YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Roller Coaster Capital: Cedar Point or Magic Mountain?

July 27, 2011|By Brady MacDonald | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
(Six Flags )

Cedar Point and Six Flags Magic Mountain have been battling over the coveted title of Roller Coaster Capital of the World for years.

The two parks were tied, with a record 17 roller coasters apiece, until the Six Flags amusement park in Valencia added the Green Lantern coaster this year, besting its Sandusky, Ohio, rival – at least for now.

> Photos: Cedar Point vs. Magic Mountain

Cedar Park fans boast that the ride collection at "America's Roller Coast" far exceeds any other park and complain that Magic Mountain's rides are often down for maintenance or mechanical problems. Magic Mountain backers let the numbers do the talking.

> Photos: Top 10 Cedar Point coasters | Top 10 Magic Mountain coasters

After my mid-summer trip across America's Coaster Belt, I decided to put the debate to a test, pitting Cedar Point and Magic Mountain against each other in a coaster-versus-coaster competition.

The two parks share many nearly identical coasters, several with a few similarities and a couple of wild cards that simply don't match up. And, of course, Magic Mountain has that one extra coaster.

So with the help of the inimitable Roller Coaster Database, let the showdown begin:

> Identical Coasters

Raptor (Cedar Point) versus Batman The Ride (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - Both Bolliger & Mabillard inverted coasters were built in 1994 at the height of the coaster wars. Raptor is taller, longer and faster. Winner: Raptor. Score: Cedar Point leads 1-0.

Mantis (Cedar Point) versus Riddler's Revenge (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The B&M stand-up coasters opened two years apart in the late 1990s. Built in the bigger is better era, the newer Riddler was taller, longer, faster and had more inversions than Mantis. Winner: Riddler's Revenge. Score: Tied, 1-1.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride (Cedar Point) versus Gold Rusher (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - Built around the same time, both Arrow mine trains are more than 40 years old and have similar track lengths (2,500 feet) and top speeds (40 mph). The taller Gold Rusher hugs the terrain while the hybrid Cedar Creek dips down near a lake. Winner: Cedar Creek Mine Ride. Score: Cedar Point leads 2-1.

Iron Dragon (Cedar Point) versus Ninja (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The Arrow suspended swinging coasters were built a year apart in the late 1980s. The terrain-hugging Ninja is faster, with every train launched with a spirited "hi-yah!" Winner: Ninja. Score: Tied, 2-2.

Woodstock Express (Cedar Point) versus Road Runner Express (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The vanilla-flavored Vekoma junior coasters were both built about a decade ago. Woodstock is taller, longer and faster. Winner: Woodstock Express. Score: Cedar Point retakes the lead, 3-2.

> Similar Coasters

Corkscrew (Cedar Point) versus Revolution (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - These two revolutionary rides by rival manufacturers battled in 1976 to become the world's first looping coaster, with Revolution beating Corkscrew to the title by a week. While Corkscrew features two more inversions, Revolution is taller, longer, faster and first. Winner: Revolution. Score: Tied, 3-3.

Mean Streak (Cedar Point) versus Apocalypse (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - These twisting wooden coasters were built about two decades apart by different manufacturers. Magic Mountain once had a similar coaster (Psyclone) built in the same year (1991) by the same manufacturer (Dinn), which was demolished and replaced by Apocalypse. Mean Streak is bigger, faster and rougher, but Apocalypse is newer, smoother and better. Winner: Apocalypse. Score: Magic Mountain reclaims the lead, 4-3.

Magnum XL-200 (Cedar Point) versus Goliath (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The built-for-speed inversionless rides known as hyper coasters were built about a decade apart by different manufacturers. Goliath is newer, taller and faster. Winner: Goliath. Score: Magic Mountain leads, 5-3.

Jr. Gemini (Cedar Point) versus Magic Flyer (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The old kiddie coasters built by different manufacturers have both been in service for decades. While Magic Flyer is older (1946) and has received many more thematic makeovers, Jr. Gemini is taller and features a more complex layout. Winner: Jr. Gemini. Score: Magic Mountain leads 5-4.

Gemini (Cedar Point) versus Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain) - The twin-track coasters built in 1978 by different manufacturers have about the same height (125 feet) and top speed (60 mph). While the hybrid Gemini features a wood structure with a steel track, the wooden Colossus has a slightly longer track. Winner: Colossus. Score: Magic Mountain leads 6-4.

> Comparable Coasters

Los Angeles Times Articles