Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magic Mountain - Trip Report May 2010 - Part Two

Welcome to part two of my recent trip to Magic Mountain. Today’s post will focus entirely on the Sky Tower and its Museum contents. Come back on Friday for part three - a trip down to the back side of the mountain.

Are you ready for a trip up into the Sky Tower? I’m not! I can’t overstate how high this thing is. It's 320 FEET!!! I seriously almost chickened out. There were only two other people waiting for the elevator, a couple of guys from France and they were giggling like school girls at my apprehension to ride to the top. If a couple little French dudes can do it, so can I!

"If the power is on do not!! Turn off!!” This is not helping….

The elevator itself is triangle shaped and is almost completely covered in windows. The only “wall space” is this area is about four feet wide and contains the controls. I remember staring at this every time I’ve been on this elevator since 1971, I don’t think I’ve ever looked out the windows. Where’s the defibrillator button?

Lucky for me they’ve added a bunch of vintage photo’s on right side of the elevator wall. I didn’t actually “see” these until later since I was not breathing when I took these photos. To make matters worse that phone RANG on the way up the tower!

It probably only takes 90 seconds to get to the top but it seemed like 9 hours. I leaped off as soon as the door opened and found a troll!

The Troll and this great Trollywood sign are behind Plexiglas panels, but a lot of this stuff is right out where you can touch it.

They have a ton of paper goods and souvenirs.

I’ve posted that pre-opening brochure in the middle a while back (link) it’s a beauty.

Apparently they’ve only got a (poor) copy of the first concept art brochure for the trolls. Of course I had an original version with me in the tower.

The museum has a surprisingly large collection of employee uniforms.

Neat photo showing the train engineer costume. This park needs a train, or a MONORAIL!!! Oops, I jumped ahead to Saturday’s post – SAVE THE MONORAIL!!!

Here’s a few of the actual costumes. Do you think Magic Mountain saved them or did employees donate them to the museum?

There are several displays with photos graphs, I tried to get them all but I may have missed some. Bottom-center is a rare interior shot of the Buddha guy from the Magic Pagoda.

Second row from the bottom, far right is an extremely rare interior shot of the Magic Pagoda Bridge and Neon Light area, I had completely forgotten about this part of the attraction. I believe there was some sort of disappearing/peppers ghost effect rooms just beyond those bridges, but like Jeff in part 1's comments said I have “very grainy memories of the interior of the building”.

Lots of neato construction photos!

Pardon the blur but the Tower was starting to “sway” a bit so was picking up the pace. These are the short-lived Sarajevo Bobsleds (1984-86), Shock-wave would be built in this same spot, then Psyclone, and now Terminator Salvation sits on this spot.

Anyone else remember the bounce-house, I sure do! The park still has those square light posts around (you’ll see some in a later post), I really dig them.

Fun vintage map that highlights the transportation systems that are all gone expect the Funicular (Orient Express). The park is larger now and has only one tiny transportation ride, makes you wonder why they don’t have a monorail or something?

There’s not that many interior walls but boy are they filled, I know I missed another aerial photo on the opposite wall.

There was no room on the walls for this one, was that crane higher than this tower?

This early 70’s stylized wall map is splendid; I could stare at this all day long. I gotta get me one of these!

Proposed “Volleyball” attraction, I can see why they dropped that idea.

Viper chain link, its cool they have stuff out for you to touch. In the background are the stairs to the lower level. This used to be the area with open windows, well; they were caged in, but open still! I think the bathrooms were down there too. The employee in the Tower said it’s no longer used. It appeared to me to house the air conditioning unit.

Viper control Panel.

Psyclone control panel. I pushed the “E-Stop” button just for fun.

There was actually a fictional character named Spillikin? I never knew that.

Here’s a bunch of signs from closed attractions.

Spin Out was just removed in 2008, built as “Bottoms Up” in 1971, this was a classic “spin and barf” attraction.

This awesome artist sketch was done for the Texas Instruments Building in the early 70’s,.

I guess its time to look out the windows. Here’s the Texas Instruments Building, it’s now used as the Season Pass processing center.

Too high, they just announced the next elevator is leaving in one minute, I’m on it!

This is the Shangri-La station as seen from above. You can see how it used to serve two Skyway routes.

That’s Ninja in the red and white and the water ride is the Jet Stream, come back Friday for a closer look at this 1972 Water Classic.

Just for you guys I looked out the window on the way down.

I think I can see my house from here…

Heart rate returning to normal.

Whew, I almost kissed the ground.

I hope you enjoyed that little tour of the Sky Tower Museum, I highly recommend it to any Magic Mountain fan! Come back Friday and we'll head down the back side of the Mountain and check out he Jet Stream and a few other things.

Come back tomorrow for a special look at some rare photo's from Don Ballard's Disneyland Hotel presentation.


Chris Merritt said...

Amazing! I think I have a color Magic Pagoda photo somewhere on the hard drive - I'll take a look for it...

Anonymous said...

I know i went up that tower in the '70's but I dont remember in detail.

Thanks for this, it sounds like it was a real effort.


Major Pepperidge said...

Great post! Look at all the amazing stuff they have on display - I want one of the wall maps too. Did that one costume actually require that you wear that necklace? Notice that the Psyclone control panel is in the locked "off" position, just in case something happens when you push a button!!

Thanks for all the great photos and funny descriptions!

jedblau said...

Great post! I really want to get up there, but it's always closed when I go.

Yellows said...

I don't think that you ever rode the elevator when I was operating it back in '81. Funicular/Skytower was a rotation, as the two are pretty close to each other and one or two people can basically run them.

Another Magic Mountain ride operator showed me a neat trick. We used to tell guests as they stepped out onto the top deck that they could get a better idea of how high off the ground they were if they looked down through the narrow space between the elevator car and the floor. You would certainly remember. It's really kind of stunning if you're at all scared of heights!

Jeff said...

Thank you for immortalizing me in your blog!

The disappearing/peppers ghost effects were (as I recall) three clear plastic cylinders where people could go inside. I remember they were on a platform so others could see better. They filled the cylinders with stage smoke and the persons inside would disappear. I never went inside, being like seven years old at the time, I was too scared...

The photo of the "bridges room" doesn't really do it justice. It was very dark and lit only with neon light. There was a small "river" that went under the bridges. Strange sounds and music was also played in there. The theming was excellent. It was located just off the strobe/dragon room.

The other main part of the attraction was the mirror maze. From my research online, this is the area that is still in use during Halloween.

If anyone has more photos or memories, I'd love to see and hear them!

William S. said...

Do they no longer have the loop of vintage Magic Mountain commercials playing on a TV in the Sky Tower? That was definitely the highlight of my visit last year.

Thanks for the post.


TokyoMagic! said...

Oh my gosh....I have to get up there now! I love that Troll costume...I wonder if they have other character costumes. Remember when they added the Wizard to the group of mascots?

WHY DID THEY REMOVE SPIN OUT???? Do they still have the Electric Rainbow? I loved going on that and the Propeller Spin at Knott's.

I haven't been to Magic Mt. since Hurricane Harbor was it where Mystic Lake used to be?

I remember the Sarajevo Bobsleds...they were kind of scary because they weren't on a track.

Maybe it's worth the price of a Halloween night ticket to go see the inside of the Magic Pagoda...or what's left of it. I remember those tubes that would make you disappear for those watching on the other side! I wish the park had kept some family type attractions like the Magic Pagoda and the Metro Monorail.....and El Bumpo!