Coastering in SoCal -- Part IAuthor: USRoadTripper
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Date of Trip: September 2006
Thursday, August 31st
My morning started at 4:00am when I woke up and finished up a little bit of last minute packing. I changed the litter box, then fixed some breakfast. Dad arrived at 4:30...a half hour early...so he had to sit there and watch me eat my breakfast. We left my house at 5:00am and arrived at the airport at about 5:10am, with my flight leaving at 7:00am. I was through security quickly and was sitting at my gate within 20 minutes.
My first flight went from Nashville to Atlanta and was uneventful. Once in Atlanta, I found my gate easily and was happy to find a food court nearby. I grabbed an egg and cheese bagel from McDonalds (that was completely soaked with butter!) and was on my way to LA shortly thereafter.
The second leg of the flight was uneventful also and I kept my little monitor on the flight tracking map the whole time.
Once at LAX, I waited a half hour for my checked bag with my liquids and gels in it to be delivered, then I caught a Thrifty car rental shuttle. Once at Thrifty, I was directed to a row of vehicles that I could pick from, but there were only minivans in that row! No way did I want a minivan since I knew I'd be doing a significant amount of driving! Eventually I got them to give me a regular car, which was what I had reserved in the first place. It was a red Chrysler Sebring and was quite nice!
I knew I'd probably be getting a call from my friend Mike as soon as I got to LA, so I kept my phone out. Of course, almost as soon as I started the drive, my phone fell under my seat where I couldn't reach it! I was staying at the Holiday Inn Express at the Magic Mountain exit, so I just headed there, then found my phone and called Mike. After unpacking a few things, I picked him up and headed for some lunch.
I'd been wanting to try a Del Taco for years, and lucky for me, there was one within a couple of miles! I got a crispy fish taco, a macho taco and a chicken taco, and it was pretty good, though it's no Taco Bell. I think I will also always associate the taste of cilantro with Del Taco!
After lunch, we headed for the Mountain. I said that I wanted the first stop to be Psyclone since everyone seems to talk about how horrible it is, so that was where we headed. My first impression of the park was that it was quite a bit nicer than I thought it might be. Everything seemed to have relatively nice landscaping, lots of places were themed, and generally, I couldn't quite see what everyone was complaining about.
Once at Psyclone, I really braced for the worst. But luckily, I didn't think the ride was that bad. Yeah, it wasn't smooth, but I've ridden much, much worse woodies. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised! We meandered across the back of the park for a bit, then rode Goldrusher since it was along the way. I thought it was a nice little terrain coaster, though it did have a couple of rough spots.
Next, we decided to go ahead and hike up to Superman and ride that since it was running. The hike was quite a bit more strenuous than I'd imagined, but I made it. Superman was running the left side, and had pretty much no line. I'd really been anticipating this ride since I love both launches and shot towers...I figured that the ride had to be good. And of course, I was right! I thought the ride was really awesome! As soon as we were done, I said I wanted to ride again, so Mike obliged.
Since we were in the area, we rode Ninja also. This is definitely my favorite of the suspended coasters I've ridden since it swoops low to the ground and water, and is quite forceful. It does have a really lame ending though. Second only to Adventure Express!
When the ride was over, I found a soda machine that had a dollar's worth of credit on it, so I decided to buy a soda. It still cost me $2.50, but hey, at least I got a dollar discount. We wandered back down the mountain, then in the direction of Bugs Bunny World for my Canyon Blaster credit. On the way, I saw Sierra Twist, the bayern curve, and decided to hop on for a ride since I'd never ridden one before. It was kinda fun, but it felt like it was gonna dump me out the whole time! I'm glad we both survived! Mike put it best when he described it as the Matterhorn meets Space Mountain meets a Six Flags budget!
Afterwards, we explored Bugs Bunny World for a while. We tried to ride both Goliath Jr. and the Tweety bird cages, but were denied both rides. After watching Mike chat with some ride op friends, and being introduced as his chick, we rode Canyon Blaster. Leaving Bugs Bunny World, I said I wanted to go take a look at Flashback, so we headed over there. I can see why this coaster never had a lot of attention...it's off in a little corner by some bathrooms, so no doubt people didn't know it was there.
We crossed back across the front of the park and decided to take in Revolution while we were in the area. I found the OTSRs on this ride to be completely unnecessary and very poorly designed. When I pulled the restraint down over my head, only the very top of my head would touch the sides of the restraint! I could turn my head and peek through the restraint, and Mike could see my whole face! The ride was quite comfortable since my head was almost completely not touching the restraint.
Next, it was time for my #200 credit! I'd decided a long time ago that I wanted it to be X, but X had been down for a while by that point, with no sign of it's reopening any time soon. So I decided that Tatsu would be #200. There was very little wait, so we decided to wait the extra and ride in the front row. It was still only about 6 trains worth of wait or so. I thought the ride was great, though it did knock the wind out of me pretty well! The pretzel loop seemed too big to me, and when the ride was over, I had to take a few minutes to get my bearings back. We tried to get Vault Icees, but the mix wasn't frozen yet, so we sat in the shade and chatted for a bit.
Once my head quit spinning, we went to ride Viper for the last ride of the night. I don't have a good track record of getting good rides on old Arrow mega-loopers, and this was no exception. The ride beat me up pretty well all the way through, especially near the end just before the element that looks like the butterfly on Tennessee Tornado. This one was definitely my least favorite coaster in the park, and the only one that really seemed to hurt me.
There was just a little bit of time left before the park closed, so we decided to ride Log Jammer before it closed. It was a nice ride up until the very end when the final splash soaked us both! I got pretty wet, but Mike was basically soaked!
By the time we were done, the park was closed, so we headed back for the car. I gave a call to Guy on the way out and finalized plans for the next morning, then dropped Mike off at his house. From there, I had to go pick up Kevin at LAX, since his flight was arriving at around 10:30. He'd texted me earlier to say that he was going tobe later than planned, which was fine with me since it meant more time in the park that night. I had a few minutes before I had to leave, so I found a nearby Pavilions supermarket and got some water and Snapple, then loaded up the hotel fridge before heading out for the airport.
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