The Texas Cred Run Massacre 2022

John_P

TS Member
Hey yo!

Currently on holiday in Texas for the week. I'm attending the PBE American Dream event which starts on Sunday in Chicago. Obviously after 2 years of delays etc a few friends and I decided to make the most of the more expensive flights and go for early to visit some new parks and places.

I'll probably be starting to post the days and reports in the coming days, but will start with a little addendum.

We'd initially booked onto the 6am flight from Heathrow to Houston, sadly about 6 weeks out that was cancelled so we booked onto the afternoon flight which left at 2.15pm. Great for making a later start that morning, but it was effectively costing us an afternoon of the trip.

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John_P

TS Member
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Day 0 - Aka Travel Day

So having gone to the effort of buying a covid test and barely leaving the house since the start of June the US decided to lift the requirement for a test starting from the day I travelled.

Anyhow as the verifly app still required the rest result on the Saturday morning I did it anyway and uploaded it. By Saturday evening however the app had updated and no longer asked for it.

Anyhow Sunday we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 about 10am and were sat in the departure lounge by 10.20am.

Just after 2.15pm we took off, very much enjoyed the Brewdog BA beers during the flight.

So upon landing we breezed through security, of the 5 times I've entered the USA it was by far the most quick and easy entry.

After getting the bags we headed via shuttle bus to pick up the hire car to then make the drive to Kemah.

As I'd mentioned previously the original plan on the Sunday afternoon via taking the early flight. Was to head to Galveston Pier and then Kemah Boardwalk. However with 9pm closing the later flight made this impossible.

So at about 9.20pm driving past we see the Boardwalk Bullet operating so quickly head towards the Boardwalk. Getting out of the car my glasses immediately steamed up with the humidity. We quickly head towards the entrance with the ride still operating, only to get the dreaded ride closed sign. So they were running the queue off, gutted. With that we headed to our nearby hotel ready to sort out a plan for the next day.
 

John_P

TS Member
Day 1 -

So due to the flight times changing and the later opening of Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Pier (both 12 noon). We sadly decided due to time constraints as cool as doing a Gerstlauer on a pier would be we'd have to scrap those plans to fit in everything else we'd planned in the beginning.

So the first stop of the trip was Johnson Space Centre located not far from Kemah.

As a bit of a space nerd it was amazing, loads of real bits a pieces from the real missions plus the Independence space shuttle mounted on top of the 747 they used to transport the things. Plus you could go inside them! Had time to do a tram tour were you went to the mission control room they used for the Apollo missions.

After my trip to Poland last year were I'd visited the salt mines and Auschwitz I'm always now trying to add visiting other historic places onto these trips.

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From there we headed back to Kemah Boardwalk for the main reason of the trip parks and coasters!

The Boardwalk Bullet is a magnificent piece of work from the gravity group, the small footprint means tight turns and plenty of crossovers. An amazing coaster to kick things off.

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Then we jumped in the car blasted the air-con on and started the 3 and a half hour drive, finally after stopping for food arriving at ZDTs about 50 minutes before ride close.

Quickly buying the $20 wristband for unlimited rides on Switchback. The 2nd Gravity Group of the trip. Such a mad concept, effectively a wooden boomerang but with a lift hill. Such a quirky layout going through the remains of a building which really added some near miss elements. The spike on a wooden coaster as well!
Comfortably got our monies worth for the wristbands in those 50 minutes.

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So after a successful day we drove into San Antonio for something to eat, also a chance for another bit of culture as we got to see The Alamo.
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JAperson

TS Member
Looks like you are having a great trip @John_P with some very unique woodiesl Boardwalk Bullet looks like a great layout, looks like it would have lots of heady choppers and a very fast paced layout.
 

John_P

TS Member
Day 2 - Part 1

Texas is VERY hot, if you can ever go I can only suggest hitting a Walmart ASAP and buying a crate of water bottles. Then put a few in your hotel fridge every night. The parks do have refill point but they can range between ice cold and tepid.

Anyways, after a decent nights sleep and a breakfast waffle shaped like the state of Texas we headed to the first theme park of the trip SeaWorld San Antonio.
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After the National Anthem and the rope drop we headed through the nicely themed Sesame Street area to ride the areas star attraction Super Grovers Box Car Racer. After that fun start we headed towards the lake area, finding out everything to the right opened later we headed left to a real curiosity the Morgan coaster Steel Eel which very much dominates the parks skyline. After some locker faff we headed onto the coaster for a pleasant surprise. A pretty smooth coaster with decent airtime hills, including what could only be deemed an ode to Magnums triangle bunny hills towards the end.

