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The Rattler (Fiesta Texas) · Apr 25, 01:13 PM

At the time of its opening, Fiesta Texas was operated by Opryland, though I believe USAA insurance was involved in some way as well. As the documents indicate, the park wished to have a very high-profile wooden coaster at opening, and chose the Roller Coaster Corporation of America to perform the work. (Documents refer to the Roller Coaster Corporation of Texas, which I assume without knowing is a subsidiary.)

The park was in particular focused on having a number of records held by the coaster, and so made what might be considered late decisions to increase the lift hill height and the length of the first drop. At least in retrospect, some of the documents indicate early indications of problems, including an accelerometer test performed about a month before the ride opened, the results of which were, according to people involved, “just . . . in the envelope.”

Ultimately, the first drop was reduced in length and reprofiled fairly dramatically. The park was the target of a number of lawsuits; I have never seen any indications about the results of them, though I’ve also never tried very hard to find them.

The documents provide an interesting, if potentially dated, look at how design decisions can sometimes be made. One would imagine that today’s modeling technology might avoid some of the issues with this coaster.

Incidentally, I rode the Rattler very early on, I’m pretty sure before any reprofiling. It was a very fun ride, but my recall of the first drop was that it came out of it very hard, with substantial forces in play.

Courtesy of RideAccidents.com, here are key documents obtained in discovery in litigation:

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