Six Flags Magic Mountain is a Six Flags theme park located in Valencia, California. The park opened on May 30, 1971 as "Magic Mountain" and was built and owned by Newhall Land and Farming Company. In 1979, Six Flags purchased the park and re-opened it as Six Flags Magic Mountain.
With 19 roller coasters, Six Flags Magic Mountain holds the world record for most roller coasters in an amusement park.
Opening season (1971)
Magic Mountain opened on May 30, 1971, with 33 attractions and around 500 employees. The admission price for the 1971 season was $5 for adults, and $3.50 for children between the ages of 3 and 12. Because the park was in a relatively remote part of Los Angeles County, the Greyhound bus line provided bus service to and from the park and Los Angeles, as well as from Northern California, and optionally allowed purchase of park admission at the time the bus ticket is purchased.
Pre-Six Flags era (1972-1979)
In 1972, they began using trolls as the park mascots. The trolls King Blop, Bleep, Bloop, and the The Wizard became recognizable symbols of Magic Mountain. All King Productions, a contractor, provided the entertainers wearing the costumes until December 31, 1972, when Magic Mountain took on that role. The characters were used until 1985. Also in 1972, a second flume ride named Jet Stream was added.
In 1973 the park added its second roller coaster, the Mountain Express, a compact Schwarzkopf Wildcat model steel coaster. In 1974 the park also installed a new complex of spinning rides in what would later be known as Back Street. The new additions consisted of the Himalaya, Electric Rainbow, and Tumble Drum. In 1975, the Grand Centennial Railway opened in the Back Street. It took riders on a train journey to Spillikin Corners and back.
With the opening of Great American Revolution in 1976, Magic Mountain became the first park in the world to have a modern, 360-degree steel looping coaster (though previous roller coasters with loops had been built and dismantled elsewhere due to safety issues). When it was built, there was very little in the way of surrounding brush. Now, the tracks are surrounded by trees and bushes, which prevents the riders from knowing the track layout beforehand. Universal then filmed a major movie at Magic Mountain with the Revolution as its centerpiece called Rollercoaster in 1977.
In 1978, Colossus, at the time the fastest, largest dual-tracked wooden coaster, opened. Following its first season, it was closed and extensively redone. When it reopened, it was a much smoother ride. In 1991, the camel hump before the last, or third, turn was replaced by a block brake. Though it decreased the speed of the ride after this particular brake, it did allow three trains to run per side at a time, greatly increasing capacity. One of the trains sometimes ran backwards for a few years in the mid-80s. However, until the late 1990s this kind of ride was no longer possible due to the newer ride system in place, as well as different trains. During Fright Fest, the park runs one side backwards using a set of trains acquired from the now demolished Psyclone which was located on the other side of the park.
Six Flags era (1979-1993)
In 1979 the park was sold to Six Flags and became known as Six Flags Magic Mountain in 1980. In 1981, Six Flags Magic Mountain introduced a ride that was on the west coast for the first time called Roaring Rapids. It was developed by Intamin in conjunction with the now defunct Six Flags AstroWorld, which had opened a similar ride in 1979. Along with Rapids came the completion of the midway near Spillikin Corners to link with Revolution's area. Finally, a complete circuit could be made around the park. It was originally designed as a dual-sided station, but only one was fully developed, and all that exists of the possible second side is a few supports. It uses large pumps to circulate water, and each of the two pumps can circulate 88,500 gallons per minute. The reservoir can hold 1.5 million gallons of water, and one of the innovations used on it was the introduction of guide boards to help eliminate jam ups.
In 1982 the attraction Freefall was added. Also built by Intamin, it was considered a cutting edge drop tower ride, if not strictly a "roller coaster." It simply ascends the tower and then drops down, with the track curving to horizontal, leaving riders on their backs. Others were built for other parks (some of which are Six Flags). Today, most of these rides are obsolete and have been removed. Some flat rides were added and others removed the next year.
In 1984 Sarajevo Bobsleds, a bobsled coaster built by Intamin, opened at the park in honor of the 1984 Summer Olympics in nearby Los Angeles. Six Flags Great Adventure added a similar ride that same year.
In 1985 Children's World closed and was replaced with Bugs Bunny World, as Magic Mountain had abandoned the Trolls in favor of Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes characters. That year, Michael Jackson visited the park, riding rides such as Colossus, Revolution and Roaring Rapids.
