Magic Mountain Announces Details of Terminator: The Coaster
Terminator: The Coaster will be a Great Coasters International twister woodie. Twisters offer lots of banked turns and speed. The ride will also feature a station fly-through like the acclaimed Thunderhead at Dollywood. Also, like Thunderhead, Terminator will feature GCI’s Millennium Flyer trains. That’s about where the similarites end as the new coaster does not look like a complete clone of Thunderhead. And even if it were that would not necessarily be a bad thing. Thunderhead is very popular and has won the Golden Ticket Award for best wooden coaster. If that coaster’s success is any indication, Terminator will be an excellent addition.

Terminator: The Coaster will be 100′ feet tall (10 stories), over 2,800 feet long, and reach speeds of 55 mph. There’s also mentions of a “state-of-the-art sound package” and “on-board entertainment” in the official press release. If this means on-board speakers like on the Led Zeppelin Coaster, it would be the first I can remember seeing such technology on a wooden coaster. The total cost of the project will be $10 million.

An Important Coaster for Magic Mountain & California
Not only will Terminator add a much needed woodie to Magic Mountain’s huge collection, it will be the park’s 16th coaster, it will bring something to the entire state. While California is both the most populous state and also has the most roller coasters, it’s collection is not among the best. The state particularly falls short on quality wooden roller coasters. To illustrate this point, Terminator will take the place of the much maligned Psyclone. Psyclone and Great America’s Grizzly placed at the very bottom of Mitch Hawker’s Internet Poll basically ranking as the World’s Worst Wooden Coasters.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghostrider is popular, but by most accounts has seen better days. The Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was the best ranked wooden coaster in the state at 39th. And I also hear some buzz from time to time about the Giant Dipper at Belmont Park. See the entire 2007 wooden coaster poll results. Regardless, Cali’s woodies couldn’t hold a candle to many other state’s and Terminator will help with this shortcoming.

Questionable Theming?
Lastly, I think the theming is a bit of a mismatch. A wooden coaster tied to a movie about evil machines that take over the world? Maybe the riders, as members of the resistance prefer good old-fashioned, natural wood because they don’t trust steel anymore. But, as I said in a previous post, Six Flags is likely looking for that fun, family friendly ride that will have wider appeal. Under the Dan Snyder-Mark Shapiro regime, going after the families and away from the massive, expensive thrill rides has been the company’s m.o. So all-in-all, this should be a great and much needed addition to the coaster landscape out West.

Get a preview, check out the Terminator coaster video below:

Terminator: The Ride is set to open Spring 2009 as it will coincide with the release of the Terminator: Salvation movie starring Christian Bale and directed by McG (from Charlie’s Angels!?!) What do you think of the new Terminator coaster coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

4 Responses

  1. Jarredj.

    like many things "new" six flags does it make no sense, but who am i to complain it is a woodie

  2. The Coaster Critic

    Yep, the theming's a bit weird, but they really need a good woodie, so Terminator will definitely fill that role.

  3. Brian Rudloff

    Thank you for your astute analyzing of Magic Mountain's new Terminator coaster. As a theme park enthusiast and Southern California resident, I must agree that the quality of our state's wooden coasters is unacceptably sub-par and this ride could be a major enhancement to the So-Cal coaster scene. Ghostrider is a fantastic ride, but it is the only one we have. Terminator could be the answer to our troubles. Magic Mountain's description of the attraction having a "unique queue" and "on-board entertainment elements" is extremely intriguing, yet mystifyingly vague. This could be a major revolution in the history of out-door coaster theming, but it could also just be a lame gimmick. The last decade saw a renaissance in indoor coaster theming, but outdoor coasters have stayed relatively theme free, aside from the names and queues. Maybe outdoors will become the new indoors. Given the theme, the fact that it is a wooden coaster is truly bizarre. Skynet certainly does not use wood in their plan to annihilate the human race, perhaps it may make sense as more news of the coaster's mythology is brought to light. The Terminator theme is questionable considering that 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was not too big of a hit and there is not much buzz surrounding next year's Terminator: Salvation. As you say though, "Six Flags is likely looking for that fun, family friendly ride that will have wider appeal," and as long as Six Flags delivers an excellent ride, the theme is less important. It certainly has more potential than Thorpe Park's new Saw themed coaster. It is humorous that both Six Flags and Universal announced their evil 1980's robot apocalypse themed attractions at the same time. I am probably looking forward more to Transformers: The Ride seeing as I am a big dark ride adventure fan, but it is possible that Terminator: The Coaster could send outdoor coaster theming and design in a whole new direction. In any case, I am extremely excited that both of these rides are coming to my home and cannot wait to ride them.

  4. Kd

    Skunk the name. If it runs anything like the picture shows it to…I am so there.After watching the animation I had to pick my jaw up from the floor…from the top of the lift and down through the first drop and turnaround all I could think was, "Mygawsh, this is Mr. Twister!" If the design was lifted from the Allen classic – and, if it runs ANYTHING at all like the original "Mr. T." – I'm chopming at the bits for this to open.


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