gem in a rock quarry -- Six Flags Fiesta Texas -- 6/18

Associated parks:
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Friday, June 22, 2007 8:00 PM
I had been to Six Flags Fiesta Texas one time before, but that was all the way back in 1998, before the large Premier expension in 1999. The park was a good park back then, and it's still a good park today--arguably one of the best in the chain. The day was beautiful, and the park wasn't crowded, which was great. I'll list my usual random observations below.
  • The theming in the park is still very good. Each area has its own distinct theming, except for the waterpark, which kinda has some Crackaxle Canyon/Texas theming to it.
  • Bugs' White Water Rapids is a good log flume--possibly one of my favorites. The boats and the capacity are well done, as is the theming and layout. I like the little coaster-like portion near the beginning.
  • Gully Washer has a nice location for a rapids ride, but it doesn't get you wet enough. They could use some more waterfalls, geysers, etc.
  • Superman Krypton Coaster is definitely one of the best floorless coasters. The location is great, and it's nice to have the helix and drop off the quarry wall instead of the diving loop.
  • Road Runner Express is a great mine train. Though it should be, as it's the newest of the Arrow mine train coasters. Interesting that Texas has both the oldest and the newest Arrow mine trains, and they're both owned by Six Flags. This ride is also pretty quick, though they seem to have let some of the theming go downhill.
  • Poltergeist was flying! They must have had the speed cranked up or something, since it was running faster than Joker's Jinx usually runs. The ride could use a paint job, though, as it was looking kinda rough in that respect. The train could also use some maintenance, as it was looking rough, too.
  • Tony Hawk's Big Spin is a great addition and a fun ride. The capacity isn't great, but the ride is well done, as is the queue house. On-ride videos are available here.
  • Scooby Doo could use some work. My gun was broken, and for some reason, you can't much see a laser light on the wall when you shoot, unlike the version at Kings Dominion.
  • Scream is a cool ride, and my first time on a combo tower. Those are great ideas. It would be nice if they would convert some of the other ones to combo towers. The colors are also unique, which is a great thing to see.
  • SFFT definitely has remained a show park, to a certain extent, which sets it apart from other SF parks in that the shows are probably at least a notch or so above the others. We saw one of the Rockville High shows, the new extreme sports show, and of course, the Lone Star Spectacular, and they were all great shows. Keep up the good work, Fiesta!
  • Rattler is still a crummy ride. Texas has no good wood, except maybe for the Kemah Boardwalk coaster after it opens. I did enjoy the first drop on Rattler, as well as the dive into the quarry wall, but that triple helix is still one of those "why" moments on a coaster. At least they improved the second hill since I was there last. The ride also looks really cool, and they light part of it up with purple lights at night.
  • Boomerang is a boomerang. It could use some paint, but it has a good location in the park.
  • It's nice to see a park with a train that not only functions as a ride, but also as in-park transportation.
  • Food offerings are just ok, nothing spectacular, but it is Six Flags.
  • Superman doesn't fit the theming of Spassburg. I wish they would have done something unique here in terms of theming, but at least the ride is good.
  • White Water Bay is a great waterpark--one of the best in-park waterparks that I know of. It has a great selection of slides, pools, and attractions, as well as a great location within the park.
  • Some of the coasters seemed to be understaffed. For instance, SKC only had 2 people running it after it first opened. They had 1 poor girl checking all the restraints by herself. This also seemed to be the deal elsewhere, as some of the other attractions seemed to be understaffed. Fortunately, the park wasn't crowded, so this didn't matter too much as far as capacity is concerned, and neither did the one-train operations on Poltergeist and RRE. Still, though, it seemed like typical Six Flags here, which was unfortunate.
  • The park seemed to have some decent bathrooms, which was nice, especially compared to SFOT.
  • The park could use some maintenance in spots, such as the Superman area, but overall, it's still a great park. Six Flags hasn't ruined the place, and they have actually given it a good collection of rides. The shows are still good there, which is also nice, and the Texas people help make these parks more pleasant, as well. Keep up the good work!

