Theme Park of the Day: Tokyo Disneyland

Six Flags Gives In--X Is Closed

Several readers are reporting that Six Flags Magic Mountain has finally given up on its troubled Arrow 4D coaster, X, and closed the ride. Park officials won't say when it will reopen.

From Robert Niles
Posted June 11, 2002 at 9:40 PM
Several readers report that Six Flags Magic Mountain has given up and closed X. Some reports say for 60 days--others say indefinitely. [Update: A Six Flags spokesman confirmed on 6/12 that the ride is closed indefinitely due to "design issues."--Ed.]

Six Flags is in a legal tangle with Arrow Dynamics over the plans for X. As mentioned here before, Arrow is in bankruptcy proceedings due to cost overruns and delays building X.

I had wondered how long Six Flags would put up with the four and five-hour waits, and customer complains. The park's yanked all reference to X of its Web sites, but its media relations office was closed for the day when I called for confirmation Tuesday. (I'll call again Wednesday morning.)

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 12, 2002 at 2:34 AM
I would bet it won't be indefinite. If they can find someone to fix it so all trains are running, then they will be looking good. It surely couldn't cost more to fix it than it would be to tear it all down after so much investment.

From xavier xo
Posted June 13, 2002 at 11:32 PM
This is the coolest ride on earth! Six Flags needs to get its act together and fix X asap. Come on 6 flags figure a way to put 3 cars on the track and figure it out now.

From Philip Curds
Posted June 12, 2002 at 8:57 AM
Word in business circles in London, we are hearing that Six Flags Annual Statement in New York, confirmed that 'X' was a mess, and it shareholders have said they will not approve any future 'stand-alone' projects without prior consent amongst institutional investors. This means that Six Flags would have to delay any future plans for 'new' thrill rides that have not been experienced before, meaning that prototype coasters, would be ruled out, indefinitely. This is bad news for rollercoaster enthusiasts.

Just off the phone from some guy in Switzerland, says Intamin and B&M are reviewing their arrangements with Six Flags, after this news leaked. Looks as though, D.H. Morgan or Togo are submitting revised plans for 'X', in the hope of winning a contract to supply new parts and manintain the ride. However, in order to fix the ride, Arrow plans are needed, thus the reason for delays and Six Flags looking to purchase Arrow and its 4D plans. Real mess, this one, I'll keep you posted about upcoming developments. By the way, Swiss bank UBS downgraded there profit-taking by rollercoaster company Intamin, last week over news about 'X' and its problems...

From Robert Niles
Posted June 12, 2002 at 11:25 AM
I just spoke to a Magic Mountain PR rep, who confirms that the ride is closed. He could not tell me when it would reopen--not even an estimate if it would be days, weeks or months.

He confirmed that it was closed due to "design issues" and that the company was working on "modifying the design to make the ride work better."

This does not sound like a standard maintenance rehab, but rather something that would take weeks, at best. But, given Arrow's shaky legal and financial status, Six Flags is clearly not working under "best case" conditions here.

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 1:49 PM
It is still on the web page here:

From Robert Niles
Posted June 12, 2002 at 2:08 PM
It's an orphan page, though.

Go up to the ride listings page at and you'll no longer see a link to X. In fact, the page promotes Deja Vu as the park's newest ride.

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 2:58 PM
GRRRRRR! I'm going there tommorow and I wanted to go on it!!!!! I'm gonna cry.

From Jason Rasmussen
Posted June 12, 2002 at 3:04 PM

It's not that I hate X, it's just that it does indeed have "design issues". It's WAY too bumpy & jerky to be an enjoyable ride, it keeps breaking down, and it only runs one train.

If they make this thing as smooth as Batman, they might have a winner.

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 3:45 PM
that would suck if they closed x, but its still on the six flags website

From xavier xo
Posted June 12, 2002 at 4:20 PM
X is NIETHER bumpy or jerky.
I have been on it a few times and it is a fantastic ride as is! Don't get me wrong I love Batman The Ride but X blows that ride out of the water. What will most likely happen is that it will now take a lot longer for new innovative rides to go from design to reality. Making parks op for older boring designs over new thrill rides.

