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Six Flags Magic Mountain

Things to do Beyond L.A.
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Photograph: Courtesy Six Flags Magic Mountain Tatsu.

Comprising Magic Mountain and newer watery cousin Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags delivers thrills for all but the most joyless and crowdphobic holidaymakers. The park offers rollercoasters and water rides for every level of screamer: while there are some gentle rides here, the park is most famous for the ones that'll push your heart into your mouth and your lunch on to the person sitting in front of you. It's a raucous place, both on the rides and off them: if you've got very young kids in tow, Disneyland and Universal Studios are both better bets.

Although a few of the rides at Magic Mountain come with Hollywood themes, such diversions are incidental to the excitement of the riding experience. Perhaps the most terrifying of all the park's rides is the Riddler's Revenge, the world's tallest, longest and fastest stand-up rollercoaster. However, it's got stiff competition.

Other highlights include the Colossus, billed as "the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in the West;" the ludicrous Viper, which soars 188ft (56m) in the air; the floorless Scream! coaster, hugely popular since its 2003 opening; and X, revamped during 2008 in a bid to increase the terror levels further. Happily, there are a number of activities that are suitable for riders of a nervous disposition, among them the gentler-than-it-sounds Canyon Blaster and the Log Jammer flume ride.

Hurricane Harbor is Magic Mountain's smaller, watery cousin. As you might expect, the rides here are a little milder, but there are still thrills to be had: try Tornado, billed as a 'six-storey funnel of fear'.

The parks' opening hours vary almost daily: check online for a detailed calendar, and for further information on the full range of admission-fee packages (including tickets covering both parks). Note that many rides have height restrictions, starting at around 48in (1.22m).


Venue name: Six Flags Magic Mountain
Address: Magic Mountain Parkway
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Hours vary by day: call or check online for full details, incl closing times. Magic Mountain: Summer usually from 10.30am Mon-Fri; from 10am Sat, Sun. Winter usually from 10.30am Fri; from 10am Sat, Sun. Hours vary by day: call or check online for closing times. Hurricane Harbor: Summer usually from 10.30am Mon-Fri; from 10am Sat, Sun. Winter from 10am Sat, Sun. Call or check online for closing times.
Price: $55 advance tickets, $80 at the park; $20 parking
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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We will get the bad out of the way first. This place only loses a star for two reasons - firstly the cost. While $55 advance ticket is great, they defiantly recoup the price in the park - starting out with $25 dollar self parking. The next thing is the cost of food and drink - you are told you can't bring anything in with you, but I saw some people doing it so i would recommend you try yourself. Stupidly we did not on one of the hottest days in July. The water is $4.50 for a small bottle or 2 for $7 - its extortionate. The food is expensive and horrible. I really don't understand why they cant just serve nice food - why not have a deal with a fast food chain - I would happily pay even more for nice food. but when you are paying $17 for the worse burger and chips you will have its soul crushing. 
Secondly the new VR ride - we waited over an hour in the sun - there is no cover in the queue. We ended up giving up when we realised the ride was coming out 50% full each time - sometimes there would be 4 people missing out of 16 sometimes 8 empty seats. We also noticed that due to the fast pass queue actually building the regular queue would not move until all fast passes had gone through.

Forgetting all that, this is the best theme park I have ever been to. For some reason I had a slight fear of rollercoasters, however I was forced straight away on to 'the scariest ride' out of all of them - the X2. And it cured me - like a miracle I suddenly loved rollercoasters. And nothing could get more terrifying than the X2 anyway. Every ride is bigger than you expect it to be. I would honestly recommend any Americans to never come to a theme park in the UK as they all pail in comparison to this.