Fiesta Texas - April 2, 2021 - The Mediocrity of Six Flags

Saturday, April 3, 2021 6:38 PM
bjames's avatar

I've been itching to get some coaster riding in after six months, and with warm weather and the day off yesterday, I made a spur of the moment decision to take the 3-hour drive down to San Antonio to visit a new park for me. Set in an old stone quarry in the beautiful Hill Country of central Texas, one could not envision a better spot to build a theme park. It's almost like a scenario out of RCT!

The park itself is quite small, a full loop can be walked in about 10-15 minutes. It is a beautiful park with Latin, Western, 50s, and Boardwalk themed lands, as well as a German village to celebrate the many German cultural influences and heritage in central Texas. It's almost reminiscent of BGW (almost...). All of these were built pre-Six Flags so I'm not giving them credit for the beauty of the park, and if anything, all they've done is whittle away at this theming and are on the way to turning it into another off-the-shelf mediocre Six Flags carbon copy.

The park as I said is nice, clean, and well maintained for the most part. The employees and ride-ops seemed generally less than enthusiastic to be working there. Load times on pretty much everything were painfully slow. Ride-ops were just going through the motions. The crowds were insane for a day that I would have thought most working people would not have off, so I had to get a Flash Pass in order to get through the park in about six hours. Here's a rundown of my day:

Road Runner Express - First thing I did was set my pass for Iron Rattler and had a 45 minute countdown. I hopped in line for this medium-sized coaster right next door and had a 15-20 minute wait. It's a fun fast little thing and its positioning along the quarry wall makes it unique. It even had a few unexpected pops of airtime.

Iron Rattler - After Road Runner I still had a good 20 minutes to kill. I briefly took in a country music show in Crackaxle Canyon's theater across the way. The performers were singing some country music classics and had a dance routine to go along with them. After that I went over to the new Daredevil Flyers and watched it for a bit. I didn't bother riding because the line was ridiculous but it's a nice thrilling flat that fits in well with this corner of the park.

Finally my pass buzzed and I got in line for Rattler. I'd waited the 45 minutes. The pass line was another 30 minutes before I even got to the attendant to check it so that I could program the next reservation. That was a bit annoying. Then it was another 30 minute wait mixed in with the regular guests. That was also quite annoying. Why did I even buy the thing if I'm still waiting an hour anyway? Turns out they were running only a single train because I guess the other two are both out for servicing at the same time. Seems like major maintenance mismanagement to have the most popular ride in the park be so limited. The regular line was over 3 hours.

And Iron Rattler really wasn't that great. The first drop was good. The rest was over before I'd even noticed, a few bunny hops here and there, drop down into the tunnel, and come flying out right into the downhill break run. This ride wasn't worth the wait by a longshot and should have been twice as long. I'll take Texas Giant any day of the week over this stunted RMC.

Superman Krypton Coaster - After that hours-long disappointment, I was really motivated to actually enjoy myself. Superman was a walk-on with the pass thankfully. And I was truly surprised at how great this ride is! Probably the best floorless I've been on. It's extremely tall, and towers at least another 100 feet above the higher ground beyond the quarry wall before it plunges you back down into the pit. It's a whirlwind of B&M elemental mastery, very fast paced, even the MCBR doesn't really slow it much. THIS is the best ride in the park.

Boomerang/Goliath - Not much to say about these, we've probably all ridden them. Fun fact, Goliath is a batman clone that is a mirror image of all of its brothers AND it survived the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina! It looks good from the parking lot and never had much of a line all day because though it is highly visible outside the park, the entrance is almost hidden off to the left immediately inside the park gates. Both Goliath and Boomerang have fresh paint and looked very pretty in the sun. I also kind of like Boomerang's positioning at the end of the main street, it's reminiscent of the Eiffel Towers at the Cedar Fair parks.

Wonder Woman Golden Lasso - The bane of my existence this day. It kept. Breaking. Down. I reserved it twice only to be informed a few minutes later that it was down. Finally it seemed to start being consistent so I got in line. It breaks down again. And I wait 20 more minutes. They fix it, cycle five or six trains through, and open it. I get on pretty quickly after that, I'm literally in the station waiting for the very next train and....yep you guessed it. A girl on the train that came in had her harness stuck in locked position. I watched up close and personal for 45 more minutes as the mechanics came in, blew some compressed air or something into a cannister at the back of the train which allowed the girl's harness to release. Then five more mechanics came around as there seemed to be something else wrong with a portion of track in the station. They did something to it and eventually cycled five more trains through before reopening. Also, it's nice that RMC designed the trains to move slowly through the platform for loading and unloading but they didn't realize how inept Six Flags ride-ops are so they constantly had to be stopped anyway. Which of course slowed everything down. The ride-ops apparently can't count either as most trains they sent out only had four-six people. I didn't see a single full train. And believe me, that non-pass line was loooong.

