26 rides at Great Adventure, all thanks to Q-bot:)

Associated parks:

I get a call from my friend Matt saying that he’s going to Great Adventure on Thursday with his friend Jason. Coincidently, I’m also thinking about going since I have the day off from SFA. My hope is that they have Batman up on Chiller and the Huss Jump working. Later on those topics. We arrived about 11am and oogled over Superman Ultimate Flight while walking into the park. One thing that is very noticeable over Batwing is the constant dispatch rates. Of course when Batwing is running both stations, they are about comporable. It doesn’t really look like a parking lot coaster either, but more like an extension of Boardwalk.

Our first order of business is to get Q-bot, since Matt’s dying to try it. It cost us $40 for the three of us, and Matt pays for it. Throughout the whole day we kept thanking Matt for paying for Q-bot and keeps saying “You guys are going to give me something towards it, right?”, to which we would say “Hey, it was your ideal”:) We started out at Skull Mountain, and we sat in the back of the train. I’ve gained more respect for this dark coaster, especially since we didn’t have to wait for it:) The line was almost non-existant, anyway which for me is almost unheard of. After getting our ride reservation for Nitro, we had time to kill, so we rode The Poland Spring Plunge, over by Skull Mountain. It’s fun and has a nice hopping action across the water after the plunge. We went back over to Nitro and got a second to the back row ride. I’ve gained more respect for Nitro, especially after today. I think I definitely would put it above Apollo’s Chariot.

We moved onto Chiller next and had some time to kill, so we rode Pendulum (Huss Frisbee). I have to say I didn’t find it anywhere near as exciting after riding The Claw five times at Hersheypark a few weeks ago. We then got onto the Enterprise. Sadly, both had really short programs, but it was just enough to kill time before our appointment with Robin. This was the first disappointment of the day. Not that Robin was bad, because it kicked ass, but there was still no train on the Batman track:( Oh well, maybe next year.

We then went over to Boardwalk where we saw a scary sight called Eruption, S&S’s version of an ejector seat. We saw a capsule launch, and all three of the towers are swaying back and forth like mad. And to watch this little capsule held up by three little wires, well it’s a little unnerving. Matt checks into the price expecting Skycoaster-like prices, and they have a weekday special for only $6 per person! Of course Matt and I have to try it. There wasn’t much of a line, and it got even shorter for us when they called for two riders. We got to ride on the side facing Scream Machine. Unfortunately for Matt, they made him take off his glasses, which he wasn’t too happy about. The restraints are, well, extremely uncomfortable. There’s keeping a person secure, and then there’s overkill. It combines a Togo-like top half with a side-latching lapbar like on Phantom’s Revenge. This is the part I hated, as it was way too tight. The capsule lifts off the ground a little, and the op recites a spiel about going 10ft. higher than Nitro. In the meantime you hear the familiar S&S air bellows. We get thrown up in the air, and the people down on Boardwalk get really, really tiny. We bounced down, and then thrown up into the air one more time where our seats leaned forward facing the ground. We then bounced one more time and came to rest back on the launch pad. It didn’t affect me too badly, but Matt says he saw stars. It was worth $6 bucks, I suppose, but it would be greater if it launched faster.

Next, we rode Scream Machine, where we all had a decent ride, much better than my back-killing ride of last year. Since we had made an appointment at S:UF, we still had time to kill so we rode the Space Shuttle, an inverting pirate ship. More uncomfortable restraints, but I knew what to expect. We still needed to kill more time, so we hopped onto Twister (Huss Top Spin). The program is fun, but nowhere as good as Dorney Park’s. It’s a shame the one at Fiesta Texas was closed, as their Frisbee program kicked Great Adventure’s butt.

Now it was our turn for the new B&M. It’s nice that they give you a test seat to try out in front of the enterance. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is versus the Vekoma design. Once up into the station, we opted for the second row, as the first row had a very large line. It’s amazing to see how fast the train goes up into the flying position. Once onboard and up into the flying position, I realized something, I don’t like these restraints one bit. It’s too tight around the chest, and the bottom half of your body is being supported by your ankles. Going up the lift in the flying position takes all the fun out of it, in my opinion. I like Batwing’s turnover surprise at the top of the lift. The layouts ok, but I still prefer some elements of Batwing better, such as the backwards loop, and the final helix. I’m just glad we didn’t have to wait in the long queue, although technically we did thanks to Lo-Q. Matt and Jason loved it, so take my opinion for what it’s worth. We decided to skip our appointment back at Scream Machine.

Moving down into Fantasy Forest, my suspicion becomes true, Jumping Jack Flash isn’t up and running. Damn. That makes two years in a row that I’ve missed out on this ride. Unlike Evolution though, I have ridden it in the past. Matt mentions later on that we’re even as he’s ridden the since transferred Evolution, but not JJF. Matt is really hoping that Taz Twister (Rotor) is up and running and it is, as he’s never gotten to ride it. Jason sits this one out. I don’t think the human body was meant to be stood straight up and sucked to a wall, but maybe it’s just me. I’ll take a Gravitron over this anyday, as it kind of hurts after a while. We got our next reservation for Rolling Thunder, and had time to kill once again, so we hopped in line for a one-train Viper. The lines moving too slow, and we decided that we didn’t have enough time, so we waited patiently at RT. Once up to the loading platform, it first appears that a technical difficulty is occuring. One train is in the brakerun, and the other approaching the lift. First, two ride supervisor people arrive, and then security. They walk four kids off of the ride and no one else. So who knows what they did wrong. After a two-train wait, we got onboard and squealed around for a while. It wasn’t half bad, and we got some air.

