While I regretted eating an exorbitant amount of fried food before boarding the terrific, terrifying Titan, I distinctly remember being wowed by all of the sights, sounds and vibrancy of Six Flags Over Texas. That trip—and my many subsequent forays to Arlington—inspired me to learn more about the park. Here’s what I discovered.
IT’S THE FIRST SIX FLAGS PARK
The Arlington theme park dates all the way back to 1961. Many rides are still around from the mid- and late-60s, including the Oil Derrick, the Runaway Mine Train, El Sombrero and Yosemite Sam’s Gold River Adventure.
HATS OFF TO DISNEY
While Six Flags purists will undoubtedly make an impassioned case that Six Flags is better than any Disney park, the truth is that the former would not exist without the latter. Texas real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. was moved to create a theme park after visiting Disneyland in California. He chose Arlington for its strategic proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth—something countless business or sports team owners have done since.
IT’S A LAND OF FIRSTS
Six Flags Over Texas is home to many firsts, including the world’s first log flume (El Aserradero), the world’s first parachute drop ride (The Texas Chute Out), the world’s highest drop tower (SUPERMAN: Tower of Power), and the world’s tallest swing ride (the Texas SkyScreamer). It is also the place where I first tried a funnel cake, but since that story doesn’t have a happy ending, we won’t go into too much detail. Six funnel cakes and six roller coasters don’t mix well, kids. They’re both great — Just eat the funnel cake after the roller coaster, okay?
THEY’VE HAD CELEBRITY EMPLOYEES
A veritable stable of celebs have called Six Flags Over Texas their office over the years, mostly as hostesses and performers. This list includes John Denver, Kelly Clarkson, Broadway star Betty Buckley and New York Times best-selling novelist Sandra Brown. While I am still a little heated that my application for Fright Fest ghoul was unsuccessful, I am a bit relieved that I didn’t have to attend Fright Fest. You can call me a scaredy cat, but Fright Fest is truly terrifying. After all, it’s been a tradition since 1976, and has continued to raise the ‘spooky’ bar year after year.
THERE’S A HOUSE OF HAUNTS
According to local folklore, the ghost of a girl named Annie (possibly the creepiest little girl ghost name ever) is known to dwell in and around the park. While Annie is supposedly friendly, she has been known to be mischievous with a penchant for playing with light switches. Annie’s “room” is located in the yellow house near the famed Texas Giant, which is the main reason why you will often find me as far away from the Texas Giant as possible. It has nothing to do with a certain funnel cake incident—Scout’s honor.