In 1986, the park added a steel stand-up looping roller coaster called Shockwave designed by Intamin. This coaster was located in the back of the park replacing Sarajevo Bobsleds. At the end of 1988, the coaster was removed as part of a ride rotation program and went to Six Flags Great Adventure in 1990. It was removed from there in 1992 and was repainted white and rethemed upon its removal to Six Flags AstroWorld. There it was known as Batman The Escape. When Six Flags AstroWorld closed in 2005, the ride was put in storage at Darien Lake, now no longer a Six Flags park. Sarajevo Bobsleds was removed and reopened as La Vibora at Six Flags Over Texas. The other Sarajevo Bobsleds installation at Six Flags Great Adventure was moved to Six Flags Great America and later to The Great Escape in Queensbury, New York, where it now operates as Alpine Bobsled.
In 1987 the park re-themed the Back Street. Spinning flat rides were renamed Turbo (Electric Rainbow), Subway (Himalaya), and Reactor (Enterprise). The dance club was rethemed as well, and located near Reactor. After Hours, as it was now called (formerly Decibels), for one summer stayed open later than the rest of the park. It, along with Back Street, would stay open an additional two hours as a place for locals to hang out. This format lasted one season.
In 1988 Ninja, "The Black Belt of Roller Coasters", opened. Built by Arrow Dynamics, it was the first suspended swing roller coaster on the West coast. Ninja has gone through very few changes since it was opened in 1988; evidently only the wheels and paint have been changed.
Tidal Wave opened in 1989 to rather large crowds. It is a short, wet ride. A large boat goes up a low-angled incline to a level water trough. The trough, in the shape of a semicircle, ends in a steep drop that leads to a very large splashpool. When the car hits the pool, it displaces large amounts of water on its riders. The ride's exit ramp crosses over the splashpool, causing unwary patrons leaving the ride to get soaked, yet again. In the summer, the exit ramp is a popular place to cool down from the (frequently) 100-degree heat.
In 1990, Viper, a multiple looping coaster designed by Arrow Dynamics opened. It features a 188 feet drop, speeds up to seventy miles per hour, three vertical loops, a batwing turn that inverts riders twice, and a double corkscrew.
In 1991 Magic Mountain added Psyclone, modeled after the Coney Island Cyclone. The Spillikin Corners area of the park was re-themed as Cyclone Bay to suit the new coaster, drawing guests into this area. The change was largely cosmetic, as the earlier theme relied on retail establishments that had been removed previously. The Glass Blower had been replaced by the Shooting Gallery, and the Candy Kitchen viewing area was redesigned. With Psyclone, the crowds returned. Due to the 1994 Northridge Earthquake Psyclone's structure was damaged causing a very bumpy ride and the coaster was never the same. (Psyclone was later removed in 2007.) After adding Ninja, Viper, and Psyclone within 4 years, the park was getting a large repertoire of big roller coasters.
The next year, 1992, a coaster built by Intamin called Flashback was added. This one-of-a-kind ride, originally planned to be enclosed in a building, had already operated at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Over Georgia prior to its arrival. Very steep, short drops were designed to make riders feel like they were "diving" down in a plane, and it ended in a 540 degree upward spiral. But, because of the shoulder harnesses, riders were subjected to a lot of head banging. This coaster rarely ran by 1996 (it created too much noise for the nearby water park) and on January 23, 2007, the park announced that Flashback would be removed along with Psyclone. The park also stated that Flashback might be re-built elsewhere within the park for 2008 but the ride was finally demolished for scrap at the end of 2008.
Time Warner era (1993-1998)
In 1993 Six Flags Magic Mountain entered the Time Warner era. The new ride for the year was Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls. It was a water ride that has two twisting tubes that riders could slide down in using a raft. (Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls was demolished in 2011 to make room for Road Runner Express.) Also that year, there was re-theming and High Sierra Territory was opened. The Showcase Theatre became Golden Bear Theater, the Animal Star Theatre was created in Bugs Bunny World, and a large, fake, wooden tree was built. This year also saw the end of live non-Christian themed concerts in the park due to the riot that broke out as a result of a "TLC" concert that was oversold. Magic Mountain was quickly overwhelmed by large crowds that vandalized and destroyed property. Park shops had their windows broken and looting quickly followed. Police were called to the scene in full riot gear. The Park was evacuated and closed down for the night.
In 1994 Magic Mountain added what two other Six Flags parks already had, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted looping roller coaster called Batman The Ride (which other Six Flags parks also added in the coming years). Batman the Ride (BTR) is an inverted coaster, meaning the usual coaster protocol is reversed; the track is overhead and the cars are below it. The trains travel on the outside of the loops, and rider's legs hang freely, as on a ski lift.
