Six Flags Over Texas

Last updated
Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas logo.png
SFOT Main Park Entrance.JPG
The park's main entrance in 2011
Location Arlington, Texas, U.S.
Coordinates 32°45′20.52″N97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222 Coordinates: 32°45′20.52″N97°4′12.80″W / 32.7557000°N 97.0702222°W / 32.7557000; -97.0702222
SloganThe Thrill Capital of Texas
OwnerTexas Flags, Ltd. [1] (51%)
Operated by Six Flags
OpenedAugust 5, 1961; 59 years ago
Operating seasonYear-round
Area212 acres (0.331 sq mi) (0.86 km²)
Attractions
Total45
Roller coasters13
Water rides3
Website Official website
StatusOperating

Six Flags Over Texas is a 212-acre (86 ha) theme park located in Arlington, Texas, east of Fort Worth and west of Dallas. It is the first amusement park in the Six Flags chain. The park opened on August 5, 1961, following just a year of construction and an initial investment of US$10 million by real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. [2]

Contents

The park is managed by the Six Flags Entertainment Corp., which also owns 53.1% interest of the Texas Limited Partnership that owns the park. A similar arrangement exists with the partnership that owns Six Flags Over Georgia. [3] Six Flags Over Texas Fund, Ltd, a private-equity and asset management firm headed by Dallas businessman Jack Knox, purchased the park in 1969. Over the years the various companies that managed the park, exercised options to purchase interest in the fund. Six Flags Entertainment has an option to purchase the remaining 46.9% in 2028. [3] [4] [5] Starting in 1991, the park was managed by Time Warner Entertainment. In 1998, Time Warner sold its interests in the Six Flags parks to Premier Parks of Oklahoma City, which later changed its name to Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc.

History

The original logo for Six Flags over Texas Six Flags over Texas Original Logo.jpg
The original logo for Six Flags over Texas

Following a visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, shortly after its opening, wealthy real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. decided that his home state of Texas should have a local park for entertainment. [6] Planning for such a place began in 1959, under the leadership of Wynne and the Great Southwest Corporation, along with the backing of various New York City investors. Construction on the park began in August 1960. [7]

The name "Six Flags Over Texas" refers to the flags of the six different nations that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. [8] Wynne originally intended to name the park "Texas Under Six Flags." Various legends have attributed the name change to his wife Joann; a group called "The Daughters of The Texas Republic" — of which his wife may, or may not, have been a member; or his entertainment director, Charles Meeker, stating that "Texas isn’t 'under' anything." [9] The original park was divided into six separate themed areas for each of the six governing entities that have ruled over Texas. Although additional themed areas have been added, the original six can still be found within the park.

Six Flags Over Texas opened its gates from July 29 to August 4, 1961, to several local corporations that Wynne had invited as part of a "soft-test opening." The park held its grand opening ceremonies on Saturday, August 5, 1961. Dignitaries included the mayors of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and Irving. [9] Park attendance reached 8,374. Admission was $2.75 (equivalent to $24in 2019) for adults and $2.25 (equivalent to $19in 2019) for children; parking was 50 cents (equivalent to $4in 2019); hamburgers were 35 cents (equivalent to $3in 2019), and soft drinks were 10 cents (equivalent to $1in 2019). [10] On opening day, guests could visit the six original themed sections: Mexico, Spain, France, The Confederacy, Texas and Modern (representing the USA). According to the 1961 Park Map [11] there were 46 "major attractions" listed. The park's first season, lasting only 45 days and ending on November 25, 1961, was a success with over 550,000 visitors.

The 1960s were a decade of growth for Six Flags Over Texas. The park added numerous attractions, including two new sections: Boomtown, named after the boomtowns that sprang up rather quickly during Texas' oil boom era and the "Tower Section", named after the Oil Derrick observation tower built in 1969. [12] [13] The park also witnessed the birth of two classic theme park attractions: El Aserradero in 1963 and the Runaway Mine Train roller coaster in 1966. Attendance reached close to 2 million visitors a year by the end of the decade.

For the 50th anniversary (2011), Six Flags Over Texas introduced the first I-Box roller coaster track with a transformation of Texas Giant. The reception from the conversion led the manufacturer to bring the new technology all over the world. [14] During this time, Six Flags (the company) began the company-wide process of removing licensed theming across its theme parks from attractions that the park had built in previous years. For example, Six Flags Over Texas had to rename and retheme Tony Hawk's Big Spin to Pandemonium. [15] [16]

In 2020, the park began, for the first time in its history, operating at a year-round schedule. [17] Before 2020, Six Flags Over Texas ran seasons from March to the end of that specific year. Within three months into the longer season (March 13, 2020), Six Flags suspended all operations across all of its properties due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas. [18] During the time of closure, the park donated food and supplies to a local charities. [19] 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. [20] [21]

Attractions

The entrance of Six Flags over Texas welcomes visitors while the Oil Derrick observation tower looms in the background. Six Flags over Texas (Entrance).JPG
The entrance of Six Flags over Texas welcomes visitors while the Oil Derrick observation tower looms in the background.

