Our trip in Texas was originally planned to visit my wife's old college friends, celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary and to hit some amusement parks with some of the best coasters. We originally planned to do a day a piece at Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Schliterbahn. But after arriving at Six Flags Fiesta Texas we quickly decided to ditch Schliterbahn (scheduled for day 2 in San Antonio) this trip and hit it next time.
Upon arrival at the park (arround 11:15) we were met with the cheapest parking fee of the trip, $7. Howevever, for this fee we received a DC Comics Superman comics book (oh boy! reading material for the water park), park map, a parking receipt and a pamphlet describing all the rules of the park. A nice little feature that perhaps Six Flags should do at all of the parks. This was a completely different pamphlet outside of the park map.
Once inside the parking lot you will notice the park has a kennel for animals which I thought was a good idea (SFA used to have a pet kennel, when it was WW, but I believe it has been taken out) and picnic tables that are under shaded structure, unfortunately there were only two that I saw. When you approach the front gate, the lady took my season pass and asked what area we were from, it was nice being acknowledged as visitors from outside San Antonio something I read recently that SFA does as well. From the point I entered the parking to the point I went through security, SFFT shined on customer service.
Once you enter security, I managed to slip past the wall of wanna be newspaper photographers (Souvenier Photographers) and entered a well themed entry plaza known as Los Festivales. This was your typical plaza complete with shops including a pastry shop for those that missed breakfast, on the right side was a additional Hospitalitiy Center where you could pick up the souveniers you purchased throughout the park, to the left was the acrobatic show (which unfortunately we missed) and straight ahead was some misters and to the right was Boomerang, a Vekoma Shuttle Boomerang coaster. I skipped it this time since I rode the same type of coaster only days before at SFOT and really wanted to concentrate on the coasters I hadn't rode before.
At this point, my wife was complaining of being hot so we quickly located Armadillo Beach and seeked out the wave pool. We found the wave pool all the way to the back of the water park which seemed like the longest hike to reach. A glance around revealed no bathhouse (which I located at the front of the water park later) to change into so I opted for the bathroom. A quick change into my Speedo and I was ready to hit the waves. I must say this, the guards at Huricane Harbor and SFFT are far more tolerable than the ones at SFA. After I cooled off, I left my wife and headed out to scope out the park.
I turned right out of the water park and headed into Crackaxle Canyon and quickly decided that Road Runner Express and The Rattler were two coasters I wanted to ride. My decision on Rattler was a bad one and I will explain that later. I continued through Crackaxcle Canyon and noticed the Wagon Wheel. A enterprise type of ride that I had never seen in operation at SFA. It was nice to finally see what one looked like. I continued down the backside of the park and came upon Bubba's River Cafe, where I was able to fill my Superman Tower of Power souvenier cup from SFOT for .99. This is one of the best things about both SFOT and SFFT. I can find Fresh Brewed Iced Tea at both parks, a major plus for me since I am diabetic. A little further down I found Gully Washer. What a cool looking ride. One of the things I like to do most at my homepark (SFA) is squirt people riding Renegade Rapids with the water canyons. In fact, I have become a expert at it. So I couldn't refuse dropping a quarter and hitting the button to fire a tall stream of water at some strangers. It was so cool squirting people. Leaving Crackaxle Canyon, I entered the DC Comics section. What a tiny little section of the park which I guess is actually part of Spassburg after looking at the park map. I also glared and salivated over Superman: Krypton Coaster and decided it was a must ride. Leaving the little part of Spassburg I visited, I entered Rockville. This section of the park has to be the best themed of any of the Six Flags Parks I have been to. You are quickly taken back to the '50's with '50's style cars parked in the streets, the old traffic lights hanging down in the middle of the road and a high schools gym that held a 50's style music revue. I was extremely impressed with the themeing of the park at this point. It was now about 1:15 and my wife and I had agreed to sees the 50's show at 1:45, so I trudged back to the wave pool, got her and the rest of the stuff and headed back to Rockville High to see the music show.
There are two music shows at Rockville High. The Rockin' at Rockville show was the one we were able to see. The show was excellent. Any member of this show could go on American Idol and win! The show has a good set and a good crew that is quickly able to move the set as the show goes on and on for about 30 minutes. There is a two part storyline of the show whose lead performer in an arrogant preppie quarterback that feels he is better than everyone else. Fed up with him, his girlfriend becomes interested in another man and I think you can fiqure the rest out on your own. The other part of the story involves a dance contest hosted by the school principal and choir director who have their own fling going on. Excellent show. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the Reflections at Rockville High show but suspect the same cast and crew are the start and would be worthy of a visit if you have time. BTW, the shows at SFFT have won Amusement Business Today's Golden Ticket awards.
