Vegas – Day 4 – Magic Mountain (LA)

Today was our first visit to an American theme park together :) We were awake far too early, and yet still managed to leave after our “9am at the latest” decision! After stopping for fuel we made it to Six Flags Magic Mountain without too much difficulty, and collected our tickets.

Worcle Ball at Magic Mountain

Then the day started to go downhill somewhat… our first stop was the Orient Express to get us up to Tatsu quickly… but it was closed. Okay, lets do Revolution since we’re next to it, but nope, that was broken down after a few minutes in that queue. Fine, let’s do X2 since that’s the big, exciting one with long queues and it was still very early and most of the school kids who seemed to be swarming the park had sounded terrified by it! RideHopper, the clever little app Chris has, told us that the queue time was 15 minutes. When we joined it looked like about 30-45 minutes but that was fine by us.

We moved slowly… there were some interesting boards to read and some music, then a guy came out and started asking random quiz questions, got us to sing Happy Birthday to people, generally kept the queue entertained. He made a joke about it being 2 hours till we got on the ride… at least, we all thought it a joke at the time and I’m sure he did too… :( As we stood there, we started to see people in event staff tshirts walk past… then noticed the coaster going round with only one person on it! Then we saw someone in a “Scream If You Know The Answer” shirt and suddenly the wait made sense… *sighs*

We did see the host, Duncan James, walk past a couple of times, but I don’t think that made up for the wait very much! Basically, they sent round two coasters of actual park guests, then there was a 10-15 minute wait whilst they did some filming, then they sent the ride round with contestants (1-3 people) and then another 5-10 minutes before the next 2 coasters of park guests. Repeat for many hours! At least as we got close there were steps to sit on… :(

This was a sucky way to start the day. Every one was totally fed up. They weren’t giving us any information, there was no indication of wait times, nothing to console us for the waste of a quarter of our day doing nothing. Most of the queue you couldn’t even see much of anything, so the wait felt even longer!

The ride itself was pretty awesome! Not what we expected even from the few glimpses you get from the queue, and good fun. More curiosity than thrill as Chris put it. It was not, however, worth waiting over two hours for!

We came off angry and grumpy at the waste of our morning and hunted out something to eat and drink. The cheeseburger was okay and started to help improve the day.

We decided to head over towards Apocalypse and Deja Vu as they were both showing reasonable (35 minute) wait times on Chris’ app, but stopped at Ninja on the way as it was right next to us and looked like a short queue. Apparently it’s “The West Coast’s fastest suspended roller coaster”. The wait was slowed down by people trying to put tiny children on the ride who weren’t tall enough, but quick enough to cheer us up a bit. The ride was pretty good, nothing spectacular but it was in the mild rides section ;) We also stopped at Gold Rusher as that was nearby – the parks’ first roller coaster! It was a run away mine train type ride, but not wooden, and quite a fun ride :)

Next up was Apocalypse. Here our grumpy moods returned as what we expected to be a 35 minute wait turned into 90! The queue looked reasonable, until you realised it was barely moving, and twice the length you could see! Seems they only had one coaster going, so it was managing about 22 people every 4 minutes… this doesn’t get many people through a ride! :( It was the only ride we went on which had any real theming to it, though that didn’t really make an appearance until you were almost at the ride, which was a shame. They could have done a better job of keeping us entertained in the queue if they’d interspersed the adverts on the TV screens with some of the videos we saw later on. It was a good coaster, very fast for a wooden one :) But again, not really worth the amount of time stood still!


Next up was Deja Vu, which we’d been watching whilst waiting for Apocalypse. The queue was much longer than the app told us again, but because we had a great view of the coaster the whole time, and the queue was actually moving, it didn’t feel so bad (apparently we were there 70 minutes, but didn’t feel so long!) This ride was awesome! :D Totally out of your seat, a fabulous loop, and then reversed! Beautiful views from the top, and great moments of suspense waiting for the drops. Finally there was some smiling and feeling like the day might improve.

Checking RideHopper again we decided to skip past Riddler and Tatsu which were nearby but had hideous ride times, and headed over to the far corner for some coasters with much shorter queues. Colossus came first which was a lovely short queue (about 20 minutes!) and a lovely old wooden coaster :) A long ride with some lovely drops :) It’s a dual track ride, but as is so often the case, only one side was running :(

The exit to Colossus is right by the entrance to Scream, so clearly that was next up :) Another short queue time of about 25 minutes and we were onto a lovely ride! :) Lots of great loops and turns! I think it claimed 7 inversions, I wasn’t counting! ;)


The next closest was Goliath, we got into the queue then checked the time, looked at the length and re-evaluated since we only had an hour left! It looked like a long queue, whereas others we wanted to go on were down to 5 minutes! So off we went to Revolution instead :) This was the first looping coaster ever built and yet there was quite a lot of ride to go with it! There were some good drops and turns, and an amusing build up to the actual loop! The loop was the kind I like and the ride had you well stuck in your seat! :) There was one rather painful stop thanks to the strange harness, but otherwise all good :)

We went from that one over to Viper which I had spent most of the 2 hour queue for X2 looking longingly at, as it had many awesome looking loops :) A lovely short queue, and then into the back row. The ride was great, lovely loops and a corkscrew :) Unfortunately, the seats could do with some padding! It was very hard and we came off feeling very bashed and bruised! :( Ouchy!


With only 20 minutes before park closing we dashed up to Tatsu and joined a rather long queue… but they let us in, so we knew we were riding it :) This coaster is like Air, in that it is a flying coaster :) Oh, how I love flying coasters :) It was a very smooth ride – longer, taller and faster than Air :) There was a slight problem with the harness slowly but surely imprinting the car keys into my leg (OUCH!) but the ride was awesome :) A great end to the day! :)

We finished the day with a stop at the closest Panda Express for some dinner. It was horribly busy and noisy, but the food was good :)

I feel a need to rant a little more about Magic Mountain… the rides are good. Very good infact! However, the general guest experience really isn’t. I know the filming screwed up our day more than a normal day (we’ve been checking ride times for weeks so we knew what to expect, and this wasn’t it!) They didn’t handle the filming well. They should have just closed the ride and let them film, then let us ride after, rather than having a whole lot of very angry guests stood in a line all morning!

The park lacks any wait time indicators on most of the rides. By the end of the day they finally had boards up outside a couple of the rides with wait times on, which were changed by hand not electronically so no indication of accuracy! There are no “30 minute wait from this point” signs on the queues like at many other parks. You just had no idea how long things might take! The RideHopper app was our only indication, and relies on other people using it (which thankfully at least a few other people were!)

The queues were mostly very dull. There were a few boards of interesting facts on a couple of the rides, but these were infrequent. A number of the queues lacked much shade (quite thankful the day started rather dreary!) The toilets were not kept very clean. The churro machine was broken so they tempted me with the smell but wouldn’t sell me one!

On the bright side, no one tried to steal Chris’ glasses so he got to see on every ride :)

One Response to “Vegas – Day 4 – Magic Mountain (LA)”

  1. Angela says:

    Well that sounds like you had some fun and some nasty long queues. I enjoyed reading about it and the dishes are still waiting!

    The blogs are great – thank you!

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