Yesterday I headed up to Six Flags Magic Mountain for their first day of daily operations in over a year. It was great to be back in the park, I saw some very encouraging things and overall had a really fun visit.
In this update I'll share some of my thoughts on the park, covid protocols and what you can expect if you'll be visiting the park in the near future.
Written by Gregg Condon
I arrived about 10:10 for my 10:30 reservation. I wasn't hopeful when I saw this, but they opened parking about 10:15 and I was in the park by 10:30.
I did a full walk around of the park and commentary on my day. Be sure to check it out on our YouTube channel.
The queue for the temperature check and security. They ARE checking reservations. I saw somebody with a reservation for Sunday get turned away. So please, make sure you show up at your reserved time.
Lots of signs around the park and even outside the park. I found the completely touch-less temperature check and security to be a breath of fresh air and I hope all of the parks go this route. Not only does it give people a great first impression, but it's so fast and easy.
They currently have only 2 of the new security check devices, but you literally just walk through it. There was zero wait.
We missed you too!!
Lets head into the park
Absolutely zero wait at the gate. If you have a new pass they'll give you your pass card here.
It felt great to walk through these gates.
Lots of "rest" and food area's where you normally wouldn't see them.
I headed for Revolution first, figured I needed to start on something "easy" after a year of no riding, plus I absolutely LOVE Revolution
Social Distancing, cleaning and loading every-other row!
About to ride my first coaster in over a year. Tell me you can't see a smile through a mask!
It was a beautiful (and slightly warm) day
Heading over to Full Throttle. This was pretty much as empty as I saw the walkways all day.
20 minutes after park opening, lots of cleaning already going on!
A reminder, the stickers on the ground are there for a reason. Use them!
Not even exaggerating, I must have seen 100 sanitizer bottles throughout the day. It's amazing to see.
Social distancing FTW!
After a nice back-seat ride on Full Throttle it was time to grab a bite to eat.
I tried to do the mobile ordering at Wascals, but they were having some issues. No biggie, these are the kinds of things to expect after a year of the park not being open.
I had to ride Road Runner Express because I was wearing a Vekoma hat. And it's the only Vekoma in the park.
More seating locations where there aren't normally seating locations!
DO THE SIX!!
Batman was closed, it is apparently getting some new paint.
All of the Green Lantern stuff is still here, will be shocked if the new coaster doesn't use this as the entry/station/queue.
Don't see any panting yet
Social distancing markers in the games area too!
I know I sound like a broken record with all the dining area's, but seriously, it's impressive how prepared the park is.
If rumors are true, Tidal Wave isn't going to be around much longer.
I do think the park needs more than 2 water rides, so hopefully they'll get some kind of splash battle or something in the next couple of years.
Some pics of Riddler's in action, because why not. Click to see larger views of each.
Justice League was closed when I walked by, but apparently opened later in the day.
Gold Rusher was also closed when I went by, but did open later.
The Underground was definitely the most popular area when I was at the park.
After a quick water/mask break I had to take a ride on West Coast Racers
From this angle I didn't think people were social distancing, but they actually were. So yay!
The park has gone to 100% mobile/card payments, but you can actually convert cash to a card at kiosks around the park. Really great idea!!
So overall I had a really great day at the park. There were some technical issues, but it's to be expected after the park has been closed over a year. I mean, you wouldn't try to start your car after a year and expect there to be no issues. Right?
So just be prepared for ride down time and slower loading times due to cleaning and distancing.
All that said, there are a few things I would like to see changed. Namely, more drink locations. Again, they are still re-staffing, but with the heat and masks it would have been nice to have more places to just get a drink vs having to wait in line.
But that's small compared to all the good at the park.
Kudos to Six Flags and the park staff for taking all the precautions they did. It's so great to have the park open and I can't wait to go back soon.
It's time for another Twisted Colossus update. Today we had kind of a last minute trip to the park but we figured we'd better do an update this week since it might be awhile until our next one (more on that below).
