Over the weekend we got to check out the first night of the amazing Holiday In The Park at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
In just it's third year this event has easily turned into one of our favorite events of the year. Even if you don't care for the rides at Magic Mountain, experiencing the Holiday atmosphere in the park is worth the price of admission alone.
Pictures by Matthew Nelson and Gregg Condon
Written by Gregg Condon
(click on any of the pictures below for a larger version)
Let's start off with a few daytime pictures because the park looks incredibly festive by day and night.
On The New Revolution for the Holiday Season is "Santa's Wild Sleigh Ride". We got a chance to experience the ride and we all really did enjoy it.
I hadn't personally ridden the VR Version of Revolution since Media Day earlier this year and while I'm still not a fan of VR on coasters and it's impact to capacity I have to say I did enjoy this more than the regular Revolution VR. And that pretty much was the consensus among everybody I talked to. So be sure you check it out.
Also new this year is a new show in the Gearworks Theatre - Kwerkmas.
It's a fun cirque type show with great acrobatics, dancers and a magician. We've put together a slideshow below to give you an idea of what the show is like.
So one of the things that really put Holiday In The Park on the Map when it started two years ago was the food. This was definitely a departure from the normal "Burger and Fries" that Magic Mountain had been known for.
The first year they started kind of traditional, with a ham feast, tamales and other traditional type holiday foods. Which was awesome. And yes, for those of us who live in Southern California, tamales are most definitely traditional holiday food.
But last year they started "experimenting" with a few different things. Some things were removed and in it's place came the Holiday Turkey Dog (Turkey dog with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayo) which from it's description you wouldn't think would work. But it DOES.
Other favorites from last year included the Mac n Cheese Burger, Chocolate Covered Caramel Pretzel, Funnel Cakes and more. And all of your favorites are back with a few new treats to enjoy.
And as we did last year, we'll be sharing our top 5 lists so you can be sure to know what to try when you visit.
Aftermath of our first food stop of the night. Sorry, we ate too fast to get pictures. Plus we were having such a good time just enjoying the company.
Towards the end of the night they had a nice reception set up for us near Katie's Kettle. SFMM sure does spoil us.
Lots of amazing treats.
We actually remembered to get a before pic ... kind of. ;)
Top 5 food picks
We had such an amazing time at Holiday In The Park. It truly is one of our favorite events each and every year, not just holiday events, but in general. The lights are fantastic, the atmosphere is phenomenal, everybody is just out to have a great time, it's stress free, no drama. Oh, and the food is amazing.
Thanks again to Magic Mountain for the amazing night, we can't wait to get back and experience more of Holiday In The Park. And we WILL be back.
Now that Halloween Season is done and we have a few weeks until Holiday Season events begin it's time to look at some 2017 attractions and see their progress.
Can you believe we've never really had an update for Justice League since it was announced? Just our tour in September. So we'll check the progress of Magic Mountain's first dark ride as well as taking a look around the park.
We'll also have some thoughts on the new VR Experience coming to the park for Holiday In The Park.
Written by Gregg Condon
It was a rare "rainy" morning in Southern California, but because it was the last weekend for Fright Fest the park was actually kind of busy even for a Friday morning.
These are new'ish? Promoting The New Revolution and other things. Santa's going to be taking over The New Revolution for Holiday In The Park (more thoughts on that below).
Well, maybe not so busy first thing in the morning. ;)
It was also the last weekend for the Suicide Squad scare zone, all indications are that this was a 1-and-done deal and it won't be back for Fright Fest next year.
However, with the new Metropolis area near Riddler's Revenge and Justice League they could conceivably keep Suicide Squad here and move the Sinister Circuit over to Metropolis. Will be interesting to see which way they go.
As we mentioned in our 2016 Haunt Wrap Up, while the scare zones at SFMM were again amazing, there was a lot of dead space at the back of the park. We think this is because the area around Riddler's was eventually supposed to be closed for FF but was kept open at the last minute.
Alright, let's move on to Metropolis where there have been some big ... ok, we can't lie. There's been nothing going on since our Tour in September.
As you can see through the fence (sorry about that, it's tough getting pics of this project) there has been some ground leveling, but that's really about it.
While the ride building in Georgia is completely built, here we got nothing.
Hopefully these bushes will get trimmed during construction, purely selfish reasons for that. ;)
In just a couple of weeks Santa will be back here.
And this area will be filled with Christmas lights.
A couple of thoughts on "Santa's Wild Sleigh Ride" coming to The New Revolution for Holiday In The Park:
I don't think we've made any secret that we aren't a huge fan of the VR coasters. The experience is great but the negative impact on the rides they are on is difficult to handle for people who just want to ride the ride.
