Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA
SeaWorld San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA
We took a weekend trip out to San Antonio to finally make it out to one of the final ‘big’ parks that I have needed to visit in the US for as long as I can remember… Fiesta Texas! Of course, one could not miss out on Sea World San Antonio, either, especially with the Texas Stingray addition.
We arrived at SAT Friday morning, in which we picked up our rental car and headed to do some touristy things (Riverwalk/Alamo, brewery, etc…) before arriving to Sea World at around 4-5pm that evening, in which we had until 7pm when it closed. Place was a ghost town! We naturally made our rounds once inside (note everything was 100% walk-on, even running a single train). First stop was Steel Eel, the Magnum of Texas… Ha… But seriously, I read a lot of good things about this ride and while it was fun, feels like any other Morgan hyper. Prefer Steel Force/Phantom, for sure. But nice air, fairly short layout. Looked great with its new paint job.
Great White was next and I will admit, while B&M inverts are probably my favorite style of coaster of all time, I never been a huge fan of these particular layouts. However, Great White may have converted me? Walked on front seat and had probably the best ride on one of these clones ever. It hugged the terrain a bit more than the Batman’s and you didn’t have to walk through dark, must sweat smelling “themed” pipes in order to get to the station like on the Batmans… Win win win! But yeah, this thing was running great. Looked even better at night once lit up all blue.
Wave Breaker was next, the Intamin family jet-ski coaster… Not much to say about this one, some nice zig-zags close to the water, great for families, etc…
Texas Stingray has been one of the top rides since it opened I have been wanting to experience, loving what GCI does. It was running one train (the other was sitting off to the side, in pieces, due to off-season maintenance), but no need today with the ghost town of a park as mentioned previously. In fact, we were able to re-ride in the front seat or wherever, grabbing a handful of rides before the parks 7pm closure. Fantastic layout, really smooth. You definitely notice a new, atypical style of layout design from GCI on this one, which makes sense as I was told this was the first by a new designer over at GCI. Well, he did a killer job! Also, little did I know this ride utilized the terrain so well, in Texas of all places. A few really great headchoppers, great pops of air and the ending sequence just hauls (utilizing the terrain mentioned previously). Not my favorite GCI, but it’s definitely upper card.
That concluded our first evening before heading to dinner and the AirBNB for the night… We would be back tomorrow.
However, priorities first… We are in Texas and we love BBQ… So we decided to arrive early and wait at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio, which according to my research was considered one of the best in area… So we arrived 1hr prior to open at 11am (their official hours are 11-4, or until they run out…). We basically sampled the entire menu on a big tray we split (Brisket, Pulled Pork, Turkey, Sausage, Ribs and sides including Mexican Street Corn, Slaw, Pork Rind Mac n’ Cheese, Beans, Pickled Veggies, etc…)…. It was heavenly and did not disappoint… Loved the Tex Mex flare on the items. Stuffed to the brim.
Back to Sea World for the rest of the evening (close at 9), were we again delightfully enjoyed another light crowd with walk-on rides the entire night. Of course we did all the animal stuff and fed the sea lions, visited the exhibits and saw all the shows among a few coaster rides. Nothing else new to note here, aside from our insane sunset/night rides on Great White and Texas Stingray… Wow. Stingray turned it up to 11, the night rides were phenomenal! Hauling like crazy.
Sea World is a beautiful property, even more-so than expected. We certainly preferred it over the San Diego property which was more dated for sure (reminded us a lot of Sea World Ohio). Antonio was far more modern park, really clean/beautiful. At night, it’s even more beautiful with plenty of nice lighting, seating areas, etc… Exceeded our expectations for sure.
Sunday was the day I finally step foot into Six Flags Fiesta Texas after some 20 years of wanting to go, which is insane… But anyway… Paid our $30+tax to park (oof!) and arrived to a beautiful site of an empty parking lot… Not even a full row of cars, which much like Sea World the prior two days, resulted in walk-on rides of everything in the park our entire visit. So that was awesome.
Arrived right at rope drop, so after a quick look at the new dive coaster with it’s baby-poo support color, we headed to Iron Rattler… Which was not yet ready… So we went to Roadrunner for a quick ride (modern mine train, OK for what it was) before waiting just about 5 minutes for Iron Rattler to open. Hopped on the backseat and we were off on the first train of the day.
I was excited for this RMC given it’s unique layout and placement. The first drop was amazing, but the rest of the ride that followed was just kind of ho-hum. Super smooth, a fun barrel roll up to the cliff and a great drop back down, but when we hit the break run we both agreed it was OK. Honestly, out of all the RMC’s ridden, probably at the bottom? Again, not a bad ride, but I think I find every other one I’ve been on more exciting/fun in some way. This list includes for reference Wicked Cyclone, Goliath, Storm Chaser, Vengeance, Joker & Twisted Colossus.
