Six Flags Magic Mountain opened in Valencia, California - just north of Los Angeles.Fifty years ago today, the park now known as
Notice that I wrote, "now known as," because when the park opened on May 29, 1971, it was known simply as "Magic Mountain." Six Flags did not acquire the park until 1979. The park's original owner was the Newhall Land Company, which developed the park as a tourist attraction to help lure homebuyers to its new community. SeaWorld and its co-founder George Millay were partners in the development of Magic Mountain, whose design evoked the layout of SeaWorld San Diego, centered around an observation tower.
Today, Six Flags Magic Mountain is known for its world-record 19 roller coasters. But on its opening day, the park offers just one adult coaster - Gold Rusher, an Arrow mine train that continues to run at the park.
Magic Mountain made coaster history five years later, when Great American Revolution became the world's first modern coaster with a vertical loop. Now known as The New Revolution, the ride briefly ran with virtual reality headsets after its 2016 refurbishment.
The park set records again in 1978, when its Colossus wooden coaster opened as the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. Today, that ride lives on as Twisted Colossus, having gotten a Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box retracking in 2015. It's now our readers' top-ranked attraction in the park.
Magic Mountain opened with its now-familiar Looney Tunes characters, but they only lasted for the first summer. The next year, Magic Mountain introduced a collection of trolls - King Troll, Bleep, Bloop, and The Wizard - as its new mascots. The trolls remained in the park until the mid-1980s, then returned briefly in a park museum atop the now-closed observation tower in the 2000s. Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes returned as Time Warner took greater control of Six Flags.
Six Flags Magic Mountain faced an uncertain future when the chain - sold off by Time Warner - tried to put the park and five other properties up for sale in 2006. But Six Flags couldn't find a buyer at the price it wanted and held on to the park, setting the stage for Six Flags Magic Mountain to rebound and become the chain's most-visited theme park... and the roller coaster capital of the world.
The park's most recent addition is West Coast Racers, a 4,000-foot mobius-track Premier Rides coaster with a 55-mph launch and four inversions.
To watch more on-ride videos, please visit our Six Flags Magic Mountain page.
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