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bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

ACE Event at SeaWorld SA part 3 now posted - Lights, Orca Show, and ERT

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Nice report, Bert...I have to get to Texas to these parks.


I just hope that I can hit SFOT on a good day and not a shitty one like you did, or like TPR did a couple of years ago during one of their tours. This park (like Six Flags Great America) seem to stand out more in the chain as very hit or miss in terms of overall operations and visit experience.


I know that most can be hit or miss, but these two parks always seem to have either really good reviews or really bad ones.



It's a shame that it has become hit or miss these days. Despite my visits to SF parks other than America being pretty infrequent, I felt like SFOT always delivered when I'd go there. It's one of the few in the chain to which I'd really like to get back in the very near future, although based on this review, maybe I don't.


Please don't take the negative as anything other than observations / added flavor.


we had a wonderful time despite the crowds/hiccups with staff attitude.


I'd ABSOLUTELY recommend this park for a visit, but just be prepared that you might get some frustration. . . . then just tell yourself to realize you are at a theme park, and have fun.


although I must note that "hit or miss" absolutely is an accurate description, as you'll see when I update for Sunday morning.

it really was like night and day in terms of employee attitude, crowds, and ride thruput.


we had a good time on both days for this trip, but Sunday was really closer to perfect. but an imperfect day doesn't remove how fun the rides at SFoT are.


(hopefully I'll get the Sunday Morning update posted in the next few days -- I'm in Houston for a wedding, and responding on the hotel lobby computer. . which auto-filled in Theme Park Review when I searched for it! so yay).

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What a Six Flags day! You got a lot of good photos too.


Mr. Freeze is really impressive, and you gotta love that air conditioned queue. On a hot muggy day, once you get in that building, you don't mind that wait one bit.


LOL. . it most certainly was a Six Flags day! (not as much as my trip to Fiesta in Early Oct.. coming up in update in the next few weeks).


was still a great trip to SFoT tho. I don't recall the A/C working in Freeze's queue, but it wasn't uncomfortable during the breakdown wait, since a lot of folks left the line, so plenty of room to move around.



Great trip report. We accidentally went on a make-up bring a friend day a few years ago and the crowd was off the chain - both in quantity and behavior.


The only part of Gunslinger that came from Astroworld is the big handguns on the center of the ride and the name. The ride has been at SFOT since the '80's and was known as Texas Tornado prior to 2007 or so.


that's really interesting on Gunslinger! I had no idea, so thanks for the info.

Maybe that's why I didn't recall it being a yo-yo?


of course, a yo-yo SHOULD tilt (one can even see the mechanism to make it tilt while riding). . but I've now been on 2 in the past few months that did NOT. weird.



Nice report! That's a shame the crowd and employees weren't the best as I had a really pleasant day at SFOT last year.




and glad your trip was pleasant. .as I noted, we had a really good time, despite the issues that Six Flags certainly should address (mainly the food service employees, and for sure the parking lot exiting. . . . seriously Six Flags, get someone directing traffic at the end of the night!).


our Sunday morning was an A+ experience, so average that with the C- from Saturday, and you get a solid B.


So not bad

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We rode the beautiful grand Carousel at Six Flags Over Texas, not to organ music, or even Carousel music. . but to blasting loud Will Smith “Getting Jiggy With It”. I $#!t you not.




My only visit to SFOT was a mixed experience like yours. The park, taken on its own, I really liked! The ops, guest behavior, etc, well, yeah. Not so much.


Interesting to hear your thoughts on NTAG after riding SV first. Sounds like the latter is the more complete experience!

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Interesting to hear your thoughts on NTAG after riding SV first. Sounds like the latter is the more complete experience!


I think SV is a much stronger coaster, and thought the 1st half of it was absolutely stunning.


I liked the 1st half of Giant a lot, but SV has it edged out.


because the 2nd half of Giant is just so "meandering", SV beats it by default. But even tho it has no extreme elements, I think if Giant hadn't braked so strongly at midcourse, that I'd prefer Giant's 2nd half over SV's batcrap crazytown - even tho I really did like the barrel roll inside the structure of SV.


so yeah, the Giant was running, SV beats it hands down. Tho to me, Giant was more re-rideable, even braked as strongly as it was at Midcourse. .if that makes sense.


and here's another pic I found of me in the New Texas Giant line, that Nick took after he exited at Flash Pass entrance and went to sit (this is after about 40 minutes waiting, so we were almost at the base of the stairs).


hope to have Sunday pics up by Wed to close out this TR.


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Great report!


We were able to spend a few days at this park last summer. I agree about the parking lot mess. To make matters worse, the baseball stadium was emptying out at the same time the amusement park was.


Beyond that, we had a blast at the park. The crowds were not too bad, and without fast lane we were able to hit all the coasters several times. I vaguely remember the food service being slow, but after spending the past few days at cedarpoint I cant complain about it anymore.

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So what a difference a day makes!


we got up Sunday morning, after a decent night’s sleep, and I checked my messages, and found a note from the TPR angel who had gifted us the priority parking on Saturday. She noted that she had seen my thank you email (where I mentioned the craziness and some of the frustration of the day), and that IF we had decided to go back into the park? She had set me up once again with a reservation for priority parking on Sunday.


We had decided we were going back to the park for a few hours anyways, but I again thanked her profusely, and after checking out made the quick drive to the park – where this time we were in front row of the reserved parking (and again, we showed them the parking pass on my phone, and told them that someone who was not with us had made the reservation for us, and they still said “no issue” and directed us to the reserved lot).


already we could tell the crowd was MUCH lighter. I think much of it had to do with it not being a BAFF day, but also because it’s Sunday in Texas, so many folks were at Church. Getting in thru the gates was a breeze, and I told Nick we should head to Justice League, since we hadn’t even stopped at it Saturday due to how long the queue line had been. There was still a 15 minute or so wait, but it was all within the Hall of Justice building.


I was really happy that this version wasn’t my 1st time riding it, and that I had recently had my 1st ride on one of these at Six Flags Over Georgia – as there, all the effects had been working. Here at SFoT, the Cyborg in the queue didn’t move and several of the effects within the ride weren’t working -- the tilting shelf of barrels was the big one. Nick, not knowing that some things hadn’t been working, really liked the ride.

So in the end, that’s all that mattered for me.


The operations were spot on tho, with the line moving steadily. Everyone was friendly and the employees were all happy and cheerful (although to be fair, it was morning, and the heat of the day hadn’t kicked in yet).


From the exit of Justice League, we were going to head to Pandemonium right across the walkway but I spotted Texas Skyscreamer operating – with empty seats! So instead we headed directly there, and it was practically a walk on. I waited only one cycle for it, after the prior night it had easily been pulling hour + waits.


I know it’s the tallest one in Texas (and almost the tallest one in the USA at 450ft), but it didn’t really seem all that high. Maybe because I was chatting with the guy who took the open seat next to me during the ride – we talked about Fiesta Texas, LOL – but I didn’t find it scary, and I’m not a huge fan of heights. It was more fun than a wind seeker, and offers fantastic views of not only the park, but of both Dallas, and the stadiums next door. The coolest part of the experience, was how close it FEELS like you’re getting to Riddler when the pendulum swings up on that side. It’s rather neat.


