The staff at Astroworld may have made our group feel welcome yesterday, but their colleagues at Fiesta Texas were absolutely determined to out-do them. We were all handed lanyards with special VIP badges on them as we passed through the gate, which could be used for a 25% discount on any park merchandise. Andy Hine also observed that they would be quite useful for annoying staff in other parks later in the trip. We were also told that there would be a free lunch provided in the Guest Hospitality area, and the park manager would be present to take questions from the floor. Scooby Doo also turned up at the meal, though fortunately the catering was of a rather higher standard than scooby snacks!
The morning began with a one hour exclusive session on Superman Krypton Coaster (#125). This is a very high capacity ride, with trains that hold thirty six people. Two of them were in use today, which allowed those who wanted to to ride almost continuously. Five circuits was my limit, though in that time I was able to try both front and back. This ride has to rank as one of the most photogenic coasters in the world. The opening is magnificent, with the train diving off the top of a cliff into the quarry below. The rest of the layout was a blur, but in a good way.
A substantial percentage of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain membership prefers wood coasters to steel. The exact number is open to speculation, but it certainly covers most of the louder members of the group. As expected, therefore, at the end of our exclusive session the entire mob descended on Rattler (#126). This ride was tamed a number of years ago following a lawsuit, which only makes me wonder what it must have been like originally. The front seat was certainly fun, but the back was on the far side of brutal. There was absolutely no question of me voluntarily riding it a third time, unless the entire car was filled with soft padding.
Though much of the club was content to stay on the wood coaster I decided to pick up the other credits. Road Runner Express (#127) feels very much like a designer got one of his calculations wrong; it features two lift hills, but the second seems almost an afterthought; it is relatively small, and the train makes it almost two thirds of the way up through momentum before the chain lift catches. Other than this obvious blunder, however, the ride proved surprisingly endearing, particularly due to it crossing in and out of Rattler's superstructure.
The single most common roller coaster design in the world is the Vekoma Boomerang, with almost fifty installations to date. Though I'd previously ridden versions of the two subsequent models I'd somehow never gotten to try an original one. Boomerang (#128) proved that I'd not missed much. On the positive side, the ride layout is interesting and the change of direction makes for a major crowd pleaser. On the negative side, the ride capacity is very limited due to only one train, and (on this model at least) the tracking through the cobra roll element was surprisingly rough.
Poltergeist (#129) was the fifth and at the time of writing last installation of the standard LIM coaster from Premier Rides, nicknamed the spaghetti bowl in enthusiast circles. I'd ridden one of these before in the guise of Flight of Fear, but that model is fully enclosed making it a somewhat different experience. As with all such rides the major thrill is in the high speed launch at the start, though the rest of the layout wasn't bad at all. On disembarking, we decided to finish off the park by riding the Rollschuhcoaster (#130), which has to be the smallest roller coaster I've ever been on. This is also allegedly a production design, though only one other version has been sold, currently operating in a park in Taiwan.
We also tried out the rather impressive Scooby-Doo Ghost Blasters dark ride. This was my first encounter with a target shooting attraction; guests are given laser guns to shoot at moving animatronics, and the highest score in the car is the winner. Having never done one of these before it clearly wasn't going to be me, but I'll be working on my technique for the future!
We got to experience our first so-called Six Flags Moment of the trip while attempting another ride on Poltergeist. One of the park guests had lost their lunch on the ride exit path, requiring the services of a sanitation engineer. Unfortunately this little accident resulted in the complete closure of the ride for almost half an hour, which proved more than a little frustrating. Walking past such a thing was never going to be pleasant, but given the choice between that and a long wait I'd have happily practiced my skills at running jumps.
Our last activity in the park was to take up the invitation from park management of a special performance of the Chinese Acrobatics Show. Most of the group elected to attend this, and it proved well worth it. As theme park shows go, this was on the far side of excellent, making it no surprise to learn that Fiesta Texas is a regular recipient of best show awards from Amusement Today magazine.