Flipping into Frisco: 20th Texas Pinball Festival Rolls In March 15-17

Where the pinball stops, nobody knows. But pinball lovers? Next month they'll be pinging their way to Frisco for the 20th anniversary edition of the Texas Pinball Festival. Once you pay your way inside, you'll have "free play" access to more than 400 pinball machines, classic video games, and other "game room goodies"—along with tournaments, seminars, and more.

That little silver ball can cause cheers, jeers, groans, and shouts of ding-ding-ding triumph—and you can hear all this and more next month in Frisco.

The Texas Pinball Festival returns to the city March 15-17 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel & Conference Center. Taking place in a sprawling 40,000-square-foot “game room,” it will feature more than 400 pinball machines, classic video games, and other “game room goodies” set up on free play for everyone to enjoy all weekend long—once you’ve paid for entry, that is.

Pinball from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Austin Powers’ and beyond

The Texas Pinball Festival is coming to Frisco March 15-17, 2024. [Photo: Visit Frisco]

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Texas Pinball Festival. Inside, you’ll see a dizzying array of pinball machines that have been lovingly coddled by collectors— including a 2001 Stern “Austin Powers,” a 1992 Bally “Addams Family,” a 1995 Sega “Apollo 13,” a 1993 Bally/Midway “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” a 2007 Stern “Dale Jr. (NASCAR LE),” and a 2018 Stern “Iron Maiden Pro.”

But wait, there’s more. You can journey to a parallel universe with a 2020 Spooky Pinball “Rick and Morty,” or go back in time to 1980 with Bally’s “Space Invaders.” 

1979 Bally “Star Trek”? Beam yourself up to Frisco.

2007 Stern “Spider-Man”? Webs will be weaved daily.

You can also feel the force with the Stern 2017 “Star Wars.”

For the full game lineup, go here.

Classic arcade games on tap, too

If hours of trying out pinball leaves you wanting a little higher-tech action, don’t worry: the festival features lots of classic arcade games, too, including everything from Donkey Kong to Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season to Joust, Galaga, Centipede, Ms. Pac-Man, Mario Bros, and more.

The Texas Pinball Festival is coming to Frisco March 15-17, 2024. [Photo: Visit Frisco]

Tournaments, seminars, and events

All weekend long at the Texas Pinball Festival, vendors, collectors, and hobbyists from North Texas and beyond will be bringing parts, supplies, game room memorabilia, pinballs, video games, and more for sale to the public. One lucky winner will take home a new pinball machine from the festival’s annual raffle.

Both adults’ and children’s tournaments will be held throughout the weekend, with attendees invited to compete for trophies, ribbons, and cash prizes. The tournaments will include Texas Wizards, Classic Side, Kids Bump ‘n’ Win, and the Texas Takedown Women’s Pinball Championship.

There will also be seminars on everything from the history of pinball to how to set up a new or old pinball machine to machine maintenance and how to get started in tournaments.

A free outside bonus: On Saturday, March 16, starting at 6:30am, the DFW Pinball and Arcade Club will be putting on an outdoor flea market and swap meet featuring coin operated collectibles, project machines, and more. Admission for that is free.

More info on the festival

“Leave your quarters at home!” the organizers say. But you’ll have to pay your way inside for all that free play and pinball-machine gazing—with daily tickets ranging from $30 to $50 for adults, depending on the day, and $15 to $35 for kids. Children under 5 get in free. Discounts are available if you pre-register, the organizers said.

For more details and updates on the festival, go here. For ticket info, go here.

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