From Brandon Vargo
Posted June 12, 2002 at 4:22 PM
What are all the things that make this ride so bad???? Why is it that so many people are mad at this ride, it just can't be because of the waits. Millenium Force had weights, yet it is rated one of the top 10 coasters. Why is this ride poor? And what are they working on exactly in this time it is closed down?

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 4:44 PM
Yes, MF did have waits. The thing is, MF *does* tend to be running more than it is down. :)

As I understand it, the situation with X is that the ride is breaking quite frequently (to the point that it is literally having more downtime than uptime) and even when the ride is up it cannot be run at full capacity (the original design was for two trains, but only one can be run at a time without the ride breaking).

Another factor is that even with maintenance hiccups at MF, Cedar Point has been pretty good with trying to insure nobody passes out due to heatstroke (water is available as are misters) and it is in a climate where at most temperatures hit the 90s and this is mitigated by breezes off Lake Erie; at SFMM, one is in a rather more severe climate (heat close to the 100's or better, in an arid area, with little shading as they did not expect the ride to be so broken as to only be able to run at half capacity when it can run at all) where people have apparently been passing out from heatstroke and the like. (I'd be surprised if the worries about a lawsuit because someone died of heatstroke during a wait on X weren't a big factor; Six Flags has *already* been under the wringer as far as accidents this year.)

A big factor, too, is the complexity of the ride (possibly the biggest factor, in fact)...MF does have computer control, but is not a *whole* lot different save in scale from other hypercoasters (and CP actually has Magnum, so they've actually had some practice at this). There aren't that many points of failure, the biggest possibly being the computer and the lift, or some mechanical problem with the trains.

X is something completely new and very complex at that (not only does the coaster loop and twist, the sidearms loop and twist on different axes), and I'm frankly surprised they could get it running at all (and think it may be a miracle if they can get it running reliably soon) simply because they ARE dealing with something very complex that is also very dependent on computer control and a *lot* of mechanics--there are probably more points of potential failure for X than *any* other roller coaster that has been built, strictly on a mechanical point of view (we aren't even going to go into the computer controls, which are also more complex than would be required for MF et al). X breaks more because there is a lot more on X *to* break. It could simply be a matter of the ride being too complex to do at that scale with today's technology :(

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 4:42 PM
Bumming about "X"
But I guess I was very lucky to ride it, just happen to get a free trip tp LA,(being from the east coast)now that it's "down" I feel even more fortunate! I thought that it was by far the best thrill ride ever! with the "Millenium Force" second, I'm not worried, I'm sure that it will be better than before when somebody (?) staightens it out, it does sound like a BIG mess though! I just was hoping that there will eventually be more 4th dimension coasters built soon, like on the east coast, like Six Flags N.E. (hint hint). I don't blame people for complaining about long waits,I was on X in March and even then it was too hot waiting for it,They have to have shading for these rides!even in New England! I was lucky to get a fast lane pass to ride X and waited about 10 minates!The ride was Awesome, much better than I had anticipated, Well good luck to Six Flags and Arrow, I hope they can work something out!

From Anonymous
Posted June 12, 2002 at 8:02 PM
Looks like Cedar Point may have the title of "Most Working Coasters!" Sarcasm aside, I hope they do get the ride fixed soon. Looks like a real mess. Even tho I'm a CP fan, everybody wins when parks introduce new technology.

Posted June 12, 2002 at 11:09 PM
X is the best coaster in the world. I really hope they can fix the train capacity problem, because waiting 5 hrs sucks. But if the capacity is only supposed to be 2 trains, then the wait would still be 2 1/2 hrs. on a not so busy day. Maybe they could up the capacity to three. And whoever said the ride is bumpy and jerky is a crack smoker! Its almost as smooth as Goliath. I don't mean to rub it in, but I'm glad I got to ride it three times in the last 3 weeks. FIGURE IT OUT, SIX FLAGS. NOW!

