SIX FLAGS OVER TEXAS
& Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas
Six Flags Theme Parks
Park News - (12/5/13) As predicted, the new Intamin style seat belts were added to Titan this week. Check out the picture sent in by a reader, who also mentioned at length the horrible load times and stacking of trains that are now taking place as a result of the belt, limited staff on the platform and new safety checks.
(11/19/13) Readers at Six Flags Magic Mountain report that their Goliath coaster has now added seat-belts because of the Texas Giant accident. Since Goliath is the sister ride to Titan, it is a safe bet that seat-belts will be added to Titan as well before the park reopens for the 2014 season.
(11/4/13) According to the latest update the family lawsuit against Six Flags over Texas over the death on the New Texas Giant was amended to also include Gerstlauer as a co-defendant. This isn’t surprising as Six Flags has said all along that they denied any claims of negligence and that they followed all safely protocols and standards from the manufacture of the train and restraint system, Gerstlauer, which was previously not named in the lawsuit. Click here to read more.
(10/24/13) Six Flags over Texas claims that the park’s annual attendance and profits took a huge hit following the accident that shut down the Texas Giant for the second half of the busy Summer season. While they don’t give exact numbers, I’ve heard that the accident alone wasn’t the only reason for the potential drop in profits and attendance, as more than a few guest complaints also made their way to me over the summer for a variety of issues.
Having visited SFOT in the Summer of 2011, the park was running great all around during my visit, and I heard really no complaints from the 2011 or 2012 seasons. So I’ve got to wonder what changed in 2013? According to one insider, new management in the park with a focus on operational budget cutting, micro management issues, attraction downtime issues, limited restaurant hours with early close times and just too many poor customer service issues have done enough damage that the local park fans may have opted to stay away and report the bad times in the park to their friends via social media. The accident certainly did not help... but it was just one more iceberg to hit an already sinking ship. Lets hope they get their act back together for the 2014 season.
(10/9/13) Six Flags has responded to the lawsuit filed over the death of a rider on the Texas Giant in July. In short, Six Flags says that they followed all procedures and policy from the manufacture of the train, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides of Germany. Gerstlauer also designed the restraint system as well as the green light safety system mentioned as possibly being at fault in the lawsuit from the family, and as such Six Flags says they should not be held liable. Six Flags met all the proper safety standards and the coaster and all systems also passed inspection from an independent inspector at the start of the season as well. As for Gerstlauer… they have strangely not been named in the lawsuit from the family, only Six Flags.
(10/7/13) Good news for Six Flags over Texas… Shockwave has reopened to park guests this weekend.
(9/27/13) A full review of Fright Fest at Six Flags over Texas was posted by ThemeParkOverload this week, including reviews of each of the haunted mazes.
(9/25/13) ThemeParkOverload has confirmed our report on the new biometric scanner / passes put into effect over the weekend and has posted their own first-hand report on the new process which is expected to be launched chain-wide by the start of the 2014 season.
(9/23/13) A document sent to Screamscape revealed details about a new biometric season pass system that was to lauch this weekend at Six Flags over Texas. (I’m not sure if it did or not however... so if you saw it, please write in to confirm.) Guests who purchased their 2014 season passes will notice the pass has changed, with the photo no longer on the card and finger scanning units to be used instead to link the guest to their card, based on the measurements of their finger. Upon returning to the park in the future, guess will then quickly scan their card and finger before entering the park. The paper Value Book coupons are also gone, instead your discount coupons will be digitally loaded onto your season pass card.
(9/18/13) A Screamscape reader reports back from the newly reopened Texas Giant. It seems that Six Flags or Gerstlauer has opted to remove those little green lights that would report if the lap bar was down far enough or not. The procedure now is for the ride ops to load and check the train’s restraints as you would expect, and then wait for the panel op to give the thumbs up if they are all good, or if a certain row needs to be rechecked.
Unfortunately, I’m also told that they only had two ride ops working the load station, checking the restraints, which was causing the dispatch interval to skyrocket up to about 6 minutes per train, unless they had members of management pitching in to help. Seems they really need to double-down put four ops on the train, but that’s an argument for another time.
