Good afternoon everybody!
Welcome to yet another SFMM Update! We’re currently knee-deep into the off-season now, yet I’ve miraculously managed to scrape up enough crap at the Mountain to put together this update!
We’re now counting down the finals days of 2006—the year that was supposed to be marked by what can be described as none other than a “revolution” in the Six Flags Company, only to end up in disappointment for many. And as we look ahead to 2007, we can only hope to see the park enter “A Year of a Million Refurbishments”, as intended earlier. Of course, a new complexity emerges, as the fate of the park apparently lies in the hands of whoever is to buy it. That announcement is supposed to come soon. But the best thing we can do at this point is sit and wait….patiently. ….And no sitting on the handrails!
Yesterday the flags around Valencia Falls flew at half-staff, in response to the recent passing of President Gerald Ford.
…although, what one finds is this: President Gerald Ford inspired Chevy Chase to begin writing jokes and eventually act as Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live, thus launching Chevy Chase’s acting career. It is this acting career which would eventually guide Chevy Chase to Wally World in a National Lampoon’s Vacation, which concluded at Magic Mountain. So, I’m pretty sure the flags are at half-staff in remembrance of Chevy Chase’s acting career, which is also dead.
…of course, his acting career died quite some time ago, so who knows!
Ok, I’ll cut it out! Let’s get to the actual update!
Less Junk in da Trunk
Last week, I was at the Mountain with friends, helping show around a foreigner (from Texas). Now, foreigners are always refreshing, but there’s one problem with the lot them—they need their Psyclone credit. And unfortunately, you can’t just sit Psyclone out because the ride needs 17 riders to dispatch, so every body counts!
Now as we were heading up the lift of Psyclone, something incredibly strange caught my eye! The junkyard was gone!
The junkyard, thanks to Microsoft Live Local or whatever it’s called.
For those who don’t know, there has been a junkyard behind Psyclone for quite some time now. When I worked at the park, I would frequently take a walk among the junk as I was totally fascinated by what history hid itself among the piles of useless crap back there. Old metro trains, pieces of coaster track, old signage and ticket booths, logs, boats, wheels—even a few X seats at one time. And like at any museum, I had a policy of “look, don’t touch”, but I must admit that it felt more like a playground for me than a museum. But for some reason, nearly all of the crap has been removed!
That’s a lot of crap to lose, even for me!
I smell an Aqua-Trax!
Also, note in the above two pictures the new fence being installed at the bottom of the shots.
Exclusive new-fence POV shot!
Now I can understand if they were fencing IN the junk, to keep nasty little park-historian-yet-irresistibly-attractive-ride-operators such as myself away from the Tetanus-infested and rotting artifacts—but to remove the crap and THEN fence in the land…
…I’m still scratching my head over that one.
Perhaps Six Flags is just cleaning their room! Or perhaps they’re selling off the crap for spare change. Or perhaps, and I’m not necessarily qualified to jump to this conclusion…but perhaps they’ve started to move out.
*cues dramatic background music*
Of course, if “Mark Shapiro has anything to do with it”, Magic Mountain will be sold to another park operator (link to article: HERE
) So, why they wouldn’t just leave the crap for the next operator to polish, I don’t know. Or perhaps this is already the bidding of the next operator, I still don’t know.
Point being is, something interesting is going on back there and I don’t know what it is.
Speaking of Psyclone!...I have been on the ride twice in the past week, the first of which was decent and the second of which was—dare I say it—enjoyable.
Now a fair reason for this is that the cold is the right weather for running that ugly-baby. The track is less likely to “pump” and the trains are being forced to conform. But it would also appear that Magic Mountain is still working on it! They haven’t given up on that ride yet! (which is giving it more faith than I would!)
Holy crap! They’re really brining in the big dogs for this one!
It would appear that the next wave of supplies has arrived to get that ride to behave! Confusing, I know!
That’s like, a chunk of the ride there!
So it will be interesting to see what Six Flags is doing with the ride. …if Six Flags is even responsible for this. Either way, I still think they won’t see the last of the ride’s hell until they get new trains on that demon!
The Riddler’s Revenge’s Revenge
“Ecuador! …thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, waaah waaah, thump…….
The Riddler’s Revenge was really the last major addition of a Magic Mountain that we all like to reminisce about. With scenery, landscaping, an aesthetically-pleasing layout, station music, ride operator costumes (custom to the ride), ride-integration, so on and so forth—it was a pretty kick ass ride. Still is, in my eyes.
But as the years passed, the scenery would fall into disrepair, the station-music would mute (some find this a good thing), all employee costumes would be replaced by the generic blue polo shirts, and the station lights would stop working, so on and so forth.
