Good evening folks!
Welcome to another SFMM Update, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Arrowfanman! My apologies for going so long without shooting an update!—especially at such an exciting time for the park! Magic Mountain is now almost fully prepared to storm through the summer season. The park is looking much fresher, with employees who (according to Shapiro) are “significantly better trained”, and with a new spirit than last year at this time. That’s not to say we have seen a revolution from within the park. I think that it’s fair to say that for every two to three steps forward, SFMM takes one step back. However, that’s still progress. Decent progress, as well!
It will be interesting to see if this change will survive at all through the dreaded hot summers (which is forecasted to be a heat-wave this summer), however I think I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s just get onto the update!
Meet and Eats
For the first time in the history of my updating the park, the most exciting thing going on in the park is not some ride, management change, or an employee on a cell phone—but is Magic Mountain’s Food Department!
The park currently has three fairly large “food” construction projects underway: the “Justice League Feast” at the former Chicken Plantation, a counter-service Johnny Rocket’s in place of the former Carousel Grill, and a Cold Stone Creamery in place of the former Buongusto Italian Eatery!
The “Justice League Feast” is all you can eat! Very ACEr friendly!
(…you saw that coming, didn’t you? That’s alright, it’s still good.
The “Justice League Feast” is another union between a food service joint and a character meet-and-greet. The fact that the service is both all-you-can-eat and a character meeting area means that the restaurant is bound
to be very popular, I’m sure! While it is nice to have new paint, I find the colors to be ugly, uncoordinated, and an unapologetic contrast to the more serene atmosphere of the rest of the park entrance plaza. And the metallic “industrial” entrances are very contradictory to the otherwise modest gazebo-like eating area.
The main entrance. Is it just me or does Wonder Woman look sunburnt?
However, this being Six Flags, I guess I am going a bit overboard to criticize the execution of an otherwise genius concept. I’m really glad to see this kind of an experience being offered in the park. While I cant say that I would personally take advantage of it, it’s nice to see the option there for, say, families.
The other entrance. If you note, the empty sign at the top is about the same dimensions as the sign in the first picture, so I assume it will be the same sign.
The “Justice League Feast” is actually scheduled at SFMM to begin operation tomorrow
, May 12th. However, the progress doesn’t look entirely that
promising. While the outside area looks practically complete, I was told there is still some serious kitchen work required on a kitchen that hasn’t been operational for years. The soda machines still aren’t working. So while it’s likely it wont open tomorrow as planned, it should but up soon.
How come you aren’t crying like you did about Maverick?
Carousel Grill’s “Johnny Rocket’s layover” is more exciting for me than Rockin’ Space Mountain!
Over on the backside of the park, Carousel Grill has been very much “Johnny Rocketized”. While it doesn’t appear to be complete, so much
progress has been made since I was last in the park. While I am somewhat disappointed that the restaurant will only be a walk-up counter service and not a full-scale seated restaurant, I am very pleased with what they have been able to do with a circular, carousel-themed restaurant.
Several of the “carousel posts” have been covered up to become more appropriately “themed” columns.
All of the horses and whatnot have been painted over. Someone call the People for the Ethical Treatment of Painted Animals!
It would appear as if some kitchen equipment is just chilling out back as the kitchen is refurbed.
Take note of the very “Johnny Rocket’s-esque” metallic sheeting and counter beneath the ordering window.
A final shot of some light fixtures, which I believe are new. Could be mistaken though.
I did come to learn that it is “possible but unlikely” that this is merely a temporary “layover” to capitalize off of the Johnny Rocket’s name (Mark Shapiro did just announce that “Johnny Rockets the highest grossing restaurants in the [Six Flags] chain.”). That after this season, Carousel Grill would be removed entirely and your more traditional, full-scale sit-down Johnny Rocket’s restaurant would take its place. Again, this idea has been mentioned. But it is very well possible that once the money starts rolling in and the joint becomes profitable, there will be little incentive to complete the conversion.
