Six Flags Magic Mountain Update February 14th 2015

It’s Valentine’s day and many couples, families, and groups of friends decided to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain today! Though the overflow lot wasn’t used, the three parking lots were definitely full! Here’s the update!

Speaking of a parking lot, the parking lot all the way in the front of the lot that was receiving new asphalt last week, has reopened ad the park’s new Handicap parking!20150214_124733 (Large) Finally the park is continuing Swashbuckler work. 20150214_130213 (Large) All Holiday in the Park Rockin’ Universe lights have been removed. All buildings are returning to their DC Universe state. 20150214_130336 (Large) 20150214_130402 (Large) 20150214_130412 (Large) 20150214_130435 (Large) While in DC Universe, Batman The Ride is still running one train. So lines for Batman were ridiculous today. 20150214_130500 (Large) At least Apocalypse had a sign out today stating it was only running one train. One of the trains is dismantled for a refurb on the side of the ride. 20150214_131550 (Large) Valentine’s day means lots of first-timers, because even Green Lantern received some love from guests. Long line! 20150214_130842 (Large) 20150214_130854 (Large) There’s a new promotion kiosk in front of Gold Rusher.20150214_131249 (Large) And I have a feeling the changed the signs to ‘Capitol Thrill Family Giveaways’ to appeal more to the thrill-seeking audience at Six Flags Magic Mountain. 20150214_132420 (Large) So there’s still the clear rumor that Tidal Wave is leaving the park, which would be a shame for a park located in a dessert with insane heat, and only 2 water rides left. (If Tidal Wave were to close). There was a construction crew building a wall around the side of the ride next to the game section of Colossus County Fair. 20150214_131111 (Large) 20150214_131058 (Large) Valentine’s Day… LOVE FOR VIPER! The line was all the way down the ramp, and the switchbacks inside were in use! The park was dispatching train after train!20150214_132158 (Large) 20150214_132211 (Large) The Road Runner Express repaint has been completed. It looks great shining in the sun!20150214_130021 (Large) 20150214_130018 (Large) 20150214_130030 (Large) Let’s end this update with some Flashpass line love! This was the enormous line at 1:30PM!  20150214_132517 (Large)

Thanks for checking out this Six Flags Magic Mountain update, our Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update is LIVE too! Click here to check it out! It’s one of those can’t miss updates! Click here for yesterday’s HUGE Universal Studios Hollywood update!

Universal Studios Hollywood Update February 13th 2015

Universal Studios Hollywood is ever changing, and here’s the start of our more frequent coverage. This update includes the celebration of the Chinese year of the Ram, Springfield construction, Studio Tour work, Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction, and other things around the park!

Springfield is coming along very nicely, and parts of it will start to open up late March. 20150213_130703 (Large) 20150213_130714 (Large) 20150213_130620 (Large) 20150213_113910 (Large) 20150213_102057 (Large) Springfield will have a wide selection of food options, recreated from the popular Simpsons series. The version found in the Orlando resort was a huge hit with guests, convincing enough to use the -already limited- space at the Hollywood park to recreate Springfield. 20150213_091932 (Large) 20150213_091846 (Large) 20150213_091825 (Large) 20150213_091813 (Large) The old Ben & Jerry’s next to the Special Effects stage is under reconstruction to meet the Springfield needs. 20150213_091758 (Large) Look at that Springfield Skyline, in a couple of months that’ll be in the shadow of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!20150213_171319 (Large)

Shrek 4D has reopened after the Wizarding World of Harry Potter buildings next to it were finalized. The line now maneuvers under the WWoHP scenery, to an all new switchback line (similar to Studio Tour line) on the back side of the 4D theater.  20150213_114515 (Large) But the Wizarding World buildings sure look spectacular alright!20150213_114432 (Large) 20150213_114436 (Large) 20150213_114448 (Large) 20150213_114450 (Large) The construction is moving rapidly, there are workers seriously everywhere you look along the Wizarding World lot. 20150213_114512 (Large) Shrek line! I meant… Wizarding World…20150213_114501 (Large) 20150213_113848 (Large) 20150213_113847 (Large) 20150213_102036 (Large) The huge ride building is enclosed, receiving AC vents. Lots of work going on inside!20150213_101744 (Large) And then just to imagine how massive Wizarding World will be for Universal Studios Hollywood!20150213_092004 (Large) 20150213_101959 (Large) Lots of progress on the castle. 20150213_114534 (Large)

Happy Lunar New Year! Today was the first day of Universal’s celebration of the year of the Ram.20150213_114317 (Large) 20150213_113959 (Large) All of Universal Plaza was beautifully decorated with lanterns and flowers. 20150213_114005 (Large) With an amazing center piece!20150213_114033 (Large) All chines horoscopes were presented on different lampposts around the plaza. 20150213_114045 (Large) Even the selling of snacks was done in style! 20150213_114253 (Large) Beautiful decorations. I found it really unique. Looked wonderful!20150213_114241 (Large) 20150213_114002 (Large) There was almost no one as I entered the plaza, at about noon. Later, when I left the plaza, it was definitely a lot busier. 20150213_114244 (Large) 20150213_114258 (Large) Curious George, in style! 20150213_114215 (Large)Even though there weren’t many people out on the plaza, as soon Mandarin speaking Megatron came out, people came running from everywhere. Quite funny, there were many Asian tourist tours at the park today, and as soon as Megatron came out, many of them were surprised to hear Mandarin, and came over. Very exciting to see. And indeed, this ‘event’ speaks to a large Universal audience. 20150213_114119 (Large)

