Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

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Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:02 am

Day 1: Six Flags Over Texas

So our visit to Texas went really well last week. We broke up the 16 hour drive to Arlington with a stop in Memphis. Our first Texas stop was Whataburger. Technically we were in Arkansas, but Texas was across the street. We grabbed a decent enough room at a HoJo and we could see Titan from our room. They opened the gates a bit early and we proceeded towards New Texas Giant. When we got to the rope, the Six Flags employee said that we could get in ten minutes early if we had memberships. We boogied back to New Texas Giant and got in line to be front row for the first ride of the day. And there appeared to be mechanical difficulties, so the ride shut down before it could start.

We went over to Titan and it was still testing. After announcing maybe five times that the next train would be the first of the day, we finally were able to get on. I really enjoyed this coaster. The uphill helix was cool. The MCBR was on so hard it was almost painful. My daughter declared this her second favorite coaster of the trip after Iron Rattler.

After a quick trip to confirm that NTAG was still down, we made our way around the park, hitting every coaster at least once. I loved Shockwave. I wish the old Arrow loopers could age like a Schwarzkopf.

Mr. Freeze was also a lot of fun. After some reading I realized that we did the oldest and newest Arrow mine trains on this trip. Judge Roy Scream wasn't particularly bad, but did not warrant a re-ride. La Vibora was great. I love bobsled coasters. The park was dead and we never waited more than 5 minutes for anything.

When the app finally updated and showed that New Texas Giant was running, we made a beeline for it. It was a ton of fun and we got a few laps in before ending the evening with a couple more rides on Titan. All in all, a great experience at a very nice park.
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Obligatory sign photo
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There are big balls in Texas
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The reason for the season
20181217 SFOT NTG Maggie.jpg
Maggie approves of New Texas Giant
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Last edited by hoppedup on Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:42 am.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:11 am

Nice report!

As annoying as Titan's MCBR is, I wonder just how insane those final helices would be without coming to a stop considering people can see grey currently.
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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:21 am

Days 2 & 3: Tourists in Arlington/Austin/San Antonio (No coaster content)

We awoke on Day 2 of our adventure with no real plan for the day. We were just a few blocks from AT&T Stadium and my daughter asked if we could do a tour. As a Steelers fan, I had no real desire to tour this place. But my daughter wanted to go and when I looked up tours, it turned out that this was one of two days in December with field access for self-guided tours.

ATT Sign.jpg
The house that Jerry built


Turns out it is a pretty amazing building. We got to go in the press room, players' and cheerleaders' fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo rooms, and you could wander around the field and play catch.

ATT Squat.jpg
What I think of the Cowboys
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What my daughter thinks of the Cowboys


After the tour we headed to Zilker Park in Austin. We wanted to swim in Barton Springs Pond. When we arrived and there were just a bunch of old men swimming around, my daughter decided she really didn't want to jump in. So we hiked a bit. There was apparently a festival of lights coming up that evening and the park was going to be nuts. We opted to head straight to San Antonio and skip out on a night in Austin. Traffic was horrendous in Austin at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Zilker.jpg
Maggie with the local flora


We rolled into San Antonio with grumbling stomachs. I hadn't booked a room yet so I decided to check out our River Walk hotel that I had booked for Thursday night. I decided to splurge a bit more and got it for this night (Tuesday). There was a BBQ joint, Augie's, two blocks away. It was delicious and cheap.

Augies.jpg
Augie's $9.99 combo. Hard to beat!


We walked along the River Walk and had a lovely evening looking at all the lights. Our hotel was about 1 mile north of the main area of shops and restaurants and about 0.7 miles south of the Pearl district. Both were an easy stroll.

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Christmas Tree RW.jpg
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Pearl District


Day 3: Missions and such: We had breakfast at Pete's Tako House, also just a block or so from our hotel. The machacado con huevos was delicious.

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Machacado from Pete's


Then we set out to visit the Alamo, Tower of the Americas and the other missions on the Mission Trail. We had planned to rent bicycles to ride the Mission Trail. Around 2:30 I realized we wouldn't have time for that, so we drove to three of the missions that afternoon.
Alamo.jpg
Espada Interior.jpg
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San Jose Interior.jpg
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We made it back to the hotel for some rest before our nightly walk on the River Walk. We enjoyed being on the river so much, we stayed at the hotel three nights instead of one. I am a frugal traveler usually, almost never splurging on downtown hotels and always using street parking when I do. I actually paid for the parking as well. My daughter was a bit shocked by this, I think. And I tipped the valet. We stayed at the Wyndham Garden. I'm still using Wyndham Rewards and this was definitely a huge step up from the Days Inns and Super 8s (which can vary wildly in quality)

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Our hotel from across the River Walk


I would have better photos but my Sony a3000 crapped out after the AT&T stadium tour.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:33 am

Nice report! I would have thought there'd be more people touring AT&T Stadium if self-guided tours are that rare.
Top 3 Wood- Lightning Rod, Voyage, Coaster (PNE Playland)
Top 3 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Untamed, Expedition GeForce
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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:37 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Nice report! I would have thought there'd be more people touring AT&T Stadium if self-guided tours are that rare.


One of the guys on the field said it was strangely slow. There was one other family out on the field. We got there when the tours started, though. I think the stadium just has a lot of events booked this time of year. The Texas high school football championships started the day after we were there.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:14 am

Day 4: Final Mission, SWSA (almost) and SFFT

We awoke Thursday morning with a few hours to kill before Sea World opened at 1. We visited the last mission we had skipped the previous day on the Mission Trail, Mission Concepción. The frescoes they have uncovered were really interesting and the highlight of all the missions we visited.

