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.
This past weekend was one of the first rain-out weekends Southern California parks have had in some time as the area received some much needed rainfall. At least 3 major parks in the area were closed on Saturday March 1st due to the rain.
Sunday saw most parks returning to action including Six Flags Magic Mountain so we headed up to bring you the following update.
Bugs Bunny World / Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers
Considering it had been 2 full weeks since our last update we kind of expected more work to be done on the Bugs Bunny World refurbishment and the new coaster. In fact, only a few things are really different from our last update.
The new sign post in front of Bugs Bunny World is complete although the sign is yet to be added.
There's some asphalt on the outside of the compass cement. Hopefully this is just for the time being and a more permanent concrete walkway will be added soon. This could be because they are re-doing the concrete in this entire area (it could use it).
There really wasn't a whole lot of movement on Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers in the last two weeks. No footers holes have been dug.
Tweety's Escape looks to be completed and I'd expect it to be open soon. It may have opened this weekend if not for the rain.
It's nice to see this popular kids ride get some TLC. It looks great in it's new home.
Pepe Lepew's Tea Party is still closed, in fact it doesn't look like any work has been done on it at all. They did cover up some of the rides mechanism with plastic to protect it from the rain.
The Merrie Melodies Carousel is still having work done.
New Sports Bar
Mooseburger continues it's transformation into a Sports Bar. The outside is losing it's "High Sierra Territory" feel in favor of a more "sports bar" feel.
Some of the wood in front is getting some work done.
A peek inside. There will reportedly be about 20 TV's in the Sports Bar once it's completed.
One of the flashy ad's has been removed from the building. The ad actually fits the Sports Bar theme more than the High Sierra theme. Not sure if a similar ad will come back.
A closer look at the exterior paint being placed on the building.
Bonzai Pipelines (Hurricane Harbor)
The Demon Drop slide has been removed in preparation for the Bonzai Pipelines opening at Hurricane Harbor this summer.
There are supposed to be two new slides, thus doubling the capacity although it will be interesting to see how they deal with the staircase just below.
New Entrance Turnstiles
Six Flags is going to start rolling out Biometric scanners at all of their parks with all domestic parks receiving them sometime in 2014. The Coaster Guy had a great article about the new scanners after meeting with Jay Rasulo, Vice President of Project Management and IT for Six Flags Corp.
If you'd like to read more about the new scanners, I invite you to check out the article here.
A good portion of the old turnstiles have been removed at the front gates.
As a result, before the park opens they are letting guests enter the front entry area and doing a "rope drop" similar to how pretty much every other park (including other Six Flags parks) currently operate. Hopefully they will continue this practice once the new turnstiles are installed. It really helps with the flow of the park and allows people to get Lockers, Flash Passes and maybe do a little shopping before the park opens.
General Admission park guests are held just outside Full Throttle and near the Grand Carousel prior to 10:30am.
Gold Thrill Passholders still get early entry.
Around The Park
Due to the rain the early entry wasn't really necessary since a few popular rides were closed and crowds were very small.
Some of the vinyl on the DC Universe entry is faded or it could be due to the recent rain. We really haven't had any significant rainfall since this area opened.
Scrambler and Swashbuckler are still closed for refurbishment
Some trees near the Swashbuckler were tagged for something. Hopefully not removal as the trees looked pretty healthy to me. Maybe just trimming prior to the ride reopening.
Bonus Points to anybody who recognizes this building that has recently resurfaced due to work being done in Bugs Bunny World.
For our last update we shared that some trees near Jet Stream had been removed for what we hoped was flume work. Turns out it is for a new fence.
It's a standard chain link fence that stretches all the way from where Jet Stream crosses the path all they way to Cyclone Bay.
While separating guest from ride is a necessary thing, something other than a Chain Link fence would be nice. Similar fences are found in backstage area's which is fine, but on-stage, something nicer should be used.
Hopefully this is a temporary solution due to some present need to close off the area and a more permanant solution will present itself soon.
Since there is no gate to go along with the fence I wouldn't anticipate this being addressed anytime soon.
The front entry fountain has been drained for some work. Hopefully more fire effects for Fright Fest!!!
Fright Fest Fire from October, 2013
The Falls have also been turned off during the closure.
One of the Psyclone Backwards trains has been moved to the other track for Colossus. Hopefully this means they'll be running both sides this spring (one forward, one backwards).
We also heard reports that Batman Backwards is testing. Both should be opening sometime in March. We'll keep you updated.
Superman was closed due to the rain. After a slow start, most major coasters were running by the time we left, around noon.
And lastly, the sign in front of Laughing Dragon Pizza Co. has been removed. This location is generally reserved for private events (Media Days) and was used for the Willoughby's Fright Feast the last couple of years. Maybe if the new Sports Bar is successful this will come back as well. It's actually a nice space.
That's going to wrap it up for this week. As Spring Break approaches I'd anticipate receiving some opening dates for both Batman and Colossus Backwards. Not sure if they will be having any kind of media day but we'll certainly be there when they open to bring you lots of pictures.