From Anonymous
Posted June 13, 2002 at 12:56 AM
I went in mid May to find X closed. The whole park was a mess with several key attractions closed. Soem didn't look like they had been maintained in a very long time. And everything is an upgrade costing more money. Six Flags just isn't in the same league as the others, and I would be afraid to ride X, especially now

From Anonymous
Posted June 13, 2002 at 11:58 PM
Too bad about X, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch. Those bean counters at 6 Flags have turned their parks into an insult to the public. Between the forced advertising in the que lines (AOL ad nauseum) to the $15 "Fast Lane" surcharge that screws everybody else in the lines. I rode X earlier this year and the lines were horrendous. But most of those waiting didn't realize that exactly half of the seats were reserved for the "Fast Lane" holders. Which means everybody else waited about twice as long as they would have if the money grubbing corporate types hadn't come up with this great plan to make a few extra bucks. I've been to another 6 Flags this year too, and the same understaffed, bad attitude employees I saw there tell me that this is a corporate policy problem, and not just a Magic Mountain issue. I won't be going to any more 6 Flags parks anytime soon.

From Anonymous
Posted June 14, 2002 at 10:39 PM
I have to say, having cchecked out the website for MM on 6/11 for a day trip there on 6/13, I was royally PO'd that the ride was closed for no "apparent" reason. The company really should post what rides are closed in front of the ticket booths, so you know what you're agreeing to pay over $40 bucks for!

From Anonymous
Posted June 17, 2002 at 7:33 PM
Just wondering... Isn't Arrow also the company that built and designed DejaVu? Does this mean BOTH new rides at Six Flags are shutting down??? I want a refund for my annual pass...

From J. Morales
Posted June 18, 2002 at 5:07 PM
What a shame that a ride as awesome as X is closed indefinitely. I was fortunate enough to ride X 3 times and it was the best roller coaster I have ever been on. I don't understand those of you who say X is a bumpy ride. It is the smoothest ride yet. And extremely comfortable. I hope X re-opens soon, but if it doesn't, at least I can say I rode it.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 19, 2002 at 4:10 AM
X might be back up soon. Arrow claims the problem is due to a part made by an outside manufacturer. If this is true, expect to see X back up in July.

From Robert Niles
Posted June 19, 2002 at 9:19 PM
Backing up what Kevin reported, I heard via e-mail from someone with contacts at Arrow:

"Basically the problems with X are related to the reason it was delayed in the first place. Because the trains are so wide, they can vibrate. The delay was because various parks of the train were either redesigned or strengthened to help reduce the vibration. These changes did solve the immediate problem but there is still undesired vibrating causing stress on components of the train that weren't designed for it. There were some quick fixes done after the ride opened, but these didn't prove to last. So they need to reengineer the trains yet again to get the ride to be reliable. They know what to do, but Arrow's financial situation is making it hard to operate. But it will get fixed and I don't think the X will be the only 4th Dimension roller coaster for more than a year or two. Other parks want this ride. "

Of course, "reengineering" is pretty different than fixing a single part.

And Six Flags will have to not only get this running, but get it running with two and three trains operating simultaneously, to avoid the wait time problems we all saw before.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 20, 2002 at 12:30 AM
Well, there is a simple solution to the financial problem: Six Flags pays for the reengineering in return for the plans and SF dropping the lawsuit. Arrow may not want to go for this, but they may not have a choice. It will be a lot easier for someone to buy them out if they don't have a huge lawsuit over their heads.

From Anonymous
Posted June 24, 2002 at 7:55 AM
i dont know what you are complaining about, flying coasters are much more reliable and will provide a VERY good substitute until technology can support 4D coasters. theres already one in six flags over georgia (superman: ultimate flight) and one in england (air) although anything in europe probably wont do u much good. These flying coasters are really really really really good, and i cant wait till next year when they will spread to other parks, hopefully to Six Flags: Great Adventure as well!!!!!!!1

From Anonymous
Posted June 24, 2002 at 8:20 AM
heres a page for AIR:

and heres a pic and a page for superman: ultimate flight

oooh i wanna fly too

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 25, 2002 at 1:33 AM
Sorry, but I have been on a flying coaster. It was fairly average. No airtime. No decent drops. No decent speed. Plus yu are just too close to the track to be tossed around properly. Give me an inverted any day of the week.

