Six Flags Over Texas

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Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas logo.png
LocationArlington, Texas, United States
Coordinates32°45′20.52″N 97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222Coordinates: 32°45′20.52″N 97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222
OwnerTexas Flags, Ltd.[1]
Operated bySix Flags
OpenedAugust 5, 1961
Operating seasonMarch through January
Area212 acres (0.331 sq mi) (0.86 km²)
Rides
Total44
Roller coasters12
Water rides5
Websitesixflags.com/overTexas
 
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This article is about the theme park. For the flags themselves, see Six flags over Texas.
Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas logo.png
LocationArlington, Texas, United States
Coordinates32°45′20.52″N 97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222Coordinates: 32°45′20.52″N 97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222
OwnerTexas Flags, Ltd.[1]
Operated bySix Flags
OpenedAugust 5, 1961
Operating seasonMarch through January
Area212 acres (0.331 sq mi) (0.86 km²)
Rides
Total44
Roller coasters12
Water rides5
Websitesixflags.com/overTexas
Main park entrance to Six Flags Over Texas during their 50th Anniversary.

Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre (86 ha) theme park located in Arlington, Texas, east of Fort Worth and about 15 miles (24 km) west of Dallas. It was the first Six Flags Theme Park, but because of later acquisitions it is not the oldest park of the Six Flags chain (that particular title is held by Six Flags New England). The park opened on August 5, 1961, following just a year of construction and an initial investment of US$10 million by real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr.

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 several amusement rides and attractions, bringing in thousands of visitors daily.

The park is managed, but not owned, by the Six Flags Entertainment Corp., in an arrangement similar to that for Six Flags Over Georgia. Six Flags Over Texas is owned by a group of approximately 120 limited partners—some the heirs of Angus G. Wynne. Starting in 1991, the park was managed by Time Warner Entertainment. In 1998, Time Warner sold its interests in the Six Flags parks to Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, which later changed its name to Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc.

History[edit]

Initial planning and construction[edit]

Following a visit to Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, shortly after its opening, wealthy real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. decided that his home state of Texas should have a local park for entertainment. Planning for such a place began in 1959, under the leadership of Wynne and the Great Southwest Corporation, along with the backing of various New York investors. Construction on the park began in August 1960.

The original logo for Six Flags over Texas.
The entrance of Six Flags over Texas welcomes visitors while the Oil Derrick observation tower looms in the background.

Origin of the name[edit]

The name "Six Flags Over Texas" refers to the flags of the six different nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.[2] Wynne originally intended to name the park "Texas Under Six Flags." Various legends have attributed the name change to his wife Joann; a group called "The Daughters of The Texas Republic" — of which his wife may, or may not, have been a member; or his entertainment director, Charles Meeker, stating that, "Texas isn’t 'under' anything."[3] The original park was divided into six separate themed areas for each of the six governing entities that have ruled over Texas. Although additional themed areas have been added, the original six can still be found within the park.

Grand opening[edit]

Six Flags Over Texas opened its gates from July 29 to August 4, 1961, to several local corporations that Wynne had invited as part of a "soft-test opening." The park held its grand opening ceremonies on Saturday, August 5, 1961. Dignitaries included the mayors of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Irving.[3] Park attendance reached 8,374. Admission was $2.75 (or $22.00 today) for adults and $2.25 (or $18 today) for children (cf. admission prices of $62.99 and $47.99 for the 2013 season); parking was 50 cents (or $4.00 today) (cf. $20.00 in 2013); hamburgers were 35 cents (or $3.00 today), and soft drinks were 10 cents (or $1.00 today).[4] On opening day, guests could visit the six original themed sections: Mexico, Spain, France, The Confederacy, Texas, and Modern (representing the USA). According to the 1961 Park Map[5] there were 46 "major attractions" listed. The park's first season, lasting only 45 days and ending on November 25, 1961, was a success with over 550,000 visitors.

The 1960s[edit]

The 1960s were a decade of growth for Six Flags Over Texas. The park added numerous attractions, including two new sections: Boomtown, named after the boomtowns that sprang up rather quickly during Texas' oil boom era, and the "Tower Section", named after the Oil Derrick observation tower built in 1969. The park also witnessed the birth of two classic theme park attractions: El Aserradero in 1963 and the Runaway Mine Train roller coaster in 1966. Attendance reached close to 2 million visitors a year by the end of the decade. In 1969, Six Flags Over Texas was sold by Angus G. Wynne to a new limited partnership managed by Dallas investor Jack Knox.

