Six Flags Over Texas

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Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas (logo), circa 2019.png
SFOT Main Park Entrance.JPG
The park's main entrance in 2011
LocationArlington, Texas, U.S.
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
OpenedAugust 5, 1961; 61 years ago (1961-08-05)
OwnerTexas Flags, Ltd.[1] (51%)
Operated bySix Flags
SloganThe Thrill Capital of Texas
Operating seasonYear-round
Area212 acres (0.331 sq mi) (0.86 km²)
Roller coasters13
Water rides3
WebsiteOfficial website

Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre (86 ha) amusement park, in Arlington, Texas, east of Fort Worth and west of Dallas. It is the first amusement park in the Six Flags chain, and features themed areas and attractions. The park opened on August 5, 1961, after a year of construction and an initial investment of US$10 million by real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr.[2]

The park is managed by the Six Flags Entertainment Corp., which owns a 54% interest of the Texas Limited Partnership that owns the park. Six Flags Over Texas Fund, Ltd, a private-equity and asset-management firm, headed by Dallas businessman Jack Knox, bought the park in 1969. Over the years, the various companies that managed the park exercised options to purchase interest in the fund. Six Flags Entertainment has an option to purchase the remaining 46% in 2028.[3][4][5] In 1991, Time Warner Entertainment began managing park operations. 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.


The original logo for Six Flags Over Texas

After a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, shortly after its opening, a wealthy real estate developer, Angus G. Wynne, Jr., concluded that his home state, Texas, should have a similar park.[6] 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 City investors. Construction of the park began in August 1960.[7]

The name "Six Flags Over Texas" refers to the flags of the six nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.[8] Wynne originally intended to name the park "Texas Under Six Flags". Various legends have attributed the name change to his wife, Joann; to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, of which his wife may have been a member; and to his entertainment director, Charles Meeker, who is said to have stated "Texas isn't 'under' anything."[9] The original park was divided into six themed areas for each of the six entities that had ruled Texas. Other themed areas have since been added.

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.[9] Park attendance reached 8,374. Admission cost $2.75 (equivalent to $25 in 2021) for adults and $2.25 (equivalent to $20 in 2021) for children; parking cost 50 cents (equivalent to $5 in 2021); hamburgers, 35 cents (equivalent to $3 in 2021); soft drinks, 10 cents (equivalent to $1 in 2021).[10] On opening day, guests could visit the six original themed sections: Mexico, Spain, France, The Confederacy, Texas, and Modern (representing the United States). According to the 1961 Park Map[11] there were 46 "major attractions". The park's first season, lasting 45 days and ending on November 25, 1961, was a success, with over 550,000 visitors.

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.[12][13] 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. For 1974, Six Flags Over Texas announced attendance had reached 2,184,000.[14]

For the 50th anniversary (2011), Six Flags Over Texas introduced the first I-Box roller coaster track with a transformation of Texas Giant. The reception from the conversion led the manufacturer to bring the new technology all over the world.[15] During this time, Six Flags (the company) began the company-wide process of removing licensed theming across its theme parks from attractions that the park had built in previous years. For example, Six Flags Over Texas had to rename and retheme Tony Hawk's Big Spin to Pandemonium.[16][17]

In 2020, the park began, for the first time in its history, operating at a year-round schedule.[18] Before 2020, Six Flags Over Texas ran seasons from March to the end of that specific year. Within three months into the longer season (March 13, 2020), Six Flags suspended all operations across all of its properties due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas.[19] During the time of closure, the park donated food and supplies to local charities.[20] The park reopened to members and season pass holders on June 19 and to the general public on June 22.[21][22]


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

First-of-their-kind features or attractions[edit]

  • First Six Flags Theme Park. This is the original Six Flags Theme Park, opened on August 5, 1961
  • First Pay one Price (POP) admission[23]
  • First theme park to feature Broadway-style shows (1961)[23]
  • First Intamin Ride, the Jet Set [9]
  • First Log FlumeEl Aserradero (1963)
  • First Mine Train Roller Coaster – The Runaway Mine Train (1966)
  • First relaunch of the modern-day parachute ride - Texas Chute Out (1976) Removed in 2012.[24]
  • First Freefall Ride - Texas Cliffhanger (later renamed G-Force and then Wildcatter) (1982). Removed in 2007.[25]
  • First RMC I-Box hybrid coaster - New Texas Giant (2011)