From Anonymous
Posted June 27, 2002 at 2:58 PM
yeah so i went to SIX FLAGS and found that X Was closed. so that will put a major halt to it

From Lesley Allen
Posted June 27, 2002 at 6:28 PM
The thing that really bothers me about this whole thing is that I've heard disturbing reports....and maybe some recent visitors to SFMM could confirm this?....that SFMM does not have any kind of notification anywhere outside the park that X is out of commission. Sure, coaster enthusiasts know this because it's all over the msg boards, but the GP doesn't think to check if a ride at a particular park is opened or closed until they get to the park.

So people are getting to SFMM, some SPECIFICALLY to ride X, and then getting the shaft after they're already in the gates and SF has already made their money disappear into the cash registers.

To me, this is plain bad business practice. If one of your major attractions is not working.......let the public KNOW that instead of saying "pay first, get disappointed later".

From Anonymous
Posted June 27, 2002 at 11:13 PM
Well actually SFMM has yanked out all tv ads and it's site doesn't mention it anymore either.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted June 28, 2002 at 12:46 AM
That doesn't matter. People can clearly see it when they drive up. And many people, if not most, are coming to MM JUST to ride X. I don't think they listed Vertical Velocity being down at Marine World either, even though all reference to it was removed from their advertising. I thought that was crappy also.

From Anonymous
Posted June 28, 2002 at 8:58 AM
There are signs (albeit small) on each ticket booth that lists what rides/attractions are closed. I was there last weekend and yes X is posted as closed.

From Jonathan Gelert
Posted June 29, 2002 at 2:04 AM
Incidentally, word is spreading among the general public (in the surrounding areas, at least) about X's current state. I'm not sure whether the local news stations have picked up on this and reported it, or whether it's simply pure word of mouth, but it's spreading.

At the moment, I feel bad for SFMM, especially the PR department. Having to deal with 600 upset ACErs during CoasterCon was no small task, especially when their current $15 million steel sculpture is standing in full view of park patrons, from nearly anywhere in the park.

From Chris Hames
Posted June 29, 2002 at 1:52 PM
Yes - I was at SFMM yeterday, and there are signs posted that say what rides are closed. I hardly noticed that x was up there, becuase they didn't stylize the letter or anything, it was a 1" x 5" sign, with a single half inch x in the middle under the "closed rides" board. Hard to see.

From Anonymous
Posted July 1, 2002 at 2:52 PM
I was just there on the 29th and was disapointed to find out it was closed. I would like to argue the point of having only one car. Deja Vu only has one car, because of it's design however, it moves a large volume of people. After riding it I feel that this could possibly be the best ride I have ever ridden. I think X was a big mistake. I don't even see its design as that great. I'd like to see more rides like MF or more wooden giants like beast, ghost rider etc. Stick to what is good and works, then make it better. Even superman is kind of a disapointment. Waiting 3 hours to go 0 to 100 in 7 seconds and thats it? A waste of 26 million if you ask me.

From Joshua Erwin
Posted July 2, 2002 at 10:42 PM
I do have to say that it is a great ride. I got to go on it back in december when they had a private party for the passholders. I just hope that they reopen it soon.

From Anonymous
Posted July 5, 2002 at 5:17 AM
I will be at SFMM on 7-16 and I am starting to lose hope that X will up and running by then. One of the main reasons I was going was for X, but I have never ridden Goliath or Deja Vu, so that should be fun.

I have heard that X was doing some test runs, if thats true, could that mean that it could be operating soon?

No matter what happens, I find it unprofessional by SFMM to not mention thier problems with X on thier website. It may be bad for buisiness, but I think it would make people feel good about the company if they were honest about problems and gave updates on when it may be up and running.