I’ve also been told that the new lap bar / seat belt combo has indeed made things a tighter fit than before, and riders who had previously been ok to ride before the accident are now finding themselves taking the walk of shame. Of course the good news is, for the majority of guests who still fit just fine, the new restraint pad is said to be ‘quite comfy’.
(9/16/13) As mentioned, the Texas Giant has reopened and has added a test seat outside the queue. You can see the seat and new lapbar shape sent out on Twitter.
(9/12/13) Last night Six Flags announced they would reopen the Texas Giant and now the other shoe has dropped, the lawsuit filed by the family of the woman killed has also been announced. The lawsuit claims that the green-light safety system used on the train is dangerous because it creates “a false sense of security and complacency on the part of the operators of the ride”. The lawsuit also alleges that “inspections later found there were inconsistencies in the relative locking positions of the safety bars” and that a “limit switch” for a restraint in the car that the victim fell out of was replaced after it was found to be defective.
They fail to explain exactly what this “limit switch” does however, and while they say it was replaced on a restraint in the car that the victim fell out of, they do not claim that it was from the victim’s actual restraint.
In the end, this is a terrible tragedy for everyone and I’ve got a feeling we will end up seeing this settled out of court before too long.
(9/11/13) The Texas Giant is slated to reopen this weekend!
Six Flags has released the following statement:
Six Flags Over Texas today announced that it has completed the investigation of the recent accident involving the Texas Giant roller coaster, with the ride train manufacturer, internal engineers and external experts ruling out any mechanical failure of the ride. Due to litigation, the company is not releasing any further information about the outcome of the investigation.
Park officials plan to re-open the Texas Giant coaster this weekend, following the addition of incremental and overlapping safety measures for the ride that include re-designed restraint-bar pads from the manufacturer and new seat belts. As with other rides in the park, guests with unique body shapes or sizes may not fit into the restraint system. The company is providing a coaster seat at the ride entrance so guests can test their fit prior to entering the ride line.
"We are heartbroken and will forever feel the pain and sadness of this tragic accident. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Esparza," said Steve Martindale, park president of Six Flags Over Texas. "The safety of our guests and employees is our company's absolute highest priority and we try to take every reasonable precaution to eliminate the risk of accidents."
The Texas Giant has undergone extensive testing and has received approval from the state of Texas, Department of Insurance, to resume operation.
"The Texas Giant is one of my favorite rides in the park," added Martindale. "My staff, family and I are pleased to be among the first riders as we prepare to re-open the Texas Giant for our guests."
Six Flags has successfully operated regional theme parks for 52 years and takes great pride in the quality of its safety record, ride maintenance and employee training, safely delivering approximately
200 million rides each year. According to data gathered by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the industry safely provides approximately 1.7 billion rides annually in the United States and the likelihood of a person being seriously injured on a permanently-located amusement park ride is extremely remote.
(9/5/13) Good news, looks like the problem with Judge Roy was just temporary, as a reader visited the park on Monday (Labor Day) and found the Judge up and running once again. While there has been no official comment from SFOT regarding when we might see the Texas Giant reopen, a reader tells us that a security guard posted at the Giant was telling guests that if it reopened this year, it wouldn’t be until very near the end of the season. Otherwise, it looks like most of you should not expect to see it reopen until 2014…
(9/3/13) Good news from Six Flags over Texas as I’ve heard reported sightings of Shockwave making test runs. If all goes well and it passes a new inspection, the coaster could be up and running before the end of the month. A fair warning though, if it does reopen, they may stick with one train operation for the rest of the season.
The pending reopening of Shockwave however, comes along with a report that Judge Roy Scream may have also just shut down due to an unknown problem. Guests to the park report that a barricade was set up blocking the entrance tunnel.
(8/29/13) While there has been no news or developments with the Texas Giant as of late, I’ve heard a couple of reports indicating that there has been activity seen on Shockwave lately, giving hope that we may see it reopen before the season ends. A reader who passed by the park also noticed that both of Shockwave’s trains had returned to the transfer track once again.
