Photo: Great Coasters International
Next time you go back to Magic Mountain, be warned, a fantastic GCI creation awaits you. Terminator Salvation: The Ride is Six Flags Magic Mountain’s newest, 11 million dollar investment, and boy did they spend it well. The scene for the ride is set inside its queue. The queue sets an apocalyptic scene, the railings look worn out and rusted, busted cars are lying around, and an “abandoned machine” circles you. After you brave the Valencia heat standing outside, you are welcomed into the air conditioned (it’s a life saver) pre show room. There are 3 pre shows that explain the scene that the ride acts out. It is explained that the Harvesters are attacking, and the only way to escape them is to board an old, abandoned transport train. The pre shows definitely intensify the ride and get you really pumped up to finally board. After a quick walk up the stairs from the 3rd pre show, you enter the station where you may be greeted by a speeding train flying by over the heads of exiting riders.
Finally the ride op gives the all clear and you roll out of the station. Action music starts blasting from the ride’s on board audio system and you hear, “This is our war.” The pre lift section is entirely un-banked giving you some nice laterals that push you against the cushy Millennium Flyer seats. On the lift hill you hear more action music creating suspense as you make the 95 foot ascent.
“HERE THEY COME!!! *gun shots*” You crest the lift into the slightly under-banked, and fast pre-drop creating a totally out of control feeling. Just when you finally regain your bearings, you hit the 87 foot drop at high speeds and float out of your seat the whole way down. While the height of the drop doesn’t sound intimidating, be warned, your butt wont touch the seat again until you’re at the bottom and traveling at 50 miles per hour. After the drop you’re flung to your left on a really fun, and a bit under-banked turn that’s full of excitement. Now you’re onto the ride’s most airtime filled point, a pop of air going right below the exit path. It’s always fun to put on a show for the people watching or taking pictures of the trains that go flying by.
On to the Deadman’s turn the train rolls, by the height of it you’d think that the ride would lose pacing here, nope, you speed through it. “It’s a war zone over here” is heard on the back end of the Deadman’s turn, as you do this funky transition and then go on to get blasted by a huge fireball coming out of a busted vehicle. While the fire is a great effect at day, it’s absolutely amazing at night. Not only does it really warm you up, but it makes the beautiful wooden structure glow a tint of orange. After a weird banked pop of airtime, you enter an extremely fast paced tunnel. Entering and exiting the tunnel, you get blasted by a bank of mist adding for a great disorienting effect unmatched by any other ride at the park.
You fly out of the tunnel with yet another pop of air, and make a quick right hand turn that flings you to your left. Into the high speed station flyby you go, the ride hasnt slowed down yet, and this is no exception, the train makes it through the station in less than 2 seconds providing a great show effect for guests waiting in line.
“TAKE THE TUNNEL!!!” Is screamed by the ride’s on board audio. That one second of ride has become the climax of the ride to enthusiasts as well as the ride’s catch phrase. You then fly into, you guessed it, another tunnel that comes out of no where and blasts you with another great mist effect disorienting you once again. You go flying out of the tunnel at high speeds and yet again get flung to the left, it makes you wonder if the ride ever will slow down. Here’s where you show all of the suckers waiting in line how much fun you’re having by screaming your head off.
After a quick, low, lateral G filled transition, up a left hand curve, and into a wobbly banked turn that creates the feel that the ride is still out of control. You then hit the magnetic brakes bringing a great ride to a close. “This is our salvation” with those words, the ride ends, leaving you only time to think about how great the ride was, and how you want to get right back in line for it.
If you like your rides fast, themed, and all around awesome, then you need to come down to Southern California and ride Terminator Salvation: The Ride for yourself.