bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

1/26 - beautiful weather + no crowds? perfect time at SFFT
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:06 pm

interrupting my Japan report for an update to the Texas thread:

so Friday was chilly and nasty in Texas (low 40's and light rain/mist all day).

it was also a day I had already put in for Vacation, to make use of my last "use it or lose it" day before year end several weeks back.

I had talked Nick into also taking the 20th off, and decided we'd go to San Antonio for the day.

SFFT didn't open up until 5pm, but since had never actually gotten to go to the San Antonio Zoo (opening at noon) together -- despite multiple tries over the past 16 years. . something *always* happened and we didn't make the trip.

So I was annoyed at the weather, that was showing heavy rain, and just plain nastiness hitting the area on Friday.

but I had told Nick that regardless, I wanted to go, and likely would even if he didn't (he *HATES* cold weather). Tho had agreed if it was pouring, that likely would blow off the zoo and maybe I'd just head down in the evening - not that I wanted to deal with afternoon traffic on a Friday, in poor conditions, just before a Holiday week.

but I *really* wanted to see the Holiday lights up at Fiesta Texas. (and I love zoos, and hadn't been to the San Antonio one, even by myself, in over a decade).

upon waking up on Friday morning and checking the weather? yes, it looked like it was going to be chilly and drizzly, but all the heavy rain was going to slide to our East, more towards Houston. . . so with my superpower of "Jewish Guilt"?

was able to convince Nick to bundle up, and we hopped in the car for the ~2 1/2 hour drive to San Antonio (traffic was still pretty slow due to conditions, and we pulled off to grab a bite to eat in New Braunfels around 12:30, so that added 45 minutes to the drive).

but soon enough, we pulled into the San Antonio Zoo.
Wasn't quite sure where to park, as it had been a really long time since I had been there.

we passed a few lots, and a large parking garage up the hill from the Zoo entrance. I had insisted Nick bring his cane, but was a little worried about the steep hill coming down from the garage. . so I drove down to the Zoo entrance and rolled down the window to ask the employees out front where we should park (there was nobody at the booths, so they were just hanging out chatting at the ticket booths).

they pointed us to just around the corner in front of the train station (which wasn't running due to weather). I asked how much it was, and they said free parking!

So we parked literally right next to the zoo entrance (maybe a 2 minute walk) and it was free? the lot was pretty empty due to the weather. . maybe 20 cars total?

I wondered if many of the animals would be out and about, but still, would much rather be here on a quiet day, even if it was cold and moist.
even better? when we got to the booth, and I mentioned that I had stupidly forgotten to purchase our tickets online - which I had even talked about then just didn't do, since it would have saved us a few bucks? She gave Nick the Senior discount (which saved a nice chunk of $$).

and with that, into the zoo we went!
they are doing an evening thing called "Zoo lights" and the entire zoo was just covered with lighting, and diorama areas that mostly looked fantastic during the day. I can imagine how great they would look at night.

we weren't going to be staying until it got really dark, planning to head out around 5 - since we still had to get over to Fiesta, and we knew we'd be dealing with SA rush hour traffic. . . but since it was so overcast, we got to enjoy a lot of the lights anyways.
my worries about some animals not being out in the enclosures, were put to rest upon walking in. . as the bears were all out frolicking in the cooler weather.

oh, there were some animals that were hanging out only in the burrows, or deep behind logs. . but at least one of most animals were out in the enclosure.

the zoo was pretty deserted. . us and one other couple (who had parked next to us and walked in with us) were the only ones over here. The bears seemed excited to see people looking at them :)
turns out the zoo has several "inside" areas. . which made Nick super happy, as they were warm inside.

and with the zoo pretty empty? we were really the only ones inside, and were able to take our time and get great looks at the animals on display.

1st stop like this you come upon when entering the zoo? the Aquarium building.

here's a turtle.
and a stingray
and some jellyfish
almost all the food & souvenier stands were closed today. . there just wasn't the crowd, and it was too cold.

as it was getting darker tho the stands selling the blinking lights started to open up. . the zoo was open until 10, so I'm sure they got an evening crowd to see the lights, despite the nasty weather.

these frozen bananas made me laugh tho.
this cool guy, was just hanging out stalking anyone who dared come to the zoo today.
then it was time to head into the next "indoor" building. .the warm Reptile house. Again, only ones in here, so could get up really close to the enclosures, without tons of folks tapping on the glass bothering the reptiles.

