Roller Coasting


Six Flags Magic Mountain was on the menu for today, but in a rare flash of actual preparation we actually checked when they opened and found out they didn’t open until 10 am. That gave us some time to kill and we decided to do some more outlet shopping so that Jonna could get some shorts (skirts are no good when you’re riding roller coasters). After getting what we wanted we headed off to Six Flags which is in a little town called Valencia, north of town.

It was very apparent that we had come in the off season, there were hardly any lines anywhere in the park, great! We started off soft with one of the oldest roller coasters: Revolution. It was okay, a little bumpy and not that high but lots of twists and turns. You could tell that it wasn’t that new though (1976 now that I checked it out actually!). It gets a 4 on a scale from 1 to 10.

Next up was ‘Viper‘ which was a lot newer, but still a few years old. It’s mostly a ‘regular’ roller coaster that climbs very high in the beginning and has quite a few loops. A bit scary was that you went really slow through some of the loops. I give it a 6 (bordering on a 5).

X was the third one and this was the first one we actually had to stand in line for. It’s a bit of an odd fish in that you’re sitting at the side of the actual rail instead of on top of it as usual. This means that you don’t have anything but air under your feet which very much adds to the experience. Another feature of the side-seating was that they could spin you around the side axis of the car so that you’re sometimes completely upside down. And the ride? Pretty much the scariest stuff I’ve tried in the way of roller coasters (I’m rather scared of heights but I handle it by telling myself how expensive and embarrassing it would be for the park if someone would actually die). No wonder there was a line to this one, it gets a 9.

Afterward we decided on a food break and as we took some sort of cable car thingy to get across the park (it’s quite large) an employee started chatting with us. When we told him that we’d just ridden X he said that in his opinion it was the best ride in the park. Maybe tied with Goliath, more on that one later.

Right after the food break we went for ‘Tatsu‘, the newest addition to the park. The unique thing about Tatsu is that you’re ‘flying’, that is, you’re hanging belly-down under the rail for the entire ride (well for the exception of one extreme g-turn, similar to a split-s maneuver where you end up flat on your back squashed like a pancake). Great ride, but not as great as X, I give it a 7.

Next to Tatsu lies Ninja, a rather bumpy, aged ride that has you suspended in cars under the rail. An interesting feature was that the cars could rock sideways when hanging which made it a bit exciting. On the whole though, it pales in comparison to all the others. 4 out of 10.

After Ninja was ‘Superman – The Escape‘ from which we actually chickened out from at first. It’s really nothing fancy actually; you sit in a wagon roughly the size of a car and then the operator counts down from three and off you go, literary shot out of a cannon. The ride uses Linear Synchronous Motors (a bunch of magnets continually repelling you forward) to accelerate you at 4.5 G to 100 mph (160 km/h) before the rail turns 90 degrees upwards and you continue up to 415 feet (127 m) before you run out of momentum and fall back down again.

But as I said, we chickened out at first and instead went for Déjá Vu. This is a boomerang roller coaster, which means that you first go forward through it and when you reach the end you go backwards along the same track back to the beginning. It starts quite distressing by hoisting the entire train backwards up a tower, which means you’re hanging face down slowly going higher until it releases the entire train and you fall to your death, at least that’s what it feels like. Very scary, it gets a 7.

I was starting to get a headache at this point, but we still had places to go and coasters to ride, so I just had to toughen up. Next in line was ‘The Riddler’s Revenge‘ which was pretty much ordinary except from that you’re standing up the entire time. Not that memorable though, it gets a 5.

There was also ‘Batman – The Ride‘ of course. This roller coaster hunches down close to the ground and instead relies on sharp turns as thrill inducer. It actually works quite well and I give it a 6.

At this time we decided to actually go and ride ‘Superman – The Escape’ after all and it really wasn’t that scary either. The best thing is the immense acceleration at the beginning when you feel like you leave your face behind. It get 5 out of 10.

We were nearing the end of the park by now and it was finally time to try the old timer ‘Colossus‘ (built in 1978, just like me!). We didn’t have that high expectations, but it really was a great ride! Very bumpy, but the drops were just the right height so that you get that tingling in the bottom of your belly when going over the top. It really holds its own and gets a 6.

Before going for the grand finale at Goliath we had ‘Scream‘ to try. It was okay I guess, but nothing that I remember all that well. It had some really fun tight turns near the ground where you’re sideways just a couple of yards above ground. It gets a 5.

Last thing for the day was ‘Goliath‘. This was also the only other time we had to wait to get on. And five minutes before the parks closing time we finally got to go. By this time some rain had actually started drizzling down and all those squeamish Californians were complaining loudly about how cold it was (probably around 17 degrees Celsius and a little windy). A cool thing about Goliath is that the giant first drop goes down into a tunnel under ground. It relies mainly on high drops and it was great fun. I give it an 8, bordering on a 9.

There isn’t many pictures this day because we packed most our stuff in a locker the first thing we did so that we didn’t have too much to put away each time we were going on a ride.

Later that evening the drizzle turned into heavy rain, obviously almost unheard of in California, at least at this time of year. It was all sorts of storm warnings on the TV and in LA a mud slide actually buried a bunch of cars.

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