By now, it was 2:30. My wife desperately wanted to show me the river walk in San Antonio and we wanted to see the laser show later that evening. Disappointed I didn't get to ride any of the coasters, we decided to cancel our trip to Schilterbahn this time since the only thing we were really interested in was seeing the park and using the wave pool for the more cost effective solution of visiting SFFT a second day and getting some coaster time in.
We left the park and headed to the Courtyard Marriott Medical Center hotel. If you stay there stay away from room 323, it has plumbing problems and the bathroom door will not close all the way.
After checking into the hotel,eating dinner on the Riverwalk (we skipped lunch so we were pretty hungry by the time we got down there at 5:00) and taking the boat tour, we headed back to SFFT. I was hoping to do some coaster riding but as fate would have it, the bad weather followed me down to Texas from Maryland. The skies opened up and it poured rain down for about two hours. We trudged through the train and got back to SFFT around 8:00 for the 9:00 laser show. While pulling into the park from I-10 we saw lightening hit two power poles, something new for us. It was still pouring the rain down when we got to the park so we waited in our car for about 15 minutes. Eventually, wanting to make sure we weren't sitting in our car for no reason, I checked with guest relations (which was on the outside of the gate, another big customer service plus for this park) to make sure the show was still going on and at that time it was. Finally the rain stopped about 20 minutes later and we headed into the still open park. Checked again at the hospitality center and the laser show was still going on. While in the hospitality center, I overheard someone talking about a park in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but chime in. They didn't realize there was a park in Washington D.C. This happened to me three times on this trip. At SFOT a couple of people noticed my Penguin's Blizzard River T-Shirt and didn't realize there was a park in Washington and people at SFFT was realizing there was a park in Washington D.C. SF really needs to come up with a good marketing plan to let the U.S. know where there parks are at. SFA has been flagged for four years now and people still don't realize there is a park in Washington D.C.
Once inside the park, none of the rides were running. So I finished touring the rest of the park. We did find Scooby Doo Ghostblasters running so after fixing a quick technical difficulty we proceeded to blast ghosts. I beat my wife with a score of 1400.
After Blasting ghosts we headed to Lone Star Lils. A concert amphitheater that shows the Laser Show. I was amazed that there were less than 100 people in the area watching the show. The park really cleared out after the rain. But the show still went on. This show tells the story of the State of Texas and a little bit about the history, heritage and celebrities of Texas. All done to the tune of various types of music, complete with fireworks at the end. An excellent production and definetly worth the wait and trudging through the rain storm. After the laser show, we stopped at Sonic for a couple of foot long hot dogs and headed back to the hotel.
We get to the park at about 9:30. On the way out the night before I asked what time the park would open on Thursday and the security guard told me 9:30 and that he had to be there at 8:45 which was too early for him. A little TMI for me but hey whatever floats your boat. Anyways, We arrived at 9:30 only to find out the park doesn't open until 10:00. One of the things I did notice the day before while scouting the park was several rather large signs in front of certain rides that advertised certain rides wouldn't open until 11:00 and other would close early for the Laser Show. Among those that didn't open until 11 were S:KC and The Rattler. The gates opened at 10:30 and we headed into the park. Since the waterpark didn't open until 11:00 my wife hung out with me a for a few minutes. I headed straight for Poltergeist.
At SFA, the same coaster is known as Joker's Jinx. I wanted to compare the two. Now that I have, I must say that I'm disappointed in Joker's Jinx. Poltergeist I found to be a better ride (particularly after the ride I had at SFA today). The launch never slows down and only gets faster. Before you know it you are through the roll and at the top of the coaster. As opposed to SFA, there seems to hit maximum speed about 3/4 of the way through the launch and crawls through the top of the coaster. The forces exerted on your body on the way down the coaster were felt a little more on Poltergeist than on Joker's Jinx. All in all, I give Poltergeist a 3.
After riding Poltergeist I head over to S:KC. Only to find Ride Mechanics walking the track towards the end of the coaster. So I head over to see if Gully Washer was open. Nope! So I head back to S:KC and find it was doing a test. I hang around a bit, the test is successfull and the next thing I know they opened the coaster. I was able to ride the second train out of the station and took position in row 3 seat 3. This B&M Floorless was going to be a new adventure for me. I have never rode either a B&M before, nor have I ever rode a floorless. It was neat watching the floor disappear and reappear after each coaster train left and arrived at the station. Before I knew it, I left the station and was going up the lift hill. After the trademark B&M dip, we gained speed and headed down the side of the quarey with a sharp turn to the right, hit the first loop headed for the 360 degree helix which pulled some intense g's and that is about all I remember. The sign of a good coaster to me. I enjoyed the sensation of the cobra rolls, a first for me as well. A good coaster but for me it suffered a little bit from hype. I ended the coaster with a "that's it" which is not good. I expect a coaster to toss me,turn me and attempt to through me out of the train. S:KC didn't do any of that. If a B&M Floorless is suppose to be a top of the line coaster then I was disappointed. Superman:Krypton Coaster gets a 2 from me.
