Everything is bigger in Texas: Part 4 of our Floorless Coaster Series

Fiesta Texas was primarily a show park when it opened in 1992 in a disused quarry near San Antonio, TX.  The park was owned by the USAA Real Estate Company (a subsidiary of the USAA insurance company) with the Gaylord Entertainment Company having a minority interest.  The park initially featured a smaller than expected line-up of attractions as the focus was on quality shows.  Gaylord Entertainment, who operated Opryland in Nashville, TN, was the operator of the park when it opened.

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The Screamin’ River Demon was an Intamin Swiss Bob roller coaster that operated at Opryland in Nashville from 1984 to 1997.  Ello Coaster provided us with this great photo.

Ello Coaster provided us with those amazing photos of Rattler.  The Power Surge photo came from Flex and Park Vault provided the photos of Pied Piper, Hustler and Gully Washer.

In 1996, after park expansion had started along with a refocus on rides had started to occur, Warner Bros. purchased the management and operation of the park.  A Vekoma triple inversion roller coaster had been bought and was to be called the Hurricane, due to its placement in the Fiesta Bay Boardwalk area that had opened in 1994.

Warner Bros. quickly rebranded the park as Six Flags Fiesta Texas and, changed the name of the Hurricane to Joker’s Revenge.  The trains were turned backward to illustrate the chaotic nature of the Joker and an innovative funhouse queue constructed to house the waiting line.  They also transferred from Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington, TX) a Schwarzkopf Enterprise and placed it in the Crackaxle Canyon area.

Warner Bros. sold the Six Flags chain to Premier Parks in 1998 and in October of the same year, Premier Parks purchased the whole equity of Six Flags Fiesta Texas from USAA Real Estate Company, making them the sole owner.

With sole ownership, Six Flags started leveraging the park even more extensively with the addition of two new roller coasters, 200 feet tall thrill ride, kiddie rides and water park attractions in 1999.

Negative-G - Six Flags Fiesta Texas 2016 Fiesta Fest

The Boomerang (Vekoma) opened near the entrance.  Negative-G provided us with this picture.

Negative-G - Six Flags Fiesta Texas 2016 Fiesta Fest

Scream, a triple S&S Power Combo Tower.  This sunset photo appears courtesy of Negative-G

Poltergeist Paul

Poltergeist Premier Rides LIM Catapult Coaster opened in Rockville.

A few new kiddie rides spread around the Crackaxle Canyon and Spassburg areas.  The water park was renamed Armadillo Beach (from the Ol’ Waterin’ Hole when it premiered in 1992,) and a large treehouse style playground called Texas Treehouse along with Texas shaped Lone Star Lagoon wave pool opened.

For 2000, Premier Parks spent 20 million $ on a new roller coaster, Superman: Krypton Coaster.  It is the world’s tallest Floorless Coaster and featured the largest loop on a roller coaster the time.  There was a space on the quarry between the Power Surge Spillwater ride and Spassburg area, so Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) designed a custom roller coaster that would take advantage of the beautiful location and the quarry location.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Quarry Flex

Our friend Flex provided us with this great photo of the Quarry.

Superman was selected as the theme and the familiar B&M track painted in Superman colors with the red track, unpainted steel running rails and rich blue supports.  A large station building was constructed and decorated accordingly.

The ride starts with a left-hand turn that leads to a 168 feet tall lift.  The crest of the lift hill is above the 100 feet tall quarry wall and, a speed adjusting brake is mounted after the train goes over the top.  A flat run leads to a curving 163 feet drop that brings the train near the quarry wall, racing at 70 mph.  The world’s tallest vertical loop at the time followed: a massive 145 feet inversion that has a Superman statue mounted on top.  The train rises back up on the wall for a weird helix turn that reminds the writer of a similar turn on the Cobra/Batman: The Escape stand-up roller coasters that Intamin introduced in 1987/1988.  Cobra ran at La Ronde (Montreal, QC) from 1995 to 2017 and Batman: The Escape at Six Flags Astroworld (Houston, TX) from 1993 to 2005.

Superman Krypton Coaster Six Flags Fiesta Texas lift hill

The lift hill.

Superman Krypton Coaster Six Flags Fiesta Texas Loop from top of Quarry

The top of the loop from a shopping mall above the park.

Following the second Quarry dive, the train executes a tall and long Zero-G-Roll that have riders experience a brief moment of weightlessness.  A blazingly fast 78 feet tall Cobra Roll over water followed the Zero-G-Roll; a rising S curve to the left leads the train to the mid-course brakes, where the train slowed down a little.  A sharp drop to the right brings the train to its 5th and 6th inversions, interlocking corkscrews.  Rising turns concludes the 4025 feet long journey.

The ride is equipped with three 32 passenger trains like both Medusa and Kraken and brought much-needed capacity to the park.  Capacity is one of the most substantial advantages of the Floorless Coaster.

Superman Krypton Coaster Six Flags Fiesta Texas Train

One of the ride’s three train in the station.

Amazingly, the 145 feet vertical loop held its world record until 2013 when Full Throttle opened at sister park Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, CA) with a different 160 feet tall vertical loop.

Full Throttle Six Flags Magic Mountain record breaking loop

The 160 feet tall loop/top hat hybrid element on Full Throttle.  This is a Premier Rides creation.

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