So for Holiday In The Park 2014 when you'd ride Revolution at night one of the best experiences was flying through the trees of lights, even though at the time Revolution wasn't a fun coaster to ride. Obviously Revolution was closed in 2015.
So now for 2016 instead of being able to once again ride The New Revolution through the lights and trees they now have VR on it. Which is a shame although we do like the concept of different themes for different holidays.
Our suggestion to the park, do the VR during the day and then have awesome non-VR night rides through the trees and all of the lights that will be near Rapids Camp and the front of the park.
Most of the other parks that have VR do limited operating hours to allow people to just ride the coasters they are on. Given all the amazing work done to make The New Revolution great again it's a shame it hasn't been run with no VR to give people a chance to ride this amazing ride.
To make things worse, the Single Rider line has been removed from the ride, so if you do want to ride with No VR as a single rider you are no longer able to. (again, sorry about the picture quality here, not sure what happened)
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We'll be back at the park in, wow, just over 2 weeks for Holiday In The Park (which begins on November 19).
Hopefully there will be another tour of Justice League soon once they start vertical construction.
This past Saturday night the online community along with some of those "other" types of news outlets were invited out to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a tour of Holiday In The Park.
And when we say "Tour" we don't just mean lights and stuff, but a full on culinary overload of so much good food and fun.
It was a great night hanging out with our friends from other sites because nothing brings people together like lots and lots and lots of unlimited food and hot chocolate. =)
Written by Gregg Condon
Awesome Pictures by Matt Nelson
Not so good pictures and video by Gregg Condon
Before we get started on Holiday In The Park stuff, why don't we take a quick look at Revolution. These are definitely the "Before" pictures. But they are hard at work in the station and things seem to be progressing very quickly.
One of these updates we'll do a before/after just to show the amount of trees and other brush that has been cleared. Because it's A LOT.
One bit of Twisted Colossus news, the new shed looks to be done over the transfer track. Not sure if no front of back is going to help though with El Nino coming. ;)
So one of the biggest things for Holiday In The Park ... the food. And there is PLENTY of it. From great meals to desserts to amazing Hot Chocolate. Below, our food rankings from the plethora of food we tried on Saturday night.
And trust us, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to check out the food pics below, but again, not all of it by any means.
At this point you all should be hungry and making your plans to get out to Holiday In The Park. But that's not even the half of it. Let's take a look around at the amazing holiday lights!!
Let's start off in Winter Wonderland which stretches from Viper to Roaring Rapids.
While the themes this year are the same as last year, there are many more lights this year, I think they said about 30,000 more.
It's just amazing how different the park looks from Fright Fest to Holiday In The Park. It's absolutely beautiful.
Really don't think it would be a bad thing if they kept it this theme all year. It looks spectacular.
Next, let's move over to Rockin' Universe!!
Be sure to check out video of one of the fun shows, there are a few of them.
More amazing pics from Matt
Look at all the Holiday fun!!
We tried to capture the snowmen from the Snowmen glasses, but you should get them when you go. They are really cool.
Lastly, snowy nights, even more fun with Ricky Rocks and friends!!!
We ended our night with a ride on Revolution (kind of) with our friend Sean from California Coaster Kings.
We hope you enjoyed this update from Holiday In The Park. Be sure to head up to the park this month to check out all the great fun, it's definitely a can't miss event.
Holiday In The Park runs on select days until January 3, 2016. You can see all of the details of the event including hours and ticket prices here.
We'll be back at some point this season, we'll be sure to post some updates from our return trip.
Be sure to check out more holiday fun and our reviews for:
This last Friday was media night for Holiday In The Park at Six Flags Over Georgia and Richard from Metro Atlanta Coaster Club was nice enough to cover the event for us. Be sure to give their page a like if you haven't already as they have some amazing trips planned for 2016.
Thanks to Randy from MACC for the great pics and write-up below
Click on any of the pictures below for a larger version
In 2014, Six Flags Over Georgia expanded its schedule into November, December and January with the return of Holiday In The Park. This marked the first time in nearly a quarter century that SFOG had celebrated the Christmas holidays; the previous attempts in the late 1980s and early 1990s were marked by incredibly cold weather and very little of the park to actually enjoy. The 2014 run fixed those problems both actively and passively; the former by opening up much more of the park, and the latter by having more attractions in the areas that had already been used. Guests responded very positively, so much so that Six Flags announced earlier this year that Holiday In The Park was now a permanent part of the operating schedule.
For 2015, Six Flags made relatively few changes, preferring to take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. Despite a larger number of rides open - including five of the park’s 11 roller coasters - lines were still extensive for some of them during the 2014 edition, which prompted opening individual attractions in formerly closed areas (for example, Superman Ultimate Flight in Cotton States, or Crime Wave in Gotham City) to alleviate overcrowding. 2015 adds all of Gotham City to the roster with its five attractions - two more coasters, the park’s two new rides for the season and the aforementioned Crime Wave. Aside from that, Holiday In The Park 2015 stays the course, which is a very good thing.
