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TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld)

CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile

Posted:
7/19/14 at
4:51:37 PM

TR: Texas (SFX2, SW) [4.7.14-7.7.14]

I'd been meaning to visit Texas for a long time due to their decent number of parks. I put that on hold for years after Astroworld closed as the two rides I was most excited about, Thriller and the Texas Cyclone, both disappeared after that closure. However, the Rocky Mountain retracks of the Rattler and Texas Giant put it back on my agenda again and I finally got a chance to visit the coasters of the Lone Star state.

Warning in advance: for those of you who don't know me, my TRs are long and I'm not fond of pictures. I'm including both Six Flags parks and Seaworld in this TR so it's likely to end up being beastly. My final tallies on where the important new rides rank for me is at the very end of the TR.


Park #1 for the trip was
Six Flags over Texas

and my girlfriend and I, in a fit of mild insanity, decided to tackle it on a very hot July 4th; albeit with the aid of a Platinum line skipper so that we could get repeated re-rides on the New Texas Giant. That proved to be a very wise investment as even with the skipping powers we only just barely got the rides in that we wanted as at least two hours ended up being consumed in lines for drink refills. Texas is friggin' hot!

SFoT, as one of the original parks justifiably has a reputation as being a stand-out park in the chain, one that I will gladly corroborate. It's a bit too open and sunny in spots, but they seem to have done a good job of putting in water fans and shade whereever possible. They also have a very solid, large collection of coasters. One word on ops though, these were some of the worst I've seen anywhere, and I've seen a lot. Dispatch times were murderously slow on all of the rides except for late night Titan ops and I could not imagine how frustrating it would be to wait for the crews in the normal lines as they were dogging it all day.

Here are the individual ride reactions in vaguely climatic order:

La Vibora
I am mildly more fond of bobsleds than the average rider as my first coaster ever was the old Intamin Avalanche Run at Cedar Point, but La Vibora was outright painful for me to ride. The car literally was bouncing me out of my seat on the valleys and I was somewhat concerned that I was going to hurt my spine as a result. Not a bad, albeit short layout, but the bumpiness was a bit much for me.

Runaway Mine Train
I had no idea that the first mine train was located at Six Flags over Texas, and this ride was of historical interest to me. The ride itself was nothing particularly special, it had fewer even medium-sized drops than most of the later mine trains, but it did make nice use of the terrain and had plenty of shaded cover to spruce up the ride. Not bad, but lower tier in its style.

Runaway Mountain
I love, love, love enclosed dark ride twisters and RM was a solid ride in its class with plenty of fun twists and drops all in the pitch black. The only problem was the restraints, which were terrible: a steel lap bar with a steel cradle of two bars that sits at mid-chest height. Fine for me, an adult male, but not at all good for my girlfriend who dubbed this the Runaway Boob Crusher. We did not ride again as a result. It's unfortunate that Six Flags opted to make these restraints, as she otherwise liked it and I would have gladly ridden it a few times.

Judge Roy Scream
As I've oft-noted here, I have a soft spot for Bill Cobb designs, as even the smaller ones tend to have some of his trademark slammer air hills. JRS, the last true wood coaster in the Texas Six Flags parks, is still a fun, family friendly ride with some nice air spots including one of the surprise slammers. Far from remarkable, but I'm glad they still at least have one.

Pandemonium
is another of the numerous small spinny mice that SF was prone to installing over the past decade or so. Though I enjoy these rides, as they are fun and unpredictable owing to the natural spinning, I find them very poor fits for larger parks like SFoT as their capacity is just too low for a larger park. Thankfully, I was able to skip the line, but I would never wait for these as the times can be excruciating.

Shockwave
A fine example of a traditional Schwarzkopf looping coaster that zooms around a go-kart track for added amusement. I still find these rides quite fun and love the hills and general design. The short lines are also a nice side-feature. Cool historical ride in a style that is becoming rarer. For my money these types of loopers are better than most anything Arrow and Vekoma ever put out in the same style (notable exception: The Steel Phantom).

Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast
Ever since they removed the OTSR from these launched rides by Premier I've flat-out loved them. The only other Mr. Freeze I've ridden previously is the one at St. Louis and that was over a decade ago. The power of the launch and the wonderful top hat inversion are highlights of this ride for me and I was glad to ride it a couple of times. The station could use some better AC at Dallas though, definitely a bit on the steamy side!

