Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I live right by Magic Mountain

"Shockwave" The worlds first 'stand up' roller coaster

The "Colossus"

Present day with Revolution, Tatsu and The skytower

Redondo Beach 1986.....a young 12 year old becomes enthralled with a commercial on tv where a guy with cool looking shades is riding on a revolutionary new roller coaster...for the first time in history there actually was a STAND UP coaster......its name "Shockwave" The location, "Six Flags Magic Mountain" in Valencia, CA (may have been the other side of the world)  I had to get to Magic Mountain to ride took me a while, but finally I convinced one of my sets of parents to take me and a friend named Mike Borden.  In fact, maybe it was Mike Borden's dad who took the two of us.  (Memories are not perfect)  Finally I was there, and of course wanted to go straight to Shockwave, and maybe even get enough courage to ride "Colossus"  The biggest rollercoaster in the world.  I had seen glimpses of Colossus on the way to Kings Canyon, and any other time we rode up and over the grapevine.  When Mike and I got to Magic Mountain we were disappointed to learn Colossus was closed.  
But Shockwave was open.....I remember the giant sleek black metal coaster, and couldn't wait to see how you actually did ride standing up.  Mike Borden and I got on the ride, and I remember the feeling of going on a loop while standing up, which was incredible!  I remember going on "Revolution" "The Log Ride" "Gold Rusher" "Freefall" (watching a penny float) and basically all of the midway themed rides, and the bumper cars etc.....My adrenaline was pumping the entire time, I was feeling so happy and having so much fun!  I couldn't believe I was old enough to go on a ride like "Shockwave" As it was getting darker, we got the word that Colossus was finally open, we hiked over to it, but the line was at least an hour and a half, and Mike Bordens' dad didn't let us get in line for was getting late and we had to go.   Riding home I remember feeling much older.  And I thought how much better Magic Mountain was then Disneyland!  I mean how could it not be?  Magic Mountains smallest coaster is at or better then Space Mountain.   At that time, if you would have told me that I would be living 4.1 miles away from the park 20 years later I would not have been able to believe it.  
        So fast forward 20 I am living in Valencia, the home to Magic Mountain.  You know the old saying "You can never go home again"  Well lets apply that principle to this park.  At age 34 I have come to a lot of different realizations in my life, I am bald, I don't believe in God or Jesus, and I hate Magic Mountain.   If you visit this park nowadays, look closely just below the surface...the place isn't very well cared for.  The rides are impressive looking for sure, but most now make me physically sick.  I can still ride Colossus, and I confess, that is the ONLY part of Magic Mountain I still like, just because of the fond memories of riding it in my teens.   I still get a kick out of that first drop.  Other than that, the park isn't run very well, the lines are way too long when they need not be....and it is infested with foul mouthed minorites dressed in gang attire.  They love to come up from Panorama City, and Cudahay with their season passes and hang out at the park.  They cut in lines, they are rude.  The problem is so bad that they have installed metal detectors, and they actually have a police substation right there at the park!!  At all times, there is a sheriffs car wating outside to transport anyone to jail.   
Was this element there before?  I have no doubt...the metal detectors weren't and the substation is fairly new...but maybe I just didn't notice it before, I don't know.  I do know that I still smile when I sit outside of Chipotle, with a perfect view of the park.   But what's changed?  Me...I now will only go to Disneyland, and I doubt I will return to Magic Mountain anytime soon.  And what became of Shockwave?  They dismantled it in 1989, and they now have multiple coasters that far surpass the novelty of Shockwave......but for me, nothing will surpass that initial thrill.


dole2obama said...

Palos Verdes 1989: Picture a young thirteen-year old who has finally managed to stay up until 11:30 on Saturday Night to watch SNL. He laughs along with his older brother as Dana Carvey does the church lady, hanz n franz, George Bush, and many more impressions. The young boy feels really old as he laughs at the "mature" jokes and adult humor. Now it is the time in the show for the news, Dana Carvey comes on the T.V. in an old sweater and crazy gray hair. He is doing his famous "in my day" routine and Garrett and I are laughing like a pack of crazed hyenas. Dana Carvey is so funny! The way he makes fun of old timers who always say things were better in my day. "In my day you did not have all these foul-mouthed minorities in gang attire" If you would have told me my brother would turn into a Dana Carvey character I would have though you from Mars. I can't wait till Garret gets really forty!

Garrett said...



I love this post. In writing about Magic Mountain it so reminds me of a Wonder Years episode. Very cool.
Love you all

P.S. I am so happy that you are not into Magic Mountain so I wont' have to worry about Kevie and Zachie going on those insane rollercoasters.

mark said...


I too remember those days in the late 80's and early 90's, reveling in the sketches of Carvey, Hartman, Nealon, Miller, Lovitz, etc. And then came Myers, and Sandler, and Farley. It was incredible!
I can't believe that Gar has become the old man in the Carvey sketch, but it is true. And you know what, I guess I have too. I think Magic Mountain has totally changed in the last 20 years, and I don't think that I would be going there anytime soon either.

bob riley said...

Not sure if I laughed more at the post or the comments. Made me remember the "endless" skits with Mark and Garrett doing their Hanz and Franz impressions......and the time I drove Matt and his buddies to Magic Mountain for his birthday.....and sat in the parking lot for 5 hours while they had fun inside the park.

And Garrett, you're baldING, not bald.

Grandma Dee said...

Oh, my gosh, what memories came back. I remember that my mom and I took you and Matt there one time. I don't think either she or I went on any of the rides because we would both be too sick. However, I remember that time and another time when just you and I went and you, Garrett, sat in the front seat on as many as possible times. You just kept going on them again and again. I thought I was going to get sick just watching you.
Great hearing Matt and Mark's comments. We had some great times watching SNL. I started watching it back in 1976. Everyone from our Allstate office (the cool people) would gather together and party on Saturday night and watch it. Back then, it was Chevy Chase. So many great memories.

Remember the time, Garrett, when you, Brett and Mark did a skit and you were the church lady? You took my dress (a bridesmaid one) from our wedding and wore it. I didn't find out until I went to try on the dress and the shoulder was torn. Then, I could not believe you wore it until I saw the video. You guys were (and are) characters.

Love ya,

Brett said...

Matt you are awesome! Great analysis. However, I will say that in my day youngsters respected their elders and didn't point out when they were being inconsistent!