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  1. #1

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    First Time Trip, Need Help

    Me and a friend are planning our first trip ever to Magic Mountain. I have been to Disneyland countless times and know the system all too well. I have some questions about a first time visit to Six Flags...

    Do you need more than one day to do the park?
    We'll be there on a Summer Weekday probably in July, what kind of crowds should we expect?
    What are the wait times like? Do they have a system similar to the Fastpass?

    I would hate to miss out on the best rides due to long wait times and an overcrowded park, because we probably won't be coming back for years, possibly ever.

    Answers to those questions and any other advice would be much appreciated! Thanks

  2. #2

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    First off - it will be HOT! Come prepared for a very hot day.

    Wait times will be in the 30-60+ range for generally all rides.

    If this is your one day possibly for years, then you should absolutely purchase the Gold Flash Pass. It works similar to Disneyland's FastPass, but instead of walking to each attraction and getting a FP ticket, you're given a little electronic device that you carry around with you. You use it to reserve your rides from anywhere in the park.

    Regular Flash Pass would time your reservation to whatever it senses the current wait time for the ride is. For example, if it's 2:00pm and Goliath has a 45 minute wait, the Flash Pass device (known as a Q-Bot) will schedule your reservation at 2:45pm. However, Gold will knock almost all that wait time off. When your time arrives, enter the special Flash Pass queue much like a FP queue at a Disneyland ride, only almost all of SF's Flash Pass entries are found at the ride's exit. Gold comes at an additional price above Regular, but if this is your one day for years to come, it's absolutely 100% worth it as it'll nearly guarantee that you'll ride everything you want to ride in one day.

    There's an additional more expensive Flash Pass option called Platinum. Platinum gives everything Gold gives, and allows you to ride twice if you would like.

    You can purchase Flash Pass at the park, or you can pre-purchase Flash Pass online at SFMM's website, print out a voucher, bring it with you to the park, and avoid what can be a LONG line at the Flash Pass Sales Center.

    In fact, through the site you can buy vouchers for everything - admission, parking, meals, Flash Pass, etc, and it works great. The less time you wait in line to buy everything, the more time you'll have for riding rides. Just don't forget to have all non-parking/admission vouchers validated at Guest Relations first. Vouchers are also a great way to avoid wallet shock during the day, similar to WDW's Dining Plan.

    Beyond that, get there before opening and bring your Discover card as it will grant you entry into the park at least 5 minutes before everyone else. RUN to X2 and do it first, then get your vouchers validated, get your Flash Pass and proceed through your day. Don't miss the Coke Freestyle machine at Studio 6F that offers a gazillion different versions of Coke products. Ever tried Raspberry Sprite? How about Peach Dasani? Wonder what Grape Coke would be like? It's a really cool machine. Be sure to catch me in Apocalypse's pre-show! (I throw a grenade at you in the last room.)

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  3. #3

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Thank you so much for the response! Very helpful!!

  4. #4

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Woah... Just saw that the Flash Pass is more expensive than the actual ticket.. (if I buy the ticket online) If we didn't buy the flashpass what's the chance we'd be able to ride everything we wanted to?

  5. #5

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    As a SFMM employee I can guarantee you without Flash Pass, even on a weekday, it's not gonna happen. Matt said 30 to 60 minutes, which is being GENEROUS. The most horrifying waits will be X2, Green Lantern and Apocalypse given it still is operating one train, and those three alone could eat up half your day. Keep in mind, despite what people say against Six Flags, it is undeniably NOT a small park. Taking the kiddie ones away, there's 16 coasters at this park, almost all of which will have long waits. Heck, even with Flash Pass there's no guarantee.