In 1995, no new rides were opened. Instead, a separately gated waterpark called Six Flags Hurricane Harbor opened in June. That park included a bunch of typical body slides, tube slides, a kiddie water play area, lazy river, and a wavepool.
In 1996 Superman: The Escape, a dual launch coaster, was built. It opened on March 15, 1997. It consisted of a 30 second ride with speeds running from 0 to Template:Convert an hour on a track up a 41 story tower. It was designed by Intamin. Later, the ride only ran one side at a time, switching every 6 months or so, and speeds reached only between 85 and 90 mph. However, in 2011 the ride was upgraded to Superman: Escape from Krypton, featuring a backwards launch, new color scheme, and speeds up to 104 mph. It is the world's first 100 mph coaster that goes backwards and forwards. Also opening in 1996 was Dive Devil, a SkyCoaster by SkyFun1
Premier Parks era (1998-).
In 1998 a new Bolliger & Mabillard Stand-up roller coaster called Riddler's Revenge would be added as the tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster, a record that the ride continues to hold. There was also a gang shooting and death in the parking lot that same year. That year, Six Flags was sold to Premier Parks. The next year saw no dramatic changes. In 2000, a steel hypercoaster, Goliath, was added. It was built by Giovanola.
2001 was to be the year of three new roller coasters, but only one actually opened on time: Goliath Jr., a steel kiddie coaster. The other two, Déjà Vu and X (now X²), had mechanical problems. Déjà Vu opened late in 2001 and X opened early in 2002. Déjà Vu was designed by Vekoma and is a Giant Inverted Boomerang coaster (GIB), a variant of their popular Boomerang design. It is an inverted coaster with coaches suspended beneath an overhead track that traverses an open-circuit track forward and in reverse and features two completely vertical drops and three inversions. It opened late in 2001, but suffered a lot of downtime. X was designed by Arrow Dynamics, as the world's first "fourth-dimensional" roller coaster. It is the only one in North America where riders experience going 360 degrees in their seats. Each seat lies on a separate axis from the track. This coaster managed to open briefly on January 7, 2002, only to close due to more technical problems. It reopened late in August of that year. The ride closed for a major refurbishment and re-theme in 2008 where X transformed into X2.
In 2003 Scream!, designed by Bolliger & Mabillard was added. At this point, Six Flags Magic Mountain tied with Cedar Point for the park with the most roller coasters in the United States. Scream is similar in concept with Medusa at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and is a mirror image of Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure. It is a floorless roller coaster with trains riding above the rails traversing seven inversions on Template:Convert of track on floorless coaches. Six Flags Magic Mountain made few changes in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Tatsu, a Bolliger & Mabillard flying roller coaster was added, causing a temporary closure of Revolution to allow construction to take place. It was much larger than the other three Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coasters at other Six Flags parks, all named Superman: Ultimate Flight. Tatsu has a suspended-track orientation featuring vehicles that recline passengers with their backs against the track and facing the ground. This brought the park up to 17 roller coasters, to tie with Cedar Point for the greatest number of roller coasters in a park (albeit Flashback had been standing but not operating for an extended period of time and thus it is debatable whether the park could claim 17 as its number of roller coasters).
2006 attempted sale
On June 22, 2006, Six Flags, Inc. announced that it was exploring options for six of its parks, including Magic Mountain and its neighboring water park, Hurricane Harbor. Though management said closing the park was unlikely, rumors still began that the park could be sold to real estate developers, with an intent to close the park and build housing developments in the area. Park officials cited dwindling attendance due to rowdy behavior among some of the park-goers (notably gang members and other teenagers and young adults, who account for a large percentage of the park's attendance) as reasons for wanting to sell the park while management was wanting to move Six Flags into more of a family park direction. Throughout the Six Flags chain, attendance in the second quarter of 2006 was 14 percent lower than it was in the second quarter of 2005.
By the fall of 2006 Six Flags announced that Magic Mountain was still up for sale. They also stated, however, that it would be sold to a company that would continue to operate it as a park, and that closing Magic Mountain was not a possibility. Cedar Fair, Hershey, Anheuser-Busch, and several others considered buying the park but none of the offers came close to the asking price.
When Six Flags announced which parks it was selling in January 2007, Magic Mountain was no longer one of them. The company decided not to sell Magic Mountain and its adjacent water park. Spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said that upon further evaluation, the company decided that the Los Angeles parks remained too valuable to relinquish, as sales were increasing, and that the park would not be sold. Other parks were sold as a package and remained open.
