The moment my parents announced a trip to the USA, I went crazy with excitement researching the amusement parks and rollercoasters I would like to experience. Today I bring to you the best experience I had in my whole life till now.
I was waiting all summer to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain an amusement park at Valencia, near Los Angles. This particular park has the most rollercoasters (23), seven of which are record-breaking. There was a huge line in all the rides, specially X2 and Twisted Colossus. I thought it was going to be a useless trip because I’d be spending more time in long tiring queues than on the rides. So my father gave me a ‘Flash’ pass that allowed me to skip the lines. I decided to save Twisted Colossus for last – just before I said goodbye to my dream place.
About the ride:
Colossus refers to a person or thing of enormous size, importance, or ability. That’s exactly what this ride is. It is one of the parks’ legendary record breakers – known to be the biggest, longest, baddest hybrid coaster in the whole wide world. The ride is 4,990 feet (1521 m) long, 121 feet (37 m) high, but has two drops of 128 feet (39 m) – 2 meters are underground. The angle of the drop is 80° steep! Basically, the ride is divided in 2 similar parts – there are 2 chain lift hills, two drops, two inversions and two 90° banked turns. The whole ride goes at 57 mph (92 kmph), so it is not surprising that the duration of the ride is 3 minutes 40 seconds. The most unique feature is the high-five spot where riders sitting in two parallel trains can do high-five in mid-air. The park website sums it well, “Revel in the fun and excitement of traditional wooden coaster thrills while facing your fears on the latest state-of-the-art coaster technology. Twisted Colossus is the best of both worlds, a modern marvel making roller coaster history!”
I had to make a very hard decision between taking one of the two record breaking choices – The Riddler’s Revenge (a stand-up coaster with six inversions) or Twisted Colossus (a hybrid roller coaster with two inversions and approximately four minute run-time, which is very long and rare). I opted for Twisted Colossus because it had rarer thrill features.
When I sat in the front seat of the train, I felt really excited because I got to see the whole custom-track layout which is massive. At the apex before the drop, I could see the whole track in front of me and, the very next second, I screamed my thrill-scream that could be heard till five kilometers away. Another highlight was one of the longest zero gravity inversion I’ve experienced*- 4 meters long – called as the Top Gun stall – this means I was super-duper thrilled during those gravity-defying moments.
My favorite part was the first minute when the whole track was twisting with a lot jerks. The scariest part was the long inversion.
When the ride was ending, I felt really sad, heart-broken that I was leaving this amazing experience, of not just the coaster but the enormous park too.
The ride begins…Yaaay! Riders sit in a 24 seater car (6 bogies x 2 across x 2 rows). The ride starts with two left turns and then goes through two of slight drops and slight lifts. Then comes a slight drop followed by a right and left banked turn. Next, there is a right turn which leads to the first chain lift hill. This is the only place you can rest for a while. There will be tons of screaming ahead! At the top of the chain lift hill, all the brave riders get to see the whole ride in front of them (the sacredly riders will prefer to close their eyes).
Then, the first 80° drop followed by a slight lift-drop-lift, which leads to a drop followed by a left banked turn, the left hi-five and another left banked turn. Now, there is a slight lift-drop-lift that leads to an inversion. Over here, many people make the mistake of screaming – save your energy for later!
After the inversion, the lift-drop-lift routine repeats, this leads to a slight drop followed by a left banked turn, a right banked turn and another left banked turn. Now, the second chain lift hill will let you relax the body parts that have got tired. At the top of the chain lift hill, all the riders who finished relaxing their body can get to see the ride that they have completed till now. Very soon, the second 80° drop is followed by lift-drop-lift, another lift, a left banked turn, the left hi-five and another left banked turn. Now, the opportunity to do the last hi-five is here. Grab it before it is too late!
Now, the next left banked turn comes with a drop and leads in to the long inversion. This is the time when you should scream as loud as you can, so scream away. I’m saying this because I ended up screaming after the ride! Now, a drop followed by another drop, then a slight lift-drop-lift will conclude the ride with 4 break runs. A right turn will bring you to the station. Phew!
- 2 inversions
- 9 drops (including two 80° drop at 116 feet)
- 18 lifts (including the 2 chain lift hills, 7 slight lifts, 2 inversion lifts and 2 chain lift hills)
- 8 slight drops
- 11 banked turns (2 right, 9 left)
- 2 left turns, 2 right turns
- ‘Top Gun Stall’ – an inversion where the train slows down upside down
- 2 high-five opportunities (1 right, 1 left) where two trains pass through an overbanked turn facing each other with the illusion that you can reach out and “high five” other riders
- Zero Gravity Roll where track twists 360 degrees
This ride originally opened in 1978 as ‘Colossus’ manufactured by International Amusement Devices. In 2014 Six Flags Magic Mountain announced an official closing and within a fortnight announced a reopening in 2015. It was renovated by Rocky Mountain and was renamed as Twisted Colossus. This design has an interesting ride history and media appearances about which you can read here.
Claim to fame:
- Colossus opened to the public on June 29, 1978. It was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, as well as the first to feature two drops over 100 feet (30 m)
- It continues to be the biggest (longest and tallest) hybrid coaster in the world
- This legendary big daddy of all coasters hosted a coaster marathon as a way to say goodbye to the public in August 2014. 6 out of the 24 riders completed this 36 hour marathon
- This coaster has featured in several movies and TV series
As an Indian rider: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
As an Indian child: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ + ☆
Health advisory: I am not a doctor (and I never will become one), but am experienced enough to tell you that you should rest for a while after this ride, especially if it is the last ride you are doing. Else, the following day you might get a muscle pull due to the jitters.
*Boomerang at Prater in Vienna was the longest I have experienced.
The information in this blog is from rider’s own experiences and from research done using Wikipedia, Revolvy, RCDB, Six Flags Magic Mountain official website, manufacturer and renovator official websites, news articles and Google.