Guests enter the park through Main Street Christmas (the Promenade), illuminated by a canopy of some 100,000 LED lights, to say nothing of the lights lining the windows and rooftops. At the end of the street stands the park’s main Christmas tree, which is lit nightly in a brief ceremony. From here, almost all of the park is yours to explore. To the right is S’mores Village (British), home to Georgia Cyclone and several fire pits where guests can make their own s’mores (kits are sold in the nearby Piccadilly Sweets candy store) or just get a touch of warmth if the temperature drops a bit.
Passing through a color-changing tunnel of lights brings visitors to Rejoice! (Peachtree Square). Along with a stained-glass Nativity scene, guests can enjoy the ride that finds most guests calling out to a higher power (the Acrophobia drop tower) or take one of two delightful trips through the park. The Sky Buckets will provide a more gentle overhead view of the park’s illuminations with a round-trip journey to the otherwise-closed Lickskillet section, while the North Pole Express (Six Flags Railroad) takes guests through colorfully-lit trees on the way to the North Pole (French) and a meeting with Santa Claus.
Guests proceeding on foot will enter Georgia Christmas, covered almost completely in peach-colored lights. The Crystal Pistol Music Hall, already dressed to the 9s in holiday splendor, hosts a worthy detour, the charming musical show “Because It’s Christmas”. The plot revolves around two kids who want to send a letter to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve asking him to bring home their military father for the holidays. A chance encounter with one Jack Frost and some industrious elves attracts the Big Guy’s attention. The ending is rather predictable, but like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street”, everyone knows the ending to those classic holiday films yet watches them every year, just the same. If someone’s heart is two sizes too small, the cast of this show, performed multiple times each night, will work wonders for them.
Now fully in the holiday mood, it’s time to continue exploring the park. Monster Mansion, the park’s venerable dark ride, received a decor upgrade that saw last year’s unusual glow-sticks in the attraction’s front yard (dubbed by some wags as the “Jedi graveyard”) relocated and replaced by giant sprigs of mistletoe, complete with a new nickname, Mistletoe Mansion. The ride itself has again been given a modest Christmas overlay, with some of the monsters wearing their holiday best. From here, it’s a short walk toward Carousel Hill, passing over a tree-lined bridge en route to the Candlelight Carousel, surrounded by dozens of illuminated trees. Continuing around the park’s main loop brings guests to the North Pole, where every tree (and the Rabun Gap station) is covered in beautiful ice-blue lighting.
Just ahead is Retro Christmas USA, where the 50s theme of the area has been enhanced with 50s-style holiday decor, from oversized ornaments and picture postcards to a blow-up snow globe where you can get a fun photograph taken. Thrill-seekers will be glad to know that Goliath and Dare Devil Dive stand ready to welcome visitors; Dare Devil Dive is the more festive of the two, with a garland Christmas Tree extending down from the top of its vertical lift hill. The adjacent Dare Devil Dive Stage hosts musical performances throughout the day.
Last year, guests had to look longingly into the darkened Gotham City, but this year their path is lit by GloHill (the new home of the glow-sticks) on the way into the new Holiday City. Befitting the residents of the area, the decorations here are purple and green, with garland along the supports and a string-light tree atop the Gotham City Eatery. In place of the Batmobile stands a purple and green Christmas tree festooned with Batman ornaments. Another group of fire pits provide warmth when needed, and after a trip through the chilly air aboard Batman The Ride or the Mind Bender, it will be needed.
Returning back to Retro Christmas USA, it’s only a short walk to the long Georgia Arbor, which heads toward the front of the park. For 2015, the arbor has been decorated with nearly 10,000 dancing lights. Dubbed “Magic of the Season”, the lights perform continually to both classic holiday tunes and arrangements made specially for the show. The sequence restarts roughly every 30 minutes. After enjoying the show for a bit, you can head into Peppermint Plaza (Georgia), whose trees have been transformed into candy canes and where the Georgia Scorcher stand-up coaster continues to put its riders’ feet to the fire.
As if the decorations weren’t enough, the park is filled with live entertainment, including carolers complete in Victorian attire, stilt-walking toy soldiers and, from time to time, Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends. Holiday music is played throughout the park, with many tunes fitting the traditional themes of their areas (classic rock in Retro Christmas USA, country/Georgia bands in Georgia Christmas). Apple cider and hot cocoa are available at many restaurants and snack stands; a souvenir mug is available that can be refilled at no charge on the night of purchase and for about $2 afterwards. One restaurant is even offering a holiday dinner option with turkey, dressing and veggies, making it a far cry from traditional park fare. Guests looking for unusual holiday gifts (tacky Christmas sweater with the Superfriends, anyone?) will find plenty of options all over the park.
