Six Flags Over Texas
I am going to begin this report by apologizing. This is going to be a super long report. Like 70+ photos, lots of descriptions kind of long.
Still with me? The end of my Texas park tour was Six Flags Over Texas. The first Six Flags park, SFOT had a real charm to it much like Fiesta Texas. It really must be something about Texas. They aren't just about cowboys and football; they know how to make a dang good amusement park.
Because I had no clue when I'd make it back to the park, I pre-reserved a Platinum Flash Pass online. Typically I max out at gold, but I saw the New Texas Giant was platinum only and I had every intention to maximize my rides on the first RMC. When I pulled into the parking lot and parked a solid 10-15 minute walk from the main entrance, it definitely seemed like the Flash Pass would be necessary. It was a beautiful 90 degree day with not a cloud in sight.
Turns out I didn't really need it. The only rides with any notable wait like Justice League and La Vibora had single rider lines. Everything else was a station wait. On the bright side, the Flash Pass definitely helped with re-rides. Instead of having to walk down the entire exit ramp (which were pretty long for most rides) and then go back through the long queue (again also very long), I could sneak back in via the Flash Pass entrance which was usually only a few feet down the exit ramp.
Having played an unhealthy amount of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 growing up, I was already pretty familiar with the park's layout. I walked right in and saw the familiar fountain and carousel. Off to the left, was the Spanish area where I always added a drop tower. I shudder to think how many hours I spent playing that game growing up (actually who am I kidding, I still play it since I have it on my phone), but it definitely came in handy on this day.
The park definitely had a lot of character to it missing from the other Six Flags parks. Even the commonly seen areas such as Gotham City or Looney Tunes had superior theming and a greater attention to detail. I could still see the Six Flags in this park, but the charm was fighting to stay.
After grabbing my Flash Pass, I made my way into Spain and proudly whipped out my Flash Pass to board La Vibora. At this point, I still thought the Flash Pass was needed since it appeared I had just skipped an hour line. Granted there was a single rider line, but this was more satisfying. Turns out the long line at La Vibora was more a function of the ride's cruddy capacity rather than the overall crowds.
I was shocked to see the inline-style seating. Having ridden Great Escape's Alpine Bobsled and seen La Vibora in RCT2 (don't judge me on the last one), I was expecting 2 abreast seating. Nope this was an actual bobsled. The single rider line made more sense at this point. The restraints were surprisingly loose on this one as I had several inches above my lap and around me, but soon enough I was off along with a mother and her child. Interestingly enough, they actually let me ride alone in the back seat on this one...
La Vibora was definitely a fun coaster. A few of the turns are pretty wild (particularly after the large, twisting drop off the first MCBR) since you can feel the car momentarily lift off the track and then slam back down. It's a risk-reward there since the cage like seating configuration was a little uncomfortable at these points though. I think it would have been more enjoyable with the standard seating like Great Escape's bobsled. Also I want to add that I love the ride's paint scheme. It's refreshing to see a bobsled not themed to a snowy bobsled ride. 7 out of 10
I was tempted to ride El Asseradero, but their no single rider policy and the fact that this was Flume Dog's old stomping grounds caused me to skip out on the world's first flume. It was a bummer to miss it, especially on a hot day, but I wasn't in the mood to recruit any friends after my lovely experience at Clementon with the wannabe rapper in June.
No more messing around, it was time for the New Texas Giant. The ride simply looked massive compared to the other RMCs I've been on. The Flash Pass entrance was in a really weird spot down past some picnic pavilions, but it sure beat having to walk through the ride's ridiculously long queue line that is devoid of switchbacks. At this point, I realized the Flash Pass may not have been necessary as their marquee ride only had a station wait. The back row is my favorite seat on RMCs, so naturally I went there.
However, when I went to board, I was told I couldn't ride alone. Does this ride really have a no single rider policy too?
No even weirder. The park doesn't allow single riders in the back row, a policy I later found extended to all of their coasters. While no hard reason was given for this, I saw a few posts joking that it was to make sure everyone was accounted for if someone were to fall out. I pray that's not actually the reason, but I really couldn't think of any other reason why the back row specifically would be blocked to single riders.
