Opening Date Set: Six Flags Twisted Colossus

The newest coaster to vroom in Valencia is just days away.

COASTER EXPERTS... are full of tips for first-timers and those a little new to the art form, tips that help newbies handle the anticipation -- and pre-stomach-flipping -- that is all part of approaching a just-opened ride. But one has to imagine that even those people who spend a lot of their summers heading to theme parks across the country to sample higher-and-higher hills, and return to thrilling old favorites, are pretty dang stoked about what's coming down the pike, at fast speed, in Valencia. It's Twisted Colossus, the newest roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and it has its very summer-ready opening date: Saturday, May 23.

SO WHAT ARE THE TIPS... that coaster mavens will give their friends about this one? That's hard to say, ahead of trying the ride, but here are a few facts to soak in ahead of the grand opening. The ride, billed as "The World's Longest Hybrid Coaster," includes "nearly 5,000 feet of track and two lift hills." That means you're in your seat for four minutes, a true eternity in Coaster Time. (Coaster fans, discuss this while queued up in your next line: Does time slow down or speed up for you on a really speedy ride? Or does it depend on the place in the ride? Questions.) The hybrid part of the Twisted Colossus equation means that Iron Horse Track is front-and-center, as is some wooden track, too. And if you've heard that there'll be a moment when the train seemingly loses speed while you're upside down, you're correct: That's the "Top Gun Stall" and it is a part of the experience.

LOOK FOR... 18 airtime hills -- wheeee! -- and a drop that is a full 116 feet -- wheeee! again. So how many times will you ride it on May 23? And, if you intend to be at the Valencia theme park on opening day, how ever will you sleep on the night of May 22, thinking of that long, long track and slowed down inversion? A cup of warm milk might do the trick. Nighty night and sweet (and speedy) dreams, coaster mavens.

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