USA 06/23 – Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas
Following on from Frontier City we arrived at Over Texas sometime late in the afternoon and immediately had our Six Flags Day moment. It was something ridiculous like 37 degrees, 150% humidity, there were weather warnings saying don’t go out in the sun, you nutters. In our haste we had chucked an assortment of drinks in the bag, as they were going to be essential for the upcoming exertion. Yet for the first time in my Six Flags history, most of these were removed from our possession during a security check that put Austin airport to shame.
The logic was that they have ‘an alcohol problem’, so one bottle that was already open having been sipped from in the car (subsequently uncapped and sniffed), along with one that was still sealed but had the label torn in order to distinguish whose was whose, all had to go. We were assured that free water was available on park, though the where or how was left entirely to our imagination. Having not gone out of our way to look for it, I can at least say that they weren’t going out of their way to distribute it, though ride staff were giving reminders to stay hydrated.
With nothing but horror and inconvenience out of the way, we had clocked on the way in that #6 La Vibora was operating. In my head this is never running, so this was the first place we headed in order to bag the ‘rare cred’. Sure enough, upon our arrival, it had gone down. The queue was closed off in a confusing manner and they were cycling empty cars. Not wanting to backtrack much, or even move, we opted to wait it out and ensure the win.
Victory came soon enough, I was interested to learn once in the station that the seating is single file, unlike the deceased Dutch counterpart and my only other experience with an Intamin Bob. It rode with a decent vigour, I quite liked the unrefined and out of control feeling it delivers by not being on rails, more so than any Mack really gives you. The uncomfortable clattering sideways into each block section was what defined the experience of Bob for me, this was far less jarring here. You’re alright La Vibora, you’re alright.
Skirting round the 100th Larson Loop of the trip, we headed for RMC’s other catalogue offering. If there was anything that needed to be secured on this preview visit, it was the #7 New Texas Giant.
The sweaty scream shields on the sides of the train were something to behold, it doesn’t quite have the aesthetics of the Rattler. On-board pouchies are a plus, they always amuse me. We settled down towards the back of the train and ended up with two inaugural laps on the bounce as no one came to fill our row in the meantime – no one else was stupid enough to be riding rides in this heat.
Sad to report that this one didn’t quite justify the ambient discomfort. It’s far more clear here that they were onto a new thing, being the first project, and simply hadn’t dialled up the insanity meter. I’ve also ridden it far too late in the day. Maybe the drop was something special, maybe it wasn’t, you know how that’s been going on this trip. For an RMC that’s comprised entirely of corners and airtime hills, I’d expect both to deliver something substantial, yet there are more misses than hits.
I can pinpoint just a single ‘great’ hill in the layout, on the second circuit before the mid course brake fun. The rest are like my impression of a B&M hyper that’s not delivering. When it comes to the turns, sure they look wacky and are a marked improvement on some old nasty woodie, but they reminded me of all the ‘weakest’ moments that punctuate RMCs – overbanks and stuff that don’t really excite. Rattler had them, even Wildcat had that one. Arie didn’t. Oh Arie…
Nevertheless it’s a noticeably long ride, and always at least decent fun throughout. Good visuals, speed, variety, some structural interaction, unpredictable tunnel sections at the end. A fine attraction, one that I’d be happy to sit on all day were it not unbearably hot, but not one that I’d be busting to. On a world stage, you’ve still got yourself a headliner coaster. On an RMC pedestal, it’s probably the worst.
With that successfully figured out, time kept running and the game was on to see what else we could mop up before close. For both geographical and significance reasons, #8 Titan was up next, the other, bigger giant.
As someone who probably likes the other Giovanola hyper more than most, and would take it over other low tier hypers for the sake of variety, it rode exactly like that one, but in 37 degrees.
In other words, it kicked my ass. Two incredibly sustained and intense grey-out sequences that would make Intrimidator 305 blush, and I could barely leave the station due to some sudden wobbly legs. It’s not a criticism in this case, just a warning that this monster goes hard. I really like the first drop, something about that shape manages to draw things out just right and not undersell the 240-odd-ft. The openness of the trains and the rarity of being on something this huge, with thinner track/two-wide seating gives the turnaround a more unnerving and exposed feeling than the comforting arms of a B&M.
The speed over the speed hill always delivers and then it’s time to start your breathing exercises. Exiting the first helix of doom often garnered a range of reactions from surrounding riders, from the primal instincts of punching the seat in front to screaming various expletives about having passed out. A god damn Titan or two.
It stops dead on the mid course, and I’ve often read that as a criticism, but quite frankly it needs to. They’d be taking people away on stretchers if it didn’t, especially in climes like these. It fades in and out of some of the most sustained positive forces in the business while winding back down towards the ground in a long series of nothing but twists and turns before the sweet relief of the final brakes.
Sad to see they didn’t have another shirt in the Six Flags series here. ‘I blacked out on Titan’, with a giant figure curb-stomping a stick person could well have earned a sale in this instance, though I think the snake one still wins.
