Scene It Before: Colossus Roller Coaster from “Step by Step”

The Magic Mountain staple—and frequent onscreen star—is set to close this week

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On August 16th (which just so happens to be National Roller Coaster Day), Six Flags Magic Mountain will be shuttering Colossus, the white-beamed attraction that has dominated its skyline for over three decades. I was devastated to learn of the impending closure because not only is the ride a nod to the coasters of yesteryear and my favorite in the park, but it has also been immortalized onscreen.

The coaster, which you can learn more about here, is (for the next few days anyway) situated in the northern portion of Magic Mountain, which is located at 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy in Valencia, and can be viewed in its entirety from the property’s main parking lot. Those not visiting the amusement center can glimpse the coaster from the 26000 block of Feedmill Road and the I-5 Freeway near Exit 170.

Colossus was perhaps most notably featured each week in the opening of the ‘90s television series Step by Step. In the credits, the Foster-Lambert family was shown riding what was supposed to be a lakeside roller coaster in Port Washington, Wisconsin. To achieve the effect, a shoreline was digitally added over Magic Mountain’s vast parking lot. Besides the lack of a neighboring beach, the coaster looks significantly different today than it did in Step by Step thanks to the addition of the adjacent Goliath “hypercoaster” in 2000.

Colossus also famously stood in for Walley World’s Screemy Meemy in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation. In a nod to that iconic appearance, a moose with a sign announcing the coaster’s upcoming closure was recently placed outside Colossus’ entrance. (“Sorry Folks!”) The ride also popped up in the Season 3 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 titled “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and in the 1978 made-for-television movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.

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Park officials are declining to say what is to become of the historic attraction, but there are musings in the Times that it might be transformed into a wood-iron hybrid coaster, with the basic structure that has proved popular for the past 36 years kept the same. I certainly hope that is the case. I would hate for such a historic attraction to be dismantled and lost to the ages. Either way, it’s had a great ride.

Photos: A screen capture from the Step by Step opening credits (top) and a photograph of Colossus taken in August 2014, courtesy of Keith Harris (bottom).


Lindsay Blake is an actress, writer, celebrity admirer and Los Angeles enthusiast who contributes to CityThink each Thursday. Her true love is filming locations, and she founded the Web site IAMNOTASTALKER in 2007 to document her vast findings on the subject. For more “stalking” fun, you can follow Lindsay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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    August 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    […] out my latest Scene It Before post – about Colossus roller coaster from Step by Step – on LAMag.com.  My columns typically get published in the late morning/early afternoon […]