Last fall I made an “emergency” trip down to Six Flags Magic Mountain to be one of the last people to ever ride X, their Arrow Dynamics created prototype 4th dimension coaster, before they did a $10 Million revamp and transformed it into X2. I was very much not impressed, rating it a 3 on a scale of 1-10.
In May I paid for Z and her mother to spend the night in Magic Mountain and get to be some of the first people to ride the revamped X2. Z absolutely loved it. She rode it three times that night and twice more the following morning.
Two weeks ago Z and I headed down to Six Flags Magic Mountain together experience X2 together. Scheduling this trip was difficult because X2 was one of the last 7 coasters I needed to ride in order to complete my California CoasterQuest. However, since I was so unimpressed by X, and one of the new additions was fire effects, I wanted to be sure to ride X2 at night to take full advantage of these new effects. With long summer days this was proving difficult. So we made a quick trip down to Magic Mountain knowing full well we’d only have a few hours to hit the rides.
With the park closing at 10pm and sunset at 8:30ish we headed for the X2 line at a few minutes before 9pm. The first thing I noticed was that the “big sign” for X had not been replaced by a similar one for X2. The new queue is very nice with funny “extreme sports gone bad” videos playing to distract those waiting for the ride. We waited less than an hour on a July Tuesday, so that wasn’t too bad either.
The ride itself does not feel much changed to me, other than the fire effect which really sneaks up on you and is absolutely awesome (the other effects were not operating that night for some reason). But then, I couldn’t really pay much attention to it because I was in extreme pain the entire time. Both X and X2 have what I call butterfly restraints. Instead of an over the shoulder pull-down harness the restraint system is essentially a secure vest that you fasten across your chest. In my X review I noted that the restraints “felt not only comfortable, but snug and secure.” The same was true at first with the X2 restraints. However, when the ride-op came by to ensure I was safe he tightened the restraint significantly and bruised my ribs in the process. It felt like I was in an extremely painful bear hug from the moment he checked my restraint until they were finally released at the end of the ride.
Not only was this exceedingly uncomfortable during the ride, but I was unable to lay on my side when trying to sleep that night and my ribs remained tender for a full four days after the ride. This wasn’t a weight issue. My belly was just fine. The problem was that the ride-op forced the restraint to close at the worst spot on my body. And I was not alone with this problem either. While waiting for Z near the bathrooms after the ride I heard a young woman discussing the pain X2 had just caused her.
This woman was not particularly overweight and had moderately large breasts (I’d say somewhere between a D and DD cup) and was trying to explain to her boyfirend/husband/male companion that the only pain that came close to what she had experienced on X2 was when having her breasts squeezed into a mammogram machine.
I’d really like to give X2 another shot, but no ride I’ve ever ridden is worth four days of pain after the fact.