Six Flags kicks off its 2019 announcements with West Coast Racers

August 30, 2018, 3:07 AM · Six Flags Magic Mountain tonight announced its record-setting 20th roller coaster, kicking off Six Flags' annual reveal of new attractions for the upcoming season.

West Coast Racers will be a Premier Rides launched coaster that will send riders on a two-lap race around a refurbished and newly-themed land in the park. Featuring a Mobius-strip-style track like on Twisted Colossus, riders will take their first lap around the track racing the previously-loaded train, filled with visitors who are completing their second lap. Then, on their second time around the circuit, they'll race the next train.

Along the way, riders will experience four launches — hitting a top speed of 55 miles per hour — three zero G rolls and a zero G stall for four total inversions, and 30 total interactions with the other train, including the "high five" familiar to Magic Mountain fans from Twisted Colossus.

And in between their laps, riders will pass again through the load station, this time on the other side, which will be themed to a "pit stop" in the shop of West Coast Customs, the car design brand that came to fame on MTV's "Pimp My Ride."

(If this is where you wonder if Universal should have followed this concept for its Fast & Furious ride, well, you won't be alone.)

With its terrain-hugging profile, West Coast Racers might remind fans of a plussed version of Premier's previous work on Backlot Stunt Coaster. West Coast Racers will be Premier's fourth coaster in Southern California, following Magic Mountain's Full Throttle, SeaWorld San Diego's Electric Eel, and Universal Studios Hollywood's Revenge of the Mummy.

West Coast Racers will be built between Apocalypse and Ninja, in "a new LA centric urban-themed area where guests will enjoy a high-energy street vibe." The park promises new dining and retail in the area, as well as a re-theme for the Cyclone 500 Go Karts.

Six Flags is calling this "the world’s first racing launch coaster," but as I pointed out on Twitter this evening...

Around the rest of the Six Flags chain, Six Flags Great America, north of Chicago, continues the racing theme with Maxx Force, which the company is calling "the fastest launch coaster in North America." Launching from zero to 78 mph in less than two seconds, this Formula 1-themed coaster will feature the "fastest inversion in the world," a 60 mph zero G roll. The company also said that Maxx Force will have the highest double inversion of any roller coaster in the world, at 175 feet above the ground.

Elsewhere, Six Flags is going strong with pendulum rides in 2019, adding them at three parks. Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio gets the record-breaker, with The Joker Wild Card, which will be the tallest and fastest spinning pendulum ride in the world when it opens next spring, besting Magic Mountain's CraZanity. Six Flags Great Adventure's Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth will be nearly as tall, at 17 stories. And Six Flags Over Georgia gets the "tallest swinging pendulum ride in the Southeast" with Pandemonium, at 15 stories.

In addition, as predicted by just about everyone, Six Flags America's Apocalypse coaster is getting a floorless make-over into Firebird. (Rising from the ashes, get it?) Six Flags Over Texas gets a 100-foot Larson Loop coaster to be called Lone Star Revolution. Six Flags New England is getting a Tourbillon spinning ride called Cyborg. And Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in northern California, is getting a 4D wing coaster called Batman: The Ride.

Replies (21)

August 30, 2018 at 7:32 AM

I wish Great America could have kept Iron Wolf and gotten the floor less treatment instead of sending it away...then they could have put Goliath up front where Maxx Force is going, and Maxx Force could replace V2, maybe as a larger version by taking out one of flume rides by V2 (basically, I love all the new editions, but am still salty about losing Iron Wolf and am bored with V2). Demon should go next (I'd accept a redesign and new trains if they want to keep it because it's classic - they redesigned it once in its history already, so why not?)

August 30, 2018 at 8:31 AM

Magic Mountain and Great America are clearly the winners here, followed by Six Flags America. Otherwise the new attractions look less than scintillating. I was hoping that my home park (Great Adventure) would get a Raptor or a Skywarp so am very disappointed.

