The Backside of Magic – Magic Mountain Fall 2021

Due to the pandemic our last visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain (Sean and Alex) was early 2020. We were so excited to head back and spend a day and night at the Valencia theme park. The housing development behind the park that’s currently under construction provides some great views of the park. Let’s see how Magic Mountain’s collection of coasters is holding up!

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After driving back from Las Vegas in the morning, we still had a full day ahead of us at the park as it was open until 11pm. It helped that it was a Thursday and we pretty much rode everything we wanted to over the course of our six hours at the park. Definitely got some amazing night rides in too!

One of the things I was personally looking forward to was riding Superman: Escape from Krypton forwards. Unfortunately the ride was only operating backwards. The next morning we swung by the new housing development on the backside of the park to get some pictures. We noticed that only the backwards side was open in the morning too, so hopefully we’ll catch it forward when we’re back in a few weeks! It was however amazing to hear the iconic Superman roar through the valley and see the train hit the red part of the tower!

While on the topic of launch coasters, Full Throttle (while perfectly fun), wasn’t on our priority list, but it was exciting to see both unique Premier Rides launchers in action together:

West Coast Racers was running very well and we have a tremendous appreciation for the ride. It does so many things very well. Firstly, it fixed the Twisted Colossus problem and by including a thematic stop midway thru, it is guaranteed to race. Secondly, it brought some incredible liveliness to the back of the park. It’s a fun and aesthetically pleasing area paying homage to Los Angeles. Thirdly, it’s (perhaps a slight stretch for some) a modern incarnation of Movie Park Germany’s late Cop Car Chase and the figure-eight double helix situation is intense and a serious highlight. West Coast Racer’s constructional delays and pandemic closures short after the ride’s opening killed the spotlight a bit, but do not leave this coaster off your to-ride list.

Apocalypse was also running surprisingly well. Around the time we left Valencia to move to Orlando, Apocalypse was frequently down and West Coast Racers construction really made that corner of the park a bit of a dead spot. We’re pleased to report Apocalypse is running very well. After the sheer amount of GCI coasters we’ve ridden around the World, we have a new appreciation for the unique and fast-paced layout of Apocalypse. Now if they could only get those fire effects back online.

Tatsu has finally reopened after several months of downtime, it’s running better than ever! Though catching Tatsu may be a bit difficult the next few months because after years of wishing for a repaint, enthusiasts’ wishes are coming true! Tatsu is getting a repaint! Green is rumored to be a major new color for the coaster, based on the test paint of sections of supports by the horseshoe element!

Viper, as avid readers know, is one of our absolute favorite coasters in the World. Most of the Coaster Kings team members seem to agree that this classic Arrow looper is an absolute gem and we’re so happy that (unlike its predecessors) Viper is still running. As brutally intense it can get, Viper is pure magic. I am still hoping it’ll get some trackwork and MK1212s some time. The new extension to Magic Mountain Parkway offers a nice new perspective of the classic Arrow looper.

Riddler’s Revenge has made it’s way back into our favorites list over the last couple of years. It runs like a dream, is significantly smoother than the other Stand-Up Coasters out there, and it has an enviable layout. We had several night rides on the personal favorite and they did not disappoint. A true Six Flags Magic Mountain legend more enthusiasts should talk about.

Ninja‘s one train ops were painful and thus we only rode once this trip, but per usual car three is where it’s at! The park has removed a lot of bamboo around the ride’s station and initial lift-hill offering a new view of the coaster we’re not used to. Ninja is another one of those Magic Mountain favorites we’ve sorely missed. They don’t make them like this anymore. — Now, Six Flags Magic Mountain, if you’re reading: It’s time to relaunch Samurai Summit and revamp Ninja with floorless trains.

Goliath (look in the distance on this first image) was running like a dream. I am convinced this is the only 21+ year old ride of such size that still runs so flawlessly. It’s too bad Giovanola didn’t last long because their coasters are workhorses that have always performed. Yeah it’s not the airtime machine I once wished it was, but years later with so many airtime-heavy Hyper Coasters out there, I am starting to really appreciate how different and heavy on the positive Gs this coaster is.

X2, you either hate it or love it. We’re (of course) in love with this outrageous coaster and had a blast getting some new angles to photograph from! Earlier this year we took an in-depth look at the differences between X2 vs. Eejanaika vs. Dinoconda, check that out! It was an absolute pleasure to be back on what I still believe is the North America’s most spectacular coaster 20 years later. Also, shoutout to Six Flags Magic Mountain for still having that fire effect working.

And with these X2 shots we’ll wrap up this update. There are definitely a few rides we didn’t really get good photographs of this trip, mostly because of the amount of time we spent at the park in the dark. Twisted Colossus was truly struggling with operations and racing was mostly out of the question, Scream! is still highly underrated, but suffers from being a relatively approachable looping coaster at a park filled with over-the-top coasters. Check out a recent shot of Twisted Colossus from our new team member Brenden:

Thank you for checking out this Six Flags Magic Mountain article! We’ll be back soon!

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