Late SFT & SFFT 5/17 & 5/18 (Long)

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 2:58 PM
This year, the student government for my school decided on San Antonio as their big trip. Seeing as I'm the vp, I was definetly going. What I was eager to do were the parks, as well as the riverwalk area.

Our group arrived on Wednesday night, and we stayed at the Hyatt on the Riverwalk area. Nice place, but it got a little boring after some time.

Saturday was the first day for parks, and Sea World was the place. Our group made a late start and got to the entrance at about 11:30-ish, and a line snaked its way into the gate area. It moved, though, and soon we were in. Since all of my friwnds on the trip were not enthusiests, I was playing director for the day. I led everyone to Steel Eel first, which I was getting worried about because I saw a train stuck on the mcb for about thirty minutes prior to entering. The ride was up and running, but with only one train. Nice station, but nothing special. I liked the tropical feeling in the entrance plaza. We finally board after about a fifteen minute wait, car two (there were six of us). The standard Morgan lift slowed us at the top, eliminating any possibility of ejector in the back. The drop was decent, but I wasn't getting too much air. The duel camelback was pretty good, more good floater. A hard mcb set us up for a great curving drop into another camelback series, only one or two of which were good. Overall, the ride was acceptable, but I wouldn't wait more than fourty-five minutes for it. I guess it was too short.

The next ride in the "path" along the lake was Texas Splashdown, but first we hit the penguin encounter to escape the 106 degree heat. Same setup as SWF, and the room smelled like fish. But, those penguins are sure fun to watch.

As we neared the Queue for Splashdown, I noticed an unusually small line. My experience has told me that flume rides and water rides in heat are big targets for families, but it wasn't bad at all. The ride itself was ehh, ok? I'm bored with these flumes that barely spritz you, let alone do all these big drops. Still, it was a good ride and I'll take it over nothing.

Next up was The Great White. The mammoth jaws that cover the entrance lead you into a seemingly neverending hallway that deposits you into another line segment. Does anyone know the deal with those black bars all along the left wall in that hallway? Anyways, we entered the five minute line and board asap in row six, but with one train operation the line started to streach back down the ramps. Once seated, we took off on my third Batman clone, and this is definetly the best one I've been on. Maybe it was the heat, but this thing was flying! The corkscrews jarred my jaw as I was whipped around, and the Zero-G was great. Bravo to seaworld for this one, but the one train operation was hurting the ride.

More heat in Texas means more water rides, so we walked over towards Rio Loco. This end of the park is relitivly secluded, and the line was only five or ten minutes. However, this was a poor excuse for a Raft ride. There were practically no rapids, and the only water we got was from the waterfall at the end of the ride. I wouldn't wait too long for this either, but it still cools you off.

Outside Rio Loco there were a bunch of restaurants, so the group parked and got some food and drinks. Meanwhile, I was noticing empty trains and apparently two train operation on The Great White. As I went to invesigate, I saw an empty station with 1/8 filled trains. On a Saturday?! The result was me riding six times, two in the front. This ride only got better for me, and the intensity was really flying the whole course.

After this area, we wandered over to the waterpark (or excuse of therefore). What we found was a crowded, small, and uninviting place where thousands of children and their mothers wadded in the wavepool or ran around. We changed, got lockers, and swam in the deep end, which was pretty empty for about an hour. We would have spent more time here, but almost all of the slides were closed. Then, we simply couldn't take the kids and we got changed and saw the four-thirty Shamu show. Good show, similar to SWF again.

As for the park itself, it was clean and inviting (except the waterpark) and the employees were nice. Minus the rides operation and the crowds at the waterpark, Sea World isn't a bad place to spend a nice day. I could see a family going here over, say, thrill seekers, but I was delighted to see the park wasn't in bad shape or whatnot.

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Sunday yielded what I was really looking foward to, Fiesta Texas. I still am not sure which it is, as the sign outside says "Fiesta Texas: A Six Flags Theme park" and all the signs inside say SFFT. Anyways, we arrive in the bus area at twelve thirty, and already I felt good because there wern't that many cars in the lot. As we made our way into the entrance, I could get a sense that this park was going to be one of the better Six Flags, as sweepers, friendly attendants, and above all theming were all boldly present.

