January 6, 2006

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   I hadn't been to Six Flags Magic Mountain since April 2003. We got up bright and early and arrived at the park about 9:15 a.m. The gates leading to the parking lot were closed, so we walked around and took some pictures outside the park. They opened the parking gates a little after 9:30, and we parked. We walked to the park gates, and Bryan and I bought season passes. My brother bought a ticket. The season pass office told us we had to go inside the park to get our passes processed. We thought this was a bad idea because they don't let you in until the park opens at 10.

    Today was going to be a good day at the park. It was absolutely dead.

    When the gates opened, we walked to Flashback and got our passes processed. The park was pretty dead, but he walked quickly over to X anyway. Bryan had never ridden X, and he was really excited for it. We walked over the bridge and got in the queue. We walked straight under the station and into the back row. There were six people in front of us and a loaded train in the station. Two people let us go ahead of them. My brother ended up riding a couple of trains before us with a single rider in row six. They were only running one train because, as I was later told, the other train rolled back earlier in the week.

    Fifteen minutes later, Bryan and I were on my favorite roller coaster. He had no idea what to expect. I'd nearly forgotten what the ride felt like.

    Oh. My. Gosh. X is still my favorite roller coaster ever, and the drop can't be topped. It's insanely intense, pulls great G-forces and is so wild. It was a little bumpier than the last time I rode it, but it wasn't bad. I still love this coaster. It's going to take a lot to beat this thing. 10/10. We took pictures of Tatsu's track when we exited.

    Up next was Viper. My brother went to the bathroom, so Bryan and I hopped on. Two trains were running, so we waited one train to get in the back seat. I love this ride, too. The forces are great, and the drop's intense. Bryan really liked the first loop. I like that it's really high up instead of being a huge loop, like what B&M does. It's a bit rough, but it is an Arrow. 9/10.

    After we got off, we got on again with my brother. The entrance queue took us to the line for the back, and we noticed there were no people standing in line for the front or the middle. We hopped in the first car with no wait. There's good airtime entering the block brakes in the front. It's good in the front, but I like the back.

    It was time for us to meet up with my friend Tom. He just got to the park and got his season pass processed, so we met him near Log Jammer. He was with his girlfriend, his friend Karl and Karl's wife. We decided to go to Goliath because it was nearby.

    I love the entrance to this ride. We walked straight into the station and headed for the back. The front row of the back car was roped off, so we had to stagger our seating. It took about 10 minutes to get on because they were only running one train. Tom, Karl and their significant others rode together. I rode with Bryan and my brother. Goliath is an excellent ride. I really like the first drop because it's straight for a long time. I don't like how much the top of the lift slows down or how much the block brakes slows you, but it doesn't take much away. The forces at the bottom of the drop are powerful, and the tunnel is really cool. The second drop took  me by surprise. I'd forgotten how much is was banked. There's some good airtime in the camelback. Of course, the highlight of this ride is the helix at the end. It's extremely powerful. This is a really smooth coaster, too. 9/10.

    We went to MooseBurger Lodge next. I'd never eaten here before, and I'd heard that it's the best place to eat in the park. We were seated, and Tom, Bryan, my brother and I ordered what was called antler ale. It said it was lemonade and lots of berries. Tom told us to get it because it's good and comes with a crazy straw that you have to put together. It was delicious! Look at the following pictures Tom took of us trying to put the straws together: looking at them, Bryan figuring it out, I have no idea how it works, my brother might have it, Bryan has no idea. We called our host over, and he showed us how to do it. There we go. Tom holds up the complete version. Bryan and my brother using them. I've got it, but my brother has to hold it on my head. Oh, the food was excellent. Inside this place there is a moose and two moose heads that sing. Someone had a birthday, and the moose sang a birthday song. It was hilarious.

   After eating, Bryan and I went to Log Jammer. I really like this ride. It uses the terrain really well. The ending is good, too. It ends with a drop, some turns and a large final drop. I got misted because I sat in the front. Tom and posse were watching us come down the drop. They pushed a button for a water cannon, but it only seemed to bubble. 8/10.

   Colossus was next. It took this ride an hour or so to open after the park opened, and only one side was running, but we walked on it anyway. They were running two trains, but when we got there, one train was still testing. We rode in the back seat. This is a fun coaster. They slow the top of the lift hill down just like Goliath, but it's fun. There was good airtime in the back seat on many of the drops. The block brake is pretty useless. They slowed us down but not by much. Lots of people say this ride is rough, but I had no problem with is. The bottoms of the drops were pretty smooth. 7/10.

   We headed to Scream! because it was right next to Colossus. I rode this when it opened in 2003. It was decent then, and it's still decent. Bryan and I walked right on to get in the back row. Two trains were running. My brother didn't ride because he was thirsty or something. Tom and the others rode in the front. Our ride host was an older man with white hair. You don't see too many older people working at Magic Mountain.

   The drop is OK. The loop is OK. The zero-G roll is easily the best element on the ride. I was lifted out of my seat in that. The block brakes aren't on much at all, and the helix right after is good. The interlocking corkscrews are fun but not really noteworthy. This ride is really mediocre at best. I've ridden three floorless coasters, and this is my least favorite. 6/10.

