Boomtown

Boomtown
Section
Boomtown
Year installed
1963
parktimes Sun, 08/15/2010 - 20:37
Last Season Operated

Operating

    Boomtown was the first section added to the park after it opened. It opened in 1963 in the far northeast corner of the park.  Boomtown was themed as a typical Texas oil field town during the oil boom of the 1890's and 1900's.

    The Boomtown station house opened with Boomtown, allowing the   Six Flags Railroad to begin dropping passengers off on the far side of the park. Prior to opening of Boomtown, the Railroad ran nonstop round trips only.

    The   Six Flags Carousel and the   Sky Hook were other original boomtown attraction. 

    In 1964, the  Caddo War Canoes were moved from the Confederacy to Boomtown.

    In 1966, the park's first major roller coaster, the   Runaway Mine Train was added in the boomtown section.

    At the end of the 1968 session, the Sky Hook was removed.  The   Mini Mine Train opened the next season, in approximately the same location.

    In 1972, a   Miniature Six Flags Model opened in the Texas Travel Exhibit. At the end of that season, the Boomtown station was removed and replaced with the Good Times Square Station on the opposite side of the tracks. The model was removed in the late 70's or early 80's.

    At the end of the 1982 season, the  Caddo War Canoes were removed from the park.

    At the end of the 1985 season, the  Merry Go Round was removed for reconstruction.  When it returned, it was placed at the Front Gate.

    In 1989, the  Texas Tornado Swing Ride was moved to old site of the Carousel.

    In 1997, a new Boomtown Station replaced the Good Times Square Station.

Section

Sky Hook

Sky Hook
Section
Boomtown
Year installed
1963
parktimes Sun, 08/15/2010 - 20:43
Last Season Operated
1968

The Sky Hook

1963 - 1968

    The main attraction of the original Boomtown was the 190 foot tall Sky Crane Ride. This unique ride was actually adapted from a cargo crane. The ride units consisted of two metal teardrop shaped baskets, each of which could hold 14 guests. Each was attached to a cable at the end of one of the structure’s “Y” shaped girder arms. 

     After loading, the basket was lifted up into the air. Midway up the height of the structure, the basket stopped and the entire structure rotated 180 degrees. While in that position, the basket rose again, to a total of 155 feet in the air. As the basket rose into the air, the basket on the other arm descended to be unloaded. While the other basket was unloaded and reloaded, guests in the first basket enjoyed a panoramic view of the park below them.

      Once the other basket was loaded, it ascended halfway up as the first basket descended. At the half way point, the baskets again rotated, so that the original basket could descend to the dock and be unloaded while the guests in the second basket could enjoy the view.

     Strictly speaking, the ride was not “themed”  to anything in particular in the boomtown section. It was, however, a unique experience and provided a view of the park unmatched by any ride to that date. It also provided a visual identity for the park from the freeway and surrounding area until 1968 when it was removed and replaced by the Oil Derrick as the park’s high ride.

     The ride itself had quite a history, having first thrilled attendees at the Brussels’ world’s fair of 1958. From there it came to Texas. After being removed from Six Flags Over Texas in 1968, the ride was dismantled and moved to Six Flags Over Georgia, where it stood as that park’s major focal point until it was sold to Magic Springs amusement park in Arkansas, where it operated for several years. It was later converted to a bungee jump platform.

During a major remodeling of the Arkansas park it was dismantled and sold for scrap metal.

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Caddo Indian Canoes

Caddo Indian Canoes
Section
Boomtown
Year installed
1962
parktimes Sat, 08/21/2010 - 22:07
Last Season Operated
1983

The Caddo were an Indian tribe native to Texas. Much in the style of the original rides, this ride recreated a ride on an “Indian War Canoe”.

The five long canoes sat approximately sixteen guests, on benches of two adults each. They were steadied and steered by an employee, dressed in Indianan costumes, at the back of the canoe. On some occasions, an “Indian” employee sat at front of the canoe as well.

In addition to actually steering the canoe, the employee would often entertain the guests with instructions on how to paddle, as well as jokes and antidotes about the park and sights.

Much to the surprise of many of the guests, who frequently believed that the ride had some type of hidden motors or tracks, the canoes has no method of propulsion other than their paddling. In addition, the canoes were not on any type of track or guide. In fact, the Indians often encouraged their guests to race any other canoe in the area back to the dock. The canoes traveled around a small pond named “Caddo Lake”

In the middle of the water was a small island, named “Caddo Island.” The canoes traveled completely around the small island which contained a small Indian village, complete with teepees. The original loading dock for the ride was at the end of a long path that traveled between the Amphitheater and Skull Island River.