Batman: The Ride
Though the forwards Batman experience has waned on me over the years due to the sheer number of clones, the Dallas installaton had just completed a transition to backwards trains. I had never ridden this ride in that way and was thoroughly spoiled by taking circuits on this one in the back seat and seeing the track rolling away from me. Knowing the layout makes it somewhat less fun than it would otherwise be, but this was still great and I wish more SF would make this conversion and keep it.

Titan
I'd always been intrigued by this and its older relative, Goliath at SFMM. They were reputably big and powerful with only light air. As a consequence, they've had little in the way of real accolades. Air is optional for me, so I was open-minded about this ride.

The first thing I noted was its size, I'd forgotten that these were larger-sized hypers and the initial drop is very good as a result. The ride then turns into an almost pure power ride after it navigates the first corner with the upward and then downward helices each delivering very strong positive G forces. There is a touch of air, but nothing capable of sating the Intamin or B&M partisans amongst us.

The power of this ride was definitely the most impressive take-away thing from it. The sustained positive G's in the helices greyed out my girlfriend (which she did not care for and refused to re-ride because of it, I got no grey on either of them on either of my two rides) and I can see why many people dislike them. I found the sensation impressive and rather enjoyable though and quite liked the ride as a result. It's not top tier steel by any means, but certainly good and certainly my second favourite ride in the park.

The New Texas Giant
This was actually the first ride of the day for us, and the one we went back to the most times. I think we got 6-8 rides in total over the course of the day. This ride is quite beautiful with its twisted wood and sharp turns. The ride has breath-taking pacing as it keeps the hills and twisting turns coming at you as soon as the train is let go from the chain. The first drop is surprisingly steep and the hills that are sprinkled throughout this ride all offer very solid airtime with a notable, singular rampy spot at the very end of the ride in the tunnel section. There are plenty of snakey sections and even some surprising directional changes, all of which re plusses in my book.

I stepped off quite impressed by my first Rocky Mountain ride. It has the air I'd expect from a quality Intamin ride with the twists and winding turns that some of my favourite wood coasters have. Very solid ride, and one that rates just above Expedition GeForce in my all-time steel list.

Side note: because it was the 4th of July, we had the pleasure of having fireworks going off while we were taking our last circuit of the day on it. Added bonus!

We also rode the Superman combo tower (very high quality, nice launch and drop both, and impressively large) and the log flume (unremarkable, but a nice diversion). We would have liked to have ridden the spinning chair ride, but the line was far too long and looked to be moving glacially.

Overall I liked SFoT but found it a bit much for one day, even with the line cutting powers of legend. The number of rides and lacksadasical ops made it a bit of a grind to get around the park, particularly given the heat. That stated, SFoT is a very nice park with several very high quality rides. The Texas Giant is obviously the stand-out, but the park has a nice, very well-rounded collection of rides both large and small and I'd gladly visit it again if I'm in the area.

A couple of days passed as we spent time in Austin, but on Monday we hit:

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Fiesta Texas is a smaller park that differentiates itself by its canyon location and attractive SW theming. The park seems to draw a lot of people based on its small water park (which surprises me given the proximity of the place to Schlitterbahn...) but it has a nice collection of coasters and lines that are significantly shorter, at least in our visit, than any of the comparable smaller SF parks in the NE. I'd originally planned to get a Flashpass again, but the lot was so quiet at open that I correctly opted to just ride the coasters and get one if it became neccessary, and it never did.

SFFT seemed to have much better ops than SFoT, the crews moved to get people onto the rides, and the lines moved serviceably fast as a result. Iron Rattler loading times were much faster than the identical trained New Texas Giant ones, and so forth. My only real complaint was the lack of shade or fans in many parts of the park, as the sun was smoking hot and there were large swaths of the park that offered zero protection.

On to the rides, again in somewhat climatic order:

Boomerang
If you've been on one of these you've been on them all. This was my girlfriend's first coaster (as she lived in Austin for about a decade prior to moving to MI), and I'm a bit surprised that she took to them at all after it. The first drop on these is never bad, but the inversions are, while not uncomfortable, not entirely enjoyable either. One ride for the credit, nothing more.

Pandemonium
See my comments above, but subtract the wait time, as this was a walk-on. This ride is a perfect fit for SFFT, as the smaller guest base makes for much shorter (or non-existent, clearly) waits. I do like these rides and am happy to take a spin on them when they're around.

