Six Flags Over Texas

4th June 2003

We had no exclusive session arranged at Six Flags Over Texas. Consequentially we were advised that those who wanted to should head directly to Titan (#131) where the group would stage an unofficial takeover. Waiting for a front seat seemed like the best plan, as it would also give me another few minutes to digest the remainder of my breakfast. This decision proved to be inspired, as this ride had already become my new favourite coaster even before we'd hit the brake run. The sense of speed in the first half of the ride was unreal, and the sustained forces generated by the rest of it were amazing. The occasional pop of airtime proved to be the icing on the cake.

On the way down the exit path my eye was drawn to an ACE t-shirt. Closer inspection showed it to be inhabited by Tim Baldwin, the organiser of the trip I did last year. It turned out that Tim lived just ten minutes drive from the park, and as such he was full of helpful hints on how to make the most of our limited time here. The first stop was the Texas Giant (#132), which we decided to ride now as a precaution. An exclusive session had been announced for the evening subject to weather conditions, and the forecast was not promising. I'd seen videos of this ride and knew the layout pretty well, and it was great to experience it in the flesh. The track proved to be a little on the bumpy side but not intolerable by any means.

Six Flags Over Texas

Our next stop was at Mr. Freeze (#133), a launched coaster which sticks up high into the sky. The train on this ride traverses the same course forwards and backwards, theoretically limiting capacity. However, the designers here adopted a novel approach, namely having the entire station slide sideways. This allows one train to be launched while the other is being loaded, a neat solution to the problem. At any rate it would be fair to say that I wasn't particularly looking forward to this ride due to the vertical track, but in the end I buckled myself in with gritted teeth. As might be expected, I loved it!

Flashback (#134) marked my second Boomerang in as many days, a mildy amusing fact given that it had taken me years to encounter my first one. This version proved to be surprisingly brutal, and not something I'd have done twice.

At the other extreme, Batman the Ride (#135) was an example of precision engineering that could easily have occupied my entire morning, and only didn't due to a combination of Texas heat and additional coasters to ride. My single circuit was not overly pleasant due to the person behind me having a particularly piercing scream, but one can hardly fault the park or ride designer for that one!

A brief lap on the Mini Mine Train (#136) brought us to the regular Mine Train (#137). Both of these rides pass through some beautiful theming, albeit without any trace of anything that looked even remotely like a mine.

Shockwave (#138) was a surprisingly intense coaster hidden away at the back of the park. We didn't have to wait for this at all, and indeed after the train came back there was nobody in the station. The ride operators seemed amused by this, and offered to let us ride again, and then a third time when there was still nobody there. Steve and Adam might well have done another lap or two, but I'd had enough; the forces in the loop were enough to blur my vision, and it didn't seem a particularly good idea to keep riding in that situation.

Premier Rides is best known for its launched coasters, and indeed they have only ever built two coasters that don't utilise LIM launches. One of those is a water coaster in Finland; the other is Runaway Mountain (#139). The park has chosen to completely enclose this ride, and the darkness is sufficient to make it impossible for passengers to see where they are going next. As such, a rather impressive mid course drop took me completely by surprise, making the total experience great fun.

Six Flags Over Texas

As a major fan of bobsled coasters I was predisposed to like La Vibora (#140). Unfortunately, it was simply not possible to do so. The ride could have been great were it not for the extremely violent (and painful) braking sections scattered throughout the trough. The first time we hit a brake I'd no idea what was coming, and as such took the full force of the impact. It was possible to brace for the remaining ones, but nevertheless the fun was gone, turning this officially into a useful addition to the park. Even this coaster enthusiast can appreciate that mid course brakes are better than sleds flying off the track, but to be honest, if the brakes are likely to cause injury in themselves, it might be time to rethink whether this ride has a future.

We had two credits left to obtain. The first, Canyon Blaster, proved to be off limits to adults today. The other was Judge Roy Scream (#141), a fairly nice out and back wood coaster that ran along the side of a lake. It might have been nice to ride more than once but the oppressive heat was getting to us. Instead, we decided to take a trip up the air-conditioned Observation Tower to take some photos.

Following this, the three of us clocked up five successive back seat rides on Titan, each more thrilling than the last. Waiting time between each circuit was minimal, with no more than ten minutes for the back seat. We followed this up with a front seat ride on Mr. Freeze. Sitting in the front car on this ride was interesting for the engineer in me; just before dispatch, it was possible to see all the brakes on the launch track snap apart in sequence, before the launch shot us out onto the course. The other perk of the front seat was the extended free fall as the train switched direction.

The skies opened just as our evening session was due to begin. Instead of cancelling it on us, however, the park told us that rain was due to end in about twenty minutes and that we could wait until it stopped. This happened almost exactly on schedule. I got in an excellent front seat ride, and immediately joined the train again for another go. However, this time I wasn't so lucky; one rather hard thump towards the end of the circuit finished me off for the evening.

2003


Six Flags Over Texas

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