December 17, 2012
I left Knott’s Berry Farm at 12:30 PM. I should have stopped and gotten something to eat, but not knowing how L.A. traffic would be midday on a Monday, and not knowing exactly how long the ride would be, I waited till I got to Six Flags, which was a mistake I’ll get into in a bit. Overall, it to me about an hour and six minutes to make the drive from Knott’s to Six Flags. Not bad, from what I can tell, in moderate traffic. Who says driving in L.A. is hard?
It went from beautiful to partly cloudy, to pretty dreary by the time I got to Magic Mountain. Why was it always dreary when I go to Magic Mountain? I was, however, excited when I arrived and saw things that made me happy. First, X2 was running. Second, there was only 1 open car lane in to the park, which I hoped meant that it was about as busy as Knott’s. Third, getting into the parking lot, seeing a couple hundred cars, and parking right behind the handicapped spaces. Fourth, only one gate into the park was open, followed by empty midways. There were more employees at Magic Mountain than guests.
Already, I was in a better mood than my first miserable experience, but then I was just heading in to the park. Would the park be clean? Would the rides be opened? I figured without pressing my luck too much, I would head to my favorite coaster in California thus far…
X2–Because of the weather, the only ‘enhancement’ that was working that wasn’t present from my last visit was the on board audio. I basically walked on to the front seat. I liked the video that plays in the station, but I think it would get annoying with X2’s notorious wait times. Going up the lift backwards is kind of weird. Now that I’d ridden all of the Vekoma Flyers, it reminded me of that. And the trains bounced a bit. But that’s okay, because what happened next was amazing. People can say what they want about X2, but I still loved the ride. I love the forward facing fall down the first drop. I love flipping around and flying over the raven turn. I love the half-twist with a half rotation over the airtime hill. I loved the whole ride and wish there were more of these closer to me. I don’t care what the haters say, I loved the ride. Especially when there wasn’t a line.
I really needed to eat by this point as it was around 2 PM and I’d only had water and a Red Bull all day. So I ate at Panda Express. It was good and fresh for theme park food. Unfortunately, it was probably the worst thing I could have eaten just before riding a bunch of rides with positive G forces. And since I had Chinese food, what better way to make myself sick than to go ride Tatsu.
Tatsu–First off, the bad. Eating just before riding was a terrible mistake. I was queasy for the entire rest of the day. The feeling never quite left until the last 30 minutes I was at the park, which meant that while I could have been riding and re-riding everything at Magic Mountain with it’s ERT like conditions, I was instead sick. Now to the good. Tatsu was by far the best flying coaster I’d ridden. I didn’t get a front seat ride, but that’s okay. The first drop was fun flying around the sky tower, but after that, going way up in the air on the mountain, and then swooping down into the wooded areas, then flying back up, with amazing views of the park, this, THIS is what a flying coaster should be like. And that pretzel loop was amazing.
I got off of the ride queasy. I figured I’d head up the mountain and down the other side to see what Superman’s area looked like. Unfortunately, Superman was blocked off. I had the credit, but it absolutely sucked the last time I was there, so I wanted to ride it now with the improvements. I wasn’t extremely disappointed since I had ridden it, but I would have liked a shot at riding. Oh well. I assume it was blocked off for construction of the new ride since a large area around it was blocked off as well. The new drop tower on the side of Superman kept testing but it was also closed. Part of me wanted it to open so I could ride as it was part of the reason I came out west. The other part of me hoped it wouldn’t open so I didn’t have to ride. Yes, I’m very afraid of heights. So next up, I decided to ride something with no inversions, and went to Goliath. I loved it the last time, but wasn’t as impressed with Titan in Texas the previous year.
Goliath–To me, this one was better than Titan. The airtime hill after the turn around had airtime, where as my one Titan ride had none. I don’t mind the forces you get in the helix. I didn’t even come close to greying out, but it was cool and the ride was slower. The first drop was still great, the turn around was still kind of fun. The airtime hill delivered, and then you just kind of meandered around the course. I still liked the coaster a lot. It had been surpassed in my rankings because I’d ridden better stuff, but I still think it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
This trip had the ability to add 10 new credits to my count. I count both sides of a racing or two tracked coaster, so I could have gotten the other side of Superman had it been open, and the other side of Colossus I didn’t get from my last visit. Unfortunately, Colossus was just as I’d left it, only running one side and one train. Sadly, it was the same side. Good for me, though, is that this time the line wasn’t 90 minutes long, with the train getting filled up half way by Flash Passers as it was in 2005.