I got plenty of pictures, so check my website sometime within the next couple weeks. San Antonio is such a great place, and they have 2 great parks to choose from. If I were to move to Texas, San Antonio would be where I would look first. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend visiting. Take a few days--one day for each park minimum, plus at least an extra day to just see the Riverwalk, Alamo, and the Tower of the Americas, plus sample some of the local food offerings.

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Friday, June 22, 2007 8:04 PM
Nice TR. It sounds like a really nice park. I'd really like to ride SKC.
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Friday, June 22, 2007 8:12 PM
I went there earlier in the month and defiantly thought it was the nicest looking park in the chain. Great trip report.
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Saturday, June 23, 2007 11:16 AM
Great to hear SFFT continues to shine. I'm looking forward to my first ever visit in August. Ben I'm looking forward to seeing your pics from this trip. You have some really great ones on your website (love the Voyage lifthill pic)!
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Saturday, June 23, 2007 11:57 AM
It's funny how you were first thrilled about the park, and than at the end of the trip report, you said like 900 bad things.

I haven't been to this park, I rather go to SFOT instead. It doesn't seem to have that many rides like SFOT. I believe the Mine Train at SFOT is great, and thus how can this one be any better unless it is exactly like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at DL? Mr. Freeze > Joker's Jinx (SFA), and Boomerang=Boomerang (Flashback). Floorless, and that Scooby Doo ride seem to be the difference. That's unless you like spinning mouse. I say SFOT > SFFT without even going to SFFT. To me, it sounds like Gauguea Lake and Cedar Point.

SF is low-staffed everywhere!! Someone's worried more about DCPI, and entertainment than hiring employees.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007 1:19 PM
If you're going to a park just to ride roller coasters, your assessment may be correct (although the mine train at SFFT is leagues ahead of SFoT's). But as a park, SFFT is much better than SFoT. And Superman: Krpyton Coaster is better than any of the coasters at SFoT, IMO.

-Nate

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Saturday, June 23, 2007 2:59 PM
I liked them both but burned out on SFOT because I went there 4 days straight, but for rides its kind of even but, with SFOT having more and Shockwave it wins

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Saturday, June 23, 2007 9:25 PM
^I would have loved 4 days. I got 2 days only. The great rides I see at SFOT are Shockwave, Mine Train, Runaway Mountain, La Vibrobra, Judge Roy Scream, Batman, Mr. Freeze, and Flashback.
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Saturday, June 23, 2007 10:08 PM
Judge Roy Scream? La Vibora? Flashback? Please.

I could list all the reasons why SFFT is a better park, but what's the point? Quantity seems to be everything in your book, and you're missing out on great experiences because of it.

-Nate

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 12:07 AM
Thanks for the compliments, Thrillerman1 :) I'll hopefully have the pics up within the next week or two--been going through the Fiesta Texas ones today.

Spinout--900 things wrong? Talk about an exageration. I know I'm pretty critical of parks, but trust me, SFFT is one of the best in the chain, and one of my favorite parks. Listen to Nate--he knows what he's talking about.

I'll have my SFOT TR up sometime this week, hopefully. While it does have more coasters, I like SFFT as a park better. Don't judge a park without first visiting. As for the good rides at SFOT, Flashback and Judge Roy Scream are around the bottom of the list (if we're just looking at coasters). The ones that are good, however, are (IMO) Batman: The Ride (as usual), Titan, Shockwave, Runaway Mountain, and my favorite, Mr. Freeze.

*** Edited 6/24/2007 4:08:42 AM UTC by rablat5***

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 3:47 PM
Rablat5:

Glad you had a good time at Fiesta Texas. That park is by far my favorite Six Flags park for the overall experience.

Sure there are parks with a better collection of coasters, but if you are going to a park to enjoy the whole experience and not just ride coasters over and over all day, Fiesta is at the top of the list.