Some interesting Jurassic Park River Adventure details. The first animatronic Dino from the second scene of the ride works again, and better than the last couple of months. The tall animatronic Dino in the first scene has been fixed, its ‘skin’ ripped, and looked horrible. this has been replaced. The car scene is still not functioning, at least the audio that was going with it has been turned off. The last times the audio of a sliding car was on, but the car itself didn’t move an inch. And then I figured something really cool/interesting… Jurassic Park isn’t only home to Dinosaurs, but also to MICE! I was taking shots of the splashdown from this angle, at the ride’s building, when I noticed mice running out of the drop tunnel onto the rocks, some disappeared inside the tunnel again, and I decided to keep watching one of them, that after a certain splashdown got wet, and returned inside the tunnel, in a hole in the wall. I find it hilarious that actual tiny mice live in a ride that is to portray a world of gigantic creatures. How’s that for irony!20150213_112822 (Large)20150213_112825 (Large)

The Studio Tour’s new entrance! Looking very nice! 20150213_130728 (Large) 20150213_171218 (Large) The exit and entrance are divided by a huge set of planters, on the other side of the entrance plaza appropriate stylish lights have been added!20150213_171140 (Large) On board Studio Tour. The Psycho mansion is being reconstructed and receiving some love!20150213_101051 (Large) 20150213_101057 (Large)

That was it for today! Thanks for reading, we will be posting Universal Studios Hollywood updates more frequently, as our coverage has expanded here as well!

Giant Dipper – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Review

The Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz beach Boardwalk

If any California roller coaster was ever a classic, it is The Giant Dipper. In the most picturesque location imaginable on the Santa Cruz beach, this woodie’s red and white color scheme and simplistic double out and back layout make it a joy to look at. Built in 1924 for a cost of 50,000 dollars in 47 days, it is one of the ten oldest operating roller coasters in the U.S. It is recognized as a piece of roller coaster history and has become an ACE coaster landmark. It is also a very rare remaining example of the Aurther and Looff’s work manufacturing roller coasters. Despite Giant Dipper’s remarkable age, it is still an excellent roller coaster, and a favorite to many.DSC_0135.JPG (Large)

As mentioned previously, this coaster is nestled snugly in its spot on the Boardwalk, overlooking the gorgeous coastline. It’s highest point is 70 feet tall, which is of course the top of the lift hill. Although this may sound unimpressive, it is one of the tallest attractions at the Boardwalk, and it certainly looks as if it dominates the skyline of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.DSC_0145.JPG (Large) It’s drop is measured at approximately 65 feet, at the bottom of which the coaster reaches it’s top speed of about 50 mph. The total track length is 2,640 feet, which is navigated by the coaster’s Morgan trains. It has two trains with six cars each that have two rows and seat two across, for a total of 24 riders a train.DSC_0188.JPG (Large)

When walking down the midway, it is a very hard attraction to miss. A large sign that reads ‘Giant Dipper’ is directly above the ride entrance. Directly below it is an imprint also stating the name, and the year it was built. DSC_0141.JPG (Large) DSC_0177 (Large)After entering the line, riders will pass through a quick set of outdoor switchbacks before coming upon a plaque informing them that it is indeed an ACE landmark. Riders then enter the indoor waiting area, where many facts and pictures of the ride can be found.DSC_0143 (Large) After scanning their wristband, guests are allowed to select their seat, restraints are checked, and the horn blows. Before you know it, you’re underway! The interesting thing about the Giant Dipper’s trains is that one side is entirely enclosed, riders can only enter and exit on one side of the train. Riders enter and exit on the right side of the train.

This is a coaster that does not take its time getting going. As soon as the train is dispatched, it immediately descends into a pitch black tunnel in which it coasts its way through a few turns. This can actually be really thrilling if you are not expecting it, and is a very cool feature. You then emerge from the tunnel onto the lift hill, where riders can enjoy some beautiful views before the train crests the lift hill and descends the first drop. Some gentle floater airtime can be enjoyed here, which is soon contrasted by the first turnaround which is essentially un-banked. The lack of banking provides some very intense and almost painful laterals. DSC_0221.JPG (Large) DSC_0236 (Large)After that, a series of airtime hills ensue. Surprise surprise, unlike its cousin at Belmont Park, this Giant Dipper’s airtime hills actually provide… airtime! Although not all of them do, throughout the ride there is sufficient airtime and some enjoyable head choppers can be found within the support structure. We found that these sensations are best enjoyed in the back seat. After some more hills, some more un-banked turnarounds, and total of one minute and 52 seconds spent, it comes screeching into the brake run, with the riders almost always erupting into a round of applause.DSC_0249.JPG (Large)

This ride defines its respective park, representing the history and quality that they both share. It is a perfect balance between a thrilling and family friendly experience, and makes a great first ‘big’ coaster for the young ones. Its mix of forces such as graceful airtime, and violent laterals make for a great experience for any enthusiast as well. There is no doubt that it’s a classic, but its more than that.DSC_0134.JPG (Large) Even without the nostalgia that surrounds it for many, it is a great wooden coaster. At 91 years old, it’s smoother than many modern woodies and really only has one or two rough spots. Yes we’re looking at you guys, Roar and GhostRider. If you are at the Boardwalk, you really don’t have an excuse not to ride. It is the parks flagship coaster, and rightfully so. Even with Goldstriker only an hour-drive away, it’s hard not to think of The Giant Dipper when discussing the best Californian woodies. We may love this ride, but what do you think? Make sure to leave your thoughts below.