The 1970s[edit]

The park's growth and expansion continued through the 1970s. It was the setting for the opening sequence in the 1971 Sid and Marty Krofft television show Lidsville, in which lead character Mark (Butch Patrick) sees a magician perform in one of the theaters, then sneaks backstage after the magic show, causes the hat to enlarge, then falls through it and lands in Lidsville, "the land of living hats." The park underwent new management in 1971 with the Penn Central Railroad. The park added two new roller coasters, more rides, and a new section called "Goodtimes Square". The park also removed many of its less popular aging attractions in this decade as well. In 1975, a new mascot, Cyrus Cosmo - the inventor - was created and led many ad campaigns. By 1978, Six Flags Over Texas had had over 30 million visitors.

The 1980s[edit]

The 1980s were another period of change for Six Flags Over Texas. The park added three roller coasters as well as a children's section themed after Pac-Man in 1983 and later changed to Looney Tunes in 1985. Six Flags Over Texas also introduced three popular festivals in this decade. Spring Breakout, introduced in 1984, brought live bands and excitement to the park for students on Spring Break. Six Flags also introduced Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park to increase attendance and extend the season.

The 1990s[edit]

The 1990s was a rather rough decade in comparison from decades past. The decade started off with a bang when Six Flags Over Texas introduced the Texas Giant roller coaster. After a record year, Six Flags Over Texas went into a lull with management changes and name changes as the Looney Tunes characters began to take over starting in 1991. The Spee-lunker's Cave was restructured to feature Looney Tunes characters in place of the Spee's who had inhabited the ride since the early days of the park—the park was managed by Time Warner Entertainment. In 1998, Six Flags Over Texas started it off with its addition of Mr. Freeze. When the ride opened it was one of the most technology advanced roller coasters with lims propelling it forward.Time Warner sold its interests in the Six Flags parks to Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, which later changed its name to Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc. In the late 90s, the park experienced a period of growth by adding new coasters and rides. Six Flags Over Texas also introduced FastLane, later Flash Pass, which was similar to FastPass at Disney theme parks. Many of these new additions (including the new Gotham City section) were far from the original Six Flags Over Texas theme. By the end of the decade, Six Flags Over Texas had added ten roller coasters to its list of attractions.

The 2000s[edit]

During the first decade of the 21st century, Looney Tunes USA was restructured. In 2001, the park introduced its tallest, fastest, longest roller coaster, Titan. Built by Giovanola of Switzerland, it climbs 245 feet (74.7 m) and features a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h). It is the tallest, fastest, longest roller coaster in the park and in the state of Texas. In 2002, the park kicked off the Best of Texas Festival, which brought Texas history back to the park. The park has also made steps toward bringing back the past when they reopened Casa Magnetica. In 2003 Six Flags Over Texas opened the Superman Tower of Power. This was the tallest ride of its kind in the world at the time of its opening. In 2006, the park celebrated its 45th Anniversary by adding ten new attractions geared toward families. Since then, Six Flags Over Texas had placed more emphasis on families by offering a daily parade and more characters (including Scooby-Doo and the Justice League). Six Flags Over Texas also introduced Festival Latino. For 2007 and 2008, Six Flags Over Texas was home to "Cirque Dreams Coobrila", a high energy cirque-acrobatic-type show housed in the Music Mill Amphitheater. On May 17, 2008, Six Flags Over Texas introduced its first roller coaster in seven years, called Tony Hawk's Big Spin.[6] In 2009, debuted the "Glow in the Park Parade", a nighttime parade filled with thousands of lights.

The 2010s[edit]

In early 2010, the Texas Giant roller coaster was closed to be renovated into a super-hybrid coaster and was reopened on April 22, 2011, as the NEW Texas Giant for the park's 50th anniversary.[7] In late 2010, Six Flags began the process of removing licensed theming from attractions. They terminated several licenses including their licenses with Tony Hawk. Tony Hawk's Big Spin was renamed Pandemonium in the middle of the 2011 season. Mr. Freeze was closed briefly to feature new backwards facing trains. The newly named Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast reopened on May 12, 2012.[8]

On August 2, 2012, Six Flags Over Texas announced the last chance to ride Flashback and Texas Chute Out was September 3, 2012.[9] On August 30, 2012, Six Flags announced the park will be adding the world's tallest swing ride at 400-foot (122 m) tall, called Texas SkyScreamer. Texas Skyscreamer is located in Goodtime's Square, in the place of the former Texas Chute Out. It features a Texas theme with red, white, and blue colors, along with a giant star with six other flags all on top of the tower. Texas SkyScreamer opened on May 25, 2013.[10]

