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bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Day 2 in San Antonio complete - SFFT with Holiday Meal & Tree Lighting!

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Awesome tour, Bert!

But snakes .... eh ..... even photos of them make me feel a touch uncomfortable. Gators and Crocodiles, too.

One is too slithery ... and the others are too .....toothy.

Ho, ho, ho. 🐍


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after leaving the Zoo ~3:15, I headed up I10 to SFFT (about a 15 minute drive). . and hit a TON of traffic at the Six Flags exit.

I knew it would be crowded - the Holiday in the Park had just kicked off yesterday (tho the Holiday food festival didn't start for another week). . but I'd hoped that coming an hour + after opening, most of the gridlock would be done.   Oh well, at least the Light at La Cantera/I10 was running the extended program, so only took three lights to get thru, and by 3:45 I was pulling into the SFFT parking lot.

um. . yeah. . it's crowded:


but what's this that I noticed as I was driving over to the parking side for "general parking"?

why it's the staging area for the new 2022 coaster:  Dr. Diabolical's Cliffhanger.

with several pieces of track just hanging out.   I walked over, and security came by in a little cart and I asked them if it was ok to take pictures thru/over the fence, and they gave me thumbs up and drove off.

so here ya go!   Looks like the 1st drop (and possibly the 2nd) as you can see where the "holding" brake is gonna stop the train over the drop prior to the dive.

pretty cool, I thought.







Pics of the new coaster track taken, I headed towards the front gates. . noticing this view of the park  thru the Whitewater Bay section - a view I'd not really ever seen before. . so snapped a pic.


and after going thru the front main gate/metal detectors. . noticed something else now missing.

yup. the big row of ticket booths (that were still there during my visit on Halloween day)?  now GONE




I exchanged my printout for my new Platinum Season Pass at the gate (I was surprised, I thought I'd have to go to the Season Pass processing, but nope, they just handed me this at the gate):

as expected, it's just the Platinum Membership card. . which will act as my 1-time pay Season Pass.


I still had to go into the Season Pass building to activate my Dining Plan I had added. . but bypassed it for a moment to go into the main plaza and snap pics of some of the decorations (the line was non-existant anyways. . thank goodness I didn't have to go to the Membership line, as that was all the way around the outside of the building. . . at least they are keeping Season Pass Processing separated still - for the moment at least).


plenty of roaming characters out and about
(and yeah, I see the guy in the blue checking out the female elf's backside in this pic. . LOL).

the male elf is adorable tho, innt he?



several of the Looney Tunes were out in their holiday garb too. . but there was quite a line for them, so just settled for a pic from the side.


the holiday shows were pretty active, although this show didn't start until 4:30, so they were just warming up when I snapped the picture.



so I go into the Season Pass processing (no line at all), and the counter person tells me "oh, you don't need to do anything, you're activated"

and I asked. . the dining is activated?  that's stated on the print out that I need to go to Season Pass processing to activate - but he assures me it's on there, so I shrug (and keep the receipt just in case I need it for next time to prove) and ask. . . about how the "free sodas" I get with Platinum work?  do I just show the card, and they give me the soda?

and he says, "oh no, you have to go next door to membership, and get your refillable cup there"

so yeah, I ended up having to stand ~35 minutes in a very slow moving line for the Membership help. . only to discover that once inside the building, they have a little kiosk where an employee is scanning cards, and handing out the cups (sigh).         I wish they had advertised this SOMEPLACE. .as I was not the only person standing in that long line just to get a cup/replacement cup.  

but now I know for next time if I have to replace the cup / forget to bring it on a trip.

and how nice, it declares I'm a Member (even tho I'm a Season Pass holder. . don't care tho, I'll take it!).



it was pretty dang busy (expected), but the crowds seemed to be majority in the ride queues, and not really out in the walkways.   so it gave an impression it wasn't too busy.

it let me snap some nice pics of the Holiday in the Park decorations that had gone up tho.

I decided I wanted to ride Daredevil Dive, since I don't often ride that, so headed over that way towards CrackAxle to get in the queue.


passing by the old Sundance Theater:  AKA the location of the new Coaster for 2022 to check out the progress.

still mainly just dirt. . but looking good, and lots of space to put it now that they've demolished the theater  (what you see in the background there is Lone Star Lil's - the big theater that backed up to Sundance)




and I'm here. . and the line is long.   but I wanted to ride (and didn't realize I get a 1 time skip the line pass with my Platinum Season Pass. . . I know now, so will use at some point)

So I got in the line


nice views of Iron Rattler from this queue..so the time goes pretty quickly.



hmmm. . the ride doesn't appear to be raising any longer?
(after I posted about this on FB, park President Jeffrey Siebert responded that they are awaiting a part from the manufacturer, and once they get that, the ride will once again go up to the top of the lift when operating).




after about a 40 minute queueline wait, it was finally my turn to ride. . . we got in the assigned planes, the music swelled and the ride started to spin.. . and then there was a buzz, the music stopped, and the ride came to a stop and we were asked to de-plane and go back into the bull-pen.