Belmont Park Update February 7th 2015

This Saturday we finally made it out to Belmont Park. We stayed after the sun set, so we have some night shots of the park. We entered from the back entrance of the park so there was not much in the form of an entrance, but there was construction going on at the Wave House (local indoor pool and FlowRider venue). Though the Beach Blaster was running. (Sorry for the image quality, due to technical difficulties another device was used to capture the images).
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The new SkyRopes course was open.
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Krazy Kars, a crazy inner-tube bumper-car hybrid was also open.
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The all new Adrenaline Zone was attracting quite a crowd. Adrenaline Zone is a new experience that opened earlier this year that features a leap of faith, a zipline, and multiple rock climbing walls.
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The parks old carousel is a hit with guests. Is that a Boardwalk thing? 😀
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Prices!
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The midway was nice and bright with all the new neon from the recent area refurbishment.
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Gotta love the fact that they still have a tilt-a-whirl! 20
Sadly, Control Freak (an inverting flat ride where you control how much your vehicle spins) was down, presumably for annual maintenance.
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Octotron, a strange prototype ride that spins in a circle while riders control the barrel roll motion of the seats, was also open.
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And the crown jewel of the park, The Giant Dipper was open! The real fan favorite, and the second oldest coaster in California!
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Here are some night shots of the park!
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That’s it for this update, check out our HUGE Twisted Colossus and Scream Update here!

Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update February 7th 2015

Woohoo! A lot of change on Twisted Colossus and Scream! already! I separated the Six Flags Magic Mountain update and this update, since this one will be a lot bigger. At the end of this update, you’ll find the link to the actual SFMM Update from the same day. (Please note that it had rained all day before I arrived, and it was incredibly cloudy and even foggy later on, I took the pictures to my best ability and settings on the camera, but they may be a bit grayish).

I’ll be starting off with all the Twisted Colossus changes.

They’re still working with the drop track, seriously whenever I’m at the park they’re working on the drops. The structure under the lift-hill used to have track cross through to approach the old break-run. Currently that gap is being filled with more supporting structures, which they’re building over and through the old track. 20150207_162402 (Large) It was challenging to get a picture of the beginning of the High Five element, I even rode the little train in Whistlestop Park to see if I could get a better shot. But nope… So try look for it… 😀 There’s a lot of blue track stored next to the structure. I’m expecting that to be placed this upcoming week.20150207_162501 (Large) Notice the weird looking structure in between the two larger mass structures? That’s the new structure that they were putting together last week. 20150207_162506 (Large) The entire track preceding the actual High Five has been placed. Including the tiny drops after the hills. 20150207_162434 (Large) 20150207_162414 (Large) On the other side of the ride, more of the original structure has been taken away. The footers and dip in the ground below (where the original triple jump was located) is now coated with asphalt. 20150207_162024 (Large) 20150207_161947 (Large) Exciting, and not exciting, news… The brake-runs have been placed. 20150207_162009 (Large) The green track above is the final brake run. Which is still missing catwalks on the top brake. But the brake that leads back to the station has catwalks already. Now note what’s up with the blue track below…20150207_162031 (Large) 20150207_162109 (Large) Yup, that’s a brake-run too! The videos and materials the park provided show a curved turn that leads right into the second lift-hill. Which, when you think about it, would not really allow for the trains to line-up, and would put a lot of force on the lift-hill structure. Since it’ll have a lot of speed approaching the second lift. So indeed, there’s a brake run before the second lift. With catwalks already placed. 20150207_162258 (Large) 20150207_162301 (Large)The Twisted Colossus trains arrived yesterday, were stored at the Colossus entrance this morning, and at night they were relocated somewhere else again. I’m not sure where they are now. B9M7wi2CIAAot5Z One last look at Twisted Colossus, they’re working on the structure EVERYWHERE! 20150207_162529 (Large)

Let’s move on to Scream! or whatever it’ll be called when it reopens! (Yes, the name will change, it’s still unknown to me what the name will be). The new park maps should reveal the name!

The first part of the drop has been painted all blue. 20150207_161900 (Large) 20150207_161800 (Large) More of the Dive Loop/ Reversed Immelman has been painted all blue. 20150207_161857 (Large) More of the Zero-G-Roll has also been painted all blue. 20150207_161502 (Large) Here are some good shots of what the painted supports look like. Only the supports in the helix have been painted so far. And from that helix-track, only 1/4th has been painted all blue yet. 20150207_161548 (Large) PARKING LOT! Hopefully they’ll cover that up, finally. 20150207_161515 (Large) Let’s get to the corkscrews! It’s like we’re looking at Bizarro! 20150207_161729 (Large) I honestly kind of like the look of it with the purple supports, but it sure will look even better with the freshly repainted orange supports!20150207_161353 (Large) Notice that the second corkscrew is yet to be repainted. 20150207_161605 (Large) 20150207_161306 (Large) A couple more shots of the repaint. 20150207_161235 (Large) 20150207_161223 (Large)

That was it for this week, lots of change, some surprises for people that didn’t expect the extra break-run on Twisted Colossus! Thanks for reading this update! Make sure to check out the Six Flags Magic Mountain Update of the same day, by clicking here. Which includes more repaints, X2 station work, reopening of Wonder Woman and more!

Leave a comment!

Six Flags Magic Mountain Update February 7th 2015.

We were at Six Flags Magic Mountain again today. There’s lots of Twisted Colossus and Scream! stuff going on, which we’ll publish is a couple of hours from now, to get the coverage started, here’s an update with some regular things around the park. Please note that the weather was horrible in the morning, and cloudy and misty the rest of the day, thus the pictures may look a bit grayish.

