The temperature is starting to warm up (hopefully) and eventually, it's going to get to a point in Texas where people would sell their holy souls to a impish demon for a few minutes of refreshing relief.
Six Flags Over Texas has come up with a novel way to beat the heat and activate the part of your brain that makes you think you're gonna die so you can scream your guts out at the same time.
This Saturday marks the opening of the Arlington theme park's 14th roller coaster with Aquaman: Power Wave, the first launching water coaster on the continent, located across from the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis dark ride that opened in 2015.
Power Wave looks like a simple ride. Two carts can hold up to 20 people at once and runs on a single straight track with no turns. A large turn table puts each cart on the track and launches backwards up a 90-degree angle track. Then the cart speeds forward towards another vertical track that sends the cart speeding backwards towards the very end of the 90-degree track at speeds as high as 63 mph.
"It's a giant ride that has a lot of surprises in it," says Chris Ozimek, the regional marketing director for Six Flags Over Texas. "It goes backwards and forwards and every time you go in another direction, it goes faster and faster."
Then right after the final 90-degree drop, the cart drives over a large pool of water one last time except before the final drop, the water level is raised creating a massive tidal wave soaking the riders and anyone standing in the splash zone.
"You even get a little bit of air time because of the hill in the middle of the track," Ozimek says.
Mack Rides of Germany designed and built the new type of coaster that they called a "PowerSplash" ride, according to the company's website. MACK Rides built the first version of its PowerSplash coaster in 2016 with the opening of Pulsar in the Walibi Belgium theme park.
Ozimek says Six Flags Over Texas first announced Aquaman: Power Wave in 2019 and started construction the same year but the project was delayed the following year because of the coronavirus pandemic that closed the park to the public for nearly four months. Crew finished construction on the Aquaman ride in August of 2022 but park officials delayed the opening to this Saturday to coincide with the start of spring break.
"COVID hit us in 2020 and really slowed us down with supply chain issues and labor issues," Ozimek says. "Once we got to 2021, we decided to redesign the ride because it was designed with only one boat at a time. Now we have two boats that load on a turn table."
In addition to the new water coaster, Six Flags Over Texas will also start a new event called Scream Break that brings back to the park's Halloween attraction starting at 9 pm on Saturday. The park will open up its scare zones, two of its most popular haunted house attractions including Arania's Murder Mansion and Labsics and a live freak show until midnight. Guests can also take nighttime rides on six of the park's coasters including the new Aquaman ride, Mr. Freeze, Batman: The Ride, The Riddler's Revenge, The Catwoman Whip and the Texas SkyScreamer that will run in complete darkness. Scream Break runs every day from 9 pm-12 am until Saturday, March 18.