Twisted Colossus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Twisted Colossus
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Park section Screampunk District
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 Testing [1]
Opening date May 23, 2015 (2015-05-23) [2]
Replaced Colossus
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Alan Schilke
Model I-Box – Custom
Track layout Möbius Loop
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 121 ft (37 m)
Drop 128 ft (39 m)
Length 4,990 ft (1,520 m)
Speed 57 mph (92 km/h)
Inversions 2
Duration 3:40
Max vertical angle 80°
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Twisted Colossus at RCDB
Pictures of Twisted Colossus at RCDB

Twisted Colossus is a steel roller coaster under renovation at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Originally designed and built by International Amusement Devices, the roller coaster opened as Colossus on June 29, 1978. It was the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world and the first with two drops greater than 100 feet (30 m). Colossus became well known after appearances in film and television, including the box-office hit National Lampoon's Vacation. After more than 36 years in operation, Six Flags announced in 2014 that the roller coaster would be closed permanently on August 16, 2014.

Within two weeks of its closure, Six Flags announced that the coaster would reemerge in 2015 as a hybrid wood and steel roller coaster named Twisted Colossus. It is being renovated by Rocky Mountain Construction to feature barrel roll inversions, a near-vertical drop, and dueling tracks that allow riders on different trains to race from start to finish.


For their next attraction to debut in 1978, Magic Mountain wanted a wooden roller coaster for the classic "rumble and sway" experience that they felt was missing from steel coasters.[3] They hired Ohio-based International Amusement Devices (IAD), who began designing Colossus in January 1977.[4][5][6] IAD in turn subcontracted Bernard Brothers Construction for the construction of the ride, Continental Consultants for all of the mechanical systems, and Lorenz & Williams for the structural engineering and electronic systems.[3][4] A member of the design team traveled to Mexico City to study Montaña Rusa – the largest wooden roller coaster in the world at the time – in order to help plan for the project.[3][4]

The design was finalized in May 1977, and construction began a few months later in August.[4] During construction, a tornado caused part of the structure to collapse, but the roller coaster was still completed on schedule.[3] At a final cost of $7 million, Colossus opened to the public on June 29, 1978. It was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, as well as the first to feature two drops over 100 feet (30 m).[7]


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 was accompanied by a giant black spider, and the height restriction became 54 inches (1,400 mm). The cars on one side of the track were 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.[8]


During the 2014 season Six Flags Magic Mountain announced that Colossus would close permanently on August 16, 2014.[9] On August 4, 2014, the park held a 36-hour riding marathon event on the roller coaster as a way for the public to say goodbye to one of the park's staples.[10] Out of 24 participants, six completed the marathon of 328 laps around the track in 45-minute intervals.[11]

Less than two weeks after the ride closed, Six Flags announced that Colossus would reopen in 2015 as Twisted Colossus following a renovation by Rocky Mountain Construction.[12] The company is planning to add their patented I-Box technology to the ride, also known as Iron Horse, which converts the wooden track to steel while retaining the original wooden structure. The hybrid retrofitting is becoming a popular trend at amusement parks around the world looking to extend the life of aging wooden coasters and for the ability to add overbanked turns and inversions.[13]


The table below summarizes the differences between Colossus and Twisted Colossus. With the exception of capacity, the statistics of Colossus represent a single track only.

Statistic Colossus[5] Twisted Colossus[14]
Years 1978–2014 2015–
Manufacturer International Amusement Devices Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Lorenz & Williams Alan Schilke
Track Type Wood Steel
Track Layout Racing Möbius Loop
Height 125 ft or 38 m 121 ft or 37 m
Drop 115 ft or 35 m 128 ft or 39 m
Length 4,325 ft or 1,318 m 4,990 ft or 1,520 m
Speed 62 mph or 100 km/h 57 mph or 92 km/h
Max vertical angle Unknown 80°
G-force 3.2 TBD
Capacity 2600 riders per hour TBD
Duration 2:30 3:40
Inversions 0 2
Trains Morgan Manufacturing Rocky Mountain Construction

Ride experience[edit]


The previous configuration of the roller coaster featured two drops greater than 100 feet (30 m); the first drop was 115 feet (35 m) and the second was 105 feet (32 m). The ride spanned two and a half minutes and reached speeds up to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h).[7] Its original configuration was noted for numerous and sustained air-time moments, which were eventually toned down or eliminated by reprofiling and/or braking.

Twisted Colossus[edit]

Twisted Colossus will feature two 128 ft lift hills, two Inversions, and a 80° drop. It will also include a "high-five" element, when riders' hands nearly touch each other, and is the first element of its kind in North America.

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.[9] 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.[9] The film Zapped! featured the ride when protagonists Barney and Bernadette visit Magic Land (Six Flags Magic Mountain).


A 20-year-old woman died after being thrown from the ride in December 1978. An investigation determined the lap bar restraint failed to close properly due to the rider's size.[15][16]

On September 8, 2014, while workers were disassembling the track, the top of the lift hill on Colossus caught on fire. The fire – which occurred while the park was closed – was contained and no injuries were reported.[17][18]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Apodaca, Patrice (November 7, 1989). "Three of a Kind : Bernards Brothers Fame Rides on Projects Like Magic Mountain's Giant Roller Coaster". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d McCrate, Tim (August 3, 2014). Interview With Colossus’ Structural Engineer, Tim McCrate. Interview with Kurt Dahlin. The Coaster Guy. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Colossus  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  6. ^ Marden, Duane. "International Amusement Devices, Inc.". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Silverman, Ben (June 4, 2014). "Legendary rollercoaster ‘Colossus’ closing in August". Plugged In. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ Boyer, Jessica (July 31, 2014). "Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus is scheduled to close Aug. 16, and park officials are planning to host a 36-hour coaster marathon to say "goodbye" to the coaster.". KHTS. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Six Riders Complete 36-Hour Colossus Marathon At Magic Mountain". KHTS. August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ Macdonald, Brady (August 28, 2014). "Six Flags Magic Mountain turning wooden coaster into Twisted Colossus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Colossus to return at Six Flags Magic Mountain - Twisted". Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Twisted Colossus  (Six Flags Magic Mountain)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Evolution of California's Amusement Rides Safety Laws". California Research Bureau. August 1997. pp. Appendix A. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Fire erupts on Colossus ride at Magic Mountain". KABC-TV Los Angeles. September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Screamin' Eagle
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
June 1978–April 1979
Succeeded by
The Beast