Speaking of Riddler, I got off Skyscreamer and went with my new friend over to Riddler, which also was almost a walk on. (Nick sat on a bench and watched). We ended up chatting the whole time we were in the short line for Riddler, and he was telling me he really wanted to ride Harley, but it wasn’t open. That was weird, since it was operating yesterday, so I figured maybe it was one of those that opens at noon, a couple of hours after the park. How was Riddler? It has some nice forces during the swing, but the actual spinning motion didn’t seem all that noticeable. I mean, I *knew* we were spinning as we were swinging, but I couldn’t really feel it. Still, a good ride, that gets some great height – you really feel UP THERE. I thought it wouldn’t feel that high since I had just gotten off skyscreamer, but nope, still feels pretty high : )

Exiting Riddler, Nick stayed where he was, and my new friend and I went across to Catwoman’s Whip, which had a short wait - although while I was in that line, Riddler went down – and that entire line moved across the walkway and into Catwoman’s line giving that a good wait now (but that was behind me).


Riddler seemed to go down quite a bit during my visit to SFoT (so did Mr. Freeze), but credit where it’s due – Riddler always seemed to come back up 5-10 minutes after it went down. So if you go, and it breaks while in line? My suggested strategy would be to stay in line and wait it out. I have no idea what causes it to shut down so often? Maybe a restraint light, or it doesn’t line up correctly when a cycle stops? But wait it out.


In fact, by the time we got off our cycle on Catwoman – maybe a total of 10 minutes in line and on ride – Riddler reopened, so we went right back across the walkway and got on it with only a 1 cycle wait. While on my 2nd spin on Riddler, Harley started cycling. Checking the time, it was just before noon, so that SEEMS to support the assumption that it opens a couple of hours after the park opens. (Judge Roy also opened around this time, and Aquaman had a sign it didn’t open until Noon. . so it’s weird that certain *rides* rather than certain *areas* open up after park)

Anyways. . after my 2nd ride on Riddler, my new friends headed to Harley and I went to meet up with Nick at the bench.


Since we were in Gotham anyways, we headed over Joker, which was a walk on this morning. It’s got a great setting, right on the edge of the park, but I honestly think that Batman at Fiesta Texas is a better ride. I’ve gotten more flips on Batman, and they seemed more intense. Not sure if it’s the setting at SFoT, or maybe because Batman at SFFT is the orginal installation? But I prefer Fiesta’s S&S Freespin.


Getting off Joker, Harley was *also* a walk on. Now granted, the park wasn’t that crowded. . but I was still pretty surprised that the newest ride two days in a row wasn’t pulling any real lines. There were quite a few folks standing, or sitting on benches, watching the ride. But not many actually in line for it. I have to wonder if it simply LOOKS too extreme and is scaring off potential riders. Which is a shame, as it’s not really intense, and I found it to be a fun little ride. Not my favorite, or scariest, or most extreme. . but fun.


With no line, I rode it twice while here (both times requesting end row seats, and being placed where I requested for both rides).

I was feeling bad that we’d been in the Gotham area all morning, and tho I had ridden: Skyscreamer, Riddler (x2), Catwoman, Joker, and Harley (x2), Nick had only done Justice League today thus far. So I suggested we get a ride on Batwing, as I know he will ride the dumbo-type ride.


Batwing was the ride in Gotham that seemed to have the longest line, with lots of families and small kids in line. It was at least a 4 cycle wait, but as noted – since Nick had only been on Justice League, I had no issue waiting with him to ride it. We watched Mr. Freeze cycle, since the entrance is right next door, and I asked Nick if I could grab a ride on it before we left the area after Batwing, and he was OK with it .. tho he reminded me he wanted to head out no later than 3, and preferably sooner.


So we got off our ride on Batwing, and Nick sat at a shaded Johnny Rockets table, and I went to get in line for Mr. Freeze – only to find the entrance chained off. I asked an employee what was going on, as the ride had been cycling with passengers, and he told me the ride was down for mechanical issues. I asked if I could get in line to wait it out, and was told that it’s standard procedure to close the line when technical issues. I guess I hadn’t seen this the day before because I was IN the line when it went down? But that would explain why no one joined us in the line inside while we waited out the breakdown the prior day.


Oh well. . I hadn’t been on Batman, and that’s right next door to Mr. Freeze, so I texted Nick that I was gonna give that a shot tho I had no idea how long the line is, as the queue on this one is all hidden (and well themed) too. Batman was basically a station wait – but it still took a good 6 minutes or so to get thru all of the queue (and to jump over the giant puddles that had formed in the Gotham park entrance area of the ride queue). . . it’s a great queue, but wow is it long. The ride was super intense, too. The closest I’ve come to a Batman that intense is the version at SFoG. . so I have to wonder if they are the *exact* same model/layout running the same ride cycle. It was great!


and, of course, while on the lift-hill, Mr. Freeze started cycling again (oy).


But I had ridden Batman instead of Freeze, and I didn’t want to be greedy – and wanted to keep Nick happy (and he was ready to get out of this part of the park). . . so instead of getting in that line, I went back to nick and we headed out from Gotham and back over to JRS. We again waited for the front car, this time in 2nd row, and tho not as good a ride as we had gotten the prior night, it was still not bad in the front. I’d guess if we’d gotten on later in the day, after the coaster had been running for the day, we would have gotten a great ride. We backtracked towards the front for a ride on Pandemonium – wow, TWO rides in a row that Nick rode with me. . . LOL. Then headed towards Shockwave.


as we were passing Superman Tower of Power, Nick told me he had changed his mind and didn’t want to ride Shockwave. The two coasters back to back, even minor coasters like JRS and Pandemonium, were enough for him to say he was basically done and ready to go. But I could ride a few more things.

So I hopped into the single rider line on Superman, and took a quick ride.


Shockwave was down when we got to it, for some reason. We didn’t get close enough to ask what was going on, only saw an employee turning people away from the entrance as we came around the base of the Oil Derrick. I wasn’t too disappointed, as I had gotten a ride on it the prior day. And it was getting close to 1pm.


So I asked Nick if he would ride Runaway Mountain, even tho he had said he was done with riding. It was really the only major coaster we hadn’t been by. I told him if he’ll ride that with me, we could leave afterwards, and he agreed to that, as leaving earlier is what he wanted to do anyways. I warned him that I had heard the coaster sometimes pulls a line (was thinking about how Batwing had a line,so a family coaster might be the same), but the park wasn’t that crowded, so lets give it a shot.


we were over by the Oil Derrick, so had to continue all the way around the perimeter of the park to get over to Runaway Mountain (SFoT is laid out so strangely!)

I looked longingly at Giant as we walked near the coaster, but again, I didn’t want to be greedy, and I had agreed that Runaway Mountain would be our last coaster.


*BUT* as we passed Rodeo, it was running! I pointed out to Nick that a) it had been down yesterday and we were disappointed since we wanted to ride it, and b) it was NOT a coaster, so therefore we could ride and still keep the promise : )

They seemed to have only one operator on it, and tho she was speedy-ish, because every car needs to be manually secured/unsecured, a line that was short enough it was only a 1 cycle wait? Still took a good 10 minutes to get on the ride. It was ok tho, because even with the short queue area, it’s indoors and air-conditioned. So all was good, and we had a fun, but not too intense ride on the SFoT rodeo ride.


