Magic Mountain’s newest thrill ride set for summer debut

Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor President Neal Thurman points to construction that is underway to make space for the park's newest thrill ride. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The newest rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain are a pair of earth-moving machines, painted that unmistakable yellow and each equipped for but one person.

What they’re making room for … well, that’ll be the ride for anybody seeking their next great thrill.

Magic Mountain officials this week provided their first update on the newest attraction at the self-proclaimed “Thrill Capital of the World,” a frisbee-style ride nicknamed CraZanity that is scheduled to open early this summer in a revamped area of the Valencia amusement park that will take on the feel of a seaside boardwalk.

“It’s going to be a great thrill – and that’s really what it’s all about here,” Neal Thurman, the park’s president, told The Signal during an exclusive tour.

At a park that already boasts a world-record 19 roller coasters, CraZanity will deliver its own unique rush of adrenaline: It’ll be the world’s tallest pendulum ride, reaching heights of some 170 feet, or the equivalent of a 17-story building, and hitting speeds up to 75 mph.

Construction is underway at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia to make room for the world’s tallest pendulum ride. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Built to accommodate 40 riders, CraZanity will feature a pendulum that will swing back and forth while rotating counterclockwise and pushing thrill-seekers to a feeling of weightlessness, according to promotional material.

“It’s like a giant swing,” said Thurman, who succeeded Bonnie Sherman Weber as the park’s top leader in January.

He cracked a smile and added, “But with a huge thrill component. And it goes really fast.”

The heavy equipment that’s clearing space for CraZanity will be working into March to prepare the site for footings and other components of the foundation that meet California’s seismic requirements before construction of the ride’s elements begins later in the spring.

The brightly-lit swinging pendulum ride will serve as the centerpiece of the park’s newly dubbed Boardwalk that will also include the existing Center Ring Games, Scrambler and Sandblasters bumper cars, plus renovated dining and shopping options.

The addition of CraZanity is the latest in a string of changes and upgrades at Magic Mountain, which, this year, adopted a 365-day operating schedule to match Southern California’s other theme parks.

As a publicly traded company, Six Flags does not share visitation numbers – except in year-end reports – meaning that any comparison to determine the impact of its 365-day schedule won’t be possible until next year.

Still, Thurman called the scheduling change “a long-term play,” and Sue Carpenter, the park’s communications manager, told The Signal that response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Our guests are the first to tell us that they love it!” Carpenter said.

Last year, Magic Mountain added the first indoor attraction since its opening in 1971, an interactive 4D dark ride called JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis that pits riders against The Joker, Harley Quinn and other villains.

A part of the Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, which operates 20 parks across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Magic Mountain is the Santa Clarita Valley’s largest private employer with about 3,200 employees as of last year’s headcount.

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