Six Flags Magic Mountain to add a Season Shopping Pass

The new Season Shopping Pass gives you a 20% on retail purchases — with NO minimum purchase — every time you visit.

Season Shopping Pass is only available to Thrill Pass Holders and Season Pass Holders. Valid at Six Flags Magic Mountain through January 3, 2016. Vouchers are non-transferable and Season Pass ID must be presented when making a purchase. Participating locations are subject to change.

The NEW Season Shopping Pass is available to purchase online, at the Season Pass Processing Center, or at Retail Stores in the Park

Click here to learn more, and purchase your pass!

Giant San Diego Wheel or Observation Tower.

skyspire-top_t540Exiting new proposals are coming in to the city of San Diego regarding new tourist experiences. Private investors around the county have been trying to add new attractions for decades, but with very little success. With the political gridlock now lifting from the county, these investors may have a chance at getting their projects approved.

 

Continue reading “Giant San Diego Wheel or Observation Tower.”

Six Flags Magic Mountain Update – February 21st-22nd 2015

Though it’s off-season for Six Flags Magic Mountain, there’s not very much change from week to week, besides Twisted Colossus and Scream! of course! However, after several readers asked me for a quick update anyway, I went ahead and put one together. Note I was at Six Flags Magic Mountain on both Saturday (21st) and Sunday (22nd).

X2 is still missing the cover of the end third of the block/station. Additional X2 news; the operators seem to have this new way of getting the trains out faster. They put the restraints ready to lock as soon as the gates have opened, so that people can close their restraints as soon as they sit down. It leads to several complications, as unloading takes longer than any coaster, but overall, the trains are being dispatched much quicker! 20150207_184525 (Large) Apocalypse is still down to one train, not much progress has been made on the train in refurbishment, so I expect it to run train for a few more weeks. Created some crazy lines Sunday, where they even used the first set of switchbacks, which I haven’t seen filled in years! After all rough rides on it, I rode it in the rain Sunday, and had quite an amazing spin on it. Sadly the fire didn’t work. Knowing Apocalypse, this will be back soon. It’s rare for the fire effects to be turned off on Apocalypse. 20150221_143948 (Large) Batman: The Ride is also down to one train still. Pretty surprising knowing that the trains returned a while ago. Nonetheless, the Magic Mountain trains are the best after all. I had an incredibly fast, yet butter smooth ride on it this weekend. 20150214_130500 (Large) Ninja is still running two trains. This time I made sure to wait for the refurbished train. That has been refurbished in every way possible, after years of not being used. It was like experiencing Ninja in a new train, incredibly smooth. Though it’s definitely not that popular anymore, it’s still one of my favorites. I will ALWAYS smile when swinging around on Ninja. Always. 20150221_144014 (Large) 20150214_131642 (Large) Well, it sure is off-season in Bugs Bunny World and Whistlestop Park too. The train-ride in Whistlestop Park is closed for maintenance. And Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers is missing the lead-car. 20150221_140837 (Large) I believe Road Runner was running on Saturday. Though Sunday it was closed. The trains were on the track, so we’ll see whether or not it will undergo a quick refurbishment this week or the next, or perhaps it was just closed for the day. 20150214_130018 (Large) I have seriously no clue what the bathroom hand-rails are for. (Bathroom in between Gold Rusher and Scrambler, across from The Riddler’s Revenge). Perhaps for busy summer days? Not to point out one sex in particular, but the hand-rails are on the side of the women’s restrooms, and I’ve seen crazy lines for the women’s bathrooms at Six Flags Magic Mountain before. 20150221_143559 (Large) The fence we touched on last week, is not a construction wall, rather a new wooden fence/wall for the Tidal Wave line. My guess is this ol’ Intamin water ride is sticking around for at least one more season! On a sort of related note, I’m always amazed to see about 10-15 Tidal Wave boats laying around the park (mostly in storage areas, or next to the ride), though the most boats I’ve seen on it is 3, and recent years only 2. I wonder what the reason was to get so many boats over the years. 20150221_143443 (Large) 20150221_143447 (Large) The Flashpass Sales Center has received a big Flash cut-out. Look’s pretty cool. Flash Pass FLASH (Large) Oh Look! It’s Scream!’s amazing repaint! 20150221_134426 (Large) WHAT?!? That High Five looks amazing. (Quick Tip; Ride Goliath, the view of the High Five is spectacular). 20150221_134630 (Large)For our full Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update from the same days, click here!

