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

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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).