I ended up getting the very back though since there was a father and daughter seated in front of me, but the daughter decided to back out of riding. The father eagerly hopped in the back while her daughter patiently watched from the Chicken Coop. Yes there is actually a Chicken Coop in the station complete with a cage and clucking rubber chickens. This would become the scene of something so Six Flags later in the night, but I'll save that for later.
The first drop was amazing. Not quite as insane as Iron Rattler's (really no drop is) but it gave the trademark RMC first drop ejector air only this one was longer. The two hills before the first overbank and old MCBR gave really strong ejector air. The first few overbanks have no air but are quite fun, as it's a really cool view to go 90 degrees that high off the ground. The straight section by the old MCBR feels very weird on a RMC. I can't think of a section of straight track outside of this instance, but it's fine since the ride picks it back up afterwards.
The diving drop off the old MCBR gives really strong air and the following S-hill was weird for a RMC. It had air of course, but it was only a weak pop as opposed to the usual thigh-crushing ejector air on RMCs. Rest assured, the next hill returned to the standard RMC air with a surprisingly tall drop. I was worried the flying carpet return leg would peter out a bit like Wicked Cyclone. While the speed was definitely less than the first half, all the hills gave really strong air and the three tunnels were cool (even though the second one had another odd section of flat track).
I got a front seat ride immediately after and it was amazing as well, but I definitely still prefer the back for the more intense air on the drops.
The New Texas Giant was far longer than the other RMCs I've been on. As the oldest RMC, I could see it was less daring in some areas with respect to the outward banked hills and inversions, but it was still an absolutely amazing coaster littered with ejector air. Before we knew RMC became the new gods of coaster building, I can't imagine how shocked everyone was to ride this amazing creating. Honestly this just cemented my trip to Cedar Point next year. I'm assuming Mean Streak will be about as long as the New Texas Giant, but it will have RMC's newest and craziest elements lined up. 10 out of 10
Up next was Titan, once I could find it. You wouldn't think a 250 foot tall hyper coaster could be hard to find, but Titan was exactly that. Remember how I thought New Texas Giant had a weird Flash Pass entry location? Well turns out that was the path to get to Titan. There was also a random Scrambler down that way that I imagine doesn't see too many riders. Titan's queue line is massive and incredibly long. If that whole queue were ever filled, that would be one heck of a long wait.
For my first ride, I hopped in the front. I've been on the nearly identical Goliath at SFMM twice, and for both those rides I was in the back. Goliath was a fun coaster but I couldn't help but come off underwhelmed since it's not a very good layout for a hyper coaster. The views going up the lift are fantastic, as I was able to see both the Rangers and Cowboys stadium. It's kind of funny that you are still actually shorter than the latter when you're going up the lift of the hyper coaster, but that's just how massive Jerry World is.
The first half is outstanding. I love the drop and the weirdly out-of-place laterals on the nearly 200 foot turnaround afterwards. The ride's only airtime hill gives plenty of floater and then the helix of death lives up to its name and started to take some of my vision away. If Titan kept it up at this pace, the ride would be a home run. The front was definitely the place to be because you could really feel the speed. But alas the MCBR brings the train to a halt like a state trooper on a highway. The second half is quite a bit slower, but the Gs on those helices are still very impressive.
When I ride hypers, I want speed and airtime. Titan has plenty of speed for the first half, but trades it in for insane Gs in the second half. I can see how someone could really like Titan, but I will take any hyper over this any day of the week. Compared to other hypers, this is really a 6/10 but overall it's still a solid coaster that's better than a lot of the inverts out there. It just lags behind everything else in its class. 8 out of 10
When I was browsing the map, I noticed a ride called Yosemite Sam's Gold River Adventure. At first I figured it was just a kiddie train or kiddie boat ride type thing, but saw it wasn't in the kids area. I decided to check it out and much to my surprise it was a classic dark ride! I had no idea SFOT had one of these, but I eagerly boarded in the back of the boat...until I was told that I had to switch with the family in front of me. I really can't even get the back on a boat that doesn't even go 5 MPH?
