As one last hurrah before school started, I decided to take the kids to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a few days of amusement park fun. Yesterday, I laid out the budget, and today I will include our itinerary, detailing each day.
Getting an Early-ish Start
While we didn’t get as early a start as I had hoped, we didn’t leave as late as last time. The drive over was fairly easy. I had packed lunch to eat in the car, so we only stopped for gas and bathroom breaks.
Hyatt Regency Valencia
We arrived at the Hyatt Regency Valencia in plenty of time to settle in, unpack, and head to the park. Our room was on a corner and designated accessible, so it was very roomy. I had intended to call the hotel before check in to let them know that I had only booked accessible since it was the only room available on points, but I had forgotten about it. Our room included a mini fridge and a view overlooking the pool and golf course beyond.
Extended Summer Hours
During our Spring Break trip, I had marveled at the short hours and skeleton crew that Six Flags maintained in the “off season.” Now that it was in full summer mode, the park was better staffed, and maintained later hours than on our previous trip. The waits and crowds felt about the same, even though there were definitely more people there. However, the adjacent water park helped to absorb some of the crowds, so while the parking lot was full, the theme park didn’t feel too crowded.
Of course we can’t go to Six Flags without having difficulty getting a meal. We ordered our dinner after arriving and riding a couple of rides, but the cashier informed us that dinner had ended a few minutes before at 7:30. She didn’t charge us, thankfully, but I made a note of the hours so that wouldn’t happen again. I also promised the kids that we’d stop at Wendy’s for cheap Frosties since we missed our snack window as well.
Cooler Evening Hours
I had been watching the weather report for the past few days, and it seemed it was going to get pretty hot during the day. I was thankful we had a nearby hotel and could go there to swim or rest in the afternoon, and then head back to the park to enjoy the cooler evening hours.
Six Flags has this amazing selection of superhero capes. Of course, they are all DC characters, so we are not as familiar with them as Marvel. During this trip, they caught Maggie’s eye, and she convinced her brother to go in with her since they were priced two for one. At $15 for two, I thought they were a great value, and I was happy with their purchase. Maggie loved wearing her Harley Quinn cape, but Carter barely tried on his Green Lantern cape, and didn’t even want to bring it to the park on subsequent days.
Heading To Target
We stopped by Target on our way home from the park to pick up some groceries for breakfast. Even if our room did not have a mini fridge, I would keep food fresh in a cooler with loose ice so that we don’t have to only eat theme park food. Plus, Six Flags has a strict “No Outside Food” rule, so we needed healthier options for snacks during our afternoon breaks.
Even with extended evening hours, Six Flags doesn’t open until 10:30am. This is very foreign to us Disneyland veterans who are used to rope dropping Magic Morning at 7:00am! We still didn’t make it until right at 10:30, and that was a mistake. The parking lot was already very full, and the lines to get in were long.
Even though it was very warm, we managed to stay cool with by bringing cooling towels and staying in the shade whenever possible. Luckily, Six Flags Magic Mountain has plenty of shade available. There are not very many indoor venues available, though. One counter service restaurant didn’t even have air-conditioning, and the poor team members were sweltering inside. Lucky for us, the seating was outside, and the breeze cooled us off while we ate.
Last time, I had purchased an all-day locker thinking that we would need it to keep our bags safe while we were on the rides. Six Flags doesn’t allow you to carry anything with you on most attractions; you have to set it off to the side while you ride. With some rides, you can keep sight of your bags while you ride, but with most, you have to leave it on the loading platform. What made this riskier than the last time we were there, they were running more ride vehicles, so another set of passengers would disembark before you came back to collect your things. It seemed that everyone played by the rules, and we didn’t lose anything. At Knott’s Berry Farm, they have a sliding compartment for each vehicle to stash their gear, and then slide it over for the next ride vehicle so that everyone’s things stayed safe.
The water rides were new to us since they hadn’t been open during spring break, so we tried them all. The Jet Stream, which was a log flume ride, was a lot of fun, especially when the last drop seems to also propel you along the bottom. Tidal Wave was just a boat ride with a big drop, but it was fun. The kids especially liked standing on the bridge when the boat dropped because the splash would soak the bridge, too. The third water ride was called Roaring Rapids. It was like Grizzly River Run, but with 12 seats to a boat instead of 8, and no drop. We got completely soaked the first time we rode (which was in the evening, brr), but stayed relatively dry the next time (in the heat of the day).
I was a bit hesitant to leave the park to take a midday break, thinking that it might be hard to get the kids to rally and go back. However, it worked perfectly to rest up, cool off, and be ready to go again. We spent the evening eating dinner and riding some more attractions.
The kids’ favorite ride was Batman. They could go on it over and over. This one has way to many inversions, so I elect to hold the bags while they ride. It is a hoot to watch the on-board video after riding, though it’s much too expensive to actually buy.
When we were checking the line for Twisted Colossus, we had seen a show listed on the marquee that had not been there before called Kwerk. We made a point to check the times today so that we could watch it. I thought the 2:30 showing would be perfect: right before our mid-afternoon break, and during the peak of the afternoon heat. It was a highly entertaining half-hour, with acrobats and stunts done in a steampunk/circus style.
At home, the kids have chores to do. When we were on trips, I realized that I do a lot of work, but everyone else gets to sit around and relax. I decided enough was enough, so I made a trip chore chart. If the kids want to use their iPads during downtime, they are welcome to, but first they have to complete a set of tasks. Most include cleaning up after themselves, but every opportunity for me to not have to nag is good. They also have to do a trip chore. This list includes things like getting ice in the hall to fill the cooler, making the bed, and washing dishes if we are making meals in the room. Carter decided to spend his break on his iPad, so while Maggie and I went down to the pool, he checked off his trip chore chart, making the bed for his main chore. I was really impressed when he sent me this picture!
We spent the evening in Bugs Bunny World. I feel like this IP has gotten a little dated. Warner Brothers definitely needs to find a way to resurrect it, because, while I spent my childhood watching Looney Tunes, my kids don’t know it at all. I found myself trying to explain the characters to them whenever they didn’t understand the context of a particular ride.
Check Out Day
We decided that we would go to the park for a few hours, and then return to the hotel in the early afternoon, pack the rest of our stuff, and head home. I got a late checkout of 3:00pm thanks to my Explorist status, so we didn’t need to leave the park until around 2:00.
We didn’t have much left that we hadn’t done after two and a half days. We rode some favorites and grabbed some food before we headed back to the hotel to pack.
Leaving at the Wrong Time
I vaguely remember seeing a lot of traffic going the opposite way on the 210 when we were heading into town. Now we were stuck in that mess. Google didn’t have any viable options, and it was literally adding hours to our already six-hour drive. We finally ended up stopping at a Costco to get a bit of extra fuel and a quick (and cheap) hot dog dinner before trying again. Needless to say, we didn’t arrive home until well after 11:00pm. It was a long day in the car.
This was a great trip, but now I have to decide if we are going to renew our Six Flags passes. I know we won’t use the Theme Park component due to getting annual passes for Disneyland. The last time we did APs for Disneyland, we also had cheap APs for Universal Studios Hollywood, and we did combo trips three times out of nine. However, I can’t see doing that for Magic Mountain since it is so much farther away from Disneyland. Our friends are renewing, so that might be compelling enough to just use them at the water park, especially since it is so conveniently located to our house. However, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I hate water parks!