June 21 is the longest day of the year. The summer solstice is when we are tilted closest to the sun. Never has the longest day felt so long as it does when you are at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Located just a quarter mile from the surface of the sun, Six Flags is the worst theme park I have ever visited. The rides are great. Really great. And if they were built in any other park in the world, I would visit them regularly. But the experience that Six Flags brings is not worth dealing with for some cool coasters. In 2010, I reviewed the opening of Green Lantern: First Flight and it wasn’t pretty. In my opinion, this once decent park has declined over the years and this event was the last straw. I decided that I liked myself too much to have to suffer this park ever again. I wrote a scathing review and left it at that. Other rides have opened and it really didn’t matter to me because I was done. But I thought with Full Throttle, a record breaking coaster with a 160 foot vertical loop, three launches (one that is backwards) and a whole plaza addition to the park, it was too good to pass up. Boy, was I wrong.
The press event was actually great. The food was amazing: hot dogs and fried wings. The Full Throttle dog is 10 inches long and covered in pastrami, bacon, chili, cheese, tomatoes, onions and mustard, with criss-cut fries on the side – exactly what you want before you get on the world’s largest inverted loop. And the High Octane Wings are fried chicken wings rolled in amazing sauces that range from fiery habanero for the danger seekers to garlic parmesan and lemon pepper for the more mild mannered. All you have to do is choose how hot you want your vomit to be when it comes back up.
The ride was mind blowing as well. Three launches from zero to 70 mph in just seconds, backwards and forwards to get enough speed to go over the top of the world’s tallest loop in the world’s first “top hat” maneuver, developed exclusively for this ride and ensuring that you get your money’s worth by experiencing your High Octane/Full Throttle lunch for a second, third or fourth time.
But it’s still in Six Flags.
Some attendees that teem among the streets and alleys of this park are the ones who ruin the experience. Overly active teens abound who don’t want to keep their hands to themselves, and more bandeau tops than I have ever seen in one place (because at Six Flags, a lacy, thick bra counts as a shirt). There were some park employees who can’t answer a question because they are either on their cellphones, eating or talking with friends. And when they do talk to you, they don’t have any answers other than, “Bathrooms are located to the left.”
Mind you, this is not every employee. Some were helpful and attentive. Throughout the six hours my visit lasted, I met two employees who were nice, saw that I had a question and answered it. So they aren’t all bad. That being said, I still wouldn’t recommend this experience to anyone I have ever met.
The rides they have are amazing: Tatsu, Full Throttle, Batman and X2 just to name a few. They have more coasters than anywhere else on Earth. If they could just get a security force that will work and employees who care, they could enforce the rules of conduct posted all over the park. Until that time, stay anywhere else – at work, the dentist, an IRS tax audit or just sit in a room and stare at the wall. And no matter what you do, you can think, “Hey, it could be worse. I could be having a ‘Six Flags Day’!”