Thanks for reading! Make sure to comment your thoughts!

Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update – February 21st 2015

It’s only been 5 days since our Backstage Tour of Twisted Colossus and Scream!, and already there’s more than enough to update on!

– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

Let’s cut the action immediately! The amazing-looking, crazy TWISTED High Five element has been placed! 20150221_134617 (Large) It looks absolutely amazing, twisty, and action packed. I’m still flabbergasted how the old structure is supporting the insane amounts of steel used on top of the structure. 😀20150221_134630 (Large) Notice the new metal tops of the structure that have been placed. They will be the approach to the green double down, and the blue dive underneath it. 20150221_134643 (Large) It’s very low compared to the old Colossus, actually, the High Five element is only located a few feet above the original third turnaround!20150221_135045 (Large)All this track that’s laying around (AND YES, IT’S A LOT!), is to go up for the green double down and the blue dive/drop. 20150221_134657 (Large) 20150221_134707 (Large) Blue drop track… It will be insanely interesting to see the Top Gun go up! That will be a crazy sight!20150221_134721 (Large) It’s hard to get a good shot of the High Five from the side of the ride. But if you look good, and ignore the annoying sun glare (it was hazy out, combine that with the Cali sun, and your pictures look like this 🙁 )20150221_134826 (Large) Hidden behind Hurricane Harbor. 20150221_134926 (Large) It will sure look spectacular from Hurricane Harbor. Always loved seeing the old Colossus from HH, will be very exciting to see Twisted Colossus race by every couple of seconds! 20150221_134949 (Large) The parking lot, that used to be in the shadow of the old Colossus and faded Scream! Is starting to look like an exciting beginning of guests’ days! The bright colors of Scream and the spectacular maneuvers of world’s longest Hybrid Coaster really represent the future of the park very well. 20150221_134751 (Large) Look it’s Scream! 20150221_134429 (Large) Looking all fresh! The supports of the drop are currently being painted. 20150221_134426 (Large) Some of the loop’s supports have been painted now too. 20150221_134422 (Large) 20150221_134130 (Large) The Interlocking Corkscrews have been completely painted, both supports and track! Looking better than ever before! 20150221_134121 (Large) 20150221_134054 (Large) The drop after the MCBR and the entire helix have been painted. 20150221_134049 (Large) The Zero-G-Roll has also been painted entirely. 20150221_133939 (Large)Here’s a better look of the Zero-G-Roll and the Reversed Immelman/Dive that are almost completely repainted!20150221_143245 (Large)

This was it for today. Enough change from Monday to conclude that construction and painting is progressing insanely rapidly! Exciting to see! The Screampunk District, with Scream! (or whatever it reopens as) and Twisted Colossus, is opening this Spring!

For our Twisted Colossus and Scream! Backstage Tour from earlier this week can be read here!

Demon – California’s Great America – Review

Demon is an Arrow Dynamics multi-looper with a twin coaster at Six Flags Great America. Both coasters are identical (track-layout wise), and have a layout featuring two vertical loops and a double corkscrew. This was not the case however, when these coasters first opened. They opened under the name Turn of the Century in 1976, and did not feature the two vertical loops. Rather two airtime hills. After the 1979 season, the airtime hills that originally followed the first drop were replaced by vertical loops, artificial rock formations were installed as themed elements to the new theme and branding. The coasters took the name they still go by today: Demon!

– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

Getting back to our California version… As riders approach the entrance of the queue, they will attempt to make out the ride’s layout through the landscaping that surrounds it.They will then walk past a sign that reads “ Demon”. 20130817_125327 (Large)Guests will walk down a path leading to a set of switchbacks. The path, fenced with wooden handrails, passes under the lift-hill. Many guests though, won’t realize it’s the lift they’re passing under, since the rock-like theming around it blocks guests from seeing the track. 20130817_130835 (Large) 20140726_142611 (Large)From the switchbacks closer to the station, there is a perfect view of the newest elements of the ride, the two back-to-back vertical loops. The trains seem to whip through them at tremendous speeds, leaving the mesmerized guests wondering what kind of forces could possibly await. 20140726_142606 (Large)Once the switchbacks are completed, guests will be assigned rows inside the station. The station itself is outdoor, like all steel-coaster stations at California’s Great America, though the air-gates part of the station is covered by a wooden structure. Once the gates open, riders will pass through, cross the train, and will place all loose items in the cubbies for their respective trains. They then take a seat in the classic Arrow trains, which are a lot smaller than Viper’s newer generation Arrow Looper trains, have their restraints and attached seat-belt checked, and they’re off! (Note to tall people, just like on the newer Arrow trains, request to sit in the front row of a car. There’s not a lot of space anywhere in the older generation Demon trains, but its definitely better than the back rows of each car).

As the train leaves the station, the train enters a dark tunnel before emerging to climb the 102 ft tall lift hill. The tunnel used to have flashing blue lights, these are still turned on, though only a very little part of it still works. Look for it next time you ride. While climbing the lift hill, guests may notice that the train isn’t going at a constant speed. Rather, this older lift hill mechanism really drags the train, and thus the train will go faster, then slower for a second, then fast again, so on so forth. 20140726_142545 (Large)When the train reaches the top, it makes a 180′ degree turnaround, and drops 90 feet at a 54′ degree angle, reaching the top speed of 50 miles per hour. 20140726_142339 (Large)The riders then fly through the back-to-back loops of 70 feet and 55 feet tall, which pull some excellent G’s, and not of the negative variety! Notice that in between the two loops, there’s a small straight section of track, which causes a bit of a rough transition. Remember those forces you were imagining in line while looking at these beauties? Yes, they are just as you imagined them. 20140726_142600 (Large)Riders are then enveloped by a tunnel. The tunnel used to light up orange and yellow with the light bulbs inside the tunnel. This no longer happens, though at the Chicago version, these lights still work. Riders will exit the straight-sectioned dark tunnel and then rise into the second turnaround. Before the train rolls into the second half of the ride, a block brake section, used more as a trim, slows the train down slightly, if at all. A small drop follows and then, the ride’s “new” name becomes very apparent. The trains are swallowed by a humongous rock formation that is the head of, yes you guessed it, the Demon! 20140726_144549 (Large)This provides what has got to be one of the best head chopper effects out there. Keeping your hands up throughout this element is not an easy feat. After zooming past a waterfall on the back side of the Demon’s head, the trains maneuver through the rides original signature move, the double corkscrew. The speed with which it spirals through the 35 feet tall corkscrews is amazing! 20140726_144536 (Large)20140726_144552 (Large)Though tall people must watch out for their knees, and the shorter people for the head-banging, as the transition into the corkscrews is very rough. A great mix of laterals positives and even a hint of airtime are present in the corkscrews, before the ride leads into a funky turnaround, and then slides into the brakes with riders attempting to regain their breath. One final turn onto the transfer track brake section, and the train’s ready to roll back into the station.20140726_142820 (Large)

Although this ride often receives criticism for being rough, it isn’t quite as bad as you would think. It can be a bit shaky like almost any Arrow, but especially when taking its age into account, it’s really pretty smooth, and at the very least tolerable. The line-up of elements may not be the most diverse, but that doesn’t necessarily take away from the experience. This is a solid ride, with some good forces, theming, and head choppers. And we actually enjoy it quite a bit.20140726_142511 (Large) We like to look at it from a different perspective. It’s a classic that still runs very well, gives riders a taste of the older style coasters, and is the clear predecessor to giant loopers we know now. Due to California Great America’s limited coaster collection, it is a must-ride while at the park, especially for first time riders. We may like this classic Arrow, but what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Comment below, and let us know!