Our group, again six, made our way to Poltergeist first. Being with my Chiller experience, I wanted to get any low capacity launched out of the way. I was suprised to realize that the two train operation was managing the crowd quite well, and there was only a two train wait. This is my second Spaghetti Bowl, but my first with lapbars. JJ with otsr's was murder, and Poltergeist was an awesome ride. The launch is good, but only about one-half of it is actual launch; the rest is either coasting or brakes. Great G's and laterals, I'm glad these rides were saved. We next hydrated ourselves and then proceeded to Scream!

What I really liked about this tower ride is that a)- there were three towers, and b)- you get a taste of both the Turbo drop and the Space shot. We only waited about five minutes and we were on, and the pops of air at the top were good. Nice views, as well. You can really see how the park is nestled right into the quarry.

We double-backed towards the entrance, but we were hot again so the group turned and headed for the Looney-themed flume, dubbed "Bugs White Water Rapids". The queue area for this ride was comparable to Dueling Dragons, as each room held its own exhibit or model from the Looney Tunes shows. After a ten minute wait, we set off in the eight-passenger boats. I was quite shocked, this is one of the best flume rides I've ever been on. The theming, the good splashes, and the decent durration all added up to a great ride for everyone. I highly reccomend this ride if there isn't a bad wait.

Finally, we were headed for my goal: S:KC. Two, but slow train operation showed a twenty minute line, but we were on in about fifteen. Once we get up into the well themed station, I realize that there is one, yes, one ride attendant and one ride operator. Personally, I didn't even think it was possible to only have one, as you have dual sided controls. But, soon enough I was in row eight and heading up. The views again were great. This first drop is quite unique, as the acceleration is so gradual that you dont realize how fast you're going until you see the cliff whip past you. Great loop with great floater, and intense helix made for an awesome drop out into the Zero-G, which was also great. The pre-Cobra trim made me frown, but that was quickly inverted as we were inverted in another intense element. The rest of the ride was just as good, only a little short. This isn't a Kraken, but this ride definetly beats out both Medusas. I now only have to ride BKF and I've ridden all of the original floorless coasters.

We headed towards the back of the park, mainly to tackle Rattler and Road Runner Express. This part of the park was also beautifly themed, with western and mexican touches everywhere. Rattler was showing two-train operation, so I knew by the size of the line it would be a while. I was right, and it turned into a thirty minute wait. I had heard mized reviews about this ride, so I was anxious to see how it would be. Well, if youre like me and have this curiosity, just drop it now. This is the ultimate worst wooden coaster ever. I have a high tolerance for bad rides, and I usually try to focus on the good and at least get something out of it. But this ride has nothing. Maybe the tunnel, but the horrible and LONG helix was bad, the drops were shakey and oh yes, bad, and the braking was bad. Please don't waste time on this ride, people.

Finally, we were going to finish up with RRE and get to the waterpark. This was a delightful, but mild Mine Train with two lifts and good theming. One train operation showed a fifteen minute wait.

Now, we were hot again. The waterpark, which looked more impressive then Seaworld, was also just as crowded and took us an HOUR to find lockers. This part of the park definetly needs better crowd control and more lockers, as it was chaos getting in. Once we had changed and got ready, we headed for the lazy river to cool off quick. More chaos, as the river was swarming with kids. We exited and got in line for the large tube ride, and ended up waiting twenty minutes for this mediocre slide. All else we did was the large speed slide and the wave pool, as I wanted to get out and hit some coasters before we left.

Before we left, I was able to ride S:KC two more times, as well as poltergeist, Scream! and the bumper cars once each. Eight O'clock was calling time, as we trooped back to our bus. Overall, this was a great park which only has a few minor parts to clean up (and some rides to destroy). IF you get the chance, or have a season pass, this is a great weekend trip because you can sample the San Antonio area as well as a great park. Thanks for reading.

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How much more floorless can they get?
*** This post was edited by GreatAdventureAddict 5/24/2003 6:59:13 PM ***

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 3:39 PM
If you want to experience a "real" waterpark, hit Schlitterbahn the next time you're in the area. It's not too far away from the San Antonio area, although I hear it gets really crowded once the season gets underway. I agree that Rattler needs to be torn down. The up and down helix section (which someone on our trip deemed the "pain chamber") ruins the whole ride. It's like you're traveling really fast and then "What the hell?".
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Sunday, May 25, 2003 8:56 AM
I now only have to ride BKF and I've ridden all of the original floorless coasters.