Added bonus was the giant chair photo op right next door to the ride. It’s not a throne, technically, but since I do love me a good throne, of COURSE I hopped up on it for a picture.

Headed back around towards the front of the park, we found the turn off to get over to Runaway Mountain – and it had been so long since I was in the park (we hadn’t come over here at *all* yesterday) I totally forgot that there are no other rides in this area. Several stores, and restaurants, and a big theater – and a nice section that was like an outdoor museum with the history of the park are over here. But no other rides. Nick actually asked me more than once if I was sure we were headed the right way. But at the end of the ‘street’ was the queue for Runaway Mountain, and I pointed out to him that they were not using almost any of the outdoor queue that snakes among the trees. (they also weren’t using the waterfall on the outside of the building – looked like it hadn’t been on in a long, long time). So the queue pretty much started at the entrance to the cave, and that ended up being about a 15 minute wait. Not bad at all.


he was nervous about it, since he really didn’t want to get jostled, but I reassured him that from what I recalled, it’s a pretty smooth steel coaster that is similar to Space Mountain in that it’s dark, it has lots of helixes, but no loops, and I remembered it being one of my favorites in the park. I didn’t recall the trains being only 3, two row, cars (so a total of 12 passengers per train). . but the smaller trains actually made it feel like it was moving even faster in the dark.


the ride was absolutely fantastic.. yes, it’s mainly going in circles, but there is a diving helix about ½ way thru that completely catches you off guard (in the dark, duh), and had us “whoot!” ing and laughing. . it’s a great element. Really great coaster.


We got off it, and Nick actually was considering if we should get back in line to ride again (I think the deciding factor against it, were the amount of steps to exit the ride – you have to climb up quite a few steps, to go over , and then down on the other side to exit the building). So instead, I kept my promise, and we headed towards the front gates, ending our visit on a really good ride.


Nick asked if I wanted to get on the Carousel before leaving, and even tho the radio station personality wasn’t there blasting loud music over the main gate today. . the memory of “Getting Jiggy With It” was still there, and I passed. LOL


We did stop on the way out at the front gate to get “Pink Thing” dipping dots – which have pop rocks in them, so made my whole mouth tingle. They were good, and I recommend them, even if they aren’t a “real” pink thing. They got the flavor pretty close to the original treat.


not a bad amount of rides in just over 3 hours. . as noted what a difference a day made.


Getting out of the lot was a breeze, since we were leaving in the early afternoon, and with that, we closed out our visit to Arlington/Six Flags Over Texas, and headed back to Austin.


Here’s the pics from the 2nd day:


Cyborg in Justice League. he wasn't moving at all (not even his mouth), but still looks good



we're seeing in THREEEEE - DEEEEEEE


love this Aquaman statue in the lake at the Splashdown.


wonder if they're gonna add a long wig to him to match the Movie version when it comes out in a few weeks?


Joker sign during the day


Mr. Freeze broke down, so went to Batman instead. Long, hidden, queue. . but was basically a station wait once I got thru all the queue area. good coaster


and very photogenic from the exit



Riddler sign during the day


Catwoman sign during the day


me on Riddler.


Why did he not lift the camera up to go OVER the fence? or walk up to the fence and put the camera thru the slots to get a clear pic?


because.. . Nick. LOL



Harley looks amazing during the day too. . tho the night time lighting package is stunning as I posted earlier



Harley and Joker


Harley's sign during the day


I can totally see how this can intimidate people, but the ride experience is not overwhelmingly dizzying.



na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batwing!


Pandemonium is sponsored by Twix here at SFoT.


not really sure why. . LOL



in line for Rodeo (covered and in the AC). LOL. . apparently I didn't take a picture of the actual ride?


but I did climb up in the big chair for a photo op after!



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Nice report. You can cover a lot of ground in the park on an early Sunday morning when it's not a bring a friend day.


I love looking at the old traditional maps. That one looks to be 1965 from the presence of El Sombrero and the lack of Mine Train.

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Nice report. You can cover a lot of ground in the park on an early Sunday morning when it's not a bring a friend day.


I love looking at the old traditional maps. That one looks to be 1965 from the presence of El Sombrero and the lack of Mine Train.




that map is one of the ones on display in the "outdoor museum" area over by Runaway Mountain.


without much crowd, I would have loved to stay a bit longer. but I did get at least 1 ride on everything I wanted, including everything that was on my wishlist:


Texas Skyscreamer

HarleyQuinn Spinsanity

Catwoman Whip


Mr. Freeze


New Texas Giant


so everything else was just gravy. . . and other than La Vibora (and the Wil E. Coyotie kiddie coaster), I actually did get a ride on every coaster.


so a very successful trip!

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Wow, much better day. Were you even at a Six Flags park?


Batman was basically a station wait – but it still took a good 6 minutes or so to get thru all of the queue (and to jump over the giant puddles that had formed in the Gotham park entrance area of the ride queue). . .

Oh, okay, yeah you were.

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  • 2 weeks later...

from my trip to Fiesta Texas in late September (I believe it was 9/27, and they had just set up for Fright Fest).


I had a *very* Six Flags day, LOL, but it was still a good time and I got to enjoy a lot of the FrightFest decorations, as well as finally get a ride on the Carousel that had just *finally* reopened after being down for well over a year (they removed it to make way for Wonder Woman, and it was in storage while they re-furbished it and poured the new pad for it over by Sangerfest Hall).


here's what I wrote about the trip at the time, over on the SFFT board. now there's pictures tho


original post:

quick 3 hour visit to the park today, on a very overcast (but no rain) day.


Scream operated off and on during my visit, and looked like Iron Rattler was not gonna open at all (no staff on the ride, and not even someone stationed out front by the chained off queue to talk to people -- an operator elsewhere noted to me it was because of "weather"). .but I dunno. . . it never rained, and Skyscreamer operated all day.


didn't stay late enough for any of the mazes to open (I was only there from 12:30-3:45), but the majority of the decorations are decent (a few are just awful tho. . but I think those were scarezone areas, so it's more about the live actors they would have out later, than decorations, right?


I'll give SFFT kudos for the mazes all being free and included with admission - as noted on the FrightFest Maps. But yeah, several places selling "skip the line" passes for the mazes too. as noted, can't comment on quality, as I left before any of the mazes or scarezones (or shows, for that matter) started on this overcast Sunday.


park wasn't slammed, but was fairly crowded. .ang I'm going to temper my above "kudos" with a SHAME ON THEM:


Goliath, Poltergeist, RoadRunner Express - all running ONE train (and pulling decent lines. . tho no Flash Pass lines)

Also running *one* train? Wonder Woman. yep. . . 8 people per cycle, with a huge line.

I understand it's a new coaster, and there will be downtime (and it has broken down repeatedly every time I've been, including today). . but only one train? on the newest coaster?


really smells like a ploy to sell Flash Pass (the kiosk to sell them, and the lines at each ride for it were pretty empty today. . nobody wanted to buy them).


at least Superman was running two trains (other than Pandemonium, which seemed to be cycling 4 cars, it was the only coaster with more than one train on a Fright Fest day, when the park is open until 10).


also of note, several areas of the park just reeked of Garbage and/or sewage. Not sure if they have an issue, or what. it certainly wan't "Fright Fest" theming, and it was disgusting.


might come back in a few days with pics, as I did like a lot of the decorations and took a bunch of pics. .but for now, I'll note that in ~3 hours, in addition to eating lunch and also standing in line to get a milkshake at Johnny Rockets, i rode:



RoadRunner Express

Superman Krypton Coaster x2


Hurricane Force 5


Carousel x2


oh. .they have a lot of signage up about the new Joker Pendulum ride, and I did hear a lot of people talking about it. (tho way more complaining about the line for Wonder Woman, and that Iron Rattler wasn't open).



