August 31-September 3, 2013
San Antonio TX
Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Saturday morning technically came at about 1:20 AM. That’s when the other Matt showed up and disrupted our sleep. His flight was delayed by several hours in Atlanta. I swear, he has the worst luck with flights. Anyways, I didn’t get much sleep after that. But we had to get up early to go pick up the rental car, so 7:30 it was.
After getting ready we headed down to the lobby as the front desk called us a cab. We got in and out of Enterprise pretty quickly with a cute little Hundai. Then we immediately headed to Walmart for supplies and breakfast. Then we headed out to the La Cantera area of San Antonio.
La Cantera is a development that houses some resorts, a large mall, Six Flags, and other things. They took old rock quarries and redeveloped them, and it turned out very nice. Joe and Hannah parked at the mall and rode into the park with me and the Matts since I had national free parking with my season pass. We took the opportunity to take some pictures of the coasters from the top of the cliffs of the quarry that the park sits in.
Getting to the park we parked and then headed to the entrance, snapping pix along the way. The front gate area was different than I’d imagined, but very nice. There was Tejano and Mexican pop playing at the plaza, which was nice and different. We met up with the other coaster geeks there for the morning walkback. Thank you, Jeffery Seibert, for that. You’re great, and I’m glad you’re doing your thing at Fiesta Texas. You’re enthusiasm was infectious.
Once we were in to our group I saw Tommy Faircloth and his group, so they joined us as we all walked back for first rides on Iron Rattler, the reason I’d came to Texas. We waited while it tested. I decided to ride in the back of the train out first.
Iron Rattler–My only wish was that it would be half as good as Texas Giant since Rocky Mountain Coasters had rebuilt it. It definitely delivered. It was no Giant, but it was a great ride at a great park. The first drop, even with major slowdown at the top, was really great, as was the double up that followed. The overbanks and dive off the cliff were amazing, and the zero G roll felt natural and not at all like an inversion. It had airtime too. The twisting section where the helix used to be was odd but a lot of fun, if slow. I wish it were a little faster thru that section but it was still great, and then the drop back off the cliff and then into the tunnel was chock full of airtime. Oh, and that tunnel with mist was amazing, which led into some major airtime before the break run. The ride was a solid 8 in my book.
Jeff Siebert told everyone to get back in the queue once we were back in the station when we got off, but I somehow missed that, and I didn’t get the second consecutive ride with everyone else, but that was okay. Most everyone else did, and after some delay, we were off to explore the park, but not before I got a gigantic (gigante?) foam cowboy hat that I wore most of the morning. Next up was a ride on the park’s awesome mine train.
Road Runner Express–This was by far the best non-Disney mine train I’d been on. It was very aggressive, very forceful, and had decent theming. I’d heard it had better theming in the past, and am sad I didn’t get to experience that. Granted, it was mostly just drops and figure 8 style helices, but that’s what made it fun. I really enjoyed it, and wish I’d have ridden it again, but I never actually got back around to it.
We headed over to the train next which we rode around towards the front of the park. The whole park, while it could have used a little more shade, was really beautiful. The waterfalls off the cliff, the scenery, everything was really nice.
Poltergeist–This was my 4th Premier spaghetti bowl coaster, and the last one in the states I’d yet to ride. Maybe one day I’ll get to China to ride the last one, but whatever. I really like these coasters, and this one was running well. It had a much faster launch than Joker’s Jinx, and the lack of a mid course always helps the second half of the ride.
I wanted to ride the Sky Screamer, but we didn’t. We did head back to the Gulley Washer rapids ride, which was nice, but not outstanding. Why don’t more parks theme their rapids ride? Give me something to look at if all I’m going to do is meander around. It’s not like it was a soaking wet ride. Anywho, so we got off of that and headed over to the next credit of the day.
Superman Krypton Coaster–Most people felt it to be too tame, but I liked it. The first drop beside the cliff was different. I loved the zero G roll and the climb up the cliffs with a helix on top The proximity of the mid course brakes to the cliff walls was very disorienting. All of it was very smooth and fun. Was it a top 10 ride for me? Not with Iron Rattler across the park, but it was still very fun.
Those of us that needed the credit headed to Kiddee Koaster next. Then we all headed to Bug’s White Water Rapids, the parks highly themed superflume ride. The queue was well done, and the whole ride was excellent. I likeD that it was so highly themed. I even wore my new hat on the entire ride.
At this point in the day we all decided to split up. Some were taking a break from the park, others were going to power ride. Joe, Hannah, and I decided to go to the park’s water park for a while. So we went out to the car and switched stuff out, then headed in to the water park. I changed into my swim gear and immediately wished I’d brought in my flip flops. The ground was so hot.
The Texas shaped wave pool was our first destination, then Joe and I got in line for their tornado slide. The ride op put us in with 2 other guys, and we had to be over the weight limit. I went down the large drop into the funnel backwards, which scared me, and then we started sliding around the funnel. I’d never went that far up a funnel wall previously. It was amazing.
Before making our way over to another slide we went back to the wave pool for a while first. When we headed to the slide it was very uncomfortable going up the stairs without shoes on but we made it and the slide was a lot of fun. Then we went to the bowl slide, which was also really great. I love those kinds of slides. Finally, we ended up in the lazy river; it was actually pretty decently themed. Ultimately we headed back to the wave pool, then lounged beside it for a while. I even took a nap. As it got cooler out, we finished up with the water park. I took our stuff back to the car and made my way back in. We met up with almost everyone at Goliath first.