Universal Studios Hollywood 2015 – 50 Years of Amazing Entertainment

“For 50 years, Universal Studios Hollywood has given guests unprecedented access to the world’s most alluring business by inviting them to peek behind the velvet curtain and become part of the exciting movie-making process,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We are reimagining over 75 percent of our destination as we build upon our incredible success and expand our vision for the future, and we look forward to entertaining and inspiring guests for generations to come with what will ultimately be an entirely new theme park experience.”USH PU Banner001 (Large) Continue reading “Universal Studios Hollywood 2015 – 50 Years of Amazing Entertainment”

Twisted Colossus and Scream! Backstage Tour – February 16th 2015

I was honored to be invited to my second backstage Twisted Colossus Tour! The tour included the Scream! repaint this time, so I’ll be writing about that too in this update!

– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

Let’s start off with the Screampunk District in general!

In about two weeks the construction crews will start the complete demolition of this plaza, to place the new entrance plaza of the Screampunk District!20150216_125209 (Large) Magic Moments theater hasn’t been touched yet, but soon will also undergo its refurbishment. 20150216_125213 (Large)20150216_141416 (Large) Twisted Wiches, the Gourmet Sandwich shop, is slowly starting to be refurbished. Notice the style they’re going with at the entrance of the building. 20150216_130928 (Large) They will replace all pavement in the area, they are not exactly sure what the new layout or colors will be. 20150216_130951 (Large) Finally, the awful looking Coca Cola vending machine collection has been removed!20150216_131029 (Large) This is right next to the entrance of Twisted Colossus, and near the new Twisted Whiches. The park is placing sets of small stairs in the hill-side. 20150216_131054 (Large) 20150216_131056 (Large)

Let’s move to the Twisted Colossus station!

The bridge that will be Twisted Colossus’ exit is being refurbished with new fencing and flooring. Beneath, the actual track, has received the beams that will house the drive wheels. These wheels will accelerate the train to a speed needed to get through the TWISTED Pre-lift. 20150216_131217 (Large) The station track is connected on both sides. They yet have to modify the station platforms. The new trains and track are wider than the old. 20150216_131201 (Large) The control-panel booth has been taken out and the gap in the station is filled. The new panel will be on station level, located on this metal platform below. 20150216_131426 (Large) WHAT? That’s shiny Scream! We’ll get back to that later in this update. 20150216_131243 (Large) 20150216_131627 (Large) The unused side of the station is now covered up! 20150216_131250 (Large) Here’s the actual TC station where guests will board one of the 4 trains. They repainted the walls below the track white. 20150216_131544 (Large) Here’s the view of the brake-runs from the station. The transfer track has been placed as well. They’ve been working on that for months due to the fact that the new track is a lot larger and thus the transfer track couldn’t just be added to the old structure but had to be altered, which turned out to be very time consuming!20150216_131602 (Large)

There’s lots of room next to the station, this wall is bordering Scream! Plaza, so hopefully one day the fence disappears, and we’ll find ourselves a flat ride. 😀20150216_131652 (Large) Looks a little messy, but there sure are lots of tiny details going into a monster hybrid coaster like this.20150216_131703 (Large) One of the many container-work-shops. 20150216_131730 (Large)

Let’s throw in some exciting Twisted Colossus trains!

Wrapped…20150216_131949 (Large) UNWRAPPED! 20150216_132002 (Large) What?! It’s the famous lead car! And she’s a real beauty in person. The details on the train are incredible! 20150216_132131 (Large) 20150216_132146 (Large) The trains have seat-belts, and lap-bars with shin-guards. 20150216_132552 (Large) Some second row good-ness. 20150216_132615 (Large) The nerd back-side of the train! 20150216_132642 (Large)This is only the first of 4 trains, the other trains will each have a different color scheme, blue, green, and purple.