Back in the late 1980s, the park encountered problems when the limited rides in the park were not capable of running as temperatures dipped. Even in recent seasons during Fright Fest, when October got cooler than normal, attractions like Goliath and Dare Devil Dive started misbehaving. For Holiday, many of the rides have been properly winterized, allowing for successful operations at lower temperatures. Needless to say, Goliath’s 70mph wind chill can be a bit much when temps enter the 40s, as they did in 2014, but the ride itself was still performing admirably. Speaking of temperatures, the park had gas heaters at various locations in 2014, and appear to have installed them in more locations for this coming year, and the Crystal Pistol still offers a huge heated space, perfect for warming up.
As good as Holiday In The Park is, there is room for improvement. The decor can be exceptional in some areas, but sparse in others, notably the overlay for Monster Mansion. The 2014 run started light, but more decorations were added as the holiday season continued. 2015, as seen during a media preview prior to the grand opening for the general public, may be starting on the same foot, with very little actually overlaid. Hopefully future viewings will be more festive, but that raises the question as to why they aren’t starting with it more fully prepared. Even in their new location, the glow-sticks still don’t make much sense (who decorates like this in real life?), but it’s not as jarring as it was when they were in front of Monster Mansion. One area with a bit less going on this year is Bugs Bunny World, although its transformation into Bugs Bunny Boomtown for 2016 is the main culprit here.
On the plus side, the park employees are very friendly and keep attractions moving at a good pace. The decor that is in place is beautiful, and gives the park a very unique look that is perfect for photography. The teams running the rides appear to have learned from last year’s mistakes and already have the more popular coasters running at greater capacities, but since maintenance still has to be done, don’t be surprised if certain rides still just have a single train on the track. Therefore, if riding attractions is a primary goal, be sure to arrive at the start of the event and ride first, then enjoy the festivities after sundown. Hours have been modified for 2015, with post-Christmas hours from 2pm-10pm instead of last year’s noon-8pm (pre-Christmas continues 4pm-10pm). If it were me, I’d love to see a 12:30am closing on December 31 become a thing, especially with the Peach Drop potentially entering its final year (if it runs for 2015/16 at all). Imagine the Acrophobia Drop instead …
Just as Six Flags’ Fright Fest finds itself being compared against SCarowinds, Holiday In The Park invariably finds itself compared against a similar park with a well-regarded holiday event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. In both cases, Six Flags is still the underdog, but with Fright Fest continuing to improve and Holiday In The Park off to a very good start, the future is beginning to look brighter as Six Flags prepares to enter its second half-century of operation. Hopefully its popularity will increase, benefitting Corporate’s 4th Quarter reporting and maybe prompting the park to add either Cotton States or Lickskillet to the available roster for 2016.
It's been almost 2 months since our last look at The New Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain so we figured we'd take a quick trip up to the park and get some pics.
We'll also take a look at Holiday in the Park preparations
Written by Gregg Condon
Walls, walls, walls ...
They are definitely trimming trees already towards the front of the ride
Interestingly enough one of the trains is still sitting on the brake run ... we had thought they'd been removed.
This is definitely trimmed down from where it was when the ride closed. It will be cool to see more of the ride and also Tatsu.
Moving around to the other side, they are definitely working on the queue. Couldn't see much more down the hill to see what entrance they might be using.
If you look in the station, the other train is there, but it's backwards. Odd.
Unlike Colossus there isn't going to be a whole lot of deconstruction/construction to see on this project but we'll be updating you when it's warranted. We can't foresee us having 20+ updates for Revolution like we did for Colossus though. =)
Moving on, now that Fright Fest is over it's time for Holiday in the Park which officially begins on November 27.
Fright Fest in the Park?
I know they used the DC Universe lights for Fright Fest but for some reason it looks like more were added, but I don't think that's the case.
Didn't see any decorations in Screampunk District yet but they were playing (perhaps testing) some "Twisted" sounding Christmas Music. It actually sounded really cool.
Moving over to Winter Wonderland near Revolution and Tatsu
One of the coolest hings about last years event was riding Revolution through all of the lights. Guess we'll have to wait another year to do that again.
Just a couple of random notes for the rest of the park ...
Nothing different on the spot where Aftermath was. I wouldn't anticipate seeing any changes here for awhile, but who knows.
Since this is a theme park site how about some actual coaster pics from the X2 Bridge. =)
And lastly, not sure how long this has been here but it's the first time we'd seen it. It's nice that they are updating these.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. Our next update will likely be for Holiday in the Park in a few weeks unless we hear of any major developments regarding The New Revolution.
We'll be at IAAPA next week and while we're not sure if there will be any SFMM reveals we're hoping there will be for some of the other parks in the chain.