Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas, formerly known simply as Fiesta Texas, is a theme park located in Northwest San Antonio. It opened on March 14, 1992, in the La Cantera master-planned development and district as the first business in that development. Spanning 200 acres (81 ha),[2] the park was originally built to become a destination musical show park with its focus on the musical culture of the state of Texas.[3] The park was purchased by Time Warner in 1995, and branded as a Six Flags park for the 1996 season.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Previously known as Fiesta Texas (1992-1995)
Boomerang, the visual centerpiece of the park.
LocationLa Cantera, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Coordinates29°35′58″N 98°36′34″W / 29.5995°N 98.6094°W / 29.5995; -98.6094
OpenedMarch 14, 1992; 31 years ago (1992-03-14)
OwnerSix Flags
General managerJeffery Siebert[1]
SloganThe Thrill Capital of South Texas
Operating seasonYear-round [2]
Area220 acres (0.89 km2) [2]
Roller coasters12
Water rides2
WebsiteOfficial website

The park's landmark is the Scream drop tower ride which stands 205 feet tall and can be seen from all around the park as well as outside the property. The vibrant colors of the ride along with the Fiesta Texas signage make it visible to guests approaching from the intersection of Loop 1604 and Interstate 10. A good portion of the park is hidden within the quarry, however, several other attractions, including portions of most of the park's roller coasters are visible from outside the park.

History edit

Iron Rattler before and after its conversion in 2013, showcasing the profile of the first drop before 2013 and after. The renovated ride features a steeper and longer first drop. It also features steel (I-Box) track with wooden supports (hybrid).

Before Fiesta Texas opened in 1992, the site was part of the Redland Quarry which began operation in 1934.[4] By 1988, the limestone in the portion where Six Flags Fiesta Texas is located was depleted and the land was available for development.[5]

The 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.[3]

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.[3] 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.[6]

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.[7]

Premier Parks, which acquired the Six Flags theme park chain from Time Warner, purchased Fiesta Texas from USAA in October 1998.[8][9] 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.[6] 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.[10]

In March 2006, Six Flags Fiesta Texas expanded its water park and renamed it White Water Bay. The rehab included a redesigned plaza, new food and merchandise facilities and four new waterslide attractions.[11]

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.[12][13]

In 2019, the park for the first time in its history, operated at a year-round schedule. Before 2019, Fiesta Texas 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.[14][15]

A day before the park's 28th anniversary (March 13, 2020), Six Flags suspended all operations across all its properties due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.[16] During the time of closure, the park has donated food and supplies to a local hospital and food bank.[17] 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.[18][19]

On July 28, 2021, plans were announced for the park's 30th-anniversary celebration in 2022 which will begin with a New Year's Eve Kickoff Event. Plans include a retheme of the popular Poltergeist roller coaster, a Celebrate 30 Night Show, food festivals, displays, a mini-museum, and a new B&M Dive Coaster, Dr. Diabolical's Cliffhanger.[20] The latter ride officially opened on July 30, 2022.[21]

Areas edit

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

Thrill Seeker Park edit

Home to the old kidzopolis area.

DC Universe edit

The newest area in the park. The star attraction is Superman Krypton Coaster a 168 feet (51 m) tall Floorless Coaster themed to the DC Comics superhero Superman.

Los Festivales edit

Goliath located in Los Festivales

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.[citation needed]

Crackaxle Canyon Steampunk District edit

The Gully Washer located in Crackaxle Canyon

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, Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger, and The Gully Washer. It also includes the Whistle Stop train station for the Fiesta Texas Railroad.

Crackaxle Canyon is home to Lone Star Lil's Amphitheater. The outdoor venue 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 features several eateries: Bubba's River Cafe and Old Blue's BBQ offer indoor and outdoor seating. Thirsty Buffalo Saloon serves food and alcoholic beverages indoors. Chop Six, which serves Asian cuisine, and Totally Kickin' Chicken have outdoor seating. There are also several snack and beverage stands.[22]

Spassburg edit

A welcome sign to Spassburg

Spassburg is themed after a German village, and is dedicated to German heritage in Texas.

The village is home to Bugs' White Water Rapids and SkyScreamer. Spassburg is also home to two theater venues, Sangerfest Halle and a character encounter building.

Sangerfest Halle is home to many shows throughout the year as well as a food court offering a wide range of food. Spassburg has a sit-down restaurant that cater to the area, Sangerfest Halle.

Rockville edit

Looking towards Rockville

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.[23]

Fiesta Bay Boardwalk edit

Fiesta Bay Boardwalk Marquee

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 expansion area created in the park. The planks of the boardwalk were replaced in 2016 and the area was updated. Fatburger (formerly Johnny Rockets) is the only restaurant on the boardwalk.[24]

Hurricane Harbor San Antonio edit

Hurricane Harbor can only be entered from within the theme park at Crackaxle Canyon. The water park is home to more than 15 water slides and attractions including a massive wave pool in the shape of Texas. The newest attraction, Thunder Rapids Water Coaster, opened in 2017 as the world's tallest, longest and fastest ProSlide RocketBlast waterslide.[25] It 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.[26] In March 2023, it was renamed to Hurricane Harbor San Antonio.[27]

Live entertainment edit

The Six Flags bus in front of Rockville High, June 2004

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 Rockin' At Rockville High show (a 1950s style show) at the Rockville High School Theater.[28]

Guests of the park are welcomed by a wide array of characters and performers 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 guests in the park, before Six Flags had dropped the license to carry on the brand.[29]

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)[30] The park has garnered several of IAAPA's Brass Ring Awards including the awards for Best Male Performer in 2011, 2013, and 2015; the 2013 award for Best Female Performer; as well 2011's Best Overall Production (budget $100,000 - $200,000) for The Majesty of Christmas.[31][32][33] The park's halloween show, Mayer Slayer's Monster Mash Bash, was one of three finalists in 2015 for Best Overall Production (budget $100,000 - $200,000).[34]

Annual events edit

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.

