaster in the world.  I had cut my coaster teeth on Space Mountain just a year earlier when it debuted at Disneyland, and I had lived through the Corkscew at Knott’s as my first looping coaster just a few months before.  At age 6 I was ready to conquer Colossus.

the train pulled into the station, the guests in the train jumped out and my aunt and I began to get into the car.  Suddenly, the young man working the platform caught me, and asked that they measure me to the height limit, to see if I was tall enough to ride.  Imagine my displeasure when to hear that I was too short to ride.  After a seven and a half hour wait, “Access DENIED.”  Crestfallen I trudged over to the exit bridge that originally spanned over the track.  The train left the station and I watched as my family passed under me.  It wasn’t until a few years later, and a new pair of cowboy boots that added to my height, that I was able to ride the King of Coasters.  The wait was worth it.

What are your Colossus memories?  Does this ride mean something special to you?  Share it in the comments below.

Ninja is Back

Just about three weeks after a tree fell against the tracks, sending a few riders to the hospital, the suspended coaster Ninja is back open.  The ride looks and feels just fine.  However, foliage near the path of the attraction has been cut way back.

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Around the area of the incident, the trees have been cut back considerably.

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Yep, James and Matt survived.

 

Sponsors Attack!

We understand that Magic Mountain is not a theme park, and that visual intrusions aren’t an important concern here. We also understand that sponsorships in any park are nothing new.  But Six Flags Magic Mountain has been taking sponsorships in an aggressive direction, seemingly selling every square inch of visual space in the park. It is impossible to avoid being pitched snacks, credit cards, phone carriers, and time shares.

Take a trip to X2 as an example.  It is now fully sponsored by Twix. Not just the ride being “presented by Twix,” but a full on advertising assault.

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At every turn, TWIX TWIX TWIX!

But Twix isn’t the only sponsor that the park is over-promoting. . .

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Passing back under the bridge that led to X2 we find a garish banner for Takis

In order to buy all of that snack food, we might need to take out a credit card.  Thankfully they have a suggestion for us.

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Twix isn’t the only candy bar with an appetite for thrills. Snickers is a great candy bar to enjoy while riding Ninja. Or perhaps you’re just hungry.

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That isn’t even a fraction of the advertisements we saw. Magic Mountain is blessed with lovely terrain, beautiful vistas and some of the best thrill rides on the planet. We are just sad to see them degrading themselves with such blatant and obtrusive sponsorships. This has been a growing problem for quite some time now.  We’ve tried to tolerate it as advertising and sponsorships happens in every park.  But the level of in  your face banners in this park really seems to cross a line.

Full Throttle

We close this update with a look at the new Full Throttle Sports Bar.  This re-theme of the Mooseburger Lodge has all of the charm and class of a locker room.

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If a hockey arena and a log cabin had a baby, it might look a little something like this.

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Nice touch, the bleachers for seating. 😉

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It’s just sad.  Sad to see the lovely wooded area that once was home to one of the better flume rides in California, if not the United States, reduced to a barren concrete quad area.  Nothing about this portion of the park looks permanent.  It’s all very modular and rudimentary.  Like a thrill coaster festival that never leaves.

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The stage which is supposed to really sell the YOLO mantra to guests sits baking in the sun . . . mostly unused.

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Our sincerest request to Six Flags: We have seen what you have done with the once beautiful wooded area that contained the Log Jammer.  PLEASE don’t take Colossus out simply to flatten everything out and install another thrill machine on an ugly concrete slab.  Please leave the lush gardens and trees along the path in Colossus County Fair. Please don’t remove whatever remaining charm there is in that section of the park.

And that concludes this mixed bag of an update from Six Flags Magic Mountain.  There are some nice things coming later in the year with FrightFest and Holiday in the Park.  So let’s look forward to what we hope will pan out to be a great second half of the year at Magic Mountain.