April 17-18, 1993: A Weekend at My Sister's House in North Carolina
March 18-21, 1993: A Trip to South Texas
Return to the Index for 1993


April 10, 1993
A Day at Six Flags Amusement Park

 

This Saturday, Fred and I decided to go out to Six Flags amusement park. We had been talking about it for ages, and trying to get other guys interested in going, but we never could get it arranged, so we just decided to take the initiative and go ourselves.


Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre theme park located over in Arlington, about midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, just south of I-30. It was the first Six Flags Theme Park, and opened in 1961. Since its opening, Six Flags Over Texas has consistently performed well in terms of attendance and revenue, despite its history of ever-changing owners and expansions. The park currently has more than a dozen amusement rides and attractions, bringing in thousands of visitors daily. Since 1991 it has been managed by a unit of Time Warner Entertainment.

We had a great time. We entered the park just after it opened, and then, with our little maps in hand, went from one ride to the next. As in many parks like this one, you spend a lot of your time waiting in line, but that is part of the experience.


Simply because I can do so as I am creating this page, I have borrowed a low-level aerial view of Six Flags Over Texas from the Bing Maps site. Actually, I had to snip out fifteen screens full of the image and then stitch them together to get the low level image that I wanted. After I did that, I found that if I simply sized the image to fit one of these album pages, the resolution would be too small for you to see much more than you can with the image towards the top of this page.

So what I have done is left the image at its full size (3000 by 2000 pixels, or 40 by 27 inches) and simply put in a scrollable window; that window, that is capable of showing only about 1/20th of the whole image at a time, is at right. You can use the scroll bars to pan across the entire image as much as you like, beginning in the extreme northwest corner of the park.

To make the image more relevant to today's visit, I have marked on it with yellow stars the various locations where we took pictures today. As it turned out, there were few rides where taking the camera was advisable (and many where carrying such objects was actually not allowed) and so I usually left it in a locker. All of the pictures I ended up taking today were taken near the Some of these will be approximate, because in the 22 years since our visit, rides have been moved around or changed out; certainly there are more "mega-rides" today than there were then. I have also marked on the image many of the major rides and attractions in the park- just in case you might want to visit or have a favorite ride you'd like to locate.

Putting this image here wasn't really necessary; I did it, as I said, more because I can than for any other reason. Have fun scrolling across the park that we visited today!


Just west of the Aserradero flume ride, and just southwest of the Texas Giant is the last of the "mega-rides" here in the park, and also the newest (not built, of course, when we visited this year). But just so things are complete, I have put an aerial view of "Titan" at left. Titan is a steel "hyper coaster", but unlike most hypercoasters, Titan is a combination of an out and back roller coaster and a twister roller coaster. It stands at 245 feet and contains a 255 drop (seems impossible, but see the explanation coming up). This coaster was built in 2001.

Titan begins with a slow U-turn out of the station then a climbs up a 245-foot hill. At the crest of the hill the train drops 255-foot into a 120-foot underground tunnel. Immediately after the tunnel, riders are taken through a large turnaround. Following the turnaround, riders encounter a large camel back that provides significant airtime. The train subsequently enters an uphill 540 degree helix which leads to the mid-course brake run. Next, trains maneuver an overbanked turn, followed by the second, downhill, 540 degree helix. Afterwards, the trains navigate an over-banked turn to the left and then another to the right. After this, the trains hit the final brake run and reenter the station.

I'm sorry this ride wasn't built or we would have ridden in. And I haven't actually been to the park since it was constructed, so maybe Fred and I will have to visit once again!

Anyway, with all that exposition (perhaps way too much for just four pictures), here are the photos we took today:

 

Aquaman Splashdown

Aquaman Splashdown is Six Flag's example of a "shoot the chutes" ride; this type of ride consists of a flat-bottomed boat that slides down a ramp or inside a flume into a lagoon. Unlike a log flume, a Shoot-the-Chute ride generally has larger boats and one single drop. This type of ride has evolved over time; all modern Shoot the Chute rides today feature a guide track after the descent down the chute into the pool of water that allows the boats to return to the loading platform—completing a closed circuit track. Most modern Shoot the Chute rides usually consist of (though not limited to) an oval shaped layout or a figure-eight layout. Many Shoot the Chute installations also have an observation platform or bridge so that spectators, in addition to riders, can get wet from the splash created by the boats.


The End Point of Aquaman Splashdown

Before we got on this ride, which has a reputation for getting you wet, we took a picture of the end of the ride. People will go out on that bridge and stand there, knowing that every time a car comes down the final ramp into the pool they are going to get soaked. It is fun to watch them, though.


Another View of Aquaman Splashdown

We watched everyone carefully, and concluded that the best place to sit to stay dry was about three rows back, in the center, and sure enough, it worked out that way. Glad I stored my camera in a locker, though.

 

Roaring Rapids

Roaring Rapids is a river rapids ride located at three "Six Flags" properties, and is basically the same at each. All three feature 12-passenger circular rafts. The first of these rides was built at Houston's Astroworld (Thunder River); the ride was so popular that incarnations were added to other Six Flags properties. The version at Six Flags Over Texas features a dual loading station where boats can be loaded as twice as fast than one loading station.


Roaring Rapids at Six Flags

While we were waiting in line for this ride, we could see some of the people just starting out. This ride can also get you wet, if the tube turns the right way and you get shoved under the waterfall at the end of the ride. We were fairly lucky, but still got somewhat wet. Fortunately, I checked my camera, the weather was good and we dried out quickly.


Roaring Rapids and the Texas Giant

We are still at Roaring Rapids, but you can see Six Flags' premier attraction- the Texas Giant, the world's largest and fastest wooden roller coaster. It would be our next destination.

The wait at the Texas Giant is the longest in the park- sometimes over an hour- but when we got there we were fairly lucky and the wait was only about half that long. The ride was so much fun, that we decided to make a point of coming back to it late in the day when the wait, hopefully, would be even less. Meanwhile, we went to some of the shows, went through the souvenir shops, and rode every ride that we could. When we got back to the Texas Giant it was getting dark, and riding it in the dark was a fun experience. We had a great time, and will have to do it again. Going at this time of the year is best, because in the Summer there is hardly a day that the park isn't jammed with people.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


April 17-18, 1993: A Weekend at My Sister's House in North Carolina
March 18-21, 1993: A Trip to South Texas
Return to the Index for 1993