In the amusement park arms race, Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia announced Thursday what the park says will be the world's tallest and fastest looping roller coaster, set to open next year.
The debut in 2013 of a coaster called Full Throttle will bring to 18 the total number of coasters at the park, putting Six Flags ahead of its longtime rival, Cedar Point, a theme park in Sandusky, Ohio, which now has 15 coasters.
For years, Cedar Point and Six Flags Magic Mountain battled in the media for the title of "roller coaster capital of the world" by trying to operate more coasters than any other amusement park.
Six Flags took a commanding lead in that battle when Cedar Point removed two coasters recently to make room for a stage show and the addition of what Cedar Point is calling the world's longest "winged" coaster, set to open in May. (A winged coaster straps passengers to seats that hang over the side of the rails so that their feet dangle over the ground.)
Six Flags plans to counter with Full Throttle, which launches passengers up to 70 mph over a loop that towers 160 feet in the air and through a "special effects tunnel."
"Six Flags is known worldwide as the industry leader in next-generation thrills," said Bonnie Rabjohn, president of the park. "And, bar none, Six Flags Magic Mountain leads the pack, offering the biggest and the best, always."