Texas Rattlesnake.
this guy was super interesting. . a rattlesnake without a rattle.
ah. . now HERE'S a rattle.
this geko was just hanging out (literally) on the glass at the front of the enclosure
this is a King Cobra.

yes, it's yawning!

I had no idea snakes yawn. . .the handler in the building told us that they do, but it's rare, and how great that I was able to catch it in a picture!

(I'm a photo ninja. . LOL)
these old skool machines are all over the zoo, and the smell of the wax brought back so many memories.

these two didn't offer plastic animals tho. . unless you consider a Christmas Tree
and a Santa Claus as an animal. . .
on the "great lawn" area, some of the animal lights display for the Zoo Lights promotion.
a photo op display board?

why yes, thank you!
back out in the cold areas, but first into a separate enclosure to take a look at the Giant Anaconda, just handing out in the water inside it's huge space.
think this was a Condor? it was cleaning it's wings, and was "posing" for me.
tons of art around this zoo, including in the trees above (this is near the Fruit bat/armadillo exhibit). .and how amazing it was to be in that small building getting to see these creatures, without a ton of folks around!
more art, tho not sure why the Hippo area was the North Pole.

it looked so great once it got a bit darker all lit up.
only one other couple in this building with us, and the Hippos were having a grand ol time playing and romping in the water.
coming up for air.

the enclosure is a large one, so you can get views under the water, and above them.
this guy went into the corner, and took a gigantic poop. . while looking at the other hippo playing.

he then quickly left the water, once he fouled it (can you blame him?). . . .just thought it was funny, but no, I did NOT take a picture of the pooping.
but did catch him quickly getting out of the water once he was done.
I pitty the fool who messes with this gineua fowl.
none of the Elephants were out (I think we just caught them during feeding, as the Giraffes and Rhinos were eating when we went by, although we could still see those guys even when eating). The elephants weren't in the enclosure tho. . but it's a really big one with lots of stuff for them to interact with.
LOVE this Rhino sculpture.
Zebra was just hanging out. . in the back area, so an odd angle, but was still lovely to see.
Tiger just chillin watching me watching him
Kangaroos were all back in the hovel area eating. . but was still able to view them and get a decent pic
heading over to the "older" side of the zoo, there are a bunch of dis-used enclosures.

not sure what used to be in this particular one, but love that the zoo simply decided to utilize it for the tree
including with an information sign at the front of it. . . LOL
the older section is mainly enclosures featuring birds/waterfowl and fish / turtle type animals.

I didn't take too many pics over here, but thought this guy - who I believe is an endangered crane from Africa - was very Goth looking.
still not dark enough to really appreciate, but here is a look at one end of the "bird" corridor (those are all separate cages with different birds in them behind all that pink garland).

this particular area was just covered in pink lights.
and in the central hub of the zoo?

the Carousel - which most zoos have these days.

San Antonio Zoo actually has two carousels now (will get to the other one in a moment), but this one is more of a standard Zoo Carousel: Lots of really well done animals to choose from for a ride, and even a birds nest (lower right of this pic), which I *think* you can spin when riding.

it is only $3 a ride, which is reasonable.

you'll be shocked to hear that I actually did NOT take a ride on this one here.

the weather was just a little bit too miserable for Nick to be willing to ride, so he was a pass - but I knew he'd ride with me on the one at Fiesta. so I knew I'd get my carousel fix there anyways later tonight. As it was getting late, I just decided to skip this on this trip, and will catch it another time.

it's a lovely carousel tho.
some really nice animals on this Carousel tho. . .including a truly impressive Eagle (the actual Bald Eagle was in an enclosure near the Carousel and I'm always in awe of seeing these birds live. .this one was no exception).

