My SFMM Trip ReportSix Flags Magic Mountain: A trip report of my visit to SFMM on 7/8/09
From Nick MarkhamSo, I figured I would be able to give updates daily on SFMM and Knott's throughout my trip but, due to computer complications, I haven't gotten to a good computer until today, last full day of my trip. So here is kind of a mega update, and I will try to keep as consise as possible, though I might carry on a bit.
Posted July 13, 2009 at 9:09 PM
So on Wednesday, I woke up early for Six Flags Magic Mountain, my very first Six Flags park and first visit I had ever had to SFMM! I had mixed expectations. This trip proved much to me, and how many critics of SFMM are straight up liars (depending on their opinion, though the general population of them are incorrect).
When you get to the gates you are welcomed by Looney Tunes characters doing a show while you wait in line, something not even Disney does. This park was already seeming great. We decided we would wait to see if we needed Gold Flass Passes until we noticed long lines. When it opened, we went straight for X2. It was a pretty good walk, and seemed fine when we were walking across the bridge, until I noticed the sign- 90 minute wait! So we went for the next closest... Viper. This was an easy walk on, and I was very excited, as this would be my first Arrow coaster as well as my first Batwing. It was somewhat rough but a pretty nice and fun ride overall. After this, I used a map to get us up to Terminator Salvation: The Coaster.
All I have to say about the map is that, well, its very confusing. Due to all of the reviews, the park sounded somewhat small, with no theming, and few trees/terrain features. Well, many trees making the walk confusing and the map showed the coasters off away from the path, and they were right over us. So the first thing I sadly recognized was... Tatsu closed! That is right. My first Flying coaster was closed and had a crane next to a piece of track which was taken from part of the second barrell roll! I figured I would never ge this coaster. When I got to Terminator, the line was a pretty good length. Luckly, I got my sister who at the time was scared of big coasters on. Well, the line was crazy, but the theming was great and the ride amazing! Easily one of the best coasters in the world and very much a mix between Terminator 2 3D, Evel Knieval, and Thunderhead! Though, the music did not work!
Once we got off we headed for Deja Vu, only to encounter another long line. We knew we would never get every coaster in the park if we did not have Flash Passes, so after a short tutorial video, we paid $101.00 for a 2 person unit as well as $20 for reservations on X2. What I have to say about the Gold Flash Pass- Far superior to Fast PAss (Disney) and Front-of-the-Line Pass (Universal). Amust have at this park and very amazing as to how it works. I always thought a Q-Bot was like a FastPass machine, but was wrong and blown away by the system. All you did was select the ride you wanted, and you would wait about 2 minutes (less than the time it takes to get to the actual ride) before you walk through the exit to the selected attraction!
So we put it to the test on Viper again. Though something amazing happened. I was about to go on with a roller coaster riding friend when my sister, scared of big coasters said she wanted to try it. She had no idea about the facts as far as height, speed, and inversions, and I was not about to scare her off. We reserved it got on, and just as I expected, she loved it and named it a favorite (which was not hard when her number 1 was Matterhorn!) Now, she said she wanted to ride everything, which before, the only coasters she would touch was Gold Rusher and Ninja! Truely amazed, I wanted to get her on another big coaster but, it was time for our reservation for... XXXXxxxxx....22222! Wow, well I was actually scared on a roller coaster for my first time. But absolutly excited for the ride. Knowing my most thrilling coaster was Xcelerator, I knew this would go way beyond. Truely phenomenal is all I have to say. Absolutly my favorite coaster ever, and it will be very hard to beat! and what more, we walked on! This is even with the flames not working! After this, we went to the new Johnny Rockets for lunch and then reserved the Log Jammer. I have to say, kind of interesting ride, but the turns were absolutly painful. Not a big favorite. Then I reserved Ninja for my sister and I before two more amazing things happened. After reserving and walking on to a nice ride with my sister on Revolution, We noticed Tatsu was making test runs already after a piece of track wwas just taken out and put back in in 2 hours!We ran for it to find it open, reserved it, and my sister surprised me again with an enthusiastic please as far as riding Tatsu with me. This is the same person who was scared of coasters the hour before! We got onto what I must name my second favorite coaster while my sister named it number 1 and the best roller coaster on this Earth. I reassured her there were many better coasters on Earth, but did not resent at all that my sister finally had a favorite coaster that was actually worthy of being a favorite coaster... finally no more Matterhorn!
