Can you handle 200 Davids conquering Goliath? You’re about to find out! This is Discovery Channel's 2000 show going behind the scenes at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.
In 2000/2001, the Discovery Channel was on an absolute tear with theme park documentaries. I don’t know if there was an executive there who was obsessed with roller coasters, or if they got huge ratings on the initial shows they released in the late-1990s, but they seemed to be making them every five minutes. This particular show focused on Six Flags Magic Mountain, and was to my knowledge the first of a series they hoped to call “Scream Parks.”
One would assume, for example, that calling the actual show “Scream Parks” would begin a continuing series. You would expect, too, that most likely Cedar Point would be next. But instead, the next year Cedar Point would get its own show, called “World’s Largest Amusement Park.” And to my knowledge, the Scream Parks series would never really get off the ground.
Which is a shame, because Discovery Channel seemed to have a good thing going here. The show is framed with the periodic storyline of “building a new coaster,” as the construction of Goliath in 1999/2000 is explored in full detail during some transition points of the show, from the conceptual stage, to design, to the construction of the load area, to the testing, and finally to 200 DAVIDS RIDING GOLIATH DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY. Which, let’s be real, is brilliant marketing. Well played again, Six Flags marketing team.
I think this kind of series could have really took off. Think of the potential of doing a show on each of the major “Scream Parks” around the world. They could have followed the construction of Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure, or Hypersonic XLC at King’s Dominion, or Lightning Racer at Hersheypark, or Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City, or Voyage at Holiday World, or Manta, or any one of 100 Supermans. The possibilities are endless.
And, as I said in last week's Busch Gardens article, even though these amusement park shows seem to take us through the same behind the scenes activities (“look how big our central kitchen/gift shop/maintenance sheds are!”), since these areas are different at every park, it always seems new. So, tethered to the storyline of Goliath rising, we get some behind the scenes roller coaster maintenance footage (safety inspections on Viper, sensor maintenance on Riddler, , as well as some great footage of the tool crib, the landscaping with the Facilities Manager, the vehicle maintenance on the Batman stunt show, the communications center, Bugs Bunny World, and the restaurant kitchens.
But my favorite part starts at 35:38, when we see the FrightFest segment, and the behind-the-scenes of how they do the monster make-up and some scary effects. As a HHN fan, this made me happy.
“Scream Parks are all about thrills. If you don’t have major roller coasters, you’re never going to be a Scream Park.” –Six Flags PR Guy
Oh, and one last thing. Since apparently I fell asleep or something while recording this, there’s an old-school Apple iMac “Think Different” commercial starting at 29:32. You’re welcome, internet.