We'll also take a look around the park and at a great new program that aims to recognize great employees at the park.
* Pictures and Words by Gregg Condon
The Top Gun Stall on the green track has been completed as well as the airtime hill on the blue, which almost could be another kind of high-five moment, just from a totally different perspective. =)
They've wasted absolutely no time on moving into the next set of elements on the ride.
This is where the blue track will come out of it's zero-g roll.
The start of the zero-g roll.
Just like with the top-gun stall, the side of track on the bottom (in this case green) is being installed first.
Where the green track currently ends.
Under the zero-g
The lowest part of the ride
A rare piece of straight track. =)
They were working on the final turnaround today. I think it's safe to say the ride is about 80%-85% completed. But this is only the track work, there's still a lot of support work going on.
Looks like they'll be completing the circuit somewhere around the end of the zero-g roll as they are working from both sides now.
An overview of the work that's been done in the last month or so.
Our first look at the twisty final turnaround.
Inside the park, REALLY liking the look of the theater.
Elsewhere, the park has introduced a nice new program for employee recognition. From what we were told, random guests will be given these when they enter the park and they can give them directly to an employee who has gone above and beyond to offer great service.
The employee will then give them to their manager so they can keep track of their performance.
It's a nice "instant recognition" thing that employees and HR love. =)
Goliath is closed while they replace the lift chain. Unsure of how long it will be down.
Noticed that the gates have some kind of extender on Full Throttle now, anybody know how long these have been there? Were they having issues with people sticking their hands through the gap?
I know this has been here for awhile, but this was the first time I'd seen it. Maybe I need to do a loop around the opposite direction next time I'm at the park. Who knows what else I've been missing. =)
As more schools are opting to have their Grad Nights at Magic Mountain instead of Disneyland due to increasing costs/decreasing value, the park looks like they are stepping it up a bit. Nice to see.
Work is still being done on Lost Temple Rapids in advance of Hurricane Harbor opening next month
Speaking of Hurricane harbor, they did a nice power wash on Tornado. Looks like it was just freshly painted. Glad to see SFHH getting some more offseason love.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update.
We will NOT have a park update next week as we'll be at Star Wars Celebration all weekend (Thursday through Sunday) but be sure to follow along all weekend for that fun. We'll have more details on where you can find that coverage on Wednesday.
Have a great week everybody!!
The much anticipated Goliath finally opened at Six Flags Great America this week. The park provided us a great B-Roll and some pictures from the opening of this ride.
If you missed our report on the park earlier this month you can click here.
The park provided some GREAT footage that we put together for you.
The press release for the ride is below:
Record Breaking Roller Coaster, Goliath, Now Open at Six Flags Great America
Fastest Wooden Roller Coaster with Tallest and Steepest Drop on the PlanetGurnee, Ill., June 19, 2014 / PRNewswire / —
The new GIANT in the world of wooden roller coasters makes its debut today! Six Flags Great America presents Goliath, the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world featuring the world’s tallest and steepest drop. All total, this wooden marvel touts three world records and goes upside down twice making it the most extreme coaster of its kind on the planet!“Goliath is innovation at its best and will forever change the skyline of Six Flags Great America,” said Hank Salemi, park president. “This park provides the most thrills for all ages at any park in the country and we are committed to bringing new and innovative rides, shows and attractions to our guests every year.”
Record Breaking Facts:
The addition of Goliath makes Six Flags Great America home to the most wooden roller coaster track of any theme park in the world. Goliath resides in the County Fair section of the park.
About Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor
Two great parks, one destination! Located between Chicago and Milwaukee, Six Flags Great America offers endless adventures for the entire family with 14 heart-pounding roller coasters, a 20-acre water park, spectacular shows, three children's themed areas with over 30 rides and a nighttime parade.
About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with $1.1 billion in revenue and 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 53 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions including up-close animal encounters, Fright Fest® and Holiday in the Park®. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com.
