2019 Texas & Arkansas Trip
The first park of the 2009 Texas Tour, and the last one we would see in Texas for this trip, Six Flags Over Texas, the original Six Flags park. Much like several of the earlier parks in this trip, I had most of the coasters already, while they would all be new ones for Wes and Nicole. What was a bit of a disappointment upon our arrival was to see that their Intamin bobsled coaster, La Vibora, appeared to be closed for the day as the maintenance staff could be seen on the ride doing work on various parts of it. According to a few friends, it seemed to be closed in part because of the building of their new Larson loop ride, El Diablo.
Another downside we would find as we arrived was that the park was incredibly busy today. There were tons of people coming in, and some of the rides would have fairly long lines. To help with this, we went ahead and got the Flash Pass for saving some time in lines, and while I have used this service before at other Six Flags parks, they had a different device for the service here as in the past it was like a pager on a clip, but now it seems that they are using a watch-like device on your wrist, which was nice for quickly checking your reservation status, however the touch screen was a bit on-and-off as sometimes it wouldn’t pick up what you were trying to do, and others it would just randomly make selections for you, so it is important to regularly check it to ensure the ride you have intended to reserve is still there.
As we wondered around, I discovered that Six Flags Over Texas had an excellent offering in the adult beverage department, as they had a Frozen Coke and Jack Daniels machine that would wonderfully blend the two together, and you could choose from a variety of flavors along with normal Coke. I went with Cherry Coke, and it was excellent for a nice sunny and warm day!
To start our riding for this visit, we went first with Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast. When here in 2009, the train started going forward and then came back in reverse, then a few years ago the turned the trains around for both versions of this ride (there is one at Six Flags St. Louis as well). My favorite part of this ride is the way that as you slow down going up the spike, the magnets kick in to lift the train up before sort of catapulting the train toward the ground again.
Continuing the DC Comic themed rides, we also made our way to the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis (shooting dark ride), Batman the Ride (a B&M Invert) and Joker (an S&S Freefly). The Justice League ride was fun, although it seemed to be that scenes went by quicker than I remember with other versions of the ride that I have experienced. I do appreciate the use of the screens and color-coordinated “blasters” so that you know where you are aiming.
Batman, like the many others of this particular model of B&M inverted coaster, was a good, high positive-g ride, although we experienced a bit of a slow down in the operations when a guest was arguing with an employee over their kid not being able to ride because he had a cast. While I understand a parent’s frustration when their kid is not able to ride, I don’t think she had realized how she was keeping the ride from running because they had to wait until she exited the platform to run the ride. Other than that minor delay though, a good ride still.
Joker, while having the same layout as Batman at Six Flags Fiesta Texas a couple days ago, felt like a different ride since no two rides will be exactly the same with the free spinning. One thing I did find with this one is that the safety belt for the harness seemed to be shorter than the one in San Antonio, so for larger riders such as myself, if you go to both parks like we did, you might find that you can ride one but not the other.
Before venturing to another area of the park, we took a ride on Pandemonium (a Gerstlauer spinning coaster), the Mini Mine Train (Arrow junior mine train) and Runaway Mine Train (Arrow mine train). We took advantage of the single rider line for Pandemonium which saved us a lot of time as the regular line appeared to be about 60 minutes. The large size of this coaster compared to other spinners also made it a great ride, and we did get some good spinning. Because of using the single rider line, Wes was on a different car, and because of the weight balance of the car, they spun like crazy, seeming like the car would lift off like a helicopter at any moment.
The two mine train coasters were pretty fun, with Mini Mine Train being a good starter coaster for the younger crowd, and then being able to graduate to the larger Runaway Mine Train next.
We also rode aboard Judge Roy Scream which would be one of our longer waits due to there being no single rider line or flash pass. The ride itself has some nice moments of airtime, but one odd thing I found with it was that the lap bar seemed to sit a bit higher than most other Philadelphia Toboggan Company trains for a wooden coaster.
One of the biggest disappointments came from finding out that their boat dark ride had been closed last year due to flooding that occurred in the park with water levels rising around eight feet. For this particular ride, the flooding would cause significant damage inside of the ride as boats freely floated around in the building and bumped into walls and animatronics. The park closed the ride and removed all of the signage, which seems to indicate that there are no plans to fix and reopen the ride, which is a shame as it was in the same spirit as the Monster Mansion at Six Flags Over Georgia.
We did, however, get to enjoy a classic coaster, the Anton Schwarzkopf looper Shock Wave. Out of all of the various Schwarzkopf coasters I have ridden, I feel like this one has some of the best airtime. Most Schwarzkopf coasters are all about the positive-g’s, especially in the loops, but this is one that also offers a great amount of negative-g’s as well.
One of the highlights of the day was that their observation tower, the Oil Derrick, was open as it seems to be a bit hit or miss that Six Flags towers are open. This allowed us to enjoy some excellent views of the park and surrounding areas! I was particularly fond of the view of New Texas Giant.
Speaking of New Texas Giant, this was the other coaster that I needed at this park, as it was the RMC conversion that started it all. When here in 2009, The Texas Giant still stood tall, and was a fairly so-so ride. This version of the ride after the RMC treatment was certainly an upgrade of the old! What I found with this ride is that much like its Texas cousin in San Antonio, Iron Rattler, this isn’t at the same level as some of the other RMC coasters that have been built, but it certainly was a ton of fun! There were some moments with good airtime in the course, but it didn’t have the full kick some of the newest ones have. I would imagine though that if I had ridden this when it first opened, I would have been singing its praises.
After that, we went for a ride on Titan as the sun had set for the night. While this ride is tall and fast, it isn't quite on the same level as other hyper coasters as it doesn't have much in the way of airtime. It does, however have some pretty good positive-g's in the second half of the ride.
Overall, this visit to Six Flags Over Texas was much better than the visit to Six Flags Fiesta Texas as they had the majority of their rides open, and while it was crowded, the Flash Pass helped us to be able to enjoy more of them. I really hope that at some point the park will invest into either fixing or replacing the dark boat ride as those are always a lot of fun, and it would be a unique ride for the chain. Up next, it's an early morning as we head to Arkansas for their one major amusement park.
See More of the 2019 Texas & Arkansas Trip:
1: Arrival & Six Flags Fiesta Texas / 2: Exploring Downtown San Antonio / 3: SeaWorld San Antonio /
4: A Shameless Credit Run / 5: Six Flags Over Texas / 6: Magic Springs and Crystal Falls / 7: Some Arkansas Culture
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