August 30, 2018 at 9:08 AM

I wouldn't call SFA a winner. The park is not actually getting a new coaster since Apocalypse is being converted into Firebird. Plus if Rougaroo is any indication, the conversion from a stand-up to floorless does not lead to a better ride. Firebird will be the shortest, slowest floorless coaster in the world. It's certainly better than what the park got this year (Wahoo River, conversion of the old lazy river into a slightly nicer one with a wave generator down one side of the course), but SFA has not added an actual "new" roller coaster since Batwing back in 2001. For comparison, SFGAdv has installed 6 new coasters in that time (Nitro, El Toro, Kingda Ka, Dark Knight, Superman Ultimate Flight, and Joker), Kings Dominion has installed 4 (Ricochet/Apple Zapple, Twisted Timbers, Italian Job/Backlot Stunt Coaster, and I-305), Busch Gardens has installed 5 (Grover's Alpine Express, Griffon, Verbolten, InvadR, and Tempesto), Hersheypark has installed 6 (Roller Soaker, Cocoa Cruiser, Fahrenheit, Laff Trakk, Skyrush, and Storm Runner), and Dorney Park has installed 2 (Hydra and Talon). Even a tiny park like Knoebels has installed more "new" roller coasters since 2001 than SFA with 3 (Flying Turns, Impulse, and Kozmos Kurves).

Maxx Force is definitely the most interesting addition in the chain, but they don't reveal who the manufacturer is. My guess is that it's S&S since the coaster has a pneumatic launch, but the only other US pneumatic launch coaster from them (Hypersonic XLC) was very unreliable, and had an incredibly low capacity. Based on the track and support design, it looks very similar to the images of Steel Curtain, which has already been confirmed as an S&S design, so it's quite surprising to see a company that has only been producing stock coasters (4-D Freefly) the past few years would be installing 2 different custom built coasters in a single year.

Honestly, based on the throughput and issues SFFT and Great America have had with their Raptors this year, I'd be pretty happy they weren't trying to install one at SFGAdv. Lines would have been obscene and would have resulting in nothing but complaints and frustration from a park that simply cannot install big rides that cannot handle at least 800 pph.

August 30, 2018 at 9:16 AM

I know Six Flags feels like they need to add big new rides to keep people going to their parks, but it really sucks SFMM is adding what is basically a mix of their last two coasters (Full Throttle and Twisted Colossus) which is totally unnecessary when they should have spent that money fixing up the park. They could have completely renovated all of the parks restrooms, finally replaced the garbage cans (the ones they have now have literally been there since the 70s and are disgusting - they are in National Lampoons vacation!), renovated or painted a bunch of buildings and rides, etc. Instead they build a big new dueling coaster that is basically a mix of two rides they already have and won't make the park better at all. For being the thrill capital of the world that park is horribly depressing to visit. Does Six Flags not realize how sad it is that they have a huge park with such a great coaster collection and nobody that lives in the area even likes it.

August 30, 2018 at 9:55 AM

So true the_man. If Six Flags took just one year's worth of "new attraction" investment capital, and diverted it to improving existing facilities and infrastructure, it would go a long way to increasing guest satisfaction. Six Flags America is a perfect example. They completed a park expansion back in 2001 to create the Gotham City land. Since that time, they have added a kid's area (formerly themed around Thomas the Tank Engine but now called Whistle Stop Park) nearby, and have added a few new attractions including 2016's Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth (Skyflier). However, this area (including a kid's area with a water play area mind you) has but a single tiny restroom that is over 500 feet away from the kid's area, and is nearly a quarter mile walk from the Batwing "dead end". There is no running potable water beyond this bathroom in Gotham City, which is intended to serve the most expansive (and thrill ride-dense) areas in the park. Installing a new restroom either in Whistlestop Park or between Wonder Woman and Superman: Ride of Steel won't bring more guests into the park, but it will certainly make the ones that come a little happier and make them want to stay a bit longer.

