Got a budding caped crusader who’s nuts about Superman or all about Wonder Woman? Then it’s time to rethink your belief that Six Flags Magic Mountain is for big kids only, because the “Thrill Capital of the World” just added a bit of family fun with the opening of its first-ever dark ride, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis. Read on to find out if your little hero is ride ready!

photo: Melissa Heckscher

Where Ride, Game and 4D Meet
The ride, which is a combination of real motion and 4D technology, takes you on an interactive journey into DC Comic’s City of Metropolis. It’s also a game, where you and your little heroes will get to shoot at various moving targets while your ride car careens through 10 different battle scenes.

Six Flags Magic Mountain president Bonnie Sherman Weber called the ride “a game-changer” for the park, which has always been known more for colossal coasters than a whole-family appeal. Developers say the ride is a lot more on par with rides like “Transformers: The Ride” at Universal or “Toy Story Midway Mania” at Disneyland.  So if you are a roller coaster loving parent who has been waiting for the excuse to take your tots to the park with you, your wait is over.

photo: Melissa Heckscher

The attraction itself isn’t new; a similar Justice League ride launched in 2015 at a Six Flags park in St. Louis and was quickly named one of the Top 10 New Attractions of the year by USA Today. Since then, six other Battle for Metropolis rides have opened at Six Flag parks across North America.  But LA’s is the most advanced so far, with “more bells and whistles, more special effects,” Weber said, plus the introduction of the pigtailed female super-villain, Harley Quinn.

photo: Melissa Heckscher

The Ride Experience
After snaking through the lines outside the attraction’s massive “Hall of Justice” building, you’ll enter into the first of two pre-ride waiting rooms to receive your instructions for the experience. Kids will love checking out the marble statues of Batman, Wonder Woman and Super Man; they’ll also be sufficiently wowed by a startlingly lifelike animatronic “Cyborg,” who’ll disclose the dramatic back story of the ride. Basically, the Joker is about to unleash deadly laughing gas onto unsuspecting Metropolis, and you and your team of riders have to help the Justice League save the city.

You’ll be ushered into the boarding area to grab your 3D glasses and climb into the six-person car, where your kids will quickly spot and unsheathe the big laser guns sitting in front of each seat. From there it’s on to Metropolis and after the bad guys.

There’s a lot happening in here: in your quest to save the day, you’ll navigate wind, fire, mist, fog, and various other special effects as you shoot your way through a combination of actual sets, animatronics, and immersive 3D movie screens (though, rest assured, there are no “real” drops or loops). Kids will love shooting at all the frantically moving targets, and while you won’t really know exactly what happened during the whirlwind three minute ride, your kids (and probably you, too!) will have a blast.

It’s a Game: So Don’t Forget to Play! 
It may be tempting to sit back and just watch the spectacle unravel around you during the frenetic three-minute experience, but do your best. We don’t want to give it all away, but let’s just say there’s a little something that happens at the end that’ll make you wish you hit a few more of those targets.

photo: Six Flags Magic Mountain

Little Superheroes May Want to Sit This One Out
They might be brave, but little superheroes have to be at least 42 inches to ride the attraction, so tiny tots who don’t hit the mark are going to have to wait behind. That said, even 42-inchers may find some parts of this ride to be a little scary (one 7-year-old in our test group chose not to ride a second time for this very reason). An especially terrifying-looking Joker sprays a shot of “laughing gas” straight into your vehicle, for instance, and another scene has animatronic bad guys firing machine guns at your car. The whole thing might be a little too violent for sensitive kids.

Tip: If one or more of your kids is too small (or doesn’t want) to ride, but you don’t want to miss out, there’s a child swap area where your kids can wait safely. Just have everyone in your party wait in line together, then when you get to the front, let the ride attendant know you want to do the child swap. You will be asked to stay with your younger child while your partner (and your other kids) ride. Then, when your partner gets off, you swap places. (By the way, almost all rides in the park have this feature, so go have fun, thrill seeking parents!)


photo: Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging, courtesy Six Flags Magic Mountain

What Else Is There for Little Riders? 
Other than this new ride, Six Flags is just for the big kids, right? WRONG. There are dozens of rides tame enough for toddlers as well as a few great whole-family rides. The park’s Bugs Bunny Land alone has more than a dozen thrill rides designed especially for little riders, and there are other rides throughout the park that kids of all ages can enjoy together.

Another plus? Six Flags doesn’t have the crowd factor that Disney is known for—and it’s a whole lot less expensive. As long as you can take the heat in the Valley (temps can soar above 100 in the summer), a trip to Magic Mountain may be the perfect theme park experience for you and your little riders.

Tickets are $57.99 & up (save when you buy your adult tickets online in advance).  The park opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m., depending on the date.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia
Online: sixflags.com

Have you visited Six Flags Magic Mountain lately?  What rides do your kids like best?  Let us know in the comments below.

—Melissa Heckscher