Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Six Flags Magic Mountain With Young Kids For Cheap - Big Fun Without A Big Budget

The Roadrunner Roller Coaster - Valencia, California
I took my family to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California yesterday. We had a day of big fun--unforgettable fun--with a total cost of less than $200.

Magic Mountain isn't the first southern California amusement park that one typically thinks of for young children, but the park actually has a lot to offer for little ones. My six-year-old and four-year-old had non-stop fun during the six hours that we spent there.
Carousel Ride - Valencia, California
There is a six acre section of Magic Mountain not far from the entrance that is specifically designed for young children called Bugs Bunny World. In this area you'll find four small roller coasters geared for little thrill seekers, which Six Flags claims is the most of any theme park in America.

There are a bunch of other rides and activities in Bugs Bunny World. In fact, including the four roller coasters, there are a total of 13 rides in the kids area. Looney Tunes Lodge, which has things for kids to climb on and explore, and the Carrot Club Theater, which features live character shows, are also found in Bugs Bunny World.
Pilots - Valencia, California
My two kids especially liked the roller coasters Canyon Blaster, Road Runner Express and Magic Flyer, as well as Sylvester's Pounce And Bounce, Merry Melodies Carousel and the Looney Tunes Lodge. The longest we waited in line for anything in Bugs Bunny World was about 15 minutes. Some rides and activities were found without a wait.

There are other child friendly things outside of the kid area. Near the park entrance is The Grand Carousel, which is more than 100 years old. Not far from there is the funicular train Orient Express that takes riders up to the top of the hill (this was a highlight for my son).
Pouncing - Valencia, California
At the top of the hill is the roller coaster Ninja which has a 42" height requirement. We planned on riding this, but the line was too long. The Sky Tower is also in this area, lifting visitors 385' above the ground for an amazing view of the park and surrounding area.

There are three water rides on the back side of Magic Mountain: Jet Stream, Roaring Rapids and Tidal Wave. Jet Stream has no minimum heigh requirement with an adult, and the other two have a 42" minimum height requirement. Because of long lines, the only one of these that we rode was Tidal Wave, which both kids later said was their favorite attraction in the entire park. We rode it twice, and the longest wait time was 30 minutes.
Tea Cup - Valencia, California
There are some other rides not far from Tidal Wave that young ones might find fun. Sandblasters (bumper cars), Scrambler, Swashbuckler, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Buccaneer can all be found between the water rides and Bugs Bunny World. However, we did not ride any of these attractions.

We stayed at the park for about six hours, and our kids had so much fun. They were worn out by the end, but with a lot of great memories in their heads.
Roller Coaster Rider - Valencia, California 
How did a family of four manage a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain for under $200? Park entry tickets are the biggest expense, and it is cheaper to buy them online. Sometime Coca-Cola or Del Taco has discount coupons. I found that our credit union had the best deal. Our daughter had earned a free ticket at school for reading, so I only needed to buy three. Total cost for admittance was about $110.

We put $40 into our gas tank and that got us to the park and back home (about an hour and forty five minute drive each way). Magic Mountain has a parking fee of $20. Now we're up to $170.
Wonderment - Valencia, California
Knowing that food at Magic Mountain is really, really expensive, we ate breakfast before leaving the house, and snacked on Fig Newtons and pretzels on the drive there. That food sustained for the first four hours. Then we split a funnel cake with ice cream on top. It was the perfect amount, and we even had a few bites left over. That cost us $10 and got us through the rest of the visit.

The only drinks allowed are unopened bottles of water, which I highly recommend bringing. We also got a commemorative cup of soda to share that included free refills all day. We finished the day with five refills. We had a coupon, so that cost us $14, bringing our final total to $194.
Red Leaf - Valencia, California
It is possible to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain with young kids on a small budget and have tons and tons of fun. We did it, so can you.

All of the photographs in this post were captured using a Nokia Lumia 1020. This turned out to be a great camera for this trip because it fit easily into my pocket. I didn't have a heavy camera strapped around my neck or getting in the way. Sometimes smaller is better.
Exit - Valencia, California
This is a triple exposure.

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