So after, we got in rides on Ninja, Deja Vu, and Riddler, all walk ons, done in an hour, and once again, my sister loved them as well... well what do you know. She never imagined roller coasters would actually...be...fun! We sat in the front of Deja Vu, pretty cool and I thout the way the seats adjusted on Riddler was interesting. After this came Batman: The Ride. I have to name this the roughest B&M invert, as every inversion hurt terribly. Though a fine ride. Oh, and by the way, this park is much more themed than Cedar Point or Kings Island. I even go as far to say as possibly more themed than Busch parks! There wer many details especially in the Gotham City area.
Now came my fastest, tallest coaster Superman: Escape. This is the sadest excuse for a record breaking coaster, should not be called a coaster, but a credit just the same. You don't even need to hold on and it only goes half the way up! Slowest sadest launch as well. Very sad ride.
After this came my first floorless coaster, Scream! Anyone who says this is not a good coaster just because of the tiny parking spaces that you can't even notice while riding are very ,very wrong. Absolutly great, and amazing/smooth ride!
We then rode Colossus, a nice little woodie, before riding Goliath. Not much to say about Goliath surprisingly. Not bad, actually pretty good, but really did not seem as big and fast as it really is. Good ride just the same. By now we had ridden everything, so rode a few more rides before going home. Gret day, and one of my favorite parks! Very impressed surprisingly!
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From James RaoThanks for the report, Nick.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 3:24 AM
Magic Mountain is the flagship park in the Six Flags chain these days, and it has received a considerable amount of funding and love. It would be a tragic mistake for you to consider it a standard Six Flags park. Trust me, their operation in Saint Louis bears no similarities to the west coast flagship.
Having written that, one can pick through your report and still find many flaws with the park: rides down for repairs, special effects not working, limited entertainment outside of the big coasters, the additional $121 spent just to ensure a few coaster rides (which points to poor line mgmt), no mention of the food you ate (which leads me to believe it was nothing special), and not one sentence discussing the park's employees (leading me to believe they really did nothing to make your day "magical"). Six Flags Magic Mountain has some great coasters, and even a few nice decorations around them, but it has a long way to go to rise to the level of immersion and magic found at parks operated by Disney, Universal, and even Busch.
Still, it was nice to read your report. How did the rest of your trip go? I thought you were going to hit several parks in southern CA?
From Bob MillerNice report Nick. Great to see what coasters I need to add to my list, it's been about 14 years or so, since I've been to Magic Mt. But I've learned that if it takes me more than one hour to get to a park, it deserves two days to see everything without rushing around. That's unless it's the size of Knoebels, then one day does fine.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 6:19 AM
From Eli KatzmanNick, I assume SFMM is HUGE! SFA owns a bunch of land that they don't even use, so the park is amazingly small compared to other parks. SFOG was actually way bigger than i had expected. When it felt like I had ridden everything, I hadn't gone to the back of the park to ride S:UF, GASM, and Ninja!
Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:44 AM
If tatsu was closed when I got there if I were you, I would've been extremely disappointed and "down". Tatsu is tied for 2nd in my opinion for "coasters wanting to ride"! 1- Kingda ka and Top Thrill Dragster, and 2- Tatsu and Mullenium Force.
Well, glad you had a good day!
From Nick MarkhamWell, actually (responding to James) I just forgot to talk about the food and employees. We actually went to the new Johnny Rockets where I had some very good chicken, though I had a better experience at the largest Johnny Rockets in the world at Knott's (more on that later). But it was still good food.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 9:45 AM
And I can't tell you how great the employees were. Just under Disney I tell you. I mean they knew exactly what they were doing, and helped load guests on and off with great speeed. They all also got everyone excited to actually ride the attraction they were waiting for. And they constantly kept the entire park extremly clean. I swear there was always someone sweeping in sight, even when the ground was already clean. But it sounds like this is not how every Six Flags park is.
Though the shows did not appeal much to us (not a huge fan of motorcross) this was the only park other than Disney that I had been to that had its own parade!
Anyway, the good news is I am ready to give full trip reports, but the bad news is, well... how should I put this to you. The pictures that I did take turned out bad, I forgot to take pictures of X2, Deja Vu, Terminator, Ninja, Gold Rusher, Colossus, Revolution, and Tatsu, and just gave up at Knott's. I do have an excuse though, as I barely got time to finish everything in each part without the many pictures, plus, by the time I got up to the Sky Tower, it was too dark to take any on the Sky Tower.
