The 5 Best Coasters in California to Ride at Night

DSC_0454 (Large)It’s still that Halloween time of year, and all Californian parks stay opened late into the night for their annual haunts. Which means we all get to experience the best coasters around the state in the dark. Throw in some occasional cold nights, and you may find yourself experiencing the very best night-rides on some of them. In this top 5, we’ll be taking a look at the, arguably, 5 best coasters in the state when it comes to the experience guests will have when riding them at night! Here are the 5 Best Coasters in California to Ride at Night!


5. Flight Deck

Flight Deck can deliver some exhilarating night rides. Although it may not be a very long or drawn-out coaster, its consistency in pace and speed make this ride feel very quick at night while riders feet dangle in the brisk night air. The track lights are also pretty sparse making the ride very dark, and when combined with the pace, night rides can be quite disorienting. The setting is also very well complimented by the darkness featuring lots of grass, landscaping trees, and of course a lake that all makes Flight Deck feel much more like a journey during darkness. Between the pace, lack of lights, and setting, Flight Deck really transforms for the better as the sun sets and dishes out some very satisfying rides in the dark.image9

4. Xcelerator

There’s nothing more refreshing than being launched to a speed of 82 MPH in 2.3 seconds through the night-air. Xcelerator gives you just that, after which the train will shoot up vertically into the sky, launching you towards the stars with a quick 90′ degree twist. Once on top, the train flies over the Top Hat to provide a quick, never ending look at the thousands of city lights below, as guests get a second or two to look into the distance across Orange County and Los Angeles, flying over Buena Park, to then dive back into the themepark, vertically. Thanks to the fun layout, the fast pacing through the two high banked turns delivers a nice cold night-time rush before the train hits the brakes. Though the ride is well lit-up at night, and the experience is not nearly about the darkness of the experience, it’s quite a rush getting launched through the night-air and fly far above the surrounding city.NTR Xcelerator edit001 (Large)

3. Superman: Ultimate Flight

Superman: Ultimate Flight is one of the most adrenaline inducing coasters to experience in the dark. As each launch blasts you past the brilliantly coordinated led lights a little faster, riders feel the cool air rushing past them more and more. Finally, when riders are launched to the apex of the ride, they are delivered a gorgeous view of the park and the surrounding areas lights, before inching into the inline twist being suspended upside down looking at the station lights below. The following drop is breathtaking with the minimal lighting making it quite surprising. The non inverting loop on both ends provides a good change in pace and speed allowing riders to take in the surrounding area before continuing with their ride. The intense vertical and lateral forces of the ride are well accented by the cooler nigh air as well as a lack of visibility, and the slower paced moments only serve to induce awe. Thus, Superman: Ultimate Flight secures the number three spot on our list.NTR SUF edit001 (Large)

2. X2

X2, an incredibly disorienting ride during the day turns into a dark mystery at night. A lot of rides seem to rush over the tracks when it’s a cold night, but there’s no night-ride even remotely similar to X2. Besides the fact that the train runs over the tracks at a noticeably faster pace, the view riders get from the park and the surrounding mountains is quite spectacular at night. Guests enjoy the views to only then be flipped around trough the cold air in the spectacular first drop. With the soundtrack blasting from the speakers riders will face the ground far below them and flip into the darkness. With a little luck (a lot of luck nowadays) the flame-throwers will heat up your icy night-ride on X2 and add a wow-element to your ride experience.NTR X2 Edit001 (Large)

1. Tatsu

Let the Flying Beast from the Far Far East take you on one of the most amazing flights of your life. Thanks to Tatsu’s amazing location on the top of the hills of Six Flags Magic Mountain, guests will fly over the park at an incredible speed. At night there’s nothing that can beat the amazing sights of flying over the dark mountain and past rides at the park. While flying far above the lights of the park in a flying position, the cool air is forced in your face. The ride-experience is just simply incredible in the dark. For example, the Pretzel Loop alone is an amazing experience at night, as you fly high above the park approaching the entrance plaza you then dive into the darkness below, which is eventually followed by that amazing finale helix high over the entrance plaza and fountains. It’s like taking an incredible night flight, it feels free, gives a rush, and is just beyond-belief stunning.TATSUedit001 (Large)


Thanks for checking out this list of 5! COMMENT what your favorite night-time coaster is, or what you thought of the list!

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7 Replies to “The 5 Best Coasters in California to Ride at Night”

    1. We did not include GhostRider because it’s currently closed, and will not reopen till next spring. If GhostRider was currently operating, our crew mutually agreed, it would have placed in this T5, no doubt.

  1. I have only riden 4 coasters at night- California Screamin, Big Thunder Mountain (WDW), Goofy’s Sky School, and Matterhorn

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