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New details emerge on Six Flags' Texas Giant renovation

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Published: March 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Six Flags Over Texas yesterday revealed new details about its $10 million renovation of the Texas Giant roller coaster.

As rumored, Texas Giant is getting a steel infusion, making the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. wooden coaster a more modern hybrid. Unlike wooden/steel hybrids such as Holiday World's The Voyage and Six Flags Great Adventure's El Toro, however, Texas Giant will run on an entirely steel track when it reopens for the 2011 season.

Six Flags is calling it an "Iron Horse Coaster" track, and it involves bolting 40- to 53-foot lengths of steel I-beam to Texas Giant's existing wooden support structure. With the steel track in place, the new Texas Giant will stand 10 feet taller than its old 143 feet and run faster, to a top speed of 65 miles per hour. It will also featured a 79-degree first drop, steeper than El Toro's, and incorporate several 95-degree banked turns.

Is this enough to get you to make a trip to Six Flags Over Texas for the park's 50th anniversary in 2011? What do you think about the trend toward steel hybrids in wooden mega-coasters?

Personally, I'm cool with designers using whatever materials, tools and methods available to create unique track designs and ride experiences. I never cared much for the whole wooden vs. steel thing, anyway. Let designs evolve and judge them on their own merits, rather than trying to enforce old classifications for the purpose of continuing silly debates.

I'd also like to see Six Flags reclaim some of the inertia the chain had back in its heyday, during the 1970s. (Remember, at one point, Six Flags was just as big a deal as Disney in theme parks. Maybe bigger.) Eventually, the chain needs to offer more dark rides and immersive experiences, but a fresh, family-friendly (i.e. no inversions) coaster hybrid could be a step in the right direction.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on March 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM
Yeah, Great America representatives mentioned that the chain is going all out for a big celebration for the 50th year!
From Derek Potter on March 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM
I guess that's one way to not have to retrack as much. I have a feeling that if this goes well, we will see some Dinn Corp wooden coasters get this treatment. One in particular, the Mean Streak at Cedar Point. Cedar Point should know about this stuff. The Gemini was built 30 years ago with the same formula...wooden structure, tubular steel track. It still runs great. The helix at the end has gotten rougher though.
From James Rao on March 4, 2010 at 9:16 PM
Been thinking about a Texas trip for a while, but 2011 is looking like my Harry Potter/Universal vacation...

Still, hitting SFoT and Jerry's World, then cruising down to SF Fiesta Texas (what is up with all the fuss concerning this park's shows???) would make a fine trip. And there's a pretty cool SeaWorld and some Schlitterbahn's to visit, as well. Heck, I can even hit Frontier City (crappy PARC establishment in Oklahoma) on the way back home.

And I hear Pappadeaux's makes some real fine seafood platters...

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