The Canoes were removed from the park at the end of the 1983 season.

The Caddo War Canoes

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Runaway Mine Train

Runaway Mine Train
Section
Boomtown
Year installed
1965
parktimes Sun, 08/15/2010 - 21:08

     The Six Flags Run-A-Way Mine Train was installed in 1966, and is the eighth oldest operating attraction in the park.

    Although the Mine Train is the oldest of the park's current fleet of roller coasters, it was not the first coaster in the park. The first coaster was a cat and mouse style metal coaster in the Modern section originally named the Sidewinder. The Sidewinder opened with the park in 1961. In 1962 it was moved to the Mexican section and renamed the La Cucaracha. The La Cucaracha was removed from the park at the end of the 1964 season and before the Mine Train was installed in 1966.

Que House

  

Que House

 

Que House

    The Mine Train was, however, the first of its type anywhere in the world. It was developed for the park by Arrow Dynamics, a California company that also built happy cars and the flume.  The coaster ride was based on technology first developed by Arrow for the Disney Matterhorn.  Although metal roller coasters were not at the time novel, the Mine Train used nylon wheels and tubular steel pipe track rails for a smoother faster ride. This development paved the way for future metal coasters.

    The ride originally cost $1 million to build.

Que House

    As is true with the earlier rides in the park's history, the ride is well themed. The que-house is designed to look like a mountain mine building. The cars are themed to resemble mine ore cars. Animations along the ride gave the feeling of the times.

    The ride consists of 2,484 feet of track broken between three lifts, the highest of which is 35 feet. The three lifts and que-house brake the ride into four zones, allowing the use of up to five trains. One train can be at or between the loading zone and the first lift, another between the first and second lift, another between the second and third lifts, another between the third lift and the unloading zone and the last in the unloading zone. The lifts can be stopped at anytime to maintain the train separation.  

Que House

      

        The ride begins with the trip up the first and highest lift. From there it travels around the track to the second lift. The second lift is housed in a building designed to look like a rock crusher. Looking straight up as you travel through the second lift reveals a large crusher rolling above you. From the second lift, the train travels slowly "through a waterfall" allowing the guest to see the waterfall from the inside.  

Que House

    An animated scene of miners can be seen panning for gold in the water in front of the waterfall. The train then picks up speed as it heads downhill and through a man-made "mine" tunnel.

 

 

Que House

    The train emerges from the tunnel and travels up the third and final lift into the "Ace Hotel and Saloon". The "Ace Hotel" was named in 1974 for John (Ace) Cocharo, a Mine Train Foreman turned ride supervisor. The train travels through the hotel, allowing riders to see the "piano player" and hotel guests. The ride then descends the last drop into a tunnel which actually travels "under" the Caddo lake, emerging just outside of the que-house.

Que House

    The top speed of the ride is billed at 38 feet per second, which translates to twenty-six (26) miles an hour.

 

 

 

    In 1996 the Run-a-way Mine Train name was changed to just the "Mine Train" to avoid confusion with the newly constructed "Runaway Mountain" in the Confederate Section.

Que House

 

    A very successful high capacity ride, the Mine Train was copied in theme parks around the nation. The ride is now a piece of history, and is still a favorite with the crowds.

Que HouseMine Train from the Air

(c) Davis McCown, 1998  

Mini-Mine Train

Mini-Mine Train
Section
Boomtown
Year installed
1969
parktimes Sun, 08/15/2010 - 21:11
Last Season Operated
Operating

    The Mini-Mine Train was built in 1969, making it tied with the Tower for the 9th oldest operating ride in the park.  (Both have been out of operation for a season for remodeling.)

     The ride was built by Arrow Development, the same company that built the Runaway Mine Train.     Located next to the original "Runaway Mine Train", the Mini-Mine train was specifically designed to be a roller coaster for the younger crowd.  The lift hill is twenty (20) feet high.

    The train goes around a basically circular track and back to the que house.  On slow days, to make the ride a little longer, the trains are run twice for each ride.

    The track was rebuilt in 1997 to accommodate the New Mr. Freeze ride.

 

Mini Mine Train

Shot of the new "Mini-Mine Train."

(c) Davis McCown, 1999

Section

Miniture Texas Model

Miniture Texas Model
Section
Boomtown
parktimes Sun, 08/15/2010 - 21:24

Texas Travel Exhibit

 

 

 

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