In Part 9 of this series I briefly mentioned Six Flags ambitious expansion throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. A growing American economy made the expansion of the theme park market seem unstoppable. A series of park acquisitions and the acquisition of Six Flags by Premier Parks that was finalized in 1998 expanded the company’s portfolio to include European parks, movie themed parks, and animal parks. At the park level Six Flags unveiled park expansions and additions at a dizzying rate. From the years 1997-2003 Six Flags Magic Mountain received a brand new coaster every year. It is worth noting that with the exception of 1999 each one of these additions was a major, and in many cases record breaking coaster: 1997 saw the addition of the record breaking 400 ft tall Superman: The Escape. 1998’s Riddler’s Revenge remains the largest Stand-Up coaster in the world. 2000’s Goliath opened as the world’s tallest continuous circuit coaster. 2002’s X introduced the world to the 4th dimension coaster. And 2003’s B&M floorless Scream was built to be a reliable addition after X‘s problems. X was originally set to open in 2001 but was delayed significantly. Six Flags chose to open another major thrill machine from Vekoma. Unfortunately, this coaster would have its own set of problems. In August of 2001 Six Flags and Vekoma unveiled the world’s first “Giant Inverted Boomerang”, Deja Vu.Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 10: Déjà Vu”
Five of the Best Parks in America for Relocated Roller Coasters
You can’t build new old coasters – any park could conceivably build a new ride from scratch, but there’s something about a relocated coaster that feels unique. A ride on its 2nd or 3rd location is also on its 2nd or 3rd lease on life, or even its 2nd or 3rd identity. Parks with multiple relocated coasters dedicate themselves to continuing the stories of these rides – many of which whose narratives were thought to have already ended.Continue reading “2nd Hand Coasters”
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the Thrill Capital of Northern California, today announced plans to open the park with the complement of world class roller coasters, rides, and animals with a special exclusive preview for Members and Season Pass holders, April 1 and 2, then opening to the general public on April 3, 2021. For the first time since March of last year, the park will operate its renowned collection of thrilling rides in accordance with state, county and local government guidelines. The park has safely hosted guests for the animal-focused, Marine World Experience, since July of 2020. In accordance with state and county reopening guidelines for theme parks, Six Flags will operate at reduced attendance levels utilizing the existing reservation system. The park is also continuing the implementation of extensive safety measures including several new advanced technology systems to protect guests and employees. The plan, developed in consultation with infectious disease experts, sets standards for executing at the highest levels of hygiene and social distancing protocols. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure compliance with state and county recommendations.Continue reading “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Opens Rides Starting April 1st!”
Six Flags Magic Mountain announced plans to reopen the park to members and passholders on April 1 and 2, and to the general public on April 3, 2021. In accordance with state reopening guidelines for theme parks, Six Flags Magic Mountain will operate at reduced attendance levels utilizing a new reservation system. The park is also implementing extensive safety measures including several new advanced technology systems to protect guests and employees. The plan, developed in consultation with infectious disease experts, sets standards for executing at the highest levels of hygiene and social distancing protocols. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure compliance with state and county recommendations.Continue reading “Six Flags Magic Mountain Will Reopen April 1st WITH Rides!”
Last week I discussed the short lived Psyclone at Magic Mountain. Psyclone’s trains designed by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger and Mabillard caused much of it’s woes. This week’s article looks at the first coaster these designers worked on, and one with lasting impacts in the coaster industry.Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 6: Flashback”
In Part 4 we looked at the construction and eventual transformation of California’s tallest wooden coaster, Colossus. Today’s lost coaster resided at the same park. This story includes a natural disaster, a young Swiss ride manufacturer, and the unfortunate death of a coaster design icon.Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 5: Psyclone”
When a park sets out to build the biggest, fastest, and baddest coaster around the problem always arises that its records and stature will eventually be surpassed. For Magic Mountain’s Colossus this was not a problem for much of its life. From its construction in 1978 until the construction of Viper in 1990 it was the tallest full circuit coaster in all of California. After Viper Colossus reigned as the king of the California wooden coasters until it’s RMC conversion in 2014, passing the crown to the nearby GhostRider.Continue reading “Lost Coasters of California – Part 4: Colossus”
New Event Safely Brings the Thrill of the Renaissance Era Back to Northern California.Continue reading “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Announces Renaissance Days”
West Coast Customs and Six Flags Magic Mountain Announce:
Cruis’n the Park Car Show
World’s first drive-thru auto show inside Six Flags Magic Mountain, presented by West Coast Customs.Continue reading ““Cruis’n the Park Car Show” Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain”
I’ve had the distinct privilege of traveling around the world and riding all three of the large Arrow/S&S 4D Coasters. Having lived next to Magic Mountain for many years, I’m very familiar with X2‘s distinct last Raven Turn, but how do the other two compare? Eejanaika and Dinoconda look similar but deliver vastly different ride experiences. Join me as I take a look at all three 4D Coasters, their differences, ride experiences, and learn which one is my favorite.Continue reading “X2 vs. Eejanaika vs. Dinoconda”
For about as long as Six Flags Magic Mountain has been in operation, nearby Hollywood has frequently mined the park for on-location filming of amusement park scenes for feature films, television, advertisements, and more. Classic sequences, like National Lampoon’s Vacation at “Walley World”, remain cultural iconography.