I'll be back in a few weeks (with the spouse) to redeem our 2019 passes, and have already informed him that we will be staying until after dark on that day so I can check out a maze or two. hopefully operations have improved by then, as crowds will get bigger closer to Halloween.


Note: we did go back, and saw *much* better operations. I'll have that report up here with photos next week.



on to the photos from this trip!


I was there, at the end of September, for Fright Fest!


overcast skies, but no rain today.


Goliath seemed to have no line, but they were holding the line before the "ramps" section, which happens to be where "Flash Pass" lane merge is. so they were holding back the line IN CASE they got Flash Pass folks showing up. . so it took longer than it should have. but still not too bad -- for them only running one train.



the decorations up in the main square (which are tied to house?. . I think?) were pretty great


ooo. . coool


didn't have my photo-pass yet (that would be with the next trip where we redeemed our 2019 passes), but the Six Flags Photographers were happy to take pics with our own cellphones/cameras. . very nice of them


even if they did make us do "official photopass" poses. . LOL


scary zombie cut out selfie


another "official" pic taken with my phone


hence the "poses"


Joker is advertised thruout the park - in particular over by the Waterpark Section (which is where they advertised Wonder Woman last year). . guess this is the "go to" spot in the park to go see what the coming attractions are.



Ratter doesn't seem to be moving. . hurm :(


and yeah, it was down all day


like this train? good, because it's the only one they were running.


Still. . having been closed all season, I waited the 30 minutes for it.


With Iron Rattler down all day, the only other reason to come to this side of the park is Totally Kickin Chicken -- one of the better food stands in the park. (and included on my Mealpass)


Roadrunner was up, finally, and tho it was pulling a line I waited for it - as this was the first visit since last year's Holiday in the Park where it was operating while I was in the park.


Still missing *all* of the Looney-Tunes character figures that used to be there in the actual ride (both Wil.E. Coyote & Road Runner). .but at least it was running.


yeah. . was dead over here (this is just outside (closed) train depot, looking back towards Roadrunner). the stanchions off to the right, are I believe where one could buy Skip the Line house passes


Superman was running multiple trains, at still gives a great ride!


decorations from one of the scarezones going onto the Boardwalk



my. .how very Six Flags - one of the lawn zombies is doing a face plant (and no one went to fix it the whole time I was there). . this is from the bridge in front of Poltergeist).


yay, the Carousel is finally back and operating


they did an incredible job refurbing it -- the fresh paint looks fantastic.


I found my bunny! my favorite animal on this Carousel.


it was even playing Classic Carousel music!


Something it was *not* doing when Nick and I went back a few weeks later. . . by then they had adjusted it to "Carousel Music VERSIONS of German Polka". . which I guess makes sense now that the Carousel is in Spassburg.


but glad I got to ride with Classic music too.



2nd ride, other side of the bunny


the repaint really DOES look amazing



even the sea-dragon looks great.

(never really understood why they have one fantasy creature on a realistic carousel. .but it's a nifty treat, and the kiddos always fight over getting to ride it, even tho it doesn't move)




More theming outside a house (wasn't open yet, but I took some pics of the posters theming for the house)






Bug's Rapids is back to running with all the water features working


including the dragon "tracking" the boat to soak everyone in it.



Dia De Los Muertas wedding -- under the train trestle.

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Nice report! A shame about the two RMCs. I shudder to think how slow Wonder Woman's line would move with one train.




at least when we went back a few weeks later not only was Rattler running (almost a walk on with two trains!), but Wonder Woman was running with all 3 trains (tho one of them had at least 3 seats blocked off). . it still pulls a hefty ass line, even when Iron Rattler was near walk on!

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Hopscotching over my 2nd Fright-Fest visit to update for Holiday in the Park: 11/21/18


So . . I had taken Wed. before Thanksgiving off of work, thinking that I was going to have to drive down to Houston to pick up my Dad, so he could join us at our friend’s celebration.

I found out about a week ago, that my Brother (who lives in Houston) had actually invited him – I was under the impression from my Sister in Law that they would appreciate it if I invited Dad again this year. . but my Brother had turned around and asked him. So with that obligation no longer pending, I still had the day off and didn’t want to just sit at home.


Solution? Day trip to Fiesta Texas for Holiday in the Park, which had just kicked off this week. The park was open from 2pm-9pm.

So I made this suggestion on Tuesday, and brought it up again Wednesday morning.


I knew traffic would be brutal, and it was overcast and a bit chilly, so my Spouse didn’t really want to go. He would have preferred to go today, but I made the argument that:


1) the park would be dead today, since I was off, but lots of other folks were either working or travelling. On Friday, that would not be the case, and the park will be crowded.

2) the potentially nasty day would make the crowd even lighter. . I suspected locals only. So today was really the day to go, even tho he HATES being cold.

3) I told him I’d just go without him, and that made him feel bad so he said as long as I drove (which I had volunteered to do anyways), he’d come with, but likely wouldn’t ride anything.


Best thing I ever inherited from my Mother: Jewish Guilt Trip super-powers to use on my spouse : p


Fiesta is about an hour and 20 minutes from our house, so expecting traffic, I suggested we leave around 12:30, which would put us in the park near opening. . with over an hour to make use of the Dining Plan for lunch (which you have to use by 3:30 pm). So we dressed in layers, hopped in my truck, and we headed out.


Since I was driving and I know Nick hates traffic on I35 going thru Downtown Austin, I decided to take Mopac (Texas Highway Loop 1) that runs parallel to I35 on the West Side of Austin). Typically, I would have just gone to I35, but one must choose their battles, and I knew Nick would be annoyed if I went that way. Should have gone with my gut tho – Mopac was bumper to bumper, with tons of rear-end collisions and accidents. When we finally got to Tx 71 to cut across to I35, we then got stuck on THAT highway, which had two lanes shut down, and traffic was crawling. Luckily, my best friends live over in this area, so I knew a back way to cut across and get to I35 with less traffic – but first I had to get to the exit from a barely moving Tx 71. Sheesh, it took us almost an hour ½ just to get from North Austin to South Austin, and we weren’t even on I35 yet!


I even said to Nick that if we get to I35 and traffic is not moving there? We’d just blow it off, eat lunch, and go visit my friends. But lo and behold, when we finally got to I35 (via Slaughter lane), traffic was moving pretty well, so we hopped on and headed towards San Antonio – barely out of Austin city limits, as the park officially opened at 2.


Thanksgiving Traffic was not as bad as I expected, but it was pretty bad.. . lots of accidents, and speed limit staying to about 45 miles an hour (it’s officially 65 most of the way), with some traffic jams as we passed thru the towns along the way: Kyle, San Marcos, Selma. . .as we got to more traffic in New Braunfels, it was close to 3, and I suggested we just pull off to grab lunch, since no way would we make it to the park in time to use the dining pass. We didn’t want to do a full sit down meal, but just a quick stop to grab a bite.


