Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vintage Magic Mountain Postcards

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

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!


Nanook said...


Thanks for sharing more great images from Magic Mountain. Although certainly no Disneyland, it definitely had its charms.

I think you are correct in stating the images from Colossus are from its earliest iteration, as the trains appear to be the original, [very uncomfortable] IAD (International Amusement Devices) trains - that would be replaced less than one year after opening with the more tried-and-true PTC (Philadelphia Toboggan Company) trains, along with the re-profiling of the track(s).

TokyoMagic! said...

Great postcards, Ken! Thanks again for sharing your collection with all of us. Does the Goldrusher even go over water anymore? I hadn't thought about it until seeing your postcard, but I believe that water was tied into the Log Jammer, which was ripped out a couple years ago....because the park really needed another roller coaster! I LOVE the movie "Rollercoaster" and I remember seeing it in the theater (In Sensurround!)...."Watch for the man watching the ROLLERCOASTER!" Revolution was my favorite coaster in the park. I'm glad to see that it isn't being torn down. That being said, I used to go to the park on a regular basis, but I went in 1994 and did not make a return visit until 19 years later. Now I feel like I can wait another 19 years. Sadly, it's just not the same park anymore. :-(

Alonzo P Hawk said...

These are some great postcards thanks for sharing guys! These are so vintage that the Gold Rushers "gum wall" was just getting started.

Snow White Archive said...

Super coaster postcards. Particularly like the one with the monorail too. Thanks for sharing.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, That's what I thought. The coaster trains definitely look like the originals to me. Other than its aesthetics, I never had any love for Colossus. I'll be interested in knowing what you think of the "New Revolution" when it opens. Who knows? Maybe you'll give it a standing ovation. ;)

TokyoMagic!, I feel the same. Like Magic Mountain really needs another roller coaster. I was saddened when they took out the "Log Jammer" (an opening day attraction) for just another coaster. I used to go regularly to Magic Mountain, but stopped going after 2002. And now I find that I can't physically handle the coasters anymore, so I don't see any point on returning at this time.

Alonzo P Hawk, Glad you enjoyed these. I thought the same thing about the gum wall. I wonder if it's still there? I haven't ridden the Gold Rusher in so long.

Snow White Archive, I'm glad you enjoyed. I like the one with the monorail too. Sadly these types of scenic attractions are missing from today's Magic Mountain and in truth I don't think today's visitors would appreciate them.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Magic Mountain had a LOT of charm in the pre-Six Flags days. I remember having a ton of fun there, even with my mom in tow. Now I take my niece and nephew there, and while we have fun, it is an entirely different experience.

TokyoMagic!, I just rode the Goldrusher less than a year ago, and I don’t recall it going over any water. Still have never seen “Rollercoaster”…

Alonzo, oh, that gum wall. So gross!

Snow White Archive, the Metro is the kind of ride that MM desperately needs, but they don’t seem to realize it.

K. Martinez, I am worried about the “New Revolution”… it was such a classic in its day. The “Log Jammer” used to be one of my favorite rides, it kills me that it is gone. I totally understand the rides being too physically brutal… some of them are crazily intense.

Chuck said...

Ken, thanks again for sharing!

The Goldrusher looks like a clone of the Cedar Creek Mine Ride at Cedar Point, but without the wooden framing disguising the tubular steel tracks. I'm glad to hear it's still operating today; it's older sister at Cedar Point was my first real coaster and is still a lot of fun.

Your description of the new Revolution trains sounds an awful lot like the front-end styling on the Screaming Eagle at Six Flags Over Mid- er, I mean Six Flags St Louis. I wonder if there's a park family resemblance?

You nailed the problem with so many modern amusement parks - they aren't family parks anymore. There's a kiddie area and then there are thrill rides...and very little else. My older son doesn't like coasters and, consequently, hates a family day at Six Flags because there's little left for him to enjoy. I'm fast approaching a point where I won't be able to handle many of the more thrilling coasters anymore (maybe I'm already there with my recent eye modification), and then I'll be like you with Magic Mountain.

Which brings us back to why we love the Disney parks so much...

K. Martinez said...

Major, I have confidence the New Revolution will be good. As for brutal, even attractions like Indiana Jones Adventure and Star Tours get to me now. The ol' body can't tolerate being jostled around like it used to.

Chuck, It will always be Six Flags Mid-America to me. I never thought there would be a day when coasters would make me ill, but even the mild ones get to me now. I still enjoy seeing the new coaster creations the industry comes up, so I'm still a fan, but just can't ride them.

Mark H. Besotted said...

And don't forget Colossus had a cameo in the original National Lampoon's Vacation. They filmed the recent sequel at my local park, Six Flags Over Georgia, and I'm planning to watch that despite the terrible reviews.

I've been on an archive crawl here for most of the last year, and am posting this comment Nov. 11. I only have a few weeks' worth of posts before I'm all caught up. What will I do at bedtime when I don't have nearly ten years of awesome photos, curated and commentated by such a wonderful host?!?

Major Pepperidge said...

Mark H. Besotted, believe it or not, I have never watched "Vacation", even though I was totally the right age to see it when it came out! But I knew that Magic Mountain and Colossus were used. If you need other blogs to look at before bedtime, check out or those ought to keep you entertained for a while!