The Rattler wooden roller coaster slithered away this Sunday. The only wooden roller coaster attraction at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio ended its 20 year run this weekend.
On Friday the ride became stuck at the top of the lift for 45 minutes, providing one last hiccup, but the ride operated for the rest of the weekend giving riders a last chance to experience and commemorate the ride. The final run of Rattler occurred late Sunday evening at park closing.
The Rattler was as unique as the park itself, which was built inside a former quarry in 1992. Fiesta Texas was constructed by La Cantera Development, a USAA subsidiary, and Gaylord Entertainment. The musical themed park originally opened with 15 attractions on 200 acres of land. Six Flags acquired the park in 1996.
The Rattler, constructed with Douglas fir and southern yellow pine, debuted in 1992 as the world's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster. The lift hill and first drop skirted the edge of the quarry wall. At 179 feet tall the coaster originally had a 166 foot drop. In 1994 the ride's first drop was shortened to 124 feet after riders had complained the ride was too violent and jarring.
Much of the first half of the roller coaster was set on the top of the quarry wall including the first turn around after the first drop and the following long clockwise helix. The second half of the coaster included a dive into a short tunnel section cut into the limestone quarry cliff wall.
The ride had a noticeable sway in the structure after the first turnaround into the helix and on a hill in close view of patrons near the station of the coaster.
Officials of the park have stated the ride would go away but gave no indication at this time of what would replace the coaster. In January the Spokane Journal of Business reported Rocky Mountain Construction has a contract to construct a wooden roller coaster with high performance track and train cars for Fiesta Texas. The Idaho firm was responsible for the year long renovation of the Texas Giant roller coaster in 2010 at Six Flags Over Texas.
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