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Revamped Texas Giant adds thrills and removes bumps

Forged out of steel and wood, the revamped Texas Giant adds thrills and removes bumps

04/21/2011 10:30 PM

07/21/2013 3:42 PM

Get ready to go from zero to 65 and lose everything in your pants pockets.

The renovated Texas Giant roller coaster opens to the public today at Six Flags Over Texas.

The Arlington theme park invested $10 million in redesigning the ride, which has a new track layout and new cars modeled after the 1961 Cadillac DeVille. The new ride, which lasts about two minutes, includes a 79-degree first drop and a bank of 95 degrees.

"We spent the last two years reworking the Texas Giant with a whole new technology that involves putting steel track on a wooden coaster," park President Steve Martindale said. "It allows us to be able to do some features on the ride that you can't see on any other wooden coaster."

"It might be the beginning of a whole new genre of coaster, called the hybrid or superhybrid, that has the elements of wood and steel unlike any other coaster before," said American Coaster Enthusiasts spokesman David Lipnicky, who rode the new Texas Giant over half-a-dozen times by 11 a.m. Thursday at the ride's preview day.

The Texas Giant opened in 1990 and is one of the park's signature rides. However, as the roller coaster aged, its ride became bumpier and less enjoyable for parkgoers, who preferred the smoother rides of steel coasters like the Titan.

"I'll miss it and the bumpiness," said Christin Hudson, 15, of the old track.

"But I do not mind the new one," she added after riding it several times.

For parkgoers who decide at the last minute that the Texas Giant is not their cup of tea, the ride platform has a "Chicken Coop" complete with clucking noises where they can wait.

Bedford resident Turquoise McLaughlin was fortunate to win a local TV station contest to be one of the first riders.

"It's so much better now," McLaughlin said. "I'm a coaster fan, so I will definitely be back to ride it again."

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631

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