With the new LEDs installed in the fountain, it seems as if the park’s keeping the fountain this way, which looks awesome at night too! 20150207_171223 (Large)

Part of Lot 1 is being resurfaced.20150207_162522 (Large)

In Goliath’s line the fence that was totally ripped apart over the years has been replaced. 20150207_164549 (Large)

Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth has reopened after a couple of months. Next up: Swashbuckler, hopefully.20150207_170547 (Large) While everyone’s dying and hyping over the Scream! repaint that just started, the Road Runner Express repaint is almost completed!20150207_163512 (Large) 20150207_163509 (Large) Only the lift-hill and the first drop are left to be repainted! 20150207_163505 (Large) Apocalypse had me on edge today. First off, the usual ‘we run only 1 train for your future enjoyment’-sign wasn’t there. Additionally there was no wait time listed. They sent me in the line, and I found myself waiting in the switchbacks, and no trains came by. It already looked like a one-train operation. So after 5 more minutes of waiting, I was able to find an employee to ask, which then told me they were indeed only running one train. People (on a deserted day) waited in a long line without any info on how many trains were operating, or what the wait time was… 20150207_173129 (Large)  Besides that, which just bothered me a bit because it was cold and drizzling :P, there are multiple spots on the ride where Apocalypse is being retracked. 20150207_172626 (Large) After a couple of years, the station covers in the back of the X2 station are being replaced one by one. The first one, all the way in the back, is taken out now. 20150207_184525 (Large)

This was a little pre-Twisted Colossus Update. Which is LIVE now! Click here for the many Twisted Colossus surprises, and the Scream! repaint goodness!

Undertow – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Review

Undertow at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is Northern California’s only spinning coaster since its opening in 2013, filling the void creating by the removal of Pandemonium at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which was removed in 2011. It was manufactured by Maurer Sohne, a company that has built spinning coasters in the past. Mainly in Europe. We really enjoy this ride for it’s line up of interesting elements, and its family friendliness.

Guests, while approaching the ride, will notice that it is elevated on a concrete platform that is 20 feet high or so. This makes the ride look significantly taller, as it is 50 feet tall excluding the platform giving it a net height of approximately 70 feet. Riders will walk past a test seat, and a sign informing them the cost of the ride is six tickets. DSC_0203 (Large)They then walk through a small set of shaded switchbacks and reach the ride platform, where tickets will be collected or wristbands will be scanned. Riders are then hurried into a train that snuggly fits four people, two pairs back to back. Ride operators will check restraints, and you are zoomed up the lift hill.DSC_0202 (Large)

The lift hill is behind you in the blink of an eye and the first drop awaits. As riders are seated back to back, two people on each train will actually drop backwards. Either way, forwards or backwards, it’s a fun drop that is soon followed by an elevated turnaround with a block brake. DSC_0210 (Large) DSC_0208 (Large)Once the train passes through the block brake, the spinning mechanism is unlocked and now the ride really gets going! After a banked drop following the turnaround, it rises up into an 85 degree bank! It seems as though the trains are designed to face vertically, so riders are either facing up or down. Both are very cool sensations, as either way there is no track in sight and it feels as if you are falling out of the train. DSC_0149 (Large) DSC_0154 (Large)Another block brake follows, and the train then descends into a section of quick s curves, one after another. This is where the train really gets spinning, and it certainly doesn’t stop any time soon. After a helix, and a few more turns, the train coasts into the brake run, and is corrected to it’s original non-spinning position.DSC_0205 (Large) DSC_0207 (Large)

Although many coasters are marketed as ‘family coasters’ and really only resonate with the younger ones, this is not the case for Undertow, as it makes for a very fun ride even for seasoned coaster veterans. Your experience can also depend on the weight distribution. If it is uneven, the ride can actually be a bit disorienting. Overall, it is a must-ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, especially as it is one of their two coasters that are very enjoyable for a wide-audience. We really do enjoy this ride, but what do you think? Do you like it? Is it the best spinning coaster California has ever seen? You tell us! Make sure to leave your thoughts below. For the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Update from this week, please click here!

Twisted Colossus Train appears at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain posted a picture of their first car arriving at the park! Parked in front of Scream! that’s being repainted, rethemed, and renamed, both Scream! (or whatever its new name will be) and Twisted Colossus will open together in the new Screampunk District this Spring! B9M7wi2CIAAot5Z

For our exclusive backstage tour of Twisted Colossus, please click here! We’ll be at the park again tomorrow for our Twisted Colossus coverage!

A WHALE-OF-A-VALENTINE’S-DAY CELEBRATION: Valentine’s Evening With Shamu

Valentine’s Evening With Shamu is an elegant, unforgettable, romantic evening at SeaWorld® San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 14. SeaWorld’s award-winning chefs will cook up a delicious Californiainspired four-course menu, and diners are sure to be mesmerized by majestic killer whale performances just a few feet away from candlelit tables on Shamu’s private poolside patio. The menu includes a sustainable tuna stack, artisan cheese, organic tomato soup, braised angus short ribs and much more. Seating is limited. To make reservations, call (800) 257-4268 or visit www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com.Dine With Shamu V15 (Large)

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Update January 31st 2015

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a seaside amusement park in Santa Cruz that opened in 1907, making it one of the oldest and most classic parks out there. The Boardwalk is a little different from most theme parks as rather than paying to enter, you enter and exit the park at will. To ride, you either purchase individual tickets, or an all-day ride pass. We are really excited to be covering this park now!072 (Large) 073 (Large)

As it is the off season, the official park hours are 12PM to 5PM, although the rides actually remain open almost until 6PM. Some rides and attractions are also closed for off season work and maintenance. To compensate for this, the park offers a discounted all day ride pass. The discounted all day pass is only $23.95 for unlimited rides.

Fireball is closed, unfortunately. We actually quite like that ride, more so than its sibling at California’s Great America, Delirium.079 (Large)

Sky Glider is also closed.109 (Large)

It would look as if Fireball and Sky Glider were the only closed attraction, until you walk down to the southernmost end of the park. The entire section is closed and being extensively refurbished. This includes many rides such as Riptide, Logger’s Revenge, Cave Train, Tornado, and others.100 (Large)

Many restaurants in the area are closed as well.106 (Large)

An arcade in that section is being completely redone.

It appears as if they are painting large pieces of wood white, maybe for The Giant Dipper.102 (Large)

The Ferris wheel has many of its cars off the structure, presumably being refurbished.104 (Large)

We really hope that Cave Train is receiving some work. It has potential to be a good dark ride, but has really fallen into a state of disrepair recently.