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags officially announced that they would expand their kids area into Bugs' Bunny Boomtown. The park will also add Wahoo Racer, a new water slide to the adjacent Hurricane Harbor park.[11] In late March 2014, Six Flags Over Texas announced for a limited time in 2014 Batman: The Ride will become Batman: The Ride Backwards, as the park will reverse the trains.[12]

On August 28, 2014, Six Flags announced "Justice League Battle for Metropolis" a dark ride themed to the Justice League for the 2015 season.

Firsts, bests, and other records[edit]

Firsts and ones of a kind[edit]

Records[edit]

Six Flags oil derrick

Awards[edit]

Accidents[edit]

Events[edit]

Six Flags Over Texas hosts several seasonal events throughout the year including:

The 'Best Time of the Year' is one of the many holiday traditions that make up the park's annual Holiday in the Park celebration.
Aerial view of "Gotham City"-themed section of the park. SH 360 and I-30 intersect in the immediate background which show the proximity of the park to local roadways.

Areas & Attractions[edit]

See also: List of former Six Flags Over Texas attractions

Guide to Rides & Attractions

Star Mall[edit]

The Star Mall serves as the entry gate for Six Flags over Texas. It is one of the original sections of the park when it opened in 1961. It is named for the large star-shaped fountain located in the section.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Silver Star Carousel1963Dentzel carouselLast carousel built by William Dentzel. Originally located in Boomtown section, ride was removed for restoration in 1985 and reopened at current location in 1988.

Entertainment:

Dining:

Merchandise:

Other Guest Services:

Mexico & Spain[edit]

The Mexico & Spain area consists of two sections both of which were originally part of the park in 1961. Both sections represent a flag that has flown over the state of Texas.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
El Sombrero1965Chance Rides trabantMoved to new location in 2006.
La Fiesta de Las Tazas2006Zamperla teacupsBuilt in the former location of El Sombrero.
Conquistador1981Intamin Bounty swinging ship
La Vibora1986Intamin Swiss Bob / Bobsled roller coasterRide was moved from Six Flags Magic Mountain. Originally named The Avalanche Bobsled.
El Aserradero1963Arrow Log flumeWorld's First Log Flume. Features two separate log flumes: Flume I (1963) & Flume II (1968).

Dining:

Entertainment:

Merchandise:

Texas[edit]

The Texas section of the park was another original section when the park opened in 1961. It is named after the Republic of Texas flag that once flew over the state.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Boot Scootin'2006Zamperla boot themed Turtle Parade
Chaparral Antique Cars1962Arrow antique carsEntrance & Station relocated in 2011.
Rodeo2006Huss Rodeo/BreakdanceRide moved from Six Flags Great Adventure.
Sidewinder2006Eli Bridge ScramblerRide moved from Six Flags Astroworld.
Six Flags Railroad19613 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge train ride around the park.Stations are the Texas Depot and Boomtown Depot.
Texas Giant1990Dinn Corporation, Designed by Curtis D. Summers, Renovations by Rocky Mountain Construction / Hybrid roller coasterWon Golden Ticket for World's Best Wooden Roller Coaster of 1999. Closed for renovation in 2010. Reopened April 22, 2011 as the world's first Super Hybrid Coaster. Won Golden Ticket for Best New Coaster of 2011.
Titan2001Giovanola / HypercoasterTallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in Texas.
Yosemite Sam and The Gold River Adventure1992Arrow Water dark rideOriginally opened in 1964 as Spee-Lunker's Cave Ride, name/theme changed in 1992. Also see River caves.
A woman and boy ride on the Chaparral Antique Cars attraction.

Entertainment:

Dining:

Merchandise:

The Texas Giant before renovations
The Texas Giant after renovations
The Oil Derrick observation tower
Roaring Rapids river ride (2007)

Old South & France[edit]

The Old South & France area consists of two sections both of which were originally part of the park in 1961. Both sections represent a flag that has flown over the state of Texas. The Old South was originally called The Confederacy and featured Civil War reenactments, including performances representing the execution of a captured Union spy.[2]

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Runaway Mountain1996Premier Rides / Enclosed roller coasterIndoor coaster almost completely in the dark.

