Posts tagged ‘Magic Mountain’

Where? In Freaking Eloy?

JD Tuccille has a roundup on the state boondoggle that won't die, the proposed 3/4 of a Billion dollar state subsidy for an amusement park. 

Now, this seems like an awful lot for an amusement park, particularly considering that the Arizona desert has been the death of many theme parks.  The reason is that no one wants to be outside for extended periods of time in June-Sept in the Phoenix or Tucson areas.  Because it is freaking hot.  The average daily forecasts is generally for 108-112F for these summer months.  But theme parks live and die in the summer, when kids are out of school.  Even though they have milder weather and a large population base at Magic Mountain in LA, they still only open for weekends and holidays during the non-summer months.  My guess, from running a similar seasonal business, Magic Mountain loses money most of the year and make 100%+ of their profit in the summer.

So spending $750 million of taxpayer money on a theme park in the Arizona heat would be a bad idea if located in Phoenix.  But what happens when we put it in Eloy, Arizona?  Eloy is just as hot, but is in the middle of nowhere, as shown below at the point of the "A" balloon.


People will come here, from where?  Tucson folks in the summer will want to go someplace even hotter than Tucson?  Phoenix folks will want to drive 2 hours to spend their time in the hot sun, when the same distance north puts them in the cool mountains?  And here is beautiful downtown Eloy, brimming with wealth enough to repay over a billion dollars of principal and interest.


This project is absolutely guanteed to fail, leaving the bill with taxpayers.  I mean, seriously.  Never have I seen such a lock.  I wish there was a way to short this.

This is only the most eggregious of a laundry list of proposed government pork being pushed under the banner of "job creation" at a time when the state budget is over a billion dollars in deficit.

Brains Too Scrambled to Blog

I took my daughter on a day trip to Magic Mountain, one of the better parks around for roller coasters (it's it still not Cedar Point, IMHO, though if you like inversions, Magic Mountain is the place).  We went on Friday because she had a special day off from school, and there was no one at the park.  In the first 30 minutes, we rode several of the top coasters all alone.  The only problem is that I am more used to getting a bit of a break between rides, waiting in line and such.  Anyway, we had a blast.

For those not up on their amusement park trivia, Magic Mountain was "Wallyworld" in the movie Vacation and is home to the first ever looping rollercoaster, the Revolution, which was featured in the movie Rollercoaster.  Since that first inversion, coaster designers have gone nuts.  The first roller coaster we rode on Friday, called Scream, had seven inversions in one ride.  It was also cool because it had no car.  When we were in the front, we were just strapped into chairs with nothing around us but the track below our feet - really cool.  Picture being the front guys in this photo. Through the day, we probably survived 50 inversions. 

Coaster designers have really gotten creative.  We rode sitting, standing, and lying on our stomach (what is called a flying roller coaster, you are sort of in the same position as in a hang-glider).  We rode on top of the track and hanging from the track.  One of the challenges of ride designers is to push the gees, both positive and negative, without making it downright painful.  Millennium Force at Sandusky Park is rightly considered perhaps the best roller coaster in the world because it plays with the gees without torturing you (the negative-G hills are great).  I thought several of the rides at Magic Mountain went over the line, in particular the Batman hanging coaster and the Tatsu flying coaster, when there were a few turns when I thought my head was going to explode.  Overall, we liked Scream the best - smooth, fun, scary without being painful.

Update: I said Millennium Force is the best coaster out there.  This one, also at Cedar Point, which I have not ridden, is the most elemental --  No  subtlety here  (go to the POV gallery on the right and watch the video).