Working your way back to the center of the park, everything else is open. Everyone’s favorite ride, the Giant Dipper is open but only running one train.077 (Large)

For a 90 plus year old ride, it is very smooth with some crazy laterals, great airtime, and awesome head chopper effects. Expect a full ride review on it in the near future, because we love this classic!078 (Large) 107 (Large)

Undertow is also open. It is running four out of its six trains, each holding four people. 084 (Large)

We really enjoy this coaster as well, and it’s certainly better than its predecessor Hurricane.  A great ride for those of all ages. Expect a review for it in the even nearer future!083 (Large)

Double Shot is also open. This is actually a custom model which is 125 feet tall as opposed to the standard 85 feet, making for a slightly more intense ride with slightly more airtime.075 (Large)

Pirate Ship is also open. This one doesn’t quite tilt as high as the same style attraction at Pacific park. It is more synonymous with Six Flags Magic Mountain’s attraction.096 (Large)

The Auther and Looff Carousel is also operating. Now if anything was ever a classic, it’s this carousel. There is a mechanism that dispenses rings with which you attempt to throw said rings into a clowns mouth. It is actually really fun and adds that much more to a very family friendly ride. Built in 1911, it is one of the oldest carousels in the world.097 (Large)131 (Large)

It even has its logo imprinted in the ground outside of it.081 (Large)

The Haunted Castle dark ride is running as well. Although it’s not excessively scary, it’s a cool thing to have as yearlong attraction, and some of the sets look half decent. It is a very impressive attraction for a boardwalk park.110 (Large)

With all of these attractions, you almost forget about the beautiful stretch of California Coast Line right in front of you. It is very popular in the summer and actually features quite a few concerts.094 (Large)

That is mostly it for this update. Expect more coverage from this awesome park in the future as well as some of the ride reviews mentioned above. Make sure to leave a comment about your thoughts on this park below!

Also, click here to check out the Twisted Colossus Update from the same day, including information  and pictures of Scream!’s repaint!

Twisted Colossus Update of January 31st 2015 and Scream Repaint

Lots of exciting news in this update! Besides a lot of construction work and track placement on Twisted Colossus, Scream!’s currently undergoing its repaint, and we’re one of the first to publish about the new colors!

Let’s start with Twisted Colossus itself!

They’re still working with the drops, notice how more of the block-brake structure has been dismantled below. 20150131_121433 (Large) Both ascents to the High Five element have been placed, ’til we see more steel beams go up in the structure, we don’t expect the actual High Five part to be installed for a while.20150131_121456 (Large) Though notice the wooden structure on the side of the parking lot has a lot more steel connectors now, indicating that the steel beams are to be placed soon.20150131_121428 (Large) The green track that you see here is for the final brake-run, and turn to the station. Again, notice the block-break structure’s dismantling process. 20150131_121204 (Large)The transition from blue to green is being installed currently. 20150131_121255 (Large) 20150131_121229 (Large) 20150131_121226 (Large) it’s a lot more straight-tracked than I expected. I have a feeling they might put brakes in it, so the trains have more of a chance of lining up. Because with the initial speed that it has in the transition, it could make it half way up the lift already, making it nearly impossible for it to race.20150131_125646 (Large) Nice transition to the magical repaint of Scream!, here’s some more wood for Twisted Colossus, while in the background some orange supports are to be noticed. 20150131_121036 (Large) Ahh, look the same orange supports… from another angle. 20150131_125740 (Large) It might be slightly hard to see, but the orange supports are supporting track that has been painted entirely blue. The blue is the same (or very similar at least) to the blue found on Batman: The Ride. 20150131_121046 (Large) The top of the Reversed Immelman/Dive has been painted blue already. 20150131_121130 (Large) 20150131_121142 (Large) Notice that though the blue is very similar to the original blue, the rails is no longer yellow, and is painted the exact same blue. 20150131_124056 (Large) As I was leaving the crews started working on painting the massive ride again, continuing the blue on the Reversed Immelman/Dive. 20150131_125809 (Large) Rolling out of the Zero-G-Roll, a part of the track has also been painted entirely blue already. They were working on it, as I was taking pictures. 20150131_130109 (Large) 20150131_130132 (Large) All bolted parts of the ride, supports as well as track pieces, are coated with white paint for now. I’m curious if they’ll give that a different color, to make it look more Steampunk-esque! 20150131_130152 (Large)I’m not going to lie; I’m not expecting a major re-theme that we all hope for so desperately. Though I do hope they cover up the parking lot underneath in any which way. SFNE Online suggested that gravel underneath would work very well with the new color scheme, and I totally agree with that. I’m not expecting any grass or something, as in a California desert maintaining the health of the grass is already challenging, Scream! Some re-branding, vegetation, themed scenery, and perhaps a new soundtrack for the line and station would be cool.

Comment your Scream!-y thoughts below please! And let us know what you think of the new color scheme, and what theming you would like to see coming with it!

For last week’s Twisted Colossus Update, click here!

Super Poll Sunday! – Best Airtime in California!

We’re back with a Super Poll! We selected 6 heart-pounding roller coasters from California, and we want YOU to VOTE for the one that has the best Airtime!

Below you’ll see the nominees, BELOW THAT, please VOTE!

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What coaster in California has the best Airtime?

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Twisted Colossus Construction Update of January 24th 2015

The Twisted Colossus construction crew has picked up the pace again! There’s a lot of work being done on different parts of the future ride.

