Texas Giant Accident

For information on the July 19th accident at Six Flags Over Texas involving a woman falling from the New Texas Giant go here: Woman Dies While Riding New Texas Giant


Coaster Critic Meets Texas Giant

For my first ever theme park trip to Texas, I had my sights set on the newly reborn Texas Giant. I hadn’t ridden theoriginal, but from what I’d heard it had become yet another rough, aging woodie like the ones that are taking up space at parks across the country. Over the past year and a half, Six Flags Over Texas has been giving it the old “Six Million Dollar Man”-like overhaul. Okay, if you’re too young to get that reference, maybe it was a Wolverine-like upgrade. Anyway, Rocky Mountain Construction replaced the ride’s wooden rails with their own steel IB (i-box) track in hopes of turning making it super smooth and enjoyable once again. This means that the new Giant is technically a steel coaster, even though it’s layout is more akin to a woodie. But, was the hybrid experiment successful?

Six Flags has found success in this new era of ride renovations and remixes. We’ve had X2 and the Bizarros at Six Flags New England and Six Flags Great Adventure. However, Texas Giant’s reboot was on a whole new scale. From the redesigned track with a steeper first drop and over-banked turns that made my jaw drop to the new Cadillac-themed trains complete with an actual longhorn on the hood, Six Flags definitely gets an A for effort. There are even nice touches like the comfy bucket seats, the hilarious chicken coop for waiting guests that decide not to brave the Giant, and an oil tower in the middle of the ride.

For my first ride on this monster, I boarded in what a ride op told me was the best seat in the house. I sat in the back of the very last car in the right seat. The atmosphere on opening day was electric. With a 4-hour wait and applause with every returning train, the Giant was nearing the popularity of the neighboring Dallas Cowboys, at least for a day. As we rolled out of the station a loud car horn sounded a few times. We took a right turn and began a smooth, long climb up the 153-foot lift hill in our black Cadillac-themed coaster train. I enjoyed the view until the front of the train crested the drop pulling myself and the other riders in the back down the 79-degree plunge that felt a good bit longer than it looked. The airtime was great and if I had a top ten first drops list, it’d likely be a contender.Texas Giant Leaves the Station

The Giant Layout
The train rocketed back up providing a pop of air over a small hill and we raced into the first banked turns. Coming out of the turn, we dropped and experienced another great moment of airtime. During this first section of the ride the train climbed a few hills, did heavily banked turns at the top, and dropped with ridiculous, often times ejector air. The banked turn that looked so crazy during construction is fun, but not as intense as I thought it might be. I didn’t really feel like I was beyond 90-degrees and or like I was going to get dumped out of the train. The banked turns are still cool elements and more adventurous than simply cresting the hills on flatter track.

The first half was long and an adventure all on its own, but the Giant wasn’t done. After a few more fun and surpsingly airtime-packed hills we zoomed by the station on our way to the first tunnel. The three tunnels (or covered sections) were pretty dark with colored lights on the ceiling and a mist. The hills, and yes, more airtime continued as we flew through each of the tunnels. Finally, the unrelenting Giant returned us to the station. The train immediately erupted in applause as the excited and surprised riders were in awe of the new form that their aging, old woodie had taken.

There wasn’t a wasted foot of track as the thrills were almost non-stop. All the while, the ride was very smooth. I can’t say that I was shocked by how smooth it was as it is steel. For me, the smoothness was kind of expected, but for locals who’d been punished by the twenty-something year old Giant, the silky smooth ride was remarkable.

Too Much of a Good Thing?
On my two rides on the Texas Giant (my second ride was in the third car) I got ejector, not floater airtime on nearly all of the ride’s many hills. The ride ops stapled me in pretty good with the big, thick lap bars, so really even though I was being lifted pretty forcefully it was more of a back and forth battle with my thighs being pressed tightly up against the lapbar. Obviously, Rocky Mountain Construction locked in on making sure that the new Texas Giant was packed with airtime. I have to say that they were very successful. Maybe, almost too successful. This is going to sound weird, but the hills and airtime moments were coming so rapid fire, that it was almost overkill.