that lizard/geko thing tho. . .LOL. . if I had ridden? I would have ridden that!
a Hippo, an Alpaca, a Seal, and. . . . a Chicken????
better shot of the Eagle coming around. . . really nicely done by the sculptor. That huge wingspan is great.
cutting back across the "great lawn" to the sloths (not out tho, too cold for them), and amphibian houses. ..the lights in the trees are starting to show up a little.

really nicely done by the zoo to draw folks in.
there were several signs featuring Polar Bears, including this one that had a height chart.
and they even put up mini photo ops.

like this Mistletoe stop.. (and yes, we did take one doing kissie-face. . . but this picture just came out better) :P
but surprisingly, the zoo doesn't seem to have one.
(at least not in any display/enclosure that we came across or saw the park map).

so here, the giant Coke inflatables, are the San Antonio Zoo's Polar Bear exhibit !
a fairly new section was a slab (it's the only way I can describe it), of concrete with some sad old-school rides plopped down on it.

I love the design work on the signage, as well as on the main gates to get into the area (you can get there from either inside the zoo, or from the outside entrance, without paying zoo admission).

It's a great idea, that just doesn't look great at this time. . only sad.

but the idea in concept is good, and hopefully some foliage will grow in, and help make it look less depressing.

(since the signs are saying "now open". . I'm guessing this is a really recent addition).
the entrance to the kiddie park from outside the main gates.
looking down from the trail inside the zoo near the reptile house, there's a train, an old skool plane, a very retro kiddie merry-go-round, and there was also a circular boat ride, and what looked like a miniature whip.
I'm not the audience for this section of the zoo/park. .it's obviously targeting very young kids.

but yeah, this merry-go-round seemed a bit too ghetto for even me (no organ music playing, or even organ visible). . so didn't even check to see if I COULD go in to ride it - tho I'd assume they would have let me.

Again, I think it's a good concept, and just needs to "fill in" a bit more. . . but as noted, I'm not the target audience here.
we headed to the car around 5:15pm, checked google maps, and saw that if I just hopped back on 281 to loop 1604, we'd be at SFFT in no time.

and sure enough, even with rush hour traffic, just before a Holiday week, we were pulling into SFFT's lot by ~5:40.

they were NOT busy, but they were open. We were able to pull all the way up to row 12, and were thru security check and in the park in minutes. (and it turned out that it was Bring a Friend Free day for passholders too). . but the weather really worked in our favor.

it was deserted - after checking to see if they were handing out tickets for the Majesty of Christmas - the big Nativity show they do, with live animals (it turned out they were not, at least for the early show, they told us just join the line), we headed to the left, and I grabbed a walk on ride on Goliath.

Back row on left side. . only one on back end of coaster. . great ride.

Here's the main entrance way, before we cut left over to Goliath.
it was only ~5:50, and they didn't open the theater for the 6:30 Magestry of Christmas for another 10 minutes, so we wandered up to the central plaza to look closer at the lights/photo ops, and I found Tweety and Taz posing.

so yep, I stopped.
the walk thru ornament is from last year, but I think the light up presents might be new this year?

so pretty, and with the ground all wet, they reflected beautifully.
and I found one other couple who was looking around for someone to take pictures (for some reason, although there were some professional park photogs out? they weren't in the central plaza. .they were further up towards the gate - I got one of them to do a Tweety/Taz for me. . but here? we were on our own, so "Traded' taking pics of folks, who then took pics for us.

that's how we both got in this pic.
and in this one, inside the giant ornament.
So pretty. . . looking back towards the main entrance from the central plaza.

the people lining up on the right are waiting for the gates to open so they could go inside to the theater for the Nativity show.
Gates opened, so we headed to the theater, but not before snapping a pic as we walked back.

Boomerang *was* open. . actually *all* coasters were open, but they weren't cycling much, since there were no lines.
We went into the theater about 20 minutes before the show started, and ended up sitting about 4 rows back on the aisle (which is used during the production for animals, and singers to come down).

Nick didn't mind, since it was warm in here, and we had cushioned seats (this is the big theater that has the individual seats, not benches).

