|Ride Type:||Wooden coaster, Steel/Wood hybrid coaster|
|Height:||143 ft, 153 ft|
|Top Speed:||62 mph, unknown|
|Length:||4920 ft, unknown|
|Year Introduced:||1990, 2011|
|Manufacturer:||Dinn Corporation, Rocky Mountain Construction Group|
|Flash Pass Enabled:||Yes (Platinum only; limited to 1 use)|
When the Texas Giant opened in 1990 within the Texas section, the appropriately-named ride was the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world. Reaching top speeds of 62 mph, the huge ride featured long drops, swooping turns, and a "magic carpet" finale that seemed to defy physics by seeming to constantly gain speed. The Giant was also critically acclaimed, being named the #1 Wooden Roller Coaster in the World by editors of Amusement Today, readers of Inside Track magazine, and members of the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
However like most large wooden roller coasters, the Texas Giant did not age gracefully. Nearly 20 years of brutally hot and dry Texas summers took a major toll on the ride, resulting in a rough, generally bone-jarring experience. In 2009 it was announced that the Texas Giant would undergo a transformation, the likes of which had never been seen before on a wooden coaster.
New Texas Giant
The Texas Giant closed at the end of the 2009 season so construction on the $10 million renovation could begin. A major component of the renovation involved re-tracking the entire ride with a new and unique steel track system, developed by Rocky Mountain Construction Group, that requires less maintenance and gives a smooth-as-glass ride, while still utilizing the Giant's existing wooden structure.
Changes weren't limited to the track system itself, however. The lift hill was raised 10 feet to be a total of 153 feet tall, while overbanked turns of up to 115° were incorporated. The Giant's first drop was also re-profiled to have a 79°, near-vertical slope. Three new tunnels with LED lighting effects and mist give the ride's finale a new spin, while a fire-spitting oil derrick in the middle of the coaster creates a uniquely Texas experience. New trains by Gerstlauer are themed as classic Cadillacs and feature polymer wheels. Between the track and trains, the New Texas Giant's ride experience is both technically and physically that of a steel coaster.
The new Texas Giant reopened on April 22, 2011 during the park's 50th anniversary to glowing reviews from both coaster enthusiasts and the public alike. The public even voted the coaster as the best new ride of 2011.
Guide to SFoT's special feature Texas Giant Reinvented documented the construction process of the new ride.
The aerial images below show the drastic change the Texas Giant went through. Click an image to enlarge it, and then hover over it to see the differences.
Images used in aerial shots are courtesy Bing Maps and are ©2010-2011 NAVTEC, Microsoft Corporation, and Pictometry International. All Rights Reserved. Guide to SFoT makes no claim whatsoever toward the ownership of aerial images above.
The New Texas Giant experiences with the queue line. As a general rule, a long and winding ride line should offer guests some form of entertainment or anticipation. The New Texas Giant offers both, with unbeatable views of the towering first drop and overbanked turns. In keeping with the Texas theme, Six Flags erected an oil derrick (named in honor of park founder Angus Wynne) in the middle of the ride that will eventually shoot flames out its top as trains pass.
As an homage to the year Six Flags over Texas opened, the New Texas Giant's trains resemble 1961 Cadillacs. The ride station expands on the theme and is decorated to look like a garage, complete with a tool box and half-cars. Non-riders can wait in an appropriately-titled "Chicken Coop" area on the loading dock that's surrounded by chicken wire and makes clucking noises whenever someone enters.
The trains themselves are rather unique, even beyond their car body shells, side windows, and hood-mounted steer horns. Soft-touch molded seats feature faux stitching that gives them a leather look. Smooth-closing hydraulic lap bars have a saddle horn-like handle that can make the New Giant's numerous moments of airtime feel like rodeo. Stadium seating means good views aren't limited to each car's front row. Ride-wise, the trains glide down the course in a smooth and nimble manner — smoother than many all-steel roller coasters.
Introduction to the New Texas Giant
A mixture of off and on-ride footage of the New Texas Giant, courtesy Six Flags over Texas, is shown in video below showing off the new ride.
New Texas Giant Commercial
New Texas Giant Comments
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