Back To Great Adventure - 8/7 - Dedicated to Earl

Associated parks:
None

Monday, August 8, 2005 7:09 PM

Part One

Weather - Humid, Hazy, High 80's

I'll try to keep this as opinated free as possible, but it might be hard.

Standard -Traffic was not too bad - I tend to take the scenic route (Rt 9 to 357) instead of the turnpike when I go without the family. I like some of the farmland that you miss with the pike. Traffic going to the park from Long Island was not too bad at all. Even the belt to Verazanno bridge was clear.

Got to Wawa for breakfast which was eaten by the park gate by 8:30. I had one last "teacher ticket" that would expire yesterday, and I was going to give it to some lucky family. I asked a few people but people looked at me like I was crazy. Four families declined it. I was just giving it away. Oh well. The fourth person took it. (I saved them one full gate admission).

Signs were up stating that Ka was closed, and the stickers were still posted in the booths about the closure. People were talking about the advertising saying it was open and were then told, it should be running. Very inconsistent and very confusing.

Everyone lined up on the Ka side of the park, but I ran to get a bot. (I don't want to get into a debate about it, but I got one). THis time I was told that while Ka was on the system, I would not be guaranteed to get on it, evn with the bot. I had to sign a paper to that effect. By the time I joined the line, It was well filled. The people on the right, even those in the front were told that they had to go to the back of the left and boy were they mad. From first in line to last. OUCH. I even ran into my cousins on the line and I didn't even know they were going to the park. Lots of guards were on hand to block the throngs. Of course once the bulls were let out of the pens the race was on and came to an abrubt hault. THe front of the line was not allowed up to the station yet.

There were no notices or announcemnts - just a line. We heard the air horn a few times at 10:30, but that was it. Enough to get us excited, but an eventual let down. By 11, two trains rolled out and everyone errupted with happlause. (the ovation petered out as the trains just sat there). I also had to go to the bathroom.

At 11:10 two mechanics walked along the tracks and you would have thought a baseball player won the game by blasting a ball out of the park.

11:15 - air brake noise. Again cheers, again nothing. (No announcemnts) I still had to go to the bathroom.

11:25 The guys behaind me said "that's enough, and off they went - Back cutting the line (Noone minds when that happens)

11:26 I overheard a mother tell her (I'll say nine year old) daughter..."Look we've already invested an hour and a half. If we leave now, we may not have anohter chance.

11:30 I was starting to feel like a prisioner in my own body. Do I leave the line and use hte bot to Q Ka or do I go to the bathroom. The "misters" weren't making the situation any easier.

11:32 More airbrake noise.

11:35 I started making my own airbrake noise.

11:40 Air horn and launch. Crowd cheers!!!!!

11:50 In the station and ready to go. (Well on the ride)

THe station is big, airy, impressive and taseful. Pre recorded boarding and exiting announcemnts. So much has already been said about it. Once you're on the platform you are home free.

11:54 Pulling down the harness. Wow is that thing tight. I sat mid train. Right side.

11:56 LAUNCH - The airhorn blew and I knew to wait five seconds. It was a constant pull. Unlike dragster which feels like it;s going faster and faster until it hits the incline. Ka was just a constant push. The view was to quick to capture, just a blur for me. MY car was a bit shakey once we were on the way down. The Hill added a bit more to the ride, but I kept thinking, boy this is a great amount of speed, they should have added more elelments to it. (Like stormrunner) It seems like a waste to just break all that speed away. Massive rush though. The crew was fine and didn't add or take away anything to the ride. People were just happy to watch launches and know they were getting on.

12:02 Q Bot the next ride (50 minutes later)

12:04 Bathroom (AAAHHHHH!)

The thing is that I spent a good deal of time going on one ride. It was my choice to make. I know that opening day in March or April next year, I will be able to do it without the extra hastle. It was my first time, so I took the time. I'm glad I did, as this ride would louse me up the rest of the day.

Lunch - Chippys - Expensive but outstanding Fish & Chips.

I kept getting messages saying that Ka was having delays and experienceing shutdowns. I heard from other guests that it shuts down periodically every 45 minutes. If a rollback occurs, they simply shut down for a while.

I cancelled and rode a few other things such as log flume to cool off. I also hit Rolling Thunder. Bad Idea. Both trains were running on one side. The crew was slower than...well Rolling Thunder. They took five minutes to check each train. They were so inattentive and boring even to each other. I found a way to ride this thing. Sit up straight and don't lean on any part of the seat with your side or back. The ride was more about endurance instead of enjoyment.

I took the skyride (15 min wait) over to the other side and hit skull Mountain. I used the bot and entered the Fastlane. When I did, I saw a very angry woman screeming and waving her hands at the ride ops and at the crowds in the Que..."(*&(*&( you and (*)()*))(* all of you and what if it was a bomb *&**&8 F this and f U that..." I was embarrased, but mildly entertained. She was getting yelled at by the crowd at her own doing. She didn't care that it was a family-style attraction and that she was showing a lack of class. I don't know the whole story...only the end of it. Again Skull is fun - could be longer - with minimal effects. On to Nitro.