    Here's my recommendation:
    -Get Flash Pass
    -Like Matt said, RUN to X2 or Green Lantern.
    -Coasters to avoid would be: Canyon Blaster & Road Runner Express (family ones), Revolution which despite being historic will put you into a coma of pain, possibly Green Lantern since everyone and their mama will want to ride it
    -Do not spend your time running between roller coasters. Some are VERY intense and will knock the wind out of you, you deserve a break. Ride Jetstream or Tidal Wave, short wait and will drench you better than Log Jammer. I'd say take in a show but if you're going on the weekday then most likely there's nothing offered aside from the Looney Tunes kids show.
    -Food Etc. by Goliath has the most variety and the shortest waits for food. Mooseburger Lodge is a sit-down location with alcohol (similar to DCA), and has good service but you may not have the time. Another plus is that it is air-conditioned. (yes!!)
    -Take the Orient Express to get to Ninja, Sky Tower (which you gotta do on a break, it's really amazing) and Superman. Do NOT hike to it if you want to keep your energy levels up, unless you're not super out of shape like the rest of us. In fact, remember that unlike Disneyland or Knott's, Magic Mountain is not flat. (hence the name) It's very hilly, so wear good shoes.
    -Again, like Matt said, get the vouchers.
    -Don't wear anything light green to the park. I can not recommend this further. Lime green is the color of the employee uniforms, and we've had people exchange their clothes in the middle of the day due to constant questioning by other park guests. They will immediately walk up to ANYONE wearing light green. It's actually pretty amusing to watch.
    -Prepare for heat and being in it a long time. The park has many shaded areas, but the main walkways and some queue lines are not.
    -Water bottle, get one or a souvenir cup. There are only two truly good drinking fountains in the park (Bugs Bunny World restrooms and Movie District restrooms), so this is a must.
    -Remember that the park is essentially one giant circle with a hike to a mountaintop in the middle. Try to plan your day around that to make the walking to a minimum.

    But yeah the biggest recommendation is to get Flash Pass. You pretty much have to.

  6. #6

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    I can't really comment more and give you any more advice than what's already been given. It's fantastic advice and really should be put into it's own "Six Flags Magic Mountain" planning thread.

    Well done Matt and goldenstate5!!!


  7. #7

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    D'aww shucks, thanks.

    I got a chance to explore DC Universe today, and it's very well done. But more importantly, they replaced the water fountains, so the park has three good ones now!

  8. #8

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Also keep in mind that Six Flags has this horrible locker policy, where if you're carrying anything they will force you to buy a locker for every ride. Lockers are $1 per use. So before you bring a water bottle or buy a Souvenir bottle remember you will be paying for a locker on every ride. And if you leave your water bottle on the ride platform, the ride attendants will throw it in the trash.

  9. #9

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Exaggeration, it's not EVERY ride. It's only about half of the roller coasters use them, which is around eight to ten.

  10. #10

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    You are right, not every ride has lockers. However all the parks major rides and rides that are actually worth riding do have them. Its a horrible policy and a blatant money grab by Six Flags.

    Goliath
    Batman
    Green Lantern
    X2
    Apocalypse
    Tatsu
    Viper
    Scream
    Riddlers Revenge

    The only two major rides that don't have lockers are SuperMan and Deja Vu.

  11. #11

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Wow, Magic Mountain's locker stuff is nuts compared to Busch Gardens Tampa. Our lockers at the coasters are 50 (or you can rent full-day lockers), but some people who carry on water bottles or whatever, they have cages/cubes on the loading platforms where can guests can store their flip-flops (a must on Montu & Sheikra) or water bottles or whatever. But they're strict in not letting ANY loose articles on the coasters. On Kumba today they made a girl give them her souvenir sports bottle even though she told them she'd hold on tight to it. Nope. Someone somehow managed to lose a shoe on the lift hill (Kumba is a normal sitting coaster, not floorless or suspended), so NO idea how that happened.

    But that is some really good advice given for Magic Mountain.

  12. #12

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    It may be a $$ grab, but I'm actually ok with the policy. It has EXPONENTIALLY improved operations on many of the parks coasters. The needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few.

    If you don't want to have to use the Lockers, don't take anything to the park you would have to put in a locker. Period. I never have anything more than my wallet, keys, phone and camera. All which can fit in the pockets of my cargo shorts.

    However, I will say I always get a locker when we ride X2. It's a dollar WELL spent for anybody who has ever lost something at an amusement park.

    Also, Green Lantern doesn't have Lockers.

    Colossus, Ninja and Revolution don't have lockers. They are pretty major rides.

    So let's say that you have to get a locker on all of the coasters that have lockers: so 8 rides.

    If you are with a group, take turns paying for the locker. So if there is 2 of you it's $4 for a day, if it's 4 of you it's $2 each for a day. If you can't afford to fork over $2 to pay for a locker then maybe you shouldn't be going to SFMM?


