Judge Roy Scream
Specific Type: Wooden
Some rides weren’t intended to be the biggest, baddest scream machines around. Six Flags over Texas has a few rides that intend to be crazy, such as Titan and Mr. Freeze. But in 1980, when these rides hadn’t been conceived yet and the tallest coaster in the world was Gemini, a 60-foot-tall coaster was still family entertainment, though that is not entirely a bad thing.
But for a little usually overlooked ride called Judge Roy Scream, family entertainment is all it needs to be. The ride is a simple out and back coaster, without any complexities or surprises. The ride begins with a 71 foot lift hill, leading to a drop that is 65 feet back down to Earth with a slight curve at the bottom. For a coaster intended for families, it still hits 53 miles per hour, which is considered speeding in most residential areas. And this ride, a quaint wooden coaster, manufactured by Don Rosser and William Cobb, does not have trains (Manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Company) with a windshield.
Next is a large hill intended for airtime but is taken slowly instead. Allegedly there was a design error which led to the hill being taller than intended. However, the ride travels past this and heads into two smaller hills clearly intended for airtime, and deliver on their promise. Then the train rises up into a lightly banked right hand turn, traveling just a little past 180 degrees. The train then drops down, before going back up and immediately back down, making for a pleasant little hill.
Then the train does a slight left turn to run directly alongside the track that leads out, heightening the quick pace. Next is four bunny hills of varying heights, with two of them actually underneath the second hill supports, causing numerous instances where the riders feel as if an above supporting beam will slice their craniums off, or as enthusiasts call it, a head chopper.
After the fourth and final hill, the trains slam into the brakes. But people who didn’t ride this have to wonder, “Who is Judge Roy?” Well, it is an allusion to Judge Roy Bean, an eccentric justice of the peace for Val Verde County, though he is considered “The Law West of the Pecos”. While he killed a Mexican, fought a duel that ended up with him in jail and escaped jail, he was still a force of law from the 1870s to 1900. A sign in the queue for the ride explains the detail of his life and a sign at the top of the lift says “Appeal Denied”.
Outside of this, there is very little theming on the ride. However, this does not mean that the ride isn’t pretty. It is perfectly situated along a lake that lies by the access road to the entrance with minimal trees obscuring the view. It runs nearly the entire length of the pond, and has no other rides near it, and has a large LaQuinta hotel in the background. The only way the guests can even access the ride is through a tunnel (Its starting point is next to the Texas Chute Outparachute ride and is rather tricky to find) that travels underneath the road.
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