Lost Coasters of California – Part 10: Déjà Vu

In Part 9 of this series I briefly mentioned Six Flags ambitious expansion throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.  A growing American economy made the expansion of the theme park market seem unstoppable.  A series of park acquisitions and the acquisition of Six Flags by Premier Parks that was finalized in 1998 expanded the company’s portfolio to include European parks, movie themed parks, and animal parks.  At the park level Six Flags unveiled park expansions and additions at a dizzying rate.  From the years 1997-2003 Six Flags Magic Mountain received a brand new coaster every year.  It is worth noting that with the exception of 1999 each one of these additions was a major, and in many cases record breaking coaster: 1997 saw the addition of the record breaking 400 ft tall Superman: The Escape.  1998’s Riddler’s Revenge remains the largest Stand-Up coaster in the world. 2000’s Goliath opened as the world’s tallest continuous circuit coaster. 2002’s X introduced the world to the 4th dimension coaster.  And 2003’s B&M floorless Scream was built to be a reliable addition after X‘s problems. X was originally set to open in 2001 but was delayed significantly.  Six Flags chose to open another major thrill machine from Vekoma. Unfortunately, this coaster would have its own set of problems. In August of 2001 Six Flags and Vekoma unveiled the world’s first “Giant Inverted Boomerang”, Deja Vu.

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Six Flags Magic Mountain Will Reopen April 1st WITH Rides!

Six Flags Magic Mountain announced plans to  reopen the park to members and passholders on April 1 and 2, and to the general public on  April 3, 2021. In accordance with state reopening guidelines for theme parks, Six Flags Magic  Mountain will operate at reduced attendance levels utilizing a new reservation system. The park is also implementing extensive safety measures including several new advanced technology  systems to protect guests and employees. The plan, developed in consultation with infectious  disease experts, sets standards for executing at the highest levels of hygiene and social  distancing protocols. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure  compliance with state and county recommendations.

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Lost Coasters of California – Part 4: Colossus

When a park sets out to build the biggest, fastest, and baddest coaster around the problem always arises that its records and stature will eventually be surpassed.  For Magic Mountain’s Colossus this was not a problem for much of its life.  From its construction in 1978 until the construction of Viper in 1990  it was the tallest full circuit coaster in all of California.  After Viper Colossus reigned as the king of the California wooden coasters until it’s RMC conversion in 2014, passing the crown to the nearby GhostRider.  

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Viper: Hollywood’s Favorite Coaster

For about as long as Six Flags Magic Mountain has been in operation, nearby Hollywood has frequently mined the park for on-location filming of amusement park scenes for feature films, television, advertisements, and more. Classic sequences, like National Lampoon’s Vacation at “Walley World”, remain cultural iconography.

In 1990 the opening of Viper (and the advent of a professional camera rig that could be mounted to the nose of the train) catapulted Magic Mountain even further into Hollywood notoriety, with major productions now having utilized the enormous Arrow Looper countless times over the last 3 decades. Let’s take a look at some, shall we?

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Weakest Theme Park Areas

Since their creation amusement and theme parks have utilized landscaping and theming as an important part of the experience. The massive popularity of Disneyland standardized the idea of themed lands within a park. Most parks which opened in the resulting regional park boom incorporated this idea. Theme parks have the ability to transport guests to different times and worlds. A well-themed area can be an attraction in and of itself. But these areas often fall flat. The following are five of the weakest theme park areas. Also included are some ideas on how they might be refreshed. This is by no means an exhaustive list so please make your own suggestions, they may find their way to a part two!

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5 of America’s National Coaster Icons

In 1981 Dutch fantasy park Efteling decided to add their first roller coaster.  Already a well established theme-park they chose to make an investment that would make a big impact on the European market.  Working with Dutch manufacturer Vekoma they unveiled the largest roller coaster in all of Europe, Python.  Although a copy of the existing Arrow Huss Carolina Cyclone, this 4 inversion monster was unlike anything in the region.  It was only 2 years after Blackpool Pleasure Beach had unveiled Europe’s first modern looping coaster and the first time modern inversions appeared in continental Europe.  Efteling had built something loopier, larger, and unlike anything else that Europe had seen and it became a phenomenon.  Python has been featured in numerous Dutch TV programs, was used by Porsche to film a television commercial, and continues to be one of the most popular attractions in the park. So beloved is this ride that in 2018 the park spent an estimated 4.5 Million Euro ($5.3 Million USD) to re-track the majority of the ride and ensure it continues to run for future generations. Continue reading “5 of America’s National Coaster Icons”

Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Holiday festivities have begun here in Southern California. And while it does seem quite a bit different compared to what it was in years past, we are still trying to soak in every single moment. The first park we visited this year for the holidays is Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because the park is currently not allowed to be open for normal operation, they have adjusted Holiday in the Park to make it a drive-thru experience. In this review, we’ll share some basic information on the event along with our review. Continue reading “Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience Review – Six Flags Magic Mountain”

California Theme Parks – Where Do We Go From Here?

After months on top of months of waiting, California theme parks finally received reopening guidelines yesterday during the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing. Governor Gavin Newsom along with other high-level representatives from the Golden State have decided to split up theme parks into “larger theme parks” and “smaller theme parks”. The placement of a theme park is based on its capacity. The state says it will allow smaller theme parks to reopen at 25% capacity (or 500 people, whichever is fewer) once the county the park resides in is placed into the orange tier. Reservations will be required, all park guests must live in the same county the park is in, and only outdoor attractions will be allowed to operate. For larger theme parks, the restrictions are even more suffocating, with the guidelines stating that the county the park resides in must be in the yellow tier in order to reopen. Like the smaller parks, reservations will also be required and the park capacity will have to be 25%. Continue reading “California Theme Parks – Where Do We Go From Here?”

Top 10 US Parks International Tourists Need To Visit

The United States remains one of the most important countries for roller coaster and theme park enthusiasts around the world. A country the size of the United Sates can be overwhelming for visitors trying to decide which parks to go to. This list seeks to focus in on 10 American parks I think are essential for international visitors to experience.  Note that this isn’t intended as a ranking of the best parks in the U.S., rather it is a list of parks that encapsulate the landscape of the American amusement industry.

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Holiday in the Park and West Coast Racers Testing – Six Flags Magic Mountain Park Update – December 7, 2019

Preston: This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to attend Magic Mountain’s media event for Holiday in the Park. We were able to sample some of the new foods and treats they have available during the season for their holiday food festival. And, we took a lap around the park to take in all the beautiful Holiday decorations. And as a special Christmas present, we have some photos of West Coast Racers testing! Let’s dive in and check out all the offerings this year!

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West Coast Racers – Quadruple Launch Racing Coaster – Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2019!

Sean: Six Flags Magic Mountain announces their 20th roller coaster: West Coast Racers. The West Coast Customs inspired roller coaster features 4 inversion, 4 launches, custom designed trains, as well as a special pit stop featuring West Coast Customs Founder and CEO, Ryan Friedlinghaus!  Continue reading “West Coast Racers – Quadruple Launch Racing Coaster – Coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2019!”