In 2011 a new roller coaster manufacturer named Rocky Mountain Construction sprung onto the scene with a never-before-seen concept. The company wanted to take the rough and dated Texas Giant wooden coaster at Six Flags Over Texas and make it steel. Nowadays wood-to-steel conversions have popped up at numerous theme parks, but RMC would start this trend by building New Texas Giant. Back in March I was lucky enough to ride this milestone coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, and I think it’s time to answer the question: just how good is the first RMC roller coaster?
Spoiler: It’s Incredible
Prior to riding New Texas Giant I had ridden three other RMC roller coasters; Goliath at Six Flags Great America, Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England, and Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Therefore, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. I was pretty curious as to how intense the first RMC would be though, since the ones I had ridden had opened quite a few years after New Texas Giant. Also, New Texas Giant features no inversions, which is a rarity on an RMC coaster. The ones I had been on before had at least 2 inversions, so I was a bit worried that the original would feel a bit boring or underdeveloped.
Luckily, I was wrong. New Texas Giant is the perfect example of how a roller coaster doesn’t need to go upside down to be a thrilling experience. The ride begins by exiting the station, which is surprisingly well themed to some sort of barn or garage, and climbs up the 153 foot tall lift hill. For whatever reason this lift hill felt much taller than it actually is, which definitely helped build the anticipation.
Once you reach the top you’re hurled into a 79 degree first drop that gives you tremendous airtime, especially in the back row. I rode the coaster multiple times in both the front and the back, and I would definitely say that this is a back row ride. After the drop you are thrown into numerous wavy over-bank turns and airtime moments. The second over-bank is the best in my opinion, because every time you exit it you get a crazy amount of ejector airtime.
That moment of airtime is just one of the many excellent hills throughout the ride though. After the mid-course break run (which thankfully doesn’t slow your momentum that much) you continue to weave around the larger parts of the structure doing awesome, airtime-filled maneuvers that just wouldn’t be possible on a regular wooden coaster. There’s a part about halfway through the ride where you enter a hill while tilted to the right and exit it tilted to the left, and it creates this this weird sensation that I just love.
The big finale of New Texas Giant is a series of smaller hills that take place in a few long tunnels. The thing that really makes these tunnels memorable is the colorful lighting package inside them. I’m so glad that Six Flags continues to keep the lights on instead of just turning them off. That’s the kind of upkeep we need on a lot of roller coasters out there.
New Texas Giant can be summed up with two impressive points. One, it crushes any preconceived notions that a roller coaster has to go upside down or do record-breaking maneuvers to be thrilling. Two, it set the tone for the marvelous work that Rocky Mountain Construction would go on to do at so many different theme parks around the world. If you ask any roller coaster enthusiast what coasters are in their Top 10, chances are there will be at least one RMC on their list. That wouldn’t be possible if New Texas Giant wasn’t such a success.
Final Score: 9/10
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