I have never in my life seen a crew at Great Adventure dedicated to being ride ops. They were loading, launching and blasting trains out of the station in record pace. Of couse I opened my mouth and told them how fantastic they were and how I appreciated their efforts. One guy begged me to go to Guest Relations to record my statements. I didn't see Sean or Earl (Nitro regulars) but I promiosed that I would and I did. The lady at Gues Relations was so happy to hear about this and she recorded my report and took my name address and personal info. I went back to the ride (after a much-needed rest on CongoRapids) and told them about what I did. THey really appreciated it.

I hit Batman 3 times because I hopped off and right back on doing my famous dance (The Single Rider Shuffle). This ride never gets old. LOts of fun. I noticed that between the last two inversions there is almost an attempt at another, but it doesn't do it. Just a quick bump to the side. Almost as if the ride is saying...here it goes...opps not ready...let me try again...there got it. Slow loads, but since I popped off and on I wasn't going to complian. They never noticed what I did.

Again I ran into inappropriate behavior on the water effect ride. I sat in the front of the boat and two kids (Roughly 8 and 10) sat next to me. As a teacher, I make it a habit not to talk to kids unless parents are with them or I am asked a question. The kid turned to me and said "Hey man, I hate this *&*&*ken ride." I tried to ignore the comment. "THis ride sux." I didn't want to engage him in this conversaition, but I was thinking about how proud his parents must be of his mastery of the English language and his impressive vocabulary. When we got off we stood at the bridge and waited for teh splash. As the boat was making the turn, everyone on the bridge was waving to the boat passengers...they waved back...this kid proudly gave everyone the finger as they took the plunge. I never said anything, but boy did he make me angry.

My son needs the computer, I will finish up later.

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Monday, August 8, 2005 8:56 PM
Part Two

The park started closing all of its rides and my bot said that rides will reopen when the storm ends. This was stupid as it wasn't raining, there weren't any lightening strikes in the area nad no thunder. It was like the rides took a break for no reason.

Break over. I took a ride on Chiller. Even though it is a short ride, it's still a good one. (Only Robin was working again) The ride controler was very cool. She said "Have any of you been on Kingda Ka? (Some hands went up) This ride is like a warm up for it." She said offered comments like, "Launching in 5...4...now." Anohter classic remark was, "OK bye." Nice touch.

OUCH! I saw a big insect on a bench and it went after me. This wasn't no ordinary bee. This thing had a fuselage. I somehow knocked it to the ground and stepped on it, but he got me in the arm.

Back to Ka. I used the bot which gave me about a 40 minute wait. I figured I would hit one of my favorite flats...the cows. Closed! And that's no bull. Chaos and Freefall was also down for the count.

I spent a few minutes on a quiet bench by the lake to give my aching feet a rest. You know...I have to say I was in a lot of pain because my bathing suit was wet and I like to travel light. Too much walking in a wet bathing suit can cause irritation and inflamation down there. Any suggesstions?

Again back to Ka...still going...yes...up the staion...yes...q bot loses radio signal...why?...still ok for the ride...then all of a sudden..."booooo." The ride goes down. I figured I'd wait it out...all of a sudden I get a "Hey How ya doing?" It was Earl. Earl is one of hte best ops at the park. He remembered me from July third. He told me this (Ka broken) was routine and to probably just wait it out. We were yacking about parks, rides, ops, new stuff, old stuff. Very cool. He told me he works most of the big coasters at the park. Good choice. Anyway no air horn, no breaks, finally an announcment...Closed for the day. (Lots of boos, curse words, anger, angry people, yadayadayada.) Lots of time for night rides on Medussa and Nitro though and a nice chat with Tim from Guest Relations.

Kool and The Gang were playing in the arena and they still had medussa going. (Celebration indeed!)

Medussa is great in the dark, but the ride ops saw a non q-bot user cut the line. He told them to please leave. They wouldn't and pretended not to hear. When they entered the ride and sat down, the ride didn't start. A few minutes later security game, spoke to the group and had them all escorted off of the property. Massive Cheers! By the way, ride medussa without shoes if you can. Front row is best.

Back to NItro for some more air and son of a gun Earl was back on the mike. He was spewing ride facts about Nitro like it was opening day. Again the crew was hoppiong. THE BEST. I also took another spin on the rapids...the first time in the dark. My last ride was the swings.

Overall

1) Ka is still very moody. It has many periods of inoperation and decent operation when open. Guest serives explains that it's a relatively new technology and it occasionally needs a rest.

2) Sunday crowds are large at Great Adventure, but many of the people they draw don't pay attention to cruel language, smoking and idiotic behavior. Security is better, but they can't be everywhere.

If someone can explain the Houdini attraction to me, I would appreciate it. I know we didn't go upside down (Yet how did they do that and how much are we really moving)?

Thank you for riding and enjoy the rest of your day here at 6 flags great aventure. (Where capicity is still an issue). *** Edited 8/9/2005 2:32:55 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 2:29 PM
Ah yes, a trip to GADV could not be complete w/out rude people and children yelling and cussing inappropriate things. It's what makes the whole GADV expierence, lol. One of the many reasons why it's close to my heart.