Let’s move on to some actual back-stage construction pics of the world’s longest Hybrid Coaster! Completed lift-hills and catwalks!20150216_133433 (Large) Here’s the trim-brake section before riders will enter the second (green) half of the ride. 20150216_133503 (Large) That transition from blue to green! 20150216_133530 (Large) Interesting looking structure in which two break-runs will be located. The green one on top, the blue trim-breaks on the bottom. 20150216_133551 (Large) 20150216_133714 (Large) In case of an evacuation from the blue-brake section or the green lift-hill, behind this panel a staircase will be installed. 20150216_133721 (Large) The empty Colossus Turnaround Colosseum… For those of you who were worried the blue trim-breaks indicated that the out-ward bank on the blue side would not be placed. Worry no longer, no such thing was ever mentioned, the blue outward-banked airtime hill will still be part of Twisted Colossus. 20150216_133748 (Large) I say… FLATRIDE! Really, they could fit some in here, it’d be spectacular with Twisted Colossus flying by. Sadly no such thing was mentioned… 😀20150216_133758 (Large) Rest in pieces block-brake section! Here’s the booth and staircase that were connected to the mid-course break-run on the Ol’ Colossus. 20150216_133859 (Large)The deepest point of the ride is located before the double-up. This dip is coated with asphalt. 20150216_133943 (Large)Rocky Mountain Construction is adding a lot of extra wood to the already existing structure to support the heavy track. The old track crossing through will not be demolished, but has become part of the supporting the structure. Wood is being placed all over it!20150216_134105 (Large) See, this is a sign of the construction moving along at a great pace, track everywhere! 20150216_134359 (Large) 20150216_135124 (Large)And then… like Twisted Colossus wasn’t looking pretty enough yet, here’s two absolutely stunning drops. These will be filled with ejector-time! 20150216_134433 (Large) Look at those little floater hills! 20150216_134429 (Large) 20150216_134549 (Large)  The new, white, structure seen here is the structure for the green double-down, and the blue dive underneath it. 20150216_134447 (Large) What?!? I’m in the middle of the two drops! Notice that the old track on the left will not be demolished. It will be part of the supporting structure. 20150216_134750 (Large) Artsy air-time hill shot! 20150216_134817 (Large) Beyond these hills… lays the magical twisted High Five element!20150216_134944 (Large) Oh, there it is! 20150216_134510 (Large) They were placing the High Five element as we were taking the tour! Very exciting!20150216_134642 (Large) 20150216_135114 (Large) 20150216_135408 (Large)

Let’s move on to Scream!

The park is taking the trains off the track to start the overhaul of the trains. Oh, and see the parking lot underneath… Yes, we learned that sadly that will stay the way it is. Scream! will remain to be the parking lot coaster it has always been. 20150216_140440 (Large)Wood of Twisted Colossus meets paint of Scream!… 20150216_140017 (Large) All of Scream! is being painted by hand! The primer for the supports is peach, and the actual coat of paint is bright orange, as Sue from Six Flags Magic Mountain said, it really pops. It does, I was a bit conflicted with the colors at first, but now I got to walk around the ride, it really does pop. It looks great! 20150216_135959 (Large) 20150216_135930 (Large) Busy painting! 20150216_140608 (Large) 20150216_140651 (Large) After the primer, the bright orange is added, and then it looks like this, amazing!20150216_140104 (Large) The helix on Scream! has completely been painted. 20150216_140510 (Large)20150216_140234 (Large)There are two trains still on the storage tracks. The track on top of the Zero-G-Roll behind it has been painted as well!20150216_140146 (Large) The painted track on the loop!20150216_131734 (Large) Let’send with this shot of Scream!’s interlocking Corkscrews! Looking awesome with the new paint!20150216_140458 (Large)

Thank you so much for checking out this rather long report of our second backstage tour of Twisted Colossus! For more details on the new Screampunk District, and to see the amazing progress made, check out our first backstage tour report here!