Given this area is a dead end of the park, we moved as quickly as we dared back towards the middle regions, tactically aiming for known capacity nightmares. The first of these was another #9 Pandemonium, thankfully not breaking down every 5 minutes. Couldn’t find the entrance in our weakened bodily state (seems to be a park-wide phenomenon of poor signage) and ended up brute forcing the fast track stairs because it was quicker, and no one was in any line at all.
Same one as Fiesta Texas but purple and not by a cliff, it happened. I think the 420/4 model remains the most spinningnest of all the Gerstses.
Below it was #10 Aquaman: Power Wave, though I don’t recall a single thing on or around it that bore any relation to the character. It has far less character than Pulsar through both a lack of vibrating walls and not being integrated in a more ‘natural’ environment. The surging of the LSMs was more satisfying than I recall, amongst a sequence of forwards, backwards and a splash in surprisingly comfortable seating. S’alright.
With 10 mins on the clock we intended to close out on yet another Justice League, but it was a waste of a walk as arrival in the station had staff telling us it was broken. Could have done with a sign. It was time to head out, and soon after collapse from heat exhaustion.
Day 14 – Six Flags Over Texas
Right back at it again, we keenly rocked up for opening and opted for the VIP entrance for one last abuse of the system. The tune had already changed from the previous evening here, apparently it didn’t matter whether bottles were open or not, they didn’t want to allow outside drinks at all. But, because they were feeling nice, or maybe the privileges of the season pass saved us, they let us off ‘on this occasion’. Can’t waste that sweet Georgia peach tea.
Heading in the opposite direction to previous we wound up at Spite E. Coyote’s cred. A short trip up the stairs led to us being awkwardly informed that we couldn’t ride because we had no children. Bah.
#1 Judge Roy Scream knew what was up, with the amusing ‘appeal denied’ banner at the crest of the lift. Day 4 of ‘I am on a wooden rollercoaster’ closed out the woodies of the trip. I think we peaked on Switchback. Out, back, hills, rumble. This one has it all and the staff were already soaked in their own sweat, dripping, after their second cycle of the day. Did I mention it was hot?
Too hot for this rubbish, it was time to endure yet another Freespin in the form of #2 Joker. My usual thing about they worry me, how they’ll behave etc. No harm done on this occasion.
Time to endure yet another #3 Batman, this one ran super fast and brought out the old foot sensation. Interesting how it looks far less intimidating than usual, in the shadows of a highway intersection, which I’ve somehow managed to obscure from view here.
#4 Mr. Freeze‘s air-con went down a treat, but then he went down himself. Again, too unpleasant to move, we camped it out in the station while engineers were called and eventually landed the front row for our first non-reverse blast (forwards) experience. This was fast becoming ‘positive Gs: the park’, with yet another assault of speed and heavy heads. Think I preferred the St. Louis one, the dominant sensation here being that the return journey messed up my hair in an unpleasant fashion.
Speaking of unpleasant, the operator announcements on #5 Mini Mine Train were unbearably loud for some reason, and they just never stopped talking. An endless, headache inducing loop of hype package, welcome back riders, and more dumb policies about not leaving articles on the platform of a single train attraction. +1 though.
Unlike its neighbour, the not-mini mine train. Staff were busying about, cleaning the train and the queue and giving a vague indication that it might have opened later. A poorly placed sign outside, however, implied that it was undergoing a refurb until the ‘summer season’. Any news on when summer is going to hit the US in 2023 yet?
A path from there to our next destination had then been inexplicably closed since the night before, taking us the long way round to #6 Shockwave. Not sure why it looks Mindbender green from this angle.
It kicks Mindbender’s ass though, the return of positive-Gs: the park interlaced with wild pops of unexpected Schwarzkopf airtime. Reminded me of the best of Nessie, several times over. Might be my new fave of his loopers.
Towering above it is the Oil Derrick, an elevator leading to observation platform not masquerading as a landmark from France. From here you can see that Shockwave isn’t green, along with its attractive surroundings.
And some other filler. Note how Judge Roy is out on its own, separated by a road and a lake. Fun facts.
I believe this only left #7 Runaway Mountain on the to do list, given that the Speelunking pirates dark ride was devastatingly closed for flooding, again.
This squirrel had the right idea.
Somehow the longest queue of the day went to this weird indoor coaster from Premier Rides. I guess for shade reasons. Weird trains, weird restraints, curved station, poor loose article management, it had it all. It didn’t have the character of a Skull Mountain, but had a couple of intense whips in the layout, in the dark. Unique, I guess.
With the park as complete as it could be, it was time to pay a courtesy visit to the two big boys. While they remained decent enough, it soon became quite clear that we didn’t have the drive or even the need to last out the day here. Which, no matter the weather, always brings up the question – any +1s around?
That can wait for next time though.