When you call yourself the “Thrill Capital of the World,” you better deliver on that promise – with West Coast Racers, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. definitely does.
By Samantha Davis-Friedman
The 260-acre theme park is already home to the largest number of roller coasters in the world, but on Jan. 9, they’re adding one more. West Coast Racers, a one-of-a-kind racing coaster, features cars designed and painted by West Coast Customs, the famous car customizers known for the TV shows “Pimp My Ride” and “Street Customs.”
In fact, part of the queue experience is a video showing how the West Coast Customs crew built the coaster vehicles to look like custom sports cars.
During the approximately 4-minute ride, cars race in pairs at speeds up to 55 miles per hour as they complete two laps on side-by-side tracks, each with two high-speed launches, multiple inversions, airtime hills, high-banked turns, and thrilling over/under near misses.
“It’s action-packed,” says Neal Thurman, president of Six Flags Magic Mountain. “And the biggest difference from other racing coasters is that you get to do it twice.”
That’s not only the biggest difference; it’s also the coolest part. After the first lap on the white track, racers pull into a real-time “pit stop,” narrated by West Coast Customs Founder Ryan Friedlinghaus, that provides an exclusive inside look into the West Coast Customs shop before they head out for the second lap on the yellow track against a different vehicle.
One particularly unique aspect of this racing coaster is that it’s an actual race with an unknown outcome. That’s because the speed of each car depends on a variety of factors, including the mass of the vehicle, the overall weight of the passengers, and even headwinds, so nobody knows which car will win until the end of the race.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides (the manufacturer of the coaster), noted that a great feature of West Coast Racers is that riders have two racing experiences with outcomes that are specific to each particular ride. This unpredictability is the result of recent theme park trends to encourage guests to ride an attraction over and over by providing a new experience each time.
The entrance to West Coast Racers resembles the façade of the real West Coast Customs auto shop in Burbank, Calif. and the attraction joins the wooden Apocalypse coaster and the Cyclone 500 Go-Karts in the Underground, which is a new 4.5-acre L.A.-themed land with a cool urban street vibe and new dining, games, and retail locations.
Six Flags Magic Mountain Members and Season Pass Holders can get a sneak peek of the new coaster before it opens to the public on Jan. 9. Previews are from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 23-31 and from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 1-4.
To learn more about other attractions at Six Flags Magic Mountain, visit SixFlags.com/MagicMountain.