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Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain is a theme park located in Valencia, California north of Los Angeles. It opened on Memorial Day weekend on May 30, 1971 as Magic Mountain, by the Newhall Land and Farming Company. In 1979, Six Flags purchased the park and added the name Six Flags to the park's title. In 2009, 2.5 million visitors visited the park. On July 1, 2011, Magic Mountain broke the world record for having the most roller coasters (18) in a single park with the debut of Green Lantern: First Flight, surpassing previous record-holder Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. As of October, 2011, Six Flags Magic Mountain will no longer hold the record for most roller coasters in a single park with the removal of Deja Vu. It will share the record with Cedar Point.

 

History

When the park opened, there were 500 employees and 33 attractions, many of which were designed and built by Arrow Development Co. which designed and built many of the original attractions at Disneyland. The admission price in 1971 was $5 for adults, and $3.50 for children between the ages of 3 and 12.

At its 1971 opening, the rides and attractions included Goldrusher, a steel coaster, the Log Jammer log flume, the Sky Tower observation tower, Grand Prix (similar to Disneyland's Autopia ride), El Bumpo (bumper boats), a Carousel, and other smaller rides. There were four transportation rides to the peak - Funicular - cable railway, later renamed Orient Express, The Metro - three monorail stations around the park; Whitewater Lake, Country Fair and Mountain stations and "Eagles Flight" - Skyride combined two stations at the peak, the long one north to Galaxy Station, and the short one west to El Dorado Station. The Showcase Theater (renamed Golden Bear Theater), was part of the original park and featured Barbra Streisand as the first of many headline performers who would appear at Magic Mountain over the years.

In the 1971 season, Magic Mountain obtained permission from Warner Bros. to use the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. However, the park did not begin using these characters for nearly ten years. Instead, in 1972, they began using trolls as the park mascots. The trolls King Blop, also known as King Troll, Bleep, Bloop, and the Wizard became recognizable symbols of Magic Mountain. All King Productions, a contractor, provided the entertainers wearing the costumes until December 31, 1972, when Magic Mountain took on that role. The characters were used until 1985. Also in 1972, a second flume ride named Jet Stream was added.

In 1973 the park added its second roller coaster, the Mountain Express, a compact wild mouse roller coaster. It had small cars and several tight, fast turns. In 1974 the park also installed a new complex of spinning rides in what would later be known as Back Street. The new additions consisted of the Himalaya, Electric Rainbow, and Tumble Drum. In 1975, the Grand Centennial Railway opened in the Back Street. It took riders on a train journey to Spillikin Corners and back.

Roller coaster revolution

With the opening of Great American Revolution in 1976, Magic Mountain became the first park in the world to have a modern, 360-degree steel looping coaster (though previous roller coasters with loops had been built and dismantled elsewhere due to safety issues). When it was built, there was very little in the way of surrounding brush. Now, the tracks are surrounded by trees and bushes, which prevents the riders from knowing the track layout beforehand. Universal then filmed a major movie at Magic Mountain with the Revolution as its centerpiece called Rollercoaster in 1977.

In 1978, Colossus, at the time the fastest, largest dual-tracked wooden coaster, opened. Following its first season, it was closed and extensively redone. When it reopened, it was a much smoother ride. In 1991, the camel hump before the last, or third, turn was replaced by a block brake. Though it decreased the speed of the ride after this particular brake, it did allow three trains to run per side at a time, greatly increasing capacity. One of the trains sometimes ran backwards for a few years in the mid-80s. However, until the late 1990s this kind of ride was no longer possible due to the newer ride system in place, as well as different trains. During Fright Fest, the park runs one side backwards using a set of trains acquired from the now demolished Psyclone which was located on the other side of the park.

Six Flags era

The opening drop on Goliath. Goliath featured the longest drop on a closed circuit roller coaster when it opened in February 2000

In 1979 the park was sold to Six Flags and became known as Six Flags Magic Mountain in 1980. In 1981, Six Flags Magic Mountain introduced a ride that was on the west coast for the first time called Roaring Rapids. It was developed by Intamin AG in conjunction with the now defunct Six Flags AstroWorld, which had opened a similar ride in 1979. Along with Rapids came the completion of the midway near Spillikin Corners to link with Revolution's area. Finally, a complete circuit could be made around the park. Roaring Rapids was originally designed as a dual-sided station, but only one was fully developed, and all that exists of the possible second side is a few supports. Rapids uses large pumps to circulate water, and each of the two pumps can circulate 88,500 gallons per minute. The reservoir can hold 1.5 million gallons of water, and one of the innovations used on Roaring Rapids was the introduction of guide boards to help eliminate jam ups.

In 1982 the attraction Freefall was added. Also built by Intamin AG, it was considered a cutting edge drop tower ride, if not strictly a "roller coaster." The ride simply ascends the tower and then drops, with the track curving to horizontal, leaving riders on their backs. Others were built for other parks (some of which are Six Flags). Today, most of these rides are obsolete and have been removed. Some flat rides were added and others removed the next year.

In 1984 Sarajevo Bobsleds was erected. Yet another ride built by Intamin AG, the coaster was basically a bobsled without ice and snow. The coaster was built in honor of the 1984 Olympics. Six Flags Great Adventure added a similar ride that same year. In 1986 Sarajevo Bobsleds was removed and now operates at Six Flags Over Texas as La Vibora. The other bobsled was moved to Six Flags Great America and later to The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom in Queensbury, New York, where it operates as Alpine Bobsled.

In 1985 Children's World was re-themed as Bugs Bunny World, as Magic Mountain had abandoned the Trolls in favor of the Warner Brothers' characters. That year, Michael Jackson visited the park, riding rides such as Colossus, Revolution and Roaring Rapids. In 1986, the park added a steel stand-up looping roller coaster called Shockwave designed by Intamin AG. This coaster was located in the back of the park replacing Sarajevo Bobsleds. At the end of 1988, the coaster was removed as part of a ride rotation program and went to Six Flags Great Adventure in 1990. It was removed from there in 1992 and was repainted white and rethemed upon its removal to Six Flags Astroworld. There it was known as Batman The Escape. When Astroworld closed in 2005, the ride was put in storage at Darien Lake, now no longer a Six Flags park.

In 1987 the park re-themed the Back Street. Spinning flat rides were renamed Turbo (Electric Rainbow), Subway (Himalaya), and Reactor (Enterprise). The dance club was re-themed as well, and located near Reactor. After Hours, as it was now called (formerly Decibels), for one summer stayed open later than the rest of the park. It, along with Back Street, would stay open an additional two hours as a place for locals to hang out. This format lasted one season.


 







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