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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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  • 2 months later...

Despite how chilly it was yesterday, I had a fantastic time at SWSA.  

Strike that. .it wasn't just "chilly" it was damn cold!   like 37 & drizzly all day.  in Texas!

but I had already made plans to go with my friend Sean, and we stuck to them despite knowing that it had to be at least 40 degrees before any of the Coasters would operate.

of course, the "Passport to Thrills" preview for Tidal Surge was a big draw, but the main reason I wanted to go was the last weekend of Mardi Gras and I wanted to try the food!
So I was prepared to have a good time, even if none of the rides operated due to the weather

made pretty good time, and pulled up just at 11:30, time for check in for the Passport to Thrills event.. overcast and looking really cold.   But hey, "front row" parking - sorta. .in the non - up-close section.
but figured the park would be pretty slow today due to the weather.


I actually hadn't planned to wear my facemask today, but had brought it with me just in case.   Glad I did, as it was so damn cold, it was nice to keep my face warm.



also glad I had worn layers - including something with a hood, that could help with the wind.
here's Sean and I waiting to get our wristbands for Passport to Thrills - which would allow us to get a ride on Tidal Surge (assuming it opened at some point)


Walking to the main entrance gate for SW, you get a great view of the brand new Aquatica attraction (that went up SUPER fast):   Riptide Race.

this slide complex opens to the public Next weekend: 3/5/22




Heading back towards the gathering place for Passport to Thrills, I get my first look at the completed Tidal Surge from across the lagoon.  Yeah. .it's pretty imposing:



they dont' have a ride sign up yet, but there are two ways to get to this new ride. . the main one for us was under this Inflatable arch - which I'm assuming will be the main entrance until the sign (and test seat) are installed



up close, this is even more imposing. . I think this just might scare off a lot of folks.


SeaWorld San Antonio acknowledged the weather, and provided us with Cookies and Hot Chocolate, as a thank you for coming out, even tho it was so nasty on Saturday. 




so we enjoyed our cookies and Hot Chocolate, and hung around ooooo ing over the ride, and chatting with other Passport to Thrills folks. . . for about 20 minutes.  But the temperature was still hovering around 37 degrees, and we knew what it had to be for this to operate (Ray Gonzales told us 40 for this too).



but we eventually decided to take a walk around the park, and check out what shows might be operating today, and enjoy the views.  and walking would warm us up.

everything appeared to be staffed up, but we knew that until the weather cooperated, nothing would run.

Texas Stingray looks so beautiful, even when sitting quiet.


LOL. . yeah.. it was THIS crowded ~12:30 pm.



Those loveable nutjobs at SWSA had Rio Loco running all day! yes! the whitewater raft ride was running, despite it being too cold to operate most anything else. . LOL.


Even tho the waterfalls were off (I asked). . we still weren't about to brave a water ride today!    But we did see a couple of folks just riding it over and over.


shhhhhhh. . the coasters are sleeping 
(although Spoiler - just around 2pm it warmed up enough to hit EXACTLY 40 and several of the rides did open up - including Texas Stingray, Wave Breaker, Sea Swinger, and Tidal Surge.
pretty much the only "big" rides that never opened yesterday were Steel Eel, Great White, and Riptide Rescue)



but we took a wonderful trip thru the Penguin Exhibit - which was actually warmer than it was outside. .so it felt amazing, even with that wonderful smell in there.

and that exit just *happens* to be near Currents gift shop.   Which when I asked someone earlier at the Hot Chocolate, was mentioned that it was the only place in the park that sold gloves.

sooooo.. . with Passmember discount?   best cheapie pair of $9 gloves I've ever bought.   they really made a difference!


it was time to try out some of the Mardi Gras food. . so we popped into the pretzel place






I had the Pretzel wrapped Boudin with a side of Beer Cheese.

the Boudin was spiced with Jalepeno, and was so good.   It LOOKED a bit overcooked. . .but it actually wasn't, and ate way better than it looked :)


We walked around a bit and ended up in Sesame Street Bay of Play - which looked to have about 1/2 of the attractions staffed.   I'm not one to pass up a Carousel, and it was staffed (even tho only one other family was waiting for it). . so we took a ride.

the SWSA Carousel requires ALL riders to be seatbelted in. . and I had so many layers on. . . LOL.. it was a struggle to get the seatbelt on, and Sean had to get off his horse to help buckle me in.

but oh so worth it!