We ended up discovering the most ghetto Jack In the Box in Texas (or possibly the USA). It was just off the freeway feeder, on the way to Shlitterbahn for goodness’ sakes – but the place was a complete $#!thole once you step inside: peeling paint, nasty floor (with a weird ramp area going down to the order counter), and no many places to sit.

There were only 3 employees: a Manager, a fry cook, and a lady working the Drive thru and the counter who seemed to be new, as she was very confused.

(not even worth getting into the “fun” of trying to place an order, and actually getting it but will point out – remember, we were the only ones inside, yet ended up being 5th in line to get food made, behind everyone in the drive thru, since she rang it showing we were ordering from drive thru, and the only one making the food was the Manager. Oy.


Eventually we got food, and sat down to quickly eat and head back out on the road. But of the 8 lights in the dining room, FIVE were out, and the Heat was not working – seriously, it felt like the air conditioner was on. It was in the mid-50s outside, but it was easily 40 in the dining room.. freezing cold, and when I mentioned it, the manager said “you should feel how cold it is before we turn the fryers on in the morning!” When we stepped back outside, it really was warmer outside than it had been in there.


Oh, and of course, I was up the whole night with heartburn & stomach issues too, but luckily it didn’t affect me until after we got home later that evening.. . but we KNOW it was this Jack in the Box food, since it was all we ate the whole day.


luckily, New Braunfels is only ~15 minutes from Loop 1604, which is where one exits I35 to head to Fiesta, and 1604 was basically traffic free!. . so we were pulling into the Fiesta Parking lot by 4pm.


All in all, not TOO bad, I suppose: the busiest travel day of the year and a trip that typically takes us ~1:20, took 3 ½ hours (minus the ½ hour we took to eat).

it was “moist” but not drizzling, when we pulled in, and the lot was only about a quarter full, if that. We got a spot pretty close up to the entrance gates, and headed to the park.


We knew it was gonna be a special day tho, when I stopped to take a pic of the Holiday in the Park sign and asked Nick to then take one of me – and a guy with his family stopped and offered to take one of us together. Such unexpected kindness from a Six Flags customer! Must be the Holiday season. . LOL. . .but you know what? We saw this thruout the day!

there were no “official” Six Flags photogs out today, but everyone was super friendly and took turns taking pics for each other at any photo-spot. Even when we didn’t want pics together, people would still offer to take one of us together. It was very cool, and nice, and restored a little bit of my faith in humanity.


I returned the favor, taking a pic of him and his family, then we all headed into Fiesta Texas, where there were no lines at Security, or the gates. My inkling that today was a good day to go was proven correct. Goliath seemed to be a Walk on, so we took that left, and headed over there to see that yep – no line. Nick didn’t want to ride, so I hopped in line, and joined a family of 3 in the front row. It took them a bit of time to dispatch, as they were trying to help get someone larger into the seat (and in the middle of that there was a crew change (likely because the raised exposed station was not only windy, but also cold), and even with 4 operators, they couldn’t get the restraint to close. So I got to see a walk of shame for the 1st time on a Batman clone – never seen that before, as I know they have larger seats in some rows (maybe he just decided he didn’t want to ride after all rather than change to a big boy seat?).


it gave a great ride, as usual, it’s a really forceful Batman clone. The cameras were working, but the photo booth was closed.


I was disappointed at this, because one of the reasons I had wanted to come with Nick were to get some “official” pics of us using my new Photopass, but not only were there no photogs out at the gates, but the booth was closed? I chalked it up the poor weather and we moved on. . but I did learn something later that day:


If you’re ever riding and the photo-booth is not open, yet the ride snaps a picture? Make note of the time! When we went at the end of the day to the Photopass booth at the front of the park (to get the other ride pics downloaded onto my account), the Employee heard me mention that if Goliath had been open, I would have got my picture from that too. He asked me if I knew about when I rode, and since we had gone to that 1st, we looked around 4pm, and found the pic immediately. So thanks to the Photopass Booth buy overhearing my comment that the ride photobooth was closed, I was able to *get* that picture from Goliath anyways! Sharing that knowledge.


Anyways.. . back on track.


after I rode Goliath, we headed back to the front gates, and headed into the park proper. The main plaza looks fantastic, with lots of lights (that would look even better as it got darker), as well as the new this year Giant Ornament photo op. the one at Fiesta is gorgeous, Silver and Purple, and they did a great job surrounding it with trees strung with lights, wrapped in lights, and oversize packages.


I noted that Skyscreamer, Poltergiest, and even Iron Rattler were all running. Superman seemed to be running too, tho we hadn’t spotted Wonder Woman or Batman going. As we proceeded around the park, it seemed that pretty much everything was running (Batman hadn’t been going simply because there was no line, but eventually they started cycling empty cars, and that got folks to come to the queue – and we saw Wonder Woman running when we got on the train a little later). The only coaster that wasn’t running seemed to be Boomerang – no great loss in my opinion.


I knew that CrackAxle canyon wouldn’t have a whole lot of Holiday lights, and since I really wanted to see the park lit up at night but Nick can’t so much walking for me to drag him back and forth, we decided to do one loop of the park, starting that direction – and that way we wouldn’t have to come back this way after dark.


Roadrunner Express was operating with a very short line, but Nick wasn’t wanting to ride (and I just rode it a few weeks ago), so instead I headed for Iron Rattler – which was not only a walk on, but also running two trains. I waited a cycle for the back car, and got a fantastic ride sharing with someone who had never been on it before (and whom I convinced to move back from the center of the train to ride in the back car with me).

The photobooth store here was open - likely because it’s inside a store, so not exposed to the cold?. . . so I made note of the picture #, and then after telling Nick I was going again, I hopped back in line for a quick no wait, center train ride.


If I were alone, would have gone on it a few more times, but since Nick was waiting, we moved on. At Fiesta Texas too, they have the “buy and make your own S’Mores” experience, with firepits set up in a couple of locations and a little cart selling S’Mores kits. Personally, I don’t see the appeal, but they were getting customers, and it was nice and warm standing by the firepits watching. So no shade thrown from me on this. . LOL


the Holiday Express Train at Fiesta only loads from the Crackaxle station (it doesn’t stop in Spassurg, bur rather does a complete cycle of the park from this station). I had seen some of the “Holiday Express decorations” along the tracks while exiting Iron Rattler, and thought it would be a hoot to ride it. Due to the day, there was no line at all, tho the park has quite the long queue set up to handle the crowds for it, so I suspect it’s a very popular attraction. Since we heard the train coming around, we went ahead and got in line.

The station is set up using the benches to form a queue, but not a whole lot in terms of holiday decorations. However, the train they are running, Miss Kitty, looks absolutely lovely – covered in bells, tinsel, and Garlands.


They fell really short in terms of decorations along the tracks tho, at least in my opinion. Willing to give benefit that we rode while it was still light out, and I’m sure once it gets dark the displays look much better. But in the light? Someone went to Walgreens, and got lawn stand ups with lights in them, and stuck them alongside the train tracks. Yes, some of them were cute, but there were some head scratchers (why the dinosaur over by Superman??), and many of them looked to have bulbs out.