They’re placing more track that leads to the High Five element. As I was taking pictures many pieces of track were located right next to the High Five structure, and cranes were working with the pieces, which likely indicates a lot more track will be placed here soon.20150124_125402 (Large) On the other side of the High Five structure, metal connector-pieces have been placed, in addition on the ground next to it metal beams are stored. I expect the placement of these beams to start soon, after which we can see even more track placement. 20150124_125357 (Large)

Speaking of stored track pieces, there are a lot of green track pieces located near the old second turn-around. They seem to be straight pieces or non-banked turns, which indicates that we’ll likely see the construction of the break section soon. 20150124_125123 (Large) 20150124_125149 (Large)

Taking a look at the old camel-back/ block section, they seem to be taking out almost all of the structure. Which seems pretty obvious to me, as the Top Gun element is likely going to need a whole lot more structure changes than some of the other parts of Twisted Colossus. 20150124_125236 (Large) 20150124_125311 (Large)

But, they’re already busy putting together new parts of the wooden structure. 20150124_125347 (Large) Let’s move on to Scream! Where they’re power cleaning the supports. It’s slightly hard to see below, but the supports and track are being cleaned for the repaint it will soon receive!20150124_124935 (Large) 20150124_124958 (Large) Perhaps some of the most exciting news… The Twisted Colossus photo-op now states that Twisted Colossus will open in Spring… they changed from Summer plans to Spring plans, something I haven’t see Six Flags Magic Mountain do in a very long time! 20150124_132655 (Large) 20150124_132727 (Large)

That was about it for today! Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out last week’s update with even more Twisted Colossus construction details, by clicking here!

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Throwback – Old Timber Mountain Log Ride and its Construction

I stumbled upon some old pictures of the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. I have pictures of its construction and of how it looked in its first couple of years of operations. I sadly had these pictures on my PC for a while now, and quite honestly do not remember where I collected them. Thus the credit goes to someone else. I still thought I’d share them!

Timber Mountain Log Ride wasn’t always planned to be a log ride, originally Knott’s was interested in adding a roller-coaster that would give the impression of flowing through a river, in log-like trains. Arrow Dynamics then decided it was a better idea to add an actual log-flume rather than a coaster, which makes sense after the success Arrow’s first log flume at Six Flags Over Texas had. So the plans were changed and an actual log flume ride was to become the infamous Timber Mountain Log Ride. Though when it opened on July 11th 1969, it was called Calico Log Ride.

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Walter Knott (founder and original owner of Knott’s Berry Farm) didn’t approve construction ’til all scenes and ideas were clearly established. Eventually he approved the $3.5 Million project, which was regulated and funded by the Hurlbut Amusement Company, that after construction officially sold it to Knott’s Berry Farm. Here are some construction pictures!

When you see the ride now, it’s quite hard to imagine it once looked like a whole bunch of steel beams!

IMG_4009242268818 IMG_4003533894792

And then this was what the Calico Log Ride looked like when it opened!IMG_3821798741854

It looked a lot grayer, and more concrete-like than the repainted versions later. IMG_3811725408113

Here are some pictures of the original scenes!

This locomotive is still in the ride as of today!IMG_3880349401032

These 3 original scenes are no longer on the log ride. IMG_3901035222567 IMG_3860567388093 IMG_3853702947177

Back then, as well as today, among the best themed log rides in the world!IMG_4085182611201

I kind of like the original bear better than the newer one! IMG_3870148625888

At one point the Calico Log Ride became the Timber Mountain Log Ride, here’s one of the older advertisements for it! IMG_3841590489902

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update January 17th 2015

After putting on a great Holiday in The Park event, there was a lot of work to be done for Discovery Kingdom to return to it’s normal form. Fortunately, the park has been working hard to accomplish this, and is doing a good job.DSC_0012 (Large)

Most major decorations have been put away, including a complete re-transformation of Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Tree Forest, and Toy land.DSC_0074 (Large)

Some of the old Christmas trees from Christmas Tree Forest are now in the habitat to increase behavioral enrichment. Very cool of the park to reuse old props in a positive way.DSC_0052 (Large)

The sledding area behind Toyota stadium has been blocked off to let the snow melt. Strangely, there is still a lot of snow there many weeks later!DSC_0042 (Large)

The rest of the area behind Toyota Stadium still has all of it’s lights hung up.DSC_0035 (Large)

Leftover lights seem to be the only things left from the event.DSC_0080 (Large)

Many of the bushes and trees throughout the park are still covered in lights. For some reason, many of them are still left on at night. Not quite sure why the park does that. The same counts for Six Flags Magic Mountain’s tree-lights at the front of the park!DSC_0027 (Large) DSC_0026 (Large)

There are advertisements around the park for the year round operating season, and Dare Devil Chaos ( Not a) Coaster. Dare Devil Chaos Coaster is now listed to be opened this summer, rather than the spring. Interesting, many state fairs can set these attractions up in a few days.DSC_0017 (Large) DSC_0066 (Large)

Aside from some old lights, you really wouldn’t know they even had a Holiday in The Park event this year. The really have cleaned up almost everything. Moving along, let’s see what’s going on in the park aside from that.

The most obvious thing, Superman: Ultimate Flight is closed for annual maintenance. What frustrates us, is that when we stopped by in the morning, an employee was telling a guest it would open later that day, despite the fact it won’t reopen for a month or so. The employee was clearly uninformed, and thus falsely informed guests about the park’s star attraction. C’mon this is something that all the staff should’ve been aware of! DSC_0083 (Large)

Kong was only running one train, and looking as photogenic as ever.DSC_0102 (Large)

Roar is continuing it’s two train operations. Unfortunately, the recent re-tracking it had is starting to become less and less apparent. Hopefully they can do some work on it soon. Let Six Flags send some money to Cali for it’s CGIs, both Apocalypse and Roar could use some serious love! ;DDSC_0129 (Large)

We didn’t grab a picture of it because loose articles are not allowed in the station, but one of Roar’s trains is getting very beat up and could use a refurbishment. The restraints have rather large chunks just missing. We hope to soon see the new generation CGI restraints being added to the Roar trains, like one of Apocalypse’s (SFMM) rows already has.

