Six Flags Magic Mountain


Six Flags Magic Mountain

Infobox Amusement park


caption = Magic Mountain along Interstate 5
name = Six Flags Magic Mountain
location = Valencia, California
season = Year-round
opening_date = May 29, 1971
previous_names = "Magic Mountain" - 1971 to 1979
area = 260 acres (1.0 km²)
rides = 51
coasters = 15
water_rides = 5
owner = Six Flags
general_manager = Tim Burkhart
homepage = [http://www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.asp]

Six Flags Magic Mountain is an amusement park located in Valencia, California north of Los Angeles. It opened on Memorial Day weekend on May 29, 1971 as Magic Mountain, by the Newhall Land and Farming Company,cite encyclopedia | title=The Newhall Land and Farming Company | encyclopedia=Encyclopedia of Company Histories | publisher=The Gale Group | url=http://www.answers.com/topic/the-newhall-land-and-farming-company | accessdate=2007-04-20] the development company behind the district of Valencia. In 1979, Six Flags purchased the park and added the name Six Flags to the park's title.

History

The early years (1969-1975)

In 1969, the Newhall Land and Farm Company formulated the idea to create a more thrilling alternative to the Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm amusement parks. The company selected Valencia as its location, and construction began that year. The park was the result of a joint venture between SeaWorld and NLFC and cost approximately 20 million dollars to build. When the park opened on May 29, 1971, there were 500 employees and 33 attractions, many of which were designed and built by Arrow Development Co. which designed and built many of the original attractions at Disneyland. The admission price in 1971 was $5 for adults, and $3.50 for children between the ages of 3 and 12.At its 1971 opening, the rides included Goldrusher, a steel coaster, the Log Jammer log flume, the Sky Tower observation tower, Grand Prix (similar to Disneyland's Autopia ride), El Bumpo, Funicular, The Metro (a monorail ride that encircled the park), "Eagles Flight" Skyride, a Carousel, and other smaller rides. The Showcase Theater (now known as the Golden Bear Theater), was part of the original park and featured Barbara Streisand as the first of many headline performers who would appear at Magic Mountain over the years.

In the 1971 season, Magic Mountain obtained permission from Warner Bros. to use the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. However, the park did not begin using these characters for nearly ten years. Instead, in 1972, they began using trolls as the park mascots. The trolls Bleep, Bloop, and King Troll, and the Wizard became a recognizable symbol of Magic Mountain. These characters were used until 1985. Also in 1972, a second log flume named Jet Stream was added.

In 1973, the park added its second roller coaster, the Mountain Express, a compact wild mouse roller coaster. It had small cars and several tight, fast turns. In 1974 the park also installed a new complex of spinning Tilt-A-Whirl 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.

Roller Coaster "Revolution" (1976-1987)

With the opening of the Great American Revolution in 1976, Magic Mountain became the first park in the world with a 360-degree steel looping coaster. 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, had 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.

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 AG in conjunction with 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 the Revolution area. Finally a complete circuit could be made around the park. The rapids ride was originally designed as a dual-sided station, but only one was fully developed. All that exists of the possible second side is a few supports. Rapids uses some huge pumps to circulate water. Each pump (there are two) can circulate 88,500 gallons per minute. The Rapids reservoir can hold 1.5 million gallons of water. One of the least impressive things about Roaring Rapids was the introduction of guide boards to help eliminate jam ups.

In 1982, Freefall was added. At the time, it was considered cutting edge, if not strictly a "roller coaster." The ride simply ascends the tower and then drops, 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, the Sarajevo Bobsleds was erected. The coaster was basically a bobsled without ice and snow. The coaster was built in honor of the 1984 Olympics. Six Flags Great Adventure added a similar ride that same year. In 1986, the bobsled was removed and now operates at Six Flags Over Texas. The other bobsled was moved to Six Flags Great America and later to The Great Escape in Lake George, New York, where it still operates.

In 1985, Children's World was re-themed as Bugs Bunny World, as Magic Mountain had abandoned the Trolls in favor of the Warner Brothers' characters. In 1986, the park added a steel stand-up looping roller coaster called Shockwave designed by Intamin AG. 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 Astroworld closed in 2005, the ride was put in storage at Darien Lake, now no longer a Six Flags park.

Six Flags Magic Mountain installed "Z-Force" in 1987. It was removed in 1994 for Batman The Ride. Along with Z-Force came Back Street, a re-theming of the area surrounding Z-Force. Spinning flat rides were renamed Turbo (Electric Rainbow), Subway (Himalaya), and Reactor (Enterprise). The dance club was re-themed 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.

