Are you ready for something completely different here at Meet The World? It's my very first Magic Mountain post, and it's all about my very first Magic Mountain trip! The year was 1978 and I had just graduated from eighth grade (and had recently gone on the school's Eighth Grade Graduation Trip To Disneyland.) Up to that point, I had been taken on many family trips to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Marineland, Universal Studios, Japanese Deer Park, and Busch Gardens (Van Nuys), but for some reason (probably distance), we had never gone to Magic Mountain. Well, as an eighth grade graduation present, my mom decided to take me to Magic Mountain.....probably because I had been asking her.....A LOT!
My mom even took this pamphlet and wrapped it up as one of my graduation gifts. I was very excited. I had been wanting to go for a long time, but even more so now because this was the summer that Colossus was opening. The model for Colossus was pictured in the pamphlet along with a description of the "greatest rollercoaster in the world."
Here are some other pics from the pamphlet.
I'm flipping this one pic around to show what's happening to the two kids in this photo. This exact same thing happened to me the first time I rode Revolution. When we went through the 360 degree loop, my head was forced down into my lap. I remember it kind of screwed up my neck for the rest of the day. They hadn't installed the headrests on the cars yet, so I don't know if that is what made a difference or if it was just being kid-sized, but I went back about a year later and the headrests were there and I didn't have the same problem. Did anyone else have that happen to them while riding Revolution?
And here are the only four photos that I shot that day. The first one shows Revolution's loop. I had actually rode Revolution one year earlier...."virtually," that is. It was featured in the 1977 Universal film, "Rollercoaster." I remember really liking that movie. The tag line was something like, "This summer, watch for the man watching the Rollercoaster!" If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It stars George Segal, Henry Fonda, Helen Hunt (before she won her Oscar), Richard Widmark (after he signed Lucy's grapefruit), and features guest appearances by L.A. radio disc jockey, Charlie Tuna, and the band "Sparks." The real star however, is Timothy Bottoms (before he hilariously played our nation's former president in Comedy Central's "That's My Bush!") as a young man who travels around the country blowing up amusement parks. The film was one of only four that were filmed in "Sensurround."
Colossus had already opened before our visit. In fact, it opened on June 29th..... 33 years ago today! But as with many new rides, it was experiencing some technical problems and when we got to the park, we were told that it probably would not be opening until sometime in the afternoon. We did get in line for it later that day....I believe even before it opened, because they had announced that it would be opening for sure. I took these next three pics from the Colossus observation deck while my family held our place in line. Note the dirt and the trucks at the base of the structure.
Just on the other side of those trees was "Trollywood," home to the Magic Mountain Trolls. This was sort of Magic Mountain's version of "Storybook Land" and was only visible while riding the "Train to Trollywood" (see the map below).
Here's the parking ticket from that day.
And here's the park map and entertainment schedule.
We had seen people in the park wearing these buttons, but when we went to purchase one at the Colossus merchandise cart, they had sold out.
When we got home, I wrote a letter to the park asking if it was still possible to purchase a button. They sent the following response.
So I sent them the money and I did end up getting an "I RODE IT!" button.
One other memory from that day is that my aunt and my grandparents went along with us on this trip. Actually my grandfather is the one that drove us all up there. He also rode on every ride that day with my brother and me, including Colossus. I remember the ride operators on Colossus warning him about removing his eyeglasses, so he took them off and put them in his shirt pocket and buttoned the pocket up. Well, on the very first hill, the button ripped right off from the force of the glasses which flew straight up out of the pocket and into the air. I remember feeling really bad about him losing his glasses.
When I think about it, my grandfather was always such a good sport. He was also the one that sat next to me the very first time I rode Space Mountain. In my Father's Day post last week, I thanked my dad for taking us to many of the different Southern California theme parks throughout my childhood, but my grandparents also took us on many of our fun theme park outings....including my one and only trip to the Long Beach Pike! I'd like to take the time now to also thank my grandparents for all the wonderful memories they gave my brother and me......I love and miss you both very much! And thanks to my mom too, for such a cool graduation present!
Bad Snapshots, January 1963
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