I posted this pic on my FB while sitting here and commenting that "I'm SUCH a good Jew"

to which my Brother responded with a pic of him dressed as Santa Claus with my Sister-in-Law on his lap. . . saying it was HIS Chanukah costume.

inside sitting. . . in a mostly empty theater.

tho i think they may have gotten ~150 people for the 1st showing (and the 2nd showing later that night seemed to have at least 500).
the voices were, for the most part, really good.

in particular the lead narrator, and the male Angel. Broadway level talent in this show here.

and neither the donkey nor the camel pooped on stage during the 30 minute show. . . so that's a win, right?
the Male angel, who I noted had a good voice dropped down from the ceiling to sing
and he was joined by two female angels who swung out on leads from the sides of the stage over the audience.
really well done production values. . . it was good for a "standard" show. . but for a theme park show?

really impressive.
and when the 3 kings came down the central aisle. . one of whom on a large camel?

wow moment.
and the animal was so well behaved on the stage!
here is where it got a bit funny, and Nick and I both giggled a bit. . . as it turned into a Saturday Night Live skit.

the two angels came back out from the sides of the stage, and I suppose are supposed to gently float back and forth.

whomever was controlling the rigs? had them doing FULL swings from side to side, over the audience.

the ladies had big smiles plastered on their faces, but they were starting to turn a little bit green as they continued the violent swings.

maybe the regular operator was out sick, and a child had grabbed the joystick controller?
they got some big swings in tho. . .
we enjoyed the show, and then continued our way around the park.

in the alleyway across from Sangerfest Halle - over by where the entrance to Bugs' Whitewater Rapids is, were all the Holiday food offerings, set up in tents - including Bread Bowls full of Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Tortilla Soup, or Chili; Hot apple cider, Bacon wrapped meatballs, cobbler in a cone (blueberry, cherry, apple), and several different drink options.

Neither of us were really hungry, but we had Snack options to use on our dining pass (which was good for most of the Holiday snacks), and I still have a full meal voucher (from the Joker commercial shoot) which had to be used by end of 2019

And since we were right across from Sangerfest Halle, we could get the food, and go in there (where it was warmer) to sit and eat.

so I got the Broccoli Cheedar Bread Bowl (Snack), Nick got the Apple Cobbler cone (snack), and for the meal voucher, we got the turkey leg and a soda. . and we sat down in here to nibble. . .and it turned out there was a show starting in here at 7:30, so we hung out and waited for it while we ate.
Nick with his Apple Cobbler cone.
Here's the show that was in Sangerfest Halle: "Happy Holidays" - new for 2019

from the Holiday in the Park page:
Contemporary winter classics like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” resonate in Sangerfest Halle during this updated version of Happy Holidays!

we stayed for about 15 minutes of it. . they were um. . . .very energetic.

decent voices (tho not as good as the ones in the Nativity show), but they came out into the center of the hall and did some songs "in the round". . so they got pretty close to where we were sitting. . which made "someone" I was with a little uncomfortable. LOL

(I told him we couldn't leave while they were so close, it was rude. . but the moment the mike stands made it back up to the main stage? we booked it and went next door for the Carousel).
on a Carousel. . so big smiles, even tho he was miserable with how chilly it was.

the Carousel organ seemed to be refreshed and back, and was playing versions of Christmas tunes. quite lovely.
Didn't get my bunny, as this ride actually did have a lot of kiddos on it, and one of them went directly to White Rabbit.

So instead I rode an ostrich.

what was interested, is that there were TWO benches on the carousel, not just the standard one, that this particular one has always had. (or that I would swear always had).

so either SFFT got enough requests to add another bench for those that wanted to ride with the kiddos, but can't do animals and need to sit? or, they are rotating out rows of animals to keep them maintained, and dropping in the bench where needed to replace the missing row.

either way, it's great to have two benches now, for those that wish to sit,and not have to climb onto anything.
the organ, and the back of one of the benches.
the nasty weather was playing havoc with some of the lights. . . a chunk of the big tree in Rockville was out (but otherwise the tree still was lovely).

the "snow" (ie: foam) was still blowing like crazy from the rooftops thruout our visit tho. .and you can see remnants of it on the ground in this pic.
we were headed to Wonder Woman tho. . . even tho Nick was DONE at this point, not even wanting to ride the train. (Holiday Express). . . but he was willing to wait for me, which I said I was going to ride if it was a short line.
no one was in line.