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Next up was the family launch coaster Wave Breaker - The Rescue Coaster, a really fun one with two launches. It heads over the lake onto its own island and has some interactions with Steel Eel. Thought it would be the perfect sort of coaster for Paultons or Chessington to invest in.

Next up was the first Batman clone of the trip (I'd do 3 in Texas, then another 2 later on, bringing it up to 7 I've done now) this one being called Great White.

It's a batman clone so it's a great layout and this one was running really well.

We followed this up with the biggest queue of the day for the rapids which were a lot of fun and could be a real soaker if you were a bit unlucky.

Next up was the coaster at the park I was looking forward to the most...

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The only 2020 SEAS coaster to actually open in 2020. And what a coaster this is, the enormous first drop (biggest on a wooden coaster in Texas) followed by a massive airtime hill what follows is a high paced coaster which only got faster as the day went on. Brilliant coaster up their with Troy, Wodan, and Mystic Timbers in GCIs pantheon of greatness.

What followed was lunch and a lovely brisket sandwich, also got to see SEAS current questionable/scummy policy of having a price on the board and a message below adding an additional 5% surcharge.

After which we left the restaurant to see some wild vultures had landed outside the exit. Such an unexpected sight.

We then headed to Journey to Atlantis to complete the coasters, I ended up with an absolute soaking. Similar to my experience on the model at Europa Park.

With the coasters done we headed to the new for 2022 Tidal Surge, the world's largest screaming swing. Making sure we were facing back towards the pathway what followed was a fantastic experience as you faced directly down onto the lake during the swings. Absolutely loved it.

After this it was rerides, a really convoluted search for a magnet that said SeaWorld San Antonio, and trying to stay hydrated.

With that we headed back to the car and drove to our next destination...

The park didn't seem greatly busy, I'd imagine most locals would've been hitting the water parks or the shows earlier in the day. Or possibly just not going out the house as it was that hot.

So overall it was a great park to visit, a good selection of coasters with Texas Stingray the highlight.

They were doing work on the old log flume area ready for building the new mad one. That will be a great addition.
 

Ian

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Dizz, Bobby’s Yarn Land 🧶
Looks like a great trip you’ve got going on. Boardwalk Bullet and SeaWorld are always two I’ve looked on with interest! How did Tidal Wave stack up to other Screamin’ Swings? Does it pack the same punch? Never been sure that bigger is always better with some of the larger gyro swings, for example. Some of the smaller models are much more forceful. Interested to know if it’s the same thing here.

If you’re in a hire car, a quick tip for water that we used in Florida is to pick up one of those polystyrene cool boxes. Walmart usually sell them. We’d fill it with water bottles from the fridge in the morning, then top it up with ice (possibly a little more difficult if you’re in a hotel rather than villa, but you can usually find an ice machine at most hotels or gas stations). We’d then seal the lid and leave it in the boot. Even after a full day a park in 35°+ heat you’d still have icy water ready when you got back to the car at the end of the day. Worked really well, and not what you’d expect after its been left in a hot car for several hours!
 

BarryZola

TS Member
Great reporting! As an aside, what are the Texans like as people in general? How do you find their way of life? I've always found Texas to be an interesting place from afar through TV etc. Interested in your opinion of the people and their general way of life (understanding that it is a big place obviously). Yeeee Haaa!
 

John_P

TS Member
I thought Tidal Surge was breathtaking if I'm honest. Up with Loke (liseberg) as a favourite flat ride.

Cheers for the tip, we'd taken to using the free water refill points to get newly chilled water before leaving the parks.

Everyone we spoke to, ride ops, park management, hotel staff, Texas rangers, and members of the public were really friendly. When they found out we were from abroad it was always followed by a 'welcome to Texas.'
 

John_P

TS Member
Sorry for the gaps between posts, I'm still in America (Cedar Point today) so sleep has taken precedence in the evening over trying to write these reports...

Day 2 Part 2

So thankfully the heat was really getting to me so 45 minutes in the car with aircon blasting out really did me some good. And soon enough we arrived at the second park around 4pmish.
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The park which in 2022 is celebrating it's 30th season of operation.

Its amazing in arrival when you realise the entire park and the parking lot is located within the quarry walls itself.

Due to worries about covid etc I'd not bought my pass until we arrived at the park. A quick chat with the cashier and a few minutes later I was $185 worse off and a proud owner of a Six Flags Extreme Pass. Giving me access to all their parks as well as discounts and a few other one off benefits.