Entertainment:

Dining:

Merchandise:

USA[edit]

The USA area of the park opened with the park in 1961. It was originally named the Modern Section, but still represented the United States flag that has flown over Texas. The USA area is also home to the Looney Tunes USA sub-area.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
ACME Rock-N-Rocket2006Intamin Looping StarshipMost of the ride's parts are from the Six Flags Astroworld Looping Starship, which operated from 1986 to 2005. An entirely new chassis was built for this installation, themed after a Looney Tunes ACME rocket. A similar ride was removed in 2005 from Six Flags Over Georgia.
Aquaman Splashdown1987Hopkins Rides Shoot-the-Chutes water rideRide was named Splash Water Falls until 2007.

Bugs Bunny Boomtown[edit]

Bugs Bunny Boomtown is a sub-section of the USA section of the park. It serves as the children's area of the park. It originally open in 1983 as Pac-Man Land. With the introduction of Looney Tunes characters to the park, it was renamed to Looney Tunes Land around 1985. In 2001, the area was renamed once again when it was expanded to include new attractions. It will be renamed Bugs Bunny Boomtown for 2014.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Daffy Duck's Bucket Blasters2014Zamperla Aquamania
Looney Tunes Adventure Camp2014Miracle Recreation Equipment play structure
Marvin the Martian Space Rockets2014Zamperla Rocket Ride
Speedy Gonzales' Truckin' Across America1992Zamperla Kiddie convoy/truck ride
Sylvester & Tweety's State Fair-is Wheel2001Zamperla mini Ferris wheel
Taz's Tornado Swings2014Zamperla Lolly Swing
Taz's New York Adventure2001SBF/VISA group Happy Tower
Wile E. Coyote's Grand Canyon Blaster2001Chance Rides Big Dipper / Junior roller coaster
Yosemite Sam's Texas Tea Cups2001SBF/VISA group mini teacups

Dining:

Merchandise:

Other Guest Services:

Goodtimes Square[edit]

The Goodtimes Square section of the park opened in 1973. Over the years, it took on a loose 1950s theme.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Cloud Bouncer2006Zamperla Samba balloon tower
Crazy Legs2006Huss TroikaSaid to be a "Frankenstein" creation of 3 different Troikas from various parks, possibly including the defunct Six Flags Astroworld.
Judge Roy Scream1980Don Rosser & Bill Cobb / wooden roller coasterBuilt outside main park area, along the park's entrance lake.
Texas SkyScreamer2013Funtime Star FlyerSecond Tallest Star Flyer in the world, standing 400 ft.[10]

Entertainment:

Dining:

Gotham City[edit]

Gotham City opened in 1999 and is themed to the DC Comics Batman universe.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Batman: The Ride1999Bolliger & Mabillard / Inverted roller coasterIs the only inverted roller coaster in the park. Trains will be reversed for a limited time in 2014.
Batwing2006Zamperla Telecombat
Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast [17]1998Premier Rides LIM / Launched roller coasterOriginally intended to open for the 1997 season, but problems with the LIM Launch system forced a delayed opening. Trains were reversed and ride renamed to Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast in 2012.

Dining:

Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Over Texas

Boomtown[edit]

The Boomtown section opened in 1963. It is based on the Texas boomtowns that sprung up in Texas during the oil boom era.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Mini Mine Train1969Arrow / Mine train roller coasterLocated next to the bigger Mine Train. Track modified slightly in 1997 when Mr. Freeze was built next to/over parts of the track.
Pandemonium [18]2008Gerstlauer / Spinning roller coasterOriginally named "Tony Hawk's Big Spin"
Runaway Mine Train1966Arrow Development / Mine train roller coasterFirst Arrow mine train roller coaster built.
Six Flags Railroad19613 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge train ride around the park.Stations are the Texas Depot and Boomtown Depot
The Gunslinger1983Chance Rides Yo-Yo swings rideRide was named Texas Tornado until 2007.

Dining:

Merchandise:

The Gunslinger swing ride (2007)

Tower[edit]

The Tower Section opened in 1969 and is named after the Oil Derrick tower location in the section.

Attractions:

Ride NameYear OpenedManufacturer/Ride TypeOther Notes
Caddo Lake Barge2006Zamperla Rockin’ Tug
Dive Bomber Alley1996SkycoasterRequires additional charge.
Oil Derrick1969Intamin observation towerLargest land-based oil derrick in the world standing 300 ft tall.
Roaring Rapids1983Intamin river rapids rideReplaced Skull Island and LaSalle's Riverboat Adventure.
Shock Wave (Six Flags Over Texas)1978Schwarzkopf / Looping roller coasterSteel coaster with two back-to-back vertical loops.
Six Flags Speedway Go Karts1999J & J Amusements go kartsRequires additional charge.
Superman Tower Of Power20033 S&S Worldwide Combo TowersTallest Freefall Combo Tower in the world standing 325 ft tall.

