Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


You Say You Want a Revolution? Magic Mountain's Turns 34 Today

Support your source for local news!
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

You've probably been riding roller coasters since you were a kid, and one such thrill ride that was a first of its kind is celebrating a birthday today.

On May 8, 1976, Revolution made its debut at Magic Mountain, and it happens to have been the first steel roller coaster that includes a vertical loop.

With Magic Mountain just a couple of weeks shy of its fifth birthday as a theme park in Valencia (and 3 years before it became a Six Flags venture), Revolution welcomed passengers, 20 at a time, on its 12-story, 55 mph run, for the first time 34 years ago today.

Here's some trivia about the ride:

  • Revolution was also known as Great American Revolution and La Revolución. It was named in honor of the 200th anniversary of the American Revolution.
  • It was designed by Werner Stengel and built by Anton Schwarzkopf of Germany, and it is an ACE Coaster Landmark.
  • The Revolution's loop-shape is "clothoid," which is different from all previous attempts at building looping coasters, which unsuccessfully employed circular shapes.
  • When the ride opened, the ride staff were outfitted with Continental Army style uniforms to match the American Revolutionary War of 1776 theme.
  • It took a week of testing ahead of the open to get the cars to make a full loop because the wheels were too tight.
  • When Six Flags bought the park in 1979, they changed its name to La Revolución. It became just Revolution in 1988.
  • Revolution spent one year as the "World's Tallest Complete Circuit Roller Coaster" (surpassed within 2 years by the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA).
  • You may have seen the ride in the movies Rollercoaster (1977) or National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
Most Read