  • Mardi Gras (January–February), a New Orleans–style Mardi Gras celebration throughout the park, first introduced in 2017. A nightly parade with employees of the park and park-goers on many themed floats.[35]
  • 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.[36][37]
  • 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.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ "Six Flags Honored with Three Golden Ticket Awards". Business Wire (Press release). September 15, 2022. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Six Flags (February 2021). Six Flags – 2020 Annual Report (PDF) (Report). p. 13 and 17. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Braun, Raymond (1999). "Theme park development case study — Fiesta Texas". Economics Research Associates. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Blast With the Best at Beckman Quarry". Rock Products. Vol. 117, no. 2. SEMCO Publishing. February 2014. pp. 56–57. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Hessong, Athena (November 16, 2017). "Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Its Journey from a Quarry to a Theme Park". Texas Hill Country.
  6. ^ a b c Baldwin, Tim (2008). "Fiesta Texas Turns Sweet Sixteen". RollerCoaster!. Vol. 30, no. 1. Zanesville, Ohio: American Coaster Enthusiasts. pp. 28–38. ISSN 0896-7261.
  7. ^ Marden, Duane. "Joker's Revenge  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  8. ^ "Time Warner Completes Sale of Stake in Six Flags for $440 Million in Cash | Time Warner Inc". Time Warner.
  9. ^ O'Brien, Tim (1998). "Premier Parks/Six Flags Exercises Option to Buy Fiesta Texas". Amusement Business.
  10. ^ Baldwin, Tim (September 2008). "Shows, seasonal events gives guests a break from rides" (PDF). Amusement Today. Vol. 12, no. 6.2. Arlington, Texas: Amusement Today. p. 18. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Sherborne, Pam (March 2006). "Fiesta Texas Waterpark Gains Four Attractions". Amusement Today. Vol. 9, no. 12. Arlington, Texas: Amusement Today. p. 19.
  12. ^ MacDonald, Brady (November 25, 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  13. ^ "Themed Areas: Six Flags Fiesta Texas". Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  14. ^ Fetcher, Joshua (August 30, 2018). "Six Flags Fiesta Texas to open Joker ride in 2019". San Antonio Express.
  15. ^ "Thrilling New Pendulum Ride Inspired By DC Super-Villain The Joker Opening at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2019". August 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas suspend operations through the end of March". March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  17. ^ "Fiesta Texas donates food, toilet paper to food bank and hospital". April 10, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  18. ^ "Six Flags Fiesta Texas announces reopening date". June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  19. ^ "Six Flags Fiesta Texas to reopen on June 19". June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  20. ^ "30th Anniversary Celebration". Six Flags. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  21. ^ "Thrill seekers flood Six Flags Fiesta Texas for opening of world's steepest dive coaster".
  22. ^ "Crackaxel Canyon". McKinney, Texas:
  23. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster  (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  24. ^ "Fatburger | Six Flags Fiesta Texas". SFFT Source. Retrieved 2023-09-15.
  25. ^ Baldwin, Tim (July 2017). "Fiesta Texas and ProSlide debut world's biggest rocket blast coaster" (pdf). Amusement Today. Vol. 21, no. 4. Arlington, Texas. pp. 16–17. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  26. ^ "White Water Bay". Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Six Flags Fiesta Texas [@sixflagsfiestatexas] (March 23, 2023). "We are so excited to announced an enchanced water park experience!" – via Instagram.
  28. ^ "Rockville High School, Rockville Productions". Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  29. ^ MacDonald, Brady (25 November 2010). "Six Flags amusement parks prepare for thematic makeovers". LA Times. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Kleiman, joe (November 21, 2013). "2013 Brass Ring Awards Presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo". Milwaukee, WI: inPark Magazine. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  32. ^ Kleiman, joe (November 19, 2015). "IAAPA Announces 2015 Brass Ring Awardees". Milwaukee, WI: inPark Magazine. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  33. ^ Rubin, Judith (November 19, 2011). "IAAPA Brass Ring Awards presented at 2011 Attractions Expo in Orlando". Milwaukee, WI: inPark Magazine. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  34. ^ "Tokyo DisneySea's "King Triton's Concert" Wins the 2015 IAAPA Brass Ring Award Best Overall Production - Budget of $1 Million or more Category!". Audio By The Bay Entertainment Group. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Baldwin, Tim. "Six Flags Fiesta Texas keeps Mardi Gras going with safety protocols". Amusement Today. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  36. ^ "Six Flags announces a reimagined haunt season with Hallowfest". August 18, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  37. ^ "Hallowfest will return to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, but without haunted houses or indoor shows". August 19, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.

External links edit