Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA
Over a business trip in Dallas, I had hoped to jump over to the original Six Flags one evening. We tried for Wednesday evening, but a storm opened up right over the park right as we were getting to it, followed by a bigger storm from the north that combined with it. We sat in the parking lot of the Subway right outside the entrance to wait it out for a bit, but had no luck. Thursday evening, however, was an evening of beautiful sunshine and, as we would soon discover, minimal crowds.
We kicked off our day on Titan with two laps that required no exit from the ride. Titan remains a favorite of mine, especially for the fact that it does the complete opposite of what hypercoasters usually do. I still think that the elongated airtime hill over the first drop is one of the best floater airtime hills in the business, but we all know that it's the two nasty helices that give the ride its reputation, and neither one disappointed. It's a genuinely awesome coaster that is always a pleasure to ride.
Next up was its neighbor, The New Texas Giant. My limited experience with this ride was its cold, rainy, gray media day, and coupled with the amount of time it has been since then, I just didn't really have any memory of how good it actually was. It was genuinely a fantastic ride, and I dare say I applaud it for being perhaps a bit more balanced than newer RMCs. I don't think it really rocked my socks off, but it was might fine.
We opted to work our way across the park from there to The Joker, a credit neither he nor I had in our track records. My expectations were pretty low, expecting the ride to be kind of a budget thrill with nothing really remarkable about it. Oh, how terribly wrong we were. He and I laughed so hard we almost hurt ourselves. It seems like it should be such a cheesy coaster, but it was exceptionally fun. We were able to stay on a second lap due to the lack of riders, and I remember lying flat on my belly over one of the camelbacks on the top portion of the track in a weird sensation of forces. It was absolutely glorious.
We chose Mr. Freeze - Reverse Blast for our fourth attraction of the evening. I'd ridden both this and the St. Louis model when they launched forwards, but I was interested to see how much of a difference this made. I found it to be a bit of a wash. These rides are just so good that it doesn't really matter what order of forwards/backwards you take. I really wish parks were investing in these instead of Sky Rocket IIs, because not only are these rides vastly superior, but the two-train operation makes a world of difference.
Batman-The Ride followed it up and proved yet again just why these clones sit near the top of my rankings. We rode it first near the back and while it didn't totally set my world on fire the way it has in the past, it still totally rocked. We took the lap, got some fries and onion rings at Johnny Rockets (which were terrible), then came back for another lap in the front row that was spectacularly good. I maintain that Afterburn is the only inverted coaster that contends with it for being the best invert design in existence, but for now, the Batmen still sit on top.
We got an additional lap afterward on Mr. Freeze and The Joker before making our way to Shock Wave. Now, folks, I've gotta ask: what it is about this ride that so many people love? We rode in the back and hit a few hills of righteous air, but beyond that, seriously, what makes this ride so amazing to so many people? It isn't bad by any means, but it just doesn't do much for me one way or the other. Am I missing something?
We worked our way back to the front in hopes of snagging one additional lap each on The New Texas Giant and Titan, but we only got the former due to a breakdown on the latter that conveniently ended right as we got to our car. Oh well.
For only having about three hours there, it was immensely productive. Crowd levels were low, and some crews had moments of great efficiency. There's still a ways to go, but every now and then, they cranked out a train or two fairly quickly. I wish that Six Flags would touch of the appearance of their parks a bit as they just have a very different feel from other parks, and not always in a good way, but Six Flags Over Texas remains one of, if not the, best parks in their portfolio, and I look forward to going there again!
13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones
SFOT has always been one of my favorite regional themers and after all, is the original. It (and SFOG) are both beautiful parks and always seem a step above the other SF parks you can find.
Shockwave is one of my favorites, and I prefer the front so maybe that’s where you “went wrong”. Those Schwarzkopf coasters have wonderful top-of-the-hill moments combining air and lateral forces that are always surprising, and best experienced toward the front of the train.
What, no La Vibora? I'm heading there in exactly a month and the buzz has been this park isn't doing too well this year with a lot of broken down rides. Glad to hear you had a good time. I'm looking forward to it because I've never been on Titan/Goliath, never been on an RMC, never been on a Joker freespin clone, never been on a large-scale schwarzkopf, never been on a batman clone, and never been on a premier launch coaster. I *have* been on La Vibora's clone at Great Escape though lol. So apart from that it's going to be a lot of firsts.
"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025
I think with Shockwave it's not so much "It's so amazing" as it is, "Wow, that was way better than I thought it would be." You might go in expecting an old, jerky Arrow, but instead get a smooth yet forceful ride.
I lived in Dallas for 1.5 years when it opened and I've stated my love of Mr. Freeze a million times already. It's the ride that turned me into the coastertool that I am today. That being said, I got a few rides on Reverse Blast a few years ago and absolutely loved it! Maybe it was the new spin on it, but given the choice, I definitely prefer RB.
