Last Friday, an association I'm signed up with through my work called V.E.A. (Vons Employment Association) had a private party at Six Flags Magic Mountain. For only $23, members got to enjoy the park from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. with free parking was included. With prices so sky high at these places, I could NOT pass up that deal, not to mention I haven't been to Six Flags in years and I'm a true roller coaster lover! A co-worker from my same store, Deena, also loves roller coasters and wanted to come along with me. My sister, Christine, asked our friend, Wally, if we could crash at his place in Studio City afterward. Wally was cool with it and the plan was all set. Christine and I picked up Deena at our store and got on the road by 12:30, arriving at Wally's house a few minutes after 3. Talk about good timing! There wasn't much traffic on the 5 North and normally that freeway is plain awful. We dropped off our stuff and rested at Wally's house for a bit. I took a quick cat nap and woke up around 4:30. It's a very short drive from Studio City to Valencia and the private party didn't start till 7. Deena and I left around 5:30 to go eat at a Subway down the street from Wally's. Then, it was off to find the 170-N Sacramento freeway. Deena and I arrived at the gates to Magic Mountain at 6:45. Again, the freeway wasn't too busy and that's a good thing when we saw a line-up of cars wanting to get inside! The barricades were up; the park officials were waiting for the regular guests to clear out of the park before they could let us in. I looked to the rows and rows of cars surrounding us. They were all V.E.A. members or family and friends along for the ride. Still, I knew it wouldn't be a fully-crowded park. Five minutes later, the barricades came down and everyone raced inside to the parking lot! I quickly found a space and Deena and I took off for the tram. Before entering the park, we first had to walk through metal detectors. Yes, you heard that right! They now have metal detectors! Ridiculous, but you really can't blame them. As soon as we got through the park's gate, we set out to ride some serious roller coasters! Where to start? I hanged a right from the entrance when I should have made a left! The newest ride, Tatsu, was the one everyone was heading to. Toward the right side is the direction to Goliath, Colossus, a new ride Scream, and further on down is Batman The Ride in Gotham City. Tatsu is located in Samurai Summit up a long path past Viper. The first ride Deena and I went to was Goliath. This is the beautiful part about a private party. NO LINES! Or, they bottle up near the boarding zone and you only wait for your turn to get on. We went to get to the very front row and waited about ten minutes to board. Now, it has been since 2001 that I last road this ride. I had forgotten how powerful, how fast, and how HIGH up the first drop is! Lord Almighty, if I wasn't awake then, I sure was after! I knew Deena and I were in for some big treats that night. We didn't buy the picture, but it did come out hilarious. It always seems to capture the right moment. After Goliath, I totally missed the entrance to Colossus and even Scream. I should have checked the map, but didn't! We walked on over into Gotham City to do Batman The Ride next. This is a great ride. Your feet dangle as you do these glorious flips and half-turns all over. It's a shame these rides aren't long. I normally clocked three to four minutes per ride. After Batman, we left Gotham City and went to find the entrance to The Riddler's Revenge in The Movie District. The map showed that Freefall was extremely close, but I never saw it! The park is not well-lit at night and it was already dark out by 7:30. The Riddler's Revenge should have been named The Nutcracker instead. The way you sit on the seat, guys could easily crush their balls. It's hard to sit, anyway. You have to keep your legs straight and feet flat to the floor. During the ride, though, I found one of my feet lifting up and dangling in mid-air. Damn, what fun! There's one thing I don't like about the Batman and Riddler rides: there's nowhere to put my backpack in a safe place. Deena had the right idea of carrying around a fanny pack, but I had my backpack with me. The Batman and Riddler rides are free of a decent floor, the usual spot I place my backpack. With the two rides, I have to go across to the other side and leave my backpack on a counter top or near the ride operator. When returning, I get off and go get it. What I worry about is leaving it there as I ride. Two coasters are simultaneously running. As I'm on the ride, another reenters the boarding zone. Someone could easily get off and take my backpack before I have the chance to return and stop them! Later on in the evening, I found a way to protect my backpack when I couldn't bring it on the ride with me, but it came with a price...literally! At this time, it was after 8 p.m. and Deena needed to buy a soda. We