Another ride not really worth the wait. It's tall and extremely fast through all it's elements and it feels like you're zooming along a piece of spaghetti because the track is so narrow (and yellow). But it must not have aged well in three years. The trains themselves rattle very badly, and you can feel every single seam on that track as you pass over it. It was uncomfortable and I sort of had to brace myself during the ride. This one's a downvote for me.

Batman the Ride - It's a 4D free spin, all the Six Flags parks have them at this point, and this one is nothing special.

Poltergeist - Another ride that was up and down all day and only running one train to boot. By nightfall the park was starting to empty out and it had finally opened back up and the line was short. This was a great ride! I've never been on one of these clones and I really loved it. By the time you're done twisting and helixing around and you've made it to the bottom of the spaghetti bowl, you've picked up some serious speed and the banks are literally at ground level, it felt truly out of control! A great ride.

So that was that...I didn't bother with second rides on anything. At that point I was just exhausted and ready to head out. I might try this park again in late summer when schools are back opened and the crowds are more reasonable. I wouldn't advise anyone to go out of there way to visit Fiesta Texas though....what rides this park has that are unique to it are not worth traveling for. Even a 3-hour drive feels like too far for the experience I had yesterday.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Sunday, April 4, 2021 8:40 PM

I'm sorry you had a bad experience here. I've been twice and had good experiences both times. Granted both of those visits were in late June / early July when it is oppressively hot in Texas. We generally had short waits for everything, except the water rides.

You are right that there aren't many stand-out rides with the exception of Superman and Poltergeist. I've always enjoyed the atmosphere of the park.

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Sunday, April 4, 2021 9:54 PM

This is the first time I've seen an RMC conversion receive a "meh" review.

I also agree there isn't much about this park that seems to stand out attraction wise, but in the accounts I've read it seems to, in the normal times, be one of the best Six Flags in terms of operations and upkeep. And Jeffrey Siebert seems like a solid guy.

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Monday, April 5, 2021 4:44 AM
bjames's avatar

Mulfinator, you're probably right that the best time to visit Fiesta Texas is in the middle of summer when it's hotter than heck and the crowds are mostly drawn to the water park. That was the case with SFOT when I visited last summer and had no lines but almost died of heat exhaustion!

BrettV, I'm sorry but Iron Rattler was just not that great to me. I feel like coaster fans hold RMC up to be gods, but at the end of the day if Six Flags is too cheap to let RMC really spread its wings with the design, its not worth it at all. I wonder if the wooden version of Rattler was a better ride.... And like I said in my report, the park itself is very attractive and well-kept. The staff was unsatisfactory at best. If only Cedar Fair had been around to take control of this park back in the day, it could be so much more than what it is now.


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Monday, April 5, 2021 10:35 AM

bjames said:

Another ride not really worth the wait. It's tall and extremely fast through all it's elements and it feels like you're zooming along a piece of spaghetti because the track is so narrow (and yellow). But it must not have aged well in three years. The trains themselves rattle very badly, and you can feel every single seam on that track as you pass over it. It was uncomfortable and I sort of had to brace myself during the ride. This one's a downvote for me.

This ride was flat out incredible when I rode it in 2018.

I'm sorry to hear that it's aged badly.

I've heard suggestions on the grapevine that these rides are hard on their wheels. No idea of the veracity of that, but it wouldn't surprise me given how aggressive they are.


I develop Retro Games for macOS, iPhone, and iPad when not riding coasters.

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Monday, April 5, 2021 11:32 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Wooden Rattler (in its final incarnation) was awful. When it wasn’t rough, it was boring and occasionally it managed to be both.

I love Iron Rattler, but I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes for it, so I’m sure that colored my experience. I can see how the ride length would be underwhelming given a multihour wait.

CGA’s Railblazer is still a lot of fun and smooth the entire way, but the last turn into the brakes has always had one seam that you can really feel. It’s almost like a pothole when you hit it.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, April 5, 2021 12:08 PM

ApolloAndy said:

When it wasn’t rough, it was boring and occasionally it managed to be both.

Wasn't that the Summers & Dinn mission statement?

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Monday, April 5, 2021 12:44 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

The original Rattler was infamous for some off ride videos showing the structure swaying and bending incredibly whenever the train passes through.


