Officials for Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita recently announced the planned closure of Colossus,"The Greatest Roller Coaster in the World," later this summer.
Colossus debuted at the theme park in June 1978 as the only coaster with two drops exceeding 100 feet, Six Flags officials said.
"Colossus has had its run," said Mike Thompson, Six Flags roller coaster historian, of the coaster's final rides scheduled for Aug. 16. "It opened in 1978 and it was about the biggest coaster in the world back then. It's a dueling wooden coaster, it's aging and it requires a lot of maintenance to keep it running."
The coaster has a top speed of 62 miles per hour and is nearly 13 stories high.
"There's a rumor going around that Six Flags is going to transform it into something better," said Thompson. "They are going to retain a lot of the structure but the chain that has been happening throughout the years is taking the aging wooden coasters and turning them into steel coasters which they can do more acrobatic maneuvers with the track and it requires less maintenance and they are much more exciting for today's audiences."
Jeff Morris, of Valencia, who was on the opening crew for Colossusbrought his wife, Katie Morris, to the park on Monday to ride the coaster one last time.
"[Opening day] was really fun, I was excited," said Jeff Morris. "I was working on the [Autotopia] cars and then I got called on this crew. We got to spend a good two or three weeks on the ride before the public."
Both Jeff and Katie Morris grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and watched Six Flags Magic Mountain transform over the years, they said.
"It'll just be sad to see it go, but I'm excited to see what happens next," said Katie Morris.
Guests can ride the coaster until Aug. 16, when the park will officially close the ride.
"I'm sad because I grew up riding it over the years but if they're going to build a new ride, I guess thats cool, too," said Grace Bermudez, 13. "I still like it a lot."
The plans for the new ride that will be replacing Colossus will be released Aug. 28, Thompson said.
"There's people who have never ridden it and there are people who rode it in '78 when it first opened and they're going to want one last ride," said Thompson. "We've got a huge population in the Los Angeles area, people who have seen National Lampoon's Vacation where this was the big star in the finale of the movie, they're all going to want to come back and ride it again."