May 9, 2010

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   My friend Tim, his wife, Tara, and I went to Six Flags Over Texas. I had never been there before, and I was anticipating going to the first park in the chain. It was Mother's Day, and the park wasn't terribly crowded. It was overcast and slightly chilly too. We each had a can of Coke, so we got in for children's admission. To start the day, we knew where we had to go:

    Titan. On the way there, we passed by Texas Giant, which is being transformed into a steel coaster. That's nuts. So we walked by it and got in line for Titan. We only waited about five trains before getting in the back. I've ridden Goliath before, so I was really anticipating the extra helix. People told me it makes the difference.

    Whoa. It totally does. That helix is so wild. This might be the most intense coaster I've ever been on. I have not gotten tunnel vision that badly since riding Goliath after it opened before they turned the brakes up. Speaking of brakes, Titan is braked really hard. The train comes to a complete stop in the block brake, then it's slowed down a couple of more times before it finally drops into the second helix. The forces are still pretty high, and I got a little bit of tunnel vision. But it was nothing like the first helix. The airtime down the first drop and the airtime hill is pretty surprising.

   Then we went to La Vibora, the bobsled coaster. It's like Disaster Transport except it's outdoors and it's good. The paint scheme is cool. We got in a car after a short wait. This ride surprised me too. There's a really quick transition, and with the minimal restraints, there was a pop of airtime. I didn't expect that on a bobsled.

   Then we went to Shock Wave, the Schwarzkopf double looper. It's covered in signs for an Axe product. I was really looking forward to this. I love Schwarzkopf coasters with lap bars. I was surprised at the shape of the supports and how much the ride sways. But the real surprise was the airtime. I knew the loops would be forceful, and they were. But there were a couple of drops in the back seat that were just insane. What an excellent coaster.

    Next we headed to Superman: Tower of Power. We got on the blue side after one cycle. I enjoy S&S towers, and this was pretty fun. I really liked the combination Space Shot and Turbo Drop. The Turbo Drop's probably my favorite just because it shoots down faster than gravity.

    We went to Runaway Mine Train next. There's an ACE plaque outside the line saying it's the first mine train coaster. I like mine trains. It was all right. It's bumpy and has some funny transitions, but all Arrow mine trains do that. I was amused at the three lift hills, especially for something so small and short. It's got some nice drops and turns, and I like that it follows a slight bit of terrain. The tunnels are cool, and the last drop into the tunnel under the water was cool.

    Then we went to Mini Mine Train. There wasn't much memorable about this coaster. A few drops and some turns. It runs one train, but we only waited one or two trains.

    Now it was time to meet up with Byron from ThrillNetwork and his friend Greg. We met at Mr. Freeze and walked all the way to the station before seeing anything resembling a line. We went to the front car. I rode by myself in the very front, Greg and Byron rode behind me, and Tim and Tara rode in the car behind them. I've been on two Premier launch coasters before (Flight of Fear at Kings Island and Poltergeist), and they're fun. Greg and I talked about the surprising difference between Flight of Fear and Poltergeist. Uh, brakes? The dual station is a nifty idea and helps with capacity a bit. Mr. Freeze has a nice launch into a crazy top hat. This was my first inverted top hat, and it's a great element. Then it flies through an overbanked turn and into the vertical section. I thought the vertical launch was cool. It felt weird to speed up while going straight up. It goes through the overbank faster backward, and since I was in the front seat, it really whipped through it. There's a little bit of hangtime in the top hat, and it's back to the station. Mr. Freeze might be my favorite launch coaster. It was excellent.

    Batman is right next door, so we scurried over to it. As usual, we didn't have much of a wait. Most of us went to the back row, but Tim had to get in row five. This was my third Batman. These coasters are so well engineered. It's incredible how the layout hasn't changed (except mirrors) since the first one. The G's are high, and the ride is intense. I love it.

    We had to get Flashback, the Boomerang, out of the way. We rode in the back car, and Tim sat out. He's tall, so the restraints don't work well with him. It certainly wasn't the best Boomerang I've been on, but it also wasn't the worst. There wasn't a ton of head banging. I particularly enjoy the loop backward. The brakes really slam in the station.

    We then went to Texas Chute Out, the old parachute drop ride. This was my first time even seeing one of these things. We waited a few chutes, but the cycle is so quick, we didn't wait long. It just goes up and then drops down. I rode by myself. For some reason none of us could figure out, water shot out of something on my ride. When I got near the ground, drops of water fell down and landed on me. We have no idea what happened. None of the other chutes did that.

    Then we went to Judge Roy Scream. We waited a train or two. Byron and Greg were laughing about how underwhelming it is. Greg said there are a couple of surprises. The bottom of the first drop is cool, and there are some excellent headchoppers on the return run before the brakes. They were right. It's an underwhelming woodie. There are only one or two spots of airtime. The hills are just hills. They're too spread out for any sort of airtime.

   We went to the indoor coaster next. Runaway Mountain had a bit of a wait. It wasn't too bad. There's a waterfall in the outdoor queue portion. Since it was a chilly day, it was a little uncomfortable when some water caught a gust of wind and blew on us. We hopped in the two-car train and were off. It's nearly completely dark, so I held on and braced for turns. It was just a bunch of left turns. There might have been a right turn or two in it.

   After that, we went to Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure, the water dark ride. I tried to sit next to Byron and Greg, but we were too big, so I sat next to a woman who had her kids in the row in front of her. It's a decent ride. It's just a simple cheesy dark ride with Bugs Bunny trying to capture Yosemite Sam. I think there was some gold involved. At the end, I said, "I didn't think they were gonna catch him. That was good." My friends got a kick out of that.

   We walked back over to Shockwave for another ride. Before we got to it, the crossing gates came down, and the train passed. Because there was a little bit of rain, the rails were slick. The train's wheels moved, but it didn't. They backed it up, and a device poured some sand by the rails, which gave it enough traction to go forward again. We got on Shockwave again. That airtime is amazing and really caught me off guard.

   We went back to Titan and got some pictures of steel Texas Giant. The lift hill was only partially tracked. We rode in the back after waiting a couple of trains. My gosh, I cannot get over how intense this coaster is. It's the best coaster at the park. The G's are almost too high.

   We got on Six Flags Railroad and did a lap and a half before heading to Tony Hawk's Big Spin. I rode the clone of this at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. They're pretty fun. We didn't want to wait, so we all went in the single-rider line. Tim and I ended up on the same car. It was a little dull. There wasn't too much spinning. I got a better ride at Fiesta Texas. It was fun, but I'd rather we spun a bit more.

   We rode Runaway Mine Train again. Then I rode Bench: The Ride. I also sat in a giant chair.

   We went to La Vibora again and got in the single- rider line. I ended up in the middle seat, and there was a good pop of airtime in one of the quick turns. I like this bobsled coaster.

   After that, we decided to head out. Byron and Greg stayed in the park, but Tim, Tara and I left. We'd ridden all the coasters we could, and we were pretty tired. I'm glad I got to go to the first Six Flags park. I had a really good time and got to ride some outstanding coasters. It was a great trip.

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