I would have actually ridden Grover's coaster (for the 1st time ever) but it was one of the non-staffed attractions. . think it was just too cold for it.  


The Muppets were out doing their Meet & Greet, and there was *nobody* there. .. the handler actually waved us over.
Meet the muppets with no line?   heck yes!



and I even got to Tickle Elmo.. he wasn't expecting it. .and this picture came out absolutely awesome and is one of my favorites EVER!  
(he was doubled over going hehehehehehehehehee! )   And her reaction is perfect!


even if it does look in the next pic like I went all Negan on his ass (as my friend Russ said on Facebook).


we were heading back towards the Orca stadium just after 2pm, when we heard what sounded like Stingray on the lift hill. .. so we came around the corner and sure enough, they were cycling it.

We kept heading that direction, and then saw the train go with two maintenance guys (one in front, one in back) and I said to Sean - "that's the last thing they do before opening it up, let's go to it"

so we went over that way, and got there to join the short line of folks, and they opened the queue line up less than 5 minutes later.    

We waited one cycle for back row ride, and by the time we got off, we saw Tidal Surge was testing.. . so we headed over there.

It's a new ride, so it had some issues even after the official "go". . . .  we were on the 2nd cycle and it took them a good 10 minutes to resolve a restraint not giving green light, and then the ride faulted out during our ride and never got up to full swing.    But hey, it's a new ride, it happens.  

They figured out the issue and got it back running after about 20 minutes, and all in all, I got two rides on it.
(I'll write up a way more detailed assessment of TS with lots of pics after the launch event later in the week (it officially opens to the General Public on 3/5).





WaveBreaker was running by this point, but we decided we'd rather get another ride on Stingray, so we rode that again before deciding we were hungry (it was almost 4pm) and it was well past time to try some of the main Mardi Gras food.   So we headed to the main booth that sold that on the way towards the front gates.


Meeting the muppets with no lines was fun, as was getting some rides on Tidal Surge. . but an absolute highlight of the day was bumping into Chef Scott, and having a nice long conversation with him about the food at the park (among the best of any Theme Park) and what's gonna be coming up for the 7-seas food festival . . . .which all sounded amazing!

he made suggestions on what to try, and hung out with us as we sampled and chatted about the recipes and how he created them.   Was a great ~45 spent with a really cool guy!


Clockwise from top:  Shrimp & Sausage skewer with Dirty Rice, Jambalaya, Boudin Balls with mustard sauce


Beef Po-Boy (Sean took a few bites of it before I could get a pic). .LOL






and the man himself, Chef Scott Ronczkowski :


I was way too full to try the Benigets but they looked amazing too.

it was just at 5, and the park was closing.. . short, cold, day. . but man did I have a LOT of fun today.

cant wait to go back soon, and to try out the food from Seven Seas Festival, which kicks off in a few weeks.

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  • 1 month later...

Great TR Bert! And all - that - food! No wonder you're planning to go back for more.

Did you guys have the Lanyard Sampler Cards? I noticed that 15 = $80, etc.

Just curious. 🌮🍖 🥙

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yes. . .tho for Passholders, the $80 gets you a lanyard with 18 punches  (so bonus 3 punches for Passholders).

I used 9 of them. .so I have 9 left on my badge, and I get a 3 punch badge at the Great White Birthday Party I'm going to on 4/10. . so I'll have 12 samples I can get) :)

gonna TRY to use them all, as not sure I'll get to go back later in April. . tho if I don't use them all, I certainly will try to make a trip up.