Goliath: aka Batman Clone
The second Batman of the trip was somewhat anti-climatic as we had just gotten some excellent rides on the backwards one in Dallas and as a result, the thrill was greatly lessened on this one. Again, not a bad ride, but I'm starting to tire of the layout, it's just been used too many times at this point.

Skyscreamer: aka the Huge Chair Ride
I wanted to go on the ride like this at SFoT but the lines were atrocious and there was no way to cut them. Skyscreamer was our longest wait of the day at SFFT, but it was still only about 30 minutes. I'd never been on a larger chair ride and the view on the thing was spectacular. These are some of the few types of rides that still outright scare me!

Roadrunner Express
Unlike most rides that carry this moniker, the RRE at SFFT is an Arrow mine train, and a rather fun one at that. The ride navigates some of the same terrain as Iron Rattler and provides a fun ride with some nice views of its much larger neighbour.

Poltergeist
Having ridden the inside version of this, Outer Limits for years at King's Island it was quite novel to actually see the layout and experience the ride in the light of day. We rode this several times as it was a complete walk-on for anything but the front seat, and as always, I enjoyed the ride thoroughly. I never had realized prior how fast the train is actually going at the end of the ride as being in the dark dulls one's perception of speed. I still think I prefer the disorientation factor of having this inside, but Poltergeist was fun and I'm always up for rides on this layout.

Superman: Krypton Coaster
For a long time this was THE ride at SFFT, and I can see why. This is by far the least generic of the B&M floorless coasters that I've been on as the layout is specifically designed to take advantage of the canyon walls that it sits adjacent to. It has excellent large drops, a fantastic hanging loop, and all of the other trademark elements that one would expect to find on a ride of this type. And the thing was a walk-on as well! It's hard to find any fault with this ride, and it's pretty easily nudged Dominator at King's Dominion aside as my favourite floorless. Beautiful setting, nice, unique layout, and great elements. Nothing to quibble about here!

Finally, we get to:

Iron Rattler
IR is one hell of a huge ride. Like SKC it is built onto the top of a canyon wall with much of the initial chain lift being supported by that wall. The layout on this is very tight and very action-packed. The first drop is surprisingly large and steep for a first time rider, and the train jukes quickly to the right about 1/3 of the way down, flipping you out of your seat lightly. The ride then runs into an upward section onto the canyon, dives back down, up into a zero G roll, does some snaky overbanks, then does a bunny hop into another steep and air-filled canyon drop before rolling into a fun misty tunnel and hitting the brakes.

The ride is on the shorter side for its size, but I don't think that's really much of a destriment as the original layout was longer only by virtue of a reputably dull long helix section on top of the canyon. I'd much rather have less track and a tighter, more action-packed layout any day.

There is literally zero downtime on this ride and the layout fits together into a nice, cohesive, and varied package that twists, turns, and drops you in equal measures. I can see why air-only fans might not like it as much as Intamin air machines or Texas Giant, but I was very big on the total package here and ranked it highly as a result.

Lines were very short for anything but the front. Back of the train, where I rode, I think, 7ish times, was only about 3 trains most of the day. We rode the front once just to try it, and that was much longer and the ride quality was much lower owing to the lackluster nature of the hills in the front car.

For my money, a destination ride that I'd like to get back on before too much more time passes.

Overall SFFT was a small, enjoyable park with two true stand-out rides. We also did the log flume, which was themed to Bugs versus Yosemite Sam and the Dragon, and that was rather fun. We would have done the Shot-Drop combo, but they were only running one leg and wouldn't guarantee riders that they would even be together. So we passed. The park's two big rides are well-worth the trip though, as both are spectacular, and I'm glad we visited.

The day after we went to Schlitterbahn which is not really the topic of this TR other than to say that Master Blaster is exceptionally fun (but also not worth waiting for hours to ride, once was enough) and that swimmer's itch is annoying. Nice park though, many fun slides, though the lines were a bit out of control owing to the time of year.

Finally, as part of another day, we spent the morning on Wednesday at:

Seaworld San Antonio
This was sandwiched into another day, but we really wanted to quickly check out the animal exhibits at Seaworld and get rides on the Steel Eel. The animal exhibits here are varied and fun, I particularly enjoyed the large collection of penguins. We also took in a couple of the shows, both of which were well-done.