I seriously walked right onto a train in the station, and directly into the back seat (only the 1st two seats were taken).

whee. . and as usual. . this sucker was FLYING when the track was wet.
see? here's a side view of the station when we walked over to the boardwalk to check things out (dead over there too, but since Nick was done riding, we skipped Pandemonium, wave runner, spinsanity, the Disc-o, and Pirates).

Wonder Woman line is non-existant. . directly into the station, and onto the train.
we missed the Singing Saps (trees with animated mouths/eyes that sing carols. . we saw them, but it was between "shows" so they were just regular trees when we passed them).

but we did catch a couple of songs by the TinselTones in Rockville, as we passed by coming back from the Boardwalk.

they are a very good acappella group, and they do Christmas Carols.
a little blurry, but looking back down the main street of Rockville (soon to be DCU??). . you can see that the weather took out not only some lights in the main tree? but also the lights in the trees on the right side of the street.

we saw something similar in CrackAxle, where the left side of the street, all the trees were out.
we got stopped by the Holiday Express going by, so got a chance to snap some pics of Joker/Supervillain Swing at night.

both rides look incredible at night.
wheeeee!! that sucker REALLY gets up there.
I hadn't planned to ride Joker, but told Nick that if the line was short, I'll hop on it.

yes, it's cold, and this ride - being all about the velocity of the swing - would probably really be cold. . but if there was a short line? I wanted to take advantage.

it was less than a 2 minute wait to get into the funhouse (and after that, another 2 minutes to get on the ride. . so I got in line and he waited for me).

pic from the queue.
Joker really is incredible at night.

a handful of pics to close out this TR continued in next post!
Last edited by bert425 on Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:45 pm.

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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:26 pm

12/20 trip continued
about to get on Joker
oh. .I forgot to mention, the Wonder Woman statue in front of golden lasso coaster is MIA (maybe having work done?). .but finally, the Superman statue has shown up across from the entrance to Krypton Coaster.

looks great!
new ride signs are up all over the park.

Personally, I think people are going to be afraid to ride it, so hopefully the line will stay rather short.
no fireworks tonight. . not sure they even do any during holiday in the park. . but it was way too wet for them to do any regardless.

but the waterfalls really look incredible at night, reflecting back the Holiday lights.
Looking back at the bright ring of white, that Joker provides at the apex of it's swing.
another new for 2019 "show" we caught:


yeah.. . it's like if World Of Color mechanicals were sourced by the Dollar Store.

or if the Bellagio Fountains were in front of Circus Circus.

it wasn't "bad". . let's just say that we've seen way better, and it was a little underwhelming.

but the music was enjoyable, and the lights and movement WAS synchronized pretty well.
the Launch towers have been moved over to the boardwalk, and they have begun working on the ride area for "DareDevil Dive". . in the ride pad spot over near Rattler where Wagon Wheel used to be way back when.

no one working tonight, of course. . .but the equipment is there.

this is going to be a stunning picture spot once the new ride is in place!
Ratter was almost a walk on, but I could tell from Nick's disapproving look when I noted that "the line wasn't even on the ramps" that he was DONE. So I will just ride it on my next visit (when it's back to 2 train ops), and we continued on towards the main gates.

this is a new section for 2019, between CrackAxle and Santa's workshop. . .called "CandyCane Lane"

it really is well done, and the colors look fantastic! (even, again, with some lights victim to the weather)
a peek at Scream down the train tracks
me and candy canes. . .Yummy!
Nick yelling at me that he's cold and I stopped to take another picture. . .LOL
we popped into Santa's Workshop, since there was absolutely no line.

