San Antonio trip: Help Needed

Thursday, March 2, 2006 2:53 PM
I'm considering a long weekend trip to San Antonio this summer. I've never been to Texas so I could use a little help.

Sea World and Fiesta Texas are obvious stops. Both look like nice parks, but I know that looks can be deceiving. Can anyone offer an honest opinion on either? What else is there to do in San Antonio? I've heard River Walk is nice- is there anything else I'm neglecting?

Any advice on what time of year to go? Is early August too hot? Is spring better than summer? Is three full days enough?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, just in case I'm able to make this happen!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 3:26 PM
make sure to go to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels
Thursday, March 2, 2006 3:27 PM
Fiesta Texas kicks BUTT....sure, Rattler is an overbraked heap, but the steel (mine train and S:KC and Polty), the theming, the setting, and (most importantly) the staff - outstanding! The flume ride is one-of-a-kind, and the theming is *at least* on par with Knott's flume.

If you DON'T go to Schlitterbahn, well, then you're gonna have to go back, so....

Steel Eel is a really solid Morgan hyper, not sure why they feel the need for the brakes to hit SO hard. Great White, well-themed B:TR, doesn't make upfor the (ROUGH) ride though...thinking the misters may have a detrimental effect on the steel, dunno...

Riverwalk is right next to the Alamo, within walking distance even for me....

Heat? I'm not the person to's a DRY heat, if that helps (which is doesn't, really)...;)
*** Edited 3/2/2006 8:29:02 PM UTC by rollergator***

Thursday, March 2, 2006 4:37 PM
As if the name did not imply, SFFT is by far the model that SF should use in perfecting the rest of the chain. I live 13 hours from the park, but like I stated many times before, I have made the drive multiple times.

Here's Why:

1.) The park is in an old rock quarry. The giant walls of the quarry intimidate you from two major fronts of the park. Waterfalls as added theming are abundant and look wonderful.

**So some people say - "The quarry walls add the premier roar on polty and add to the overall experience" - - I guess so :-\

2.) Atmosphere with a capital A. This park, although I know from previous ownership, has theming way above and beyond any of the other six flags properties. You can see Six Flags influence in the likes of Superman, but aside from that, it has a great path layout, which much to look at and see. One such part of the park reminds me much of BGW caliber theming. (The town section).

The Boardwalk section is one part of this park that should just be cloned all over the chain. It provides an intense feeling of being at a real boardwalk carnival, complete with flats and a scooby doo dark ride.

3.) Ride Collection

Of course, the coaster count really does lack and if youre looking for volume, you may be disappointed. Superman Krypton Coaster is the cream of the floorless breed, and is one of the most amazing steel looping coaster experiences around. Poltergeist is nothing short of spectacular, with no trims, and treats you to one crazy ride at night with a really cool black light lighting scheme. (I know this is just your average cloned spaghetti bowl, but someone here has to agree that polty is craziest of them all).

Rattler is really nothing special, and can be enjoyed in small doses at intermittent points in the ride. Except for the roller skater they have, this is the last ride I would choose to spend my day at.

They have a boomerang as well, and it runs quite smoothly. Aside from SKC and polt, the other ride they have that is superior to others in its class is the RoadRunner Express Mine Train. I believe it is one of a few, if not the only, ofexistin garrow mine trains of its generation, and this thing is sick. I wont say much, but dont expect anything you normally would from an Arrow Mine Train.

4.) Shows

If the Texas heat is ever getting to you, SFFT offers an excellent collection of shows that they really pride themselves on. I normally would brush these aside, but at one of the Fiesta Fest events a few years back we tried them out, and they really are great. See what theyre like, you might enjoy them.


While youre in San Antonio, you should attend the three main parks there. Expect what you want of Sea World, but SFFT is sure to provide the overall excellent experience and Schlitterbahn is one of a kind.

Just know youre being extremely envied by more than one enthusiast when youre watching the cliff wall dance around you in front of your eyes.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 4:58 PM
The earlier the better, July and August can be really hot, I would avoid those months if you can. Also you would need to go the first two weeks in August, after that Fiesta is not fully operational. The hours are shorter, and the waterpark may not be open. The three major shows (including the night time closing show) end August 13.