After Superman:Krypton Coaster, my wife and I went over to Roadrunner Express. Our wait in line was minimal, probably about 5 minutes. We take our seats and before we know it, we were heading down this runaway mine train. The air was good, the coaster just kept going and going and going. My wife enjoyed it which is a major plus since she is not a coaster nut and I enjoyed it. I give Roadrunner Express a 3.
After Roadrunner Express, it was time for her to head to the waterpark for a couple of hours of relaxing and tanning in the sun. Before she went, I convinced her to ride Gulley Washer with me. Again the themeing for this ride is excellent. The queue line, could be shortened by a good 500 yards or so, perhaps tunnel under the tracks by Wagon Wheel and build the queue from there and use the rest of the queue line for a new wooden coaster. We began by coasting down the gulley at a moderate pace and turning here and there. We reach the water spray area and I yell out "Hit me now or I will hit you later" I get hit by each of the canons. By the end of the ride, I am soaked while my wife is mostly dry.
After GullyWasher, we had to the wave pool, I change back into my Speedo and hit the waves for a few minutes before cooling off. While in the wave pool, I begin to notice some dark clouds forming. I really wanted to ride the Rattler before I left to head back to Austin, TX that evening so I departed my wife for the journey of my trip.
Rattler had the longest wait of any coaster on my trip, 45 minutes and it was so not worth it. First off, they weren't running the fans in the station so that made the wait hot! The ride ops were doing a good job in making sure the trains were dispatched quickly and I don't think I ever saw them stack any of the trains. Once in the train, I rode with a guy from Pennsylvania. We had a nice chat about Hershey Park on the way up the lift hill. Once at the top, we quickly descinded down the other side. It felt like we were flying down the hill and up the other side at about 75 mph. But the caveat was, it was the roughest descent I ever felt on any wooden roller coaster. We quickly make a 180 degree turn and head down the other side and backup to the other for the worst excuse for a helix ever. The train barely paralleled the ground and we slowed down to about 35 mph. There were some dips in the helix or were these bumps. Finally after circling, I believe twice, we headed down the other side, through a tunnel, which I believe was the smoothest part of the ride before returning to the station. Six Flags needs to consider fixing this coaster or replacing it before someone gets hurt. Once again, I had a headache from a Texas Woodie. The guy sitting next to me joked about needing first aide after riding this coaster. I give rattler a 1.
After riding The Rattler, I headed back to my wife, grabbed her (not litterally) and headed over to the Spassburg theater for some lunch. Both of us ate a really good pizza (we believe it was on Bobolli Bread) and watched the Looney Tunes Party on America. Who knew the Looney Tunes could dance and rock so well.
Following lunch, I had my wife snap a few pictures of me under the signs for the coasters I rode as a momento of my coaster trip, I snapped a few pictures of some the park and decided I wanted one more ride on S:KC, but unfortunately it was down, it appeared to be stuck in the brake run for the station for some reason. We were getting ready to go back to the car when the heavens opened again for one more dowsing of water.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a beautiful park. The water fall down the side of the quarry, the excellently themed areas, good customer service and a great value (the souvenier bottles of soda were $2.00 less than SFA's). I really feel this park is the undiscovered gem in Six Flags and feel Six Flags could learn a few things from this park. The fact they didn't get a new ride this season must have been a disappointment to staff and failure to give this park a major attraction next season will be nothing short of a disaster. I hated to leave but can't wait for my next visit.
Road Runner Express: 3
S:KC: 2 (I might have given it a 3 had I been able to ride it a second time but it was down)
The Rattler: 1
Major Positives for this park:
Excellently Themed Areas
A couple of good coasters.
Major negatives for this park:
Not all the rides were open all day.
Favorite Coasters at SFGAm: 1.)Superman 2.) Viper 3.) Batman 4.) Bull 5.)Eagle
Looks like you had fun.
Top 5 SFGAm Coasters: 1) Raging Bull 2) S:UF 3) V2 4) B:TR 5) Viper
Maybe Deja Vu would be on this list if it would open!
*** This post was edited by SFGAMan 7/10/2003 12:47:36 AM ***
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