When first entering the park with your pass they take your photo (no photo on the pass itself), then once inside I spent 5 minutes registering it. Job done.

So once that was done we avoided the boomerang and headed round to the first RMC of the trip Iron Rattler.

Personally I'll always enjoy watching povs etc when researching parks but then will purposely then stop watching them once a trip is planned.

Iron Rattler is outstanding, going up the side of the quarry, on top of it and even through it towards the end. Only pity was the one train ops as the other was under maintenance. They've actually ordered a 3rd train so this no longer happens in the future.

Having previously ridden Steel Vengeance, Untamed, and Zadra this was my first time on an RMC not using their generation 2 trains. In fact this one used Gerstlauer trains. I'd have to say I found them more comfortable, and you felt more exposed on the train compared to the more boxy RMC trains.

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From their we proceeded to try and lap the park only to then encounter Superman was down, then in an even bigger blow Wonder Woman Golden Lasso wasn't operating, nor was Pandemonium but that wasn't really worth thinking about at that point.

So we got things back on track with Batman - The Ride. You can't go wrong with a B+M I hear you say, which is true. Sadly here it's an S+S 4D coaster so after going through that process we moved round to Poltergeist which is basically Flight of Fear. But not inside a box. The station building was wonderfully themed to that of a haunted house. The ride itself was OK, preferred it to the ones that operate in the pitch black.

From their it was cycle round to near the park entrance for the worst coaster of the trip so far the Boomerang Coast to Coaster, a head banging monstrosity.

We then did the mine train which was a surprising amount of fun, and then took a few rides on Iron Rattler.

In the same area is the new for 2022 Dr Diabolicals Cliffhanger. Seems they've spent more time making merch for the ride than actually doing all the paths and preshows etc, sadly it looked nowhere near ready.

With that we headed off to find the small family coaster in the Looney Tunes section.

The park was pretty empty, quite clearly in Texas the old adage ofonly mad dogs and English men going out in the midday sun holds true.

Around this time whilst taking on water we noticed Superman, the B and M floor less coaster had resumed operation. What off ride looked great with a layout both in the quarry and above it was sadly a very head banging mess. Still the Superman standing in top of the vertical loop looked really cool.

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We then headed to the park entrance then swung to the right to Goliath which was located in its own area. This is the B and M Batman clone, it previously operated at Six Flags New Orleans. We did the front row and whilst the layout is excellent it did seem rougher than any other Batman clone I've done. Maybe a result of the relocation.

After that it was park close and merch shopping time. I bought 2 Fiesta Texas t shirts (which I'd soon find were on sale in every Six Flags park with the name of the park changed) and a magnet. Buying a season pass paying off with a delicious 35% discount. Plus our first purchases kicked in a $10 celebrate summer discount as well.

With that we headed back to the car park (also free for pass holders) and headed back to the hotel via an In N Out burger.

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John_P

TS Member
I'm back in the UK and have missed a train so it's time for...

Day 3 - Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Interesting unlike the Cedar Fair parks and Sea world parks I've visited there's no national anthem, instead we get start me up from the rolling stones.

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So today we went for park opening, annoyingly the Boardwalk area at the back of the park didn't open until 12pm so it was rerides on Iron Rattler, and some friends tried their luck with Superman.

So at 12 noon the secondary rope dropped, and we headed over vaguely optimistic after what we were told yesterday only to see the ride was still down and they seemed to be removing the trains from the track. Comfortably the biggest spite of the trip.

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Comfortably the biggest spite I've ever had.

With that we headed round to Pandemonium which was open so we managed to complete all the available coasters.

After that we made very good use of the Iron Rattler single riders queue. The other annoyance on the 2nd day was that rides that were operating the afternoon before like the train and the log flume were shut on the 2nd day which was really annoying.

With a long drive a head we called it a day about 3.30pm, and started heading north towards Dallas/Fort Worth.

Along the freeway we were able to see the circuit of the americas and Cotaland. Would've been nice to stop but hopefully there's another time.

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And lastly as we neared our hotel for the night in Hillsboro the constant roadside adverts got to us and we stopped at Bucc-ees to what they were all about.
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John_P

TS Member
Didn't know Texas had In n Out Burger, thought it was strictly Calfornian!
I've no idea.

Whole thing seemed a bit odd with them having like 3 items on the menu, but also having a 'secret menu' which seemed decidedly pointless.

Nice burger though. Also visited Whataburger who seemed to have stores everywhere in Texas, IHOP, and Dennys.
 

