By Natalie Ramirez
The train I am sitting in slowly makes its way up the hill. In my head, each tick of the track gets louder and louder as we approach the peak. I look beside me to see that my brother’s face is calm and collected, while I am internally screaming. At last, in a final slow tick, we reach the peak of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Goliath, which claims to have the world’s tallest drop at a whopping 255 feet. The fear in me begins to feed my adrenaline. When we finally drop, I scream bloody murder.
That was my first time visiting Magic Mountain, and every ride terrified me. Little did I know that with each visit, my love for the theme park would develop.
However, I have noticed that Magic Mountain gets far less attention than the other amusement parks in Southern California, particularly Disneyland and Universal Studios. According to the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), Disneyland had 18.3 million visitors in 2017. Statista, an online statistics portal, claims that as of 2017, Universal Studios had an attendance of 9.06 million. Conversely, TEA states that in the same year Magic Mountain had a total of 3.36 million.
This caught my attention because compared to Universal Studios and Disneyland, Magic Mountain is closer to Granada Hills, has a cheaper day pass, and contains the best roller coasters for height and speed. The world record holding amusement park has not been getting the credit it deserves.
With Disneyland being in Anaheim, from Granada Hills it would take about an hour and a half to arrive on a good day without insane traffic. In the same scenario, Universal Studios would be about 30 to 45 minutes away. On the other hand, Magic Mountain is in Valencia, making it a 20 to 30 minute drive. Therefore, Magic Mountain is the closest amusement park of the three. However, students and families in our area are far less excited about Magic Mountain than the other parks.
What most people tend to worry the most about is money, of course. The day pass tickets for amusement parks can be pricey, but the variation between all our local parks is significant. Disneyland charges an expensive $167 per general admission ticket and the expense of a Universal Studios ticket can range between $110 and $130. Magic Mountain has a notably lower cost with a range between $70 and $80 dollars for a day pass. They also tend to have several deals for season pass holders, including free meals and bringing a friend in for free. Thus, if price is the biggest issue for visiting an amusement park, Magic Mountain is once again the best fit.
Still, some insist that Magic Mountain may not be the best amusement park to attend due to their overly extreme rides.
“I prefer Disneyland over Magic Mountain because I’m not really a big fan of their intense roller coasters,” junior Chelsea McKeever said.
However, crazy roller coasters is what makes Magic Mountain stand out as a theme park. Out of 19 roller coasters, 9 have set world records. Magic Mountain is the only theme park nearby which offers such thrills. Alternatively, they also have less extreme entertainment for those with queasier stomachs or less desire for heights and speed.
Their newest ride to date, CraZanity, just opened on July 12 and has claimed the title of the world’s tallest and fastest pendulum ride with a maximum height of 175 feet and speed of 75 miles per hour. Full Throttle, which opened in 2013, set the record for the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster loop with a height of 160 feet and speed of 70 miles per hour. The roller coasters that have made it to the world record list continues on.
“My favorite amusement park is definitely Magic Mountain because of the uniqueness of the rides. They all have crazy speed and height,” senior Leon Cho said.
It is unreasonable for Magic Mountain to not get the same amount of attention as Disneyland and Universal Studios. People should give it a chance and make a visit to hop on some of the best roller coasters in the world. For the thrill seekers looking for very tall and fast roller coasters, Magic Mountain is the place to be.