After more than thirty 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 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 turn, before soaring down the second drop.
At the opposite end the train rounds a second turn and dives into the third drop and up a hill passing through the block brakes. The fourth drop is one of the smaller dips and leads to a hill that climbs into a 180-degree turn within the wood 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.
More photos of this roller coaster can be found in the Colossus Photo Gallery.
Colossus has gone through a number of changes over the years.
1978 – During the initial year of operation, Colossus suffered a major setback after a deadly accident. A female rider was ejected from the train on the speed hill between the second drop and the double up. The accident was blamed on the riders weight. This section of track that offered extreme airtime was re-profiled. The trains were also modified to include seat belts.
For a number of years the park operated Colossus with one track running the trains backwards and the other track running forwards. Backwards was very popular with Magic Mountain guests, who loved the disorienting ride experience.
1988 – Six Flags replaced the Phildelphia Toboggan Company 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. However, the absence of headrests on the new trains prevented backwards operation.
1991 – The park re-profiled 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 track 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.
Type of coaster:
Height: 125 feet
Max drop: 115 feet
G-force: 3.23 G's
Top speed: 62 mph
Length: 4,325 feet
Double Out and Back
3 minutes, 5 seconds
Number of Trains:
6 - 28 passenger
June 29, 1978
International Amusement Devices
1979 Overhaul Designers:
Don Rosser, Bill Cobb
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Photos by Mike Phillips. Copyright © 1998 Ultimate Rollercoaster.
Colossus logo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain. All rights reserved.