John_P

TS Member
Finally recovered from jet lag...

Day 4 - Six Flags Over Texas

So about an hour from the park we set off early and arrived about 45 minutes before the park opened. Thankfully they quickly opened the gates to allow everyone to get through security and into the front of the park.

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Whilst all I've really heard about 6 flags parks are concrete and car park coasters the ones I've visited (Great Adventure, Fiesta Texas, Over Texas, Great America, and St Louis) I've found this not overly to be the case. Obviously with over Texas it was sort of designed as a response to Disney land.

Anyhow due to its known issues we headdd immediately to Mr Freeze - Reverse Blast to find it would be late opening, so being in the DC section we finally ticked off a Batman clone called Batman - The Ride, and the S+S 4D coaster The Joker. We returned to Mr Freeze (surely he must be a Doctor?) to again see it was still down.

We headed away from the area ticking off another pandemonium clone. Onto it quickly via the single rider queue. I was sat next to a dad with his two small children sat opposite so it was some spin.

At over Texas despite having some lockers, all the rides had bins for your bags. Much better than the pandemonium at Fiesta Texas were we had to ride with bottles of water as they wouldn't let us keep them on the platform (!!!!).

Following that was a bit of theme park history with the first ever Arrow Mine Train, which was a perfectly cromulent ride. Nicely interacting with the Mr Freeze structure.

Then of course the mini mine train that was located just yards away.

With that we stopped for lunch, had a nice pulled pork sandwich.

After that we tried Runaway Mountain, wasn't expecting much having ridden Skull Mountain at Great Adventure but this was much more fun. A perfect filler coaster.

With that it was time for one of the big reasons for coming here, at the back of the park next to the long dormant Titan, we have a piece of modern coaster history

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New Texas Giant, the first RMC conversion. And I have to say I can completely see why people went nuts for them from day one. Such a great experience, loads of airtime. Those gerstlauer trains, despite the weird windows again a better feeling than the RMC trains and restraints.

After a few laps, we headed away from the area to what's becoming a rarity La Vibora an Intamin Bob coaster (think avalanche) which was perfectly fine. I worry for its future given my history with the things. I rode Disaster Transport on its final day of operation, and Bob about 3 weeks before it closed for good.

Then another piece of theme park history as we rode the first ever Arrow Log Flume, the ride was so popular they almost immediately had a 2nd one built next to it. Only one was operating.

Despite the 40oC temperature the Rapids weren't open, and Aquaman Powersplash looked nowhere near operational.

Thankfully the park did have plenty of musters and fans on the pathways to help cool down.

After that having seen it was now operating we headed back to Mr Dr Freeze.

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So after a 20 minute queue we board the train move into launch position the ride op asks if we're ready. And then nothing, and the train then slides back to the station.

With the heat it makes sense to stay inside and wait it out. So maybe 30 minutes and a few tests we're back in position. And what a ride it is, well worth the wait. Especially that launch so you reach the top of the spike.

With that done we head to the final operating coaster of the day Shock wave the near bullet proof Schwarzkopz which still runs so smooth, ridiculously intense.

After this we try their new for 2022 attraction Pirates of Spreelunker Cave which was just bizarre.

We head back to New Texas Giant to use train and do a full lap of the park, a great steam train ride and a very funny operator.

After a few more laps of the RMC we board the train again to head to the other station for a ride on the enjoyable dark ride Justice League Battle For Metropolis. Seemingly post covid they've abandoned the 3D glasses from when I tried the ride in 2019 at Great Adventure.

With park close approaching we headed to the gift shops.

So also in the Arlington location are the numerous stadiums of the Dallas sports ground so I was able to get us to stop at AT+T stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

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After that with the evening free it was time to pick up a bonus cred at the nearby Alleycats. So we put it into the satnav head there, get into the venue and realise we've gone to the wrong one. D'oh!

So back in the car the address double checked on rcdb we head to the correct Alleycats to ride their thrilling coaster The Rattler.

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With the coaster successfully ridden we head to our hotel next door to Six Flags Over Texas ready for a second day tomorrow.
 

John_P

TS Member
Back in work with the holiday starting to disappear into the distance...

Day 5 - Six Flags Over Texas part 2

So after the Dennys the following night we reassembled for breakfast in the hotel.

The days re-riding plans suddenly take an abrupt turn when from my seat whilst eating cereal I can suddenly see Titan testing. A coaster that from my understanding had not operated since late 2021. Hopes continue to build when we see multiple cycles of the trains going through the circuit.