From Anonymous
Posted July 5, 2002 at 9:15 PM
Personally for me Six Flags parks in general I am not crazy about. Every one I have been to has been relatively crappy. Spending $40 to go to a park that has been bought and overdone to the point that it cant withstand the crowds(Example Six Flags Ohio)is not my idea of having fun. The Six Flags parks themselves arent concentrating on happiness of it's guests but about breaking records and building new coasters. This maybe excludes SFMM, but even that now is turning crappy. Dont get me wrong that many rides like and batman are great rides. But It's getting worse for me. I hate what they did when they made SF America in Maryland. That park is one of the worst ever. I think that SF has really overused the superman and batman themes. If you told me now that you rode batman i wouldn't have a clue about which one you are talking about. Superman this batman that. GET A NEW THEME!

Chain parks like Six Flags are loosing my personal liking(although it doesn't amount to a hill of beans) every year. Other than maybe Anhieser Busch, Cedar Fair, and Universal parks most chain parks can't make 1 good park, but 20 OK ones. Places like Holiday World, Busch Gardens parks, Hersheypark, Cedar Point, IOA and other smaller chain and single park places can concentrate more on guest happiness and less on the dollar signs in their heads. I thought that was what going to an amusement park was all about?

About Arrow Dynamics debt problems, well I hope they can get them fixed. They have built some really great and awesome rides, but on the other hand have had some, ahem, technical difficulties with certain experimetal and even simple steel coasters which is evident with rides such as Drachen Fire( Its a sad day when a rollercoaster gets torn down). I sure hope It can get its financial problems in line because I hope I can ride some more Arrow Dynamics rides in the future.

As for X, I'm sure the SFMM management is the most sad about this, considering all of their promotion and money invested in this ride was, well you know the story. I myself and my wallet do not have the pleasure of going to california every year. I will give a long opinion like this one when I can ride it. Heck after watching Extreme Rides 2001 ( by the way you'd think they have a 2002 version of the show out by now, or maybe the travel/discovery channel has spent too much money on the Las Vegas shows) I thought it looked great. I rushed to my dell and was checking the website about it and saw the news and comment section. So here I am.

By the way, dont comment too badly on me on this. I am highly outspoken and need too shutup sometimes, but I felt like typing this extremely long comment thread. I guess that when I clicked on the button, I acknowledged that I had published this message on the great under the terms of it's privacy policy. I had further agreed that I had accepted full responsibility for the content and consequences that aI will get from this message. Thanks, Steve

From Carlos Calderon
Posted July 11, 2002 at 2:17 PM
I'm still shock about X ride!!.I went to California just to ride this awesome ride.But when I went to SFMM I noticed that X was closed !!!Why????? I traveled from Miami just to ride X.By the way, De ja vu is cool but takes 3 hours to ride it;moroover,I believe that Psyclone should be closed because is to shaky!!!!

From Anonymous
Posted July 12, 2002 at 1:03 PM

Yeah! It is a GREAT disappointment that X is closed down! So So sad! My family and I (including my 65 year old mother) had the privelege of getting on X back in May, and WE ALL said that ride is the BEST one we've been on in a lifetime! Yes we've been to Cedar Point too, but X takes the cake!! When u first walk up on the ride, the design of it doesn't look too great.....even when u see one of the cars running, it looks kinda slow and "whack", but LO! When u get on it! That ride is FANTASTIC! That first drop is a headspinner. Yes the ride is kinda short, (hopefully, they'll lengthen the track when they open it back up). Yet and still, it's the BEST ride i've ever been on. (even better than that new Xcelerator ride at knotts....that ride sucked!). Anyways PLEASE GET X UP AND RUNNING AGAIN! Sincerely, a "Limited Edition Rider for X"

From Anonymous
Posted July 12, 2002 at 4:21 PM
X looked like alot of fun! I wish I got to ride it before this whole stupid desin flaw!!! I hope that they can open it up soon !!! Before CP gets the "Most Coasters Award" Because Magic Mountain RULES!!! I just hhope that they can open up X. Because it lookes like it ROCKS too!!!

From R G
Posted July 24, 2002 at 12:30 AM
I went on this the week it opened up. There were no lines and we ran right in. Its the best ride in the world. we ended up getting on it again, and it still kicked a$$. SFMM fix this problem and fix it now!!! I was going to buy season passes but Im glad I didnt buy it. So Sad :( for all the people who didnt ride in it.. Tear!!!