Whats the un-original floorless? Scream? Also you have ridden the Crazy Flying Coaster in Taiwan? I havent heard anything on this coaster.

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Shop @ www.countypaintball.com "Paintball should be fun, not expensive"

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Sunday, May 25, 2003 1:41 PM
I have ridden both S:KC at SFFT and B:KF at SFWoA, and I much preferred S:KC's canyon setting which just made the ride in my opinion. As for the remainder of the two rides, I think I liked S:KC best here as well, the track layout just seemed a bit more thrilling than B:KF to me.

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TITAN RULES!
*** This post was edited by DAN-EL 5/25/2003 5:42:14 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 12:00 PM
Nice trip report. Count me in as a HUGE S:KC fan. In fact, I rank it just a little above Kraken (#3 overall v #5) with only a little Montu between them.

Couldn't agree more about Rattler, currently battling it out for last place on my woodie list with Mean Streak - the So Big, So Bad pair of "Get me the hell off of this crap!" waste of wood.

Would love to get a shot at Poltergeist without the OTSR. Hated it when I rode it two years ago.

Also thinks it's interesting to note how age skews perspective. For me, a guy nearing the end of my thirties, Riverwalk was a blast! The restaurants, the bars, I can't wait to get back. But if you're under 21, well I can see your point.

And I, too, often avoid crowded waterparks because of all the kids. And when I say kids, I mean the 13 - 20 year-old crowd. But then again, I consider anyone under 25 a kid. At least the older "kids" don't pee in the wave pool. So you've got that goin for ya.

steve, ducking and heading for cover from the coaster youth, who will all be old like me one day anyway.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 12:41 PM
I agree with intamin fan, my son and I drive from Chicago to Schlitterbahn every year.

If you like waterparks this is the one and only.

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Friday, May 30, 2003 11:29 PM
I went to San Antonio with my schools marching band (we are also going to USF and IOA in December hopefully) and had a blast. S:KC was my fave coaster until Alpie and SFA's SROS knocked it down a few notches. The day we went to SFFT they had 3 trains running and they were stacking like you would not believe. All three trains wold sitting there for at least two minutes, but I didn't let it ruin my day ( but Rattler is a WHOLE different story;) .)

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CBuzz member since 3/25/01.
45 coasters,9 parks

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Monday, June 2, 2003 10:14 AM
I had my first oportunity to visit SF:FT earlier this year, and purchased my SF SPs there as well (one of the cheapest places for them!). I was quite impressed with the park in just the brief time I was able to be there (I had a wedding to go to in the afternoon, which was the whole reason I was in San Antonio to begin with), and thought it was one of the coolest settings of any park I've been to.

Due to my lack of time there, I was only able to ride the big coasters, but I think I got them all. My favorite was S:KC of course, as I really like the floorless coasters, and it was a great ride regardless. I have yet to ride Scream, Medusa West, or B:KF, though I will get a chance to ride the latter later this year. I've ridden the other floorless coasters however, Kraken and Medusa East.

In my opinion, S:KC isn't quite as intense as Kraken, which I still marvel about even though it's been two years since I've ridden it. Having been on it so long ago, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it was about it that was so great, but I just remember it was awesome!

Both my wife and I agreed S:KC was a close runner up however, and I just wish I had had more time so I could have ridden it more. I rode Kraken like 6 or 7 times when I rode it, so having to compare the two after only 1 Krypton ride is a little difficult. I did like the setting of S:KC being next to the cliff, though I still like the tunnels of Kraken better, which I think really contribute to the greatness of that ride. S:KC is definitely better than Medusa in my opinion.

At any rate, SF:FT was great, S:KC was great, and I just wished I didn't live so far away, and could visit more often. I may sneak down there next year when I make a trip to Houston, but we'll see.

P.S. I thought Poltergeist was a great ride as well, and agree that Rattler was a bit rough, although I enjoyed (if that's the right term to use) it more than Mean Streak, which is definitely one of the worst wooden coasters around IMO. It certainly made good use of the landscape at least!

Take care and God bless!

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