Oh the places I’ve gone and the things I’ve seen…

Aleks’s friend Ania is in town from Poland, so we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain yesterday. They have a new coaster called Tatsu, the first horizontal flying coaster in the world. It was my goal to ride this thing, as it looked incredible. It was also my goal to ride a few other coasters I’d heard a lot about, like Goliath (285 foot vertical drop, 85MPH!), Superman the Escape (0-60 in the blink of an eye, 0 gravity!), Riddler’s Revenge, Deja Vu, Scream, and more! When we got to the park, we decided it would be best to start at Tatsu, since the lines would just get longer throughout the day.

To our chagrin, the lines were already 2 and a half hours long when we arrived. No problem, we’ll check out other rides and maybe come back later. Deja Vu was close… and it also had a 2 hour line. Then reality set in. It was Six Flags in the summer on a weekend – EVERY ride had at least a two hour wait. Well… the new ones anyway. So we started on psyclone (I think that’s what it was called). One of those good old fashioned wooden coasters that beats the crap out of you in the turns. It was a good start. Then we moved on to Gold Rusher, a coaster which made no sense (but Aleks liked it). It climbed a very small hill, approached the first drop and….slowed…down. (?!) Then it was a series of twists and turns where we repeatedly …slowed…down. It finished with a nice spiral turn, but I didn’t think it was anything worth mentioning (even though I just did). I guess that explains why there was no wait.

Then we went to Riddler’s Revenge – a 90 minute wait, but it looked worth it. Only problem was, 3/4 of the way through the line, I realized the car keys were no longer in my pocket. Which meant my house keys were also no longer in my pocket. Which meant if we couldn’t find the keys, we couldn’t go home. (Spare key, you ask? No!) We decided to go ahead and finish waiting for the coaster since it had been so long (and it was truly fun. Like a fighter plane chase, all twists and turns and stuff). Then it was on to the key hunt. We backtracked our steps, skipping psyclone because I was positive I had my keys when we left, even though Aleks said we should go back there since it was on the way. Long story short, after an hour of wasted walking, hunting, crawling in an arcade, looking behind a toilet, running the 3/4 mile from the park to the car, running back, and looking everywhere, the keys were at the operator’s station at Psyclone. They’d fallen out of my pocket when I got out of the cart.

We ate, then went to Goliath, as Tatsu now had a massive 4 hour wait time. Goliath had a slightly less massive 2.5 hour wait. It looked like Tatsu would be for another day. Goliath was the best coaster I’ve ridden to date. The first drop feels like forever, and there were a few 0-G moments. Then some tight spirals that got closer and closer to the ground. Ah. And this ride was smooth. I love coasters that can deliver thrills without bruises. Superman was next, as I’d heard all day that the wait wasn’t that long (turned out to be less than an hour). I went alone, as the girls didn’t want to lose their lunch. Superman is essentially a really tall ramp. You go from 0-60 (or 600 or something) in 2 seconds, up a ramp, hang for a second in 0-G, then go back down. It is literally a 30 second ride. But very fun. Now it was late (7PM!).

We’d paid 90 some dollars for admission, 15 to park, and in a 10 hour day, managed to go on about 5 rides. Lesson: NEVER go to six flags on the weekend. EVER. PERIOD. We caught the Batman Begins stunt show, which was pretty fun, a kid-friendly 30 minute retelling of the movie with Power Ranger-style combat, explosions, and circular car chases. I never thought I’d say a chase involving a dirtbike and a Batmobile would be fun, but there’s something about watching ninjas run for their lives while a massive Tumbler rips at them that’s just…keen. Then it was time to go… no Tatsu. SIGH.

But wait… earlier in the day, I’d traded my spot in a beverage line for a FlashPass(TM) – which gives you front of the line privilege on any ride. Tatsu’s FlashPass line was rumored to be in the 90 minute range… it was worth a look, right? The Tatsu line at 9PM was still a 3.5 hour wait. The FlashPass line was…30 MINUTES! JOY AND RAPTURE! I wanted to give the FlashPass to Ania, since she would probably not be back in LA anytime soon, but she said she didn’t want to go. So, with all of the patience of a 5 year old, I ran up the stairs for the night flight of my life. Imagine hanging like a side of beef while you’re flying 200 feet in the air. The night view was amazing, stars above me on the flips, a view of LA and the valley all lit up below. Tatsu is the greatest coaster ever built. Ever ever ever. And to be able to ride a new top 1 and 2 coaster in one day was amazing. When I got to the bottom of the exit, Aleks was waiting, but no Ania… turns out someone else had given them a FlashPass, and Ania would indeed get to ride Tatsu! What a day! Aleks needs to ride Tatsu too. We’ll go back someday… on a weekday… in October. Then we’ll have our run of the place.

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