Next up, Superman! I always recall the battle between Batman Knight Flight and Superman as who had the bigger loop from my early enthusiast days… Fun times. This ride is probably the one I’ve been most looking forward to riding on this trip, honestly, next to Stingray at SW… So I was really excited. We walked right on row 1 and off we went… What a great layout! The ride didn’t disappoint and the dives off the cliffs, the epic G-Roll and flow of elements was really fantastic. I liked the small pop of air going into the turn after the loop, which was not expected. A touch rattly, but it’s also some 20 years old now so I won’t hold it against it. Still runs better than Hulk 2.0. But yeah, great ride and I would be back later for some more.
Headed over to Poltergeist and really enjoyed the theming, the ride was running great and probably the best ride I’ve had on one of these Premiere bowls. Super smooth, insane head choppers. Good fun.
Wonder Woman was next, which to be honest, I was not really excited for. My first single rail RMC (we just missed the one at CGA by a few weeks). These rides look uncomfortable, but I went in with an open mind anyway. I crammed my 6’5” frame into the restraints (not really that bad, actually) and off we went. It was about exactly what I had expected… It was super fast, filled with extreme forces and felt like a wild mouse on steroids… Not rough per-say, but the train didn’t really track well and sloppily kind of clunked around the course. It was better than expected, but not something I cared to ride again during our visit. Just not my cup of tea. I think the larger variants like at Great Adventure and Magic Mountain would be better, for sure. So I look forward to trying one of those ones out someday.
Batman the S&S 4-D freespin was next on the roster… God, I really hate these rides. Tried the one at Great America (Joker?) and hated it, but thought I would give it another try… But a big fat nope. These things just suck in every way and I hate how these are the new boomerangs popping up everywhere. I absolutely love/adore X2 and what it does, for comparison, but these are torture traps with absolutely no good qualities. Moving on…
Took a quick lap on Pandemonium, another two rides on Superman and finished the day out on Goliath at the front of the park. Not as good as Great White, but ran really good considering it’s few relocations.
We spent just around 5 hours total in the park before heading out. Liked the park a lot and pleasantly surprised that even for as dead as it was, the park ran at least two trains on everything (except Iron Rattler at 1 train due to off-season work, in which a sign does state they bought a 3rd train to avoid long waits in the future during this time of year at the ride entrance). But things were clean and the park as a whole looked great. A bit hot in the Texas sun with a lack of shade and typical Six Flags black top to help roast you in the 88 degree heat.
Overall, it was a great trip and glad I finally was able to make it to these parks. Next up, we visit Dominion/BGE in a few short weeks, both of which I have not stepped foot into since Hypersonic was still operating back in 2005! Looking forward to being reunited with BKF (those who know, know…!) among with trying out i305 and other new rides.
My favorite part of Kings Dominion was getting to ride Dominator again. As of a few years ago it was still running as well as it did when Six Flags first built it. Hopefully that is still the case!
Sea World San Antonio is a really nice park that is a great deal more enjoyable when the weather is pleasant. I prefer any time during the spring as opposed to mid-day in July or August, especially since the park is pretty big. They ran a free season pass for kids under 5 and for teachers at one time, so we could go for the price of just my pass. We took advantage of only being 5 hours away for a couple of weekend getaways. The crowd fizzling out late in the day there seems pretty common. On one of the trips, lines for both coasters at the time had scared me away all day and I ducked away with 30 minutes to go to try to jump on at least one of them. I managed a ride on each with 15 minutes to spare. I think the people that stick around the park that late do it for the last orca show.
Awesome. Glad you had a good time. You picked a good time to go. Crowds were most likely low because it was the first weekend of Fiesta in San Antonio which was likely sucking away a lot of the hordes.
Sorry, you didn't love your ride on Iron Rattler.
I think it's one of the best coasters out there. It's an overall great ride experience.
SF Fiesta Texas is a really nice park. I was glad I had the opportunity to visit it a few years ago.
Ditto on Iron Rattler. It's my favorite of the 5 "wood" RMC's I've ridden. (And I live 30 minutes from SV.) I like it for the exact reasons you apparently don't. It's not all in your face, element after element "Look what I can do." Just well paced, fun, scenic and re-ridable.
Great TRs. Sounds like an awesome trip.
Don't get me wrong, I thought I would have loved Iron Rattler more due to that very reason. Goliath is probably my favorite RMC because of it's larger elements and less of the "bucking bull" hill after hill abruptness like that found at the end of Vengeance (loathe that ending with a passion). It's the part I don't like about most of the RMC's near the end of the ride when they just throw in weird banks/rolls/hills a few feet off the ground just to do something with the energy. I much prefer the larger, spread out elements. I think for that reason, Iron Gwazi is a great contender to take my #1 RMC spot as it removes all the crappy parts of Vengeance which has a really strong first half.
But at the end of the day, still a really solid ride and I enjoyed it a lot!
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