Fiesta Texas Opening Weekend -- 3/4/12

Friday, March 9, 2012 5:41 PM

I was in San Antonio last weekend for a robotics competition -- the only reason I get to travel these days, it seems -- and was lucky that the event coincided with the opening weekend of Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

We got tickets online for $19.92 ea., which was great, though it made paying $15 to park my rental car seem all the more absurd.

Met the only rude person we encountered during our trip while waiting to enter the park at opening. She was passive-aggressively mumbling something aloud about the lines and her sons. I don't understand why people get so uptight about things like this; the extra minute or two it'll take me or you to enter the park isn't going to kill either one of us.

Headed first to...

Poltergeist -- two rides on first two trains of the day. I prefer the enclosed ride on Flight of Fear a bit more, as it helps to hide some of the rides slower sections, but the ride is still a bunch of fun. My companions yelled at me for not informing them of the launch -- I thought the lack of a lift hill made that clear, but I guess they don't all know everything there is to know about roller coasters.

Next, we headed to the back and rode Superman: Krypton Coaster.

We only got one ride on this because the others didn't really enjoy it. Its first drop off the quarry wall was more exciting and effective than I expected it to be. Great hang time in the loop, but really didn't like the helix in place of the typical second element. The dive off the wall there wasn't as fun as the first. The rest of the ride plays out like a typical floorless. Wish we'd ridden this more.

Next door is their Huss Top Spin and it was running an awful, boring program. Only one flip? Boo.

We wandered to The Rattler next. This ended up being 40 minute way with one train, very, very slow operations. I understand that the structure of these rides needs to move and shake, but I was alarmed by exactly how much things on The Rattler moved around. I was also alarmed by the piece of loose lumber hanging off the structure below the final turn -- way more alarmed than the ride op. I mentioned it to, of course. I'm sure they interact with lots of dumb people all the time, but seriously, all of the lumber on your wooden roller coaster should be attached in at least two places.

The ride itself was a lot better than I was expecting, but still not amazing. I was expecting a very rough ride (a la GhostRider), but it wasn't nearly that bad. The curved drop off the quarry wall after the first drop has good speed and was fun. The helix is really dull.

Road Runner Express was fun, also. It was a bit forceful after its first drop and that was an unexpected surprise. The smoothness of the new mine train designs is misleading; they're too well designed to support the rickety, old railway milieu I expect from a mine train. Though, I guess nothing about its theme suggests it has anything to do with a mine.

Next up was two rides on Goliath. B&M could've done nothing after producing Batman: The Ride (and maybe Apollo's Chariot and Talon) and they'd have made one of the best rides anywhere. These rides are a sublime combination of length and intensity. Everyone in the group loved this ride.

Then we were off to Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters. Sally could probably get away with putting a bunch of the targets into a dark box and we'd have been happy. I guess there was a story and maybe some sets or something, but the only thing we cared about was hitting targets. Also, the graphics in the queue made me realize that the characters in Scooby-Doo are all meant to be teenagers; I'd always thought of them as being in their 20s.

Huss Frisbee followed. By this time, I had a fever and wasn't feeling so hot. I don't recommend high-fiving hundreds of kids. It's too bad, really, because the Frisbee gave a great, long ride -- the opposite end of the spectrum from the Top Spin. If I didn't want to hurl, I'd have went on it again.

So, of course, the next thing we ride is Pandemonium. These rides never pay off on the promise of fun, crazy spinning. Meh.

Last ride before heading out was Boomerang. It was a Boomerang.

It wasn't until long after we'd left that I realized there was supposed to be a Windseeker-esque ride there. I didn't see anything that jumped out at me, so maybe it's not done yet?

So, yeah, that's the short version. The park was nice enough and not at all crowded. It's a bit on the small side to justify its regular admission price, I guess, but we didn't make use of its water park and that's probably a big draw for local folks.

It was nice to get a chance to visit. I don't really expect to go back anytime ever, but that's okay.

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Friday, March 9, 2012 8:14 PM

Madison_K said:
I had a fever and wasn't feeling so hot.

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Thanks for the TR on a park I'll probably never get to. Always wanted to ride Rattler, but most of what I've read about it over the years has been bad. You make it sound decent.

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Friday, March 9, 2012 10:46 PM

It's a contradiction, not an oxymoron. :)

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Saturday, March 10, 2012 8:50 AM

It's a contradiction

But I came in here for an argument!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012 4:31 PM

Best-run Frisbee I've ever been on at a corporate park...hang on!

Not that long ago, RoadRunner Express and that quirky "flume" ride were two of the best-themed attractions at any SF park. Truly impressive. As of the last visit, not any more. Still a very friendly park...and love the setting.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 3:17 AM

Madison_K said:
I was in San Antonio last weekend for a robotics competition

What team are you with? I mentor with 451. We were at Smoky Mountains Regional the same weekend.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 7:51 PM

The Rattler was better than I expected, but it wasn't.. good. It was okay; not as rough as I imagined it'd be with some fun to be had. The helix is really boring, though. Really, really boring.

The flume looked fun and unlike any I've seen before/recently. If I hadn't been sick and if it had a been a bit warmer, maybe I'd have given it a shot. I did like the dragon they had in the water after the flume's drop.

Chris -- I've been a mentor with 488 since 2005 and with a bunch of other teams before that. This is my 14th season competing :) San Antonio was a fun trip for us and we did pretty well. I'm excited to see how things go for us in Seattle during week 4.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:52 AM

Nice. I've been with 451 since 2002, and a mentor since 2004. We're heading to Cleveland for week 4, hoping to put on a better show than we did in Knoxville! Good luck to you guys.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 4:23 PM

When Skynet attacks, I hope you 2 are the first the machines target.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:41 AM

Well that's fine, we'll just design some counter-terminators for our side. :)

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