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so after spending most of the day at SWSA, I was pretty wiped out. . but since I had to pass SFFT on the way home (and no way I wasn't gonna pop into the park to see Dr. D's Cliffhanger in person), I made a quick stop at Fiesta for ~ 1 1/ 2  hours to take some pics, ride the Carousel, and pick up dinner (I had brought my tupperware in my backpack to ensure I could bring leftovers home, figuring I'd be stuffed from Seaworld) :)

I got there ~4:45, and the lot was pretty full. . but from way back I got a great view of the new park skyline.

looks amazing.


the 30th Anniversary signage is a nice touch too



Surprisingly, the park didn't seem too crowded - despite the amount of cars, it wasn't so packed in the walkways that it wasn't fun.

Hadn't seen this yet in person, but also really love the "throwback" sign they erected in the Central Plaza, to celebrate the Anniversary:


and the backside of it has many classic pictures from the Park's history



but I was here to check out the progress on Dr. Diabolical's Cliffhanger.

Wow. .do they have a LOT of this done already. . I'd say at least 2/3rds.   It's really impressive in person, and looks WAY bigger than the height of the drop.

of course, still a lot to do before it's ready (all the landscaping, the queue line - including the Doctor's lab, the actual Station). . but they look like will have the full circuit up and ready for initial testing by mid April!

onwards to LOTS of pics:
















after walking all the way thru CrackAxle to get some different angles, I really needed to sit down for a bit.   So a quick refill at Bubbas (yeah, i had brought my Membership Drink Bottle along with the Tupperware), and then I spent about 15 minutes people watching, and riding "Bench: the Ride"

and Fiesta has put in at least 50 (or more) new Benches. . . lots of places to sit now.

it really is a lovely park!




Rested up, I made my way towards my 1 ride goal this afternoon:  the Carousel.

and I was able to get my "Bowie Bunny" - the White Rabbit with the two colored eyes that I love :)





after my ride, I headed into Sangerfest Halle - reopened after a major refurbishment. . .but still not ALL the options on the Menu just yet.   A *lot* of good choices tho.

Have to say hello to "Sweet Connie" tho. . over by the restrooms.   I'm so happy that Jeffrey Siebert and the Park kept this wonderful mural by the restrooms.   (it's actually rather sad how excited I was when he told me she was sticking around. . I love this hooka)


the refurb in the hall looks AMAZING.  

Rather than Food Court style, you now go to registers at the front to order (I assume it will remain this way once the full kitchens are open, and the menus will just offer more options).
You put your order in at the front, and they give you a receipt and a "token" that you take down to the back end of the hall, where individual lines are set up for each "token"..and you trade that for your food.


Here's the Individual lines:
(since I had gotten the Chicken Dinner - which was EXCELLENT by the way, and still eating the leftovers from it today. .it's a LOT of food) - I had the line with the Chicken picture on it)


the flooring and new paint in here makes SUCH a difference


and the "wall" put in the back - blocking off the Bathrooms - make a big difference as well. . . it's a fantastic open space now!

with a lovely fountain in the middle (that many were taking pictures in front of)

I'm sitting with my back to the Stage, but behind me is the main performance stage for Sangerfest Halle.



and with most of my meal packed up, I ate what I could fit in my belly after full day at SeaWorld, and headed out.

I'm back at Fiesta on 4/9, and my Dr. already has my BP meds being adjusted. .so I expect I'll ride the crap out of stuff on that day, and spend much more time in the park.

it's one WORTH a lot of time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Updated in their Respective Threads. . Trip reports from:

Six Flags Fiesta Texas:  Fiesta Fest - Dr. Diabolical's Cliffhanger train reveal and lots of pics of the complete coaster circuit:



SeaWorld San Antonio:   The Great White's 25th Birthday Bash, and Seven Seas Food Festival:


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