We next headed back to Viper, which didn’t have a Lo-Q option:( (I think it used to). It’s such an incredibly short ride, and it takes a while to load due to a separate load/unload section. Plus the restraints are cumbursome as you have a lapbar and half of a OTSR to hold down until the train is locked. I got bashed around pretty hard, but I still liked the UltraTwister corkscrew at the end. I think we all felt that it was 40 minutes wasted, not to mention the 10 people who jumped the line in front of us, the only trouble we had with that today. We got our next reservation for Medusa, and checked out the line for Saw Mill Log Flume, the larger of the two flumes. The line was too long, but we had fun playing with the 25 cent waterjets. It took me several tries, but I finally got my timing down and got several people wet:) We noticed several boats were also geting wet by waterspouts mounted under the bridge that carries you over the flume. We thought it was on a sensor at first, but then we noticed that some boats weren’t getting wet at all. More on that later.

We waited two to three trains for the front row of Medusa, and she kicked ass as always. I don’t remember once hitting my head on the OTSR’s. We must get one of these at SFA, say next year:) Our next reserve time is for Runaway Mine Train, which had the only awkward Lo-Q setup of the day. The reserve terminal is out front as usual, but the enter terminal was at the back where all the regular riders enter. It didn’t make any sense, so we headed back out front to the exit ramp like on all the other rides. We again encountered a little bit of a wait, as a I think there was another misbehaving kid. After a 20-minute wait, we were on. It’s a fun ride, but still needs more padding in the butt area for the adults. I made us another reservation at Saw Mill Log Flume, and the wait is quite long, so I suggested Houdini’s Great Escape (Vekoma Mad House). Unfortunately, due to a longer than ancipated wait, we lost our second reservation of the day. I love HGE to death, but it would be great if there was a way to just skip the preshow and hop right onboard. We decided to still hop back onboard Saw Mill Log Flume even without Lo-Q, and the line wasn’t too bad. This is where we discovered the secret of the “mystery” waterjets under the bridge. To the right side, therre are yet more 25 cent machines to soak riders. Knowing that karma can bite you in the ass, we rode with some trepidation, but after the last large drop and under the bridge, not a drop. Of course, that didn’t mean that we still didn’t want to go back and get others wet:). Oh, did we have fun getting whole families soaked.

We were still missing two coaster credits, so we headed to Lakefront to ride Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure Train, a junior Zier. I love the layout, as it’s quite confusing, and is quite fun for a “kiddie” coaster. I still say that a ride like this is the missing link at SFA. Something that’s not too extreme that adults can ride without children. Maybe one of these years. Our last coaster credit of the night belongs to Batman the Ride, Again, we had time to kill, so we had two choices, either Pendulum again, or the newly opened Stuntman’s Freefall, so we went with SF. For as old as this ride is, it still scares me more than a 2nd generation freefall tower. It’s just something about that fast elevator ride up to the top, and being pushed out to what feels like impending death, but hey that’s just me. Batman was fun as always, and I still can’t figure out the layout of it after the 2nd vertical loop, even afer riding three of these things.

I was still hoping for one more Chiller ride at night, as our Nitro appointment was so close to closing, so we decided to wait in line like all the non-Lo-Q people. Our wait wasn’t that bad, and Matt thanks me for getting him to go back on Chiller at night. Our last ride of the night belonged to Nitro, and we opted for the second row this time. I still thik I prefer the back better, but Matt and Jason like the front better. It’s all the same, it’s still a great ride, especially at night. I think we managed 26 rides in one day, which is amazing. Lo-Q and Q-bot rule. They even had a fireworks show at the end of the night. I have to say, we dropped a boatload of money into the park, so don’t let it be said that seasonpass holders don’t spend money. Between the food (two meals), Eruption, the Q-bot ($40 for all three of us), and the waterjets on Saw Mill Log Flume, we left with much lighter pockets.

If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

The people getting removed from Rolling Thunder were probably standing up. If anyone stands up at any time before it goes down the first drop, they stop it and remove them from the train. I always get a kick out of seeing the losers removed. :)

Sue Barry

BullGuy's avatar
Yeah, that must happen quite often... We had to wait about 10 extra minutes for RT when I visited back in June because two kids decided to stand up. They probably knew what they were in for, and tried to get off while they still could. ;)

Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

Nice TR,I find it interesting that in your Medusa review you stated the following: "we must get one of these at SFA,say next year :)" is there anything to that statement that can be taken as a clue for what's on tap @ SFA in 04?

I've always wanted to take a trip out to SFGRADV myself but the drive time is the main problem,if only there were a short route that can be taken from the DC metro area so I could manage to take a trip out there within the next few years.

What's the average driving time from the northernVA,DC area to SFGRADV? & are there any shortcuts that can be taken to reduce the drive time at all?

My statement about Medusa is wishful thinking, but hey, you never know:) There are no shortcuts to Great Adventure. For you it's basically 495 (in either direction) to 95N to the Jersey Turnpike to exit 7A. I live right outside of Baltimore on the west side and it takes me about two-and-a-half hours doing Nitro-like speed most of the way. It takes me about an hour-and-a-half to get to Northern VA, so you're probably looking at 3 1/2 to 4 hours either way. There is so much to do that you won't want to shortchange yourself by leaving early either. Maybe you should drive up and get a hotel/motel room (if you're of age), so you're not trying to kill yourself driving back and forth? Whatever you do, don't do it without your little friend called Q-bot:)
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
Well sorry folks. I live 40 minutes from the park in New Jersey!

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