The outside of the ride looked impressive and surprisingly enough, the inside was very well done as well. The animatronics were relatively simple, but there were plenty of them and they were in great shape. It also helps that I was a big Looney Tunes fan so I liked this over several of the Disney dark rides. 9 out of 10
Up next was one of the indoor rides I had every intention of hitting when I walked through the gates, Runaway Mountain. Not on the Flash Pass, I wanted to knock this one out early in case it built up a line. It had one of the longest waits in the park, but it was only about 15 minutes and it was in AC which was fine by me. When I boarded in the second to back (I learned by this point) I immediately noticed how weird the restraints were. Instead of sitting on my lap, it pressed into my lower stomach. I'm not sure if this was only because Runaway Mountain was a Premier Rides knockoff (that sounds weird to say) of the Hurricane/Windstorm coasters, but do all of them have restraints like that?
Thankfully the ride was smooth. Otherwise those restraints would have knocked the wind out of me. The ride really took me by surprise. I was expecting a tame little coaster, but this one had some surprising drops (particularly the one off the MCBR) and really tight helixes. Also unlike everyone's beloved Skull Mountain, this mountain was actually in complete darkness though it was missing the heavy metal music. Guess that's a trade-off there and the price of quality music. 7 out of 10
I then took an elevator to the top of the park's observation tower, Oil Derrick. This trip report should really be brought to you by Oil Derrick since all the aerial photos were made possibly by this observation tower. The views atop this tower were breathtaking. 360 degree views of the park, the sports stadiums, and even Dallas. I spent a good 15-20 minutes up there and could have easily spent more. 10 out of 10
After Titan I had every intention of riding Shock Wave, but saw it was down on the Flash Pass. Thankfully I saw it had reopened while atop Oil Derrick. This classic Schwarzkopf looked like a fun coaster, but I was skeptical how good it could be. I did see it on the Golden Ticket Awards top 50 steel coasters a few times which I figured was another instance where that poll was highly inaccurate and skewed. Shock Wave actually was a fantastic coaster.
The three drops gave really extreme and surprising ejector air. I have been on other Schwarzkopf coasters like Sooperdooperlooper and Mind Bender, but none of them gave airtime even close to this. The 2 back to back vertical loops were as intense as the helices on Titan. The combination of intense air and positive Gs on the loops made me a believer in Shock Wave. I got three rides on this coaster and the back was by far the best seat, well second to back for me. 9 out of 10
Superman Tower of Power was up next and the combo tower simply looked massive. I actually skipped what looked to be a half hour line here, but like La Vibora it had a single rider line anyway. I loved how this one had one of the silent launches so I didn't see it coming, but the launch itself felt incredibly weak. How a launch atop a 300 foot tower has less punch than Canobie's little double shot beats me. The floater air at the top was pretty good though. However, the turbo drop portion was a major disappointment. The drop did absolutely nothing for me. The views at the top were nice, but I got those from Oil Derrick. 6 out of 10
Up next was a classic, Runaway Mine Train. As the first mine train, I definitely wasn't expecting much. The portions after the first two lifts confirmed that. The ride had a great setting, but the layout really didn't do too much. Then we climbed the final lift. The theming on the inside of the saloon was amazing. How is that this Six Flags can actually theme things this well. While I got lost in the park's impressive theming, I was doubly surprised by a surprisingly tall drop that gave some great air in the back. 6 out of 10
If one mine train wasn't enough, I went double down with the Mini Mine Train. If most kiddie coasters are Volkswagen Beetles, this is like a Mercedes Benz. The ride had a unique layout and was basically equivalent to the first portion of the Runaway Mine Train. This is one junior coaster I definitely didn't feel guilty about riding (that part came later). 4 out of 10
Whenever I go to a new park, I am always paranoid rides will go down for maintenance. The big 3 that I wanted to hit at SFOT were New Texas Giant, Shock Wave, and Mr. Freeze. I had gotten on two of them, so up next was Mr. Freeze. Batman and Robin is an absolute abomination of a movie (and that's putting it kindly), but I definitely appreciate how well themed Mr. Freeze's station was. Ironically the station was hotter than a furnace instead of being air conditioned, but with Flash Pass I didn't need to stay in there for long.
As you may have guessed, things didn't go as planned. As I was next to board, Mr. Freeze had technical difficulties. After 5 minutes, the sliding station (very cool unlike the station temperature) moved into action and a test train shot out of the station like a rocket. The train returned and I figured all was rosy. Then they announced the delay would be significant. Well that's a buzzkill.
