NEW FOR 2019: The Joker Wild Card, DC Universe, & Extended Operating Season

Credit: BizJournals.com

  The Joker Wild Card

The Joker Wild Card

Six Flags Fiesta Texas plans to add a new comic book character-themed thrill ride in 2019. 

The latest investment is The Joker Wild Card, a Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment-branded pendulum ride that will climb a record 17 stories high and reach speeds up to 75 miles per hour, whipping park guests around in a giant disk and providing rare views from more than 170 feet in the air.

Fiesta Texas President Jeffrey Siebert said The Joker Wild Card will be “the fastest ride in park history” and will provide a “villainous twist” to the attractions in the park’s newly themed DC Universe area.

While Six Flags (NYSE: SIX) officials did not disclose the cost of the new ride, the said it should debut in early summer next year.

The Texas-based parent company of Fiesta Texas is making other moves that should provide a separate kind of thrill for local tourism businesses.

Six months after saying it would consider adopting the year-round schedule employed at Magic Mountain near Los Angeles at other warm-weather parks, the company is taking a significant step in that direction in San Antonio. Fiesta Texas will extend its operating schedule, adding weekend and holiday dates in January and February when the park has typically been closed.

It’s an early holiday gift for Fiesta Texas and for businesses that count on the theme park’s visitation after early school start times in the state have cut into the summer tourism season.

“With all the innovative thrills we’ve added over the last several years, this is a perfect time for us to transition to a year-round operating schedule,” Siebert said. “This is a transformative decision and should also position us to take advantage of new shoulder season business growth.”

San Antonio Tourism Council President and CEO Marco Barros said the expanded schedule is a very positive move for San Antonio and Fiesta Texas.

“Anytime you add days and hours, you are attracting more customers,” he said.

Asked in February about the impact an expanded Fiesta Texas schedule could have on local tourism, San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association Executive Director Liza Barratachea told me, “It would be great for the industry and for our hotels.”  

Fiesta Texas plans to offer steep discounts on 2019 season passes through the Labor Day weekend.