Six Flags Magic Mountain is a 262-acre theme park located in Valencia 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles holds the world record for most roller coasters in an amusement park. In 1968, owners of Seaworld Inc and Newhall Land and Farming Company formed a partnership, and the construction for the theme park started in November 1969. With over 500 employees and 33 rides, this theme park opened gates to everyone seeking adventure.

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“The danger of adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.” ― Paulo Coelho

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The engineering behind roller coasters has always been one of fascination and wonder. Every individual, be it a child or an adult has experienced the adrenaline rush which compels them to come back for more. 

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Arrow development designed and built the earliest of the rides in the amusement park. Previously, they had been involved with the US Navy to build torpedo launchers and marine steam engines. Few of the earliest attractions included; Gold rusher, a steel coaster; the Sky tower, an observatory tower; the Log jammer, a log flume; Grand Prix; El Bumpo; carousel, and many smaller rides.

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All the rides were well connected through a monorail system designed and built by Universal Mobility Inc. of Salt Lake City. A maze of contoured walkways was developed by Strecker Construction Co. of Santa Fe Springs. By the 1970s new rides were introduced that included the Sky Tower, Galaxy, Funicular, and many more. The entry ticket was $5 for adults and $3.50 for children below the age of 12. 

The Six Flags Magic Mountain housed the Golden Bear Theater which has given us performers like Barbra Streisand, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Durante, Phyllis Diller, Pat Boone, the Carpenters, Connie Stevens, Mac Davis, and Sonny & Cher. 

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The Sky Tower was installed by Aggressive Erectors & Bridgemen Inc. located in LA which used a crane with a 330-foot boom to lift the observation platform into place. 

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In 1971, they secured rights from Warner Brothers and used the Looney Tunes characters as their mascots. But the 70s was also the beginning of many accidents that took place in the theme park. Whether it was carriages falling on people or staff being injured while working, this was an eye-opener for Six Flags to lay down strict safety measures for the staff and customers.

All the adventurous joy rides after the 70s established a new identity to the location. With Newhall Land selling their shares to Six Flags with a profit of $250,000 profit Time Warners pitched into this deal and gave the theme park a touch of Country to it. Where Bugs and Bunny were replaced by Bloop and Bleep. The western theme was adopted where trains carried visitors from a ghost mining camp through an actual buffalo corral. The guests could watch trained artisans make candles, candy, and more.

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The concept of user experience is of varied significance when a theme park is dissected for a thorough analysis. The signages, the footpaths, eateries, humongous joy rides, some simple and some terrifyingly complex attractions have a playful juxtaposition in the California valley region. From a distance, these theme parks in themselves have harmoniously embraced their surroundings and adapted to their purpose in nature.

To this day, Six Flags has established many theme parks all across the USA and has successfully contributed to the entertainment industry. Introducing large-scale rides running topsy curvy through the theme park has shown the development from its primitive rises like the Gold Rush to its modern counterpart like the west coast roasters.

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The West Coast Roasters featured 4 inversions, zero-g rolls, zero-g stall rides reaching maximum speeds of 55mph. With an equal force of push and pull the cars on these tracks retract creating an interesting experience for its visitors.

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Within the Magic mountain compound, there are 11 areas. DC Universe, Bugs Bunny World, Full Throttle Plaza, Six Flags Plaza, Baja Ridge, Rapids Camp Crossing, The Underground, Metropolis, Samurai Summit, The Boardwalk.

Most of the rides are centred around the DC comics theme. Yet they cater to every age group right from children to adults. The Full Throttle Plaza includes an outdoor barbeque space, with a sit-down bar splash pad, gift shop, and concert area.

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This entire network of complex entertainment icons has brought in people from across the state to divulge in the experience it provided them. A little less than 35 miles from LA itself, people to this day, flock to this theme park to immerse themselves in the reality of their Hollywood dream. 

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Their purpose and significance in the coming decades could change completely where AI and robots would be taking over the operations of these parks or they would sit in the middle of the desert as a symbol of a ‘happy place’ in the mind of that 90’s kid. 

References | Six Flags Magic Mountain

  1. Newhall, R. (1992). A California legend : the Newhall Land and Farming Company. Valencia, Calif.: Newhall Land And Farming Co.
  2. Wikipedia. (2021). Six Flags Magic Mountain. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Flags_Magic_Mountain#Premier_Parks_era 
  3. Worden, L. and 2012 (n.d.). SCVHistory.com SR9602 | Magic Mountain | Initial Construction, 1969. [online] scvhistory.com. Available at: https://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/sr9602.htm
  4. Wikipedia. (2021). West Coast Racers. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast_Racers
  5. scv history.com. (n.d.). SCVHistory.com TN7101 | Magic Mountain: The West’s New Family Funland | L.A. Times Advertising Supplement, 24 pp, 6/13/1971. [online] Available at: https://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/tn7101.htm 
  6. Six Flags Magic Mountain. (1982). Tourism Recreation Research, 7(1), pp.45–46.
Author

An architect and innovator, Tanisha sees Architecture not as a single entity, rather as a confluence of people, in their time and its lasting imprint left for future explorers to further delve into. In her words, 'Expression is an act of acceptance, either to thyself or the world.

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