On the coaster end of things there are only two rides here (as I don't count water coasters unless they actually have a substantial coaster portion, which the Atlantis ride here did not) and one is:

Great White: aka Batman Clone
The third Batman of the trip, and I was getting burnt out on them by this point. The positive side was that there was no one riding it, so we got four quick rides, but see the comments above; it's the same ride with a shark theme.

More notable was:

Steel Eel
which is a Morgan mini-hyper. Despite living in PA for a while recently prior to my move back to MI I still have never been on Steel Force, so the only Morgan ride I have experience with is their re-design of the Steel Phantom; and re-designs are often a hard way to judge a firm.

Steel Eel is a traditional out and back style layout with some oddly humped hills thrown in for good measure, particularly the second which is very short and then goes back up and into a much longer third one. The back half of the ride is full of traditional hyper bunny hops, which all provided plenty of air.

I have nothing bad to say about the air here; though the ride is on the shorter side height-wise the negative G's it packs is still very solid. The downside of that is that the lap bar sits far enough up to literally bounce me onto my seat at the bottom of the drops which was sort of comically painful in its awkwardness.

I liked the layout and air of this ride, but I couldn't see riding it more than a few times in a given visit because of that odd bouncy factor in my ride. Fun though, worth a visit.

Final Tallies
Of the rides that added to my track record on this trip, three stood out above the rest.

Superman Krypton Coaster is my favourite floorless, beating out Dominator by an order of magnitude on the basis of its location, unique layout, excellent drops, and outstanding loop.

New Texas Giant and Iron Rattler both beat out my old #5 steel, Expedition GeForce, and both fell below my current #4 steel, Superman/Bizarro at SFNE.

New Texas Giant is my new #6 steel. It delivers on the basis of its plentiful air, tighty, twisty layout, and tight pacing. It has one rampy hill on the entire ride, but the rest of its is breath-taking and action-packed. A great ride!

Iron Rattler is my new #5 steel. It has less air than NTG, and the ride does feel a little abbreviated, but the layout has no downtime, plenty of variation in its elements, and non-stop action with no dead spots. Shorter ride-times can be a ding, but it is far from a death-knell for me, as my #2 steel is still the short but amazing Skyrush at Hershey.

The first drop on IR is particularly wonderful with its quick juke that throws you out of your seat, and the ride doesn't let up from there.

Neither of the RMC re-tracks can beat out SROS/Bizarro at SFNE because they are just not long enough and do not feature the same quality of air and layout features that the NE neo-classic has, but both of them are significantly better than Expedition GeForce for my tastes, and both have made me excited about riding the new SFGAm Goliath in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading, comments are always welcome!

* This post was modified at 7/19/14 4:58:42 PM *

Michael W.
238: 64 (20 CCI/GG) / 173
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/19/14 5:53:14 PM
Great TR. I did a coaster tour of Texas way back in 2001. The kids want to do a Texas tour next year. Just don't know if I want to spend that kind of money and drive that far. It sounds like New Texas Giant and Iron Rattler are worth it. Boardwalk Bullet is very high on my most wanted list. I loved Titan. I was there for its first year. I greyed out on both my rides on it. Intimadator 305 is the only other coaster that does that to me. I also really liked Superman KC. One of the best B&M floorless coasters. I thought Steel Eel was really good for a smaller mega coaster. Well it sounds like you had a good time. Thanks for sharing.
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by drachen drachen Profile at 7/21/14 1:43:50 PM
That was a great read! I love seeing people's first impressions of new parks. For me, it's all new as Texas is just one of those places I have yet to visit.

I'm sure I have a lot to look forward to in the Texas RMC rides. Most people seem to still prefer Texas Giant to Rattler, but both look like amazing rides.

Fiesta Texas was never all that of an appealing park to me, but from what I've seen recently, Iron Rattler aside, it seems like they have a lot to offer. It looks like a gorgeous park setting in there.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I really enjoyed it.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 7/21/14 4:23:26 PM
Nice report!

CortexBomb said:


Shockwave
A fine example of a traditional Schwarzkopf looping coaster that zooms around a go-kart track for added amusement. I still find these rides quite fun and love the hills and general design. The short lines are also a nice side-feature. Cool historical ride in a style that is becoming rarer. For my money these types of loopers are better than most anything Arrow and Vekoma ever put out in the same style (notable exception: The Steel Phantom).