Six Flags Over 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 – Originally only one night in October called 'Fright Night', Fright Fest is the annual Halloween festival at Six Flags Over Texas. Fright Fest takes place throughout the month of October and features several specialized additions to the park. Haunted houses, decorated pathways, patrolling ghouls and spooky music all contribute to the park's transformation into a giant 'scream' park. 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.[26]
  • Holiday in the Park – A tradition started in 1985, Holiday in the Park is now one of the park's most popular seasonal events as the park's season winds down towards the end of November and throughout December. Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights are strung around the park buildings and rides. An authentic snow hill is available for visitors to sled down. Festive holiday shows, arts and crafts, and delicious seasonal food also bring the holidays to Six Flags Over Texas.


The Confederacy was one of the original themed areas and it showcased Civil War re-enactments and displayed the Confederate Battle Flag. In the 1990s it was rethemed to "Old South" and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. The land drew little attention as there were no high-profile rides in that area.[27] However, the Confederate "stars and bars" remained one of the six flags that was flown at the park entrance.[27] In August 2017, in response to the controversial Unite the Right rally that was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, the park replaced its six flags (which had included the first Confederate flag, a Republic of Texas flag, a 19th-century Spanish flag, an 18th-century French flag, a 19th-century United States flag, and a 19th-century Mexican flag) with six American flags. A representative of the park told KXAS-TV, "We always choose to focus on celebrating the things that unite us versus those that divide us. As such, we have changed the flag displays in our park to feature American flags."[28][29]


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
  2. ^ "The first Six Flags opens in Texas". Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "2021 Six Flags Entertainment Corporation Annual Report" (pdf). Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  4. ^ "Success, Accidentally". Arlington Today. July 30, 2016. Archived from the original on February 12, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas Fund Ltd". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "Wayback Wednesday: Six Flags over Texas opens its gates". Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "Flags Fly For New Six Flags Book". November 10, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  8. ^ 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 978-0-8122-0759-0. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Seifert, Jeffrey (2011). "Six Flags Over Five Decades". RollerCoaster! Magazine. 32 (3): 4–23. ISSN 0896-7261.
  10. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  11. ^ "1961 Park Map" Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine,
  12. ^ Baker, Evelyn (2018). Historic Tales of Arlington, Texas. The History Press. p. 75. ISBN 9781625858955. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Larry, Luck. "THE SIX FLAGS OIL DERRICK CELEBRATES ITS 50TH BIRTHDAY". Archived from the original on October 1, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Park attendance". Atlanta Constitution. January 28, 1975. p. 5.
  15. ^ "Texas Giant Opening April 22". Archived from the original on 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  16. ^ MacDonald, Brady (November 25, 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  17. ^ "Themed Areas: Six Flags Fiesta Texas". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas Changing To Year-Round Weekend & Holiday Operation". August 29, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas suspend operations through the end of March". March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  20. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas Donates Food To Arlington Charity". April 20, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "Opening dates announced for Six Flags over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, Hawaiian Falls". June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  22. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor to reopen June 22 with new safety protocols". June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Seifert, Jeffrey; Slade, Gary (2011). "Six Flags Over Texas Celebrates 50th Anniversary". Amusement Today. 15 (5): 1B–23B.
  24. ^ "Guide to Six Flags Over Texas". Archived from the original on 2013-12-22. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  25. ^ Ahles, Andrea (September 24, 2007). "Six Flags to add Tony Hawk rollercoaster". Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  26. ^ "Six Flags announces a reimagined haunt season with Hallowfest". August 18, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Six Flags Over Texas started distancing from the Confederate battle flag decades ago". August 18, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  28. ^ Morris, David Z. (August 18, 2017). "Six Flags Pulls Down Confederate Flags". Fortune. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  29. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas removes Confederate flag, reversing earlier decision | Fox News". August 18, 2017. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.

External links[edit]