Four Questions: Neal Thurman

Lisa Ely, not shown, leads a group of kids in stretches before they head out onto the lake for a lesson in dragonboat paddling on the Castaic Lake Lower Lagoon on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal


President, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor
Three years after leaving the Santa Clarita Valley, Neal Thurman has returned for the thrill of his lifetime: A chance to lead the area’s marquee amusement and entertainment attraction.
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1. What factors played into your return to Magic Mountain, and how can your previous experience here benefit the future of the park?
It is a great honor to be asked to lead this amazing park and I certainly did not mind returning to the spectacular Southern California weather! Having worked at Magic Mountain previously, I come into this role already knowing most of the team, the culture and the market so it was a perfect fit. Because of my previous experience and due to the fact that very talented people work at the park, we will not miss a beat as I transition in during this critical time as we launch our 365-day operating calendar.

2. How do you describe Magic Mountain to somebody who has never been here and is seeking a new thrill?
Six Flags Magic Mountain is the thrill capital of the world! We have something for all ages and all thrill levels. No other theme park in the world has more roller coasters than we do. So, if you are looking for a thrill, we are the go-to place and we offer a variety of admission options. For the best value, I encourage guests to visit

3. What’s your favorite ride or attraction at Magic Mountain, and why?
People ask me this all the time. Honestly, I do not have a favorite. There are days when I enjoy the thrill of soaring through the hillside on Tatsu or experiencing the energy of X2 or Twisted Colossus. But there are days when I enjoy JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis, or a ride with my nephew in Bugs Bunny World. We have so many great rides. We really do have something for everyone to enjoy.

4. What advantages does Magic Mountain have in Southern California’s crowded amusement park landscape, and how can you leverage those advantages to build on the park’s history of success?
Now that we are open 365 days year, the thrill capital of the world is now available to support the tourism industry like never before. Southern California is a tourist destination throughout the year and all of the parks in the area offer a unique experience. With world-class rides like X2, Tatsu, Twisted Colossus, and Full Throttle, Six Flags Magic Mountain provides thrills like no one else can at an incredible value.

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