Oh, by the way! Johnny Rockets is scheduled to conclude construction and be open for business as early as Memorial Day weekend
! That's 3-weeks from now, for those who dont know! Now, we all know how construction projects get drawn out a bit, but that's the plan.
So for now, I like to think of this as a “Johnny Rockets lite”. Another “lite” version of a name brand (that is a bit heavy on the cost) is the recent addition of a Cold Stone Creamery—which coincidentally opened just yesterday! (5/9)
Mike is all: “OMGLOLZ Coldstonze is OPEN!!!1!!1!”
I say “lite”, because unlike a traditional Cold Stones, you do not have the ability to customize your own ice cream however may only choose from one of six available flavors. Lame! But at least for me, the “Chocolate chocolate mint mint” ice cream is very much similar to what I would “customize” anyway, so I’m set!
A look at some of the selection and brutal pricing.
Your other three options.
The facility itself is simple, but nice and clean.
”Can you give me some of those sprinkle things?”
Mmm…..I wouldn’t mind a few licks of their “strawberry blonde”!
Too much? Ok, I’ll tone it down.
Seven dollars good?
I think I have made the point rather clear that this is some seriously expensive stuff. However, I will vouch for them and say that the joint was very clean, the service was speedy and friendly. And the ice cream. Oh…the ice cream. It was SOOOO good. Honestly. And a good portion, as well. So there you go. Do you want to foot a heavy bill for delicious treat on a hot day? You decide.
Thomas Tanks and the Return of the Metro
Not funny? Do I at least
get an “A” for effort?
Anyway, in case you haven’t heard, at a recent telephone conference, Shapiro confirmed the return of the parks most complete form of transportation—the Metro. While the ride will not return with a “Thomas the Tank Engine” overlay as anticipated, Shapiro confidently affirmed that the ride will in fact return. To quote Mr. Sharpie:
With regard to the Thomas the Tank engine, we will not be putting Thomas the Tank engine into Magic Mountain this year. There is a train ride, more likely it’s better said it’s more like a monorail that exists at Magic Mountain and it’s been down for, you know, a countless number of years. It’s elevated. It’s called the Metro. It’s had a sign saying, pardon our obstruction here, for you know we’re trying to clean it up and fix it. But really, they were just hiding the fact that its going to be down and staying down for a long time. We’re going to fix that train this year and by the end of this season, that train, that monorail, that elevated train, the Metro, will be working, it will be in operation. And it’s a big ride because it goes to three different stops and takes you around the park. But it’s not going to be Thomas the Tank engine, because our partnership with our partnership with Hit Entertainment, they really want to keep Thomas on the ground, he's not an elevated train. Of course we want to respect their brand attribute, so we're not going to play with that.
So, as it is in my nature, I was checking out the Metro today to see if any progress has been made, to what degree, and how much was left. And I gotta say—nothing has happened.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect the ride to be doing test runs or anything, so I guess we shouldn’t expect to see work on it until much later. But I’m glad to hear of Shapiro’s sentiment. As for what condition the ride is in? Ooof. There’s quite a road ahead of ourselves.
We are closed, NOWWWW!
(If you know what that’s from,
Uh, yeah. Looks like we could use a little work back here!
A close-up of the defunkedness.
Unfortunately, that’s all I can really update you on right now! The ride will basically need to be mechanically rebuilt and the stations deserve a massive refurbishment as well. I see this to be quite a project in the year ahead. So we’ll definitely be keeping a keen eye out for any progress on this interesting project.
Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Your Part!
Even with the summer season approaching, SFMM is continuing to add some finishing touches to their refurbishment projects, which include even a few more large “projects” fitting in the last minute. However, they are further making it clear that they are only part responsible (in their belief) for “guest-friendliness”. The park is further making sure that guests are aware of the roll that they play in keeping the park guest friendly (ironic, I know). It started with the “MY FAMILY” t-shirts (a sentiment which has since moved to the trash cans themselves), the park now prominently posts rules and regulation outside of the park and along the security checkpoints, to ensure that no guest goes uninformed about the park policies.
Anyway, for all of you staring at me going “whaaa?”, I might as well jump right into the pictures…so here we go!