As a consolation prize, I decided to hop on the most annoying name ever, Riddler Revenge. Seriously why couldn't they make it possessive? Even the employees were calling it Riddler's Revenge and I'm pretty sure they have no idea the one in California exists. I was really looking forward to seeing how the Giant Discovery compared to the Huss Giant Frisbees since Kennywood's was down for maintenance while I was there in June. As I was next to board, the dreaded "This ride is having technical difficulties" spiel came over the airwaves. This afternoon took a turn for the worse.
After back to back ride closures, I figured I shouldn't triffle with the free fly just yet so I went for the ever reliable B&M, Batman the Ride. The Flash Pass queue was really weird and I thought I had taken a wrong turn. You walk down what seems like a maintenance access rode, pass a backstage area, and then are led to door with no windows. I thought for sure this would be the maintenance bay, but nope, it led right into the station. I waited an extra 2 turns for the front row and received the usual awesome ride. Plenty of Gs on a ride that's supposed to give Gs like that unlike a certain hyper coaster across the park. 8.5 out of 10
Ok now that I finally got on a ride, I felt safe enough to queue up for the Joker. Despite having the Flash Pass, there was still a 20 minute, slow moving queue after the merge point. I was hopeful this one would be as insane as the version at Fiesta Texas (maybe people in Texas have a greater affinity for flipping), but nope it ran similarly to the ones at SFNE and SFGAdv. It's still a very fun coaster with some chaotic rocking, but I only got 2 full flips right at the start of the ride. Still I can't help but get off these free flies laughing because of the unique experience they provide. 8 out of 10
While waiting for Joker, I saw Riddler Revenge testing so I went over there afterwards. I was happy to see that the ride had the newer style Zamperla restraints as opposed to the bulkier ones on the Power Surge rides. The ride slowly built up to the full swings. I was nervous until the ride hit the crescendo as I hadn't gotten any of the air I heard about, but the payoff was fantastic as the four full swings gave major sustained floater air. The Gs on the downswings were very powerful as well. Like the free flies, if this ride gets cloned across Six Flags parks that is fine by me. 9 out of 10
Catwoman Whip (again why no possessive) was probably the most disappointing ride of the day for me. I'm a big fan of the old Enterpise flats like most of us, so I was interested to try Zamperla's refresh. The ride was definitely forceful, possibly more forceful than the original Enterprise rides, but it got to the point of discomfort. While the old Enterprise flats pin you comfortably against the back of the car and have your legs free, Catwoman Whip forced the back of my knee against the seat which became very uncomfortable by the end of the ride. 5 out of 10
Up next was the massive Texas SkyScreamer. I've ridden SFNE's 400 footer as well and the cycle was identical. The biggest difference was the views. While SFNE is located near Springfield which is a complete and total dump that should be avoided at all costs, this SkyScreamer is located near the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys stadiums in Arlington while also giving breathtaking views of Dallas and the rest of the park. 10 out of 10
While I was admiring the views atop the SkyScreamer, I noticed a line of people forming in front of Mr. Freeze. Usually that only happens if they're cycling trains and/or about to reopen, so I went over after my ride. About a minute later, the employee stepped aside and let everyone inside the queue. I chose the second to back (the back when traveling forwards for clarity) since I was all too familiar with the park's policy by this point and was on after a one train wait. The launch had no countdown or anything and launching in reverse was a pretty cool experience.
Then I felt some pain in my lower back. The transition into the inverted top hat seemed smooth, but for whatever reason it bothered my back. And for reference, I am someone who has never had back problems. The inverted top hat itself was a really disorienting inversion. The following overbank was ok, but the really awesome and freaky part was the vertical spike. I hadn't watched the ride run too closely, so I had no idea about the second "launch" on the spike. It felt entirely unnatural, but the hang-time and resulting drop in the very back was outstanding. Going forwards was a pretty similar experience, down to the pain in my back entering and exiting out of the inverted top hat again.
Since it wasn't crippling pain, I hopped back in line for a ride in the front (things that would probably make a chiropractor cringe). Oddly enough, they actually let me ride in the very front alone even though it's technically in the back for half the ride. The forwards portion was nicer in this direction because of the breeze, but I still preferred the back because of how I got to experience the full spike. The inverted top hat transition gave another jolt to my lower back though which still left me perplexed.