stopped at a Papa Johns for her to get a souvenir cup. Refills were only $.99 and she couldn't pass up that deal. However, I wondered how she'd be able to carry the cup on the rides. I couldn't hold it in my backpack; it would spill and ruin the inside. The first ride we noticed the cup would be a problem was on Gold Rusher. She placed it in a side netting pocket of my backpack and I kept it close to my legs, hoping it was stay upright. It's a smaller, simpler, roller coaster, but I had a feeling her cup would fall over. It did...all over the floor of the cart! I was embarrassed, but had to leave it. From then on, she had to leave the cup behind on the other side of the tracks, near the ride operator's booth. Next, we made our way to Cyclone Bay where many great rides started to bring up huge crowds. I had my heart set on the classic wooden roller coaster, Psyclone, but a ride operator said it was down. Next door was a fairly-new green and blue coaster called Déjà vu, one I didn't get to ride in 2001. It looked awesome, but the line to ride it was far too long. Being pressed for time, we walked away from it and proceeded to find the entrance to rides like Ninja, Superman The Escape, and Tatsu. A loooooong, woodsy path took us up to the area of Samurai Summit where we found another staircase leading up. We were told this staircase led to the entrance to Ninja and Superman The Escape, yet, as we climbed it, I felt like we were heading to the exit of Tatsu! We turned around quickly, I even told others that it was Tatsu's exit! I discovered later on that I was wrong, but hey, what did I know? We saw the line for Tatsu was incredibly long, and I kicked myself for not deciding to go there when first arriving! We took a path through a creepy dark area with some different colored lights for some help in seeing where we were going. Did I mention the park was not well-lit? I dubbed this area Creepy Woods. It was a very fitting name. The path took us down to the land of Baja Ridge and over to the entrance to Viper. That was one we hadn't done yet and just had to! It's one of my favorites. Several tight loops, half-turns, corkscrews, it's extremely awesome. Oh, and word of advice (there's a posted warning, too): Remove your ear jewelry! I'm serious. I didn't have two sets of piercings in 2001, but I do now and I didn't remove them! Your head gets banged around and your ears hit into a not-so-soft head rest. It hurt like hell on me! The photo was hilarious and we bought two sets. Checking the map, I noticed the staircase we previously climbed (and thought it was the exit to Tatsu) did in fact lead to Ninja and Superman The Escape. We went up and over the full way and found both rides in that area. We road Ninja first. It's a great ride. Moves just like a ninja with you darting around trees at a tremendous speed. Oh, and you're pretty high off the ground, too. There's a floor, so I kept my backpack with me. Next, was a long and boring wait for Superman The Escape. We got the front seat and that ride was over and done with in less than a minute. I find it sucks you wait so long for such a short ride! We went back down the staircase, looking AGAIN to see Tatsu was STILL crowded! Will it ever end? We walked through Creepy Woods and back down toward Viper, stopping first to check out the Panda Express close by. I was getting hungry, but I wanted to save my money and ride rides instead. There was NO line for Viper, so we decided to jump on it again. I liked how the photo came out the second time, but we didn't get it. I took my earrings off this time, glad that I did! Next, we walked down the hill and over to The Revolution. Another simple roller coaster with only one loop. Still, I kept my earrings off! We continued down the path and it led us toward the main entrance. I wanted to retrace back over to Goliath and look for Colossus and Scream. I saw it on the map, I just had to find where you go to board the rides! Sure enough, there was a path beyond Goliath that took us to both rides. We've ridden Colossus before, so we skipped it to ride Scream located further back. We get all the way to the boarding zone when I see signs everywhere that read there is NO LOSE ITEMS ALLOWED ON BOARD. All items must be stored in the lockers located below. I left Deena in line to go downstairs to where I found the lockers. It costs a freakin' dollar to stow your belongings in the locker! Talk about milking us for every penny we're worth! I only had one quarter, but some dollars and a change machine was close by. I got four quarters and put my backpack in the locker. I turned the key and put it in my pocket. I did it correctly, however, I was still holding my wallet! I forgot to put it away! I had to reopen the locker and put my wallet away. But, now, that meant I had to pay another dollar to relock it! Then, the dollar would NOT go in to the change machine; it took several tries to get it to give me my change. When it finally went through, it only dispensed