Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vintage Postcards - Six Flags Magic Mountain, Part 4

For folks who grew up in Southern California at a certain era, Six Flags Magic Mountain was one of the primary amusement parks for families. I know I liked going there a LOT. Ken Martinez will share more of his vintage postcards - this will be part four of his Magic Mountain offerings!

More Magic Mountain (Part 4)

It's off to Magic Mountain again.

The Swiss Twist was a Schwarzkopf Bayern Kurve ride on a circular track. It operated from 1973 to 2008. It looks like an Olympic bobsled theme going there. I'm not good at troll identification so maybe a reader out there knows the name of this troll. [Major P here... I think it's "Bloop"!].

A blue monorail, sky ride and auto ride with guide rails! Where have I seen that before? The Grand Prix, the Metro Monorail and both Eagle's Flight sky rides no longer exist at Magic Mountain. The Sky Tower is hanging on though. Note the Eagle's Flight sky rides have two different styles of support towers. For the Shangri La/Galaxy line it's solid and for the Shangri La/Eldorado line it's a skeletal support structure.

Is the Mini Pree Magic Mountain's version of the Midget Autopia? Round and round it goes. I worked my share of the kiddy rides at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Sometimes I thought the kids behaved better than the adults when it came to these little rides. Look! Magic Mountain had an orange monorail before Disneyland did.

Here's the Electric Rainbow (Super-Round Up). Today it's Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth. I wonder how many riders have spilled their guts while riding the Lasso of Truth.

The Circus Wheel was a theme Chance Trabant. Trabants are unique in that their motion resembles that of a spinning coin. Does anyone know what the covered area in the back was for?

This is one of my favorite postcards of Magic Mountain. There's a lot to see here. You've got the twin drops of the Jet Stream, the pagoda style stations of the Dragon Car ride and the Eagle's Flight Shangri La station. I still can't remember what that modern silver-ish structure to the right of the Sky Tower was for.

Hope you enjoyed another visit to 1970's Magic Mountain.

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

I DID enjoy my visit to 1970's Magic Mountain! It's still a fun place to go, but it has become so "coaster-centric"... I miss much of the charming rides that used to be there. Thanks, Ken!


TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, ha....spilled their guts!

I miss THIS Magic Mountain! The covered area beyond the Circus Wheel was the Contempo Dance Pavilion. The modern silver-ish structure to the right of the Sky Tower in that last picture was at the entrance to the Magic Pagoda fun house. At night, it would be illuminated with neon lights. I don't understand why they took out attractions like the Swiss Twist and then didn't replace them with anything!

Thanks for sharing more of your Magic Mountain collection with us, Ken!

Nanook said...

@ TM-!

You (and Ken) are bringing back wonderful memories. THIS version of Magic Mountain really was, in some ways, "the stuff that dreams are made of". (Hmmm... more movie quotes). For me in the 1980's and '90's, Magic Mountain was just close-enough to home for me to hop in the car and be there easily in under 30 minutes - so I would often do just that, on a whim. Was able to have a lot of fun doing just that.

Thanks, Ken.

Melissa said...

The design on the Circus Wheel is just beautiful. At first I thought it was an elaborate celestial sun, but then I zoomed in and saw all the circus/seashell detail. Absolutely lovely!

I think my favorite part of these cards, though, may be the two ladies in the middle of the bottom picture, especially the lady in green. They're a little more dressed up then the rest of the crowd, but that doesn't stop them from letting go and having a great time!

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice stuff, Ken; thanks for sharing. I always liked the back side of the Mountain where the theming was a little funky. And the Goldrusher, to boot. I still think the idea of a roller coaster that follows the terrain instead of some structure is terrific. It kind of presaged Big Thunder and Seven Dwarfs Mine in a sense. OK, now I'm reaching... Still good memories, and thanks!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Thanks Ken. I particularly got a chuckle from the “riders spilling their guts while riding the Lasso of Truth” line. Super great line!
Having grown up in OC I never got out to Magic Mountain much, a few times though. I think I was too much of a D-land snob by that time. The one thing that really stands out in my memories was all the hills. It felt more like being out hiking than a day at a theme park.
Thanks again, Ken!

Anonymous said...

Always enjoyed the Gold Rusher and the Circus Wheel. That pic of the Bumper Boats with the monorail and skyways brings back some good memories for me.

I thnk we went here maybe only 3-4 times, tops. Had fun every time. But like MC Kurt, we were D'Land snobs, I guess.


Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks, Ken, for the great photo/post cards!
That last one, in particular, I agree, is great! There's a little bit of everything there.
I remember that, in Kiss's 1978 movie "Meets the Phantom," which was shot at Magic Mountain, that the Sky Tower of the Magic Pagoda was featured pretty prominently.
Here's a photo from a Kiss Swedish fan club site, that shows the tower and perhaps the Magic Pagoda?
I wonder who the monorail designer/company was?

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, I love THIS Magic Mountain too! I knew if anyone could identify those structures it would be you. I thought that might've been the entrance to the Magic Pagoda, but I wasn't going to call it because I wasn't 100% sure. Thanks for filling in the information.