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We did a little shopping and ended up at Sea World right around opening time. The wind was gusting like crazy, probably in the 40-50 mph range with sustained winds probably 20-30 mph. I had my doubts about any coasters running and they proved correct. We walked around the park to get our bearings for a return trip the following day. Turns out it was pretty simple with all three coasters grouped together.

Steel Eel closed.jpg
Moose out front shoulda told you...
SWSA1.jpg
Some of the trees were blown over


We took a loooooong lunch at the BBQ place across the highway from Sea World and then ventured over to Fiesta Texas. I was worried that the coasters wouldn't be running there either. The wind had died down quite a bit, though, so I was hopeful. There was a pretty big line by the time they let us in. We met an enthusiast and his mom and chatted for a bit. At rope drop we headed straight to Wonder Woman for a couple of rides. What an awesome coaster! Definitely a unique experience all around. I remembered we had a free digital copy and print coming to each of us because we are members.

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Obligatory sign photo
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Wonder Woman at night
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Maggie approves of this one as well


Superman wasn't running (and never did) so we moseyed over to Iron Rattler. No signs of life there either. So we queued up for Roadrunner Express. Best mine train ever, even if the style, theming, and track color didn't quite match the other Arrow mine trains we've ridden. While we were waiting for Roadrunner, we looked over and the Iron Rattler train was coming out. We waited in line for it to open. Testing took quite a while, but omg was it worth the wait. Talk about a relentless RMC conversion! Easily the best coaster of our trip.
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Iron Rattler gave us the happies!
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Bert was right about that last car!


After a couple of rides on Iron Rattler, we decided to just walk around and check out the lights and grab dinner, since we have a dining plan. I was satisfied with our visit enough to call it a day on rides and worry about catching the rest of the coasters next year. This is a beautiful park and the interaction with the quarry wall is super cool.
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Projection on the quarry wall
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SFFT7.jpg
SFFT8.jpg
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby coasterbill » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:24 am

Great report so far! Fiesta Texas is a gem.

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:58 am

Day 5: Return to SWSA and the Hell Drive

We woke up Friday morning looking forward to better luck at Sea World with the coasters. We did some shopping for kitschy crap for my daughter to take back to her friends. We also had the last great breakfast we'd have in Texas. We went to the Original Blanco restaurant downtown and the machacado was great here, maybe better than Pete's. And cheap, taboot! My daughter ordered a side of country sausage to go with her pancake. The waitress asked, "It comes with gravy. Is that okay?" Why, hell yeah, that's awesome! They mistakenly put it on my plate. Here in NC, country sausage with gravy has an entirely different meaning from San Antonio, apparently. It was like a sliced kielbasa with tomato sauce. Still tasty.

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Machacado at The Original Blanco Cafe


Our return trip to Sea World was much more promising. There was a light breeze and temps were upper 60s. We hadn't seen Steel Eel testing since we arrived and got a little nervous. No worries, it was running with no one in the queue. We took our first ride front row as the only people on the train. Wow! Even with the MCBR working overtime, the airtime was still amazing, IMO. We were able to move around and try different seats, as there was almost no one in the park. Front row was the way to go, as the cars towards the back slammed you back to the seat after every airtime moment. You could minimize it with some defensive riding, but couldn't get rid of it altogether. The Great White was a solid B&M invert, but it and Wave Breaker only got one ride each.

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Obligatory sign photo
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The Great White
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Steel Eel
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Maggie approves of all hypers
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And that's a wrap!


Around 2:30, we'd ridden Steel Eel many times and decided to hit the road for NC. Houston was truly awful even after stopping for dinner to avoid the worst of rush hour. We stopped for a few hours sleep somewhere north of Mobile. Atlanta was Atlanta, but then Greenville, Spartanburg, Gastonia, and Charlotte all decided to be Atlanta as well. We didn't even stop in for SFOG or Carowinds. We were that tired. We had originally planned on ZDT's, Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Park at OWA, and SFOG on the way home but our schedule changed. My daughter loved the trip so much she wants to do it again next year, so we'll get those then. The schedule change allowed for the touristy stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it actually worked out for the best. That's a wrap on 2018. Can't wait for the multiple trips we have planned for 2019.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:48 am

Nice report!

Even in high wind, at least SeaWorld offers all the animal exhibits. Winds like that would wreck a day at a lot of parks. But I'm glad you were able to return and get some great rides on Steel Eel. Even though it does slam you back down, I prefer the back on Steel Eel simply because of how great those drops are.

I'm glad you rode Iron Rattler in the back. That coaster has two of the best drops of any coaster.
Top 3 Wood- Lightning Rod, Voyage, Coaster (PNE Playland)
Top 3 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Untamed, Expedition GeForce
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Most Recent Trip Reports- Gardaland & Mirabilandia

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Re: Hoppedup's Roller Coaster Adventures

Postby hoppedup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:35 pm

coasterbill wrote:Great report so far! Fiesta Texas is a gem.


Thanks! It really was a nice park. I look forward to going back for a full day.
Canobie Coaster wrote:Nice report!

Even in high wind, at least SeaWorld offers all the animal exhibits. Winds like that would wreck a day at a lot of parks. But I'm glad you were able to return and get some great rides on Steel Eel. Even though it does slam you back down, I prefer the back on Steel Eel simply because of how great those drops are.

I'm glad you rode Iron Rattler in the back. That coaster has two of the best drops of any coaster.


Thanks! I think I almost prefer Iron Rattler to Steel Vengeance among RMCs. I am looking forward to daytime rides next time. At Sea World, I want to say that there were animal viewings early in the day, but the shows all seemed to start later than we wanted to stay with a trip to SFFT one day and wanting to get on the road the next day.
Parks: 21 | Coasters: 142 | Wood: 39 | Steel: 102 | Fiberglass: 1

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