Magnum lighting (original)

This is a question for the "old timers" in the group, or maybe for the insiders...

When Magnum XL-200 opened, it included a unique lighting package. A black strip ran along the lake side of the lift hill, containing a plurality of strobe lights. These strobes were triggered in verious sequential patterns. The result was a very limited number (usually 1) of lights moving very quickly up and down the lift hill. Because they were strobes, they were bright white and very eye-catching.

Because they were strobe lights, the "on" time was very brief, so I imagine there is probably no film or video showing with any accuracy what it looked's very likely that the camera shutter would not catch the instant that the light was on. But does anyone have any good descriptions of the patterns that were used?

It was a very neat system, but I think it took one too many lightning strikes, and was replaced with a set of modular chase lights (including the one obligatory module near the top that was chasing backwards); that has since been replaced with the system in place today.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

vwhoward's avatar

I only remember one pattern. I'm not saying there wasn't more. I just can only recall the lights starting at the bottom and running up the lift. I always imagined the lights were moving the train up the hill when I was a kid.

Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

Joe E's avatar

Those original strobe lights might have been the best ride lightning in CPs history, outside of maybe MFs lift hill. I’ve always thought it looked like runway identification lights, and Magnum was about to shoot you off into space.

The strobe portion of this video reminds me of it. If you turned of those static runway threshold lights I think it’s pretty close to what I remember.

Total lemon chill guy story/ source… I heard from him they had to stop the strobes because the FAA was worried if there was poor weather, a pilot might see the strobes and think there is a runway there. Probably not true, but a possible issue if you have a low cloud deck or fog. If you are looking for Sandusky airport the only thing you see are these strobes and not the park , you might think you are near the airport. To add to the mix Sandusky airport was only a few miles from CP when it was operating. Again probably not true at all, but a fun theory that at least has more teeth than magnum sinking

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

Kevinj's avatar

All I remember is being mesmerized by them. It was so simple, but so effective, and really added to they mystique of the ride which was, at the time, legendary.

It seemed hap-hazard, but I'm sure there was a pattern. My childhood memory sees the single light chasing up part-way, then down, then up perhaps a little further and quickly down again in what looked like a random pattern.

Promoter of fog.

Rusty's avatar

1989 was actually my first ever trip to Cedar Point - nine years before I moved to Sandusky permanently (for other reasons, but admittedly had that wonderful park perk). On that '89 visit I think we pretty much split our ride marathoning between Demon Drop and Magnum. I did get one front seat night ride on it, but sadly do not remember seeing the light pattern during that visit. I'm going to assume that the light patterns you're speaking of ended long before I made it back for my second visit in 2000.

Proud to have fathered a second generation coaster enthusiast destined to keep me young at heart and riding coasters with a willing partner into my golden years!

I remember working at the park in 2002, thinking, "wow, magnum is such an old roller coaster." I was 18 at the time. I spent the summer at Challenge Park working the Go-kart tracks.

....and yet, here we are today.

Campfreak06, reborn

DRE420's avatar

^ Yep, and Magnum is still in my top 5.

I remember the lights moving up and down the lift slow and fast (as shooting up into space). Also, IIRC, the lights at the crest of the hill were red. So, when the lights shot up the hill and reached the top, they went from white to red. Correct me if I'm wrong

I think that might have been Mantis for at least its opening year. They were probably trying to give it a distinct pattern so it didn't look too much like the lift lights on Magnum or Raptor at the time.

"Thank the Phoenicians!"

Steve-O's avatar

Whatever lighting package mantis had right before it was converted into Rougarou was also super cool. As far as I remember the lights would travel up the lift hill and then kind of have an exploding effect at the top of the lift hill.

When the park had a lot of the German rides each had a pretty spectacular light display, especially the original flower petal design on the Giant Wheel, all 32, 608 lamps. second only to what was on the Jumbo Jet as I recall. They all had motor driven roller cam controllers that operated the displays, way before solid state controls.

Rideman, I absolutely remember the streaking strobes in 1989. I was just telling someone about that this past weekend. They really added to the intimidation factor of the then-unheard-of ride experience.

And I remember that the marketing tag line wa "even when you see it, you won't believe it" and along those lines there were no postcard pics o Magnum available at the park in 89, and the ride wasn't shown in TV commercials.

And I remember the shock and awe of seeing the lift hill from towering alone above the treetops from as far away as the Hwy 2 bridge.

I also remember the tradition year 1 of playing volleyball with the big inflatable beach balls between each section of queue. That tradition ran all summer.

DRE420 said:

^ Yep, and Magnum is still in my top 5.

Objectively, there are better coasters nowadays.

But subjectively and sentimentally, it might still be in my top 1.

Kevinj's avatar

DA20Pilot said:

I also remember the tradition year 1 of playing volleyball with the big inflatable beach balls between each section of queue. That tradition ran all summer.

That tradition spread to other ride lines as well. I remember doing that in Raptor's line with the DJ's in '94. Your recollection of the mystique of the ride is spot-on.

I think I'm bringing a beach ball with me on our next visit, just to see how it holds up.

Promoter of fog.

I'm sure you'll get the "you need to put the beach ball in a locker" spiel :)

Cargo Shorts's avatar

Nah, he is a Gold Passer, they get to do what they want.

The beach balls were never sanctioned. Generally speaking, if a park security guard got his hands on one, the ball would usually have a brief encounter with a Ka-Bar in short order.

Sometimes we're just not allowed to have nice things.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

There were times (that I recall) the security actually tossed the balls back in queue, if the crowd wasn't rowdy. Early in day was usually decent. But later in day, after everyone had been drinking, that was a different story. It was hit or miss. Many times they did take them. It was fun way to pass the time in the long line.

Instead of saying “everyone” you should probably just speak for yourself.

RCMAC- Stop acting like you weren’t one of them.


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