First-of-their-kind features or attractions

Records

Six different flags that have flown over Texas Six historical flags over texas.jpg
Six different flags that have flown over Texas

Awards

Events

Six Flags Over Texas hosts a number of events for different holidays all throughout the operating season that often draws thousands of visitors to the park.

Controversy

The Confederacy was one of the original themed areas and it showcased Civil War re-enactments and displayed the Confederate Battle Flag. In the 1990s it was rethemed to "Old South" and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. The land drew little attention as there weren't any high-profile rides in that area. [26] However, the Confederate "stars and bars" remained one of the six flags that was flown at the park entrance. [26] In August 2017, in response to the controversial Unite the Right rally that was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, the park replaced its six flags (which had included the first Confederate flag, a Republic of Texas flag, a 19th-century Spanish flag, an 18th-century French flag, a 19th-century United States flag, and a 19th-century Mexican flag) with six American flags. A representative of the park told KXAS-TV, "We always choose to focus on celebrating the things that unite us versus those that divide us. As such, we have changed the flag displays in our park to feature American flags." [27] [28]

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Six Flags Great Adventure Theme park in Jackson, New Jersey

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Six Flags AstroWorld Defunct theme park in Houston, Texas

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Six Flags St. Louis Theme park in Eureka, Missouri

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Six Flags Darien Lake Amusement park

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Six Flags New England Theme park in Agawam, Massachusetts

Six Flags New England, formerly known as Riverside Park (1912–1995) and Riverside: The Great Escape (1996-1999), is an amusement park located in Agawam, Massachusetts, a western suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts. Opening in the late 1800s, it is the oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain, acquired by Premier Parks in 1996 and rebranded Six Flags New England in 2000. Superman the Ride is among the park's most notable rides, having appeared as a highly-ranked roller coaster in the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today since the ride opened in 2000.

Six Flags Over Georgia Theme park in Austell, Georgia

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Iron Rattler

Iron Rattler is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas. The ride opened in 2013 as a conversion of the Rattler, a wooden roller coaster that had opened in 1992. Iron Rattler is the first hybrid wood and steel roller coaster to feature an inversion, namely a zero-g-roll.

La Ronde (amusement park)

La Ronde (Round) is an amusement park in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, built as the entertainment complex for Expo 67, the 1967 world fair. Today, it is operated by Six Flags under an emphyteutic lease with the City of Montreal, which expires in 2065. It is the largest amusement park in Quebec and second largest in Canada.

Shock Wave (Six Flags Over Texas)

Shock Wave is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. Built right at the edge of the park, Shock Wave is easily seen by passers-by on Interstate Highway 30. Its unique four-sided tube truss track system is similar to The Riddler Mindbender roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia which was constructed at the same time.

New Texas Giant

New Texas Giant, formerly known as Texas Giant, is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. The original Texas Giant, which opened in 1990, was manufactured by Dinn Corporation and designed by Curtis D. Summers. For more than a decade after its opening, the Texas Giant remained popular, ranking first among wooden roller coasters twice in the annual Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today. The ride's popularity suffered later on, however, as it gained a reputation for increasing roughness.

The following article is a summary of notable incidents at any of the amusement parks and water parks that are operated by Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. In some cases, these incidents occurred while the park was under different management or ownership.

Six Flags Fright Fest

Fright Fest is a Halloween-oriented haunt event held annually at Six Flags theme parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It mainly features haunted attractions, themed areas named Scare Zones, and live entertainment. In 2020, Fright Fest was reimagined to Hallowfest, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

<i>Mr. Freeze</i> (roller coaster) Launched roller coasters at Six Flags parks

Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast, previously known as Mr. Freeze, is a shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas and Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri. The steel coasters feature a linear induction motor (LIM) launch system that accelerate riders from 0–70 mph (0–113 km/h) in 3.8 seconds. The two installations are mirror images of one another and are based on the famous Batman villain Mr. Freeze. Originally, they were themed after the 1997 film Batman & Robin prior to a conversion in 2012 to operate backwards.

Rocky Mountain Construction

Rocky Mountain Construction, often abbreviated as RMC, is a manufacturing and construction company based in Hayden, Idaho, United States. The company is best known for its I-Box track and Topper Track for wooden roller coasters.

The Great Escape and Hurricane Harbor Amusement and water park owned by Six Flags

The Great Escape and Hurricane Harbor is an amusement and water park owned and operated by Six Flags Entertainment Corp. It is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Albany, in Queensbury, New York. It is one of three Six Flags parks not to be officially branded with the "Six Flags" name, with La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Frontier City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma being the two others.

References

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