Saturday, October 8, 2016

Six Flags Magic Mountain with Jacob

"Six Flags?" you say. "Not Disneyland?"
Yes, it's true. Over the Labor Day weekend, there was a sale that was just too good to pass up. A Gold Level Season Pass, good through the end of 2017, plus free parking, for only $74.99. Amazing, right?
Now, I will be one of the first to admit that while Disneyland is an amazing theme park, the "thrill" factor of many of the rides is low. It's always better to enjoy a day at a park with a friend who will ride all the same things you do. Obviously that means Theresa wasn't going to be joining me. Luckily for me, Jacob also loves thrill rides, doesn't get motion sick, and will ride anything! He bought a Season Pass the same day I did and we started making our plans!

Using the site, we found that Friday October 7th was going to be "Hey, it's alright". We took the day off work and took the 1 hour drive north to get to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The park opens at 10:30am today. We pulled up to the parking lot at 9:40am and got in a queue.   

Turns out parking doesn't open until 9:45am. At least we're one of the first here!

After getting a super close parking spot, we left everything we could in the car, stuffed the rest in the pockets of our cargo shorts and headed to the entrance. With all the rides we're going on today, there's no way we're going to be carrying a backpack around with us.

After making it through the metal detectors, we saw there was a separate entrance for Gold Pass holders. Hey, that's us! Gold Pass holders get in 10 minutes before everyone else! We were able to exchange our vouchers right at the gates and get our plastic card.

Near the very front of the line. At 10:20am, everyone was released and were off to our first ride of the day!

X2! It's been so long since either of us has been to this park, but both of us remember this insane ride. Entering the park 10 minutes early was awesome too. Within 5 minutes, we were on the ride and in the front row no less!

There's no cameras or video allowed on the ride, so you're not going to get any ride video from me... But Six Flags' Youtube channel has all their top rides! Feel free to check it out!

I only wish the ride lasted longer.
After we got off, the queue had started to fill up, but this is probably going to be our best chance to ride it again. Last time we rode the left side, so this time we tried the right side. For many of the top rides here, I noticed signs saying there was no preferred seating (meaning you can't ask for the front row). But as luck would have it, we got assigned the front row on this side too! Starting the day off good!

And once the ride was over, it wasn't too hard to fish the phone out of the pocket and take a selfie. Get used to these by the way. There's going to be a bunch of them.

So starting with X2, we decided to work through all the Maximum Thrill and Moderate Thrill rides at the park in clockwise order. It was a little odd having to look at the map the whole time.
Fifty minutes after park opening and Viper was a complete walk-on. With hardly anyone else in line, it was easy to get the front row.

The video if you're so inclined.

Next up was Tatsu. I don't think I've ever been on a "Superman" type coaster where you lay down and "fly" over the terrain. After a relatively short wait, the front row had a short wait, so there we went! 

Oh man. This ride is awesome! Even the ride up the lift hill is thrilling. You're starting down at the ground, climbing up to 170 feet with nothing in the way but your restraints. There's not even a backup seat belt on this one. This one really makes you feel like you're flying. And there's one point where you are at the top of a giant hill, then you're plunged head-first towards the ground. At the last moment, you dive inwards and are on your back, skimming the ground. Never having rode this one before, it was an awesome surprise. One of the best rides here!

Next up was Superman: Escape From Krypton. I know this is a low capacity ride, and waiting in line, it certainly showed. Every 5 minutes, we'd creep forward by 14 people. It was painfully slow. Once we entered the last section of the queue, everyone was allowed to line up wherever they wished. Front row again! (well, front of the cart. They run this ride in reverse). That's Baby Superman's space capsule in the background, also ready to escape Krypton.

Reaching speeds up to 100mph and reaching heights up to 415 feet, this ride is fun, but it's way too short. You can see from the video below, from start to finish only takes 29 seconds. In the future, that's a little too short for me if there's any kind of queue.

It's getting to be lunchtime and I've been smelling bbq'd meat. This is why. Meat being cooked over an open flame and served up inside. Mmm.

What's the best food to eat before going on some crazy coasters? Ribs sound good to me!

Our next ride is The Riddler's Revenge.
So, itispacked? No, no it is not. This is at 1:30pm. Hardly anyone in the queue and you're free to pick whatever row you want.

So let's go to the front row again! We've had great luck so far today! This stand-up coaster was pretty fun, as long as you got your seat locked in to the right place. If you didn't you might be standing on your tip-toes throughout.

Since the line was so ridiculously short, we rode again. One thing I learned from the far left side, the trees come very close to the track. I had my hands up like always and wasn't even stretching my arms out. After coming through the first loop, I felt a sudden WHACK on my left hand and when I looked it was covered in red spots.

If the Riddler is around, Batman better be close by too.

The line was barely long enough to warrant it, but there was still someone directing people what row to ride in. And even without us asking for it, we were assigned the front row again! Awesome!

This suspended coaster was fun, with lots of loops and rolls.

Good times!

Next up was Green Lantern: First Flight.

An interesting vertical roller coaster, this ride takes you 110 feet into the air and loops you back and forth to the ground.

Oh man. This ride is the worst! Jacob and I aren't scared to ride anything, but this ride was painful. After the first drop, both Jacob and I were slung forward so hard that I mentioned that somehow my jaw hurt. Jacob was surprised I mentioned it, because he was about to say the very same thing. I barely remember braking, and then it felt like I pulled more G's than on any other ride I've been on. This ride hurt. Both Jacob and I agreed there was no reason to ride that ever again.