In 1990 the opening of Viper (and the advent of a professional camera rig that could be mounted to the nose of the train) catapulted Magic Mountain even further into Hollywood notoriety, with major productions now having utilized the enormous Arrow Looper countless times over the last 3 decades. Let’s take a look at some, shall we?Continue reading “Viper: Hollywood’s Favorite Coaster”
Since their creation amusement and theme parks have utilized landscaping and theming as an important part of the experience. The massive popularity of Disneyland standardized the idea of themed lands within a park. Most parks which opened in the resulting regional park boom incorporated this idea. Theme parks have the ability to transport guests to different times and worlds. A well-themed area can be an attraction in and of itself. But these areas often fall flat. The following are five of the weakest theme park areas. Also included are some ideas on how they might be refreshed. This is by no means an exhaustive list so please make your own suggestions, they may find their way to a part two!Continue reading “Weakest Theme Park Areas”
Earlier this year documents were uncovered on the LA County permitting website that show plans for a new roller coaster for Six Flags Magic Mountain! The proposed ride, an RMC Raptor/single rail coaster would re-use the former Green Lantern station and use some of the area currently occupied by Tidal Wave. New permits show that Six Flags Magic Mountain has been granted approval for $1.3M of foundations for the coaster’s supports.Continue reading “Six Flags Magic Mountain Gets Approval to Lay Foundations of New RMC Coaster”
It’s been 2 years since our last comprehensive countdown of California coasters, so for 2020 we bring you now a Top 20 for the Golden State. Things in California have changed a LOT in 2 years, and the landscape and hierarchy of its coasters is no exception. Continue reading “Coaster Kings’ California TOP 20 – 2020”
Following the launch of our Twenty-Year Top 20: The Best Coasters of 1999, we immediately decided to make it an annual thing – Here’s what we think are the 20 best coasters that turned 20 in 2020!
In 1981 Dutch fantasy park Efteling decided to add their first roller coaster. Already a well established theme-park they chose to make an investment that would make a big impact on the European market. Working with Dutch manufacturer Vekoma they unveiled the largest roller coaster in all of Europe, Python. Although a copy of the existing Arrow Huss Carolina Cyclone, this 4 inversion monster was unlike anything in the region. It was only 2 years after Blackpool Pleasure Beach had unveiled Europe’s first modern looping coaster and the first time modern inversions appeared in continental Europe. Efteling had built something loopier, larger, and unlike anything else that Europe had seen and it became a phenomenon. Python has been featured in numerous Dutch TV programs, was used by Porsche to film a television commercial, and continues to be one of the most popular attractions in the park. So beloved is this ride that in 2018 the park spent an estimated 4.5 Million Euro ($5.3 Million USD) to re-track the majority of the ride and ensure it continues to run for future generations. Continue reading “5 of America’s National Coaster Icons”
Holiday festivities have begun here in Southern California. And while it does seem quite a bit different compared to what it was in years past, we are still trying to soak in every single moment. The first park we visited this year for the holidays is Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because the park is currently not allowed to be open for normal operation, they have adjusted Holiday in the Park to make it a drive-thru experience. In this review, we’ll share some basic information on the event along with our review. Continue reading “Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain”
After months on top of months of waiting, California theme parks finally received reopening guidelines yesterday during the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing. Governor Gavin Newsom along with other high-level representatives from the Golden State have decided to split up theme parks into “larger theme parks” and “smaller theme parks”. The placement of a theme park is based on its capacity. The state says it will allow smaller theme parks to reopen at 25% capacity (or 500 people, whichever is fewer) once the county the park resides in is placed into the orange tier. Reservations will be required, all park guests must live in the same county the park is in, and only outdoor attractions will be allowed to operate. For larger theme parks, the restrictions are even more suffocating, with the guidelines stating that the county the park resides in must be in the yellow tier in order to reopen. Like the smaller parks, reservations will also be required and the park capacity will have to be 25%. Continue reading “California Theme Parks – Where Do We Go From Here?”
Neal Thurman, known to many for his work with Six Flags as Park President of Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Great Adventure, and most recently Six Flags Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles and Hurricane Harbor Phoenix, has left the Six Flags Corporation and is joining SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) as Park President for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Continue reading “Neal Thurman Leaves Six Flags Magic Mountain to Join Busch Gardens Tampa Bay”
Alexander: Eager to explore how different parks tackle CDC–based measures for limiting the spread of germs, Sean and I set off for a couple new parks (plus a 3rd, major favorite of ours) opening for the 2020 season.