it's now available for rating and review on Theme Park Insider.">

'X' Opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain

For those you who have ridden Magic Mountain's new Arrow 4D coaster, 'X', it's now available for rating and review on Theme Park Insider.

From Robert Niles
Posted January 9, 2002 at 11:34 PM
For those you who have ridden Magic Mountain's 'X' during soft opening, it's now available for rating and review on Theme Park Insider.

I'll be riding this at the press review tomorrow (Jan. 10), and I'll post a report tomorrow evening. I'll also be at the park Saturday morning (Jan. 12) for the official public opening.

Anyone else gonna be there? (I'll be reviewing it for The Times, and be talking to folks in the crowd on Saturday, so if you're gonna be there, let me know, and I'll look for you.)

From Anonymous
Posted January 10, 2002 at 1:17 PM
I think I need to do alittle homework in regard to this new 'X' ride at SFMM!

What kind of ride is it? Is it a coaster?
Why is it called 'X'?
Is it Malcom X themed?!!!(just a joke, folks...don't get your feathers ruffled!)

What's the scoop?!

From Robert Niles
Posted January 10, 2002 at 5:56 PM
X is Magic Mountain's first-of-a-kind "4D" model coaster from Arrow Dynamics.

You don't sit on top of the track, or suspended underneath it, as on traditional coasters. Instead, you ride on an axis at the side of the track, in rotating seats.

To be honest, when I first heard this concept, I envisioned an experience akin to riding in a clothes dryer on a roller coaster track. But X isn't like that at all. The seats do not rotate randomly, but in conjunction with what's happening on the track.

The result is surprisingly smooth, with the rotations creating the effect of switching between a backward coaster and a traditional front-facing one, without jarring stops or momentum changes.

I'd recommend it, for the unique experience of riding a backward and forward coaster in the same ride. But once I got the hang of X, after a few trips, it lost its ability to really thrill me quicker than other, top-shelf coasters have.

I'll have more to say in next week's L.A. Times, and have video of the ride on (Watch Robert try not to hurl!) I'll link to the review and video from this thread when they're ready, too, of course.

(Malcolm 'X' -- classic! Throw a few Denzel Washington audio-animatronics on there, and you're good to go. There's a cross-promotion in there with 'Ali,' too, I'm sure.)

From Joe Lane
Posted January 10, 2002 at 7:08 PM
My local TV station (in Tampa, FL, no less) ran a segment on this coaster, including video footage. It looks very exciting. Maybe one day I'll have the chance to fly to Cali and try it for myself, but until then, I'm stuck with Hulk, and that's fine.

X is just another example of how the industry and growing and changing. I applaud this new move.

From Katie O'Connell
Posted January 10, 2002 at 7:43 PM
I thought X was supposed to open to the public on January 12?

From Robert Niles
Posted January 11, 2002 at 1:45 AM
January 12 is the public opening. Today (Jan. 10) was the media day.

X has been in "soft opening" for annual passholders only since just before Christmas.

From Anonymous
Posted January 11, 2002 at 6:05 PM
its about time that they finally opened it. ive been there two times since i heard they were making it, and finally its open

From Kevin Baxter
Posted January 12, 2002 at 6:56 AM
Better they open it late than open it without all the safety features they ended up requiring.

My experience with "new" styles of coasters is that they are usually not so great. Everyone involved seems solely focused on the "new" and little else. Like the first flying coaster, which is at Paramount's Not-So-Great America. That thing is fairly lame. X-Flight, at SF's Worlds of Adventure (What is UP with every theme park having adventure in the title? Isn't there some other word we can have at a theme park?), is an expanded version of that same exact ride and is getting raves. This site has it rated as a 9... from SIX WHOLE PEOPLE! Okay, that's sarcasm, but I have heard it is very good elsewhere.

So I see SF installing a modified X in one or more of its other parks and that/those will be the ones to ride.

From Robert Niles
Posted January 12, 2002 at 8:13 PM
I'm sorting through the state's ride inspection reports now, and I can confirm that X did get dinging a few times before it opened, contributing to the delay.

It's a good ride, just not... great. The initial drop is epic, but there are too many elements in the rest of the ride for how short it is (about 45 seconds from first drop to the end.) There's only one place where you can rest for a moment and anticipate what's coming.

The result is exhilirating, but, ultimately, it's the roller coaster equivalent of that stereotype about Chinese food: Half an hour later you've forgotten exactly what you had and you're hungry again. Do a couple of these in a row, and you'll be looking for some "steak."

From Anonymous
Posted January 13, 2002 at 5:29 PM
X is a great coaster. I've been on it twice before it opened because I have season pass. X i the greatest coaster yet and I wish SFMM wil get new coasters as good as X.

From Robert Niles
Posted January 16, 2002 at 8:56 PM
As promised, here it is: Robert's review of X for the L.A. Times:

How X Factors in the Equation --

The video report is at

From Jason Herrera
Posted January 18, 2002 at 5:00 AM
I found this article on X to be quite interesting. And I found the Video to be even more interesting. (Robert you might want to turn more to your right, that's your better side ;-))

But anyhow, I read the article and thought it was good, and hope to read more.

From Robert Niles
Posted January 18, 2002 at 1:55 PM
Hey, I'm just happy I didn't yack on camera. (There was a fair amount of money wagered around the office on whether that would happen, I hear....)

I'm hoping to do reviews for each new attraction in Southern California. Unfortunately, this doesn't look like a great year for a lot of new stuff around here.

From jim guy
Posted June 15, 2002 at 8:59 PM
I was at SFMM 2 days after Labor Day in 2001. There were more people working at the park than were there visiting. My friends and I were able to walk on to every ride there except for one. Deja Vu had just opened, and they wanted to break in the wheels a bit. The park guide showed that X was already open, but the thing just sat there silent. I suppose that was during one of the many delays to the ride opening. I just logged on to the SFMM official site tonight (6/15/02) and noticed that X isn't even on the list of rides at the park. Has the ride closed since the last entry to the site, or is Six Flags just ashamed of the thing?

From Robert Niles
Posted June 15, 2002 at 9:05 PM
Click here for the story:

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 16, 2002 at 1:18 AM
Robert, can you please archive this thread? We currently have four X threads all on the front page. I think two would be plenty.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

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