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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:13 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Disney Feast West&East Day 7: SixFlags Magic Mountain

Today is otherwise known as : 11 hours, 3 kids and 15 coasters - can we do it ?

A week in and finally a theme park. The boys are genuinely very excited about today having looked at the rides on youtube and being very keen to go on as many as possible, they have a list of 15 "headliners" to be exact. Theme park OCD planners like me already have calculated that unless we sprout wings or are able to teleport directly from one ride to another that this roughly works out at around 44 minutes queue and ride time per ride with the added tricky business of also getting into the park, walking, sometimes eating, more walking, drinking and stopping at the little boys room. You do the math as our American cousins say. Of course, this also assumes we will be the only people there, we will not get lost ( go figure with the track record to date) and no rides will break down- EVER. So, its a doddle then.

Andy and I are resigned to the fact that as complete non coaster riding wimps today for us will be all about the bag toting, neck craning, feet watching, in vain “are those our kids up there ” camera spotting moments and it generally being hot and boring but we made a no whingeing pact with the kids so we have to do our bit too !

We have one day, so it’s a one shot chance on the rides all working, the crowds being low and the SatNav playing ball. Pixie Dust be with us today please.

But first to the free breakfast , which is very similar to the one in Monterey but has the added attraction of a pancake making machine – which makes two at a time . Yum.

We were up in good time and only marginally delayed on our way out by the fact that I am waiting patiently for the dryer to finish when Andy points out that you just open the door and take the stuff out – it doesn’t actually “finish” – Oh, I see, I could have done that about 20 minutes ago then

The boys haven’t eaten a lot so I take some pringles and cookies with me – for those who are going , don’t bother, no food allowed and I end up leaving them for the security staff to snaffle later at bag check as I just cant be bothered to walk all the way back to the car – signs at the car entrance would have helped you know rather than after walking half a mile to the park entrance to be faced with the prospect of walking them all the way back - no, I dont think so , we are on a schedule here people !

Happily we are on the North side of LA and going north to Santa Clarita so we can laugh at all the southbound queuing traffic but you know that this smugness will catch up with us – but hopefully, not today. We take about 50 minutes to get there with no hiccups. Its all going far too well.







On arriving , there is a problem. The parking permit has come out on the reverse of Nick’s park ticket ( curses, you eco friendly double sided printer) and it appears they just HAVE to retain the parking voucher which means we have no ticket for Nick. So now instead of going straight in, we have to go to Customer Services to get another ticket . You see, smug car Karma does get you in the end.

But no worries. Car park looks empty.





But omg its hot already and the park isn’t empty - everyone must have come by bus as its packed already . I go to guest services and somewhat stupidly I forget to tell the others to get in the queue for the turnstiles (and nor do they work this out for themselves ), so they hang about in the shade instead so by the time I get served and get another ticket we are WELL back in the crowd, which has been whipped to a frenzy by the Butlin wannabee entertainers.

Rope Drop Crush is nothing on this lot as a wall of humanity tries to squish itself through a desperately inefficient ticket checking process where queues converge and all sorts of queue jumping tactics are being deployed.

The park opened the gates at 1030 and through some sheer will and determination , use of sharpened elbows and other theme park veteran tactics, I reckon its 1045 by the time we are squeezed in. So 15 minutes down already , average time per ride dropping by the minute

I send the boys and Andy here as this allegedly gets super massive queues



I "think" you lie down and go backwards on this one ?



and I will meet them there as I now go off to get the Flash Pass. And there is a queue there already so having already paid for the Gold Pass , I decide instantly to upgrade to Platinum – it costs $130 extra but with only today and 3 potentially very disappointed boys, I take the hit and I also pre book a slot on Lex Luthor so that takes some strain out of the “how the hell are we going to get any rides done today” moment of panic that I am having. I get my box of magic - its a Qbot and looks rather like one of those Tamagotchi pet things and I am now supremely confident that this will be our saviour – after all, on the video we had to watch before we could part with our cash , it clearly said the Platinum magic box takes 90% of the queuing time away . Fab, Out by lunchtime then eh ? Oh yes, you also have to leave a $200 deposit and your driving licence to ensure you return it or dont damage it - no stress there then either.

