TJ: After weeks of planning, we and a group of friends finally went to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia this past weekend. Nicknamed “the roller coaster capital of the world” it’s most known for having the world record for the most roller coasters in a park (19)!
Dara: That’s definitely a lot of coasters to get through in one day but luckily our friend Brian has been obsessed with roller coasters since he was a kid (his bat mitzvah was roller coaster-themed) and had all the info we needed to go. The day before the trip he sent us a handy coaster guide to every main ride in the park:
TJ: You don’t have to be that organized but definitely plan ahead! Tickets are $59.99 per person when you buy online 3-7 days ahead of time but $84.99 per person otherwise – so it’s 100% worth it to buy the tickets ahead of time.
In case you’re thinking of getting flash passes ($50-135/person depending on the level), we’re of the opinion that it’s not really worth it. If you get to the park right when it opens and go to the most popular rides first, the lines won’t end up being that long.
BUT if you do plan on going to Six Flags more than once a year you should definitely buy a season pass.
Dara: We started are day off very early. The park opens at 10:30am but we were in the rush of people who got there a little after the parking lot opened at 9:30am. It was kind of insane how many other people were also there that early but it was so exciting to be in the crowd! Plus between parking and filling up water bottles and going to the bathroom, the wait for the gates to open honestly felt pretty short. More importantly though, all the lines for the biggest rollercoasters were existent when we got in!
The other main reason to get there early is because you really need a full day of being at the park to be able to get through as many rides as possible. We were there from 10:30 – 5:30 and still only got through a third of the lines despite having relatively short lines for most.
We started the day immediately heading to X2 when the gates opened because it’s one of the most popular roller coasters in the park, and therefore, usually has one of the longest lines.
X2 claims to be a 5-dimensional roller coaster but none of us are still sure what those dimensions are… height, width, depth…sound?…fire? Who knows! But yes there’s fire. And also a woman quietly whispering “X2” over and over again next to your head during the entire ride. The real point of the coaster though is that it has you in rotating seats that spin around 360 degrees, hurtling you through the air in somersaults while you go through drops and curves. You can virtually experience it all in the video below:
Sidenote: There are videos of all of the rides all over Youtube. Just google their names if you want to check them out!
The one major mistake we made for this ride though was not putting our phones in a locker. I had them both in my pocket for the ride and spent the whole time clinging onto them for dear life.
The lockers at Magic Mountain differ a bit per ride and even other Six Flags park. Here, you aren’t using centralized all-day lockers. Instead, each individual ride has a set of lockers, and you can pay $1 per use or $8 to keep a code that you can use all day as you bring your things from locker to locker. Some rides, like X2, have their lockers at the top of the ride platform. However, for most of the rides, you need to lock your things up before you get in line. Otherwise, there are just bins to throw your things in at the top at your own risk.
We wanted to go to Tatsu after X2, but it was broken down at the time, so our next ride was the nearby Roaring Rapids, a pretty standard water rapids ride, with circular tubes that fit 12 people. Dara and I were the only ones in our group to get absolutely soaked on that ride. Lucky for us it was 99 degrees outside so being drenched actually felt amazing and we dried off pretty quickly.
Side note: Yes, it gets really hot in this area in the summer, sometimes over 100 degrees. So definitely remember to cover yourself in sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring a water bottle and mini fan! Anything it takes to stay cool.
But back to my one criticism of Roaring Rapids and this Six Flags as a whole: I never seen any worse management of lines or crowd control. The staff’s ability to get people to form lines and get on rides was so appalling that while we were in line for Roaring Rapids, I basically took over. It was SO bad.
She’s right – they were really inefficient. We’d watch a roller coaster go off only like half full just because the attendants holding people at the bottom of a line would forget to send people up. It made no sense!
It really didn’t. And anyone who knows me knows I could rant about that for hours but I will spare you!
After Roaring Rapids, Tatsu was back up and running so we went there next. It’s the world’s tallest and fastest flying coaster in which you’re suspended horizontally, as if you’re Superman flying through the air. The coolest part about riding in that position is the loops – when you dive forward into them, you get to experience multiple-G forces as you accelerate towards the ground.
After Tatsu, we were all hungry so despite Brian’s misgivings – it was peak lunch time, which you should usually avoid – we went to the nearby Asian-American restaurant called Chop Six. (You get it?)
It wasn’t the best food ever, but it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Six Flags. We spent about $15-20 each on a combo meal and drink, which seemed to be pretty average for the park. And don’t worry if mediocre Chinese food isn’t for you, there are lots of food options within the park. Go for the coffee at the Plaza Café if you’re still tired from waking up so early.
Next on our roller coaster list was Goliath. A typical, seated in pairs of two, coaster but also incredibly fast and tall. The ride starts with a 300 ft drop that gets you up to 93 mph before dipping you into a tunnel underground.
Then we did one of my favorites – Superman Escape from Krypton. It’s a very, very fast ride, barely 30 seconds long. You’re in a car that’s shot backwards at over 100mph, up a vertical tower until gravity pulls you to zoom back down. A simple ride but I loved it because I LOVE SPEED. You could say I have a need for it 😉
Next up was Full Throttle – a unique coaster in which you’re launched once through half the ride and then are stopped midway in a tunnel that launches you backwards through the rest of the ride. It was a lot of fun.
After that one, we needed a break from the heat, so we rested with some frozen lemonade, ice cream, and (Dara’s favorite) Dippin Dots.
We continued our break from the heat with an indoor (air-conditioned!) coaster – Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. It’s similar to Disneyland’s Buzz Lightyear ride, in which you’re on a rotating car on a track and need to shoot enemy targets. It even has an animatronic Cyborg like Disney’s Buzz! The one negative difference though is the terrible intro video you have to watch at the beginning. It’s poorly animated and long but so ridiculous it’s kind of funny? Feels like a Tim and Eric sketch about helping the Justice League defeat the Joker and Lex Luther.
No two negative differences! The other being that the targets are hard to shoot because sometimes the video screens don’t actually align with what you’re aiming at. Otherwise, the way the ride uses its 3D screen/car combo is actually better than the Buzz ride.
Though the targets can’t be too hard to aim at, as Mason from our friend group scored in the top 2% of players ever, which is pretty cool when you consider that the park has literally millions of visitors a year.
Our day ended with one last coaster that ended up being our favorite – Twisted Colossus. It’s a hybrid wooden/steel coaster that lasts over 4min, which is very long for a roller coaster! It’s also fairly famous, having been featured in NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, among other things.
Part of what makes it such a long ride is that you get to go up and down the same 115 ft hill twice on the ride – once in the beginning and another time halfway through. And if the operators time it right, you get to feel like you’re racing side-by-side with another car.
That ride was truly a great way to end our day. Some of our friends stayed until the park closed at 8pm but we had to head back to LA for a dinner. It would have been really fun to stay though because we still had a bunch of rides left!
I’d guess that it’d take at least three trips to get through all of the coasters and rides that they have to offer. There’s something there for everyone so if you love roller coasters, or just thrills in general, Six Flags Magic Mountain is the place for you.
We hope this post helps you plan your trip!
COST REPORT: $$$
Entry Fee: $60/person
Food & Drink: $20/person