Six Flags Fiesta Texas

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Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Fiesta Texas logo.jpg
Boomerang (Six Flags Fiesta Texas).JPG
Boomerang: Coast to Coaster, the visual centerpiece of the park
Location San Antonio, Texas, United States
Coordinates 29°35′58″N 98°36′34″W / 29.5995°N 98.6094°W / 29.5995; -98.6094Coordinates: 29°35′58″N 98°36′34″W / 29.5995°N 98.6094°W / 29.5995; -98.6094
Owner Six Flags
Opened March 14, 1992 (1992-03-14)
Previous names Fiesta Texas
Operating season March–December
Website Official website

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is a theme park built by the Gaylord Entertainment Company and now owned and operated by Six Flags. Fiesta Texas opened on March 14, 1992 in San Antonio, Texas. Spanning 200 acres (81 ha), the park was originally built to become a destination musical show park with its focus towards the musical culture of the state of Texas.[1]

The park's current icon is Scream which can be seen from all around the park and outside the park. The vibrant colors of Scream can be seen from the intersection of Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 as well as miles away from Fiesta Texas. Most of the other attractions at the park are hidden due to the park being surrounded by a rock quarry wall.

History[edit]

The original Rattler
Iron Rattler
Iron Rattler before and after its renovation in 2013, showcasing the profile of the first drop before 2013 and after. The renovated ride features a steeper and longer first drop.

Before Six Flags Fiesta Texas opened in 1992, the park used to be the site of a quarry mine which was created in 1934.[2] The portion where Fiesta Texas is located was mined out in 1988 and ready for future development.[3]

A development team consisted of property owner USAA Real Estate Company, a subsidiary of the USAA insurance company, and Gaylord Entertainment Company, a company which owned Opryland USA, a theme park in Nashville, Tennessee. When the initial ownership group began investigating a possible major theme park development in San Antonio, Texas, they faced significant competition in the Texas market. There were similar established Six Flags parks in Arlington and Houston as well as the nearby Sea World of Texas, which opened in 1988. Based on the competition, the development team believed the opportunity in San Antonio (an established regional leisure destination) was there and that the stable, slow growth direction of the theme park industry in the U.S. was in their favor.

The concept plan and master plan were developed by FORREC International based in Toronto. Then they handed over detailed design of the project to San Antonio-based architecture and engineering groups: Benham/Jones Kell and Pape Dawson. Actual construction of the theme park took approximately 23 months, running from early 1990 to the park's opening in March 1992.[1] Construction of the theme park was overseen by a joint venture of two general contractors, Lyda Inc. of San Antonio and Manhattan Construction Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The park had four theme sections; Crackaxle Canyon, Los Festivales, Spassburg, and Rockville, along with a water park called, Ol' Waterin' Hole. Two years later since opening in 1992, Fiesta Texas opened a new theme area behind the area of Rockville called Fiesta Bay Boardwalk with multiple new rides and attractions.

Time Warner took over management and operations of Fiesta Texas in 1996 and added the Six Flags name to the park, while USAA remained as the sole owner. Premier Parks, which acquired the Six Flags theme park chain from Time Warner, purchased Fiesta Texas from USAA in October 1998.[4][5] In 1999, Fiesta Texas saw the biggest expansion ever in park history with more than 10 new rides and water rides, as well a rename of the water park to Armadillo Beach. Also in 1999, Six Flags Fiesta Texas was rewarded Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows in the theme park industry. The park was rewarded the award every year until 2008.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced the rename and expansion to its water park to White Water Bay in 2006, with the water park's largest expansion.

The Six Flags company began the process of removing licensed theming company wide across its theme parks from attractions that the park had built in previous years. Six Flags Fiesta Texas had to renamed and retheme 7 rides as well as the kids theme area to Kidzopolis, all in time for the 2011 season.[6][7]

Areas[edit]

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is divided into five themed areas along with an adjacent water park, White Water Bay.

Los Festivales[edit]

Goliath located in Los Festivales

Los Festivales is a theme area that guest first encounter when entering Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Park goers will see Goliath upon entering Fiesta Texas as it dominates the park entrance. The area is also home to another ride, Boomerang: Coast to Coaster which is the centerpiece attraction at the park. Los Festivales is home to two theatre venues, Teatro Fiesta and Zaragoza Theatre. Zaragoza Theatre is known for many shows such as Ovation during the summer months, Creature Feature during Fright Fest, and The Majesty Of Christmas during Holiday in the Park. Goliath is the newest ride added to the area which the coaster was added in 2008. Los Festivales is home to one sit down restaurant that caters to the area during certain events, La Cantina.

Crackaxle Canyon[edit]

The Gully Washer located in Crackaxle Canyon

Crackaxle Canyon is theme to a 1920s boomtown. Crackaxle Canyon can be entered from Los Festivales and Spassburg.

The area is home to Iron Rattler, the tallest roller coaster in the park as well as six other attractions such as Road Runner Express and The Gully Washer. Crackaxle Canyon is home to two theatre venues, Lone Star Lil's Amphitheater and Sundance Theatre. The Lone Star Lil's Amphitheater is known for Mayor Slayer's Monster Mash Bash, a show during Fright Fest, and a host site to watch the end of the day fireworks during the summer months, Lone Star Nights. Iron Rattler and Gunslinger are the two newest rides added to the area which were added in 2013. Crackaxle Canyon is home to two sit down restaurants that caters to the area, Bubba's and Canyon Smokehouse, along with a Panda Express location.

