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ENTERTAINMENT : Rides, Rasslin', Rock . . . : . . . and there's more at Magic Mountain, luring vacationing students with action-adventure attractions and events.

April 02, 1993|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

For those of us who fantasize about sumo wrestling--and heaven knows we're legion--Magic Mountain offers an opportunity that requires neither years of training nor glutinous weight gain.

During the next two weeks, you can visit the Valencia amusement park and strap on an enormous padded suit, complete with mawashi belt and a helmet fashioned as a topknot, to do battle in the ring.

This pseudo-sumo is part of Magic Mountain's "Spring Breakout," 16 days of special attractions aimed at luring the armies of high school and college students who take their vacations at this time of year. The event begins Saturday and runs through April 18.

Magic Mountain is hoping to concoct something in the order of a "street party," said spokeswoman Eileen L. Harrell. "Something a little outrageous."

So jugglers and Frisbee tossers, tattoo artists and face painters will prowl the amusement park's walkways. There will be magic shows and bicycle stunts. More important, guests can sample from a host of action-adventure attractions:

* The Bungee Run invites participants to hook themselves to giant elastic cords and sprint down a padded runway, only to be yanked back in a tumbling split second to where they began. "It's like being in a car wreck," said one Magic Mountain employee after giving it a try.

This bit of madness reportedly originated in Australia, where the blokes bungee'd themselves to trees and dashed across mattresses with beers in hand.

* The Space Ball is a giant contraption of plexiglass and metal tubing. The lucky party is strapped to a seat in the center of the thing and sent spinning in all possible directions, often upside down. This ride lasts only two minutes, but that's about all you'll need. "Of course," said Eric Elkain of Partyworks, the company that brought this stuff to Magic Mountain, "all the change that falls out of people's pockets belongs to us."

* The Human Gyroscope is similar, except the rider is strapped into place standing up.

* No less jarring is the Velcro Wall. Participants are dressed in Velcro suits, a la David Letterman, and vaulted against a similarly sticky wall. The truly talented can execute a midair flip and stick themselves upside down. Inversion seems to hold great allure for today's youth.

* The Acroflight also offers midair gymnastics, with the flipper tethered to bungee cords.

None of this is intended for the weak of heart or stomach. But for those who prefer their recreation in milder doses, Magic Mountain will present a host of entertainers over the two-week stretch. The rock 'n' roll acts begin Saturday night with performances by Jellyfish and Gene Loves Jezebel. Information Society plays April 10, and a handful of local bands will perform on a daily basis.

Comedians, too, will grace the amusement park's stages. Paul Rodriguez appears on April 9, Bobcat Goldthwait on April 16 and Kathy Ladman on April 17.

All of these attractions are included in the price of admission, with the exception of some performances that charge an additional $1, including Jellyfish and Goldthwait.

WHERE AND WHEN

Location: Magic Mountain is located on Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia.

Hours: From Saturday through April 18, the park opens at 10 a.m. with varying closing hours.

Price: $26 general, $15 for children less than 48 inches tall and $17 for seniors 55 and older.

Call: (818) 367-5965 or (805) 255-4111.

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