Six Flags Fiesta Texas
|Location||La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Slogan||The Thrill Capital of South Texas|
|Owner||Six Flags Entertainment Corporation|
|Opened||March 14, 1992|
|Previous names||Fiesta Texas (1992-1995)|
|Area||208 acres (0.84 km2)|
Six Flags Fiesta Texas, formerly known simply as Fiesta Texas, is an amusement park located in La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas. It is owned and operated by Six Flags. The park was built by Gaylord Entertainment Company and opened on March 14, 1992, as the first business in the district of San Antonio. The park was later purchased by Six Flags theme park in 1996.
Spanning 200 acres (81 ha), the park was originally built to become a destination performance arts park with its focus on the musical culture of the state of Texas.
The park's current icon is Scream which can be seen from all around the park as well as outside the property. The vibrant colors of Scream can also be seen from the intersection of Loop 1604 and Interstate 10, as well as miles away from Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Most of the other attractions at the park are hidden due to the park being surrounded by a rock quarry wall, but some key visible rides include the SkyScreamer, the Crow's Nest Ferris wheel in Fiesta Bay Boardwalk, the lift hill of Superman: Krypton Coaster and the lift hill of Iron Rattler.
Before Six Flags Fiesta Texas opened in 1992, the park used to be the site of a limestone quarry created in 1934. The portion where Fiesta Texas is located was depleted in 1988 and the land was available for development.
A development team consisted of property owner USAA Real Estate Company, a subsidiary of the USAA insurance company and Gaylord Entertainment Company, a company that 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 similarly established Six Flags parks in Arlington and Houston. 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. FORREC handed over a 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. 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. In its third season, 1994, Fiesta Texas added a new themed area, Fiesta Bay Boardwalk, with multiple new rides and attractions including a Ferris wheel, swinging ship, scrambler, and a roller-skating pavilion.
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. Six Flags Fiesta Texas added its third roller coaster, a Vekoma Hurricane named The Joker's Revenge, which opened to the general public on May 10 of the same year. It was the park's first roller coaster to go upside down and the first ride to be based on DC Comics. The Joker's Revenge featured a funhouse queue line and trains that traveled backward through the course.
Premier Parks, which acquired the Six Flags theme park chain from Time Warner, purchased Fiesta Texas from USAA in October 1998. 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. With the infusion of new rides, the park saw its annual attendance increase by more than one million visitors. Also in 1999, Six Flags Fiesta Texas was awarded Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows in the theme park industry. The park continued to receive the award every year until 2008.
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 rename and retheme seven rides as well as the kids theme area from Wiggles World to Kidzopolis, all in time for the 2011 season.
In 2019, the park for the first time in its history, operated at a year-round schedule. Before 2019, Fiesta Texas and Six Flags Over Texas both ran their operating seasons from March to the end of the year. In 2019, the park opened up a new theme area, DC Universe, which included most of the already established DC Comics themed rides, along with the brand new, Joker Carnival of Chaos.
A day before the park's 28th anniversary (March 13, 2020), Six Flags suspended all operations across all their properties due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the time of closure, the park has donated food and supplies to a local hospital and food bank. On June 4, Six Flags announced the park would reopen on June 19 to members and season pass holders, and to the general public on June 22.
Los Festivales is a Spanish themed area that guests first encounter upon entering Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It was one of the original themed sections when the park opened in 1992 and is dedicated to the rich Hispanic culture that is integral to San Antonio.
Among the first things upon entering Los Festivales from the front gate is Goliath, which dominates the visible skyline. The area also features Boomerang, which is seen as the "centerpiece" of the area. Los Festivales is home to two theater venues, the Teatro Fiesta and the Zaragoza Theatre.
The Zaragoza Theatre is known for the park's most popular shows during the summer months, as well as Creature Feature during the park's annual Fright Fest event and The Majesty of Christmas during Holiday in the Park. Los Festivales is home to one sit down restaurant that caters to the area during certain events, La Cantina.
Crackaxle Canyon is themed after a 1920s Texan boomtown. It can be entered from neighboring areas 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 theater venues, Lone Star Lil's Amphitheater and the Sundance Theatre. 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.
Crackaxle Canyon is also home to two sit-down restaurants, Bubba's and Canyon Smokehouse, along with a Chop Six location, which serves Asian cuisine.
Spassburg is themed after a German village, and is dedicated to German heritage in Texas. 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 world's first floorless roller coasters as well as thirteen other attractions such as Bugs' White Water Rapids and SkyScreamer. Spassburg is also home to two theater venues, Sangerfest Halle and a character encounter building in Kidzopolis.
Sangerfest Halle is home to many shows throughout the year as well as a food court offering a wide range of food. Spassburg has two sit-down restaurants that cater to the area, Johnny Rockets and Sangerfest Halle. In 2016 the park added a virtual reality experience to Superman: Krypton Coaster.
Rockville is a fictional town themed to the 1950s. Rockville can be entered from Spassburg with a railroad crossing at both of the entrances. 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, an indoor theater that is themed to a high school. The area has two sit-down restaurants that cater to the area — Pete's Eats and Primo's Pizzeria. Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster is a steel roller coaster located in this area that opened on May 12, 2018.
Fiesta Bay Boardwalk
Fiesta Bay Boardwalk 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. Fiesta Bay Boardwalk was established in 1994 and was the last themed area created in the park. The planks of the boardwalk were replaced in 2016 and the area was updated. Johnny Rockets is the main restaurant in the area.
White Water Bay
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, added in 2014. White Water Bay opened with the park in 1992 as the Ol' Waterin' Hole. It was renamed Armadillo Beach in 1999, then renamed again in 2006 to White Water Bay. The water park is included with park admission.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas has featured numerous forms of in-park entertainment throughout its history. The park generally has kept the theme of the shows to the location of the theater, such as country & western shows at the Sundance Theatre in Crackaxle Canyon and the former Rockin' At Rockville High show (a 1950s style show) at the Rockville High Theater.
Guests of the park are welcomed 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.
Fiesta Texas’ is known for having some of the best shows in America and was awarded by Amusement Today the Golden Ticket Award for “best theme park shows” for ten straight years from 1999 to 2008. Several of the shows have won individual awards like “Best Sports Show of 2005" (Xcelleration) and IAAPA's Brass Ring Award for "best show with a production value of $25,000–$50,000" (Mayor Slayer's Monster Mash Bash).
Six Flags Fiesta Texas hosts a number of events for different holidays all throughout the operating season that often draws thousands of visitors to the park.
- Fright Fest (September–October) takes over the park with ghouls and monsters that wander around the park for the Halloween season. From Thrills by Day to Fright by Night, the park hosts themed live shows, scare zones and haunted houses. In 2020, the park reimagined their Halloween event to Hallowfest, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The change from Fright Fest to Hallowfest, includes no haunted houses and indoor shows.
- 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.
- Mardi Gras (January–March), a New Orleans–style Mardi Gras celebration throughout the park. A nightly parade with employees of the park and park-goers on many themed floats.
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- "Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas suspend operations through the end of March". March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
- "Fiesta Texas donates food, toilet paper to food bank and hospital". April 10, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
- "Six Flags Fiesta Texas announces reopening date". June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- "Six Flags Fiesta Texas to reopen on June 19". June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
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- 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.
- "Six Flags announces a reimagined haunt season with Hallowfest". August 18, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
- "Hallowfest will return to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, but without haunted houses or indoor shows". August 19, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
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