Goliath–Another Batman clone at another park. Two in one city. Very forceful at the end of the day, and a very nice placement. I liked the plaza in front of it, but I kind of wish they would have came up with a more Latin sounding name to go along with the plaza. Oh well. That was a missed opportunity. I get that they’re trying to use their brand, but you should also know your market, and for the most part, they did.
No one wanted to ride Boomerang with me so I put it off and got a Margarita instead. We met back up by Rattler, which had a decent line, so we headed across the park again to Pandemonium.
Pandemonium–Possibly due to the margarita and heat, I immediately got sick to my stomach on the walk back to Pandemonium. I was having (and would continue to have) stomach issues on the trip. Not sure what the cause, but I was having terrible acid reflux and nausea. I was not looking forward to a spinning coaster. But I wasn’t going to just not ride either. Surprisingly, I felt better after riding. The line was short. This was one of the better rides I’d had on this layout, this being my 4th. I loved the setting in this park, but otherwise Pandemonium was a rather unremarkable spinning coaster that is good for families and can be fun with enough spinning.
Other than Iron Rattler, the only other semi-long line in the park was for the Scooby Doo dark ride, which was were we headed next. This was a clone of all of the ones that Paramount had ordered for the former Paramount Parks and Cedar Fair thusly changed once they purchased the parks. The gags and guns were working well, and I ended up getting over 2000 points, the most in my Mystery Machine. Ed and Bill went to the Frisbee as the rest of us sans Jill, who took a break, went to the Ferris Wheel to ride and get some pictures. We all met up and went over to Scream, the drop/shot tower, but the line was long and it was only running one of three towers. The group rode Hustler, a pool table spinny ride instead as Ed, Joe, and I sat out.
The sun was setting and it was cooling off even more. Everyone wanted to ride Goliath, but I decided to sit it out instead of ride again. Joe and Hannah sat out too. Then we wanted to go back and ride Rattler once again. Matt went to get a margarita, but the stall was closed. I stopped off to get a lap on Boomerang, but it had mechanical issues and was closed. I wish I’d known when I entered the long queue. Oh well. It was time to go back to Iron Rattler at last. The line was about 30 minutes long, but that was okay, it was worth it. At nite, having run all day, the ride was more aggressive. It was slightly better than in the morning, and most any ride is better in the dark. Plus, the tunnel was really great at nite. Iron Rattler was definitely a strong, solid ride, and could serve as a signature coaster in any park.
Fiesta Texas was a great park. It needs a decent wooden coaster and possibly a hyper coaster. As much as I wanted to I never ended up watching any of the shows that the park is known for, but what snippets I saw were very good. The park was beautiful, clean, the food offerings were good; I had a great time.
San Antonio & The Horrific Film Fest
As we left the park we dropped Joe and Hannah off at their car before heading back to the room. Matt Scott and I headed back down to the River Walk as he’d missed out on joining us the evening before. We had dinner at Mias, and it was very good. Matt had always wanted to visit The Alamo, so we walked over there for my second nite time visit. I would have liked to have checked out some of the Ripley’s attractions, but they’d all closed. At least Matt finally got to mark visiting The Alamo off his bucket list. As we were wandering around down town San Antonio I got a text from Tommy. They were heading out for the evening and wanted us to meet them for drinks.
We headed to the venue and had some drinks and hung out for a while. Every second I spent in San Antonio, I loved it even more. The city was so friendly and so beautiful at nite. As it was a holiday weekend, there were a lot of people out and about enjoying the night without having to get up early and work the next morning. I think we got back to the room around 2:30 AM.
Sunday was Schlitterbahn day for everyone else. I ended up still not well. My stomach issues and reflux, along with the draining heat, caused me to miss out on one of the major parks I’d wanted to go. But I was staying in San Antonio and had the rental car so I dropped Matt and Matt off at Schlitterbahn before heading back to rest in my room. It looked amazing, as did tubing down the Comel river. I really want to get back out there. I lounged at the hotel for a bit till I felt better and then headed to San Antonio’s Horrific Film Fest to support Tommy and the gang at the world premier of The Cabin, their short suspense film. I arrived during the last bit of Vegas Vampires, which wasn’t very good. There was a Q&A with the writer/director afterwards that ran longer than scheduled.
The Cabin, however, was really great. It was an odd thing when the villain of the movie was actually sitting right beside me in the theater, as I was watching him be evil in the movie. The Cabin won an award for best short film or best director, I don’t remember which. I headed back to freshen up at the hotel and grabbed another burger at Whattaburger for dinner. Later I met back up with everyone at a saloon for drinks, and then we went to another place for the evening, which turned out to be another late nite for me, but that was okay.
I woke up early and dropped the car off on Monday morning. I went back to the room and slept in before finding my way to a bus stop so that I could head down and explore River Walk some more, as well as down town San Antonio. I just can’t say enough good things about the city. I could almost move there. I walked down the River Walk for quite a ways and then back to my bus stop. I was at a transit station for a while, but the bus I was waiting on was quite late. Eventually I realized I could just walk to the hotel, so I did. It was a longer walk than I anticipated, and in the dark, but eventually I made it back to the room and packed up for my early morning flights. I really did have a great time in San Antonio. The parks were really nice and very clean, and the city was beautiful.