Our next ride was Twisted Colossus. Now, I remember riding Colossus on my last trip and it a decent wooden coaster. In 2015, this ride was re-imagined as the Twisted Colossus, becoming a hybrid wooden and metal roller coaster. I wasn't sure what to expect from this new coaster, but I could see from the loading platform that they were only loading one of the two sides. Front row!

What an absolute blast! They've taken this average wooden coaster ride and plussed it up big time! The first lift hill drops you 116 feet, but because it takes you so low to the ground, the intensity is even higher! And I wasn't expecting a wooden coaster to have inversions, especially since we only had lap bars, but the inversions here were some of the best in the park! Most coasters will quickly move you through a barrel roll, but this one takes you upside down and holds you there for a few seconds before finally righting you.
I also learned why there was only one loading platform open. They've taken the old ride that had two sides, and combined them all into one! Instead of 2 two-minute rides they've connected the end of the first to the beginning of the second and now there's just 1 four-minute ride!

When the station is able to time it right, there is even a Top Gun moment where you're going along on the bottom track, and another coaster is inverted and traveling above you. You remember the scene, right?

Staring into the sun, but had an awesome time on Twisted Colossus.

Goliath was next. A quick walk through the queue and we found ourselves in the front row.

This 235 foot coaster drops you 255 feet on its first lift hill. Really? Yep, you go into a tunnel and 20 feet below ground level. The first half was filled with lots of big drops. After a short braking station, the second half tilts you sideways before taking a drop. It's one thing to be sideways and moving. It feels a lot different when you're just hanging there sideways.

Scream is in a dead-end section of the park and was closed when we'd stopped by before. When we were riding Goliath Jacob noticed it was running again, so it was a quick turn-around back to it. And there was a super short line when we arrived! Front row!

Scream had lots of inversions and twists, but it was a little bumpy. My head felt a bit rattled throughout.

But still fun.

Walk-on line? Well why not go for two?

Full Throttle sits near the entrance to the park. It's also a world record holder too for the largest loop, 160 feet! You're not pinned to your seat like most loops. Here you're slowly making up the last of that 160 feet, and the feeling of dangling 160 feet above the ground is intense!

It was here that our impressive Front Row run would end. Not a bad day.

The ride itself was great! Not knowing anything about it, I wasn't expecting a 2nd launch, not forwards, but backwards, building up speed to then go up and over the 160 foot loop! Not bad! 

Well we missed a few rides on our list on our first loop around the park. In our trek back to them, why not stop by some of our favorites and re-ride them! Tatsu was awesome the first time, and awesome again the second time. Front row!

Here's one we didn't get to ride the first time. Apocalypse! Front Row.

This all wooden coaster is a little bumpy.

Next up is Gold Rusher. The very first coaster built here at Six Flags back in 1971. Front row!

This coaster offers no big thrills or drops or anything. It hugs the hillside without much deviation.

Just us and a few kids riding this one. I'd question its inclusion in the Moderate Thrills category.

Dinner time. Prices for food here are right up there with Disney prices. Maybe even a little more in some cases. This double patty western burger and fries was ~$14.

Now that dinner is done, let's walk back around the park and just do whatever we want.
Twisted Colossus in the day was great. Twisted Colossus in the dark, even better!

Scream in the dark. Why not?

Batman? Yes please.

Riddler's Revenge, of course. I rode on the far left side again just to see if I could smack my hand on the tree. Sure enough, right after the first big loop, I smacked it on the branches and leaves that stick out close to the track.

Another? Sure. This time I had Jacob sit on the far left side and see if he'd hit it. Sure enough, it hit his hand all the way down past his wrist.

Even though the park is open until 1am, at 9pm we were considering heading home. We're season pass holders you know, so there's no reason to have to do it all in one day. For our final ride of the night, we'd go back to my favorite of the day. Tatsu. It was awesome flying around during the day and again when it was dark.

Time to head back to the park entrance. Just have to avoid all these Fright Fest actors trying to scare you. Being October, Six Flags is celebrating each weekend by decorating the park and dressing up actors as zombies and demons to try and scare you.

Well if today was a "Hey, it's alright" level of busyness, I'd love to see what it is when it's considered a "Ghost Town". In our 11 hours at the park, we managed 23 thrill rides.

1. X2 - 10:30am, Front Row
2. X2 - 11:10am, Front Row
3. Viper - 11:20am, Front Row
4. Tatsu - 11:55am, Front Row
5. Superman - 12:45pm, Front Row
6. Riddler's Revenge - 1:35pm, Front Row
7. Riddler's Revenge - 1:45pm, Back Row (by choice)
8. Batman - 2:00pm, Front Row
9. Green Lantern - 2:20pm (no real rows)
10. Twisted Colossus - 2:50pm, Front Row
11. Goliath - 3:05pm, Front Row
12. Scream - 4:00pm, Front Row
13. Scream - 4:20pm, Back Row (by choice)
14. Full Throttle - 5:00pm, sigh... Row 7
15. Tatsu - 5:35pm, Front Row
16. Apocalypse - 5:50pm, Front Row
17. Gold Rusher - 6:10pm, Front Row
18. Twisted Colossus - 7:20pm, Front Row
19. Scream - 7:30pm, Front Row
20. Batman - 7:55pm, 4th Row
21. Riddler's Revenge - 8:05pm, Front Row
22. Riddler's Revenge - 8:15pm, Front Row
23. Tatsu - 9:15pm, Front Row

Obviously a very good day. Well thanks Jacob! That was a pretty awesome day! And thanks Theresa for watching the kids while I went off and had fun. I am very happy to have a park now that I can go to for thrills when I'm not at Disneyland!

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