Speaking of refurbishing trains, Medusa’s third train seems to be getting worked on extensively while the other two are running. Many parts of the train have been removed, including some restraints.DSC_0097 (Large) DSC_0100 (Large)

Also, something neat to point out, B&M’s storage track is pretty unique. The up-stop, side friction, and running wheels stay completely off the track while in the transfer track, extended the lifetime of the wheels due to lack of stress. The train instead rests on a different set of wheels used exclusively for the transfer track.DSC_0101 (Large)

The Butterfly Exhibit was closed.DSC_0045 (Large)

Moving to the back half of the park, Boomerang and Ark have both reopened, after receiving some maintenance.DSC_0061 (Large) DSC_0058 (Large)

Tazmanian Devil however, remains closed, along with White Water Safari.DSC_0067 (Large) DSC_0064 (Large)

The Tiger Cubs the park recently received are no longer in the nursery, they are now featured in the show at Odin’s Temple. To read more about them, click here.DSC_0051 (Large)

Speaking of shows, there are a decent number of shows running throughout January. Though in the summer season there are at least twice as many shows, and 3 more stadiums that are in full use then. DSC_0038 (Large)

We stopped by Drench! and were happy to see such a high-quality show running in the off season. Despite the low attendance to the park, the stadium was almost full due to it’s popularity!DSC_0122 (Large)

At this point we just have accepted the fact that Tsunami Soaker will stay
open no matter what time of year, and it was not warm out there. 😀DSC_0082 (Large)

Monsoon Falls was open for a good period of time, but ended up closing at
about three o’clock.DSC_0072 (Large) DSC_0087 (Large)

Sea Lion Stadium has been closed for some time and is undergoing some
serious construction. We’ll have news of the future plans for the stadium and its show, soon! Looking at the construction, it seems as if they’re creating a new decor for a future show!DSC_0077 (Large)DSC_0078 (Large)

If you look closely, one of the Vans on the construction site featured the
Lynco Associates logo. For those who are not aware, Lynco Associates does
work generally involving concrete and has worked with Discovery Kingdom in
the past. We can then expect Sea Lion Stadium to reopen with new concrete
work done as well. DSC_0085 (Large)

Loony Tunes ACME Fun Factory is closed for annual maintenance.DSC_0111 (Large)

It actually looks like they are using it to store Holiday in The park
Decorations.DSC_0112 (Large)

That’s about it for this update. The park is generally empty in January so
we encourage you stop by. They are also running Pink For The Cure, these
next five weeks. If you’d like to read about that click here. Otherwise,
here’s the Six Flags Magic Mountain Update from the same day!

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Turns Pink For The Cure

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom turns PINK for the Cure in a partnership with Susan G. Komen Sacramento Valley from January 17 through February 16. At the heart of this first time awareness event is a special pink ticket that can be purchased online. A portion of each ticket will be donated to Komen Sacramento Valley to support local breast cancer research and education programs, and to subsidize mammography screenings for members of the community unable to afford the test.SFDK_TURNS-PINK_KOMEN-LOGO

“This is a very important cause and by purchasing a ticket and visiting the park, our guests are supporting Komen’s efforts to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease,” said Don McCoy, park president. “We’re honored to partner with them to increase awareness to the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection.”

On Saturday, January 17, representatives from the Komen Sacramento Valley affiliate were on hand to kick-off the five-week partnership. Special guests that day include 25 African American breast cancer survivors who will take a symbolic ride on the park’s roller-coaster, Cobra. We made it to the park for an update that day, so we included the coverage in this post.DSC_0108 (Large)

“The rollercoaster ride is symbolic of the ups and downs, both emotionally and physically, that these survivors have experienced in their battle with breast cancer,” said Kelly MacMillan, executive director of Komen Sacramento Valley. “And of course, riding a fun coaster is a great testament to how far these women have come.”

Guests visiting the park throughout the five weeks can participate in special pink activities and learn more about current initiatives of Komen Sacramento Valley, including Komen’s Circle of Promise initiative, addressing the disparities in breast healthcare among African American women who are rarely or never screened for reasons related to insurance or income. The Circle of Promise initiative was developed to empower local African American women to access breast health care. Participants register and make a promise to take care of themselves and become an ambassador within their community.

On Saturday, February 14, Valentine’s Day, the park will hold a special Circle of Promise event to bring African American breast cancer patients and survivors together from throughout the community. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death among African American women, exceeded by lung cancer.

In addition to the special PINK ticket, $5 from the sale of every commemorative pink t-shirt will go to Komen Sacramento. The park’s popular dolphin swim program, Dolphin Discovery, has a special pink swim opportunity with a portion of the swim program fee benefiting Komen.DSC_0088 (Large)

While entering the park guests will see promotional signs stating the
nature of the event.DSC_0125 (Large)

Many of these pink bows can be found throughout the entrance area, and park.DSC_0093 (Large) DSC_0013 (Large)

The fountain in the entrance plaza, is now flowing with pink water in honor
of the event.DSC_0021 (Large)

The stage in the entrance plaza is now all Pinked up for the event. It
looks great.DSC_0024 (Large)

Many employees wear For the Cure shirts adding to the extent of the event.DSC_0071 (Large)

We’re very glad that Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is the second park to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation! Make sure to buy your pink tickets!

The pink ticket is available to purchase online here!

Six Flags Magic Mountain and Twisted Colossus Update January 17th 2015

There wasn’t enough noticeable change this week to bring a separate Twisted Colossus Update, and there wasn’t that insanely much Six Flags Magic Mountain news either, thus I combined the two for a regular-sized update.

