ThrillRide! Special Features


West Coast Bash 2011 - Part 1
April 6, 2011

Lunch was fab. Lots of food, and all of it yummy. And in that picnic pavilion, there were some nice photo ops.

I dig this perspective of X2. This year, I didn't ride. Just didn't feel the need.

Viper, ready to vipe.

Post lunch, we gave that one a whirl, as last year it ran well and was relatively free of head-bash syndrome.

As these Arrow megaloopers seem to be an endangered species, I hope Magic Mountain keeps this one. It was good fun again this year, still looking very sharp, and riding fairly smoothly.

But. This advertising on the trains, and all over the station, is just ghastly. "Scare Off The Viper With Your Hair?" Truly pathetic.

"Scare Off Your Customers With Your Crappy Sloganeering."

Look at that guy... Mystifying. Honestly, I understand "maximizing revenue streams" and "consumer product sponsorship opportunities" and all that; Six Flags gotta eat. But I'd GLADLY pay a bit more for a season pass if they'd just abandon this practice.

Anyway. Before the big park presentation and Q&A at the Magic Moments Theater, we rode Goldrusher, hung out at the Cyber Cafe, just chilled. Then dinner at El Torito.

The WCB park presentation and Q&A session is always entertaining and the folks at this park are very good sports. No pulse-raising revelations about anything, but still fun. And as always, the capper was the announcement of the special goodies for the evening ERT session, which included, to little surprise, some after-dark Superman: Escape From Krypton action. There were other cool tweaks, like fog machines on Batman, a custom soundtrack for X2, and some strobe lights and stuff for Scream. But all I needed was Supes.

And S:EFK in the dark, with a light rain falling, was, well, super. The light at the top of the tower hit the water droplets, turning them into diamonds falling with us. Magical.

Don’t ask me why, but some of us did ride Scream, in a pretty messy rainfall. Because it was there, I guess. No strobe lights seemed to be working, so, yeah.... The ride operators were far livelier and friendlier than one would have expected them to be, though.
Ninja in the dark, even the cold, wet dark, was a blast. As expected.

Unexpected, completely, was the wood-rending insanity of Apocalypse: The Ride. This one moved way up my list of favored woodies that night.

One thing we did learn during the Q&A session is that the park had almost no time to react to the news from corporate that the license for the Terminator: Salvation IP was about to go bye-bye. So they quickly removed some props from the queue, made new videos for the pre-show, and threw up a temporary sign out front. (Sorry for griping about that sign, Magic Mountain…)
The good news is that the new, permanent sign is finished and it looks great.

Will the pre-show blow your mind with a compelling story, Oscar-worthy production values and gripping drama? No. Is it in some ways better than the T:S version? Yes, actually. Do I miss the robots in the queue? Not at all.

The REALLY good news is that Pocky was slamming double-shot lattes prior to ERT and wanted to rip itself apart. Wet, slick track; lighter trains without the audio gear; some kind of West Coast Bash juju, whatever the reasons, Apocalypse ran more ferociously than I’d ever experienced. Rocknroll!
(There were some posters for “The Smurfs” movie in the station and queue. Not sure how that best reaches the target audience. But it did make me realize that this coaster's custom-molded, irregular-surface cars can never be ad-wrapped. Again, I say “HA-ha!”)

That station fly-through is da bombadoo, baby.

Part 2, the Knott's Berry Farm day, coming soon.



© Robert Coker
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