Further good news follows when a friend who'd gone out the front of the hotel for a smoke advised us he'd seen the wooden coaster Judge Roy Scream testing.

We take the short drive to the 6 flags parking lot again seeing Titan. A local kid getting really excited proclaiming to his dad 'the Titan is running' so clearly it wasn't just us excited this Friday morning.

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So unsurprisingly after rope drop the first destination of the day at the back of the park was that rare beast a giavanola hyper coaster. Got in a couple of quick rides at the front and back, and my word was the thing intense in the helixes. Being near the front you get the weird sensation of being held going over a drop due to the mid course break run.

We followed up that with a single rider queue go on the New Texas Giant, still great. However the ride ops clearly not got the single rider idea down and just put the 4 people in the queue on the back two rows.

From that it was enjoying the park and making rerides, got another go on Mr Freeze which was just as exhilarating the day before.

After this we headed to the side of the park to ride Shockwave again.

Sadly the Oil Derrig in the middle of the park wasn't open on either day we visited. So no pics from up there sadly.

Following that we stopped for lunch at the nearby Chop Six. You'd think the in house chain Chinese food would be the same at each park. However the Over Texas offering gave a better menu than Fiesta Texas and the actual food seemed to consist of more than just the meat and a sauce.

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After that it was back for last rides on New Texas Giant, we'd decided to leave early due to having 5am flights the next day. We stopped for ice cream when walking back so that was great.

Before leaving the park we decided to try the last major coaster we'd not done, and found the path leading to it was now open.

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Sort of located in its own area via a path then a tunnel Judge Roy Scream was a perfectly fine wooden coaster, and a nice way to end the visit to the park.

One friend decided to do the star flyer which was a big no from me.
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We got back to the car and I snapped a final pick of Titan.

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We headed for a hotel by the airport, the Texas Cred Run Massacre sadly over.
 

John_P

TS Member
An epilogue...

So it was 29 coasters, 6 places with rides, 5 hotels, and 1 space centre.

The biggest in hindsight thing was that we needed an extra day following the original flight cancellation. We should've tried to move the flights forward a day. This would've given us a full day at the start to do Galveston Pier and Kemah Boardwalk instead of having to abandon one and quick stop at the other.

After that everything was as close to perfect as it could be for what we'd planned/hoped for.

It was very hot, however this clearly had an effect on attendances across the major Texan parks so we never needed to even consider buying fast passes. Plus Six Flags parks have started to add a number of single rider queues to the rides at these chains.

SeaWorld involved having to buy a locker to keep bags in, however the two Six Flags parks in Texas did have lockers but were completely OK with bags being taken onto station platforms.

Six Flags ability at having their new rides actually open at a sensible time of the year however seems an impossibility. With 1/3 new rides being operational. The only one being Pirates of Speelucker cave which was such an oddity. Dr Diabolical has now started to test, but it wasn't surprising to see Aquaman now go from new for 2020, to 2021, to 2022, and now 2023 this week.

So I'd definitely recommend attempting something like this, you've got a great variation of rides. And whilst two of the parks are 6 Flags they are markedly different when walking about. And on a trip like this a Six Flags season pass was well worth the value for the 4 days park entry once you factor in the free parking, a free meal, and the associated discounts.
 

John_P

TS Member
Great thread, thanks. I would love to do a mini tour like this but never know where to start or how much in reality the whole thing costs.
I'd say the hard costs are things like the flights, park tickets, and car rental.

Anything else you can potentially save on, ie you don't need to spend loads on merch, on site food could easily be replaced with nearby fast food, and cheaper hotels/motels could definitely be found. Though with all those things it's a comfort level, and the hotels we stayed in weren't super expensive (they we La Quinatas).

I think with these trips it's finding a good starting and ending point which you can easily get travel from the UK to/from. Also not over exerting yourself and adding too many stops along the way. Its easy looking on coast 2 coaster thinking that's another park to add but it ends up spiralling.
 

Sambiasso

TS Member
I'd say the hard costs are things like the flights, park tickets, and car rental.

Anything else you can potentially save on, ie you don't need to spend loads on merch, on site food could easily be replaced with nearby fast food, and cheaper hotels/motels could definitely be found. Though with all those things it's a comfort level, and the hotels we stayed in weren't super expensive (they we La Quinatas).

I think with these trips it's finding a good starting and ending point which you can easily get travel from the UK to/from. Also not over exerting yourself and adding too many stops along the way. Its easy looking on coast 2 coaster thinking that's another park to add but it ends up spiralling.
Cheers pal
 
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