In 2007 Psyclone was removed, and Flashback was demolished in early 2008. As a result, Six Flags Magic Mountain no longer tied the record for the most roller coasters in a single park, relinquishing the record to Cedar Point (Magic Mountain, at this point, had never surpassed Cedar Point in number of operating coasters but tied numerous times). The park itself has begun to focus more on the family market, as a new children's theme area was added. In 2008, Thomas Town was added as another area for children. Furthermore, X closed down in late 2007 to be transformed into X2 which included new fourth-generation trains, a new paint job, flame throwers, and audio effects.
In 2008, the park started work on creating the "Magic of the Mountain" museum at the top of the Sky Tower with memorabilia throughout the park's history, including old television commercials, park maps, models, and parts of rides. In October, the park announced Terminator Salvation: The Ride, a wooden roller coaster that opened on May 23, 2009. Terminator Salvation: The Ride took the former location of Psyclone. Terminator features an entirely different track layout; tunnels, in which mist sprays at guests; sound and audio effects, and a truck flaming as you go by it. On January 9, 2011, Terminator Salvation was renamed to "Apocalypse", in an attempt to save money, and the audio effects were removed. It was re-themed as an "end of the world attack" type of theme. Fire and mist effects still remain intact.
In a 2009 Interview with Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro, the Los Angeles Times quoted Shapiro stating that Magic Mountain will be installing a new roller coaster for its 2010 season followed by Wiggles World in 2011. Shapiro also stated that the adjacent Hurricane Harbor would receive an expansion.
On May 29, 2010, Mr. Six's Dance Coaster was scheduled to open but it was delayed until 2011 when it would open under a new theme. On the same day, Mr. Six’s Splash Island opened at the adjacent Hurricane Harbor water park.
On August 3, 2010, it was announced that Superman: The Escape would undergo a major redevelopment before the 2011 season.
On October 20, 2010, Six Flags Magic Mountain officially announced their full plans for 2011 after a video was leaked six days earlier. In addition to opening Mr. Six's Dance Coaster under a new name and theme, Six Flags announced two other attractions. In time for the 2011 season, Superman: The Escape was refurbished to Superman: Escape from Krypton and featured new backwards launching cars and a new color scheme. The third and final announcement regards an entirely new thrill roller coaster. The Green Lantern: First Flight opened in July 2011 as Magic Mountain's eighteenth roller coaster. It is a Intamin ZacSpin. This roller coaster reclaimed the world record for the highest number of roller coasters at a single theme park. It was later announced, on November 4, 2010, that the children's roller coaster will be called "Road Runner Express" and has been located in Bugs Bunny World.
In late 2010, Six Flags began the process of removing licensed theming from attractions. They terminated several licenses including their licenses with Terminator and Thomas the Tank Engine. Terminator Salvation: The Ride was renamed and rethemed into Apocalypse beginning January 8, 2011. Thomas Town was renamed and rethemed to Whistlestop Park in time for the 2011 season.
On January 18, 2011, the LA Times reported after considering a new theme based on DC Comics superhero sidekicks, the park opted for simplicity and renamed the Little Flash coaster to Road Runner Express. Due to Green Lantern being placed in Gotham City Backlot, Gotham City was re-themed into DC Universe. In addition, Grinder Gearworks became "Wonder Woman: Lasso Of Truth" and Atom Smasher was renamed "The Flash: Speed Force".
On September 1, 2011, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that they would be opening a new attraction for the 2012 season named Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. The free-fall drop attraction was integrated into both sides of the park's Template:Convert tall Superman: Escape from Krypton tower structure and will rank as the world’s tallest drop tower, featuring a plummet from Template:Convert above ground level. One day later, Six Flags Magic Mountain confirmed on Facebook that Déjà Vu will be removed from the park soon. Then on September 13, 2011, the park announced that Déjà Vu will be removed after October 16, 2011, "Déjà Vu fans, we have created some exclusive after hours ride time for you to ride it again before October 16."
On October 31, 2011, Log Jammer was closed down and was subsequently removed as preparations for Fright Fest 2011 began. Log Jammer was partly removed to open up a future 2013 attraction and the ride itself was becoming too old to operate even though the Log Jammer was very popular and was a favorite to many. The closure of the Log Jammer downgraded the amount of Six Flag's Magic Mountain's water rides from 4 to 3. The space from the Log Jammer was then used for Full Throttle.