three quarters! Seventy-five cents! Anger as all hell by now, I took the quarters and then took the fourth (AND ONLY!) quarter from my wallet to RELOCK my backpack in the locker! I turned the key and put it in my pocket, returning back to Deena who had to led about five people go ahead of her in the line! Despite all the trouble with the locker, the ride was worth it. Scream is an awesome thrill of a ride! Holy buckets! I screamed so much, my voice was starting to go hoarse. This ride was tops on my list for the evening! We bought the photo. I almost died laughing from our expressions. After Scream, we jumped on Colossus to enjoy the feel of a classic Coney Island-style roller coaster. It's got wonderful dips and sharp turns; quite stronger than you can imagine. At night, they've got rainbow lights flashing as you fly by. It was pretty cold by that time and my hands were starting to go numb when I lifted them high in the air! The time now read almost 1 a.m. and that meant the private party was coming to a close! Instead of heading to the exit like everyone else, we walk-fast toward the path of Viper, through Creepy Woods AGAIN and over to see if we could get in line for that damn ride Tatsu! By now, we figured the line was less. It really wasn't, but we got in line anyway! A ride attendant named Tiago let us through and I guess considered us the last ones in line and wouldn't let anyone else in. It was after 1 and they had to close sometime soon! I was smart this time, going off to put my backpack and Deena's fanny pack in a nearby locker. I did it correctly, I'm happy to say. Waiting in line was rather interesting. In front of us was a group of three girls and one guy in particular. They kind of acknowledged us and we talked about a few things, but we were all mostly waiting to ride this thing. As we reached the staircase, Deena saw some people sneak in the line and get behind us. Tiago was busy talking to the three girls and guy but he did catch them come in. He boldly told them to get out of line because Deena and I were the cut-off point. The people refused and protested, saying they had been in line the whole time. Tiago asked Deena and I if that were true. We slowly shook our heads no. Tiago told them they had to leave now and they still refused. Finally, security was called in and some of the people left. A girl and a guy stayed close by us. Tiago and the guard took them away too! I really hoped a fight wouldn't have broken out. I said that out loud and the guy with the three girls pulled out a switchblade to show that if a fight did happen, he'd be ready! I looked over the railing of the staircase, almost ready to jump! I got quite nervous at that point! The guy was cool, but flashing that knife scared the hell out of me! How he got through the metal detectors at the main gate is a mystery! We got closer to the boarding zone and witnessed how you actually sit on this ride. The harnesses are similiar to Batman with one difference. Before going off, the seats spin forward, making your vision and whole body face downward! Your legs are clamped at the ankels to prevent them from dangling. Deena turned to me with a look of horror. I knew that look, it was a look of uncertainty. Smiling, I said, "Let's do it!" We got the front row, and for the first time ever, I was very nervous. The seat flipped and I felt my stomach and chest press against the cushioned bar. Not sure how many times I prayed to God to get us through this, but perhaps a few cries and whimpers would help some as well. As we went up the long, clankity-clank ramp, Deena kept asking who's idea this was, but I was too busy trying to find my happy place. With us so incredibly high up and how our point of view was straight DOWN, I should have closed my eyes. But, no, I looked, and as the speed picked up, I screamed like a banshee! The turns were incredible, the flips of seeing the dark sky underneath me was so horrible, I never stopped screaming. I screamed so much, I felt drool fall out of my mouth! It was terrible, totally frightening, scary to no end... IT WAS THE BEST RIDE OUT OF THE WHOLE NIGHT! Returning to the boarding zone, I was still screaming, this time with crazy laughter. I was clapping and howling with delight! I managed to tell Deena it's true when they say "We saved the best for last." It was the best! By then, it was 2 a.m. and we had to head straight for the exit. The photo from Tatsu made us look demonic, totally possessed in our seats. I was running out of money and didn't expect Deena to get it. We stopped at the Chevron station near The Old Road and got some food to eat. I was really hungry and awake enough to get to Wally's. I chugged a Mountain Dew on the freeway and we were back to Studio City by 3 a.m. Wally and Christine were awake and we told them a little about our evening as I ate my sandwich and drank my Strawberries and Cream Frappacino. I was in bed by 4, out like a light. What a thrill, what a night, what an adventure!