I've yet to ride any of the Batman/Joker 4-D rides and I don't really want to. I'm scared of it making me sick, but I've heard they aren't too bad, so I will ride one when given the chance. On the flip side, I've had 2 chances to ride Green Lantern 4-D coaster at SFMM and passed both times, leaving a credit on the table. Just watching it run the course made me cringe. The kid loved it though. (he was 14 at the time.)
bjames, there definitely were a few rides that looked like they'd been down a while. The tower, log flume, and Harley Quinn ride weren't operating and looked like they hadn't been for a while. My friend was telling me that Harley Quinn seemed to be out of operation more than it was in operation ever since it got installed, though he's not a super-frequent visitor and that could just be anecdotal. None of that bothered me much, but it just didn't look good for a park in the middle of peak season. There may have been more rides, but those were the three that I noticed. On the plus side, every coaster except Titan was running at maximum capacity regarding the number of trains in use. Titan still had two of its three, though, and considering they couldn't even fill those, that was perfectly fine.
Regarding La Vibora, that was a hard pass. I go back and ride Avalanche every time I go to Kings Dominion and I'd do the same whenever I go back to Parc Asterix or Europa for theirs, but as much as I love Intamin rides, bobsleds were not their forte. I got the credit years ago, and that was good enough for me.
bjames, if you haven't ridden any of those rides, you're truly in for a treat. The coaster collection at Six Flags Over Texas is remarkably consistent in terms of quality. Of the seven coasters I rode, five of them have five-star ratings and the other two (Shock Wave and The Joker) have four stars, and the only reason The Joker doesn't have five stars is because a lot of rotation is essential, but not always achieved.
On the subject of Shockwave, it's possible I rode it in the front in the past, but I truly can't remember. I just know it never did much for me, but I wanted to give it a shot in case I was missing something. At least for now, I don't feel like I am, haha.
Lastly, regarding Mr. Freeze, the reason I'm on the fence is because while I loved launching in reverse and how unnatural it was, I also loved the fear factor of climbing the vertical spike forwards and watching the track run out, and then trying to figure out how long the fall backwards would be. Honestly, though, it's such an exceptional, intense ride that I feel like they couldn't go wrong either way.
13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones
Nice trip report. SFOT is a park I make it a point to visit every year. The ride collection - and particularly New Texas Giant - is that good. Of the 10 or so RMC's I've ridden, NTG is the one I find the most fun to ride. Not the absolute best (I'd award that honor to Iron Rattler or Steel Vengeance), but the most fun and most user friendly. I like Titan not only for the long drop but for the fact that it wasn't manufactured by B&M, Intamin or Morgan. As to Shock Wave, I like it because it has some really good airtime and high G-forces (5.9). The park is to be commended for keeping it in such good condition that its age is not apparent to riders. It seems almost incredible that Shock Wave was the tallest coaster in the world when it opened in 1978.
There's nothing that I would call major closed right now, but the park has a number of rides closed for a variety of odd reasons.
Harley Quinn is just over a year old and has been down most, if not all, of this season for some sort of mechanical issue. The giant frisbee knockoff right across the path from it is only a few years old and was down for a long stretch last year. It was running when I was there about a month ago.
Aquaman (Intamin splashdown) has been down all year and is in the process of being demolished. Pics I saw from this weekend show the ride structure still standing, but the station, queue, and ponds are mostly gone. The train closed for the year a couple of weeks ago to accommodate that demolition and construction. The balloon themed kiddie ride near Aquaman is also closed and it's rumored it will be moved for the new construction.
Conquistador (Intamin swinging ship) was closed for construction of the new Larson super loop, but is still closed due to a mechanical issue. The train also stayed closed early in the season for this construction. One half of the flume ride hasn't run yet this year and it's rumored to be on the way out. The newer half that is ADA accessible is operating.
The park was hit by a nasty flash flood during the record rain we had last fall and the Looney Tunes themed dark ride and the adjacent theater were flooded out pretty bad. The dark ride hasn't run since October and much of the themeing and signage was removed from the station and entrance. Lots of rumors about what will happen to it, but nothing confirmed. The theater was demolished in May and replaced with a somewhat temporary looking slab. No idea what has or is going there. Those 2 areas being abandoned along with an unused temporary queue for the antique cars make for a pretty sad area of the park.
The tower was repainted last year and has been open more this season than in recent seasons. I went on it last month for the first time in probably a decade.
Like I said, nothing that I would call major is down and there's still plenty to do, but what is down makes parts of the park look abandoned and unkempt when other areas look as good or better than they have in years. The offseason for the park gets shorter every year (I think this year it was around 6 weeks) and I'm not sure if some unexpected issues snuck up on them and combined with a lack of available money from corporate to get things straightened out.
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