Entertainment:

Dining:

Former Attractions[edit]

Ride NameOpenedClosedManufacturerRide Model/TypeLocationNotes
Big Bend19711979SchwarzkopfSpeed RacerUSARide relocated to Six Flags St. Louis, but was never re-assembled and was later scrapped.
Bugs Bunny's Spirit of St. Louie19762013ZamperlaMini airplane rideLooney Tunes USA
Caddo War Canoes19621983Canoe RideBoomtown
Cinesphere Chevy Show19691984Cinema 180Old SouthCurrent Lone Star Theater
Daffy Duck's Capitol Tours20012013SBF/VISA groupKiddie crazy bus rideLooney Tunes USA
Ferrocarril Fiesta Train19611978Train RideMexicoUpdated in 1968
Flashback19892012VekomaBoomerangGoodtimes SquareRide relocated to Six Flags St. Louis, re-opened in 2013 as Boomerang
Great Six Flags Air Racer19841999Intamin AGAir RacerTower
La Cucaracha19611964Allan HerschellWild MouseMexicoOriginally named Sidewinder and was located in the USA section in 1961. Name changed and moved to Mexico section in 1962.
Las Cocheses Cabras Goat Cart19611963MexicoGoat powered cart ride
LaSalle's Riverboat Expedition19611982Guided Old MillFrance
Little Dixie Carousel19611974Animal Powered CarouselOld SouthAlso known as Flying Jenny
Los Conquistadores Mule Pack Ride Coronado Trek[19]19611962SpainAlthough titled "mule pack ride," guests actually rode burros and were led by a host dressed as conquistador, riding a horse.[3]
Michigan J. Frog's Tinsel Town Revue19852013ZamperlaMini swinger rideLooney Tunes USA
Overland Butterfield Stagecoach19611967StagecoachOld South
Rotoriculous19751988HimalayaGoodtimes SquareRide was enclosed
Route 66 Bumper Cars20012013SBF/VISA groupMini bumper carsLooney Tunes USA
Skull Island19611982PlaygroundSkull Island
Sky Hook19631968Sky CraneBoomtownAn observation ride adapted from a cargo crane by Von Roll of Switzerland.[3] Ride relocated to Magic Springs
Spee-Lunker's Cave19641991Arrow DevelopmentFloating Dark RideOld South
Spindletop19671989Chance RidesRotorGoodtimes Square/TexasRelocated to Frontier City
Spinnaker19771995Schwarzkopf GmbHEnterpriseTowerRelocated to Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Texas Chute Out19762012Intamin AGParachute TowerGoodtimes SquareImploded and demolished on October 10, 2012. Replaced by SkyScreamer
Virtual Quest20012005Virtual realityGoodtimes Square

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sixflags.com
  2. ^ a b Victoria W. Wolcott (16 August 2012). Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle Over Segregated Recreation in America. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-8122-0759-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Seifert, Jeffrey (2011). "Six Flags Over Five Decades". RollerCoaster! Magazine 32 (3): 4–23. ISSN 0896-7261. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "1961 Park Map", rcreride.com.
  6. ^ Sixflags.com
  7. ^ Texas Giant Opening April 22
  8. ^ MacDonald, Brady (25 November 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Six Flags Over Texas (August 2, 2012). "A Pair of Popular Six Flags Over Texas Rides Are Going Away". Press Release. Six Flags. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Texas SkyScreamer". SixFlags.com. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "SFOT BB". March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Seifert, Jeffrey; Slade, Gary (2011). "Six Flags Over Texas Celebrates 50th Anniversary". Amusement Today 15 (5): 1B–23B. 
  14. ^ Guide to Six Flags Over Texas
  15. ^ SFOT-Source.com - Your Ultimate Guide To Six Flags Over Texas
  16. ^ Star-telegram.com
  17. ^ "Mr.Freeze Reverse Blast", Six Flags Over Texas website.
  18. ^ MacDonald, Brady (November 25, 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". Los Angeles Times. 
  19. ^ "1961 Map of Six Flags Over Texas". American Coaster Enthusiasts. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 

External links[edit]