Colossus–Not that they needed to be running both sides or more than one train, mind you, but I would have liked to get the other credit. As far as Colossus goes, it was still very meh. It had a few good hills, some air, and had a lot of potential. It wasn’t nearly as painful this time, but it still shuffled an awful lot. It just wasn’t that fun. I’d like to see Rocky Mountain Coasters come in and put topper track on the entire thing, which isn’t much different than the I Beams on the ride already, and restore the double down, and give it new trains. It would be a fun coaster then, I think. (Update: RMC did indeed renovate the ride, and it was fabulous)
I got off and took a seat near the entrance of Scream. I didn’t feel like riding, but there was no line. I noticed that I actually had LTE on my phone for the first time, so I made a facetime call to Matt Scott as I rested. After I sat for a bit, I realized Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom was cycling with riders. I headed over, but decided to do a few other things first, including taking some pictures from the Sky Tower, before riding anything else. I headed to Green Lantern, but it was down for a couple minutes, so I went up the mountain. Whew! What a hike. Once up there, I headed to the top of the Tower and took some photos. I wasn’t up there long, and didn’t want to wait 6 minutes for the next elevator, so I went down after taking my pictures. I headed to another credit that I missed the last time due to the 90 minute wait on Colossus.
Ninja–I’m not a huge fan of suspended Arrow coasters. Big Bad Wolf was a lot of fun, but none of the rest did anything for me. Ninja, though, was very good. I liked it. It had a nice setting, and really made use of the terrain, which adds to the swinging and near missing of the trees. I’m actually very glad I finally got to ride it. The first drop was fun, the turns near the log flume, and the swinging thru the trees were all what this type of coaster was meant to do. Unfortunately, Flight Deck & Iron Dragon didn’t do enough of that.
The sun was starting to set. I headed over to the park’s newest wooden coaster. The last time I rode a wooden coaster on that spot it was easily one of the worst 5 coasters I’d been on. But you can’t go wrong with a GCI.
Apocalypse The Ride–This was a solid coaster. It’s no Thunder Head or American Thunder (I’m noticing a theme here), but it was very solid. I rode in an almost empty train, and I should have went for another couple of spins. I liked the first drop. I didn’t really notice the station fly-thru. The tunnel was nice and had some nice pops of airtime. And anything is better with a flame thrower. I’d say Apocalypse was very middle of the road, but that’s good. And it’s way better than what used to be there, but at least I got the Psyclone credit.
I didn’t know if the kiddy coasters that adults can ride were even open. I decided not to bother with them. It was getting dark and I still had a couple of new things to ride, and a few re-rides I needed to make. I headed over to another super hero next.
Green Lantern First Flight–I sat facing forward. It had a very short line, and they were only loading one side of the car, so there were 2 girls siting behind me, and no one else on the ride as there was barely anyone at the park, and there were more employees running the ride than people in line. This was an interesting experience. Would it be like X2? Once at the top we start rolling backwards. And then you just drop. That was scary but fun. During the first half there was some rocking motion, but really no spinning. The second half was a bit less tame, and the last pop up before the brakes was nice as the car did almost a full spin. I’d love to ride this with some uneven cars. I liked it. It could give a much better ride, but it definitely had potential.
After riding Green Lantern, I needed a villain fix, so I headed over to Lex Luthor. It was a walk on. I was terrified and exhilarated. I almost backed out but soon enough I was sitting in the seat strapped in.
Lex Luthor Drop of Doom–First, the restrains were very comfy. I liked these much better. I’m very afraid of heights, but on Intamin drop rides the worst part is the slow ascent and then feeling like you’re a the top of the tower forever. You go up this one pretty quickly. And you’re not at the top very long. The drop goes on for quite a while. To me, this was the best non-Tower of Terror drop ride I’d ever ridden. I almost got back in line, but it was getting late. I’m glad I rode, and I will definitely give it another shot on my next visit.
I snuck around for another Goliath ride, and then headed to a classic over on the mountain, snapping pics the entire way.
Revolution–I was happy with the new restraints. They were more comfy, but still not the way Antons were meant to be. But I digress. Anyways, Revolution was one of those coasters that I would like to have ridden early on, but after all of the foliage grew in. I got a decent ride on it in the front. I feel as thought it had so much potential. It gave a good ride, but you just don’t get very many coasters that have airtime and inversions. I’m not one to complain much about trims and OTSRs, but they make a difference on this ride. I still liked it, but I didn’t love it the way I want to.
It was dark now and the park was closing soon so I ran over for another ride on X2. They put me in the second seat, which was fine. The ride was still a ton of fun. Afterwards I stopped for a quick break. Funny story about the restrooms near the carousel, it caused a heated conversation the last time I was there about unisex restrooms. I headed out of the park to get gas and drive back to Las Vegas. This visit was so much better than my last visit. Even if I were sick and it was gloomy, the half day was a billion times better. There were no lines, there were no crowds, rides were opened. They even opened Lex pretty late. And the park was even clean! I do wish they’d paint some of the larger rides, and it could use some more newer flats, but it was infinitely better than the last time. I’m glad they’d invested some money in theming and sprucing the park up. I just wish it wasn’t so hit or miss with this park.
Vegas Day ?