I collected some 300 pictures, many of which will be posted on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram soon, so make sure to follow us everywhere! Comment your thoughts, and let’s get TWISTED!

Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update February 14th 2015

Today’s Valentine’s Day, and a gift from California Coaster Kings to you… A Twisted Colossus and Scream! Update! Construction and make-overs continuing rapidly!

– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

I’m going to start off with Twisted Colossus. Regarding the brake-runs, nothing has really been changed since last week. 20150214_124523 (Large) 20150214_124429 (Large) Mostly the entire old block-brake structure has been removed. 20150214_124442 (Large) The structure for the double down is being placed. In the background you can see the approach to the high-five element being completed on both sides. (The green track in the below the structure will be going up the High Five next). 20150214_124704 (Large) There’s a lot of track and wood ready to be placed. 20150214_124555 (Large) And then here’s the beautiful moment at which they’re placing the actual High Five. All track preceding the High Five has been placed. And as I was taking pictures, the metal beams, for the 90′ degree banks in the middle of the element, were being placed. 20150214_124614 (Large) 20150214_124617 (Large) 20150214_124631 (Large) 20150214_124543 (Large) Notice the amounts of blue and green track! Ready to go up very soon! 20150214_124648 (Large) 20150214_124707 (Large) Here’s the crane that’s placing the High Five beams and track onto the structure. 20150214_124804 (Large)

As a transition from Twisted Colossus to Scream!, here’s the new advertisement for the Screampunk District and Twisted Colossus, it’s on the construction walls over at the entrance to the area! 20150214_130638 (Large) 20150214_130654 (Large) Definitely seems as if Magic Mountain is really aiming for that Spring opening!20150214_130635 (Large) 20150214_130625 (Large) Oh look! That’s Scream! over there! Let’s move on to the Scream! repaint.20150214_130645 (Large)

The painting crews were busy painting Scream again. 20150214_133912 (Large) A lot of track has been repainted already. I would say about 80%. Including the interlocking corkscrews of course!20150214_124133 (Large) Most of the lift’s track, the drop’s track and the loop’s track have been repainted already.20150214_133905 (Large) Wow… What’s that? That’s orange supports! 20150214_124248 (Large) 20150214_124139 (Large) The orange is way lighter than I initially thought I saw for the helix. Maybe they’re going over it again? Maybe it’s more Steam-punk-esque this way…20150214_123932 (Large) 20150214_124049 (Large) 20150214_124108 (Large) Now I think about it, I kind of like both colors of the supports. But I guess I’m going with the new fresh, bright, orange! 😀20150214_133902 (Large) The drop, as I mentioned before has been repainted as well. The track that is.20150214_124228 (Large) Look at that loop, all shiny repainted in blue!20150214_124155 (Large) An overall shot of the Scream! repaint on the side where no orange is to be seen. The brake run, parts of the Zero-G-Roll, the valley between the drop and the Reversed Immelman/Dive, and the entire Cobra Roll are left to be repainted. Track wise. 20150214_124329 (Large)

That was it for today! We’ll be back VERY SOON, for more progress, from some awesome new angles. Thanks for checking out this update! Please click here to read our wonderful Six Flags Magic Mountain Update from today to see what else is going on at the park.

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).
1
The new SkyRopes course was open.
2
Krazy Kars, a crazy inner-tube bumper-car hybrid was also open.
3
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.
4 5
The parks old carousel is a hit with guests. Is that a Boardwalk thing? 😀
7
Prices!
9
The midway was nice and bright with all the new neon from the recent area refurbishment.
10 11
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.
12
Octotron, a strange prototype ride that spins in a circle while riders control the barrel roll motion of the seats, was also open.
13
And the crown jewel of the park, The Giant Dipper was open! The real fan favorite, and the second oldest coaster in California!
14 15 16 17
Here are some night shots of the park!
18 21 22 23 24 27 28 31 32 33 34 3525
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!