The mention of Six Flags Magic Mountain may instantly conjure mental images of some of the best roller coasters in the world… and rightfully so. However, in recent years, Magic Mountain has really stepped up its game – as has many of the other Six Flags properties – and has focused a great deal of attention on special seasonal events such as Holiday in the Park.
Holiday in the Park transforms much of Magic Mountain into a festive winter wonderland of twinkling Christmas lights, whimsical walk-around characters, sweet treats, Santa Claus, and of course, amazing thrill rides. While many of our readers have Magic Mountain on their radar because of Fright Fest, it certainly should be noted that we really love what they do each year now with Holiday in the Park – and we think you will, too.
As is the case with all current seasonal events at Magic Mountain, Holiday in the Park 2016 is included with your General Admission to the park. The decorations and Christmas festivities are up and operating throughout the day – and when the sun goes down, that’s when the real magic begins as countless lights brighten each night. We prefer to go just before sundown, so we can enjoy a few big kid rides and then simply stroll around the park after dark, looking at the stunning Christmas light displays spread throughout the property. Sipping on hot cocoa or other beverages is a must, too – and there is no shortage of treats at Magic Mountain during Holiday in the Park!
One of the new features for Holiday in the Park 2016 is the Santa’s Wild Sleigh Ride virtual reality component that has been added to the New Revolution coaster. As the name implies, guests wear Samsung VR headsets and embark on a wild ride with Santa as the roller coaster takes them through twists and turns – and of course, one of the most famous inversions in all of fandom. Keeping it real here, we’re not a fan of VR on roller coasters; it is our opinion that while it sounds good on paper and in meetings, the reality is – it’s an operational nightmare for both staff and guests. In the end, the payoff isn’t anywhere close to simply enjoying a ride on a great coaster such as New Revolution. Full disclosure here – we saw how long the line was when we visited; when taking that into consideration along with other friends’ not-so-impressive impressions of the VR overlay, we opted quite easily to pass on Santa’s Wild Sleigh Ride. It’s simply not our thing, you know? If you haven’t been on New Revolution yet, we absolutely recommend doing that – because Magic Mountain has lovingly restored it to its former glory and is an industry treasure; you can ride without the VR – the line for the headsets is longer than the one for those simply wishing to ride without.
The newest section of Holiday in the Park is the Gleampunk District – the stretch of space leading up to Twisted Colossus and Scream. This entire area has been blanketed with thousands and thousands of Christmas lights, and features live performances by the Gleampunk Gliders skater team, and the Kwerkmas acrobatic show for the whole family in the Gearworks Theater. At night, the entire side of the theater becomes a registered projection show, which is also really neat. The Gleampunk area is home to several very cool steampunk Christmas props, including larger-than-life characters and toys. This is a substantial addition to Holiday in the Park for its 2016 season – more than just an extension of the event, this is a whole new area that has been thoroughly decorated, complete with walk-around characters, live entertainment and even faux snowfall throughout the night! The Gleampunk District was our favorite part of the event this year, and we’re stoked that Magic Mountain did such a great job adding it to their Holiday in the Park event!
Another thing that Magic Mountain does really well during its seasonal events is live entertainment. There are many walk-around characters and small performances that regularly pop up and take place throughout the park – but the Full Throttle stage is where the main action takes place during Snowy Nights performances featuring the highly-entertaining Mistletones group, Tinsel Toy Dancers, a DJ, and a live percussionist. It’s definitely a hot spot, just as it is during Fright Fest – only scary is replaced by merry, and guests totally get into it.
There is still plenty of time for Southern Californians to visit Holiday in the Park, as the event is held on select dates through January 1, 2017. Visit the Six Flags Magic Mountain website for additional information and ticketing.
Bundle up, because it gets cold at Magic Mountain this time of year – and then get on out to Valencia to partake in this wonderful event! It has become one of our favorite Christmas traditions here in the Southland, and it will become one of yours, too. Kudos to the entire Six Flags Magic Mountain team on a truly great holiday event!
- Rick West
Holiday in the Park 2016 Images: