Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Here is the tenth installment on GDB featuring the vintage postcards of Ken Martinez. We are back at Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Here's Ken:
The White-Knucklers of pre-Six Flags Magic Mountain
Today's post features the early roller coasters of the pre-Six Flags era of Magic Mountain.
Magic Mountain's first roller coaster (The Gold Rusher) opened with the park in 1971. The tubular tracked Arrow Development mine train coaster was built incorporating the terrain of Magic Mountain into its design. No matter how mild this coaster is in the thrills department, I hope it's never removed from the park. From a historical perspective, it's Magic Mountain's first roller coaster. It's also a great "family" ride. Note the Metro Monorail and Skytower in the background.
The Mountain Express, which opened in 1973, was a basic Schwarzkopf Wildcat portable coaster model found at one time in other amusement parks like Cedar Point, Worlds of Fun, and Valleyfair!. Not the Asian motif which was also carried through elsewhere in the park wit the Dragon Cars and the Shangri-la area. The Asian theme would be used again later at Six Flags Magic Mountain with the Samurai Summit area and the Ninja and Tatsu coasters.
The Revolution. which opened in 1976, was the first Intamin 360-loop coaster built in the United States. It was also one of the main set pieces in the film "Rollercoaster" with George Segal (1977). It opened as "The Great American Revolution" for the nation's bicentennial and then later was renamed "La Revolucion" to match the Baja Ridge theme before eventually settling into the simpler name "Revolution". Whatever it was called, it was a great ride.
Colossus was a big media event when it opened in 1978. I remember even up here in Northern California hearing about it and seeing it on television when it opened. In this postcard, I'm pretty sure this is the coaster's earliest incarnation with the hills intact and no flattening of the hills yet. Now it has become a completely new coaster, "Twisted Colossus".
Those were the original white-knucklers of Magic Mountain in their original form before Six Flags arrived with its many mega-thrills. I feel fortunate that I was able to experience both the Revolution and Colossus in their original glory before being modified and reprofiled.
Note: At the time of this writing news broke out that the park will be renovating and restoring the classic Revolution coaster for the 2016 season with all new trains and an improved ride experience. Part of this will include the removal of the highly criticized over-the-shoulder restraints and a return to the red-white-and-blue paint scheme with a giant silver eagle hood ornament on the front of the all-new trains.
Information Source Material:
The Great American Amusement Park copyright 1976 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
Roller Coaster Database http://rcdb.com/
Major Pepperidge again... I remember these early days of Magic Mountain, a place that was so exciting to me. I recently rode the Gold Rusher and loved it just as much as I used to. I'm also happy that I was able to ride the Colossus just before its closure for its transformation into "Twisted Colossus". THANKS to Ken Martinez for his awesome post!