Six Flags Magic Mountain - strategy tips for 2018?

January 1, 2018, 9:37 AM

Hi, I was reviewing older discussions on strategy for SFMM. I saw this thread from after New Revolution opened:

Theme Park Insider

That was the most recent I could find. Any updates since then?

I'm planning to take my 11-year old daughter on February 16, 2018. It's the Friday before President's Day weekend, and also Lunar New Year. says "Ghost Town".

Major question: according to the Six Flags website, my daughter can't ride New Revolution with VR. Is there a separate line to ride it non-VR?
Given that we won't be riding with VR, do we revert to one of the older touring strategies? Like these suggestions:

Theme Park Insider

Thanks in advance for your help!

Replies (4)

January 3, 2018, 5:31 AM

The height requirement is 48" regardless of VR or not. My suggestion is take her to Disneyland and skip SFMM until she gets to that 48 mark.

While there are a lot of kiddie rides at Magic Mountain, there is not much to do for those that are too old for kiddie rides, but not yet 48" tall. Ninja is the only coaster that she can go on that's not a kiddie coaster (even Gold Rusher is 48" for some reason) and honestly SFMM is kind of a crap-hole and not worth going to if you can't ride any of the coasters.

Edited: January 3, 2018, 7:42 AM

@the_man - I don't think the OP mentioned the height of their daughter, so my guess is that they were commenting on the fact that Six Flags does not allow guests under 13 to use VR on their coasters. To answer the initial question posed, guests queue through a single line and when reaching the station can choose to ride with VR or without. Those who are too young to use VR can ride without the headsets on the same train with guests experiencing the VR. Honestly, I'm not even sure if SFMM is even running VR on Revolution right now, and from what I've seen at other parks around the country is that SF is giving up on the VR concept chain-wide (I've spoken with some officials, and they mentioned that their deal with Samsung ended in mid-2017).

As far as crowd predictions, everything for SFMM is out the window this year since this will be the first year that the park has gone to an every day calendar. Any crowd calendar predicting attendance on weekdays during the winter should not be trusted because there's no baseline of what to expect, particularly around holiday weekends. I think it's probably safe to assume the park will not be terribly crowded on weekdays removed from holiday weekends, but on either end of those periods is a complete crap shoot this year. Also, while the crowds might be light on weekdays, I would expect many coasters on single train operation, meaning short-looking lines may take much longer to get through because only one train is on the track (Goliath and X2 are awful during single training). I've been to SFMM on days that the park feels like a ghost town, but because of single train operation, I could only get on each major coaster once, waiting on average 30-45 minutes for each.

January 3, 2018, 9:22 PM

Thank you for the information, that is very helpful. You are correct that my daughter is well past 48" - she's getting close to 60". We will be spending a couple of days at Disneyland, but she loves roller coaters, and Disneyland Resort's best coaster will be closed for refurbishment/retheming/etc. We will also try to fit in a trip to Knott's. Calgary has one amusement park, but it's nothing like the Southern California options!

January 5, 2018, 3:00 PM

Since SFMM has not generally been open on weekdays during the winter, it is difficult to predict with certainty what crowds will be like. However, if they follow a similar pattern to Knott's, that day will probably be pretty quiet. Most LA area schools have the 19th off for President's Weekend, so while it may be a little busier than an average Friday it will probably be significantly less crowded than the rest of the weekend.

For New Revolution, there is a good chance VR will end permanently after Holiday in the Park. If it returns, the park is looking into ways to address the capacity issues, which may include using a non-VR line. Currently, everybody waits in the same line and you choose whether or not you want VR when you get to the station. This often results in empty seats if there aren't enough VR headsets ready for use. If the ride is operating without VR, it usually has one of the shortest lines in the park. If VR is in use, however, ride it first or prepare to wait 60+ minutes for the ride (not worth it IMO).

My recommendation is to get to the park early (45 minutes before opening is ideal) and head immediately to Full Throttle once you get inside. From there, you can proceed around the park clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you go clockwise, bypass X2 and head straight to Tatsu, then continue around the park from there. Going counter-clockwise, you can just hit the coasters in the order that you reach them. In general, the longest waits are found at Full Throttle, Goliath, Superman, Tatsu, and X2, so try to get on as many of those before lunch as possible. Note that X2 does tend to have a shorter wait in the afternoon, so I usually skip it in the morning and return around 3-4 P.M. Despite being the newest coaster, Twisted Colossus usually doesn't have that bad of a line because it typically operates with three trains (it is exceptionally rare for any other coaster in the park to use three trains, and one-train operation is not uncommon in the off-season).

You should have enough time to ride all the coasters in one day, but due to the size of the park and the limited operating hours (10:30 A.M.-6 P.M. on most off-season days) it can be difficult to get a lot of re-rides in. If a ride has a wait of 15 minutes or less and you know you want another ride, I recommend just hopping back in line rather than coming back later. If the park is unexpectedly crowded, you can purchase a Flash Pass to ensure that you'll be able to do everything.

I hope you have a great time at the park! While it lacks in themed experiences, it's one of the best parks in the world for pure thrills.

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