I would have done a picture with Santa, but then realized it was professional pics they are selling for ~$20, so I was happy just to get a peek inside the building.

very well done, with some nice Christmas trees.

unfortunately, this lady stepped right in front of Santa when I snapped this pic, so you can only kinda see him. .but he's there, with a kiddo on his lap. (yeah, only line 5 people here, and she got in my picture. . LOL. . oh well).
the Cast Members working out front of the workshop were in a great mood, even tho it was cold!

and were happy to be in a pic with me.
it was maybe 8:45 at this point, as we headed back to the main plaza (i had to get my pics from earlier). . so lovely.

and even better with the reflections, since there was no crowd about.

not great for the park, I suppose, but great for pictures!
SO pretty.
I'm a purple Prezzie
and Nick is Blue
yeah, we're leaving when there are no lines, and I could ride things more. .but OK, I've had a great time.

besides, look what I just spotted up front, with NO line for pics.
yep, all of em out, in Holiday garb!

i knew there was no way we'd be hanging around long enough to get the Professional Photog pic, but his assistant happily took my phone to snap some pics for us too (it was the lady that marched with the baton in the Mardi Gras parade back in Feb, and she was flattered I remembered her!).

but that's why Nick is not looking at my camera, but instead is staring straight ahead at the professional pic taker.

(note tho that most of the character actors realized that we were headed out and that MY camera would be the one to look at).
love Babs' pose :)
here is the professional pic from earlier
and a few of me on Wonder Woman.

Pretty much an empty train. . love this pic
and with Holiday Border
and Wonder Woman border
Goliath standard boarder
and here's Goliath with Holiday border.

worth it to pick up the cheap annual photo pass option, just for pics like these :)

Hope you enjoyed!

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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:46 am

Great report!

Fiesta Texas's holiday show looks quite a bit different than the ones at New England and Great Adventure. The one up here is a combination of music and dancing and stunts.
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:42 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Great report!

Fiesta Texas's holiday show looks quite a bit different than the ones at New England and Great Adventure. The one up here is a combination of music and dancing and stunts.


as to the "big" show. . . as I always say, Texans love their "Church". . . even with the small audience, the crowd actually applauded when Mary gave 'birth' and they announced Jesus was born.

a little strange, since we're not all that religious. . but as noted, the voices were mostly excellent. So it was well worth seeing :)

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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:31 pm

So. . yesterday was my Mom's Yahrzeit (the anniversary of her Death).

it's been 3 years, but is still a really tough day for me.

So instead of just sitting at home and staring at the candle i lit in her memory (and being depressed), I hopped in the car, and headed to Fiesta Texas - Spouse didn't come with, as we're having some work done at the house, and he wanted to stay here to monitor

as I put it on Facebook: "think I'm gonna drive down to Fiesta Texas for a couple of hours and ride a roller coaster, instead of being depressed."

they were only open from 10:30- 6pm (but were hosting some Membership benefit from 6-7), so figured I'd stay 3-4 hours, and try some of the Mardi Gras food offerings, since on dining plan.

Ended up being the perfect day to go. . . not only the typically dead Sunday mornings (pre-church), but it never did get busy (if members were coming out for the ERT, they waited until late afternoon to show up), and as the weather was absolutely GORGEOUS - 1st nice day this year. . . folks apparently did other things rather than go to a theme park.

petty much everything was walk on (I rode WW 4X and twice didn't even have to get out of my seat to walk around, since no one was in line). . . Iron Rattler twice (sadly, they are still running only 1 train, so even station wait took a good 15 minutes. .it was nuts!. . .but when I got back and the guy I was sharing with got out, I asked if I could stay in the seat since no one was waiting in my row - 3rd from back - so got two rides in a row).

Joker was almost walk on too, tho it went down a few times while I was there, and I ended up waiting ~15 minutes for them to reset and cycle a few times. People will NEVER learn not to pull down on the restraint, even tho they announce that over and over.

Superman, Poltergeist, Skyscreamer.. pretty much EVERYTHING was walk on.

the only rides that were down? Gully Washer (rapids), and the Train.

did a lap of the park, riding things. . . ate lunch, met Sylvester and Tweety, and then headed out by 3:30 pm.

all in all, I left my house at 10:15 am, got to park at 11:45. . . left park at 3:30, and pulled into the house right at 5pm.
And got a good amount of rides in.

checked out the construction for the new Daredevil Dive "air-race" type ride - foundation is poured, and checked out the refurbs they have been doing on Bug's Whitewater Rapids (all animatronics on the flume working, and the new queue looks GREAT) as well as Pirates of the Deep Sea (all targets working, new guns - tho hard to aim, at least they are period appropriate - and repainted cars that look fantastic).