Nanook, To me, Vintage Magic Mountain is representative the 1970's theme park era in all its glory. Believe it or not I would do day trips to Magic Mountain too. It was only a 4-5 hour drive away via I-5 from where I lived. I'd be exhausted when I got back late at night, but man did I have a lot fun.

Melissa, I love this card for the people in it. Check out the couple at the bottom leaning towards the other couple. It looks like they are ramming their opponent with all the vigor they can muster up.

Patrick Devlin, actually you're not reaching at all. Big Thunder Mountain owes much to the Arrow Runaway Mine Train attractions of the 1960's and 1970's. The idea of the multi-lift coaster track for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad came from the early Arrow Mine Train coasters of the original three Six Flags parks. Disney borrowed from other parks from time to time. The terrain coasters to even if Disney created the terrain themselves.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I loved that it felt like you were out in the hills hiking. It was different than the usual flat theme park. I also like the parched terrain of the early park. It felt like an oasis in the middle of the desert.

JG. I definitely went to Disneyland way more than Magic Mountain or even Knott's and it's still is my favorite theme park, but I always loved variety in my amusement park experiences. The Mountain had something about it I found alluring, especially when the Skytower would come in to view while driving from the north down I-5. The Skytower sighting was the point where I knew we had arrived at our destination.

Thanks all!

K. Martinez said...

Clyde Hughes, Thanks for the link. It's all coming back now. The Metro Monorails were manufactured by Universal Mobility. The Magic Mountain monorail trains found new life as part of Hersheypark's monorail system. I guess that puts to rest the idea of the monorails returning to SFMM.

Glad you enjoyed today's post.

Milo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Milo said...

This seems a good time to chime in with an investigative challenge for the peanut gallery. A friend of mine recently gave me this amazing mounted poster of Magic Mountain's layout c. 1973.

The artist is credited as Marvin Rubin. I've been able to pin down Rubin as a popular artist, creating works for the 1984 LA Olympics and other Los Angeles art programs.

The map is mounted on drywall, I think. It's got some weight to it. I can't imagine these were sold to the general public, more likely used for travel agencies and the like. The measurements are 29" x 21".

Any additional clues as to its origin would be most appreciated. In the mean time, have a look and enjoy here at either of these links:

Chuck said...

I am jealous of all of your memories of a park I have still never visited.

It's funny you mention being "Disneyland snobs." A good friend/co-worker of mine when I was stationed out there in the early '90s was a "Magic Mountain snob." He was big into thrill rides and thought DL was too tame. One trip was enough for him and his family, but they went to MM many times. I'm glad the market is diverse enough to entertain us all.

K. Martinez said...

Milo, WOW!! I've never seen this map of Magic Mountain before. What a find! I could study it for days. In fact I think I will give it a good look over. Thanks! And sorry, but I don't know the origins of this map. Hopefully one of our readers will chime in with the answer.

Chuck, I thought with all the theme parks you have been to that you would've been to Magic Mountain. I'm surprised you haven't been. It's still a fun place even today, but you've got to be into roller coasters to get the full benefit of it. I remember back in the 1980's lots of people I knew thought of Disneyland as the kiddie park and Magic Mountain as the serious park where the more grown up folks go. Personally, I enjoyed it all. Disneyland, Knott's and Magic Mountain. It was all good!

Chuck said...

Ken, I think my parents thought (probably correctly) that my sister and I were too young to enjoy the thrill rides at MM in the early-mid '70s. Since we lived north of SF and only got down there a few (I think four) times in the six years we lived there and since we were visiting Cedar Point almost every year on trips to visit grandparents in Ohio, I think they felt that missing MM in favor of DL, Knott's, and Universal wasn't a huge deal.

I don't have as good an excuse for missing out when I was there in the early '90s. My wife and I had been to King's Island and Cedar Point together in college, so I think we felt we had had enough of what I call "Tier 2" theme parks for a while, and the novelty of having DL right there - and almost an hour closer (we lived in San Bernardino) - sort of focused our theme park time in that direction. While I don't regret the time we spent at DL, I regret we couldn't find time and funds for at least one trip to MM (and Santa's Village, too).

Jon Skinner said...

I remember visiting Magic Mountain following a Disneyland vacation (we had to pass it during our long drive back to the Bay Area) back in '73 or '74. Must have been '74, because my sister had been there within the previous year.

Not a lot was open. There were signs saying "Soon to come" all over the place. I remember going on the Goldrusher and walking all the way up the hill in the blazing heat.

Though unfinished, it was a beautiful park all the same.

Jon Skinner said...

I remember visiting Magic Mountain following a Disneyland vacation (we had to pass it during our long drive back to the Bay Area) back in '73 or '74. Must have been '74, because my sister had been there within the previous year.

Not a lot was open. There were signs saying "Soon to come" all over the place. I remember going on the Goldrusher and walking all the way up the hill in the blazing heat.

Though unfinished, it was a beautiful park all the same.

Anonymous said...

@Milo, that is a cool poster. The date is right in the zone of my visits to the park, but no memory of this graphic remains. Thanks for sharing it.


Chris White said...

I remember this Magic Mountain. For some reason we went there a lot. I think the bumper boats were called El Bumpo. We saw Bill Cosby do a show there in the amphitheatre