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Monday, April 5, 2021 4:09 PM

BrettV said:

ApolloAndy said:

When it wasn’t rough, it was boring and occasionally it managed to be both.

Wasn't that the Summers & Dinn mission statement?

The OG Rattler was built by PTC and designed by John Pierce. I’m not sure who handled the subsequent re-profiles.

Mr Pierce spoke to our group years ago and he had all kinds of stories and info about how Rattler came to be and why. I consider myself lucky to have ridden the original- it remains in my mind the best first drop ever.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, April 5, 2021 4:16 PM
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Monday, April 5, 2021 7:52 PM

I feel that way about having the chance to ride Villain in 2000. The first year of that ride was absolute magic. I still think Villain circa 2000 (and 2001) could still be my favorite wooden coaster.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:34 AM

Six Flags went cheap with all of their RMC coasters except TX Giant. They significantly shortened the layouts. Even Giant is shorter. Versus Cedar Fair that kept the full layouts in tact (although they only have a couple).

With Sux Flags one gets what they pay for with the cheap season passes. A C class experience.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:45 PM

Best times to go to Fiesta Texas is during the summer on a weekday if you can stand the heat.

the locals go during the off-season when it’s cooler or to the water park during the summer daytimes.

and yes the ride operations are very mediocre.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 3:38 PM
Vater's avatar

bjames said:

if Six Flags is too cheap to let RMC really spread its wings with the design, its not worth it at all.

super7* said:
Six Flags went cheap with all of their RMC coasters except TX Giant.

Fun with statistics! Here are the costs for some of Six Flags' RMC coasters:

Iron Rattler - $10,000,000
New Texas Giant - $10,000,000
Storm Chaser - $10,000,000
Wicked Cyclone - $10,000,000
Twisted Colossus - $7,000,000

I'll throw in this neato tidbit: the coaster dork holy grail of all RMCs Steel Vengeance cost Cedar Fair $7,500,000.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 3:47 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

"But...but....now how are we supposed to make fun or Six Flags?"

That said, they did shorten a lot of their conversions where as both Twisted Timbers and Steel Vengeance are longer than their predecessors. So maybe Six Flags is just bad at negotiating?

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, April 6, 2021 3:47 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 6:21 PM

bjames said:

The crowds were insane for a day that I would have thought most working people would not have off

Good Friday is a school holiday in Texas. Even if people aren't normally aren't off that day, they take off to do stuff with their kids.

As far as lax employees go, it's hard as hell to hire part time help right now. A lot of people are still collecting unemployment in some fashion and Amazon has a million fulfillment centers in Texas and they pay more than everyone, give you free meals all the time, and let you play on their Xbox during lunch.


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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 6:22 PM

Bakeman31092 said:

The original Rattler was infamous for some off ride videos showing the structure swaying and bending incredibly whenever the train passes through.

That's not all that unusual with a lot of wood coasters. Notably, Texas Giants structure swayed similarly to Rattler.


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:13 AM

Fun with statistics! Here are the costs for some of Six Flags' RMC coasters:

Iron Rattler - $10,000,000
New Texas Giant - $10,000,000
Storm Chaser - $10,000,000
Wicked Cyclone - $10,000,000
Twisted Colossus - $7,000,000

I'll throw in this neato tidbit: the coaster dork holy grail of all RMCs Steel Vengeance cost Cedar Fair $7,500,000.

Those numbers stated for the conversions of Colossus and Mean Streak match the costs of the original builds. Coincidence? Or is coasterpedia.net wrong on this one? Colossus has 4 trains and is 1,670ft longer than Wicked Cyclone, yet cost 30% less? I'm not sure the actual numbers were ever officially released. The numbers I've been hearing (from questionable sources) have Steel Vengeance at around 25M & just under 20M for Twisted Colossus.

ApolloAndy said:

"make fun or Six Flags?"

So maybe Six Flags is just bad at negotiating?

(1) Some people seem to be unable to do both at the same time.(2) There are a few things that Six Flags is notoriously bad at. Negotiating doesn't appear to be one of them, unless they're selling.

Last edited by Blackie, Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:14 AM
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Wednesday, April 7, 2021 12:38 PM
Vater's avatar

Those stats were mostly found on Wikipedia and some were cross-checked with other sites, so yeah, I'm aware they may not be entirely accurate. It doesn't change my opinion that the "Six Flags is cheap!" claims, while easy to say given their volatile history, have become predictable and tedious, are typically vomited with little to no thought and are largely false, especially when referring to a world wide theme park chain hiring RMC to build new multimillion dollar coasters or modify existing ones.

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