But points for how lovely the train itself looked, and the ride is nice – and one can get some good views of the construction for the 2019 addition from the train (Twister is completely gone, with the concrete ride pad torn up. . and Whirlygig has all the chairs off it ready for repainting into the Crime Wave).


after the train, we continued our way around the park, peeking into the area that had been turned into “Santa’s Cottage” (a seating area from the Bubba’s Burgers restaurant).

per the park map, this was the place to meet Santa, and take pictures with him. But tho it looked like they had set up to do so, maybe they decided not to open it today? There were some stanchions out front but no signage for hours or what the place was. Only a price list, saying it was $39 for a photo package, and that photopass didn’t apply.

the doors WERE open tho, so it looked like maybe they were getting ready to open? We didn’t make it back this way so not sure, but the trees in there with the fireplace setting did look really nice – should have taken a pic with my phone . . sorry that I didn’t.


We continued on, and headed thru the “tunnel” between Crackaxle and Kidzopolis. . which has been renamed “Winter Wonderland

Last year, this is where they had the Ice Princess out, but we didn’t see her this year. I did get to meet the Mayor of Winter Wonderland tho – who reminded us of the tree lighting at 6pm in Rockville.


The Mayor was actually the *only* character we saw out during Holiday in the Park. Not sure if it was the timing (right before Thanksgiving) or the weather (simply too cold), but there did seem to be a deficit of Six Flags staffing today – at least in terms of characters, photographers, store clerks.


As far as Rides, everything was operating with full crews, so Kudos to them! There were even crews working Gully Washer (even tho no one on the platforms to ride the rafts), and Bug’s flume (again, few takers, but the ride was operating).


The Holiday in the Park Brochure notes that “Winter Wonderland” is where one can also experience an unexpected snowfall – hence the naming? – but we didn’t get that on our trip thru. After meeting the Mayor, I did get pics with some very well done Snowman standees tho.. and a blow up lawn inflatable Santa. . . . yeah, not sure what that was doing there, really brought down the class of the snowmen and the live Mayor actor.


Skyscreamer was a total walk on, but by then it was a little too chilly for me to attempt. I should have tho, since never seen the line that short!

Same with Superman. . . Nick didn’t want to ride, and I just wasn’t feeling it this trip. Besides, Superman doesn’t seem to pull that long of a line on a regular day, and they most often operate this coater at full train capacity. So bypassed that too.


We did take a quick look into Kidzopolis, and here I was actually embarrassed for Fiesta Texas – they have done such a spectacular job decorating in the Main Entrance area, and the entire Rockville area. . and decent decorating at other places in the park. . . that it’s a shock to see so many inflatables. There were at least 3 or 4 of them in this area. . the kind of things I see in my neighborhood (penguins flying a helicopter with rotating blades; a snowglobe with something inside, etc). . it really looked like someone ran to Home Depot and bought some Lawn Inflatables, then just plopped them in Fiesta Texas. Very tacky, and not really sure what they were thinking. Ok, yes, it’s a kids area. But still. . .really?

Think the park would be better served to simply let loose some Looney Toons characters (in Xmas sweaters), to hang around this area of the park.


When they sent me the survey yesterday, the only not-excellent comment I gave them were on the Lawn Inflatables (and mentioned the standees that looked like they came from Walgreen’s). Certainly not enough to ding the event. . but certainly a shock when next to the things that are SO well done (the Rockville tree, the giant ornament, the train decoration).


anyways, we made our way past the train tracks into Rockville, for a walk on ride on Batman (for me), and then over to Wonder Woman to check out the line – as this is typically the longest in the park. It was only thru 1 switchback in the overflow station, so even tho it had started to drizzle I told Nick I’ll wait, and he should go into the pizza place to sit and warm up. I think the line took about 15-20 minutes, but Nick says it was closer to 30 – that likely is because he came out into the cold to look for me, so it just SEEMED longer to him. They were running two trains, but one train had 2 seats blocked off, so that impacted the capacity a bit.


Also impacting capacity was that the park did not have a seat assigner today. Oh, there was an employee at the entrance to the station, but what she was doing was this: when the 4 cars of “dots” had been cleared out, she’d open the line and let people go wherever they wanted. This resulted in not filling up complete trains, as folks ran to the front seats or back seats across the 4 rows of “dots”. . meaning that some trains ran with more open seats than they should have – as a seat assigner would be making sure that every train would be full to capacity on such a low capacity coaster. Likely this was just because the crowd was so light, and it was cold on the station so she didn’t want to stand at the top of the steps assigning seats. Not a big deal, but just mentioning since I noticed it.


While in the line, it did get noticeably colder and it continued to drizzle heavily. It is nuts that WW breaks down so often on normal operating days, but was running the entire time it drizzled, without even a stop. In fact, I think that because it was drizzling, it was running even MORE bonkers than usual. Less friction from the wet track? Wonder Woman was balls out nuts on Wedneday night in the rain. . the most fun I’ve had riding it thus far. Loved it.


got off, and snagged the pics from my ride, and it was just at 6pm, so we stepped over to watch the tree lighting. The drizzle continued, but surprise! Snow flurries started pouring down over the Rockville street during the tree lighting too – so we did get our “unexpected snowfall”, but in Rockville. It was really neat, and mixed with the drizzle, it really did feel like we were standing in the middle of winter, in Texas! Great job to Fiesta Texas for this wonderful experience.


We hung around the tree for a bit snapping pictures – nice job this year, with multiple colors flashing thru the tree. And enjoyed the “TinselTones” performing Acapella on the stage in front of the tree.


The “snow” mixed with the drizzle was making everything very cold and moist, and Nick was starting to get miserable. It most certainly had gotten dark enough that we could go take a look at the lights now, so we headed to the Boardwalk to take a peek (and was slightly disappointed it looked like normal, but to be fair “Normal” is always all lit up anyways, LOL) but decided not to ride anything. No new signage on the Pirates Dark Ride, but the HitP map does list it and note it opens Jan 12, 2019.


The cold had really hit Nick and he was ready to head out, and since Poltergiest *had* gone down for the drizzle/cold, we bypassed that – as well as SCREAM, which was walk on - and headed towards the Carousel. He was actually so miserable from the cold, that he didn’t even want to ride the Carousel with me, so instead he waited for me to take a ride on it.


I noted the other week that the Carousel was now playing Carousel versions of German Polka, after initially playing traditional Carousel songs. Well. . for Holiday in the Park, that’s out the window too. . . one now rides the Carousel to Christmas Carols.

I rode my Fiesta Texas bunny, to “the Little Drummer Boy” (Bah-rump-a-dump-dum). . .LOL .. . . ok, It’s HitP, so they *totally* get a pass on this. Was a wonderful ride, as always.


Spassburg was almost completely deserted, but we could see down the “alley” that the park was projecting Holiday things, such as “Season’s Greetings” onto the quarry walls. They aren’t doing an end of evening show on the quarry walls, so this was a nice use of the technology they have to add to the experience.


We had eaten so late that we weren’t hungry, but we wanted to make use of the “snack” from the dining plan. So stopped into the fudge store, and picked up a couple of tubs of Cotton Candy (the two rang at $17, so I guess that’s a great deal for a “snack”), and the clerk even gave us a bag. We got them to go, basically.