(as I teased on FB.. . "NOW it's a "six flags day"")

apparently what caused the hard stop was that the ride attempted to go up, and they were not allowing it - since waiting for that part, I've since found out. . . so the operator had to hard stop.

they started playing the announcement that the ride was down, and we were welcome to wait, but they didn't know how long it would be.

I had waited in the line long enough, and didn't really have plans, so I stuck it out - chatting with the operators. . while we waited for Maintenance to come out and reset the ride.
(aka: push the button).


it took them about 25 minutes to show up (I'd guess they were either at lunch, or tied up elsewhere in the park).. so I killed the time in the "bullpen" taking pics of Iron Rattler.









but eventually they reset, cycled the ride empty, and then we were allowed to board.

i was in plane 6, which seems to be the one that does quite a few "whips" during the cycle.   Love it, but was really glad I hadn't eaten lunch yet in the park.. .LOL.


I was getting hungry tho.  so decided to head over to Sangerfest Halle. . even tho I knew it was undergoing some refurb and the individual food lines were closed, they were offering some holiday options.

the one that I was most interested in was the Tamales, tho once I got there. . this one is what caught my eye more:




so I ended up with the Holiday meal. 

But didn't need no healthy Salad!   so the kind ladies on the line told me I could get pie instead. . so I greedily got one of each offered.
(to be honest, the Apple was much better). . but overall, this was a lot of food, and was very good.

AND it was on the dining plan (which worked via my card, so I guess it really did get activated at the front gate when they scanned me in).


some pics of the refurb going on in Sangerfest. . they are restoring it back to how it used to look for the park's 30th Anniversary in 2022 I believe.



but thank goodness "Sweet Connie" is still here - for the moment at least.

i love this hookah.



I mean. . Sangerfest is right next to the Grand Carousel. . . like I'm NOT gonna ride it?




Wonder Woman had just reopened after a brief refurb, so I headed that way to check it out.

it was dark enough already from the overcast day that Poltergeist's lights were looking eerie.   Having just eaten tho?  I decided to bypass this today, even tho the line didn't look too bad - as opposed to everything else that had pretty decent lines.



Nice decorations. .tho I think the park should have left up the graveyard here from Halloween. 

it would go well with Poltergeist's theming :)


yeah. .when Batman has a line like this?  it's a busy day.




heading to Wonder Woman thru Rockville. . . the street ahead was already starting to get blocked off. . what was going on?

oh. .it's the tree lighting that happens ~6:45, but before that is a show by the Sleigh Belles.




I was early enough (about 30 minutes before the show) that I could end up right at the rope. . but it was already so busy I decided to just wait on Wondy, and stay for the show/lighting.

tho had a great view of Supes (and Wondy) cycling while I was waiting.




soon enough, the crowds really filled in, completely blocking the pathway (I was glad I was in the front, even if off to the side), so had a good view of the show.

the idea behind it is that a Christmas show is broadcasting live from Fiesta, but all the "name" acts have cancelled during the show, and the Belles have to fill in and cover all the songs.
(the lady with the mic is the "host" of the show being broadcast, so she's pretending to talk into a camera thruout.

all the ladies have good to very good voices, so it's a lot of fun, and I expect I'll watch it again on Saturday when I'm back in the park again.


Sleigh Belle butts and Wonder Woman on the drop (hands up!)








they pushed the button, and nothing lit up. . . perhaps we don't have enough Christmas Spirit yet?

let's bring out some folks who can help with getting us in the spirit!

Looney Tunes, and stilt walkers (who handed out candy) and Santa (on the top of Rockville High)











Here we go. . . we have enough Christmas cheer to light up the tree!!!





and lots of fireworks too!









usually at this point in the show, the street is covered with "snow" that blows down from the tops of the buildings on the street.

for some reason, we didn't get that tonight.  . . either something was down and they couldn't do it?  or maybe they don't do the "snow" on Sunday nights?   

regardless, it still looks great over here, even without tons of stuff falling on the crowds from the rooftops.



the show ended, and I TOTALLY forgot about riding Wonder Woman. . after an exhausting two days in San Antonio, I was getting tired, and still had to drive home to Austin.

so I headed towards the front gates.

yes, grand total of ~4 hours in the park was two rides (DareDevil Dive & Carousel), a big meal, a good show/tree lighting, and getting my Platinum Pass activated.

but I accomplished what I wanted to do at SFFT today, so I was ok to head home.


dang. . Poltergeist's new sign looks AMAZING at night.


and the park looks beautiful with all the lights up.



the lights even make a crap-tastic Boomerang look beautiful!



it was dark enough, the walk thru presents in the main plaza were looking fantastic:






on my way out, I realized I never snapped a pic on the way in.

oh well. . it looks prettier at night.





Happy Holidays all!  hope you enjoyed my TR from the visit the other week to San Antonio parks!

I'm back at SFFT this Saturday for another event, "Feliz Fiesta". . with heavy emphasis on the Park's Christmas Show offerings. . I'll bet I'll take pics from those too.. . LOL.. so might be another update coming relatively soon.

but for now?

thanks for reading my Trip Report!


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