Six Flags Magic Mountain
WEATHER: Comfortable, high 60s, sunny.
ABOUT ME: Male, age 37. Coaster rider since 1977 and fanatic since 1986. I have more than 330 adult coasters on my "track record". I generally prefer wooden coasters to steel because airtime is one of my big criteria. Also, I don't mind a little headbanging on coasters.
RATING SYSTEM: I subscribe to the ubiquitous Griswold scale, which rates coasters and parks on a scale from -3 to +5. Zero indicates a mildly positive rating.
Gold Rusher (1971 Arrow Mine Train) 0
This was my first ride on this one. I'm sure this was loads of fun in 1971, but with the hill it's on now populated by several other attractions, the sight lines aren't the same as I'm sure they once were. There are some occasionally fun speedups, but it's heavily braked and in general you get some unpleasant laterals, and that's about it.
Revolution (1976 Intamin/Schwarzkopf looper) N/A
Not enough time - didn't bother riding this one.
Colossus (1977 I.A.D./Lorenz/Williams racing woodie) -1
This was running even worse than 1998, and I never thought it possible. It felt like every single seam in the trackwork had a gap, throughout the entire length of the ride. The steady "clunk clunk clunk" shot jabs of pain through my spine - and I'm someone who can easily tolerate Arrow loopers! This was terrible. Heavily braked, no air. A sad shadow of the coaster it used to be (from what I've read). It's too bad, since it's such a good looking coaster.
Free Fall (1982 Intamin first-gen free fall) N/A
Not enough time - didn't bother riding this one, though I like Intamin first-generation free falls a lot.
Ninja (1988 Arrow suspended) N/A
Closed for maintenance.
Viper (1990 Arrow multielement) +1
Psyclone (1991 Summers/Dinn/PTC twister) N/A
Closed for maintenance.
Flashback (1992 Intamin space diver) +1
I haven't been able to ride this since it was Z-Force at Six Flags Great America! It was still rough as ever, but the unique experience of this one-of-a-kind coaster is always fun. It's a rare coaster that can make my stomach reach even a low level of queasiness. The trains appear to have been repainted red (they were blue).
Batman - The Ride (1994 B & M inverted) +3
Wheee! Probably the best time I had all day. Sure, it's another B:TR clone, but this one was HAULING. Smooth as glass, and the progression of elements never fails to leave me breathless and disoriented. Not quite as wild as Raptor, but then again, what is?
Superman - The Escape (1997 Premier LIM) +1
Kind of anticlimactic. It's a one-trick pony, and I only bothered with it once. The fact it went down mechanical with me ready to load into the next train did nothing to improve my day. Lots of wind, a few seconds of total air, and it's all over.
Riddler's Revenge (1998 B & M standup) +2
A decent ride with reasonably good pacing and elements. A little pop of air here and there, but not much in the way of visuals. I'd rather ride Mantis.
Goliath (2000 Giovanola twister) +2
I had been totally over-hyped on this ride. It is enormous, but the few pops of air it gave and the overrated tunnel at the bottom of the first drop didn't bring it to the level of Magnum or Millennium Force. It was a good night ride (felt much faster), but there were plenty of brakes (some unnecessarily abrupt, causing the restraints to beat up your midsection).
THE PARK: +1
What can I say. It's enormous and takes a long time to get anywhere. Period.
It's also a very well-manicured park, with thick vegetation and natural floral and fauna. The park obviously has dozens of restaurants and a good variety of food offerings, most of which were closed during my off-season visit. What was open had long lines and fairly mediocre choices. The barbecued beef sandwich I had ($6+) was overpriced and bland. The crowds were sparse and pleasant, and line jumping was not at all evident. Waits for rides, with the exception of Superman: The Ride, were all virtual walk-ons despite usually only running one train. Those silly Californians looked at me, wearing shorts and a T-shirt (it was in the 60s, after all) like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. They were all dressed in long pants, sweaters, jackets, and gloves. I guess that's the difference between Minnesota and SoCal, though...