My morning began with a few bonus aftershocks from my “food” at John’s Incredible Pizza on Saturday evening, and the resultant discomfort coupled with a severe heat warning resulted in a decision to abbreviate my visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I’d originally intended to stay at the park until mid-afternoon, but even in optimal conditions I’m not sure I’d have had the patience to deal with what can only be described as an operational disaster.
On a holiday weekend in the middle of the summer a sizeable portion of the park was closed, including Apocalypse, Jet Stream, Justice League, Lex Luthor, Ninja, Riddler’s Revenge, Speedy Gonzales, the right hand (reverse-facing) side of Superman: Escape, and Swashbuckler. As if that were not enough, many of the remaining coasters were on one train operation with queue times in excess of two hours. A brief examination of other enthusiast reports from this year indicate that my experience wasn’t unusual; a well-known blogger I follow visited four times over a two week period in June and still didn’t manage to ride all of the park's coasters.
I’d deliberately arrived quite early in the hope of getting through the gate ahead of the multitudes, and that, coupled with some strategic power-walking, allowed me to arrive at Wonder Woman (#3071) before anyone else. The ride has lockers at its entrance, but they’re not actually necessary if you only have keys and/or a mobile phone as the trains have zip pouches big enough for both. Those with larger items have a choice of paid units with a key and free units without; I decided to risk leaving my camera in the latter rather than faff around and lose my front seat.
The hardware is a custom-layout Raptor from Rocky Mountain Construction, and it feels very similar to the other examples of the type. The tracking is reasonably smooth, if not entirely flawless; I noticed a few slightly suspect moments along the route but nothing severe enough to impede enjoyment. The restraints are as comfortable as can be expected from a ride with powerful ejector airtime; lap bar shaped bruises are a virtual inevitability, particularly towards the back of the train. The queue had yet to form by the time I disembarked (I walk very quickly when I’m on a mission….) allowing me to enjoy a second lap towards the back without waiting. I could have gone for a third lap if I’d wanted one, but decided under the circumstances to forego (see my first paragraph).
Instead I made my way up to West Coast Racers (#3072), a Premier Rides quasi-mobius coaster that launched (pun intended) in the middle of the pandemic. The ride looks at first glance like a racing coaster, but it’s actually a single long track; riders get to do both sides on each dispatch, with a “one-of-a-kind pit stop sequence” (otherwise known as a short wait in the shade) ensuring synchronisation. The experience is excellent in both front and back, other than for the usual complaint for Premier coasters: the trains (and more specifically the restraints) are an utter abomination. Getting in and out requires contortion that really shouldn’t be necessary on a ride of this type. A first year engineering student could design better.
My only other ride was on the left hand side of Superman: Escape, a classic coaster that has to be on borrowed time given that its twin in Australia met the wrecking ball not too long ago. It was nice to renew my acquaintance with a piece of history while it still stands (and roars). The car was making it closer to the top than I remembered from previous visits; long may that continue.