Yes, Shockwave and its sister ride, Mindbender at SFOG, are my favorite rides with inversions by ANYONE. The combination of the roomy lap bar restraints and INSANE airtime is just hard to beat, IMO. While Mindbender makes better use of landscaping and terrain, Shockwave seems to have stronger air, at least on my rides. Getting air this sweet on a ride with loops is very rare. I wish I could experience modern Intamin hypers in these roomy, unstapling, air-packed Schwarzkopf trains!


Iron Rattler

The ride is on the shorter side for its size, but I don't think that's really much of a destriment as the original layout was longer only by virtue of a reputably dull long helix section on top of the canyon. I'd much rather have less track and a tighter, more action-packed layout any day.

I enjoyed the helix with its subtle undulations and imperfections. Granted, this slowed the pacing of the ride down, similar to the way the enclosed helix on Loch Ness Monster slows the pacing down to something more resembling a mine train, but it was one of the "quirks" of the original wooden Rattler I loved. BTW, there was also some drops and turns after the tunnel that were removed in this new, steel, 2,000 foot shorter layout. (this isn't meant as an argument over which Rattler is better - just a "different strokes" sort of thing).



Steel Eel
I have nothing bad to say about the air here; though the ride is on the shorter side height-wise the negative G's it packs is still very solid. The downside of that is that the lap bar sits far enough up to literally bounce me onto my seat at the bottom of the drops which was sort of comically painful in its awkwardness.

I was curious about what you meant here. Did you mean the bar was bouncing up and down and hitting you during the ride?


frontrow said:

Boardwalk Bullet is very high on my most wanted list.

:) I HIGHLY recommend the Bullet. My most recent rides on it in summer, 2013, were the most satisfying I've had on ANYTHING in the state of Texas (and considering my love of the original WOODEN Texas Giant, that's saying something!).

Boardwalk Bullet is currently my #4 wood (out of 76 wood), and also my #4 coaster overall!

(a link to my reaction after last year's rides:
http://sixflagshouston.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3653 )

* This post was modified at 7/21/14 4:30:35 PM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World. Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
"Voyage To Paradise" - http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/profiles/frontrider/blog/340
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 7/21/14 7:40:57 PM
As regards the Steel Eel I meant that I was riding the underside of the bar on the hills and then being forcibly bounced back down into my seat at the bottom of each valley. It was mildly uncomfortable, though amusing in some regards.

Never having been on the original Rattler I obviously can't comment on the quality of its ride. I know that it had been severely re-profiled from its original design due to rider comfort issues and that it was not held in particularly high regard as a result.

I love traditional wooden coasters, but I think on the balance that the mega wood coaster design was not a particularly good idea until the advent of the more modern track technology as the bigger ones from the 90s and immediate turn of the century (i.e.: Son of Beast...) seemed to be continual problems for their parks. Though I think the Intamin technology (and the RMC wood track) is a weird sort of hybrid between wood and steel I don't really worry all that much about it anymore. A good ride is a good ride; regardless of the technology used to build it. I do love older woodies, but they're a breed that I find is best kept on the smaller, sub-120 foot scale (unless the park takes meticulous care of them) as they can deteriorate rapidly.

Michael W.
238: 64 (20 CCI/GG) / 173
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/22/14 11:59:31 AM
I would love to hear about your experience at Schlitterbahn. If you want you can post the trip report on ultimatewaterpark.com.

Eric

--
Eric
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 7/25/14 12:21:41 AM
Eric_Gieszl said:

I would love to hear about your experience at Schlitterbahn. If you want you can post the trip report on ultimatewaterpark.com.


Eric

Wait... you have another Ultimate site? How did I not know this?!?!?

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/25/14 2:19:49 AM
I started Ultimate Waterpark.com 7 years ago.

It's never been officially announced, nor promoted on this site. There is a link in the footer on the home page of this site, but that's about it.

Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/25/14 1:07:30 PM
Nice report, Michael.

I've never been to the Lone Star state.
Park reports like this one serve to reinforce the notion that I "know" what I am missing by not having been to SFoT & SFFT.

Ah, someday...but would need to be during a cooler month, if possible.

Mike B.
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 7/26/14 8:53:07 AM
re: Schlitterbahn

My gf and I opted to visit the park on a weekday and we paid a bit extra to get the early entry along with the resort guests. I'd thought about staying on site, but the premium was a bit high for just a 2 person group so I opted out of that.