San Antonio is one of my favorite cities to visit. We drive down there a couple of times a year. If this is your first time you really should go down to the River Walk and have lunch or dinner and take a boat tour. Be sure to walk through the Hilton lobby all the way to the street level, it has some interesting waterfalls. The Alamo is a popular tourist attraction, and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park has four additional missions and an old Dam and Aqueduct.

The Tower of Americas, the surrounding Hemisphere Plaza and La Villita village are also very nice.

If you like historic homes, the King William Historic District has many restored mansions.

I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for, but San Antonio has a lot to offer. It is one of the top tourist cities in America.

As far as the parks go, you can spend a whole day at each if you want to. If all you want to do is ride coasters, then you won't need much time at either park. If you want to see the shows, spend a full day at each park. Both parks also have nice waterparks included.

Sea World of course has the usual killer whale and dolphin shows, but I also highly recommend Viva, their Cirque-like show that combines divers, synchronized swimmers, porpoises and beluga whales.

Fiesta is famous for their shows, but they also have a nice collection of flat rides, and the overall atmosphere of the park is just amazing. If it weren't for the super hero and looney tunes characters you wouldn't even know you were at a Six Flags park.

*** Edited 3/2/2006 9:59:31 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

Thursday, March 2, 2006 5:35 PM

Not tons of stuff here...but I remember that whole trip to San Antonio fondly! River Walk is fun. You have to see the Alamo! SFFT is the best of the chain. Sea World is not as nice as San Diego or Orlando...BUT they have coasters! Schlitterbahn (the old part) is the best water park my opinion. Don't miss it!

P.S. I'm not a waterpark fan in general...

Thursday, March 2, 2006 9:04 PM
SFFT, SWSA, and Schlitterbahn are musts. SFFT shows are a great way to escape the heat and are on par with Busch parks (a step below Disney/Universal but way above other Six Flags and Paramount parks.) One show not to miss is their Lone Star Spectacular that closes off the park; its a combination firework, laser and projection show (the latter two use the quary walls as their screen). Its chessy, but enjoyable and they shoot off a fair amount of fireworks and you get to watch it from a grassy hill just like you would a 4th of July show.

Even if you arent a water park person, you have to go to Schlitterbahn; it is by far the best water park in the world, spend two days up there (and make sure its not a weekend) and be sure to ride the blasters first thing in the morning so you dont have to wait 2 hours and can spend your afternoon in the shady old park riding the 10 min plus rides that make this park so special.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 9:10 PM
We did Sea World in the AM, SF in the PM. Sea World is great early because people haven't made their way to the rides yet. NOTE: Sea World Opens their rides an hour after the gates open, at least that's how it was when I went in October.
Thursday, March 2, 2006 9:14 PM
^Only problem with that plan is that Sea World has night shows, two of which (sea lion and Shamu) are better then the day shows. Honestly I would do 2 days at Schliterbahn, 1 day at SFFT and 1 day at SWSA. With your remaining 3 days I would explore San Antonio (see the Alamo, riverwalk, etc.) and if you are bored make a day trip up to Austin. That area is a great place to visit, just be ready for the heat of summer, if youre prepared and accept you may have to escape inside in the middle of the afternoon you should have no problems.
Thursday, March 2, 2006 10:18 PM
Rob -

1. San Antonio in July/August is just slightly cooler than the surface of the sun. It's best to visit between March and May or between October and December.

2. SFFT, SeaWorld, and Schlitterbahn are all worth visiting. Personally, I wouldn't devote an entire day to any one of those parks, but that's just me. SFFT has a few impressive rides and a great setting, SeaWorld is beautiful and has all those aquatic creatures, and Schlitterbahn is just gonzo water fun.

3. As mentioned, the Alamo and the Riverwalk are musts. There are also the old missions on the south side of town, and the Natural Bridge Caverns a little west of Schlitterbhan are supposed to be cool (there's a safari and a cave tour). If you're into hiking, there are a bunch of Hill Country trails that are supposed to be nice. And then there's Austin just 90 or so miles northeast (bars, UT campus, bars, and bars).

