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.
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
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
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
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.