April 20, 2002.

I touched Del Holland*!

    I went on another dorm day-trip to SFMM. This one was one for the ages. There was another enthusiast with us on the bus, so I didn't feel like such a loner since I knew everything about the coasters there. The best thing was meeting my friend I hadn't seen in a few months at the front gate, giving her discount tickets , and enjoying the day with her and a friend. She was the one who has been to SFMM with me and my youth group during our annual trips, so this was going to be just like the good old days!

    We got there about 5 minutes after the gates opened, so we knew there would be a wait for X. I didn't think it would be 4 1/2 hours!!! Anne, my friend, got a sunburn from standing in line and I got a little burn on my face. It was worth it. All for X. All for X. I was going to ride in the back. After 4 and a half hours of standing, we got on X. We were in the very back on the left side. This is the total polar opposite of the last time I rode (front seat, right outside). I chose the outside seat. People told me going through the turnaround over the station is really awesome in the outside seats. They weren't kidding!

    We left the station. I was a little nervous and the climb up the lift was awesome and loud. The first cars started going over the dip and our car sped up. I didn't think we'd be able to see anything down the drop, but I forgot it tilts you to face down before the drop, so everyone can get a full, unobstructed view of the drop. And what a drop! In the front you glide over the top, flip, and sail down, flipping gently and smoothly at the bottom. In the back, you SLAM forward, lift up, get airtime facing straight down and fly down the drop! The flip at the bottom of the drop is wicked insane! It happened so fast, I had no idea what hit me! Amazing G's hit you as you level out and enter the raven turn. At the top of the raven turn in the front, you gently slide into the flying position and fall back to Earth. A nice sensation. In the back, you slowly go into that position then TEAR towards the Earth! HOLY MOTHER OF MERCY! You fly down that second drop and into the bunny hop. You go through that so fast, you don't even realize you got the most Xtreme airtime upside down!

    Enter the turnaround. In the inside seats, it's nice. In the outside, you get awesome laterals! We head down the drop after the turnaround and prepare to enter the twisting front flip. In the front...you get the idea. The backseat is insane in this element! You go into this element pretty fast and before you know it, you're facing the other direction! The front cars went into the second raven turn and I noticed the area where the trims could be placed. I am so glad they're not there, though, because the second raven turn in intense in the back! You flip forwards very fast and rip through this thing at full speed! Wow! Into the second twisting front flip...I had no idea what happened here since it happened so fast. All I knew was the ride was over and there was no doubt in my mind that X beats Millennium Force for my #1 spot. 11/10

    The ride was insane. If you ride X, ride in the back. It is by far the best ride on a coaster ever, IMO.

    After X, we were starving so we got Panda Express. I will never think the Panda at the University of Arizona is expensive again. $10 for a meal! What? WHAT?! At least it was good. We walked and ate by the entrance waiting for a Anne's friend, Eliz's roommate (confused yet?) to show up. She didn't, so we headed to Viper. Viper is one high capacity ride. The line extended out to the street and we got on in under ten minutes. We chose to sit in the front. Anne sat with her friend in the very front and I sat right behind them. We started up the lift and I got a great view of X from the top. We dropped down and went through the course. No detailed description here. This ride was the most painful I've seen it in a while. My shoulders hurt after riding that and the trims seemed to be on a little harder than I remember. Stupid trims. 6/10

    We saw Eliz's roommate in the station so we waited for her after getting off the ride. I was introduced as "that guy who knows stuff about coasters. 'Oh! That guy?'" I guess I'm pretty well known around my friends' friends whom I have never met . After Viper, we went on Gold Rusher a couple times in the back. I rode Gold Rusher a total of 6 times today, 3 at night. It's just amazing at night. I cannot get enough of this coaster! 9/10

    We went on Riddler at dusk. 4th row. It was pretty awesome, yo. The G's in the vertical loop and final corkscrew were really nice and made me feel sorry for standing all day, but the ride's really nice. The MCBR didn't seem to be on hard at all and we glided through this coaster with awesome pacing. 7.5/10

    Anne and I rode Dive Devil, the skycoaster in 2000 and enjoyed it so much, we decided to do it again. We did it at night, the same as we did two years ago. $22 a person is pretty expensive, but the rush of that first drop was so worth every penny. The scariest part is when the platform lowers and you think you're gonna slam face first into it. They started lifting us up fast, then slow, and we made it to the top. 3...2...1...fllyyyyy and Anne pulled the rip cord. We screamed on the way down even though we sorta had a plan to say something heading down. It fell apart with the rush of that drop! Wow. There are some pretty good G's at the bottom of the fall and it's fun flying over people and waving. I love that ride. I told her we have to go to Old Town sometime because the one there is twice as high. Anne told me to bring it on. 10/10

    After that we hopped on Revolution and rode in the back. There was some head banging, but I know where to hold my head, so I was fine. The tunnel totally blacks out at night and this coaster is really good. I can't imagine what it would be like without the brakes or OTSR's. I guess I'll never know. 6.5/10

    That's basically it for the trip. It was awesome. Now it's time for some random notes.

    Deja Valley did not valley! Wow! Goliath and Batman were running one train which lead to long waits and us not riding them. We avoided the woodies. They wouldn't let me ride Goliath Jr. again because I'm too tall. We rode the carousel for a couple of minutes. I love the couches on it. We also went to the stupid petting zoo after my attempt to ride Goliath Jr. and I touched a goat. The bunnies were too far away to touch.

    Now for the final note: As we were walking around the midway games area, I saw some guy facing me who had on a white shirt and tie. I thought it was some big shot at the park and I imagined it might have been Del Holland. As we passed him I read his name tag. Del Holland. I turned around and said, "Mr. Holland!" He turned around and I greeted him. "Hi. Thank you for getting X, Mr. Holland. I just rode it in the back today and it is the best coaster I have been on! I'm a roller coaster enthusiast and I love the rides at this park!" Then I extended my hand and shook his hand. He thanked me, smiled and I left. Anne told me he waved but I was too excited to see anything after that. Here's what's funny! I was wearing my MF shirt when I greeted him. I doubt he even noticed it since my face was so lit up from seeing him! Wow! What a day! I MET DEL HOLLAND AND SHOOK HIS HAND! AHHHH! What an awesome trip! 11/10!!!

    * Del Holland is the general manager of Six Flags Magic Mountain.

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