Right across from the shop is where they moved “the Singing Saps” this year – last year they were on the stage in Kidzopolis.

So we, and a few others, stopped and watched those cycle thru a couple of songs. Are they the highest tech thing in the world? Of course not. But they are stupid fun.. they’re trees with LED eyes/mouths, that sing. As noted, stupid fun. (and presented by Gold’s Gym that has a little sign next to them). . Bwaaaa-Haaa-Haaaa


Then it was time to head out, via the Main plaza… which really does look stunning once it gets dark enough. Added bonus is that the drizzle had made all the concrete so reflective, so everything looked so otherworldly. And that giant ornament? AMAZING at night.


we were in the park from ~4pm to 7pm – so about the length of time it took us to drive there, but it was more than enough since the park was so dead.


in that time I rode:


Iron Rattler x 2

Holiday Express (train)


Wonder Woman Golden Lasso



(Nick rode: Train). . LOL


but it was a great experience and I loved it, even if it did get a bit cold. And the drive home? A breeze, almost a normal drive even with the nasty weather: we left the park at 7, and got home at 8:30


Thanks for reading, now onto the pics!


brochure for HitP offerings





Ghetto Jack in the Box in New Braunfels. . really was a WTF is this?? if we had seen the inside before parking, never would have stopped here


Hi Nick. . yep, it's COLD in here, and look at all those burnt out bulbs


I see one working. . .


none of these tho


finally here. . at Fiesta Texas, for HitP


awww.. how nice, someone offered to take a picture for us (he was with those ladies on the left)


Goliath was a walk on


and it was so dead over here, that I noticed (for the first time) this themed fountain. really the only themeing over here, on the way to the Picnic area and Goliath


front plaza has a lot of lights, but a bit too light out still for full effect.


looks lovely tho, and you can see how dead the park was 2 hours after opening (since this was at 4 pm or so)



the pic I got from the Photopass booth as we were leaving.


I love that he was able to find it, and i laugh that it still has the Fright Fest branding (and I did not have an option to adjust that on the site.. . very Six Flags. . LOL)


the new walk thru Ornament in the main plaza.


it looks fantastic at night when it gets all lit up. no Six Flags photogs out, but such a friendly crowd we all took pics for each other




Iron Rattler, not only running, but with TWO trains.


the pic that i got from IR. . for some reason on the home download site, I lost the Iron Rattler "trade dress". .it was there on the picture in the park when we looked at it.


oh well. . have a Six Flags day! :)


the Firepit for Make Your Own S'Mores experience


with little carts selling them by the pits


price list


the firepits were popular


This was the full extent of the Holiday themeing in the train station for the Holiday Express


but the Train itself, pulled by "Miss Kitty" looked amazing.


Very Festive Holiday!



Even Nick is smiling. he cold, but I got him on the train.


and I'm in my Merry Kissmas shirt


Gully Washer was operating, but we saw NO takers today.


good for Fiesta for having it staffed and open tho!


Skyscreamer running too.. . pretty much everything was operating.


um. . .ok. . .maybe looks better at night in the complete dark?

but right now, looks like Walgreen's had a sale.


ok.. slightly better. . still a little cheap looking, but at least it's creative


Superman going up the lift hill.


a bit too chilly for me to attempt today, since I'm in shorts.


Der Twister is completely gone, this is where the new Joker Pendulum will go in 2019.

and across the walkway behind it, you can see Whirlygig is ready for renovation too


another angle of the construction


anyone want a chair??


of course a pic of the Carousel from the train!


Bug's WhiteWater Rapids was also operating today, again with few takers (we did see one or two people on it)


from the Train, Iron Rattler still running with folks riding


the Holiday Express decorations I had seen from the Iron Rattler exit ramps.


yeah. . not a whole lot better when viewing from the front side. but again, bet they look great at night


was trying to get a pic of the staff working the Gully Washer's empty loading station, but angled it wrong. . . LOL. . so instead enjoy this view of Iron Rattler from the train.


there's Santa. sorta.


Didn't get any pics of Santa's workshop. . but here's the tunnel "Winter Wonderland". . which does a nice job spotlighting Batman


and Skyscreamer if you look up.


I got to meet the Mayor (the only costumed "character" we saw this visit)


and loved these standees. . extremely well done


but WTF? a giant inflatable lawn Santa?


Oh well. . got to take a pic that shows the lack of line for Skyscreamer behind us. . I've *never* seen the line that short.


ok, the inflatable Santa looks KLASSY next to this!


WTF Six Flags?? majority of the decorations are amazing, but you have THIS? right around the corner from the displays in Rockville?


(didn't take pics of the other lawn inflatables, but really. . looked like someone made a trip to Home Depot).


walking into Rockville, one can get a good look at Whirlygig.

to be honest, I don't think these chairs have moved since last time I was in the park. . I'm guessing priority was on getting Der Twister gone, to make space for the new ride, and the retheme of this is lower priority.


headed to Batman in Rockville (soon to be Gotham? . . or just DC Universe section).


Lovely decorations.


official Tree Lighting about to start


Wonder Woman doing it's thing


running BONKERS in the drizzle



tough to see, but it's snowing on main street.


LOL at the lady with the umbrella


all lit up, and ready to impress




Nick and Tree


Nick and Greener tree :)


Us and red tree


Wonder Woman onride photo.


No HitP dress, but at least it doesn't say Fright Fest!


and I was able to get an un-touched photo too. . love that you can see the track behind the last guy


walking around the tree, headed to check out the boardwalk


they do a great job on the tree!


Scream thru the drizzle, the crowd is because the Tinseltones just finished after the tree lighting. Most were headed towards the front gates, as the drizzle wasn't letting up.


Fiesta Bay Boardwalk looks great at night, tho didn't notice any additional decorations for the Holiday


Poltergeist looking all spoooooky in the drizzle



mah precious!


Playing Christmas Carols, but still. .


I found my bunny!






Streets of Spassburg were deserted, and it was not even 7pm, with the park open for another 2 hours.


you can kind of see the projection on the quarry wall way back there


the Singing Saps!


so stupid, but so much fun





headed back towards the main plaza. . looks great as it got darker



in particular the giant ornament


and the wet ground was so beautiful reflecting












our to-go Cotton Candy. . .


and a close up of my Merry KISSmas shirt, from the train :)


Happy Holidays everyone!

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Great T-shirt Bert! Tis the Season, Kiss, Kiss...


I like the shots at night, with some of the big oversized decorations glistening on the walkways from the



Any chance you went back to see how those 1/2 lit-3/4 lit ground decorations looked like at night?

In daylight, they looked kind of pitiful, mostly lit, but not quite all lit up.


Thanks for the TR. Now go have a rum & eggnog!

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Great T-shirt Bert! Tis the Season, Kiss, Kiss...


I like the shots at night, with some of the big oversized decorations glistening on the walkways from the



Any chance you went back to see how those 1/2 lit-3/4 lit ground decorations looked like at night?

In daylight, they looked kind of pitiful, mostly lit, but not quite all lit up.


Thanks for the TR. Now go have a rum & eggnog!


it WAS cold and rainy, but it's also Texas, LOL. . . so no snow (other than what Fiesta Texas created during the tree lighting).


as noted, we didn't make it back to Crackaxle to ride the train again once it got dark, since Nick was miserable and was ready to go. that he went with me at all was a Holiday Miracle, so I wasn't gonna fight him to stay longer than he was willing to. -- and when he declined to ride the *carousel* with me? I knew it was time to head out.


