When I think Six Flags, I tend to think about amusement parks with a heavy emphasis on thrills and roller coasters. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but as someone who prefers a wholesome “theme park” experience (which includes a variety of rides, delicious food, and an immersive atmosphere), I don’t expect to enjoy a Six Flags park like I would enjoy a Disney or Universal park. That said, I can think of quite a few different moments where Six Flags has surprised me with that theme park “feeling” at their parks. Southwest Territory at Six Flags Great America or Steampunk District at Six Flags Magic Mountain are both great examples. I had also heard that when Over Texas opened in 1961, it was built with the idea of being the Disneyland of Texas. While I recognize that the chances are very slim that any park could replicate the success of Disney, I was still curious if there were any aspects of this vision still left at the modern day Six Flags park.
I spent 2 half days at Six Flags Over Texas. The first day I visited from park opening at 10 am to 4 pm, and the second day from 5 pm to 9 pm. This was certainly worth it, and I would highly recommend doing this if you have the time. The park can definitely be packed into one full day, but visiting throughout two days allows you to go at a more leisurely place and really take in all the atmosphere. I also visited during the park’s Spring Break celebration, which altered our experience a bit. I’d say it was for the better, since the park was pretty dead both days that I was there. I don’t expect that the lack of people during Spring break is a normal occurrence though, as it probably had something to do with the Coronavirus and the lack of traveling accompanying it. The actual events and decorations for the celebration didn’t impact the park’s atmosphere too much, but it was nice to see the occasional burst of Spring colors around the park or hear live entertainment on the stage near the entrance gates at night.
Roller coasters are arguably the most integral part of a Six Flags park, so I think it’s best to discuss them right away. Like I said before, I don’t visit theme parks for the sole reason of riding roller coasters. However, I do recognize that they are sometimes the most fun part of a theme park visit. After all, I have a coaster count of over 100, so I’d say I’m still just as much of a coaster enthusiast as I am a theme park enthusiast. I’ll be sure to go more in depth on each coaster at Over Texas in their separate reviews, but for now I’ll take a more holistic look at them.
I managed to get on 9 of the park’s 13 coasters. The 4 I missed out on were Wile E. Coyote’s Grand Canyon Blaster, Batman: The Ride, Joker, and Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast. The only one I’m super upset about missing is Freeze, since it was a pretty unique credit and is apparently one of the best in the park. In regards to the other 3, Wile is a kids-only kiddie coaster and I have clones of Joker and Batman at my home park (Six Flags Great America), so I don’t care too much about those. That said, the fact that I missed out on 4 coasters during a 2 day visit does require some discussion. Like I said, Wile is a kiddie coaster you can only ride with a kid, so missing that one makes sense. Also, I’ll be honest in saying I decided to skip Batman in order to get more re-rides on New Texas Giant. However, for Mr. Freeze and Joker I’d say poor operations can be blamed. The coasters were both operating sporadically throughout the two days. This was probably because of inclement weather, because it was pretty windy both days, but it was still kind of shocking and not displayed that well. Numerous other rides including Judge Roy Scream and Riddler’s Revenge went down the second day due to wind, but at least these were handled well with employees standing at the front of the line telling guests it was closed. In Mr. Freeze’s case, all they did was place a trash can at the entrance to block off the line. This is pretty poor practice in my eyes.
There are plenty of good things to say about Over Texas’s coasters though. For one, they have a really diverse lineup. La Vibora, the park’s Intamin bobsled coaster, is a unique ride that’s pretty hard to find anywhere else. Although I didn’t get on Mr. Freeze, I’d still say it’s a pretty unique looking experience compared to most launch coasters. The park also has a super intense thrill in Titan, which is definitely the favorite of the general public. Over Texas isn’t lacking in the family coaster department either, as it offers plenty of quality family coasters like Runaway Mountain and Pandemonium. Finally, how could I not talk about the park’s crown jewel, New Texas Giant? I’ll definitely go more in-depth on this coaster in the future, but I still need to touch on just how important this ride is to my experience at Six Flags Over Texas. I managed to ride this monstrous coaster 7 times during my visit, and it was completely worth it (like I said, I skipped Batman for this thing). If the park didn’t have New Texas Giant, its lineup would be average at best. It is a must ride at Over Texas, and is definitely in my Top 10 roller coasters.
As I stated previously, I was very curious if Over Texas would offer more theming than usual by Six Flags standards. While it wasn’t anything incredible, I’d say statements made about Over Texas being more of a theme park than an amusement park are true. Almost every area in the park has a pretty distinct theming. For instance, the Spain area has lots of Spanish architecture that comes off as charming rather than tacky. Even El Diablo, the new-for-2019 Larson Looper in the area, has a lightly themed queue with a bunch of gargoyle/devil statues. It’s easily my favorite area in the park, and gives Steampunk District at Magic Mountain a run for its money as my favorite area in any Six Flags park.
Not every area looks great though. The area dubbed “France” barely feels like France. When you walk under the land’s entrance sign you can hear feint French music playing, but there aren’t really any buildings to back it up. The only ride in this area is the indoor coaster Runaway Mountain, and while this ride does have a decent amount of theming, nothing about it screams “French”. The USA part of the park is also lacking in the theming department, as it is only home to Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and the upcoming Aquaman Power Wave coaster. I guess you could say the Hall of Justice has a very American aesthetic, but at the end of the day it really just feels like a lackluster extension to the Gotham City area.
Speaking of the Gotham City area, Six Flags Over Texas has the best DC comics theming out of any Six Flags park I’ve been to. The section with Joker and Harley Quinn might not be anything too special, but the section housing Mr. Freeze and Batman have some pretty elaborate theming. Mr. Freeze’s exterior is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and Batman looked to have far more theming around the ride than the other two Batman clones I’ve been on. Unlike the other Six Flags parks with similar areas, Over Texas did a pretty great job in making me feel like I was in Gotham City. I commend them for it.
I’d also like to touch on navigating Over Texas. This isn’t usually something I’d discuss, since I tend to do my homework and not have any issue getting around theme parks. However, I struggled with Over Texas’s layout, despite spending time committing it to memory. I don’t know if this is a genuine problem for other people, or if my internal GPS was just having an off-day, but it’s just something I thought I should mention.
Finally, I want to talk about food. Dining is an integral part of a theme park, but Six Flags usually puts minimal effort into this area. However, Over Texas’s food seems to be a cut above the other Six Flags parks I’ve visited. I only had one meal at the park, and it was some buffalo wings and fries at Rancho de Pollo Shakes & Fries. This certainly wasn’t the most unique offering at the park, but it still tasted pretty good overall. I also got a good look at the other menus in the park, and I’d say they had a great variety. There were tacos, brisket, Philly cheesesteak, loaded fries and tots, and even dole whips. I can’t speak to whether or not these options tasted good, but I think the park deserves some credit for not just offering the bare minimum.
Is Six Flags Over Texas worth visiting? I’d say yes for many different reasons. From a coaster enthusiast standpoint, they have a pretty large and unique lineup that’s essential to add to a coaster count. From a theme park enthusiast standpoint, I think there’s genuinely some pleasant surprises to be had when taking in this park’s atmosphere. It’s not perfect, and it’s not trying to compete with Disney or Universal, but it still has a certain charm that is tough to find at other Six Flags parks. Finally, from a historical standpoint, it’s pretty amazing to visit the first Six Flags park ever built. After all, there was a time where Over Texas was a stand-alone, independent park. While those days are long gone, you can still find remnants of the past throughout the park in the themed lands and older rides. To me, that makes Over Texas a destination that should be towards the top of any theme park related list, whether it be coaster related or otherwise.
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