We inadvertently only visited the newer part of the park. I noticed the trams running, but thought that they were just shuttling people between the eastern and western half of the rather large new park and only later realized that the old park and the bodyslides were in a completely seperated out area. Good research on amusement parks, bad research on water parks. But we still had a good day as
the early admission got us onto all of the big slides at the centre of the park.

We started on Wolf Pack which is a relatively sedate family type slide with a few decent drop downs, but nothing particularly remarkable. Nice ride, but I wouldn't wait partciularly long for it.

We got onto Black Knight quickly thereafter, which I found quite fun. The dark tunnels and general layout of the ride kept you guessing and the short wait was nice.

For the end of the early entry we queued for the Master Blaster, and that took us well past open as even the early entry queue was still about an hour. This ride is very, very fun. Plenty of big, coaster style drops and a relatively long ride time made for a memorable experience. It's just unfortunate that the wait times are so long.

We spent most of the rest of the day noodling around the excellent white water rapidy lazy river (not sure of the name) that spans the park. Unlike most rides of this type, it has several white water sections including a very long one at the end of the ride that goes through numerous white water sections in a row. This thing is a capacity monster and aside from one logjam area at the large conveyor belt, it keeps people moving along.

We spent some time cooling off in the more sedate pool in the east end of the park after we took a couple of circuits on the quieter lazy river there and also rode the Dragon slide, which is a slightly less wild version of Master Blaster with some neat effects and fun sections.

We also sprinkled in a visit to the warm pool bar to get some iced adult beverages, which were just the ticket on a warm day.

So, pretty quiet day. We didn't push it, had plenty of downtime, and honestly, I don't regret missing the older park toooo much as a result. I expect to visit Austin again in the not-too-distant future, and when I do, a return to Schlitterbahn and a visit to the older part of the park will definitely be on the agenda.

Michael W.
238: 64 (20 CCI/GG) / 173
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/26/14 2:49:26 PM
Oh man! I'm sorry you missed a huge portion of Schlitterbahn and the part that made the park famous, the natural water tube chutes.

Schlitterbahn has four sections - Schlitterbahn West (Original Park), Surfenburg, Blastenhoff, and the newest area Tubenbach. The later three are considered Schlitterbahn East and a shuttle runs between this area and the original park Schlitterbahn West.

Did you even go in the Torrent River at Blastenhoff? It's the amazing lazy river that they send six foot waves barreling down. It starts and ends in the wave pool beneath the slide tower where Wolf Pack, Black Knight and Master Blaster are.

Tubenbach & The Falls is a very cool ride for sure. I think the only mistake is that they should've had two side-by-side AquaVeyer. However, I largely blame the operators for the issues. They don't instruct the guests on what they should do to get their tube on the AquaVeyer.

Also, the five tube chutes at Schlitterbahn West are capacity monsters like The Falls.

* This post was modified at 7/26/14 2:54:01 PM *

--
Eric
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
Re: TR: Texas! (Six Flags Dallas, San Antonio, Seaworld) by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 7/31/14 7:11:38 PM
Hey Mike! I've been meaning to respond sooner. I was soooo excited to see a Texas TR. As a native and proud Texan who frequents these parks, I loved your TR. I'll make plenty of comments beloow.



Park #1 for the trip was
Six Flags over Texas

and my girlfriend and I, in a fit of mild insanity, decided to tackle it on a very hot July 4th; . Texas is friggin' hot!

Uh, yeah. Welcome to Texas my friend. And this summer has been relatively mild!

SFoT, as one of the original parks justifiably has a reputation as being a stand-out park in the chain, one that I will gladly corroborate. It's a bit too open and sunny in spots, but they seem to have done a good job of putting in water fans and shade whereever possible. They also have a very solid, large collection of coasters. One word on ops though, these were some of the worst I've seen anywhere, and I've seen a lot. Dispatch times were murderously slow on all of the rides except for late night Titan ops and I could not imagine how frustrating it would be to wait for the crews in the normal lines as they were dogging it all day.

I noticed that back in May. As Eric noted, the ride ops are may more meticulous and slow ever since the death. It sucks for us, but it's understandable.

La Vibora
I am mildly more fond of bobsleds than the average rider as my first coaster ever was the old Intamin Avalanche Run at Cedar Point, but La Vibora was outright painful for me to ride. The car literally was bouncing me out of my seat on the valleys and I was somewhat concerned that I was going to hurt my spine as a result. Not a bad, albeit short layout, but the bumpiness was a bit much for me.