In August 2012, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced the rumored roller coaster, Full Throttle which was scheduled to open Spring 2013 (it opened on June 22, 2013.) This became the park's 18th roller coaster built at Six Flags Magic Mountain, now having more roller coasters than any other theme park in the world. Full Throttle is a launched roller coaster which has the world record for being the first launched roller coaster with a "top hat" element. The ride was built to feature the world's tallest's vertical loop for a roller coaster at 160 ft. In addition, Full Throttle has the record for the first roller coaster to feature a top hat inversion. The roller coaster makes the use of the 160 foot loop by first launching the guests inside the loop and then over the loop for the final part of the ride The ride was well received by riders in particular due to the Full Throttle's tall loop inversion. Many guests noticed the ride gives a good amount of airtime at the top peak of the loop. As the ride goes up the loop inverted, riders are given a good portion of hang-time inverted. In addition, many riders found the top hat element of the 160 foot loop to be unique and fantastic.
On August 29, 2013, Six Flags Magic Mountain officially announced that they would run both Batman: The Ride and Colossus backwards for a limited time of the 2014 season. They will also expand Bugs Bunny World with the addition of a new roller coaster. On April 8, 2014, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that the park will host its first ever Holiday in the Park Christmas event in late 2014 and for future years after.
In the summer of 2014, the park has placed banners across the property advertising the new-now open Bonzai Pipelines in the adjacent property, Hurricane Harbor, along with the closing of Colossus which will take place on August 16, 2014.
On August 28, 2014, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced Twisted Colossus for 2015. It is now one whole coaster with two seperate parts, blue and green. The top of the lift hill structure caught fire on September 8; no injuries were reported.
On September 3, 2015, Magic Mountain announced that Revolution would be renovated. It reopened as The New Revolution.
On September 1, 2016, the park announced the addition of Justice League: Battle for Metropolis for the 2017 season.
On August 31, 2017, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that they would be opening CraZanity, a giant discovery. The park also announced that for the first time at any Six Flags park, Six Flags Magic Mountain would be operating 365 days a year starting January 1, 2018.
Use in media
Six Flags Magic Mountain's close proximity to downtown Los Angeles, the hub of the American film and television industry, has resulted in its appearance in many productions, usually representing a fictional park.
- The debut of Revolution was the focal point of the 1977 release Rollercoaster.
- In 1978, the park appeared in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.
- In 1982, the park became the fictional "Walley World" for National Lampoon's Vacation, with scenes featuring Revolution and Colossus (each using fictional names).
- In 1984, the park appeared as "Themeland Amusement Park" in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Magic Mountain's ampitheater was used for the concert scenes.
- In 1991, the park appeared in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
- In 1992, the park appeared in Encino Man
- In 1993, the park appeared in True Romance
- In 2000, the park appeared in Space Cowboys . Jerry O'Neil (Donald Sutherland), is the fictional designer of Viper, and Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood) recruits him.
- Colossus was used in the 2009 film Zombieland.
- In the Columbia Pictures film Good Times, Jason (Joseph Boyce), Adam (Zachary Gordon), Edward (Jeremy Suarez), and David (Sammy Strong) Rode Scream, Viper, Full Throttle & Goliath
- The park was used the theme park in the opening credits of the television series Step by Step.
- Goliath appeared as the "Aquaman" roller coaster in Entourage
- In the CHiPs episode "Aweigh We Go", Ponch and Jon eat lunch at Magic Mountain.
- The park also appears in Wonder Woman, Way Out Games, Knight Rider, Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, The King of Queens, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In the Nickelodeon TV show Drake & Josh, Drake, Josh, and Megan take a trip to "Mystic Mountain" (a parody of Magic Mountain), in the episode "The Demonator", where they ride the "Demonator". In Zoey 101, which takes place in the same universe as Drake & Josh, iCarly, Victorious, and Sam & Cat, Zoey and Lisa take Michael to Mystic Mountain, where they help Michael overcome his roller coaster fear in the episode "Rollercoaster". He rides the "Spine Twister" (Goliath in real life).
- In 2011, the park was chosen as the setting for the Travel Channel's version of the quiz show Scream! If You Know the Answer. The Glee cast visited the park in 2012 for their senior skip day in the "Big Brother" episode, where they ride Viper.
- In 1990, Nickelodeon's Wild and Crazy Kids, the wooden roller coaster,Colossus, was featured as a game called "Wacky RollerCoaster Spill".
- Kidsongs' music video for their song "Ride the Roller Coaster" is set at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
- Katy Perry's music video for her song "Chained to the Rhythm" is set at a "futuristic theme park". which is actually Six Flags Magic Mountain.