Derek: The eagerly anticipated Premier Rides Inc. roller coaster, West Coast Racers, is having an action packed week at Six Flags Magic Mountain! After testing throughout the past month, the new CEO of Six Flags got to experience the brand new attraction on Wednesday, December 18th. Mike Spanos, along with other Six Flags execs, broke in the new ride with a team member party following on Friday night.
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On Saturday, December 21, West Coast Racers finally made its debut to the public! The day began with a bloggers preview which soon led into a Six Flags Members preview beginning at park opening. Lines continued to grow throughout the day with some guest waiting over three hours to experience the new attraction.
Everyone seemed to agree that this ride was worth the wait. The line stretched from under Ninja‘s first drop all the way into the newly re-themed area, The Underground. In addition to West Coast Racers, The Underground includes the retracked Apocalypse with its cool updated queue, Slingshot (up-charge ride), Coaster Candy, Twin Charged Tacos and the yet to open: Chicken Coupe eatery.
The area looks fantastic with its street theme and refreshed pit stop restrooms. The theming continues into the queue where you can learn a little about West Coast Customs and their involvement with the ride. Looking similar to their Burbank location, riders enter the large building with large glass windows showcasing a sporty blue car and touches of an auto shop spread around the two floor building.
Taking the spiral staircase up to the second floor, the excitement really kicks into gear as the sleek trains come into view. The red, blue and yellow two-car trains have lap bars and the new generation of “comfort” collars that hook into them.
With the lack of a seat belt, checking the trains seem to be very quick for the ride attendants who were doing a great job of getting the trains out on the course. Although certain details are subject to change, during the weekend previews, there were bins for passengers to leave their belongings before they were assigned their row to ride. There are also zippered phone holders in the train similar to Twisted Colossus.
Once boarded, racers hear engine revving sound effects and as they leave the station, the train they are about to race pulls out to the left. This is the first exciting visual on an attraction that is filled with them. Holding on the launch next to the other car for a moment gives the perfect opportunity to smack talk and get into the racing mood.
Then all of a sudden, it’s launch time and the 12 person train accelerates into an elevated high five maneuver. It is an exciting start as the force of the flip let’s everyone know that they are in for quite a ride!
The white track then twists over the yellow track in a zero-g stall and rounds its way next to Apocalypse and then crosses over the woodie’s entrance and dips down into the LA River type aqueduct that has been at the park for years. A launched LSM boost comes at the point and there is an acceleration that feels as if the car is shifting into gear which adds to the racing feel.
A final double up creates a pop of airtime and the white track glides under the yellow track flipping high above. The two trains speedily come to a comfortable stop as the winners of the race cheer from the exhilaration.
If this fun filled ride ended at this point, riders would be completely satisfied, but wait, there’s more! The white track now rolls into the yellow track and the mid-course show begins. To the left of the loading station, more theming is present and a video begins with the mastermind behind Pimp My Ride, Ryan Friedlinghaus, telling riders that the crew is going to upgrade the vehicle before the second race. Sound effects are heard under the car creating the illusion that mechanics under the car are using power tools to get everyone ready for the second lap around the course. This break in the action goes by very quickly and doesn’t seem to stall or cause too much of a lull in the action at all.
As the train pulls out of the building, great views of Ninja and Jet Stream can be seen to the left. Then, it’s go time on the 55mph, 67 ft high, 4,000 ft long track resulting in one of the most fun coasters in the state! The yellow track races around and ends with an inversion that makes for a terrific climax of a unique ride with 14 crossovers.
Although there may be some similarities with the racing and certain elements of Twisted Colossus, West Coast Racers feels completely different and stand on its own. Even after riding both coasters back to back, they don’t seem any more similar than Viper and Scream! do to each other. Six Flags Magic Mountain has outdone themselves with a an exciting ride with great theming that appeals to a wide range of tastes and is very smooth, rerideable coaster that guests will want to experience every time they come to the park. When exiting the vehicle, passengers exit on the same side they loaded, pick up their belongings and will enter a gift shop.
The Six Flags Member and Season Pass previews continue each day until January 5 with park employees scanning passes to grant entrance to the ride. For those who do not have a pass, a wrist band for entrance to the ride can be obtained by purchasing a West Coast Racers t-shirt at the gift shop between Jet Stream and the go-karts which was formerly the Preview Center.
As with most coasters, day and night rides should be experienced providing different experiences. Although the ride is in previews and the theming isn’t finished, it would be terrific if there were themed lights that were flashing or moving added during the second and fourth launches and the helices to enhance the nighttime riding. Since this was built in conjunction with the people who brought the world Pimp My Ride, it would be cool if they added some additional nighttime flare to pimp this ride. West Coast Racers adds so much excitement to this corner of the park that its difficult to remember when it wasn’t there.
The ride is super fun to watch as the cars flip around each other in a speedy, graceful manner. When riding, the race is completely the awesome and filled with hang time, airtime, g-forces and speed that will keep riders coming back again and again. With a guaranteed race each time, for groups trying to ride together, it even works out if they aren’t on the same train because they can race each other if they board different trains. Congratulations to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Premier Rides for creating a very special experience that is unlike any other coaster around!