By the time I was operating the ride, we had about one or two working “question-mark lights”, nearly silent station music, an elevator (for the handicapped) with a permit that had expired years before I had arrived, ageing signage, problematic fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, overgrown plants, breaking trashcans, and a “misters” system with broken nozzles (which would pour down on guests) and which would back up the local sewage system, resulting in some pretty raunchy smells.
Now, I surprisingly enough, hadn’t been on the ride in several months (once missing out on a ride with Laura and Kristi, it just didn’t seem worth riding anymore). But upon returning to the ride yesterday, I have to say I was really pleased with the condition that the station was in.
The air conditioning unit is sporting new filters and removed graffiti.
On top of that improved A/C unit, the lights (both station and the “question mark lights”) were all working, the music was at an ideal level (present, but not overly annoying), and the station was overwhelmingly clean.
Not quite as amazing as I remember back in 1998, but still, it was pleasant.
The elevator has had some work and sports a renewed permit.
…this pleased ME, as every couple of months we would have to call in a guest trapped in the elevator which was supposed to be barricaded off.
The new “vLockers”, which looks more like “Nockers” to me!
The fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo have been upgraded to the newer “vLockers”. These are nice because they are credit-card based, as more people seem to have credit cards these days than loose change.
The plants along the exit pathway have also been cutback, allowing more light in during the night-hours. And signage is also new, clean, and easily noticed. Hell, even the dispatches were nice! They weren’t stacking! Good job Chris!
All and all I was rather pleased with what I saw at Riddler’s.
…ironically, I can’t say the same for the Riddler’s nemesis, Batman.
I would “cue background music”, but none of the speakers are working!
It would appear that the Batman area, while looking great around the time of the recent Batman movie-release (when they added the cop-car back in), has begun to fall into disrepair. I’m not even talking about Gotham city, which was in horrible condition when I worked there and still is. I’m talking about the ride queue, station, and exit.
The queue could use a repainting and perhaps some fresh landscaping.
Wonder why they weren’t running the fountain? Hmmm.
You would also think that the section of queue that is meant to look “trashy”, like a junkyard would be easy to maintain, but apparently it isn’t.
…still not working.
Upon entering the “sewer”, you face a non-working fan (which I guarantee you, would cost like 2 bucks to fix)—of course, to accompany a fan which no longer spins is an absence of sound effects and music. The station lighting is no longer timed with the dispatches, the lighting on the “bat suit” doesn’t work—and don’t even get me started on the mist pits throughout the ride and the fog as you reenter the station.
With improvements at Psyclone, then Riddler’s, one can only hope that the trend continues and Batman gets a little bit of tender love and care.
Speaking of Batman, I had two young TPR’ers approach me while exiting the ride, but I had not realized that I had been recognized as I didn’t hear them call, and continued to leave them. My dearest apologies!
….I’ll buy you a churro sometime.
A Wholellota Random Crap!
Ok folks…I was supposed to have a few more specific things to discuss, but I decided against the overkill. So welcome to the traditional “random crap/miscellaneous” section of the update! Enjoy!
What are you lookin’ at?
Tatsu is splooging all over itself. Power-wash, anyone?
Keeping with the ‘power-wash’ theme, anybody think the fountain in Bunny World could use a hose-down?
SFMM….this is how you do it….
1) Hook up hose to water source.
2) Turn on faucet.
3) Place thumb over top of nozzle.
…you should create a stream of water, powerful enough to wash your crap, without chipping the paint.
Some digging was going on over by Canyon Blaster.
…that, my friends—is why I am not getting laid.
So no need to search any farther for a cause.
BTW… does anybody else think that those are mighty-small balls for a trunk that large, on the left of the photo?
…“They see me rolling, in my prix car!”
More retaining walls. …*sigh*
Tatsu say’s “Hi!”
Tatsu also has a new sponsor.
The man LIVES!
The Magic Illusions of Ray Pierce has moved back in! I hope to review it soon, as I have heard good reviews of it thus far.
…Argh! You can’t defeat me, I have a Riddler’s sword!
We ran into another one of our local TPR SFMM-recruits! Unfortunately, I forgot to ask permission to use his photo on the boards, therefore thought I would be fair and protect his identity.
Lastly, but certainly not least…
Just in case you didn’t hear, Magic Mountain Parkway will NOT change it’s name to the Santa-Clarita-Auto-Mall-Center-Long-Name-Drive or whatever.
A link to the article can be found: HERE
Ok folks! That should about do it for today!
Thank you so much for reading—I hope you enjoyed it! Questions, comments, concerns, and praise are always welcome! Everyone have a great new year! Have fun, be good, and be safe!