Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)

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Colossus parking view.JPG
View from the parking lot
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section County Fair
Coordinates 34°25′40″N 118°35′51″W / 34.42778°N 118.59750°W / 34.42778; -118.59750Coordinates: 34°25′40″N 118°35′51″W / 34.42778°N 118.59750°W / 34.42778; -118.59750
Status Operating
Opening date June 29, 1978 (1978-06-29)
Closing date August 16, 2014 (2014-08-16)
Cost $7,000,000
General Statistics
Type Wood – Racing
Manufacturer International Amusement Devices, Inc.
Designer International Amusement Devices, Inc.
Lift/launch system Chain
White Red
Height 125 ft (38.1 m) 125 ft (38.1 m)
Drop 115 ft (35.1 m) 115 ft (35.1 m)
Length 4,325 ft (1,318.3 m) 4,325 ft (1,318.3 m)
Speed 62 mph (99.8 km/h) 62 mph (99.8 km/h)
Inversions 0 0
Duration 2:30 2:30
G-force 3.2 3.2
Capacity 2600 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 6 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available
Colossus at RCDB
Pictures of Colossus at RCDB

Colossus is a wooden roller coaster located in the Colossus County Fair area of Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Built by International Amusement Devices, Colossus opened to the public on June 29, 1978, as the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world and the first with two drops greater than 100 feet (30 m). The roller coaster became well-known for its appearance in the 1983 box-office hit film National Lampoon's Vacation.

Colossus features two identical side-by-side tracks but is not considered a racing roller coaster due to the configuration at the start of the ride.. It utilizes six trains that can each carry a total of 24 passengers. After more than 36 seasons in operation, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that Colossus is scheduled to close permanently on August 16, 2014.


Colossus was designed by Doug Bernards, president of Bernards Brothers Construction in San Fernando, and cost $7 million to construct.[1] Magic Mountain specifically requested a wooden roller coaster for their new ride stating they wanted it to "rumble and sway." The ride would become the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, as well as be the first in the world to feature two drops over 100 feet (30 m).[2] During construction, a tornado caused part of the structure to collapse.[1] The ride opened to the public on June 29, 1978.

Six months into its debut season, a woman died while riding Colossus after being thrown from the ride. An investigation determined the lap bar restraint failed to close properly due to the rider's size.[3] The coaster was shut down and modified featuring new height and weight restrictions when it reopened. In 2014, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that Colossus will be closing permanently on August 16, 2014.[4]


Colossus underwent a number of changes over the years. The "speed hill" between the second drop and the double-up hill was reprofiled in 1979. In 1987, the original trains supplied by Philadelphia Toboggan Company were replaced with ones from Morgan Manufacturing. The valley between the coaster's pair of camelback hills was leveled off and received block brakes in 1991.

During the Halloween season, the coaster's web-like structure is accompanied by a giant black spider, and the height restriction becomes 54 inches (1,400 mm). The cars on one side of the track are also run backwards, using the old trains from the now defunct Psyclone roller coaster.[citation needed] On August 29, 2013, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that they would run Colossus backwards for a limited time during the 2014 season.[5]

Ride experience[edit]

The ride features two drops greater than 100 feet (30 m): its first drop which is 115-foot (35 m) and its second drop which is 105-foot (32 m). Its duration is two and a half minutes and riders experience speeds up to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h).[2]

Film and television[edit]

Colossus was nearing completion in May 1978 when it was used as a backdrop for fight scenes in the NBC TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.[4] In 1983, it was featured in the film National Lampoon's Vacation as Screemy Meemy. In the sitcom Step by Step, Colossus is the roller coaster that the Lambert-Foster family rides in the opening sequence. The roller coaster was also seen in television episodes of Wild & Crazy Kids,[citation needed] Doogie Howser, M.D.,[citation needed] Knight Rider, Wonder Woman, and The A-Team.[4] The film Zapped! featured the ride when protagonists Barney and Bernadette visit Magic Land (Six Flags Magic Mountain).


  1. ^ a b Apodaca, Patrick. "Three of a Kind Bernards Brothers Fame Rides on Projects Like Magic Mountain's Giant Roller Coaster." Los Angeles Times. November 7, 1989. Retrieved June 5, 2008,
  2. ^ a b Entertainment/Travel Editors. "ADVISORY/After 20 Years -- Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus Is Still the West Coast's Most Thrilling `Woodie'." Business Wire. 4 December 1998. Retrieved June 5, 2008
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Silverman, Ben (June 4, 2014). "Legendary rollercoaster ‘Colossus’ closing in August". Plugged In. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • Colossus Review Photos and more information on Ultimate
Preceded by
Screamin' Eagle
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
June 1978–April 1979
Succeeded by
The Beast