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.Tweet
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