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?
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!
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!!
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.
Join us again soon for our third and final installment of Coaster Con XL coverage featuring Sea World San Antonio!
For now check out the follow recent CCK and CCCK reports: