Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA
After more than twenty years Colossus is still one of the world's largest dual-track wooden roller coasters. Built in 1978 by International Amusement Devices, the ride blew away the industry and is still the largest wooden roller coaster in California.
Built on the north end of the park next to the parking lot, Colossus has become a landmark at Six Flags Magic Mountain welcoming guests since its inception. This white wooden monster stands 125 feet tall, features six drop including 115-foot first drop, fourteen hills and top speed of 61 mph. From the departure from the loading station to the final break run, Colossus is over three minutes of pure thrills.
Leaving the station Colossus splits into two separate directions as it heads for the lift hill. Joining it's sister track at the base of the 12-story lift, you may get lucky and be on one of the rare trips where the trains line up and race. It's rare, but happens.
The first drop at 115-feet is a classic straight drop, dipping slightly below the ground level. Speeding at 61 mph up the second hill the train rounds a 180 degree fan turn, before soaring down the second drop.
At the opposite end the train rounds a second fan turn and dives into the third drop and up a hill passing through the block breaking. The fourth drop is one of the smaller dips and leads to a hill that climbs into a fan turn inside the structure. The ride concludes with one more drop and a final bunny hop before entering the brake run.
Once the king of wooden coasters, Colossus is now more of classic than a state-of-the-art thriller. But regardless it's a fun ride and the crowds still fill the queue on busy days.
Colossus has gone through a number of changes over the years.
1978 - During the initial year of operation Colossus sufferred a major setback after an accident. A female rider was thrown from the train on the bunny hop between the second drop and the double up. The accident was blamed on the riders weight. This section of track which offerred extreme airtime was reprofiled. The trains were also modified to include seat belts.
For a number of years the park operated Colossus with one side running the trains backwards and the other side running forwards. Backwards was very popular with park guests, who enjoyed the disorienting ride experience.
1988 - Six Flags replaced the PTC trains with new "California" style trains from Morgan Manufacturing. The new fiber glass trains increased the rides top speed from 55 mph to 61 mph. The new trains were designed with individual lap bars, eliminating the need for a seat belt. The lack of headrests on the new trains prevented backwards operation.
1992 - The park reprofiled Colossus removing the double dip on the north side. This change disappointed fans since it was one of the last remaining spots of airtime. A mid-course block brake, which is used a a trim brake was added to allow for three-train operation. The reason was odd since Colossus had previously operated with three-trains per side.
1998 - Two of the B&M trains from Psyclone were borrowed to operate one side of Colossus backwards for FrightFest, the park's annual Halloween event. This has continued every year since.
1999 - Colossus runs one side backwards using the B&M trains for Spring Break.
2000 - Colossus has a new neighbor Goliath, a monster sized steel 255-foot hypercoaster. Goliath opens in February 2001 and its layout towers over the first turn by more than 100 feet.