Last saturday, I took my son to Magic Mountain for the first time. We got there when the park opened at 10am and the place stayed deserted until 2pm. We got thru most of the rides that he could get on (he's 52" tall) multiple times. It was a nice day and not too hot. Most of the newer rides looked freshly painted while the smaller non coaster rides were in bad need of paint. The place was relatively free from trash. Lots of misters in the ques. This place is almost entirely coasters. There are only a few carnival type rides left. Most of the theming makes DCA look like DisneySea.
Now the bad things. When we got there, the first thing I noticed is the metal detectors. The detectors were themed but I saw no point to the way people would put strollers thru with huge bags of stuff in them. No one bothered to do a bag check on the strollers even though the detectors where ringing.
During the day, I noticed about half the ride operators spent most of their time talking to groups of other employees that were just hanging out at the ride with them. For example, at Freefall, there were about eight employees there but only one person in the control booth and one checking the restraints. Not only did I have to listen to pointless teenager chatter in lines but I had to hear the same thing from the employees. Not good show. It makes me worried how well I'm secured and how well the ride is maintained and run. I believe there is a big chance that someone will die due to employee incompetence. Did I mention the few employees doing their job were just were as slow as mud? I guess you get what you pay for.
As the day went on, the gangs showed up. I guess they don't wake up until at least noon. There were lots of scary tatoos, "gold" chains, hip hop clothes and the roaming LA county sheriffs didn't relax me. At the end of the day, it was alot of fun to be greeted with a SWAT team as you leave the park.
The park did try to keep line jumping under control. They had a serialized boarding pass. At the end of the line, security would check the number. If your out of order they kick you out of the park. If you don't leave, the sheriffs dept shows up to help you out. We saw this happen multiple times on the more popular coasters. Some really rough looking gang members got removed.
I noticed that people completely ignored the no smoking signs. Alot of areas smelled like a rock concert.
My final gripe about the place is the complete lack of water fountains. They hide most of them in the few restrooms. I guess this is how they sell lots of soda. I wonder how many cases of dehydration the first aid station gets? All this just to sell you a $10 coke in a special bottle. Don't let Disney know that.
Personally, I would not be sad if that place got turned into a housing development. What they need to do is put lots of blackout dates on their annual passes and remove a few coasters in favor of some family friendly rides. There is really nothing for a family to do together if you have kids under 48". Bring back the Trolls and Wizard. Bring back the candle makers and train to Trollewood. Bring back inpark transportation. The place isn't what is use to be. It just doesn't feel safe anymore. It's just too overrun by gangs to make it fun.