Follow us at twitter.com/SFGreat_America
Like us at facebook.com/SFGreatAmerica
I'd like to thank my friend of 25 years Sebastian Ciceri for allowing us to use his music for the video. For more information about his music you can check out http://satanscharm.wordpress.com/ or http://scbassplayer.wordpress.com/
When I was planning my cross-country trip I was hoping I was planning my trip around the opening of Goliath. Unfortunately it turns out I was a couple of weeks too early and the ride was still being constructed during my visit.
If you missed our Goliath Construction update click the link, but it doesn't look like that anymore.
Since we did a Goliath update, we are going to look at the rest of the park.
If you missed our reports from Adventuredome, Las Vegas, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Adventureland click the respective links.
Welcome to Six Flags
The parks entry. They are using the new finger scanners and they seemed to work better here than at the other parks I've visited.
The "Great America" entrance. I love walking around this park and seeing the similarities with this park and it's former CA Companion Park that is new California's Great America.
Coming soon!! When this was taken the ride was already supposed to be open by this point. We are still waiting for an opening date although testing has begun.
I had visited the park in 2011 so there were a few new things for me, mainly X-Flight.
Below are some X-Flight pictures from angles that you've never seen before ... ;)
Original Shots I tell you!!! =)
Nobody has ever taken a picture of the train going through the keyhole in the history of taking pictures.
But seriously, I thought the ride was great. I know the wingriders have gotten crapped on but I rode in the front and back on both sides and enjoyed each ride. Very smooth, very re-rideable. Hoping one of these comes to the west coast soon.
Takis have infiltrated this park too.
I really liked this open seating area where non-riders can sit and enjoy the ride, have a snack, etc.
Obligatory X Flight store.
Moving beyond X-Flight, the only other "credits" I needed in the park was one side of The American Eagle (oddly enough I'd only ridden the backwards side in 2011) and Little Dipper since it didn't have FlashPass during my last visit.
American Eagle has the longest queue line in history. History I say!!
Little Dipper is a fun little ride.
Even though it doesn't look like this anymore, I had to include a Goliath picture.
The Mardi Gras area of the park seems a little bare now that Ragin' Cajun is gone. Hopefully something new will be in this area soon.
I know these rides get a lot of crap, but for what they are I really enjoy them.
Superman Ultimate Flight, still one of my favorites.
Unfortunately Condor was closed the day we were there. :(
As much as I loved X-Flight I still think Whizzer is my favorite ride in the park.
My favorite flat ride and I take any opportunity I can to ride one.
Raging Bull!!! Fun ride, but probably my least favorite B&M Hyper.
Full Throttle ... I mean JB's Barbeque (Barbecue?) and Sports Bar!!
Another picture that nobody has ever taken in the history of picture taking.
Lets take an aerial look of the park courtesy of the Sky Trek Tower
Viper and Hurricane Harbor. Next time I'm at the park I'm definitely going to set aside some time to visit the waterpark.
A couple of Goliath shots
Whizzer ... drooooool
That's going to wrap it up for today. As soon as we get some word on Goliath opening we'll be passing it along. Look for a media day report whenever that is.
On my cross country trek I made a stop at Great America today. I will be doing a full update from all of the parks I've visited but I wanted to put up a quick Goliath update since by the time I get home the ride will hopefully be done. Plus, it's rare that we get to do a construction update from a non-home park.
Hope you enjoy!!!
As you can see from the pictures below, there is still a LOT of work to be done if they are going to be ready for Media Day next Thursday.
Cranes are still all around the ride because they are still installing track.
We had heard rumors of testing starting today, but not with the track like that.
A close up of the section that still needs track. We tried to see if any of the bottom portion of this element was installed and we couldn't tell.
It almost looks as if there's a big gap between the supports and where the track is on the right of this picture.
A wider angle shot
The entry sign and the lift. This is going to be a popular picture.
Lots of work still to be done on the ride exit/photo area.
One last look at the lift/drop and elements.
So what do you think? Will they be ready to host the media next Thursday? If so, they are cutting it REALLY close. It's certainly not for a lack of trying for RMC and the park.