The huge Holiday in the Park wreath has been taken down. And so have all other wreaths in the park. There were quite a few, since almost every single lamp post had one attached to it!20150117_154807 (Large)

The most heavily themed area during Holiday in the Park has been cleared from almost all its decorations. 20150117_160906 (Large) This is where the ‘ice-sculptures’ used to be. Not all the decorative snow has been cleared yet. Seems like a pain to clean up. 20150117_161023 (Large) Santa’s workshop is gone. They yet have to place back the fencing that surrounded the Katy’s Kettle area. 20150117_160913 (Large) Most buildings are snow-free now. Except for the Cyber Cafe and Katy’s Kettle. 20150117_160926 (Large) The tree of heroes is gone, and some new plants have been planted. Expect flowers in within the next couple of weeks. 20150117_155819 (Large) I just notice how much this bill board bothers me… I wouldn’t mind seeing this one leave before any other of the many ads. 20150117_160553 (Large) After Xtreme Zone received a new/refurbished sign on the other side of the building, it seems as if the larger sign is currently being refurbished. 20150117_160325 (Large) Can’t wait for Ninja to return to 2 trains… I’d also like it’s station to receive a repaint of some sort with new lights. It looks a little disgusting by now. 20150117_160547 (Large) I took this picture some time last week and forgot to put in the update, but I’m very curious why the promotion booth at Six Flags Plaza has a picture of the Boomerang at Wiener Prater on it, with the Six Flags logo… Six Flags has a whole bunch of coasters, and a couple of boomerangs as well… So how come there’s not a Six Flags coaster in the picture? 😀20150104_154542 (Large) I hope that after Scream! received it’s make-over and repaint Tatsu is up next for a repaint. 20150117_161541 (Large) A few weeks after I purchased my 2015 Dining Pass, I stumble upon this sign… a Deluxe Dining Pass with snacks throughout the day is a thing now! Seems awesome, I’ll investigate if they have an upgrade for people that already purchased the regular pass. 20150117_161613 (Large)

Let’s get to Twisted Colossus now!

They’re further dismantling the structure. They’re currently taking away the track and parts of the old camel-backs/ block-brake run. 20150117_154312 (Large) 20150117_162758 (Large) There are some more structural preparations going on at the second turn around. 20150117_154230 (Large) 20150117_162823 (Large) They’re also constructing the top of the catwalks on both sides of the lift-hills. 20150117_162826 (Large) Behind these walls construction continues, with most landscaping being taken out. 20150117_155802 (Large) And then Six Flags Magic Mountain re-used the #farewellcolossus photo-op set, and is now promoting Twisted Colossus! 20150117_155745 (Large) It looks pretty nice, but really I can’t wait to sit in the actual TC trains! 20150117_155740 (Large) 20150117_155731 (Large)

That’s it for today! Click here for last week’s Twisted Colossus Update, which has lots more details not discussed here. For more Twisted Colossus and Six Flags Magic Mountain news from last week, click here.

Throwback Thursday – Defunct Studio Tour Attractions

We all know and love that great attraction at Universal Studios that offers a potpourri of just about everything a theme park/studio has to offer known as the Studio Tour.  But did you know that the Studio Tour has been bringing thrills to Studio visitors since 1964.  Although some the tried and true events that occur on the tour have been around for years, many have not made the cut and been defunct for more modern attractions.  The following is a list of said attractions, what they featured, and what they were replaced by.

Rock Slide (1974-1979):  The tram would stop by a mountain which would begin to rumble.  Suddenly, boulders would begin to fall from the cliff, and the tram would have to dodge the boulders.  The finale of this attraction was the tram colliding with the final boulder, which would later be explained to be paper machet as most heavy looking objects in film are.  The attraction closed in 1979 to make space for the new state of the art Battle-star Gallactica attraction.

Runaway Train (1974-1985):  The tram would cross a train track that riders were told was defunct, however, just as the tram went to cross the tracks, a train would come rushing up and have to brake causing screeching and sparking on the track, just barely stopping before hitting the tram.  Tour guides would explain how sparks were artificially created beneath the train and then shot out to create the effect that the train was actually emergently braking.  The attraction closed due to technical difficulties, however, the train can still be spotted on the studio tour today.

Avalanche Tunnel (1974-2001):  The avalanche tunnel was a rotating tunnel that would simulate an avalanche, complete with destroyed avalanche warning signs and fake snow, as well as sound and temperature affects.  This part of the studio tour was re designed to be the Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb in 2001.

Battle-star Gallactica (1979-1992):  This attraction was a crown jewel for the park.  It featured both audio animatronics and actors head to head in a high tech laser blast off.  It was the first ride to utilize audio animatronics outside of a Disney park and was the first dark ride to incorporate live actors.  The attraction was shut down in 1992 and replaced with Back to the Future: the Ride.

King Kong Encounter (1986-2008):   The tram entered 1976 New York City where King Kong is on the loose and grabs and shakes the tram, which eventually escapes his grasp and gets out of the city safely. The 7-ton, 30-foot-tall (9.1 m) Kong figure was the largest and most complex animatronic figure in existence for many years. The sophistication of the attraction broke new ground and paved the way for today’s themed attractions, including a Universal Studios Florida version. This attraction was completely destroyed by a fire in the early morning of June 1, 2008. As of June 3, 2008, Universal Studios officials stated that the experience would not be rebuilt, and instead was replaced by the new King Kong: 360 3-D attraction, based on the 2005 film.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (2001-2013):  Riders are supposed to be taken to see props from the film The Mummy but instead enter the cursed tomb of Imhotep, and are sucked into a viscous sandstorm, before just barely escaping the dead kings wrath.  The wash demolished in 2013 and will now be the location for Fast and Furious Supercharged.

Fast and Furious: Extreme Close-Up (2006-2013): Extreme close up showed the magic behing the movement of the cars in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, however, Universal was not happy on how this attraction portrayed the series and was closed in 2013.  Planning for Supercharged began shortly after.