From Jason Herrera
Posted July 24, 2002 at 10:27 AM
Went yesterday to see a test run of X with it's new look, and there it was rtest running at 3:30pm..

Looked good, but then again i'm no engineer so it may have been a bad run, or a good run... just know that it was out there running one time through the course, and it didn't fall apart or make any funny noises along the track.

From Anonymous
Posted July 25, 2002 at 2:37 AM
Hopefully SFMM can get this ride running smoothly and reopen it for good. IT is one hellova ride. Definitely worth the 5 two hours waits I did for it. 6 flags, don't let us down!!!

From Anne Achonda
Posted July 31, 2002 at 8:11 PM
Time for a lawsuit against Magic Mountain! Or, wait, is it the "Xtreme park"?

From Anonymous
Posted August 4, 2002 at 1:01 AM
You know, a lot of people are saying just because x is closed that the whole park sucks. There are tons of rides there and plenty to do. I have been to SFMM 6 times this year. Three times since x has been closed. X isnt the only ride that makes the park great. There were many failures when they first started making looping coasters. In time they made them work. So you can't expect a new prototype to work perfectly. Give it time and it will work again. (*Hopefully*)

From Katie O'Connell
Posted August 5, 2002 at 11:38 PM
I have rode X twice, and it was true that it broke down 5 times in 2 hours. I really enjoyed it, but I knew that with it malfunctioning all the time, it wouldn't last long. SFMM was hitting it big with X, and it really bums me out that it's closing down. When I went there on 6/8, it was closed, and a friend of mine went two weeks later, and a ride attendant said it was closed permanently. It's a really big disappointment that my favorite ride is closing, and I'm sure that Arrow Dynamics is even more upset.

From Lettie D
Posted August 5, 2002 at 11:39 PM
X can't be closed for a long time. True, the wait is a nightmare but, it's very much worth it. I just went to Six Flags on 8/4/02, hoping to ride X for the 3rd time...I guess I have to wait a bit longer. Six Flags has to fix or why did they even built it?

From Anonymous
Posted August 9, 2002 at 11:51 AM
Okay Everyone The Newest News to Six Flags Magic Mountain's X. After several calls to administration and third party companies in relevance to "X" So far the ride is closed and WILL REMAIN closed until the rest of the year, UNLESS Arrow Dynamic gets bought by the next leading coaster. "X" is an experiment not a ride JUST YET. The world isnt ready for it. Magic Mountain is in the process of getting FULL ownership of "X" meaning no other theme park will have it without the Six Flags permission. This meaning other SIX FLAGS theme parks around the world might have it under a different name but no other theme park. X wasn't really delayed if it was delayed you'd expect LESS problems. The fact is Six Flags made a mistake signing with ARROW and De Ja Vue will NOT be closing due to that Arrows is not spending money on it and once they go bankrupt other companies involved in the making of De Ja Vue will maintain it. FINAL WORDS... SIX FLAGS IS TRYING THERE BEST TO OPEN X within a YEAR, THEY JUST MADE ONE MISTAKE HIRING ARROW TO DO IT. and as for the lines, SIX FLAGS cannot put up sprinklers OR any other device unless Arrow lets them because of being near the ride you need special permits and all, Six flags doesn't want waste MONEY on some ride which they know IT MIGHT NOT DO SO WELL THIS BEING "X".

From Anonymous
Posted August 9, 2002 at 12:00 PM
If Arrow gets bought and ownership of X gets to another company, THEY WILL START remodeling X as soon as possible, which will also take until the end of the year. EITHER WAY WE WAIT BUT IF YOU WAIT LONGER X MIGHT JUST OPEN under a new company and maintainence crew. Six Flags has no interest to TEARING X DOWN it WILL OPEN SOMEDAY they wont let it die out. basically X's arrival will be in the next 2 years or so.

From Anonymous
Posted April 20, 2003 at 11:13 AM
i hope x closes forever. magic mountain sux. i've never been there but it's not fair that six flags spends allits money on stupid magic mountain. they have 16 coasters and get major new coasters practically every year. what about astroworld? what about st. louis? what about kentuckey kingdom? we deserve some major new rides to put us on the map!

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