on to the pics:
I'm here. . selfie sent home to let spouse I made it OK

(he was worried about me driving on this day)

parking lot was pretty empty
since the park is year round now, they are celebrating Mardi Gras from 1/18-early March

the signage/decorations look great
looking puffy. .which is nuts, since i haven't eaten yet today. I blame the camera angle :p

look how dead the park is behind me! they had been open almost an hour and 1/2 at this point.
the Cajun Croc statue is up again in front of the main plaza.

there were a ton of photo-ops set up thruout the park, but no park photographers to take pics! Since I was solo, didn't stop to get really any of em, as I didn't want to hand my phone to a stranger for a solo pic.

I did get a handler with Sylvester and Tweety later to take a pic of me, and I mentioned the lack of Photogs, and he admitted he didnt' know what was up, since they are "supposed to be out"

as I was leaving, I did see a few roaming around the main plaza. . but since wasn't gonna hang around for an hour for the digital pic to download to the photo-stand? still didn't get any.
in line for Iron Rattler

Sadly, still running 1 train ops (i was shocked to see this). .and due to "holding the line" prior to flash pass merge, was on a ramp, even tho it was really a station wait.
looking down at Iron Rattler's empty queue.
holding the phone up over the construction walls to get some pics of the new ride going in.
you can see the placement of it (over where the old Wagon Wheel Enterprise used to be).

this is gonna visually be stunning when they start to go vertical.

but the foundations are poured already.
here's a better shot of the poured foundation for the central "stalk" that will support the ride
a walk on to Skyscreamer (that NEVER happens), and the Hawks were out too. . so cool to be swinging above the hawks - followed by a walk on to Superman.

Here's Skyscreamer from Superman's queue. surprising to see empty seats.
oh. . how full was Superman's queue?


PERFECT day to go, wish you were here with me.
event tho dead, they were running 2 trains.

So got this pic of the 2nd train in the loop, as was going down exit ramp from my ride.

I had seen from the brake run that Joker had NO line as well.
so headed there.

got stuck in this spot, since the ride went down for ~10 minutes as i walked up. But I just waited for it.
I mean, it's due to the restraints, and I was in the shade anyways :)
ok. . cycling (3-4 times) after every downtime. . that's what makes the wait on this ride lengthy sometimes.

Looking up from my spot in line, as it cycled for the 3rd time. . just before they sent us thru the funhouse.

but still got a fantastic ride on it after a short wait.
I bypassed Batman since wasn't in a "flipping" mood so soon after Joker, and instead was really shocked to see THIS was the queue for Wonder Woman.
I mean. . I knew the park was pretty dead, but I've never (outside of ERT) seen the Wonder Woman queue like this.

they weren't even batching riders, and as noted, got to ride it 4 times in a row, twice without having to get out of my seat, since there was no one in line when my train got back!
ended up with Jambalaya/cornbread - which is counted as a "snack" on the meal plan!

it was ok, but not nearly spicy enough. And I loved interacting with the folks working the food booths. They were kinda bored since it was so quiet, but we had a lot of fun chatting while they were making up my food. Even they commented they wished it was spicer - but I realize they have to "dull it down" for the masses.

and to be honest? it did kinda give me the craps later last night. but it was good at the time :)
the Mardi Gras street performers seemed to outnumber the guests in some parts of the Park.

but all were in a great mood, and seemed to be having a good time interacting with everyone.

i'm guessing the beautiful day helped.
took a walk over to the Boardwalk for a ride on Pirates of the Deep Sea.

they've done some quiet refurb on it, as all targets are now working, the cars all have the same "pirate-style" guns, and the cars have been repainted and look great!
didn't want to ride any of the spinning rides on the boardwalk, so headed over for a ride on Bug's Whitewater Rapids flume.

along the way, passed Mardi Gras Tweety & Sylvester out - with a handler who KNOWS how to frame a pic, so got this fantastic pic in front of Sangerfest Halle
Bug's still has the sign in front noting "pardon our dust". . it's been over a year!

but they actually are doing a ton of work on the queue.

the figures are still mostly missing, but the scenes that are there, are looking fantastic.