  13. #13

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Improves operations? How?. Every time I go to SFMM there is at least one incident were I'm at a ride that requires lockers and a guest get into a argument over the lockers on the ride platform with the attendant. This results in the ride stacking.

    And the benefits of faster operations are quickly negated due to the sluggish, 'I don't give two ****s about my job", ride operators. Of all the improvements at SFMM in the past 4 years (Cleaner, rides are actually open, better food, ect) ride operations are still the worst in Socal.

    And I find it funny how Knotts can have good operations and yet they have free cubbies in all their coaster stations.

    If you don't want to have to use the Lockers, don't take anything to the park you would have to put in a locker. Period. I never have anything more than my wallet, keys, phone and camera. All which can fit in the pockets of my cargo shorts.
    Tell this to a girl, the person that just bought the $14 souvenir bottle of soda, or the person who just won a prize at one of the parks games. And not every one wears cargo pants.

    If you are with a group, take turns paying for the locker. So if there is 2 of you it's $4 for a day, if it's 4 of you it's $2 each for a day. If you can't afford to fork over $2 to pay for a locker then maybe you shouldn't be going to SFMM?
    Paying for something that guests have grown to expect as a free service is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth, regardless of how little or how much the price is. Its a horrible policy, that will in the long run end up hurting Six Flags.

  14. #14

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    ^ You obviously never went to the park between the years of 2004 and 2009. The operations were absolutely HORRID.

    Next time you are at Knott's, take a look at how long there is between dispatches at Silver Bullet with all of the cubbies. And then take a look at how long there is between dispatches on Batman.

    Similar rides yes?

    While you are at it, take a look at the dispatches on Jaguar, and then the dispatches on something like Goliath. Same style of trains (lap-bar only) yet the Goliath trains will be dispatched far quicker. Trust me.


  15. #15

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    Re: First Time Trip, Need Help

    Been a Six Flags Magic Mountain season pass holder since August 2000 and I visit the park at least 5 times a year. Been a Knotts Season Pass Holder since June 2002 and visit the park around the same amount as Six Flags.

    Operations at SFMM are still horrible. They hardly ever run Tatsu at full capacity, Apocalypse is running 1 train, SuperMan is running only one side. Rides are understaffed, with obnoxious ride operators that are more concerned with singing or going "whop whop" into microphones than doing their jobs by spieling and getting guest ready to ride.

    During Peak times at Knotts.

    5 operators to run Silver Bullet/Xcelerator/GhostRider. Actually now thinking about it, I have NEVER seen those rides operate with less than 5 operators, even on the slowest days. Silver Bullet rarely stacks, and when it dose it usually is only for about 10 seconds. I have never seen Batman hit an interval...ever. Xcelerator usually is running two trains with dispatches about every 60-90 seconds. However when the ride is running 1 train, the ride ops are usually hauling getting the trains out as fast as possible. And when the train is not in the station the operators are usually getting the next group ready to board by spieling instructions.


    Jaguar has seat belts and a lap bar, it takes a little bit more time to dispatch because of that. If Goliath had a seat belt I guarantee dispatch times would be horrible on that ride too.


    The only rides at Knotts I feel are not operated to their potential are Montazoomas Revenge and Perilous Plunge.


    vs

    Tatsu/Batman/Apocalypse/Deja Vu/Goliath/Scream/Riddlers Revenge.

    Most of the time the rides that can run 3 trains are running 1-2 trains. Instead of 5 operators to operate the rides efficiently, Six Flags staffs each of these rides with 3 of the slowest operators. Resulting in horrible dispatch times, Goliath being the exception. Instead of operators spieling ride instructions to guests, they are either being obnoxious over the microphones or talking to other ride operators. Also, when was the last time you seen Tatsu use both stations and running three trains? Or the last time you've seen Apocalypse dispatch a train half full with a queue over an hour long?

    The only rides at SFMM I feel are operated to their full potential are X2 (surprisingly) and Goliath.


    Sorry, but lockers have not increased capacity. And if it were all about capacity Six Flags would take the same approach that Disney and Universal take, make the ride lockers free for a limited time. Also if they were truly concerned about capacity they would move the lose items Nazi from the lockers to the ride platform to help check restraints and get trains out quicker.


    But why care about capacity when you can sell more Gold QBots.


    When it comes to operations

    Knotts>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Six Flags

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