Thursday, March 24, 2016

Vintage Magic Mountain Postcards, Part Two

It's time for more postcards from the vast collection of Ken Martinez! Today we return to Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Here's Ken:

Magic Mountain - The Early Six Flags Era

While Magic Mountain enjoyed some success in its first eight years of operation, it was eventually sold to Six Flags in 1979 and renamed Six Flags Magic Mountain in 1980. It was this transitional period from 1980 to 1988, the early Six Flags era, that today's postcards represent. Later periods in the history of Magic Mountain were the Tim Warner era and Premier Parks era.

Here's the Arrow Mine Train coaster "Gold Rusher". The park's landscaping has matured with more brush and foliage growth. In the backdrop is a 1st generation Intamin Freefall which was unimaginatively called "Freefall". The Freefall stood from 1982 to 2008, the last few years standing inoperable.

Visual evidence that Six Flags moved into the park are the six flags around the water fountain below Valencia Falls. The foliage is maturing but you can still see the Revolution layout pretty well. Last time I went it was pretty much well hidden. The ever present Sky Tower is in the back drop.

Here's a shot of Colossus bathed in dramatic lighting at night. I believe the double camelback hills in view were removed and flattened during the 1991 re-profiling of the coaster. As many times as I've been to Magic Mountain, I've never seen it at night.

Shockwave was one of the first roller coaster installed at Magic Mountain after Six Flags took over. The early Intamin stand-up coaster only lasted a few years from 1986 to 1988. In 1989 it became part of Six Flags rotating ride program which began in the late 1980's. After operating at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the coaster was moved to Six Flags Great Adventure for the 1990-1992 season, then to Six Flags AstroWorld as "Batman: The Escape" where it operated for many years from 1993 to 2005 (AstroWorld's closing). It's final resting place is at Darien Lake where it sits in storage.

Here's a nice close up of the Shockwave's short Intamin coaster train. Does anyone remember riding this coaster? I think B&M (Bollinger and Mabillard) really perfected the stand up coaster, as my favorite roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain is the "Riddler's Revenge".

Hope you've enjoyed your visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I have many more vintage and modern postcards of Magic Mountain that I will share in the future.

Information Source material:
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
Roller Coaster Database

Thanks for this fun look at some early coasters from Magic Mountain's Six Flags era, Ken!


Nanook said...


I seem to recall riding the Shockwave, but remember very little about it, other than all the "mechanics" involved in securing its riders.

Thanks, Ken, for sharing these views.

TokyoMagic! said...

I only rode Shockwave once, but I do remember that there was something similar to a bicycle seat that went between the rider's legs.

In that second pic, we can see a couple of the Magic Mountain trolls and the Wizard greeting guests. Nanook, do you think Debra Winger was in one of those costumes?

Thank you for sharing these, Ken!

Chuck said...

Based on that second picture, it looks like the six flags that they used were the US flag and the flags of the five states that had Six Flags-owned parks at the time. From left to right, they appear to be New Jersey (Great Adventure, acquired 1977), Texas (Six Flags Over Texas, 1961; AstroWorld, acquired 1975)), the United States of America (1776, not owned by Six Flags), California (Magic Mountain, acquired 1979), Georgia (Six Flags Over Georgia, 1967), and Missouri (Six Flags Over Mid-America, 1971).

Thanks again for this continuing postcard series, Ken! They have been (and continue to be) wonderful.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I remember nothing about it since I didn't visit Magic Mountain during the time the Shockwave coaster was there. I mostly visited during the 1970's then again in the late 90's and 00's.

TokyoMagic!, Great catch! You have a good eye for detail. I've had these postcards for years and never noticed the trolls and Wizard in this image before. That makes me appreciate it all the more. Thanks!

Chuck, Great observation! I wondered what the flag representation was specifically for "Six Flags" Magic Mountain. You and TM really have given me a new perspective on these postcards, Thanks!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

That first pic illustrates what a true paradise Sothern California was once upon a time. What a beautiful landscape! Most of those surrounding hillsides are now completely covered with development. Kind of sad.

Thanks for sharing your collection with us Ken!

MRaymond said...

I've only been to Magic Mountain once and that was just after the Revolution opened. It was the first loop I ever took and it scared the crap out of me, and there was only a lap bar.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

I'm thinking these images, at the very least, were taken in 1976, if not later - and I'm betting by then Ms. Winger had long-ago hung up her large head and had moved into the real world of entertainment - starting with Slumber Party '57.

K. Martinez said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, I agree. It is sad to see all the sprawling development in this area. I remember when it as so isolated. Now it's developed with its own substantial population.

MRaymond, I remember being surprised there was only a lap bar too. Previously to riding the "Revolution", I rode Knott's "Roaring 20's Corkscrew" and Marriott's "Turn of the Century" and they both had the over-the-shoulder restraints. Of course riding through the corkscrew element is a bit different that a tear-drop loop.

Nanook, I believe these images were taken at least post 1978 since Colossus didn't debut until that year and Six Flags took over the park shortly after that. The Shock Wave and Gold Rusher images are probably from the mid-'80's.

Snow White Archive said...

These are some nice images on these postcards. Sometimes vintage postcards don't actually show you anything worth looking at, but these deliver. The Colossus at night is awesome.