Thursday, October 01, 2015
Hooray, today I have more vintage postcards from Ken Martinez! This time we'll pay our first visit to "Six Flags Over Texas", with more visits to come. Heeeeere's Ken:
Six Flags Over Texas, because "Texas isn't under anything"
Opened in August 1961, Six Flags Over Texas was the first successful theme park to open following the establishment of Disneyland. The six theme areas were based on the flags that flew in succession over the state of Texas; Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, the Confederacy and the United States. The park was designed by the firm of Randall Duell and Associates. Before the Six Flags project, Randall Duell collaborated with C.V. Wood on the design of Freedomland in New York. The first set of postcards feature the Mexico section of what would become the first of many Six Flags theme parks.
I find this card interesting because it shows different versions of some of the flags compared to what they look like today. Originally the park was to be named "Texas Under Six Flags" but the name was changed to "Six Flags Over Texas" because it was said that "Texas isn't under anything".
Gone long ago, the Fiesta Train ran from 1961-1978. Visitors boarded one of two trains; "El Cho Cho" or "El Cha Cha" in sombrero covered vehicles pulled by trolley style locomotives. Various scenes along the route included dancing tamales and a bull fighting scene as seen in this postcard. By 1968 the ride was remodeled with new style trains and new scenes including a volcano of which I have postcards that I will share in the future.
Here's an image of one of the shops in the Mexico section. While the architectural detail isn't on the level of Disneyland, it is still effective in what it is trying to accomplish.
Here is what I assume is an interior shot of the shop shown in the previous postcard. Note the merchandise of which I doubt they sell at the park anymore. Like Disneyland, I'm sure it's all branded merchandise now.
Here we have a mariachi band performing on the streets of the Mexico section. It looks like a food establishment next to the band and the kids on the bench appear to be eating corndogs.
Because of the success of Six Flags Over Texas, non-Disney theme parks started pop up all across the U.S. and dotted the map by the time the 1970's came and went. It was within this golden era of theme park development that the coaster revival was born. Hope you enjoyed.
Information Source material:
The Great American Amusement Parks copyright 1975 by Gary Kyriazi
Funland U.S.A. copyright 1978 by Tim Onosko
The History of Six Flags Over Texas - www.ParkTimes.com
As always, a Big "Thank You" goes to Ken Martinez for all of his time and effort in putting together these fun posts. I knew basically nothing about Six Flags Over Texas, and look forward to more posts about it!