I need the loo but there is a queue for the loo. Good grief , its 1130 and all I have done is queue and I am only about 50 yards inside the ruddy park so I set off to find Andy, confident they will all be waiting for me. But only he is there still waiting and there are no loos, so I go back to where I was before, the queue is of course now much longer and I am somewhat depressed . This is not a dream start. And after all the moaning about the cold and fog, its not just hot, its very hot . I get back , taking some random park shots along the way and we share a lovely cold slushy.







Its now 12 and the boys appear – hurray, we have done 1 ride in 90 minutes. Quick mental check, we will still be here this time tomorrow at this rate. But the Qbot tells us we can get on Viper in the next few minutes ( I say we , I mean the gang of 3).



So off they trot while we wait in the shade at the Panda Takeaway and exchange views about the Sat Nav and its reliability versus the opinion of the “person who is not the driver” A link to my previous thread is here A Lighthearted Look at Avoiding SatNav Sabotage on Holiday.

They are back by 1225 and want a drink. Things are looking up, 2 rides in 2 hours.

We are on a roll as the Qbot also now gets them on to Revolution by 1245.




We are booked on to Lex Luthor at 1.30 so it makes sense to head that way now. I set off in advance and Andy will follow us ( Sadly he is mis directed and walks all the way up Samurai Summit to completely the wrong place, walks all the way back down and is totally knackered by the time he gets to us, and he missed them on the Drop of Doom).

The signs are confusing as we had expected all the rides listed on the right to be on the right – but no, look closely at the pointy arrows under the ride names and they go in different directions. Note to self, read the signs.


Edited at 06:46 AM.
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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:28 AM  
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Fab read so far! Thanks for the tip about $200 deposit (I imagine refundable?)
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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:29 AM  
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Meanwhile, Unaware of Andy’s one man mountain goat challenge, the boys are on to Lex Luthor , which has my heart in my mouth but they absolutely love it. The only down side is that Superman is not running and Connor is really down as he wanted to ride that above all else.









one of those feetwatching moments





Andy has joined us by now, having lost a few lbs in his epic walkabout in the searing heat so we stop in an Arcade and get some more drinks , then the boys run off to Apocalypse at 2pm which they loved and run laughing straight on to Jet Stream at 2.30. The flashpass is now paying off . We have 5 rides done , only another 10 or so to do - we may even be done by 6 !








But then the Qbot tells us we can get on Riddlers Revenge at 2.45 and we wait and wait and another parent starts to get angsty with park staff saying she has lost her child as she joined the FP queue over an hour ago and she still hasn’t seen her so she must be lost and then we start to get a bit twitchy that maybe we aren’t sat by the exit at all and we have somehow missed the kids.

This is the one you stand up on







Then at 3.20 they emerge – not lost, just in a darn big queue – so remember that the FlashPass said it took 90% off the queue time – well at that rate , the poor beggars in the standby line must still be stood there now then.

The Qbot says they can get on Green Lantern, just round the corner at 3.30 so confident that this wont be a long wait, we order a big pizza and some cheesesticks to await their return, plus some drinks. A fairly reasonable $40 for the lot– it’s a big pizza and Andy is sure there will be leftovers.









They are back by 4pm , so not too bad at all and quicker than you can say “it’s a big pizza” , its all gone, much to Andy’s amazement and disappointment. Suitably refuelled, the boys vote to skip Batman and to press on .





Superman is now up and running so we suggest that they can let their food go down while waiting in the queue – yes its at an hour, but we all know they over egg the queue times. Except they don’t here and the bleeping ride keeps breaking down. So we give up and as we are the top of the hill ( yes the one Andy has already climbed ) they go off to do Ninja , forgetting the point about letting food go down.




