Over the past two weekends Six Flags Magic Mountain held a special preview for Batman Backwards (or namtaB as people like to call it). Part dress rehearsal, part giving time for the 2nd train to be flipped backwards, all indications are that the ride is going to be a hit.
We'll also have some updates on Bugs Bunny World construction, a look at everything else going on around the park and a quick look at the 2014 park maps.
Before we get to the specifics and our review of Batman Backwards, be sure to check out the POV below that has been provided by the park.
I thought about doing this portion of the update in backwards type, but it was annoying to type it out so I figured it would be even more annoying to read. =)
Signs were out in DC Universe letting park guests know that Batman Backwards was only open to Passholders. That didn't stop people from giving the park employees at the front of the ride a hard time when they couldn't get on. It's hard to imagine why anybody who goes to Six Flags parks wouldn't have a Season Pass, two visits and it's paid for. But the front line employees aren't the ones that make the decisions. Giving them a hard time isn't going to do anything except make you look like a jerk.
Another sign is placed just in front of the actual ride.
Before we get to the ride itself, a couple of queue notes. The fountain in the queue has received some TLC. Not sure why this particular fountain always seems to give the park trouble, I'm guessing the people waiting in line aren't too kind to it.
The old photo booth is still here but the park has now put some trees up to give the exit a bit of greenery.
A look at the backwards train getting ready to leave the station.
If you've ridden any of the Batman clones you know what to expect when you ride. I've ridden all of them except 1 or 2 and I've ridden this particular version at least a couple hundred times over the years. Even though I knew what was coming, the sensation of going through the familiar elements backwards was disorienting.
That said, I found the ride to be significantly less intense as far as Negative G-Forces are concerned. I was worried about the backwards elements making me dizzy and I can say without a doubt that riding XLR-8 backwards at Six Flags Astroworld was 10 times worse than this. I was also 10 years younger when I rode that. ;)
During backwards operation the ride has one less row, so 7 instead of 8. The picture below shows the new "Zero Car" ... or would that be the "Eight Car". I'm so confused. =)
Batman Backwards officially opens on April 22nd. I recommend getting to the ride early if you plan on riding especially considering there is one less row per vehicle for backwards operation. The second train looked like it was almost done and the ride should be running 2 trains when it officially opens on Saturday.
Bugs Bunny World and Speedy Gonzales Construction
The past few weeks the park has been concentrating more on the aesthetics of the Bugs Bunny World overhaul which is great to see. Not a whole lot going on at the site of the new coaster however.
Wascal's has received a great new paint scheme that really shines. If this is what Bugs Bunny World is going to look like when they are all done then parents and their children should have a great looking area to spend some time in.
The re-paint extends all the way to the back to the showers and the jail located behind Wascal's.
They have a bit more to do in the Livery Stable but I'm guessing they'll finish the rest when the walls come down for Speedy Gonzales.
I was a bit surprised to see Tweety's wasn't open yet. I'm guessing it will be in time for daily operation which starts on the 22nd.
The Carrot Top Theater has begun it's freshening up and once again, if this is what we can expect for the rest of Bugs Bunny World it's going to look great!!
You can see the before in the background and the new brightness in the foreground.
According to the 2014 Map (that we'll get into a bit below) the new show here will be called "Warner Bros. Kids Club" and will run select days from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Merrie Melodies Carousel doesn't look too different from our last update.
Looks like the Tea Cups are ready to be set back on Pepe LePew's any day now.
Still a whole lot of dirt at the site of Speedy Gonzales.
The new asphalt around the entrance area has received a nice "High Sierra" looking coat of paint.
Full Throttle Sports Bar and Grill
Work continues on the new Sports Bar that is certainly getting a "Full Throttle" makeover.
Looks like they are saving some space for signage, etc.
The new Sports Bar is on track to open sometime in April.
Around The Park
Lots of little things going on around the rest of the park as it's still the "off-season".
Some rides had a delayed opening on Saturday morning due to a small earthquake in nearby Castaic. We noticed most of the rides didn't open with the park but safety always comes first.
Having a Gold Pass still allowed us to be on the second Full Throttle train at about 10:40am.
The throng of "regular" guests waiting to get into the park as we were in line for Full Throttle.
It was Physics Day in the park which made it quite a bit busier than a normal Saturday in mid-March.
Tidal Wave is back open from it's refurbishment.
Jet Stream is still closed.
The Scrambler is back open after it's complete refurbishment. It looks and runs great. Lots of padding.
The ride op working the ride on Saturday morning was absolutely great. Encouraging riders to have a great time that should be had on a classic flat ride like the Scrambler. It's so awesome to see ride op's who take pride and have fun. One thing that could help this ride though is maybe some music. The ride itself is so quiet now.
Colossus was closed. Not sure if it's for Backwards preparation or due to the earthquake. The employee stationed at the front of the ride did say the ride could open on Sunday (March 16). Can anybody confirm if the ride was open?
The Fountain and the Falls at the front of the park are back open. I can't remember the last time I saw the fountain go so high. Looks great.
Looks like some new landscaping has been done in the area. Wouldn't be surprised to see the park switch to more "succulent" plants as we are in EXTREME drought conditions here in Southern California.
The M&M's store is gone, but don't worry, the store is being converted to a Jelly Belly store!!!
Hopefully they'll have "Belly Flops".
The new scanners are installed at the turnstiles, they aren't using them yet however. Probably waiting until they are all ready to go. In the meantime they are using hand scanners.
No change on the Bonzai Pipelines at Hurricane Harbor. Although I did hear them hard at work on the other side of the fence.
And lastly, a look at the new 2014 park maps. I know the park gets a lot of flack for not having new maps available on January 1st, but honestly it's not that big of a deal. None of the 2014 attractions are open yet, it's only 1 of 2 parks in the entire chain that are even open in January and February and when you compare the 2013 and 2014 maps there is VERY little difference.
* All map pictures property of Six Flags
The inside cover, it's never too early to start thinking about Fright Fest. Can't wait to see what the park has in-store for 2014.
The "Friends and Family" section is back this year and it looks like Full Throttle Nights is coming back starting on Memorial Weekend. July 4th Fest is also making a return in 2014.
Looking at the 2013 Map I don't see anything too different for 2014 on the left side of the map except for the absense of the General Sam Tree.
The right side features Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod racers and the new location for Tweety's Escape.
That's going to wrap it up for this week. Be sure to check out Batman Backwards which opens this weekend along with Colossus Backwards.