It's these decisions that really make you scratch your head about Six Flags. Their overall capital spend this year for new attractions appears to be significantly lower than recent years (just 2 new coasters and a bunch of off-the-shelf additions), yet that decrease in investment is not being enhanced by an increase of funding to make simple, easy improvements to the parks to make them more appealing for returning guests, particularly when they're trying to push more and more people towards monthly memberships.

August 30, 2018 at 10:37 AM

You forgot Six Flags St. Louis! I say this in jest, as their announcement is barely worth covering. Another flat ride that spins to replace The Highland Fling. It's ho-hum for a park that's struggling.

August 30, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Magic Mountain did say that it would be refurbishing the area around West Coast Racers, as it did with the area around CraZanity and Justice League the past couple of years. Yes, there's a lot more of the park to go - and I'd like to see a repave of all park pathways - but this seems to be the park's new strategy for area refurbs.

August 30, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Looks like a retread of the new Colossus. I do agree Fast and Furious should be a roller coaster. Let's hope Universal adds an actual racing ride.

August 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Nothing really inspires me to change my mind about missing out on the trip to SFGAdv in June. I was going to SFoGA in August anyway, so that will be my Six Flags destination for 2019. Carowind's new Copperhead Strike has my interest far more than anything Six Flags has come up with.

August 30, 2018 at 11:26 AM

I definitely agree over the past decade SFMM has been making a lot of the right moves on paper. They really have been focusing on going section by section, year by year, and renovating the park in that fashion.

However this move in particular is a poor one IMO. That $15 mil or whatever could have been spent fixing up the park as a whole instead of on a totally unnecessary new coaster. SFMM needs to do what Disneyland did for the 50th and just do it...maybe that way they could have some sort of fan base again instead of just building big new coasters all the time to desperately try to sell season passes to people who really don't want to buy them but do because they're so cheap. X, Tatsu, Terminator, Twisted Colossus, Full Throttle, Superman (now). This is a F'ing formidable coaster lineup, I just think its stupid to spend so much money on something like this at this time. Make the park nice and make it a tourist attraction, make it the CP of the west. With that coaster lineup it shouldn't be getting low tripadvisor ratings. I mean the park is right next to freaking LA! That to me seems like a much better business strategy.

It seems to me SF only knows how to do one thing: try to sell as many season passes as possible and don't pay attention to anything else. They opened SFMM daily probably to try and make it more friendly for tourists, but the fact is the place will not be a good attraction for tourists unless the place is actually good. It's an embarrassment. Walking through the queues you shouldn't be thinking "oh this probably looked great at some point now it looks like sh*t." The restrooms should be like...normal...not like 3rd world.

August 30, 2018 at 11:15 AM

As to Apocalypse, I like the idea of a conversion if for no other reason than that I have medical issues which prevent me from riding standup coasters, so for me it will indeed be a new ride. I felt the same way about Rougarou; rode it last month and found it mediocre but it was at least something I could ride.

SF appears to be doing well enough not to need to invest large sums for either general improvements to the parks or exciting new rides. The number of returning guests tends to indicate that their business model is working well, and while much of that is attributable to the membership and season pass options, it doesn't account for everyone.

Why I would prefer a Raptor to the pendulum my park is getting is that I personally find the former a more interesting ride. However, Russell's point about the problems the two parks with Raptors are experiencing is well taken. I haven't been following what's been going on CGA but having ridden the one in Texas last week, can attest to major mechanical and capacity issues. For two of my three rides there was a one-train operation b/c the train they started out with got stuck on the lift hill repeatedly so that they transferred it off and added a train (don't ask why they didn't add two trains) and although two trains were actually running on my third ride, one row on each train was blocked off, reducing the capacity to 7 riders per train. Even if all three trains were running there would be a capacity issue, mitigated to some extent by the very quick loading process. (The trains don't stop while loading and unloading.)

August 30, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Have to chime in that Great America is in much the same boat, adding big new stuff but needs to upgrade some of their facilities and such. Nature of the game, put out the huge flashy stuff and ignore the "small things" that what make a park so fun to go to.

