TR: The New Texas Giant
I finally rode it on Labor Day! I drove 3.5 hours just to ride, and it was well worth it.
As most of you now, I grew up with the Texas Giant. It was a huge part of my childhood (and early adulthood) I had mixed emotions about seeing it revamped, but I understood the necessity. In its late years, it was a mere shadow of the dominating beast that terrorized my younger years.
I love the way the red track looks. Unique in the coaster world. I am also amazed at how much of the original structure remains. I'd say the track follows about half of the original layout, but there is a considerable amount of old wood holding this thing up.
The ride is unbelievable smooth. The smoothest steel coaster I have experienced. Almost too smooth. And sooo quiet. Standing in the queue, you can't even hear the train going through certain sections of the track.
The quietness is a big loss for the Giant. Back in the day, it screamed and squealed all over the track. The supports shook with fervor. This made the Giant a loud, scary, intimidating coaster that struck fear in the hearts of young riders. It has lost that intimidating factor. I love the roar of a B&M and Premier, and the Texas Giant has none. It no longer sounds like the wild beast it once was.
The cars are the most comfortable I have ever been in. More roomy than MFs. They feaux leather is quite soft, and the seats are spatious. With the smoothness of the track, it's liking sitting in a recliner.
The lap bars are T bars. The only thing to hold on to is a handle shaped like a saddle horn right in between your legs. you can't reach the seat in front of you, so your only option is to hold the little saddle horn, or hold your hands up!
The cars are patterned after old Chevys with longhorns on the front hood. They look awesome! SF did install plexiglass "windows" on the outside of the cars to protect your arms, but they don't limit your mobility at all.
Whether you are in the front or back, the first drop is breath-taking. 80 degrees at 150 feet can't be beat!
After the first drop, the coaster maneuvers through its 3 signature steeply banked turns. These are wonderful, unique elements like I've never experienced. They are much more compact than any other overbanked turns. The air time is wonderful, and diving toward the ground looking straight down is awesome!
The 2/3rds of the course are way better than the late woodie. Smooth, air, good elements. The coaster becomes lack-luster when it enters its final run through the lighted tunnels. While the lights are cool, the track just doesn't do much. No air, no speed. I highly prefer the old Giant's wild scramble through the wooden structure that threw you out of your seat. That's my only complaint about the new design.
The back seats are filled with floater air. While a wouldn't call it an airtime machine, if you love floater air, sit in the back!
I had more fun in the front. Tons of ejector air. I got flopped around in my seat in the very front car. My hands nearly slammed down on the "hood" of the front car as I was tossed around. In the front is where I found the out-of-control giggle factor I was looking for. The back was VERY nice, but the front I enjoyed more.
In review, the New Texas Giant is an improvement. It's a great coaster, and unique.
Things I miss: the new Giant lacks the sensation of speed of the old. The train seems to lag in places, and it doesn't have the "runaway" speed and intensity of the old. On the old, I always felt like I was flying out of control, zooming into who-knows-where. While the new is fun, it lacks that intensity.
The New Texas Giant has an identity I can't yet define. I want it to feel like a wooden coaster, but its not. Yet it has a personality like no other steel coaster I have ridden. No hyper coaster has a layout like this. No steel has a combination of elements like this. It's a hybrid in every sense of the word (OK, so technically it's steel, but it just doesn't feel the same)
The only thing I might compare it to is a mega-lite. Quick-hitting elements in a compact layout. Not too much speed, but just plain fun and smooth.
I am really anxious to see how the new steel track feels on other coasters. I am also interested to see how it compares to an Intamin woodie.
Get down to Texas and ride the New Texas Giant. You'll love it!
But did you like it? :)
I've seen nothing but great reviews of the NTG, and I'd love to get there to ride it. I believe it was Steve Urbanowicz' favorite coaster in its previous incarnation. If he was still around, I wonder how he'd feel about the remake.
I love the idea that the saddle-horn type thingy is the only thing to grab onto. I rode a mechanical bull (once) and I get the sense riding the new TG might be similar!!!
Thanks for the excellent report!
Thanks for the TR. Hey Pat-O you mentioned that the new Giant kinda peters out on the final run, in contrast from the old Giant. Do you think that the NTG qualifies for my "Coasters with Anticlimactic Endings" thread?
Sorry about the double post.
* This Post Has Been Modified *
Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it. My only visit to Texas was in 2001. At that time The Texas Giant was still running pretty smooth if you sat up front. It was a little rough in the back. I got 2 rides on it in the morning and right before I left I chose to wait 45 minutes for one more ride in the front seat. I thought it was a good ride, although I thought Texas Cyclone was better. Titan was my favorite coaster in Texas. Did you get to ride it when you where there? Just curios how it's running after 10 years. I loved SF Over Texas, one of my favorite parks. Hopefully I'll get back there someday so I can compare The Old Texas Giant and The New Texas Giant.
First off, to answer Christopher:
Yeah, it was anticlimactic. Not anywhere near the worst coaster I have been on, but a little bit of a let down. I didn't get to ride it at night, and I wonder if that would make a difference. A lot of daylight makes its way into the tunnels, so they weren't very dark. Thus the lighting effect was limited.
I thought it was a good ride,
> although I thought Texas Cyclone was better. Titan was my
> favorite coaster in Texas. Did you get to ride it when you
> where there? Just curios how it's running after 10 years. I
> loved SF Over Texas, one of my favorite parks. Hopefully
> I'll get back there someday so I can compare The Old Texas
> Giant and The New Texas Giant.
Since 2001, I'd agree that Texas Cyclone was a better coaster than Texas Giant. In it's first 10 years, Texas Giant was unbelievable.
When you're in Texas, hit SFFT also. It has a great selection of rides and is the best SF park I have been to.
I was impressed with SF Fiesta Texas. The theming was Busch Gardens caliber. I loved how the coasters were built on cliffs. Superman KC was my favorite coaster at the park. I also visited SeaWorld while in San Antonio. Steel Eel was a decent ride and I love B&M inverts, so I enjoyed Great White. I really did have a great time touring the Texas amusement parks. It's a shame that SF Astroworld is gone, but at least I did get to visit it once. My only complaint about Texas is the heat. Being from PA, I don't know how you guys tolerate those summers.