the empty sad throne, now is lit with LED diamonds, and a sparkling LED curtain behind.

it really looks fantastic!
they've varnished and painted all of the poles in the queue, and hung a lot of new, and touched up shields thruout.

again, looks great
Sam is back and sleeping. . and a bunch of new, fancily adorned, jousting equipment is next to him.
Dragon is still sleeping. .and blowing smoke as he snores.

interestingly, none of the TVs in the queue were on, or even noticeable.

but it doesn't seem as if they are moving away from "the Singing Sword" cartoon theming.
oh. .these are new - they have re-routed some of the inside rooms, taking the queue a slightly different direction.

and have installed Medieval Stocks as part of the queue divider. This is great!
another re-done room. . now opened up so you can see thru into the room next door, and hear the splashing water from the flume (since the load station is just back there).

and what are those up along the top? air blowers! thank goodness, this queue was always very dank and humid. HUGE difference today, and I can imagine that will help with the summer days too.
Logs are still 2 across seating.

and you only really get soaked in the front seat (tho the spitting dragon will get the whole boat on that 1st turn after the mini-drop).
speaking of Dragon.. they now have Sam on Dragon really well lit as you pull out of the station.
and Sam crushed by the drawbridge on the other side of the station, as you return from your ride :)
hard to see, but Joker swinging by thru the trees, as I sat and ate my meal credit before heading out.
yep. . got the Apple Cinnamon Caramel Funnel Cake Sundae - which is considered a "snack". . but I used my meal credit for it.

was still really sweet, but I was able to eat more of it than I had of the strawberry one that I tried in Sept (that was way too sweet).

and I drank water with it. . gotta even out the calories.
Wouldn't be a trip to Fiesta without a ride on the Carousel. . or on my (different colored eyes) Bowie-Bunny.

it was a really long cycle (if I had to guess? he ran a double cycle), and the operator waited maybe 7 minutes before starting it to fill up as many seats as he could.
trying not to think about Mom, and instead focus on having fun.
oh.. they're painting Boomerang (tho it was running today).

looks like a dark orange, and dark teal.

you can see the new colors on the spikes, and the new teal on the Batwing element closest to us - tho they haven't painted these supports yet.
headed out, but stopped for a moment to watch the stilt walkers dancing with kiddos to the brass band in the central plaza.

they put on a good show, with lots of energy, despite the lacking crowd.
on to some ride pics.
and hysterically, since was in the back seat? it cuts off my arms. . LOL
I like the 2020 themed border options tho.

from my 2nd ride on Iron Rattler, after my seatmate left, but they let me ride again since no one was in the queue.
back seat on Wonder Woman, as usual.
back row on Superman too .. no wait, walk on.
without the frame, you catch Poltergeist in the background. never noticed that!

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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:00 pm

Nice report! Sorry to hear about your mom.

That was not the section of the park I expected the air race. I was expecting it to be over by the boardwalk for some reason.
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Re: bert goes to Texas Theme Parks (mega thread)

Postby bert425 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:55 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Nice report! Sorry to hear about your mom.

That was not the section of the park I expected the air race. I was expecting it to be over by the boardwalk for some reason.


I'm thrilled they are putting it there, since Crackaxle has been in desperate need of flats for a long, long time.
to be even clearer, they are in desperate need of "family" flats - since the only non-coasters on that side of the park, are the two kiddie rides in front of Iron Rattler, Gully Washer Rapids (that is often down in "winter" months) and the Train Station.

so DareDevil Dive still doesn't address that problem.

I've been saying (in park surveys that I get after every visit) for YEARS now - CrackAxle needs a family ride, why not put a next gen Trabant in the space where that radio station building is over by the entranct to Diamond Lil's? It would easily fit, and the park hasn't had a Trabant since they removed the one from Boardwalk in the 2010 timeframe. . .(or maybe it was sooner than that). Theme it to a Wagon Wheel. .presto, fits right into the area.

but yeah, they moved Slingshot over to the Fiesta Bay Boardwalk (back where it used to be, funnily enough), and are putting DareDevil Dive on the old Enterprise ride pad, over in CrackAxle.

So even tho it's not a "family" flat? I'm glad to have a new flat on that side of the park.


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