August 30, 2018 at 11:38 AM

Looks like fun! Might actually get me to visit Magic Mountain for the first time in almost 20 years.

August 30, 2018 at 2:34 PM

And the two trains on West Coast Racers will be in sync for... 4 days after opening?

August 30, 2018 at 4:24 PM

Lots of negativity here regarding the additions. Truthfully, SFStL got the shaft once again, but I think pretty much all the other additions are reasonably good given the amount of capital Six Flags has to spend. That said, I'm a bit perplexed this year as to why each park got what they did, as it seems like with the exact same ride line-up but a bit of shuffling Six Flags could have done a lot better. For example...

-West Coast Racers looks like a great ride, but it doesn't seem like the greatest fit for SFMM. The ride is essentially a mix of Full Throttle and Twisted Colossus, featuring highlights from both but not bringing anything new to the park. SFGAm, SFGAdv, or SFNE seem like much better parks for installing this sort of ride.
-Maxx Force is certainly going to be an intense coaster, but does the park really need a second super short launch coaster? It seems like it would have been better to send this elsewhere. SFOG, which lacks any sort of launch coaster, would have been the perfect place to install this, as would SFMM as it fits their style of extreme thrills (though it's perhaps a little too similar to Full Throttle).
-Batman The Ride actually looks like a really good fit at SFDK, but they've added two coasters in the past three years. Why not drop this at SFStL or SFA, two parks with much more need of a new coaster?

Similar can be said about the flat rides. A Giant Discovery is a great ride, but does SFGAdv need one the year after SFNE? Probably not. Sure, Six Flags only cares about the local audience, but I would think those two parks have a fair amount of overlap in terms of visitors. Why not send the Giant Discovery to somewhere a bit further from other installations and give SFGAdv a different flat ride instead? I'm sure the company has their reasons, but from an outside perspective it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

On the whole, I'd say 2019's lineup is not as strong as 2018's for Six Flags, but is still stronger than some of the other years in recent memory. No, there isn't anything this year that I'd likely travel to ride, but if you can get 15 reasonably fun additions for half the price of an average Disney E-ticket, I'd say that's a pretty good investment.

August 30, 2018 at 7:07 PM

SFGAm's ride looks just plain naughty (maybe a little short like every other ride in the park). SFMM's looks a little underwhelming but it probably is much cooler when you ride it (I also like how it races like Twisted Colossus). I find it funny how they market SFGAdv's and Fiesta Texas's Giant Discoveries as both holding the record for tallest in the world (I didn't know you could have two rides being separately the tallest in the world). Overall, this seems like a really good year for Six Flags with two custom coasters (and don't forget the Iron Wolf/Apocalypse/Fire bird conversion) and plenty of cool flat rides. This year seems better than last year, but I'm surprised how there aren't any skywarps or Raptors. I'm calling this year, the year of the launch coaster.

August 31, 2018 at 5:38 AM

Sixteen ride announcements from Six Flags and none of them interest me personally. Lol @ Clayton_Lott, so true. I share the same thoughts of other about simply investing in the parks facilities, or put the money aside for staff training improvements. Sticky trash cans, pissy smelling restrooms & slow counter service are a nor by noon.

August 31, 2018 at 4:00 PM

August 31, 2018 at 4:00 PM

West Coast racers has that Dueling Dragons format. How will they prevent idiots from carrying things on the ride, and endanger those on the other track?

August 31, 2018 at 6:48 PM

Fast and Furious was almost certainly dictated by what they could fit into the footprint of an existing ride(in the case of Florida anyway).
Unfortunately they fell into the trap of what can we do that ties to the franchise instead of actually thinking about whether or not they should have.
It's a shame that they didn't just rip off Lights, Motors, Action but with FAF actors on screen. Hell, they could have filmed an actual chase scene around the park when it was closed and had it appear as though the action spilled outside of the arena.

September 1, 2018 at 6:23 PM

From MM to New Moon in Valencia for the Best Chinese Food EVER!

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