So here is PART 2 of my trip: Knott's Berry Farm
So, due to me visitng Knott's 4 days in a row, can not remember exactly my order of rides in the first three days but can remember yesterday!
We had been doing this for 3 days now and today was the last day. This trip report features the perfect route through Knott's Berry Farm and there is no other route like it. After getting a handle of things as to how Knott's works and due to the fact we were staying in the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel... well we knew the place forwards and back. So we arrived at the park at 9:45, 15 minutes before opening. They were letting people go in and wait at the ropes. But my now coaster friendly sister and I knew something the tourists did not. While everyone ran to wait behind the ropes for Silver Bullet, we went straight for Ghost Town. This area of the park opens before the park itself and we knew what we had to do. We drove for Ghost Rider, the ride that always has the longest line. We waited for the cars to make their last test runs before walking onto the 5th row- before the park even opened! Now, the front and back on this ride are a big no-no, as this ride is easily the roughest and most painful but still slightly enjoyable ride in the world. It ran rough but we still had fun.
Though we did not sit and ponder what we thought but went over instead down under the stagecoach to Silver Bullet. The ropes were just barely let down once we reached the ride and we walked on to the front row of Silver Bullet. After experiencing Batman: The Ride, Silver Bullet was absolutly amazing. The funny thing about my sister is that over the past three days she found out every spot the pictures were taken on each ride and so, after the amazing ride on Silver Bullet, the picture showed her smiling at the camera, full face looking head on at the camera while speeding out of a cobra roll! You've gotta love that! It was hilarious and shocked the photo uploaders quite a bit.
Now, we planned everything perfectly as we found that the Log Flume and Xcelerator don't open until a few minutes after the park opens. So, when we arrived to the Log Flume, we were able to walk right onto a ride which normally has an hour plus wait! It was a nice log flume that is just shy of Splash Mountain and Jurrasic Park as far as theming goes!
Then we shot for Xcelerator and walked onto my sisters favorite part, the back row. The ride was amazing, even for our 10th time that week! We decided to by the $15 dollar DVD showing Xcelerator ad us riding it! Just proof for when my family does not believe she likes coasters now!
Then we went for Perilous Plunge. This ride we walked right on to the front row of what is the best non-themed water ride ever, even though it is now only the second tallest. Heck, you don't even notice that it is not the tallest while going down but instead screaming for dear life! It was a very fun and very wet ride, especially in the front row!
Next came Supreme Scream. We walked on to this as well (surprise, surprise) and had a great ride on my sister's favorite drop tower (she hasn't ridden Tower of Terror yet ) !
Now we went into Fiesta Village and waited about 5 minutes for La Revolucion. A very nice ride, and my first ride of its kind! Can't wait to try out MaxAir some day!
Then came the walk on to Montezooma's Reenge. Even in the middle of a busy Saturday, this ride has no line and is much underestimated due to age. This is still a fun ride and gives you a good launch. IT was funny, when my sister first got on she asked if it launches and I responded no, it pulls you slowly up the back spike and then drops you. Trying not to laugh she actually bought it and then was completly shocked to all of the sudden be launched into a loop!
Then we decided to get Jaguar!, due to its proximity to Montezooma. It is a very large kiddie coaster but definitely not the best!
Next we waited about 10 minutes for Sierra Sidewinder. I have to say, this is a very mild ride and is nothing compared to a good Mauerer Sohone spinner like Spider at my home park Lagoon. But still, we had to do it. By now 1 hour had passed since park openng. That is right folks: we did Ghost Rider, Log Flume, Xcelerator, Silver Bullet, Supreme Scream, Perilous Plunge, Montezooma's Revenge, Sierra Sidewinder, and Jaguar! all in just 1 HOUR!!!
So, the rest of the day we relaxed while we waited for a friend to join up to ride some rides with us. Once our friend came we just rode Boomerang, Pony Express, and Bigfoot Rapids (the worst rapids ride ever) and all walk ons before going for the first showing of the very cool but way to short Mystery Lodge (we saw Everyone Loves Snoopy an ice show the day before, and this park sure does entertain well)!
So, this was when we had to leave early but the amazing thing is, we conquered the entire park in just 2 hours people! Well the next trip report will just be about our hotel, Soak City, and Mideval Times!
From James RaoNo Calico Mine? Nick, how can you call yourself a pro if your touring plan does not include one of the oldest and most beloved rides at Knotts?? ;)
Posted July 14, 2009 at 12:10 PM
From Nick MarkhamOh, no I rode Calico Mine on the first day, I just couldn't recall the actual order I rode everything in on the first three days. I also rode Boomerang and a few other little rides, though that trip report was just the last day! Yeah, that would have been bad if I had not ridden that!