My back was sore, but I was still able to walk around and ride everything else without an issue thankfully. I'm not sure what was up with that transition in particular and why it gave me an issue. I tried reading some reviews online and read a tip to really force my back against the seat back and tried that on one later ride and it definitely helped me enjoy the ride without adding any more pain. Has anyone else had this issue? After learning to ride it completely pain-free, I was able to say I loved Mr. Freeze quite a bit. 8.5 out of 10
I was a little nervous to go on Judge Roy Scream after having my back readjusted on my first two Mr. Freeze rides, but like I said it was something specific to that one part on Mr. Freeze that caused me pain. I rode Judge Roy Scream twice, once in the very front and another time in the second to back. The ride definitely wasn't the smoothest wooden coaster, but 3 or so hills had nice airtime. Also I always remembered this ride having a really odd placement in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. And it's even odder when you see where it is inside the park. You have to go below a road to reach the ride and it's barely visible from the midway. 6 out of 10
Pandemonium was a clone of the version at Fiesta Texas and essentially SFNE, but it was still a very fun ride. Not quite as unbalanced as my ride on the one the day before at Fiesta Texas, but I still really love these spinners. I'm a sucker for any backwards drop and the helices pull some surprising Gs. 7 out of 10
The last major ride I planned to hit was Justice League. This was one of the few rides that appeared to have a sizable wait, which doesn't surprise me with the ride's capacity. I really enjoyed the one I rode at Great America, but the ride had some technical difficulties towards the end that ruined the flow of the ride. Not here. The ride went without a hitch and did a great job mixing the physical sets with the 3D screens. Some of the action is difficult to pick up at the end and it's truly chaotic to see what you're shooting, but it's still miles ahead of what kind of dark ride I thought I'd see at a Six Flags. 8 out of 10
And of course I made time for the kiddie credit after getting on everything else. The park had a really large Looney Tunes area compared to the others I've visited in pursuit of kiddie credits. SFOT's kiddie credit was a Chance Big Dipper for a change and as far as kiddie coasters go, it's a pretty solid model. Pretty smooth and comfortable for adults. 2 out of 10
I planned to finish my night with a few rides on New Texas Giant. I was able to get two, though I almost missed out on the last ride. As I was waiting for the third to back, two 10-11 year old girls in the row in front of me asked if their friend could cut me to ride with them. I told them I was a single rider, so they could ride with me and the girl said as snobbishly as possible "Well I want to ride alone". 9 times out of 10, most people don't mind if you ride with them, but I always ask just to be sure. And I am the same. However, I sure as heck wasn't willing to give in to the little brat's request.
When I told her no, they were pretty pissed that I didn't let her cut me. I'm sure they were about to start an argument (one that I was fully intending to walk away from by boarding the train), but then I heard screaming from the queue line. I'm sure it was just some rowdy teens as usual. Nope it was much worse than that. Two women (25-30ish) stormed up the ramp screaming "He touched me!" Well that doesn't sound good. The guy stormed up and had to be restrained since he was saying some not so Christian things about the two women.
The employees were kind of shocked as to what to do, so they called security and opened the air gates to let the two women find refuge in the Chicken Coop. We then lost all sympathy for the women since they started making some pretty vulgar comments towards the guy. Meanwhile, the operator opened the air gates and started boarding the next train. As bratty as those girls were I didn't think they should be anywhere near the station as this shouting match went down so I let her get on the ride. As she boarded, she just looked back at me and smirked.
Joke was on her since she got stuck on the brake run for a bit while they sorted the situation out. It sounds like the women threw their water or soda onto the guy and then somehow from that the women said that he touched them. A few people in the queue stepped forward to the guy's defense simply by calling the women some words that aren't appropriate for this forum. After security came up, the two women ran down the exit ramp and everyone in the station applauded like we were at a Broadway show. Not quite sure what I saw, but it was a reminder that I was in fact at a Six Flags.
Anyway, night rides on New Texas Giant are fantastic and even better than those during the day, which is the case with most coasters. I was a little disappointed the tunnels were pitch black instead of having the rainbow lighting I saw in older POVs, but having total darkness isn't a bad alternative.
Overall Six Flags Over Texas is among the best Six Flags parks I've been to. They have a diverse and large coaster collection with a major home run in New Texas Giant. They also have a top notch flat ride collection, a surprise dark ride, and charm that is missing from the other Six Flags parks. The only area where the park seemed to be lacking was in the food department. The food seemed no different than the rest of the chain.