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Six Flags Magic Mountain

California's Coaster-Crazy Headquarters

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X coaster Six Flags Magic Mountain

X, the world's first "fourth-dimension" coaster.

Six Flags- Used with permission.
Originally, the park's theme had something to do with cute gnomes that lived in a Magic Mountain. After Six Flags came on the scene, it threw out the gnomes, pumped up the testosterone, and created what it has dubbed the "Xtreme" park. With 18 thrill machines, Six Flags Magic Mountain now claims the world's largest arsenal of coasters.

Up-front Info

  • Location: Valencia (about 30 miles north of Los Angeles), CA
  • Phone: (661) 255-4100
  • Reduced price tickets for children (under 48"). 2 and under are free. Discounted tickets are often available online. Season pass tickets include admission to all Six Flags parks.
  • Build a package that includes discounted Six Flags tickets with other attractions. The Go Card Select Pass Southern California lets you choose the places you'd like to visit and offers discounted rates. You put together your own package and only pay for the attractions you choose. In addition to Six Flags Magic Mountain, options include Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, Legoland California, Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier, Wild Rivers Waterpark, and more. Must be used within 30 days after first admission. Buy direct from Go Card.
  • For an additional fee, the park offers the Flash Pass go-to-the-front-of-the-lines program. VIP tours available for an extra fee (which is quite high).
  • Also includes Hurricane Harbor water park (separate admission).
Park Highlights

Official Site
Six Flags Magic Mountain

New for 2014

New coaster and more
A refreshed Bugs Bunny Land will get a new kiddie coaster. The trains on the coasters, Colossus and Batman: The Ride, will run backwards.

New for 2013

Full Throttle
Record-breaking launched looping coaster will offer unique thrills.

New for 2012

Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom
The world's tallest and fastest drop tower ride is coming to the Six Flags park.

Park Overview

Here's a bit of theme park trivia you can use to amaze and impress your friends: The SeaWorld folks, fresh from successfully developing their beautiful San Diego marine park, originally built Magic Mountain. But some Shamu-sized problems led them to sell the theme park soon after it opened. There are still cadences of the original whimsical themeing here and there, but when Six Flags banished the gnomes, it also sucked a lot of the fun out of the park. Today, like most Six Flags properties, Magic Mountain is really more an "iron park," an amusement park filled with a hodgepodge of rides, than a cohesive theme park. But what a collection of coasters.

The park's X2, the world's first "fourth-dimension" coaster, has cars that sit alongside the track and independently spin 360 degrees forwards and backwards. Talk about disorienting! When it is open (and it's frequently closed), Superman: The Escape climbs a 415-foot tower, reaches 100 mph, and subjects its riders to 6.5 seconds of weightlessness (all world records when the ride debuted). Scream- Ride Out Loud, a floorless coaster, is one of the best of its kind. Goliath, on the other hand, is one of parkdom's worst hypercoasters in my estimation. Its intense positive G forces can induce harrowing grayouts. Stand-up, inverted, flying, kiddie, launched: Name the coaster, and chances are you can find it here.

It is an enormous park, so be prepared for lots of walking. Magic Mountain has a confusing layout. Many of the paths lead to dead ends, and it can be bewildering to try and navigate from one section of the park to another. Oddly, many of the park's signature roller coasters are set back from the midway and are partially, or nearly totally, hidden from view. I guess this helps create a sense of suspense, but most parks showcase their coasters for maximum visibility.

To reach the "Magic Mountain" at the park's center, you can take the Orient Express cable car or trudge up one of the steep paths. The Ninja suspended coaster at the top is a fun ride that uses the natural topography to send its pivoting cars careening down the hill. A small lift hill starts the coaster, while a larger lift hill delivers the train back up to the station at the ride's end. Also at the top of the hill is Samurai Summit, a Japanese garden with lovely flowers, a babbling brook, and some stunning panoramic views of the park and surrounding hills. Stressed-out parents take note: Amid Magic Mountain's hyper-adrenalized, scream-filled atmosphere, this is probably the park's lone peaceful spot.

Like most Six Flags parks (and most theme parks for that matter), food is not a strong point. It's the usual suspects of overpriced, bland fast food. Magic Mountain doesn't do a great job with crowd control either. The day I visited wasn't especially busy, but the queues for the major roller coasters quickly swelled. Many of the coasters were only operating one train, even though they were designed to accommodate as many as three. While X was running two trains, there were long delays between dispatches, and the wait was at least two hours all day.

Coaster fans generally rave about Riddler's Revenge, and rate it as perhaps the industry's best stand-up coaster. I can't confirm that. After waiting nearly 90 minutes as the line inched forward, I had to bail out of the totally disorganized, claustrophobic loading station building. Otherwise, I might have lost my mind amid the repetitive, cacophonous drone of the techno music blaring on the sound system.

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