I'll agree with you a little about the bumpiness, but I don't think it's too much. I'm torn between which bobsled design I like better...Intamins or Macks. I loved Avalanche at KD.


Runaway Mine Train
I had no idea that the first mine train was located at Six Flags over Texas, and this ride was of historical interest to me. The ride itself was nothing particularly special, it had fewer even medium-sized drops than most of the later mine trains, but it did make nice use of the terrain and had plenty of shaded cover to spruce up the ride. Not bad, but lower tier in its style.

I always ride for nostalgia...both for its history and memories of my childhood. It's still one of my all time favorite mine trains. The quick drop after the saloon is fantastic!


Judge Roy Scream
As I've oft-noted here, I have a soft spot for Bill Cobb designs, as even the smaller ones tend to have some of his trademark slammer air hills. JRS, the last true wood coaster in the Texas Six Flags parks, is still a fun, family friendly ride with some nice air spots including one of the surprise slammers. Far from remarkable, but I'm glad they still at least have one.

I agree with everything you say here. It also has some great head-choppers right at the end. It gets my friends every time!

Pandemonium
is another of the numerous small spinny mice that SF was prone to installing over the past decade or so. Though I enjoy these rides, as they are fun and unpredictable owing to the natural spinning, I find them very poor fits for larger parks like SFoT as their capacity is just too low for a larger park. Thankfully, I was able to skip the line, but I would never wait for these as the times can be excruciating.

I'm still upset they removed Cliffhanger for this.



Shockwave
A fine example of a traditional Schwarzkopf looping coaster that zooms around a go-kart track for added amusement. I still find these rides quite fun and love the hills and general design. The short lines are also a nice side-feature. Cool historical ride in a style that is becoming rarer. For my money these types of loopers are better than most anything Arrow and Vekoma ever put out in the same style (notable exception: The Steel Phantom).

Did you grey out during the loops? That has been happening to me every time I've ridden in the past 5 years or so. Maybe it's me getting older, but those intense vertical loops are almost too much for me.

I hate to admit it, but Shockwave gets less and less impressive for me every year. The loops make me dizzy, the drops don't give me as much air as a kid. It's kind of sad, because I remember when this was THE RIDE at SFoT. I've always loved this ride. The short lines make it re-ridable. I usually get in at least 5 for trip. But it just doesn't thrill me like it used to.


Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast
Ever since they removed the OTSR from these launched rides by Premier I've flat-out loved them. The only other Mr. Freeze I've ridden previously is the one at St. Louis and that was over a decade ago. The power of the launch and the wonderful top hat inversion are highlights of this ride for me and I was glad to ride it a couple of times.

It's hard to beat Mr. Freeze. I love it. So intense. I also loved the backwards launch. The view looking straight down the "spike" at over 200 feet is quite a site!

Titan
I'd always been intrigued by this and its older relative, Goliath at SFMM. They were reputably big and powerful with only light air. As a consequence, they've had little in the way of real accolades. Air is optional for me, so I was open-minded about this ride.

The power of this ride was definitely the most impressive take-away thing from it. The sustained positive G's in the helices greyed out my girlfriend (which she did not care for and refused to re-ride because of it, I got no grey on either of them on either of my two rides) and I can see why many people dislike them. I found the sensation impressive and rather enjoyable though and quite liked the ride as a result. It's not top tier steel by any means, but certainly good and certainly my second favourite ride in the park.

Big and powerful is a great way to describe Titan. I, too, gray out during both helices, but it doesn't ruin the ride for me. Dang, am I getting old? My gray-outs are becoming more and more common.


The New Texas Giant


I stepped off quite impressed by my first Rocky Mountain ride. It has the air I'd expect from a quality Intamin ride with the twists and winding turns that some of my favourite wood coasters have. Very solid ride, and one that rates just above Expedition GeForce in my all-time steel list.

The New Texas Giant is high on the giggle factor. It's intensity and pacing are perfect. It's not overly intense, but still thrilling. Air time is great, speed is OK. It's just an overall dang fun ride.

The only thing I can compare its experience to is an Intamin Mega-Lite. Smooth and fun without taking your breath away.


