Vic and I spent the day at Magic Mountain today and had a GREAT time! Got there around noon. Very empty park... except the line for Viper. I guess everyone goes straight there when they get in. We headed for Riddler. About a 10 minute wait. What a great... and smooth... ride! Then over to Scream. I'd never ridden it before. WOW! Yowza! Then back over to Batman. I've never really liked this one because of my fear of heights, but it's a heckuva ride! I liked it better than I remember. Lines way too long for Colossus. Then lunch. Then Goliath. (Does everyone feel just a little like blacking out during the helix?) Then we rode the Buccaneer... whee! Colossus lines still too long but Scream is almost a walk on. Yowza times 2! Went to check Viper again but got sidelined on Log Jammer on the way. Got way wet but it was a warm day. Finally got to Viper. I remember this as a very thrilling and smooth ride. Thrilling: yes. Smooth: NO! Ow! My ears! I still like it a lot. Then over the hill to Roaring Rapids. Got more wet... but not as wet as the other people in our "boat!" Then to Arrowhead Splashdown (lots of water rides in a row, huh!?) Park has begun to fill up by now. Up the hill to Ninja. The Orient Express isn't operating due to the Tatsu construction, so if you want to get to Ninja, you have to climb "heart-attack" hill. Not too many did, so the ride was a total walk-on. We rode the front, then got back in line and did it again! Then back to Riddler again. Finally decided to brave the line for Colossus. This retro-coaster is still a really fun ride. Finally, another turn on Goliath, an ice cream cone and the day was done.
Other than the fact that we rode a ton of rides and had a blast, here are some of the
The park is very clean. Not quite Disney clean, but even Disneyland isn't quite Disney clean all the time anymore. The restrooms sparkle and each has an attendant. Plenty of cordial custodial workers around. Food service is a little slow, but when the lines get long, they open another window. My cheeseburger was better than the one I got at Tomorrowland Terrace but Disney uses a better grade of meat. Magic Mountain has a MUCH better variety of food options than Disneyland. There were even strolling hot dog vendors! These guys with insulated boxes selling hot dogs for $4. Four Bucks! Tons of characters around. We saw Batman, Flash, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe LePew, Speedy Gonzales, Bugs, Daffy, The Martian and Sylvester. They even had a small "parade." OK... two floats and a flashy car, but it was still cute. The patrons tended to be young but generally well-behaved. Tatsu construction progresses. It looks like it's going to be awesome!
The "cast members" tend to be a little distracted. They do their jobs, but don't really make an effort to interact with the guests. Disney CMs tend to be more outgoing. (The guy in charge of the rock wall got two very young children hooked up, then turned his back on them to talk to his friend. The kids were having difficulty with their climb and Mom had to get the CM's attention to get him to help. Not good!) Food service workers all seem to have English as a very second language. I don't mean to sound xenophobic. It just makes it difficult to communicate efficiently. They do try their best, though. The park would benefit immensely from a liberal application of some paint! Lots of stuff is faded, chipped, and sporting carved initials. Most of the landscape is lush, but a lot is cheezy. Goliath's bamboo is dying and sparse. Oddly, their landscaper decided to plant "Tulbaghia Violacea" in the Riddler queue. This plant is also known as "Society Garlic" since it emits a STRONG aroma of garlic. NOT GOOD near a queue! Disney would never allow so much bare dirt to be seen. Plant some flowers! $15 to park your car is robbery. $2 for each entry into your locker is just mean. It was nice to see so many characters around, but they were all a little subdued. Only Sylvester showed a little spunk and actually sought us out to shake our hands. Finally... for pity's sake, HIDE THE FOOKIN BACKSTAGE! I know that when I'm a gazillion feet in the air on a coaster I'm gonna see it, but how hard is it to hide it from me when I'm on foot? Too many times one can see areas filed with construction or custodial materials and other ugly stuff. It wouldn't be that hard to camouflage it.
BTW: Deja Vu, Revolution & Psyclone were closed. X was running but I'm not quite ready yet!
DISNEY EXECS TAKE NOTE:
The strolling hot dog vendors are Brilliant! Dump a couple of static ODV carts clogging up the walkways and send the food around to the guests! Imagine how picturesque it would be to have guys (or gals) in white pants, red & white striped jackets and straw boaters pushing carts up and down Main Street hawking $4 hot dogs... a spaceman in Tomorrowland... use your imagination.
One of the really fun things at Magic Mountain is the fact that some of the rides travel through other rides. People love this. Disneyland used to have more of this, particularly in Tomorrowland: People Mover, Skyway, etc.