Six Flags Magic Mountain
Valencia, California, USA
“The park with the largest amount of roller coasters in the world”
Cedar Point in Ohio defines itself as America’s Roller Coast and many amusement park enthusiasts consider it as the nation’s premier coaster destination. However, Cedar Point isn’t the park with the most credits in America. This honour is reserved for Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park is located in Santa Clarita, within a short driving distance from Los Angeles. Six Flags Magic Mountain boasts a total of 19 roller coasters and that’s enough for a world record. Needless to say… the park’s skyline is nothing less than breathtaking.
WOOD MEETS STEEL
One thing is certain: Six Flags Magic Mountain performs very well if it comes to numbers and statistics. Just to give you an idea: the park had 36 inversions during my most recent visit in 2018. Nine of those inversions can be found in the park’s Screampunk District. This is the place where wood meets steel during a ride on Twisted Colossus. I already discovered this world-class hybrid coaster in 2017 and it immediately became one of my favourite rides on the planet. It’s smooth, it’s fun and the total duration is quite long. It’s a shame that the experience heavily relies on the speed of operations, though. Staff are doing everything they can, but it just seems impossible to guarantee the ride’s signature racing effect. Still, Twisted Colossus remains pure roller coaster awesomeness.
Twisted Colossus is the star of the Screampunk District, but its neighbour also deserves some attention. I’m talking about a floorless coaster called Scream! (with exclamation mark) and it’s not bad at all. It looks excellent since its recent paint job and the ride is very powerful. I regret the fact that it was literally built on the parking lot, but hey… I never complained about Silver Star, so I shouldn’t complain about Scream either.
I wouldn’t describe Six Flags Magic Mountain as a theme park, but some areas are nicely decorated. One of those areas is the DC Universe, which is home to a dark ride, some flat rides and a few coasters. The most notable ride at DC Universe is Riddler’s Revenge, a stand-up coaster. It recently got repainted, so it looks very shiny nowadays. Unfortunately, the ride experience isn’t nearly as shiny as its tracks. It’s rougher than most other B&Ms and standing up during a coaster ride feels pointless. Riddler’s Revenge makes it easy to understand why nearly every other stand-up coaster has been transformed into a floorless ride in recent years.
The neighbouring B&M is smaller and looks less maintained, but it’s actually a lot more enjoyable. Batman The Ride is the most copied B&M model ever and it’s not hard to understand why. Despite its rather small footprint, it provides a lot of thrill and five inversions.
Not every coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain is worth your time. Arrow Dynamics’ Ninja, Viper and Gold Rusher are mediocre rides and they should only be ridden if you really need the credit. The same is true for Intamin’s Superman – Escape From Krypton. This is a Reverse Freefall Coaster with a top speed of 160 km/h and a height of 126 metres. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well… it’s very loud and it looks impressive, but this ride feels like one big disappointment.
CHICK-FIL-A: THE RIDE
Talking about disappointments… The next major coaster on our to do list is Chick-fil-A The Ride, a.k.a. Full Throttle. This coaster is built by Premier Rides and it opened back in 2013. It’s sad that Six Flags hasn’t invested in a decent queue and a more elaborate station, but the actual ride looks spectacular. Unfortunately, the ride could better be described as Medium Throttle. This coaster features three launches, but those are literally the only good parts. The layout is way too short and trains enter the final brakes at top speed. This could have been a world-class coaster, but it seems as if they ran out of budget during the construction phase. The result is an ugly queue, a cheap-looking station and an underwhelming experience.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is a park of contrasts. The relatively new Full Throttle looks awful, but the 42 year old Revolution appears to be brand-new. This coaster classic – which is actually known as New Revolution nowadays – got some fresh paint in 2016. They also removed the shoulder restraints in that year, which made the coaster considerably more enjoyable. However, you shouldn’t expect it to be the smoothest ride ever. It’s got a certain rattle and the layout features a few snappy transitions.
When it comes to first impressions, our next stop definitely deserves a medal. This sign at Goliath’s entrance is famous and it was even featured in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. It’s massive, just like the coaster behind it. Goliath is one of the few mega coasters built by Giovanola. This company was founded by people who used to work for B&M and that can be noticed in several ways. The tracks look similar and the ride is unbelievably smooth and comfortable. Although the actual ride is not that intense (except for the final helix), it’s very enjoyable and re-rideable. Goliath is a perfectly fine family coaster, in my opinion.
Talking about family coasters… If your children aren’t interested in a 70-metre tall coaster with speeds of up to 135 km/h, Bugs Bunny World may offer the perfect alternative. This area is home to four (!) kiddie coasters and a good selection of other rides. Besides, Bugs Bunny World looks quite nice to Six Flags’ standards.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Six Flags Magic Mountain was built on and around… a mountain! That mountain is home to several roller coasters, including one of my favourite B&Ms: Tatsu. This flying coaster includes a pretzel loop, which could easily be described as one of the planet’s most intense coaster elements. This inversion mimics the feeling of a bulldozer driving over your chest… in a good way.
X2 is perhaps the most unique roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. When X officially opened in 2002, it was the world’s first 4th dimension coaster. A few years later, the ride got repainted, rebranded and renamed to X2. The new colour scheme looked considerably better than the original combination of pink and yellow, but the most important novelty were the trains. These were designed to make the ride more enjoyable. X2 may have become smoother, but it’s still a bumpy experience. And it’s pretty intense as well: it’s hard to notice whether you’re travelling backwards, forwards or upside down during some parts of the ride. I wouldn’t consider this as a negative point (it distinguishes the experience from most other roller coasters) but you shouldn’t ride X2 if you’re quickly nauseated.
GCI’s wooden coaster Apocalypse appears to be closed quite often, so I have only been able to ride it once. But more importantly… does Six Flags Magic Mountain offer any other rides than coasters? Fortunately, it does. The park is home to a good amount of thrilling flat rides (including a super-tall free fall tower) and the children’s area has an extensive variety of attractions. However, you don’t visit the park because of these secondary rides. If you don’t like roller coasters, there’s hardly any reason to put Six Flags Magic Mountain on your wish list.
WORTH A VISIT?
Six Flags Magic Mountain is undoubtedly one of the world’s most legendary roller coaster destinations. They’ve got unique coasters, extreme coasters, family-friendly coasters, thrilling coasters and painful coasters. Every roller coaster enthusiast travelling to Los Angeles should spend at least one day at this iconic park, but be warned: not every aspect of Six Flags Magic Mountain is as great as you might think. The park is notorious for its unannounced attraction closures, which makes is very hard to get a full coaster bingo in one day. Besides, Six Flags isn’t known for having a huge ride capacity. This wasn’t a problem on a calm weekday in October, but lines can get horribly long during weekends and school holidays. During these times of the year, it may even be advisable to plan a 2-day visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
What’s your favourite roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain? Did you manage to get all of the credits? Do you prefer coaster parks over ‘theme’ parks? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.