Last week we asked our readers to send us their Colossus Memories to celebrate the last 36 years of the ride being open. We had some great responses that are shared below.
We hope you enjoy this look back at the last 36 years as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Remember, Colossus closes on Saturday August 16th but if you are planning on going at all this week, better get to the ride early. We are anticipating the ride having it's longest lines in 20 years this weekend.
Note: Many of these pictures are listed under many different websites. If any of the pictures below are your property and you'd like credit, please let us know. It's hard to tell just who they belong to.
Colossus debuted on June 29, 1978 and was at the time the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in the world. Designed by Doug Bernards, the price-tag for the ride was a whopping $7 million (and this is in 1978 dollars).
Over the years, the ride went through a few modifications
Many people may not remember it, but Colossus used to "race" and the tracks are nearly identical other than their exits from their respective stations.
Some of the things Colossus is most famous for are it's appearances in media, namely television and the movies.
* Photo courtesy of Horrorpedia
* The Late, Great John Candy on Colossus, er, Screemy Meemy in Vacation
Last week we asked some of our readers to share their personal stories about Colossus. We got some great responses. Thank you to those who shared.
If you have a Colossus story or memory to share, be sure to share them in the comments below.
Becky Taylor: The first 3 pictures below are from my younger daughters 9th birthday and the last 3 are from my older daughters 9th birthday, When we went for my older daughters birthday (2009), it was both daughters first time on Colossus. They're both die hard roller coaster fans now of course.
Nicholas Laschkewitsch (Great American Thrills): I first visited SFMM for my 13th birthday in April of 2007. I had wanted to ride Colossus for the longest time, and finally had the chance to. I rode it almost at the exact minute I turned 13 (I think it happened while riding, actually) and while going up the lift-hill my cousin Taylor gave me a little gift: some Disneyland maps - LOL. I was very happy, but had to quickly put them in my pocket as we had just reached the top of the lift. I will really miss Colossus and hope it lives on in some form or another! #FarewellColossus
Billy D'Anjou: I was a late bloomer in finally getting around to riding Colossus, as in riding the coaster in its final years. My most memorable experience riding it was this past Spring Break when they were running the coaster backwards for a limited time. We nicknamed the coaster "sussoloC" to go along with the already unofficially named "namtaB." I found the backwards-running Colossus to be quite intense and had several moments catch me by surprise. We rode in the lead car (which would actually be the very last row) so coming off those drops gave us a surprising amount of airtime. I wrapped up my Socal trip making my final ride being Colossus "sussoloC." What made it also memorable was the fact that the ride still remained pretty smooth over the years, in contrast to riding Apocalypse on the same visit. It seems like Colossus aged better due to the type of wood used, like it was meant to last.
Aiden Moreno (The Coaster Guru): I went to Magic Mountain for my first time back in 2006. Back then, I was only 7, so big coasters were pretty daunting to me. The only other coaster in the world I had been on was Revolution at the same park, Colossus looked INSANE to me. My parents really wanted to go on it as they had ridden it as children. As we stood in line, I was sooo freaked out. Revolution was OK, but it really didn't convince me coasters were all that great. As our train pulled in, I was practically crying, but my parents told me to get on anyway. Now, I am so glad they did, Colossus' massive (as a little child) lift hill and first drop, and the surprising spit of weightlessness on the air time hill, made Colossus one of the most memorable experiences in my life. After riding Colossus again, I was finally willing to take on the rest of Magic Mountain.
Jodi Malone: Last year my husband & I celebrated our 25th Anniversary by renewing our vows on Colossus. Magic Mtn was our first date!
Clifford Lake (one of the Colossus Marathon riders): Oh my, well, I could have been a contender...let me put some stuff in (I don't want a prize though, I do stuff like this for the pure FUN)......Time for the story, I am semi coherent now, and hope this post will answer a ton of questions.
The marathon was awesome, Six Flags Magic Mountain. Totally ROCKED their game with this stunt. I am blessed that they chose me to participate. So, it's no secret I was eliminated, a technicality took me out, but, a technicality put me back on the coaster. There were some other friends of mine that were picked, but, for an odd reason. They weren't there. My buddy Caesar was though, and we teamed up. Of the 24 riders, some were cool, some were complete buttheads and we couldn't wait for them to get the boot. The awesome people at Magic Mountain had private pools going on about who they thought would make it. I was one. The morning started with Fox 11 L.A cheering us on, after a few hours, people were dropping like flies. Each time we made a lap. I would make up a song about the number we were on. I was keeping track. Magic Mountain was in charge of keeping track of that and how long break time was so we could pee and stuff. The rhythm started flowing. And all was cool for the first 10 hours. I was keeping track of the laps and the Magic Mountain people kept official time for pee time. Shift change came around and the new official counter came around and seemed a little confused on duties. she didn't know the lap count but, had the stop watch in hand. on the dinner break, like all, strict 15 minutes, the routine continued. do your shit and get back. Some of the riders claim she called too soon and some said I missed it by 5 to 30 seconds. Who cares, the fact was she said I'm axed along with three people behind me. Well, rules are rules and even the vice president of the park Neil, was proud of my sportsmanship to accept the defeat without repercussion. Truly, I was pissed, I knew I made it in time but, Screw it. I instantly became an allowed supporter. each contestant was allowed a supporter at any time. And they could ride, just not win. So I rode, and ran with the pack until it came down to the final 6. I was Caesar's supporter. I am so proud of the 6 way tie on this contest. I have a group of friends (6) that will forever remember this.Many MANY MANY people asked why we were doing this. Simple answer.... WHY NOT?
Gregg Condon (Park Journey): I figured I should share my own personal memory. Believe it or not, up until about the age of 10, I was deathly afraid of Roller Coasters. I mean, wouldn't even ride Space Mountain at Disneyland afraid of coasters. I had ridden Knott's Corkscrew in about 1983 but that was the only "big coaster" I had ridden.
In 1985 I went to Magic Mountain with my cousin Kevin. This was back in the day when parents felt fine about dropping off their 10 and 12 year old sons at Magic Mountain for a full 12 hours and didn't have a worry about them. Boy did our kids miss out. We spent most of the day riding things like the Swiss Twist (RIP), Log Jammer (RIP), Reactor (RIP) and Sarajevo Bobsleds (RIP). About mid-afternoon we decided to FINALLY give Colossus a try. At the time it was the biggest coaster we'd ever seen, and was much more intimidating to a 10 year-old in 1985 than it would be to a 10 year-old in 2014. When we got off the ride we were both pretty pale with a feeling of "What was that", but also "how awesome was that". It was the first time I'd felt the fear, exhilaration and the fun you could have on a coaster. And from that day on I was hooked.
Here's my son and I on Colossus this past June. It's been such a thrill to experience the closing of one of my favorite rides with my kids.
Over the past couple of months, the park has been having events celebrating Colossus as well as some great photo ops (seen below). We aren't sure of the plans for this weekend yet, but as soon as we get them from the park we'll be sure to pass it along.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at Colossus. We'll be sharing more later in the week, including some cool pieces from my own personal collection of Colossus Memorabilia and who won the awesome prize, and what the awesome prize is!!
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