   Bryan and I hopped on Bench: The Ride next. That's become an SFMM tradition for me. My brother got in line for Scream! He liked it.

   We walked to Batman The Ride. We walked right on to the back seat. They were running two trains.  I'd forgotten how intense this coaster is. It's just element after element, loop after loop. My legs were tingling at the end of it. The turn after the second loop is really intense. I really felt pressed in my seat during that part. The corkscrews are also good. They snap in the middle, and I really like that. After the ride, Tom stood to the side and recorded the sounds Batman made.

   On to Riddler's Revenge. They were running two trains. We ended up waiting one train for the back seat. We rode in the second train, Jerry, which is the fast train. I love this ride. It's tall, fast, intense and all-around the best stand-up coaster I've ever ridden. The loop has good G-forces, the two dive loops are excellent, the inclined loop feels crazy, and the two corkscrews are great. My favorite thing about this ride, though, is the last inversion. That corkscrew is taken with such force, you're plastered in your seat through the whole thing. I love that part. It's my favorite corkscrew. The drop off the block brakes gives airtime in the back seat, which was a bit unexpected. This ride is loud, too. I really like it. The exit is even cool. 10/10.

   We stopped at a cart and got some snacks. I got a soft frozen lemonade, which I've gotten at least once every time I've visited this park. Then we climbed the crazy hill to Samurai Summit. Sheesh, this is one steep hill. I can't wait for Orient Express to open after they open Tatsu. Climbing that hill is a workout.

   Superman The Escape was our next stop. My brother didn't ride because he's just not impressed with it at all. This was the first time I've not ridden in the front seat on this coaster. I didn't really want to wait, even though we only waited two cycles for the third row. Tom and his friends got on before us, and they said the ride host screwed up and actually gave them two rides! How cool. When Bryan and I got on, one ride host was adamant about keeping our heads against the headrest. She seemed very concerned. The launch is weak, and the wind didn't make my eyelids flap, but it's sort of fun. Because the track is so long, it doesn't even seem like it goes too fast. The car was going as high as it should go, though. This ride just doesn't do it for me. The airtime heading back was neat, but that's really all this ride has. 5/10.

   On our way to Ninja, we took some photos of the progress of Tatsu. Footers, lift hill and construction. We also saw a sign that claimed that a Pentax camera is the "official camera of the Internet," whatever the heck that means.

   At the entrance of the park, they had a list of closed rides. Ninja was on the list, so we were happy to see it open. As usual, the station was empty so we hopped right on. Bryan, my brother and I went to the back, Tom and his gang went to the front. Ninja has a really short lift hill. It uses the terrain really well. The entire ride just goes down the side of the hill in the park. It's a pretty good ride. It's not too rough, and it has some spots with good forces. Too bad it ends with a lift hill and a turn to the station. 7/10.

   At the exit, we saw a soda machine. There were Six Flags ride logos at the bottom. One doesn't exist anymore!

   We went to my favorite mine train coaster, Gold Rusher. This is a fun ride. There are two great headchoppers down the first drop. The second drop is fun, and the ride winds around the terrain. The ending is great, too. It's a double helix carved into the hillside. I like it. 8/10.

   Arrowhead Splashdown was next. Bryan rode ahead of my brother and me. I like this water ride. You don't get wet on it, and it's fun. It winds around the hill. It's going to be really cool with Tatsu there. Arrowhead Splashdown picks up a bit of speed before stopping before the drop. The drop is fun and fairly steep. You don't get wet, and that was good because it was starting to get a little chilly. 7/10.

   We went to Deja Vu next. My brother skipped it because the first and only time he rode it, he rode in the back seat and it scared him. The women sat out, too. We waited about 15 minutes to get in the station. Tom asked the ride host at the entrance to the station if we could sit in the back. He let us! Nice. Bryan and I got the outside seats. I'd only ridden this in the 10th row. This was wild. Sitting in the back, you get to see how tall the lift hill is. It was pretty crazy. The drop was insane. We sped through the station and into the cobra roll. The loop had some good forces. We headed up the second lift and dropped before I could regain my senses. Going backward through this ride is insane. It's not as fast as going forward though the cobra roll, but it's cool enough. The catch on the lift hill after the backward pass can be painful, but I remembered it from the first time I rode. This is one wild coaster! 8/10.

   Bryan wanted credits, and I hate my life, so we got in line for Psyclone. Actually, it was only Bryan, my brother and me. Everyone else wanted to live. Tom took my camera and got pictures of us before, during and after the ride. Not good. Not good at all. I was actually glad it really slowed down at the top of the lift hill. The drop was decent, but the first turn slammed us to the side. I was holding on for dear life, and I still got beaten up. The next hill is brutal, too. Every single turn on this ride slams the train around. It's painful and my second-least favorite wooden coaster. I won't be riding this again unless they get different trains. These B&M trains do not track well at all. 0/10.

   It was about 5:30. The parked closed in half an hour, so we decided to call it a night. We bought some things in a gift shop, and Tom's group left. After exiting, we got on a tram to the parking lot.

   Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of my favorite amusement parks. This park did not disappoint at all, and this was probably one of my best visits. It wasn't crowded at all, and the park was running two trains on a few of their coasters. Excellent!

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