Six Flags over a Hot Bed of Coals (SFOT, 8/3)

Associated parks:
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Sunday, August 3, 2003 5:24 PM
...or so it felt in the Texas heat.

I visited SFOT for the first time today, despite withering temperatures. Thankfully, SFOT is chock-full of shade trees, and there were mostly overcast and hazy skies today. Still, the heat kept my visit to a relatively short 10 am to 3 pm stint.

Titan - We promptly followed the throngs from the park entrance to Titan at 10 am, keeping our wait down to around 20 minutes. I had ridden Goliath at SFMM before, so I knew pretty much what to expect. Smooth, good air, nice speed, and intense g's. After the ride, my fiancee was grateful I warned her about the helices - we were both graying out. I give it a score of 4.5 out of 5. I'd rate it higher, but its layout just doesn't compare to some other hypers I've ridden.

Shock Wave - I think I've been wanting to ride this since I first saw a picture of it in Herma Silverstein's Scream Machines book when I was about 12 years old. One train operation, so the in-station wait was about 15 minutes. What can I say? The ride is a classic. Sure, it doesn't stack up to modern loopers, but it's still plenty of fun, especially considering when it was built. Nice pops of air, and great scenery with the encroaching trees surrounding parts of the ride. I got tossed around a little, but nothing totally uncomfortable. 3.5 out of 5. Appreciation for the classics.

Runaway Mountain - Long queue line, but no wait. Decent junior coaster, but I agree with my fiancee that it shouldn't be completely dark. Some light effects could definitely enhance the experience. I got a little tossed around, but nothing too bad. Definitely a "one-and-done" ride. 3 out of 5.

Mine Train - again, appreciation for the classics. The ride itself is nothing special, but come on... it was the first mine train! The last drop was sweeter than I was expecting in the rear car, though. One-and-done. 2.5 out of 5.

Texas Giant - pleasant surprise of the day! After having bad experiences with The Rattler at SFFT and Mean Streak at CP, I was prepared for the worst from this wooden behemoth. Instead, I got a fun, wild ride. Very slight washboarding on a few of the pullouts, but mostly, crazy laterals and plenty of power. Not much air, but I know the ride has been toned down. I kept thinking it was like riding The Beast if someone had attempted to stuff it all into a tight figure-eight. Would've ridden it more but the line was around 30 minutes, and the heat was getting oppressive. 4 out of 5.

Mr. Freeze - I'd ridden SFStL's version, but only with OTSRs. I was dying to try it with the lap bars. Practically an in-station wait, but we enjoyed the brief reprieve from the heat. Intense ride, and even better with only lap bars, but my top half did get jostled around a little too much for my comfort, especially heading backwards. I've got to agree with Fafolguy's observation of the "weird" air at the top of the spike. Fun, intense, but a one-and-done for me. 4 out of 5.

Finally, the Golden Ticket winner for the "just where the heck is that ride" ride, Judge Roy Scream. I want to appreciate the classics... really... especially a Bill Cobb design. But Judge Roy just doesn't bring anything to the table. No real air, and some painful jackhammering in the pullouts, especially after the second hill. My fiancee assured me it used to be better, and I'm sure it was. But Judge Roy gets my Golden Goose of the day - 2 out of 5.

Bonus - Wildcatter. My first first-generation freefall! Not bad... not bad at all. I was surprised there was still a 10-minute wait to ride it in a park with an S&S combo tower. But it did the trick. Appreciation for the innovators!

Skipped - Flashback, B: TR, and Superman. Been there, done that, and too darn hot.

Random notes - I'm left with a generally good impression of SFOT. The walkways are definitely too narrow, and the rides/ride entrances are generally difficult to find, but there's plenty of shade, and the lines on a hot hot Sunday in August were very tolerable. Good ride selection, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a B&M floorless or Intamin impulse make a debut at the park. Plus, the park could use way more indoor seating at the restaurants, and a few more water fountains, not to mention some better-cooled queue lines (Titan was perfect, but Texas Giant was killing us). After paying $9 for parking, I could've kissed my Six Flags season pass purchased at the SFFT bargain bin price of $50. In fact, I will kiss it right now.

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 7:15 PM
Judgie jackhammering? You sure you rode the same Judge I did? ;)

Anyway, I think we need to start up this thread again! :)

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I lied, but I still think Shockwave is the best ride in the park.

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Monday, August 4, 2003 9:21 AM
Nice TR, Olsor. Reminded me of my first (and only) visit to SFoT on Aug. 31st of '02, almost a year ago. The heat was indeed oppressive, but my fiancee (as lousy as she was feeling that day :( ) and I were both impressed with the park, overall. We also greyed out on Titan, loved Texas Giant, adored Shockwave (I adore anything Schwarzkopf), and thought the Judge was sub-par. In fact, it's right at the bottom of my list of 33 woodies (whereas the Giant is #6). SoB was the most painful experience of my life, and I really dislike it, but at least it felt like I was on a coaster. The Judge was the most lackluster mass of wood I've ever encountered. Zero air, zero laterals, zero intensity. Blah.

As for Mr. Freeze, however...I've ridden every different Premier LIM coaster layout, and Freeze is the best by far, in my opinion.

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
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