Edited at 06:49 AM.
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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:41 AM  
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The clock starts ticking now – only a few hours till closing and still a ton of rides to do. So they scamper off to do Scream ( its 5pm now) while we sit and chat to a lady from Phoenix who we had met earlier in the day at Riddlers Revenge – clearly not the only people sitting around waiting for kids all day. The Qbot is doing its stuff though as they are soon off Scream and onto Colossus at 5.20 coming straight off that at 5.50 onto Goliath.











Andy and I are starting to wilt but the energy properties of the pepperoni pizza is working wonders on the kids who are on a roll. They set off again for Superman , in the theory that if you are in the Q before the park closes, they let you on. We advise them to get the train there, it will be quicker while we amble about the shops and have some fun in the kiddies area.









Look who it is !





Really ?





These must be the Six Flags then

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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:47 AM  
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I bag myself a Wiley Coyote hat and am well pleased.



We do a few circuits before locating the said train ( cable car) and we ponder on how far in the queue the boys will be – not far at all as Nick and Jamie meet us at the top – having abandoned Connor in the queue as its over an hour and they cant be bothered to wait. So , they go off past Ninja to ride Tatsu ( twice apparently) while we sit it out waiting for Connor, as the sun starts to set. Finally he emerges with a big beam all over his face – it did take 50 minutes but he got on and he really is over the moon, declaring it the best ride of the day .















Its now 7.45 – I have never been in a theme park for so long in my life. It defies all logic and stamina but what the heck, it closes at 9 anyway. So they run off to ride Tatsu together which makes it 14 rides in 11 hours.

The park is dark now and has a slightly different tone about it – most families have long gone and there are mainly teenage groups left who are running around with lots of whooping noises.

Finally done around 8.30 and Connor walks back with me to return the Flashpass and ensure the return of my deposit . Its lovely as he gives me a hug and tells me what a great day its been and thanks me for hanging round all day. Ah, they do care after all. I’m really quite touched by his thoughtfulness.

We stop to get a refill for on the way home and collect the others who have been in an arcade. We leave 2 minutes before the park closes – now that is value for money.





We have been here since 1030 – without the flashpass I am not sure we would have got half the number of rides done, it was busy , much busier than we had expected for a weekday , but the schools are still on holiday so that must have made a difference. The standby time for most rides was 2 hours all day until the end of the day . The boys really have had a great day and are really on a high – it’s a pleasure to see them like this . We are all tired though so it’s a quiet journey home and we are all very pleased to see our beds.

SatNav Sabotage Count : nil today so still in single digits
Shopping Count : a massive $10 on my hat
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Old 17 Sep 12, 09:34 AM  
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Wow what a long day! Impressive ride count for the boys though, like you I would be waiting at the bottom, most of those look brutal
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Old 17 Sep 12, 02:31 PM  
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Such a great read, I'm dreading going here just on the length of the queues! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17 Sep 12, 04:03 PM  
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what a great day the boys had
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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:08 PM  
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What a fantastic looking park - the boys must have been in their element.
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Old 17 Sep 12, 08:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by ppodangel View Post
Wow what a long day! Impressive ride count for the boys though, like you I would be waiting at the bottom, most of those look brutal
the rides scared me witless, especially for Jamie who is really quite small for his age and I kept worrying about the restraints - but he loved it. We walked and walked and walked that day - my feet were so pleased to be back in slippers when we got to the hotel room


Originally Posted by princess_chazy View Post
Such a great read, I'm dreading going here just on the length of the queues! Thanks for sharing!
You will be fine, it will be much quieter with no school hols ! And you can pre book a slot on Lex Luthor and X2 - which I didnt know until after I had already sent them to X2 - that could have saved us that first hour . The platinum pass really did help us

Originally Posted by ginger ninja View Post
what a great day the boys had
They really did. They each voted it their overall best day of the holiday

Originally Posted by SammyScotland View Post
What a fantastic looking park - the boys must have been in their element.
Its certainly a park for Coaster fans - its not very "pretty" and a bit basic but I guess you go for the rides - considerably more older children/teens than younger ones there . Connor will find the likes of Alton Towers a bit tame from now on although now he's making noises about the slingshot ride at stratosphere in Las Vegas - the child knows no fear
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