June 18, 2012
My friend Tim and I arrived at Six Flags Over Texas a little after 1 p.m. He bought a season pass and got it processed, which took a little less than half an hour. He gave me a ticket to let a friend in for free, but it couldn't be used on someone who had a hand stamp. I had to borrow a stranger with a pass, but the first person I asked let me in. Thanks, stranger! We dropped off my SLR in an $11 all-day locker and were on our way.
It was a little crowded, but not too bad.
We immediately headed to New Texas Giant. It was under construction when I visited in 2010, so we were pretty excited to get to ride it. The line is just a long queue with no switchbacks. There are great views of the coaster from the line. Right before we got to the stairs leading to the station, we were stopped by a ride op with a chain. He let the line ahead clear out before letting us go to the station. We didn't understand this method of crowd control. It just backs up the line. When he opened it again after a few minutes, we went to the line for the back seat and waited a few trains.
The restraints are big and heavy, and there's a little saddle horn on it. We started out the station and up the lift. The first drop is big and really steep. The airtime is insane. The airtime in the double-up is also really intense. There's airtime coming off the first curving turn and the second one. The overbanked turn is taken really quickly, and I really liked it. It banks sharply over a short distance, so it hits that angle fast.
The next hills and bunny hops have spectacular airtime. The block brake wasn't on at all, and there's even a little pop of air coming off the brakes. The coaster dives down underneath itself and has even more airtime hills before curving around the outside. There are two tunnels with plenty of airtime-filled bunny hops in them. I think there's a brake in one of the tunnels, but it doesn't seem to take much speed off, and there's still nice airtime in every hill. The ride ends with a final bunny hop and enters the brakes.
Whoa. What a spectacular coaster. I never got to ride the wooden Texas Giant, but from what I hear, it was rough and not that good after a few years. This steel treatment is fantastic, and the airtime is the best I've experienced on a steel coaster in a really long time. New Texas Giant is definitely a top 10 steel coaster. 10/10.
We went to Titan next. The line wasn't too long, though we got trapped in the same crowd-control system as NTG. We went for the back seat. There's a timer in the station giving the ride ops a challenge to unload, load and dispatch in 60 seconds, but they didn't hit interval too many times. Two trains were running, which was fine. Titan's insane. If there's a polar opposite of NTG and all its airtime, it's Titan. Titan is mostly heavy positive G's. There's a little bit of airtime down the first drop, but the bottom of the drop in the tunnel has high G's. The bottom of the second drop has really high G's too. The airtime hill has good floater air, but it's followed by an insane helix. I got a little bit of tunnel vision in it. Then we hit the brakes. Twice. The brakes are on really, really hard. The first time slows you down to a crawl, and before the train is released, it nearly completely stops it again for good measure.
The next few turns are still taken at a good speed, and the helix is really powerful. Goliath's clone with an extra helix is pretty good. The first helix before the brakes really is the best part of the ride. There's nothing before it to slow it down, unlike the second helix. Titan's a fun ride.
We went to Mr. Freeze, which has the trains reversed this year. We waited in a decent line and went to the back seat, which is the first seat out of the tunnel in the launch. The launch isn't uncomfortable or awkward going backward. Going through the top hat is really cool, and there was a little bit of hangtime. The overbank is uneventful. The real thrill of going backward is being in the back seat on the vertical spike.
I started falling forward when the vertical LIMs kicked in. Then there's a split second of a pause before gravity takes over. It's crazy being that high up and looking straight down. Mr. Freeze is a better ride with the trains turned this way than the other way.
We were hungry, so we went to the nearby Johnny Rockets. I got a burger with fries and a few onion rings. The meal was good and filling and about $13. Not too bad for amusement park food. We ate. Tim misted off. Then we rode Runaway Mine Train. A man behind us was riding with a woman who was afraid of coasters. It was funny riding with her because she kept screaming and talking during every turn and bump. It's a fun coaster. Not thrilling, just relaxing. The last drop into the tunnel is fun.
Then I went to Batman. Tim stayed in line with me but didn't ride because he's tall and says the ride's uncomfortable. Too bad. B&M's best work is probably its inverted coasters. I went to the back row and rode in the right seat, which is the best seat for the drop. Batman is running well and has nice G-forces in the loops and turns. It's an enjoyable coaster, and it was good to ride a B&M again.
Tim played a pitching game and lost. We rode the train again and got my camera from the locker. We got on the train and went back to Batman, where we stood on the exit ramp taking several pictures as the sun set. I posed wearing my B&M shirt. I'm such a nerd. We headed back to the entrance and left. It was a good second visit to the park, and I'm really glad we decided to do it. New Texas Giant is one of the best steel coasters around.