Texas Giant Returns to the Station

In an odd way the airtime happened so much, that it  was hard for me to appreciate the moments. I’d be like: “Wow! Now that was a real pop of air there.” And, before I could finish thinking it, up we go again. I think I’d actually prefer airtime moments spaced out a bit more. One thing that makes El Toro’s final hill so memorable and special is that it’s not preceded by another super forceful ejector air moment and there’s not one after. El Toro’s got air all over, but that hill is a great unforgettable moment. Hours after riding Texas Giant, I’m not sure I can name a favorite part aside from getting yanked down that large, steep first drop when I sat in the back.

How does the Texas Giant measure up?
It’s an all-around fun roller coaster that’ll knock the socks off park guests for years to come. It offers a world-class ride and its much longer than your average ride. Overall, that $10 million dollar renovation was worth ever penny in my opinion. So, as I mention the airtime overkill, realize that I’m talking about an AMAZING roller coaster. I just have to judge it against other AMAZING roller coasters. Keep in mind also that I’m huge on terrain coasters and while the Giant has a long and varied ride, terrain isn’t really a factor. The new Texas 10.0 - A Superior RatingGiant has landed tied at 6th on my Top Ten Roller Coasters list. If you find yourself anywhere near Dallas get over to Six Flags Over Texas immediately. The Texas Giant is a thrilling airtime adventure with more exciting moments than what some park’s entire lineups can offer. The new version lived up to the hype and then some. Final Rating – 10 (Superior)

Intense Roller Coasters - For Adventurous RidersThe new Texas Giant is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for its speed and intense airtime. Here’s a great video and partial POV video of the new Texas Giant:

Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

See more photos from Texas Giant’s opening day.

Have you ridden the new Giant? Did it live up to the hype for you? Leave comment below.

29 Responses

  1. Dion

    Nice Review Joel.I am gonna love this coaster!Never too much of a good thing for me as far as airtime goes!!

    • The Coaster Critic

      I just felt like the pacing wasn't the greatest. I still give Rocky Mountain credit for transforming the ride into something thrilling, fun, and re-ridable. I can't put my finger on it. It just seemed like the rapid fire airtime moments was a bit much. Other rides like El Toro and Bizarro might set you up a bit more between the insane air. At least it seems that way when I recall those rides.

  2. Gearhart

    I love me some good air time machines so I guess I need to get back down there soon and check it out. Glad you liked it! Quick question unrelated to the Giant, is it just my imagination or is Titan much better than it's SoCal brethren Goliath?

    • The Coaster Critic

      Not your imagination Gearhart. I DID gray out, during the second helix I think, but overall, I think Goliath was a little more punishing overall. I'll have to do a Titan review soon. It's also about 3 or 4 times better than Goliath because I could see Cowboys Stadium from the lift hill. That alone, might move it up to an 8 or 9! 🙂 I'm kidding, but that was quite a thrill for a Cowboy and coaster fan. I didn't know what to do with myself.

  3. Prof.BAM

    Is a $13 million revamp in King's Island's future? After all the lawsuits, I'd not waste time watching this thing run, but grab the checkbooks and run for the phone. I hope they bring the loop back.

  4. SDFloat

    I just went to Six Flags Over Texas yesterday, and I had a blast on the New Texas Giant. Shame I only got to ride it once… I was loving the airtime and not having my brains scrambled!

    When I rode it, we were stopped for a few minutes halfway through the ride because of some issue at the station. That was an awkward pause in the action… The Giant as a whole was still fun and awesome regardless!

    Unfortunately, the ride was shut down for maintenance some time afterward and then the storms that rolled through later shut everything down. Despite all that, I cannot wait for the next opportunity to ride the New Texas Giant the way it was meant to be ridden! It will definitely be my first stop next time I go.

  5. Jim

    Definitely, the back right corner seat is the best of the bunch. I got 31 rides on media day and it didn't land at my #1 steel spot until about the 15th ride or so. I liked it more and more with each ride, learning to appreciate what it does and what a game-changer this ride is going to be for the industry. And yeah, bruised thighs after 31 rides, but it's all good.

    • CDK

      why is the very back of the ride on the right side the best? I thought the front row would be the best?