I'll likely go back myself at some point in the next few weeks, so even tho it will be more crowded I hope to take the train again at night just to see the decorations and if they look better in the dark.


it really is noticeable how crappy some of the decorations are, when you see them after seeing the incredible ones!


and I'm jealous of the other SF parks that got the "candy cane" wrapping lights on the tree trunks. . but still, just for the Entrance Main Plaza, and Rockville area Fiesta is absolutely worth a visit during HitP. That they are running practically *every* ride? that's just gravy

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and we got into the Cotton Candy this morning


not sure it's possible to have "bad" cotton candy, so yes, we enjoyed it.


but i must admit that there is more packed in the tub than it appears to be. So maybe it's not quite as overpriced as I first thought?

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Nice report! It's quite the sight seeing water rides open for a Christmas event.


As for Jack in the Box, I went there once (different location). My stomach told me never again.


thanks. . and LOL.. yeah, JitB usually isn't bad (I typically go for Ultimate Cheesburger, but didn't this time). in this case tho? shoulda known better from the way they were taking care of the interior of the restaurant


Great report, as usual. Thanks for sharing!


you're welcome, and thanks!

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Bert, Thanks for the HITP photos!


yer welcome, Larry.


I really like how the wet ground makes the lights reflect, and the giant tree in Rockville really is so nice.


I haven't seen any other HitP reports that note "Home Depot - like" lawn inflatables as part of the Decorations. . LOL. . guess that's an "only in Texas" thing.


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  • 4 weeks later...

wanted to get it in before end of the year, so let's backtrack to Frightfest visit just before Halloween (and Nick went with me this time, since we activated our 2019 passes, including my photopass I got dirt cheap):


Here's what I wrote about the visit at the time, over in the Fiesta Texas thread:


went to the park yesterday to exchange our Season Pass renewals (+ the upgrades) I had bought during the Labor Day flash sale.


gorgeous day, but the park was absolutely packed (they were also doing some membership special event too. . tho it wasn't BAFF or BAF cheaper. . so I can only imagine what Friday or Sunday looked like crowd wise).


park was slammed with families with younger kids - which is a good thing in the long run, even if it made the lines for Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny rapids extend out past queue entrances (so we bypassed both, as we'll ride them when there isn't an hour wait).

very strange in that Roadrunner had an Hour wait? next door Iron Rattler was a walk on. (yeah.. I rode it a couple of times).


odd that several attractions near the haunts close down lines at 5pm (including Pandemonium, and Gully Washer). .but I suppose they have to flush the queue lines so those spaces can be used for exit lines from the haunts.


Although everything was operating, we saw a couple of cases where almost 1/2 a rides capacity was down - Spinsanity had only 4 of the 7 cars operating, the other 3 were locked off. Hustler had multiple pool balls locked off, and Fireball was running with a few seats blocked off. Even Wonder Woman, which was running all 3 trains - as opposed to only 1 train a couple of weeks ago. . . even tho 2 of the trains had several seats blocked off. . still, it was nice they were trying to increase capacity).


Iron Rattler was running two trains, but the camera wasn't working, so no photo for me (I was hoping to use my new Photo pass. . but we used it for Wonder Woman, and for entrance pics. . so still got some pics I'll post later)


I'll likely have a small TR report up in the next few weeks, although we didn't actually go thru any of the haunts as the lines were simply too prohibitive for Nick to stand that long in line (we stayed until ~8pm).


the park only got more packed as it got later, and the fog effects thruout the park once it hit 6pm, made it look eerily spooky, so good on them for that.



Anyways. . the point of posting now was to talk about the "coffin challenge". . .oh my.

I thought it was silly, but dumb, when they announced it. . but seeing it in person at Fiesta?


The most idiotic thing I think I've seen, purely based on the execution of it.

It was set up in front of the stepts to train station in Crackaxle - so the train could only be boarded in the German section for a full circuit of the park.


ok, I GET that we're in Texas, and it's hot. . . but really? the coffins are open at the top. and Fiesta brought out tents to shade the participants from the sun. (which wouldn't be an issue if the lids were closed, would it?).

I mean. . they were laying there with sunglasses on, and water/food available on top of the coffin lids (we saw one contestant reach up and take a drink of water and grab some chips. . guess the rule is they can't sit up? ) but they all also had earphones in, and several were playing on phones -- which to be fair, the Emcee took away from them 20 minutes later as we were walking by.


but really? open lids, you can have your phone, and shaded by a tent? easy to do. it sounded like they had a LOT of applicants, but I can think of way better use of my time than this easy challenge, especially since i'd expect all 8 are gonna succeed, and the 300 will have to be split. whoop de do, they get to keep the coffin. . . oh well, maybe they are super Halloween fans and wanted a coffin decoration.


anyways. . I thought it was idiotic. . but lots of folks did gather around to look at them. here's a picture of it.


here are the pics from that trip


the Hustler pics are in two sections, because they had to shut it down while we were in line due to a MASSIVE "Protein Spill". . and then once they got that cleaned up? the spritz they used to decontaminate drew *hundreds* of bees. . it was like the movie "the Swarm". .and everyone cleared out quick! when we came back about an hour later, is when we got to ride, so the inside poolball pics are from then. . . .and yes, we avoided the Purple ball which was "patient zero" for the protein spill/bee craziness.


and the water dyed red



the abovementioned silly "Coffin Challenge" participants


the Gully Washer got renamed "Blood Bayou" for FrightFest


but Bug's WhiteWater Rapids kept it's white water. .. hey, it says so right in the name of the ride!



what is that I spot from Batman's queue? yep, the Carousel is back up and operating!




woot woot. . gonna ride the Hustler for the 1st time this year, and Nick will get on it with me.



hmm. . why is nothing moving? and they aren't loading?



we're smiling, but we are about to be told someone puked all over the inside of the Purple ball, so have to wait for clean up.


and then a few minutes later? BEEEEEESSSS!!!!


so went over to the Boardwalk to take some artsy pics of a ride I can't go on

(Nick won't ride due to fear of heights, and Fiesta won't let single riders on).


I've only gotten to ride it once this year, and that's when a group of 3 let me join them in their car.


So I'll settle for artsy pics of Hurricane Force 5 thru the Ferris Wheel


Poltergeist. . my 2nd Favorite coaster in the park. WonderWoman has displaced it, which bumps Iron Rattler down to a close 3rd.



Heading back over to Hustler to see if the bees are gone, but stopping to take pics of Scream, and Wave Runner



yep. we're in a Pool Ball! yay!


not moving yet, but will be soon.


Spinny, Spinny, Spinny


wouldn't be a bert photo trip report without a carousel pic, now would it?


couldn't get on my bunny, as a kiddo was riding it. . so got me a bear (I think?)



official Photo Pass pics from Six Flags!



the unframed version


really like this guy at the main plaza





Wonder Woman Back Row!




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Great report! I'm so jealous you can enjoy Six Flags Fiesta Texas yearround.


It sounds like the location of the coffin challenge is a bit quieter than the one at SFNE. SFNE put it at the end of Main Street so it's impossible to enter the park without seeing them.

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