The park has cleaned up the aged look of the trams a bit with a friendly coat of new paint...
…shame they couldn’t update the suspension too. The trams feel more dangerous than Psyclone ever did!
Promptly after exiting the freshly-painted trams, guests are greeted with a list of rules regarding their day.
For those who care, here are the two signs that can be found at this ticket plaza:
I’m also interested in how they note that “city ordinance” prohibits smoking as well. Almost as if they’re now going to allow the sheriff to have some jurisdiction of the enforcement of anti-smoking rules now, too.
Just in case you still haven’t “gotten” it yet, they’re even kind enough to outline the rules on your way in through security.
While a part of me find this odd, awkward, and a tad bit drastic, I do believe that it is good and necessary. At least from the standpoint that the park now appears
to be safer and there is NO
reason why someone could say they didn’t understand the policy. It opens the door for better security enforcement. Now they just need to follow through within the park.
As far as cleanliness is concerned, SFMM is trying harder than in past years to keep their half of the show clean.
Flowers were really booming and prospering everywhere throughout the park!
The smoking areas now utilize new blue benches. As stated earlier, this is to more clearly define designated smoking areas and allow for easier direction-giving to them.
The Colossus handrail repaints is slowing, but continuing.
On this particular section of track, you can see a good before/after on the right/left sides, respectively.
Horrible photo, but as Mark Shapiro mentioned, they now have most, if not all, park TV’s up and running.
In one last little tidbit, the waterfront has received some new umbrellas for the tables. Trust me…they’re going to need them.
Bucket o’ Random Crap!
As always, this is the time of the update where I just go into the random crap that we encountered throughout our visit! It’s mostly informative, IMO.
So read on!
Though the park was not open on this particular day, much of Hurricane Harbor was circulating water in a pre-opening fashion.
Man! I’m just REALLY bad at taking pictures of people with Sylvester!
Though they don’t have advertisements yet and I don’t look very happy, I found the new mister-advertisements to be quite enjoyable.
This is SO just like Roller Coaster Tycoon.
I like to believe I have strong opinions, but I have never felt passionately enough about something to stick it to the back of my car!
OH MY F**KING GOD! Riddler’s has a single rider queue now?!?!
It would appear that they are now dedicating half of the exitway to a single-rider line.
While this seems nice, and I’m sorta glad for it, I personally do not believe that single-rider queues work without a grouper or seat-assigner. The crew’s policy was to merely let us wait at the top of the station and look to see if any available seats open up! That’s ridiculous! Not only do you open yourself up to potential line-cutters, but it horrendously slows down operation on a ride that already has enough factors disallowing quick dispatches!
*sigh* But perhaps that’s just me.
They were also adding a single-rider queue to Ninja! Why they chose this ride for one, I do not know. But it should be interesting to see!
You can now purchase ice cream or Dip N’ Dots in these “souvenir bowls”…its at a pricy 10 bucks, but frankly, that’s 3 times the Dip N’ Dots you’d normally get. So if you’re about splitting, it’s a good deal!
LOLz at Tatsu being broken again!
Many merchandise locations now seem to utilize a “package drop off system”. Should be good, if it works, as it would facilitate the purchases of larger, more expensive items that guests don’t want to carry throughout the park.
Many trash cans throughout the park now reiterate the sentiment on the employee t-shirts. Although, unless we're talking about "PUSH", I dont understand how trashcans have families!
I found this! First of all, a Nancy Drew movie?! Really? Second of all, why is she hot? I never remember Nancy Drew being that hot!
That’s the Nancy Drew I remember! Not that I mind having a hot Nancy Drew!
Alright, and last, but certainly not least…
If I need to explain this, you deserve to be hit with a box of Triscuits or something.
Work is still underway on the new after-show Meet and Greet area. Should be interesting!
Technical people fine-tuning the stunt show…THROUGH THE TREES!
Anyway folks, I know this was somewhat of a long update for not covering that
much (trust me…I wrote it!), but I hope you were still able to enjoy it! I plan and hope on getting around to more updates. Thanks for reading!