      • bunky666

        Although the front ride of a roller coaster is great because you can see the track in front of you and you get all that wind and it IS a great seat, the back seat is always my preferred seat for coasters because you don't coast on the drop at all, and usually the airtime is more intense in the back. While on some coasters there is not a bad seat (El Toro is a great example for a great ride EVERY ride, no matter where you sit), the back is usually the most thrilling. Try it out on some of your favorite coasters and see if you notice the difference. Some that I DEFINITELY notice a difference: El Toro, Lightning Racer, and Talon (Great Adventure, Hershey, and Dorney respectively). On rougher coasters though, I usually recommend the front for a (slightly) smoother ride.

      • Quil

        I agree with bunky. If I have to give up a good view in exchange for a better ride, I'll pick a better ride 9 times out of 10.

      • OSM

        I agree, my rule is that the most forceful coasters with ejector air should be ridden in the back, while terrain, launched, or rough coasters should be ridden in the front. Other coasters should be ridden in whatever row the line is shortest in. The biggest seating difference that I've noticed was on Nitro, the front is so much better than anywhere else for some reason.

      • Matt

        OSM you are absolutely right about Nitro! Nitro's front seat is a lot better than any other row. Almost every time I ride it I sit in the front! I dont know why, but nitro is just awesome in the front and good in the other seats. Its hard to explain. However, I did read something somewhere about Nitro being adjusted so that the front has as much air as the back or something. Also, you get the ultimate feeling of vulnerability and freedom as there is nothing in front of you, or on the sides of you, and only a clam shaped lap bar to keep you in. Nitro's front is definitey the best seat on the ride.

  6. Matt

    Parks really should do this to their old woodies. Im talking about wildcat at hershey, grizzly at kings dominion, and especially son of beast. I want to go to kings island when son of beast is open, but also not in its current form. I heard it is really rough. Let this be kings island's inspiraton to renovate son of beast. Good job Six Flags Over Texas! This coaster looks really good now.

  7. Quil

    As soon as I started reading this, I had a feeling that it would be very highly rated. I still don't consider this a wooden coaster, but it looks looks like a HUGE improvement.

  8. 2coastercrazy

    It looks amazing since I last saw it. Huge Improvement! I can't wait to go the Six Flags Over Texas. Very impressive review too, good job Joel.

    P.S. I will also go to Six Flags Magic Mountain – maybe I could write a review!

  9. Kristofer

    I really hope cedar point does this to mean streak soon. Mean streak is just too… bad. It hurts like crazy. Considering it was made by the same people who made hte (original) texas giant, I think it could be done

  10. Spinshot122

    Great review!! I wanted to ask how the ride feels. Does it feel like a regular woodie or does it ride more like a steel?

    • Tosh

      Personally I think it feels like neither. It has a feeling all its own… ive ridden it about 20 ttimes now.
      Its on steel track thats not tubular so technically it rides on a flat steel rails just like a wooden but theres no wood in the track…. So its not like a standard steel but its def not like a woodie…. It Iron horse Hybrid

  11. Max

    CoasterCritic, did you ride Shockwave while you were there, it's really fun and offers some awesome airtime

  12. Max

    This park is way underrated. Titan, Mr. Freeze, New Giant, Batman, Flashback, and Shockwave

  13. Matt

    Hey C C I know exactly how you feel about the airtime. That type of airtime where your thighs get pressed up against the lap bar is very uncomfortable. Ive never ridden the new texas giant, but I experienced this on Bizarro at SFNE on every hill. Did you or anyone else experience this on bizarro?

  14. Max

    My favorite part was either the double up after the first drop or the little hill before the MCBR. Both of those are like El Toro Rolling Thunder moments for me

  15. CoasterFreak118

    i went to SFOT this summer i went for 1 1/2 days on a teen tour i was with that tours the country riding coasters which was a great experience. anyway over the 1 1/2 days i rode The Texas Giant 8 times and each time was absolutely incredible!!! i sat back row i think 4 of the times. i was so surprised by how smooth it was i didnt feel shaking at all from the wooden supports, which i thought i would. the banked turns were awesome and the air time was great. if only i could ride it more often which i cant since im from new york. not only was it a great coaster but the theming was pretty good too the chicken coop where the walk of shamers go is hysterical every time someone goes in it chicken noises are made, and the trains are awesome looking. and the tunnels are really cool with the lights and steam even though every time there was always a hard drop of water that fell on me which kinda felt like a small rock being thrown at your face, but that might just be me. overall its a great ride and i hope to be able to ride it again. this is a must if your in the dallas area


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