ThrillRide! Special Features


West Coast Bash 2008
March 10, 2008

During morning ERT, breakfast was available up by Tatsu, and as we were just sitting around, enjoying the gorgeous weather, Jay Thomas, SFMM's new president, came by and chatted away, telling us about his history with Six Flags, how much he loves Magic Mountain, letting us know how much he appreciated our enthusiasm, etc. How often does that happen at a gathering like this? Answer: almost never.

Before we knew it, lunch was served and it was pretty tasty: fried chicken, beans, salad, rolls, ice cream bars. It was fuel aplenty and we would need it.

Because soon after, the backstage tours began.

First stop, X2.

Tim BurkhartInside the repainted station, Tim Burkhart gave everyone a good long look at the new trains, and told us as much as he could about the goals and the plans for the revamp.

As most of you know, the real problem with X was the massively heavy train. He explained that despite the troubles, the park knew that the ride experience was simply unlike anything else in the world and rather than just scrap it, they chose to work with S&S to get things to a better place.

SFMM reps actually went to Japan to look at Eejanaika, the only other 4th Dimension coaster in existence, and helped them tweak stuff. But as he explained, the X2 trains will be "third gen," all new, and about 20% lighter that the hulks that X bore.

Here's the first of the new puppies:

X2, sexy

More sexy


What they're aiming for is increased through-put: getting more trains around the circuit per hour. By making the trains lighter - and altering the whole load-unload procedure - they hope to double, or even triple the hourly capacity. And perhaps, the new vehicles may result in a smoother ride, too.

He also went on to explain that the extra audio-visual enhancements were not yet cast in stone, but that many cool ideas are on the table and more are coming in every day. What he did promise was that the entire X2 x-perience, queue and all, would be singularly cool, and add to the whole "extreme" nature of the coaster. Nice. Of course, as nearly everyone agreed, the new paint job has already gone a long, long way towards making this mama-jama look properly bad-ass.

Then we got to watch it run:

Oh, my

Oh... my

Oh... my... lord


I got to feeling all... funny.




© Robert Coker
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