Spinout:

I don't see how you can judge a park you've never been to. I've been going to SFoT and SFFT for years and tend to enjoy myself more at FT even though they have fewer coasters. As far as number of overall rides, they are about the same. Before SFOT's flat ride package last year, SFFT had quite a few more rides than SFOT.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:05 PM
I loved SFFT but I think with a few more rides it would be great even though it is already great. As for theme SFFT is the nicest park I have ever been to in the SF chain.
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Sunday, June 24, 2007 7:35 PM
Beautiful park, landscaping, theming, excellent staff, waterfalls...and of course I am biased about the shows... ;)

There are parks with better ride line-ups, esp. when it comes to the wood coaster offering, but not many I'd like to return to more...inside or outside of SF. Yeah, it was that good... :)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 8:31 PM
Spinout continues to show his cluelessness. Mr. Freeze is a shuttle-coaster, while Joker's Jinx and Poltergeist are full-circuit coasters. How can you even compare them?

The mine-train at SFOT was the first and hence it has very square, rough turns. Mini Mine-train is much smoother. How can any mine-train be better than OT's? Why don't actually go to SFFT and find out for yourself?

SFFT has a load of flat-rides in addition to their coasters, plus some great water-rides, and the best Frisbee program I've ever been on.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 10:11 PM
We were there on 6/15. The crowds were minimal and the park is absolutely beautiful. The theming is very well done for a six flags park. The collection of rides, although not plentiful, is outstanding.

SKC is definitely the best floorless coaster I've been on. Scream was an awesome experience. I'm used to the S&S towers that either shoot you up or down, not both. I don't usually sing the praises of log flumes or bumper cars but both rides at SFFT are excellent as well. Tony Hawk is a fun ride. I also agree that the mine ride is very well done.

Now the bad side. Operations totally sucked the day we were there. We got there when the park opened and headed back to Tony Hawk. When we got there the ride wasn't open or even testing. So we headed to Scooby-Doo. Rode it and got LOCKED IN the ride. That's right, locked in. After exiting the ride through the gift shop we found the doors were locked. The girl working the gift shop had to call down her supervisor to unlock the door.

After the lock-in we headed back to Tony Hawk. Still not open. Their brand new ride didn't open until almost 10:45 when the park opens at 10:00.

Other rides that weren't open included the train, power surge, and der twister. I've come to expect that from certain six flags parks but not SFFT. Several of the rides in the waterpark were also closed.

And now the money-grubbing aspect. SKC was a walk up. The line didn't even get out of the station. They were running three trains but had only one ride-op checking 32 restraints. But of course they had a worker stationed at the bottom of the stairs ready to mark off a ride on your flash pass. Just another case of deliberately reducing capacity in a poor attempt to sell more Flash Passes.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:52 AM
^ Yea, this was one of the negatives about SFFT--understaffing rides and not opening everything at park opening. It wasn't too big of an issue because the park wasn't crowded, but I did kinda feel bad for the 1 girl checking SKC restraints all by herself.

Plus, it was kinda annoying trying to find a ride to ride when we got there in the morning.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 8:19 PM
^I wouldn't be bothered that the rides didn't open with the park if there was some indication. To compare we also went to Sea World. Every ride had the hours of operation posted at the ride entrance and on the park map. Amazing how something that inexpensive can go a long way to improve the guest experience.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 8:48 PM
Yea, I noticed that when I was at Sea World. Six Flags should do this if they're not going to open rides with the park--or at least post it on the website and the map.

Hersheypark posted it on their schedule, but they surprised me when they actually opened some earlier--that's a nice surprise.

Somebody, please tell Shapiro to add this one to his next list :)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:00 PM
It's the little things that make the difference. It really leaves a bad taste in your mouth when the operations let down such an otherwise great park.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:07 PM
I also had a potentially great experience at the park but the operations really killed it for me. There's no excuse to have a 32 passenger train being checked by 1 person.
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