Coaster Con XL – Part II – ZDT’s

Alexander: Welcome to our next host park for Coaster Con XL: ZDT’s Amusement Park!

Technically this is the 3rd and final park of the tour, but a lot of ACErs went a little early to get some extra time with the park.

You see, ZDT’s is very small. With 450 people in attendance, there’s no telling how long the line might get for the park’s signature attraction, Switchback, during ERT! So naturally, lots of ACErs hopped over to ZDT before and after the official ACE visit to make sure they got plenty of rides on this amazing coaster!


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My buddy Jim was down for skipping the morning / midday activities at Six Flags Fiesta Texas to give ZDT’s some extra lovin’.

What makes this place so wonderful, you ask?

ENTER: Switchback! The world’s steepest wooden coaster and the only wooden shuttle coaster in the world! And it’s tucked into a charmingly petite family entertainment center in the tiny industrial community of Seguin, Texas (that’s pronounced “se-GEEN”).

Switchback is a truly remarkable ride. With the help of ingenious transfer track integration, the little Gravity Group woodie features a traditional lift hill, a great first drop, and a slew of airtime hills and tight turns before firing riders into a vertical spike that sends you allllll the way back to the first drop.

After shuttling part-way back up the first drop, specially timed brakes bring you to a halt before the transfer track shuffles to allow an easy scoot back to the station. Pretty neat, right?

Look at these ACErs! Skipping ERT at Fiesta Texas! shame on us all!

A little industry…a little farming… ZDT takes a lot of its inspiration from its surroundings.

And while the place is still sorta classified a family entertainment center, this place is NO SLOUCH! ZDT’s is actually now a pay-one-price-at-entry sort of place; all of the video games are free play with admission!

In the dining room is a feast for the eyes for all coaster enthusiasts! Look at these incredible murals! Color wise, some liberties were taken, but the inspirations behind these murals are still apparent! Can you name all the coasters here???

Coney Island gets some love too! There’s the Wonder Wheel and a special carousel room, complete with a carousel light fixture that spins using a ceiling fan motor! Interestingly, this isn’t the first example of carousel lighting I’ve seen; Knoebels has one just like it in their Carousel Museum!

There’s one more coaster here, too; a fictional one by the name of Silo Express. We can only hope this is foreshadowing a major coaster in ZDT’s future!

Other attractions include a kiddie foam ball play area, a bungee cord trampoline, and a virtual roller coaster simulator! It feels like 2002 in here and I’m not mad about it!

ZDT’s collection is small, but they cover a lot of areas. They have arcade games, the indoor play area, trampoline, virtual coaster, non-virtual coaster, two flat rides, a large indoor/outdoor go-kart setup, and a water park complete with a water coaster!!

One of the slide complexes offers great views of everything on property.

Look at their cute little water coaster! And super green grass!

They also have an enclosed tube slide and a single mat slide (basically a mat racer slide, but without the racing part; just one lane).

Go-karts!

Based on the size of Seguin, I’m guessing the entire city’s population must come here every day for there to be this many people here.

I love the way Switchback weaves around and through this building.

Fun Fact: The building used to be a grocery store! Now it’s a ballroom!

Summer camp kids in bright yellow shirts make the best passengers for coaster shots!

Beautiful. Legend has it that when a train full of ACErs rides Switchback, it goes as high up the spike as physically possible (89º).

We returned to Fiesta Texas in the evening for the annual presentations, and to ride the coasters of the park’s “Los Festivales” entrance plaza (which I’d neglected to do up to that point). Batman: The Goliath is running great and Boomerang is…well… a Boomerang.

We also couldn’t pass up a night ride on Fiesta’s spinning Gerstlauer Pandemonium, aka Chruch’s Chicken: The Ride.


Join us again soon for our third and final installment of Coaster Con XL coverage featuring Sea World San Antonio!

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