Overall I liked SFoT but found it a bit much for one day, even with the line cutting powers of legend. The number of rides and lacksadasical ops made it a bit of a grind to get around the park, particularly given the heat. That stated, SFoT is a very nice park with several very high quality rides. The Texas Giant is obviously the stand-out, but the park has a nice, very well-rounded collection of rides both large and small and I'd gladly visit it again if I'm in the area.

Please let me know when you do!


Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Fiesta Texas is a smaller park that differentiates itself by its canyon location and attractive SW theming. The park seems to draw a lot of people based on its small water park (which surprises me given the proximity of the place to Schlitterbahn...) but it has a nice collection of coasters and lines that are significantly shorter, at least in our visit, than any of the comparable smaller SF parks in the NE.

SFFT seemed to have much better ops than SFoT, the crews moved to get people onto the rides, and the lines moved serviceably fast as a result. Iron Rattler loading times were much faster than the identical trained New Texas Giant ones, and so forth.

SFFT is my favorite SF park. It has deteriorated over the past 15 years, as SF has removed some themeing and made it more generic, but it is still beautiful. I love the rock quarry setting. I agree with the ride ops. I've always been impressed with them at SFFT.


Boomerang
If you've been on one of these you've been on them all. This was my girlfriend's first coaster (as she lived in Austin for about a decade prior to moving to MI), and I'm a bit surprised that she took to them at all after it. The first drop on these is never bad, but the inversions are, while not uncomfortable, not entirely enjoyable either. One ride for the credit, nothing more.

Every time I get off a Boomerang, I like them more and more. I find them quite smooth. I guess I'll just be an out-of-the-closet boomerang fan (to go with my fanhood of standups and Arrow loopers)


Roadrunner Express
Unlike most rides that carry this moniker, the RRE at SFFT is an Arrow mine train, and a rather fun one at that. The ride navigates some of the same terrain as Iron Rattler and provides a fun ride with some nice views of its much larger neighbour.

I've never been a huge fan of RRE, but it's not near as fun now since SF removed the Coyote/Roadrunner theming. The queue had tons of fun ACME stuff. Wile E Coyote used to be featured on the track, and at one point he used to try to topple a boulder over onto the train as it passed by. These small touches truly contributed to the ride, and I miss them dearly.

Poltergeist
Having ridden the inside version of this, Outer Limits for years at King's Island it was quite novel to actually see the layout and experience the ride in the light of day. We rode this several times as it was a complete walk-on for anything but the front seat, and as always, I enjoyed the ride thoroughly. I never had realized prior how fast the train is actually going at the end of the ride as being in the dark dulls one's perception of speed. I still think I prefer the disorientation factor of having this inside, but Poltergeist was fun and I'm always up for rides on this layout.


My favorite ride in the park, and one of the most under-rated coasters in the USA. I MUCH prefer the outdoor versions. The visuals and head choppers are fantastic. Plus, the FOF versions have those gosh awful brakes! THey kills the ride! Poltergeist is WAY more intense.

Superman: Krypton Coaster
For a long time this was THE ride at SFFT, and I can see why. This is by far the least generic of the B&M floorless coasters that I've been on as the layout is specifically designed to take advantage of the canyon walls that it sits adjacent to. It has excellent large drops, a fantastic hanging loop, and all of the other trademark elements that one would expect to find on a ride of this type. And the thing was a walk-on as well! It's hard to find any fault with this ride, and it's pretty easily nudged Dominator at King's Dominion aside as my favourite floorless. Beautiful setting, nice, unique layout, and great elements. Nothing to quibble about here!

Again another highly under-rated coaster. I love it! It's funny you mention Dominator, because at me recent trip to KD I think Dominator may have passed Superman KC. They are both soooo awesome!

Finally, we get to:

Iron Rattler

I agree with you 100%. The inversion is PERFECT. What a perfect replacement for a terrible woodie. I love it!

Overall SFFT was a small, enjoyable park with two true stand-out rides. We also did the log flume, which was themed to Bugs versus Yosemite Sam and the Dragon, and that was rather fun. We would have done the Shot-Drop combo, but they were only running one leg and wouldn't guarantee riders that they would even be together. So we passed. The park's two big rides are well-worth the trip though, as both are spectacular, and I'm glad we visited.

Glad you enjoyed SFFT and all of Texas! Thanks for your TR. I hope you enjoyed your stay here in the Great Lone Star State. Yall come back!

- Pat-O