Posted July 14, 2009 at 1:44 PM
From Eli Katzmanseems like you barely missed brain rush! I assume the show ended late-june or early-july. They usually film a season and then broadcast the first one after they're done it all.
Posted July 14, 2009 at 5:27 PM
From Nick MarkhamSo, this last little trip report covers our hotel, Knott's Soak City, and the Mideval Times Dinner and Tournement we went to.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:57 AM
So, first, our hotel. We stayed at the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel for most of our trip (2 nights at a friend's beach house). This hotel was a pretty nice hotel. It had the quality of a Disney moderate resort (if you will) but was priced at 99 dollars a night! The hotel even had its own restaurant which featured great breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The rooms were nice, no problems, and the beds were good as well.
Next, Knott's Soak City. So, I am not into water parks as much as I am theme parks, but I do happen to know a good amount of information about the water park industry based on my theme park knowledge. And, since I had only been to a small water park in Utah before, I thout it would be nice to try a bigger one. Now, it was a very hot day meaning that our feet were badly burned throughout the day by walking over the hot pavement. We tried to cool off in the wave pool, but that didn't help much. We first went for the tallest tower in the park, and due to me not researching anything about the park, I was a little under prepared. Though after a good 10 minutes, we figured out how the park worked and so went up to the yellow slide first (don't quite know the names). Just to describe this to you, it is a body slide that starts at the top of the highest tower (alongside two red spides that are the tallest in the park) and winds down to the end. The one thing I did not liek was the end though as there was so much water, you actually could not breath for a second. We went back to the tower afterwards, but this time only half way up to get one of the blue tubes. They have about six different ones, and we just chooise a random one. It was sort of fun, but nothing like a theme park ride. Next, we were very tired and decided to try out the lazy river. Sadly, that was one of the highlights of this day. But what we rode next was actually very fun and thrilling. This ride was the only one I could remember the name of, Pacific Spin. Although it had a good line, it was my first funnel slide and I just had to try it. This was truely my favorite water slide yet (though that is not saying much), though the funnel part almost stripped me of my swim suit! though it was still a very fun ride and the waterfall at the end was a nice cool off. We decided to just finish off the day with our first racing slide and, well, the guy at the top had to help push me so that I could get down to the bottom. The sad thing is I am not that heavy, so there should have been no reason for me to not make it down. Though after just those 5 slides, I was ready to leave immediatly, walk back through the tunnel under the street, go to the hotel, change and go get some more Silver Bullet and Xcelerator!
And to end this trip report, Mideval Times Dinner & Tournement. So, I don't know if any of you have been to something like this but, due to the fact I had seen broadway and Disney, and the fact that I was picky and did not particularly love the menu, I had low expectations. Though I was quickly surprised once the show began and the effects were in full effect. This truely was a fun attraction and very memorable. And for those of you who have been to this show, the Blue Knight should have won! ;)
Anyways, that pretty much wraps up my trip. It sure was a fun one and I am going to miss the chance to ride big coasters other than Wicked! at my home park Lagoon until next year!....
From Bob MillerNick, Zachary and I were at Medieval Times in Kissimmee and Zack loved it and wants to go back again. The Red Knight won here, so they must change the winner at each show. I also saw the show out in California with my daughter. The food was all right but Zack really loved the tournament and being Knighted by the King before the show.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM
From Nick MarkhamOh no, the Red Knight won at mine to, I was just saying Blue Knight should have won!
Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:41 PM
From Bob MillerWas the G Knight the bad guy? If he was, it's the same show except here the yellow/red Knight should have won.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:59 PM
From Nick MarkhamYep, Green was bad, so it is the same show!
Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM
From Bob MillerOops, shouldn't have given that secret out, now nobody will want to sit in his section!!! GO BIG RED(my local high school colors, red & white)!!!!
Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:48 PM
From Eli KatzmanBob, my grandma lives in omaha, pretty close to Lincoln. every year, my dad, my brother, and I all fly out from DC to omaha, and go to a nebraska game while we are there!
Posted July 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM
From Sheldon GelIm like ur sister i've been scared for superman, tatsu,viper,scream,batman,and ridler. X2 i just dont wanna go on.
Posted July 15, 2009 at 5:02 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Most Popular U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Popular International Parks
Features, News and Advice
Books and Shirts