Spassburg[edit]

Superman: Krypton Coaster located in Spassburg

Spassburg was established to resemble the German heritage in Texas with its own German theme village. Spassburg also has a kids sub-section called, Kidzopolis. The area can be entered from Los Festivales, Crackaxle Canyon and Rockville.

The village is home to Superman: Krypton Coaster, one of the words first floorless roller coaster as well as thirteen other attractions such as Bugs' White Water Rapids and SkyScreamer. Spassburg is home to two theatre venues, Sangerfest Halle and a kids theatre located in Kidzopolis. Sangerfest Halle is home to many shows throughout the year as well as a full size food court which features a wide range of food. SkyScreamer is newest ride added to the area which was added in 2012. Spassburg has two sit down restaurants that caters to the area, Johnny Rockets and Sangerfest Halle. Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2016, added a virtual reality on Superman: Krypton Coaster to enhance the experience of the roller coaster.

Rockville[edit]

Poltergeist located in Rockville

Rockville is a fictional town theme to towards the 1950's. Rockville can be entered from Spassburg with a railroad crossing at both of the two entrances which divides two theme areas.

The area is home to Batman: The Ride, the world's first 4D Free Spin roller coaster as well as eight other attractions such as Poltergeist and Scream. Rockville is home to Rockville High, a indoor theatre that is theme to a high school. The threatre is known for its award winning show, Rockin' Rockville High which retire after 22 years in 2014. Batman: The Ride and Soaring Eagle Zipline are the two newest rides added to Rockville which were both added in 2015. The area has two sit down restaurants that carters to the area, Pete's Eats and Primo's Pizzeria.

Fiesta Bay Boardwalk[edit]

Pandemonium located in Fiesta Bay Boardwalk

Fiesta Bay Boradwalk is themed to a boardwalk setting. The area is the only area of the park that has an entrance before entering the boardwalk.

The boardwalk is home to Pandemonium, a spinning roller coaster and seven other attractions such as Scooby-Doo! Ghostblasters: The Mystery of the Haunted Mansion and many others. Fiesta Bay Boardwalk was established in 1994 and has been the last theme area created in the park. The planks of the boardwalk was redone in 2016 with the addition of three new rides, Fireball, Hurricane Force 5 and Spinsanity as well as a general update to the area. Johnny Rockets is the main sit down restaurant that caters to area.

White Water Bay[edit]

White Water Bay can be entered from Crackaxle Canyon.

The water park is home to 15 water slides and attractions such as the newest slides, Bahama Blaster, which was added in 2014.

White Water Bay opened with the park in 1992 as the Ol' Waterin' Hole from 1992 to 1998 and Armadillo Beach from 1999 to 2005. The water park is included with park admission of Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Live entertainment[edit]

The Six Flags bus in front of Rockville High

Six Flags Fiesta Texas has featured numerous forms of in-park entertainment throughout its history. During its early years to this day, the park has kept to the theme of the shows to location of the theater, such as Roadhouse Country at Sundance Theatre in Crackaxle Canyon and the former Rockin' At Rockville High show at the Rockville High Theatre in Rockville.

Guests of the park are welcomes by a wide array of characters and performers all throughout the park such as, characters from the Looney Tunes universe to the superheroes of DC Comics. From 2009 to late 2010, another brand of characters from the Wiggles would also greet guest in the park in, before Six Flags had dropped the license to carry on the brand.[8]

Fiesta Texas’ is known for best shows in America, and was awarded by Amusement Today for the Golden Ticket Award for “best theme park shows in the country” for the ten straight years (1999–2008) and continue to rank one of the best. Several of the shows have won individual awards like “Best Sports Show of 2005" (Xcelleration)[9] and "best show with a production value of $25,000–$50,000" (Mayor Slayer's Monster Mash Bash).

Annual events[edit]

Six Flags Fiesta Texas hosts a number of events for different holidays all throughout the operating season that often draw thousands of visitors to the park, the two most notable are;

  • Fright Fest (October) takes over the park with ghouls and monsters that wonders around the park for the Halloween season. From Thrills by Day to Fright by Night, the park host themed live shows, scare zones, and haunted houses.
  • Holiday in the Park (November–January) transforms the park during the Christmas season with millions of different lights scattered throughout the park. From Santa Claus to themed rides such as Frostee's Skating Rink. Started as Lone Star Christmas in the 1990s before the cancellation of the event after the 1997 season, but was reinstated for the 2007 season and years to come as Holiday in the Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Theme park development case study
  2. ^ http://rock.epubxp.com/i/252412-feb-2014/57
  3. ^ Beckman Quarry
  4. ^ Fiesta Texas history
  5. ^ O'Brien, Tim (1998). "Premier Parks/Six Flags Exercises Option to Buy Fiesta Texas". Amusement Business. 
  6. ^ MacDonald, Brady (November 25, 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Themed Areas: Six Flags Fiesta Texas". Sixflags.com. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ MacDonald, Brady (25 November 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Six Flags 2004 Annual Report (PDF) does not include revised stats since Hurricane Katrina closed Six Flags New Orleans; or the closing of Six Flags Astroworld in 2005.

External links[edit]