(7/25/13) A few new details about the death of “Rosa Irene Ayala-Gaona” were released by the Medical Examiner’s Office (formerly identified as Rosy Esparza). They say she was ejected from her seat and fell about 75 feet before striking a metal beam. While they have not listed the official cause of death, they also say that her body was found on top of a tunnel for the Texas Giant.
There are three tunnel segments, all during the final moments of the ride. I would think it might be hard for her to have fallen on the second one, but there is a twisted air-time hill right over the entrance to the first tunnel. I think there is an airtime hill coming out of the first drop that is near the ride’s third and final tunnel, which is also very close to the ride’s queue. The news report is confusing however, as it says she was, “ejected from her third-row seat as the ride began a steep descent along the track’s first large hill.” I have serious doubts she was ejected on the first drop, as I would think she would have needed an extreme pop of negative-G at the top of a hill to be ejected.
The rest of the news report seems full of false facts, as they claim a dozen people were injured on the Texas Giant in the last 5 years… but the ride has only been open a little over 2 years.
(7/22/13) After a couple of days, we know just a little more about the accidental death that took place on the Texas Giant on Friday evening. @NewsBreaker on Twitter posted a picture of the victim on Saturday as Rosy Esparza. Later updates by the local news stations also claim to have interviewed a woman who was next in line for Rosy’s seat in the station who claims that she showed concern about how the lap bar did not “click” more than once, but in reality Texas Giant’s lap bars use a hydraulic restraint system that does not produce any kind of “click” with a double redundant safety system to hold it in place. I believe there are also small green lights on the back of the train cars that come on to tell the ride ops that the lapbars have been lowered far enough and locked in place. Unless all the seat lights are lit green, the train should not be able to be dispatched out onto the ride course.
So for now the investigation is ongoing to determine just what happened. I’ve going to avoid any kind of speculation about how this may have happened because it is not my place and there is far too much we do not know. This is a tragedy from anyway you look at it, both for the family of the deceased and for the Six Flags family as well, so our thoughts are with you all right now.
For anyone wondering, as a precaution Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas is also closed indefinitely while the accident investigation is ongoing.
(7/19/13 - 9:40pm EST) Horrible news from Six Flags over Texas this evening as the park has confirmed that a woman has died during a ride on the Texas Giant. “We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant. Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time.”
The park has yet to mention exactly how she died, but according to possible witness reports on Twitter, she somehow slipped out of the restraints and fell out during a turn. More on this as we find out.
(6/28/13) The latest word from SFOT sources is that whatever took Shockwave down, broke at least 2-3 weeks ago. Current park guests may notice that only one train remains on the rails. According to the rumor mill a train may have thrown a wheel or broke a wheel assembly. If true the broken section then scraped along the rails, possibly causing track damage along the way until it skidded to a stop. Either way, whatever is damaged and needs repair will require special custom parts to be manufactured, which will take a long time. Bottom line… unfortunately it looks like Shockwave is most likely closed for the rest of the season.
(6/27/13) Anyone been by SFOT lately? Rumor has it that something broke on Shockwave that could possibly keep the old girl closed for the remainder of the season. Anyone know more?
2014 - Kids Area Expansion / New Slides For Hurricane Harbor - (8/29/13) Six Flags over Texas will expand the park's kids area in 2014, adding new rides and shaded rest areas. Meanwhile Hurricane Harbor across the way will also add a yet to be named new multi-featured waterslide, with details to be announced later.
???? - DC Universe - Rumor - (2/27/12) While we shouldn’t expect to see this right away, I’ve heard that there are long term plans in the works for Six Flags over Texas to expand DC Gotham City themed area between Mr. Freeze and Batman into an entire DC Universe themed area, much like what was done at Six Flags Magic Mountain last year when they added the Green Lantern coaster. Given that the park owns the land used by the closed mini-mall behind Batman, this site has long been rumored to be used for a possible DC Universe themed expansions over the years, including once being considered as a home for another Dark Knight indoor mouse coaster project by Shapiro’s crew back in the day.
No word on if Flashback will remain or be removed in the process as that coaster has certainly been showing it’s age as of late.