Time Warner era

In 1988, Ninja, "The Black Belt of Roller Coasters", opened. 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 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 opened. It features a 188 foot drop, speeds up to 70 MPH , 3 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. Still, the ride itself was very rough. (The coaster 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 AG called Flashback was added. This ride had already been at Six Flags Great America and then Six Flags Over Georgia prior to its arrival. Very steep, short drops were designed to make riders feel like they are "diving" down in a plane, and it ends in a 540 upward spiral. But, because of the shoulder harnesses, riders are subjected to a lot of head banging. This coaster rarely ran by 1996 and on January 23, 2007, it was announced by the park that Flashback would be removed along with Psyclone, however, the park also stated that Flashback may be re-built within the park for 2008. The ride was finally demolished for scrap at the end of 2007.

In 1993, Six Flags Magic Mountain entered the Time Warner era. The new ride for the year was Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls. It is a water park water ride that has two twisting tubes that riders could slide down in using a raft. 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 saw the end of live concerts in the park due to the riot that broke out after the cancellation of a TLC concert.

In 1994 Magic Mountain added what two other Six Flags parks already had, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted looping rollercoaster 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 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.

Premiere Parks era

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 100 miles an hour on a track up a 41 story tower. It was designed by Intamin. Today, the ride only runs one side at a time, switching every 6 months or so, and speeds reach between 85 and 90 miles per hour. Also opening in 1996 was Dive Devil, a SkyCoaster by SkyFun1. The ride has an extra charge to ride. 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 Premiere 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 rollercoasters, but only one actually opened, 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 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, it was the worlds first (and today one of only two in the world) Fourth Dimensional roller coaster. It is the only one in North America where riders pitch forwards and backwards in seats that lie on a separate axis from the track. This coaster managed to open briefly in early 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 Great Adventure and at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. It is a floorless roller coaster with trains riding above the rails traversing seven inversions on 3,985-feet of track on floorless coaches. Six Flags Magic Mountain made few changes in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, Tatsu, a Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster was added. It was much larger than the three B&M flyers at the other Six Flags parks. The coaster 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 and Six Flags Magic Mountain eclipsed Cedar Point for the greatest number of roller coasters in a park.

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, 10 to $60 for the 2006 season, as well as increasing the price of parking to $15. [http://www.screamscape.com/html/six_flags_magic_mountain.htm] The increase in ticket prices alone suggest that even with diminished attendance, the park's revenues should have risen.Fact|date=August 2008 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. [http://www.the-signal.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=31912&format=html]

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 run it as a park and that the closing of Magic Mountain was not a possibility. Cedar Fair, Hershey, 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 let go as season passes and sales were up, and the park would not be sold. Other parks were sold as a single unit and remained open.

Today

In 2007, Psyclone was removed and demolished. As of 2008, nothing has replaced the coaster. Flashback was demolished for scrap in early 2008. As a result, Six Flags Magic Mountain no longer holds the record for the most roller coasters in a single park, relinquishing the record back to Cedar Point. The park itself has begun to focus more on the family crowd 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: Xtreme to the Second Power". Costing 10 million dollars, X2 received new, third-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. [http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_8412730]

October 2007 wildfire

Magic Mountain was in the path of the October 2007 California wildfires, but was unharmed as the fire moved around the park and went through Westridge, then Stevenson Ranch.cite news|url=http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_7250822?nclick_check=1|title=Wildfire burns 1,000 acres near Magic Mountain|date=2007-10-22] However, it did close early due to the smoke that was coming into the park.

Film and televison

Magic Mountain's close proximity to Los Angeles, the hub of the American film and television industry, has resulted in its appearance in several productions, usually representing a park other than itself. In 1982, "National Lampoon's Vacation" was filmed at the park. The park was known as "Walley World" in the movie of the same name. Coasters like Revolution, Colossus, and Goldrusher were featured. The park also doubled as the theme park in the opening credits of the television series "Step by Step". Other productions featuring Magic Mountain include "Entourage", "Encino Man", "My Life", "On the Air Live with Captain Midnight", "CHiPs", "Wonder Woman", "Rollercoaster", "Space Cowboys", "This Is Spinal Tap", "True Romance", "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park", "Zapped!", "Who wants to be a superhero", "Way Out Games" and John Mclean Media's ' [http://www.johnmcleanmedia.com/items/CHI/episode/5700.html There goes a Roller Coaster!] '

