Saturday, November 14, 2009
On November 1st, the legendary Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington gave roller coaster lovers its last ride. The wooden beast is being retired temporarily for an innovative $10 million makeover, which will give it a faster, smoother, and a more contemporary ride that will rival its competitors. The new incarnation of the Texas Giant will be introduced to the public during the park's 50th Anniversary Celebration in the summer of 2011 and promises to be a humdinger.
The coaster has been a favorite for park visitors and roller coaster enthusiasts from around the globe since it opened in 1990. At the time of its opening, it was the tallest of its kind, topping out at 143 feet above the ground. The 62 mph "woodie" thrilled riders with wicked turns and unexpected drops, carrying over 23 million passengers during its 19 years of operation.
Though official plans for the new Texas Giant are still under wraps, it's been suggested that the new ride will be smoother and faster, and incorporate elements never before seen in a wooden roller coaster. "'It's going to be a completely different ride when it's all said and done, but elements of it will remain,' said Sharon Parker, a park spokeswoman." Indeed, elements of the old Giant will be included in the new design, allowing visitors to revel in nostalgia as they create new memories of riding the "Big One."
The coaster took its last ride at 7PM Sunday evening, and plenty of loyal riders were on hand to say farewell, for now! Portions of wood from the ride will be recycled into Christmas ornaments and sold in park gift shops. Much of the remaining wood will be salvaged for use in other construction and maintenance projects. (Kudos to Six Flags for that!)
So farewell for now, Texas Giant! Personally I've never had the opportunity to ride, but I'm already making plans to visit the new "Giant" in 2011.
Mosier, Jeff. "Six Flag's Texas Giant closes for a facelift." Dallas News 02 November 2009: n. pag. Web. 13 Nov 2009. .