New thrill ride to speed, swoop in sky

first_img For coaster fans, the coming ride has generated some subdued online buzz – perhaps optimism – about the direction of a beloved theme park they believe is hampered by weak management, with corporate ownership in flux, Niles said. Oklahoma City-based Six Flags Inc. is up for sale, with Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, angling to take over. “Fans are willing to forgive and forget if you deliver a really great ride,” Niles said. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It’ll be going around the mountain terrain of Six Flags,” Carpenter said. “It just adds a new dimension to it,” she said – unlike a new ride built on an isolated site. Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, an online guide to amusement parks around the world, said a common criticism is “they just slap roller coasters on top of parking lots and (have) not tried to theme them and work with the surroundings.” So the new approach in Valencia is keeping roller coaster fanatics interested and guessing, he said. “Now they’re taking advantage of that hill, so a lot of fans are curious how they utilize that.” The park’s last new roller coaster, Scream, opened in April 2003. So it’s time for a new one, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. “About every two years, if you’re a theme park, you have to have a major new attraction,” he said. “Disneyland reopened Space Mountain this year. Magic Mountain is doing another next year. … Things like this are a draw; you can only do so much Hollywood and beaches.” VALENCIA – A red-and-yellow steel dragon intended to break the roller-coaster mold at Magic Mountain will open in time to celebrate the park’s 35th anniversary, officials said Wednesday. Dubbed Tatsu, a Japanese word for “dragon,” the park’s 17th coaster is expected to open in the spring. When completed, it will launch thrill-seekers on a 3-minute ride that reaches speeds of 62 mph and boasts a 111-foot drop. Riders will be strapped in horizontally on their stomachs to simulate flying under the dragon. “We are the thrill park, and we are known for coasters,” said Sue Carpenter, spokeswoman for Magic Mountain at Six Flags California, Valencia. The new one, designed by Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard, is among the “largest capital investments in recent years” at the park, she said. Tatsu’s 3,602 feet of track winds around the area’s hilly terrain, even dodging nearby attractions such as the Revolution roller coaster and the landmark Sky Tower along the way. last_img