4. I think you can easily see a little bit of everything in a 3-4 day trip.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 10:40 PM
There is absolutely no deception in the pictures you've seen of SFFT and SWSA. Both are incredible looking parks. I'm still regretting not riding the log flume, but several rides on their killer Frisbee made up for it (at least that's what I tell myself:)).

As for the heat--well, on the Zombies trip we got lucky until the last day at Sea World (we visited in May). I came really close to hurling after eating, and it was a good meal. In the Baltimore area, we get really hot, humid days, but nothing prepared me for the heat that day. I couldn't breath very well and I had to take my t-shirt off at one point. The worst part was when I had to locate two members of our party and I had to run back to the front entrance to find them, which brings me to my next point:

The parking lot at Sea World is ridiculously huge. Make sure you remember where you parked. We were riding around in a white Dodge van and it turns out that lots of people had white Dodge vans. I had to ask the security guard in the tower to look for where we might have parked based on our early arrival. He got it right away thank goodness.

Riverwalk is o.k. If you've been to places like Harborplace in Baltimore, you've already got the basic gist of what this place is. They have a lot of the same attractions like the Hard Rock Cafe. What separates it though is the riverboat tour (as long as there are no loud drunk people onboard like we had). *** Edited 3/3/2006 3:44:28 AM UTC by Intamin Fan***

Friday, March 3, 2006 12:29 AM
On the boat tour they show you this old hotel that was put together like Legos. Each room was literally furnished and finshed "on the ground" and then hoisted by crane to its resting place.

...The night Shamu show was the best animal water show I've ever seen! Shamu Rocks...I think it was called!

The flume and Frisbee are indeed awesome. I'm not a "flat" guy and Frisbee was my favorite ride in the park!

Friday, March 3, 2006 9:58 AM
I agree on the heat. We were down for the Golden Tickets last fall and it was HOT.

SFFT is a great park with great shows. It was an Opryland park originally and the tradition of great shows continues. You can also attribute the quality theming to that era of the park.

The coaster mix is excellent with an interesting outside spaghetti bowl coaster - Poltergeist and a great B&M in Superman. They also have a Superflume that is fun and used to be highly themed.

This Seaworld is also the cleanest and best kept I have ever been in. It is simply beautiful. Lots of space. Gorgeous landscape. Great park.

If you like waterparks (or don't) Schlitterbahn is the best park in the world in my opinion and Jeffery didn't pay me to say so. It is innovative, beautiful and a lot of fun. There is also a lot of great food in New Braunfels.

Friday, March 3, 2006 11:53 AM
Get ready for a great trip, This is my favorite area in the whole world. I think that SFFT is one of the best six flags parks, and I think that Sea World San Antonio is the best Sea World park. There is so much to do in San Antonio, I can't even begin to explain it all. My advice is to just have fun and I am sure you will have an amazing time. The atmosphere is great, the parks are great, and the city is great. As for Schlitterbahn I don't recomend it. In my opinion this park is a dump and a huge waiste of money. The worst thing about it is that it is always paked! there are way to many people there and if you go you will probably anly get on three things. Besides that Have Fun
Friday, March 3, 2006 4:51 PM
Wow... thanks everyone. I was wondering if Sea World and Six Flags stood up to the better parks in their respective chains and it seems that they do. I'm particularly pleased (and surprised) to hear that Fiesta Texas is a great park. I was worried that it might be along the lines of SFA or SFNE but I can tell that's not the case.

The lack of coasters doesn't bother me. I loved SFA's Joker's Jinx so I'm sure I'll love Polty. I've heard many good things about Roadrunner's Express. And Superman looks fantastic- it might give Kraken, my current floorless fave, a run for it's money. All that almost makes me ignore the fact that Rattler will be lackluster. Almost.

I was worried about Sea World because the Orlando park is one of my all-time favorite parks and the Texas version would have a lot to live up to. I can tell that's not going to be a problem.

And how could I forget Schlitterbahn?

Like I said, this trip is far from definite but at least I know it will be worth it if we can make it happen. The only this is it will probably have to be early August, which everyone seems to think is going to be very hot. I'm not a big fan of the heat but it seems like I should be willing to make an exception, especially if it makes the trip possible.

Again, thanks!


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