Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)

Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)
Colossus signage.JPG
Colossus Sign
Location Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section Colossus County Fair
Coordinates 34°25′40″N 118°35′51″W / 34.42778°N 118.5975°W / 34.42778; -118.5975Coordinates: 34°25′40″N 118°35′51″W / 34.42778°N 118.5975°W / 34.42778; -118.5975
Status Operating
Opened June 29, 1978
Cost $7,000,000
Type Wood
Manufacturer International Amusement Devices, Inc.
Designer International Amusement Devices, Inc.
Model Wooden Racer
Track layout Twin out-and-back
Lift/launch system Chain lift
Height 125 ft (38 m)
Drop 115 ft (35 m)
Length 4,325 ft (1,318 m)
Max speed 62 mph (100 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:30
Max vertical angle 64°
Capacity 2600 riders per hour
Height restriction 4 ft 0 in (122 cm)
Colossus at RCDB
Pictures of Colossus at RCDB
Amusement Parks Portal

Colossus is a wooden roller coaster located in the Colossus County Fair area of Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. When it opened on June 29, 1978, it was one of the tallest and fastest wooden roller coasters in the world, and the first roller coaster in the world with two drops in excess of 100 feet (30 m).[1] Colossus features two identical side-by-side tracks, but it is not considered a racing roller coaster since the trains do not normally race due to the setup of both tracks pre-lift. They can line up at the lift to race, however the chance is so slim that it almost never happens.

Colossus was built by International Amusement Devices, Inc. and opened on June 29, 1978. The coaster's six trains are six cars long; each car contains two rows of two seats, for a total of 24 seats per train.



The ride features two drops greater than 100 feet (30 m): a 115-foot (35 m) one at the beginning and a 105-foot (32 m) one later. Its duration is two and a half minutes and it goes as fast as 62 miles per hour (100 km/h).[1] In October, Six Flags runs the old Psyclone trains backward up the track because of the Fright Fest Halloween Celebration.


The coaster was designed by Doug Bernards, who is president of Bernards Brothers Construction in San Fernando. Magic Mountain specifically asked for an all-wood coaster because it would "rumble and sway." It cost $7 million to build the coaster.[2]

During construction, a tornado caused part of the structure to collapse.[2] When testing began, a problem with the brakes caused the train to not stop when needed and caused the train to complete up to 3 circuits before it was stopped. This is known to be one of the reasons the block brakes were added in place of the bunny hills later on.


Colossus has gone through a number of changes over the years. The "speed hill" between the second drop and the double-up hill was reprofiled in 1979 to reduce roughness. In 1988, the original PTC trains were replaced with new "California" style trains from Morgan Manufacturing, these new trains are able to make speeds go faster. One very visible change was done in 1991 to a pair of camelback hills on the parking lot side. The valley between the hills was leveled off and a block brake was added. The original track can still be seen below the block brake. This change was to allow a three-train operation on each track to increase ridership capacity.

During the Halloween season, the coaster's web-like structure is accompanied by a giant black spider, and the height restriction becomes 54 inches (1,400 mm). The cars on one side of the track are also run backwards, using the old trains from the now defunct Psyclone roller coaster.

Film and television

View from the parking lot

Colossus, although not yet open to the public, was nearing completion in May 1978 when it was used as a backdrop for fight scenes in the NBC TV Movie KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park.[citation needed] It was also featured in the 1983 film, National Lampoon's Vacation as Screemy Meemy. It is also the coaster that the family rides in the opening sequence of the sitcom Step by Step. The coaster was featured in a game on the Nickelodeon kids' game show Wild & Crazy Kids. The game, hosted by Omar Gooding, pitted boys against girls to see which team could keep the most water in mugs while on the ride. The boys won, but just barely. The roller coaster was also seen on an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D., Knight Rider and The A-Team. The coaster could be seen in the background when they filmed a scene in the parking lot. It is also featured in the film, Zapped! The protagonists Barney and Bernadette ride the coaster when they visit Magic Land (Six Flags).


  1. ^ a b Entertainment/Travel Editors. "ADVISORY/After 20 Years -- Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus Is Still the West Coast's Most Thrilling `Woodie'." Business Wire. 4 December 1998. Retrieved June 5, 2008
  2. ^ a b Apodaca, Patrick. "Three of a Kind Bernards Brothers Fame Rides on Projects Like Magic Mountain's Giant Roller Coaster." Los Angeles Times. November 7, 1989. Retrieved June 5, 2008,

External links

  • Colossus Review Photos and more information on Ultimate
Preceded by
Screamin' Eagle
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
June 1978–April 1979
Succeeded by
The Beast

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