Are you being serious about Houdini? Cause I was about to go into an explanation but I stopped myself with realizing that maybe you had been sarcastic, lol.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 2:38 PM
I will still consider TTD the world's tallest because at least it operates. Sounds like I don't want to get to SFGADV because of ineffecient crews. Good TR man. BTW, did you get a standard or a gold bot?
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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 3:07 PM
After the two or three rides on Houdini...even I'm still not 100% sure...I mean it looks like we went upside down...but huh? :)
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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 3:34 PM
The room spins around you with only slight movement from the chairs. It actually makes me a bit sick to ride it because of the lack of actual movement.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 4:05 PM
Hehe, Richie...Houdini, much like the simplified version at Dutch Wonderland, is basically a Vekoma Mad House....you sit in a swing and the building revolves AROUND you...guess I should have mentioned "spoilers ahead", huh? ;)

Unfortunately, SFNE's Houdini was down all day....ah well, more rides on Supes and T-Bolt. SHOULD have gotten more rides on Cyclone and the Nightwing *credit lap*, but they were both down as well....on second thought, probably woulda skipped Houdini anyway, I can find better ways of making myself nauseous... :)

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 4:12 PM

Richie Reflux said:


I spent a few minutes on a quiet bench by the lake to give my aching feet a rest. You know...I have to say I was in a lot of pain because my bathing suit was wet and I like to travel light. Too much walking in a wet bathing suit can cause irritation and inflamation down there. Any suggesstions?


Yup! Your swimsuit is much too heavy. Switch to lightweight jammies aka board shorts with a good, secure velcro pocket. Lose the wallet and carry your cash in a money clip. Lose your heavy key ring and carry just your car key--or if you've got a keyless, just your module.

If you're using sunscreen, use one with cocoa butter or something better on your skin. If you're using bar soap, stop right now and switch to a moisturizing body wash.

Last but not least, get a pair of Ray-Bans and smile a lot. :) Have fun!

- 'Playa

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 5:28 PM
Stef, I wasn't kidding about Houdini. I remember being talked on to that ride last time becasue I'm not a fan of haunted houses (etc), but my cousin said that it was rare that it was open, so I should try it. It COULDN'T have gone upside down, because there was only a lap bar.

What took away from the "story" was that when we were seated, a girl (standard 6 flags uniform) came around to collect cups, souvineers, etc to put them out of harms way. This took a long time and totally distracted from the weak storyline. If the ghost of Houdini was really going to appear, I don't think he would truly mind a Mr. Six Re-fillable bottle. I remember walking off of the ride/show/attraction/illusion and my cousin asked me if I liked it. I had a hard time figureing out what it was. I wanted to figure out what was happening from a technical standpoint. I said it was weird.

-----

John, I got a gold bot for one. I do that when I go solo. I don't pay for tickets (tons of teacher's tickets -which expired Sunday and radio station friends), so I splurge for a bot when I ride alone. When I go with the family I don't because my son is only 43" and he likes to spend most of his time in the Fun Factory

---

Playa, I use sun screen but certainly "not between the boys." THere's no sun down there silly. I also use waterpark shoes. This isn't good for the feet, but they are a quick on and off when I hit a ride like Batman, Medussa or the swings where the toes can get a good airing. I have the bot in one pocket and my wallet and a key in the other. This is actually a bigger mystery to solve than Houdini. I mean I like to get wet, and we all like to walk around parks - but nobody wants the irritation that follows. It's the combination of water-ride-wetness and friction and I only get it on park days. I'm not trying to make this into a sick topic or anything, but by Monday morning I was still walking funny. Tonight is much better. I mentioned that I am planning a trek to Pennsylvania in a few weeks. (2 days Kennywood, 1 day Hershey, 1 day at K'Nobles) If I do this without as planned, I will have a blast, but I might have to pop blisters in order to sit down.

Thanks for responding - I appreciate the company.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 5:41 PM

Richie Reflux said:
It COULDN'T have gone upside down, because there was only a lap bar.

Not necessarily true, what about coasters like Superdooperlooper that have inversions yet just a lapbar? Chiller at SFGAdv also has "just a lapbar".

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005 6:44 PM
i read one of tRs and cant remember what someone said about Ka Being new technology. It is fairly new to some, but its been out for at least 4 years or even longer.

What it comes down to is how much work was put into the idea of the wear and tear of the cables and such problems of these 400 footers. I understand the idea of a rollback, but do they jog to out at the same time, one behind the other style at the launch. Cause i know the dual loading is used there. If its like stormrunner than no. Stormrunner only has two trains, so that is the reason for that. There was also the mention of airbrakes going up and down or at least air coming our from compression, so was that the main reason it was down. Just a few questions to ask about the ride.

Also its always great to hear something positive about the Nitro crew at least, considering how bad the reputations are for ops just about anywhere, but sadly you said the other ones werent as good.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005 3:43 PM
It is my understanding that pieces of the train came flying off the ride about 2 months ago during a test launch. Someone on here saw it and posted a tr about it.
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Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:24 AM
Richie,
I agree about the Nitro crew. Everytime I'm there they are the hardest working crew.
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