Present roller coasters and rides

Past roller coasters and rides

Ride/attraction timeline

*2008: Goliath Jr. renamed Percy's Railway; Flashback removed; Thomas Town themed area; Thomas the Tank Engine railroad; X transformed into X2; Freefall removed; Circus Wheel removed; Sierra Twist removed; Spin Out removed; Viper repainted; Johnny Rockets; 3-point basketball midway game; CSI: Live; Cyber Cafe,Work on Terminator the ride begins.
*2007: X reopens; Psyclone removed; Coldstone Limited; Johnny Rockets Express; Justice League Feast; Wii Experience; Cyclone 500 Go-Karts are rehabbed and converted to a new control system designed by the parks maintenance crew.; Ninja repainted; Granny Gran Prix removed in 12/2007; Goliath Jr. closes 12/2007.
*2006: Tatsu ; Arrowhead Splashdown renamed back to Jet Stream; Chinese Acrobats of Hebei show; Paintball Alley shooting gallery; Revolution reopens; Sky Tower reopens; Orient Express reopens; Circus Wheel reopens; Freefall reopens, X becomes SBNO; Psyclone closes; Papa John's Pizza.
*2005: Batman Begins stunt show; Circus Wheel closes; Freefall closes; Orient Express and Revolution close for Tatsu construction.
*2004: Tornado (Hurricane Harbor);
*2003: Scream!. Flashback closes.
*2002: X; Scrambler removed due to structural damage; Scramber (relocated from Six Flags Over Texas as Missile Chaser).
*2001: Speedy Gonzales Mouse Racers removed; Goliath Jr. formerly Wile E. Coyote Coaster; Déjà Vu; Thrill Shot; Jet Stream renamed Arrowhead Splashdown; The Metro closes; Sky Tower closes; Panda Express.
*2000: Goliath.
*1999: Canyon Blaster; Bugs Bunny World expansion; Sierra Falls renamed Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls; Wile E, Coyote Coaster storage; Circus Wheel (Trabant) removed; Jolly Roger moved to midway and renamed Circus Wheel.
*1998: The Movie District themed area (retheme of Monterey Landing); The Riddler's Revenge; Gordon Gearworks renamed Grinder Gearworks.
*1997: ; Hurricane Harbor expansion.
*1996: Dive Devil.
*1995: Hurricane Harbor water park.
*1994: Gotham City Backlot themed area (retheme of Backstreet); ; Subway renamed ACME Atom Smasher; Turbo renamed Gordon Gearworks; Eagles Flight-Galaxy Side removed.
*1993: Sierra Falls; High Sierra Territory themed area; Swiss Twist renamed Sierra Twist; Z-Force removed; Reactor removed; Time Warner purchases Six Flags theme parks.
*1992: Flashback (formerly Z-Force at Six Flags Over Georgia); Cyclone 500.
*1991: Psyclone; Cyclone Bay themed area (retheme of Spillikin Corners).
*1990: Baja Ridge themed area; Viper. Nay & Steph Was Born! We Rock Socks!
*1989: Tidal Wave; Condor removed; Crazy Barrels removed.
*1988: Ninja; Condor; Funicular renamed Orient Express; Gran Prix moved to Bugs Bunny World and renamed Granny Gran Prix; Baile de las Flores moved to Pirate's Cove and renamed Jolly Roger; La Revolucion renamed Revolution; Shockwave removed.
*1987: Z-Force; Electric Rainbow renamed Turbo; Himalaya renamed Subway; Enterprise renamed Reactor.
*1986: Shockwave; Grand Prix changes from old car with gas powered to new turnpike with electric powered; Sarajevo Bobsleds removed.
*1985: Children's World renamed to be Bugs Bunny World and re-themed; Clown Coaster renamed Wile E. Coyote Coaster; Grand Centennial Excursion Railroad is removed.
*1984: Sarajevo Bobsleds; Colossus changes the 2nd track to ride in reverse.
*1983: Swashbuckler.
*1982: Freefall.
*1981: Roaring Rapids; Baile de las Flores; The Great American Revolution renamed La Revolucion; midway added; Dragon removed; Mountain Express removed; Jolly Monster removed; 99 Steam Train removed.
*1980: Buccaneer; Tumble Drum removed; Eagles Flight-El Dorado Side removed.
*1979: Revamp of Colossus; El Bumpo removed; Galaxy removed.
*1978: Colossus.
*1977: Enterprise.
*1976: The Great American Revolution.
*1975: Grand Centennial Excursion Railroad.
*1974: Electric Rainbow; Himalaya; Dragon; Tumble Drum.
*1973: Mountain Express; Swiss Twist; Jolly Monster; Scrambler; Billy the Squid removed.
*1972: Jet Stream; Bottoms Up renamed Spin Out.
*1971: Park opens. Gold Rusher; Billy the Squid; Grand Carousel; Log Jammer; 99 Steam Train; Sky Tower; Eagles Flight-Galaxy Side; Eagles Flight-El Dorado Side; Bottoms Up; Metro; Sandblasters; Circus Wheel; Crazy Barrels; Clown Coaster; Funicular; El Bumpo; Galaxy; Grand Prix; Showcase Theatre (Later became The Golden Bear Theatre).

Accidents

In September of 2008 a 20-year-old man was struck by a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. Six Flags officials say the man had lost his hat on a ride and climbed multiple security fences to retrieve it. He was then struck by the Ninja roller coaster and knocked unconscious. [cite news |author=Associated Press |title=Man struck by roller coaster at Magic Mountain |date=2008-09-03 |accessdate=2008-09-04 |url=http://www.dailynews.com/ci_10375320 |work= Los Angeles Daily News |publisher= Los Angeles Newspaper Group]

References

See also

* Incidents at Six Flags parks


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