Chewbacca's Greatest Adventure Yet!

Associated parks:
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Sunday, October 1, 2006 1:00 AM
Nice title, huh? This was my best trip yet to Great Adventure, which may get nominated for a Golden Ticket of 'Most Improved Park' next year.

Arrived about 630, headed for Batman. Walk on. Very Smooth. 8/10. Then to Nitro. 2 train wait. Awesome ride. Very under rated hyper. 9/10. Skull Mountain. Walk on. 6/10. No special effects.

Scream Machine front seat. Walk on, and suprisingly smooth. 8/10. Superman, 1 train wait for last seat. 7/10.

Not dark enough for the hay ride next door. Walked across park, through fog to El Toro. Used my front of the line pass, as there was about a 30-45 min wait. The squashed me into my seat. I felt like a sausage. Honestly, and this will not be a popular review, but the ride is too darn fast. Forget I couldn't get airtime, we were really bookin too fast in the dark to see anything. Like the Villian in the rain. Just whoopin ass speed. Next time, I want a daytime run, and just like an inch or two under the lap bar. 8/10.

Stopped for Mexican, and had steak fajitas. Not bad. Just a bit cold outside, but not their fault. 7/10. Different park food, that was tolerable.

Then to Kingda Ka. Ready for this? Walk on. The launch was a little more rough than TTD, and just a bit longer to know where I was. TTD had me disoriented from the start. I rode in the back seat, which was mind boggling, and left the possibilty of a clean underware purchase soon. Not a bad ride. Its no top-10, but its no door stop either. 9/10.

So there you have it. All coasters where running great, with 2 trains, the games were stocked and flashed, the food carts were open, as were most food joints. People were friendly, and the decorations were the best they have ever been. I stayed away from the Frontier Area, since I am coming back in the area next week.

Could I ruin the night with a haunted hayride? Lets find out. No line again at the Lethal Weapon stunt theatre. The ride was scarier than usual, and the Swamp Creatures looked like Wookies, and the chased the wagon, fell off, climbed on board, and screamed alot. Good solid ride for the family. 8/10.

At the exit, you had to go between 2 parallel rows of managers who high fived you. I was impressed, sort of like the send off you get on a cruise ship. They have made a solid effort at the flagship park to start Halloween off right, and I hope they maintain this attitude. Overall, 9.25/10.

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Sunday, October 1, 2006 2:17 AM
Was this on Friday or Saturday night? I was there around that time on Sat. night and the park seemed packed...
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Sunday, October 1, 2006 8:25 AM
Sorry, Friday, 9/29.
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Sunday, October 1, 2006 10:56 AM
Nice report. Sounds like a great time. I guess you hit it right without insane crowds. I love Great Adventure in the fall, especially when the leaves are turning. It can be quite beautiful. *** Edited 10/1/2006 2:56:46 PM UTC by Richie Reflux***
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Sunday, October 1, 2006 11:31 AM
It's crazy how the TR's coming out of Jersey are so varied. I had a great day there as well. Seems to be a crowd thing. A little consistency and they'd be all set.
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Sunday, October 1, 2006 1:18 PM
Going to a Park when it's crowded is not very fun. :( But remember, If you have too many days when "You have the park to yourself" The Park will not make enough money and it won't be long before you'll see the news on this or other Websites Stating; "(Name of Park) to Close at end of Season" and that isn't fun either! :(

I have a way of dealing with a Park when I discover it has unusually heavy crowds. First, if there's a ride I HAVE to experience (Like their newest Coaster) I'll BEELINE to that ride as soon as the gate opens so I can experience it. Sometimes, when a park is crowded the park will extend their operating hours (I've seen Disney keep their parks open until as late as 1:00 AM) If they extend the hours I'll use this to my advantage. If it seems you cannot find a ride or some other attraction that doesn't have a wait of at least an Hour I'll get my Hand Stamped and I'll leave the park and go see some Local Points of Interest. After Eating Dinner I'll return to the Park. (As Evening Approaches many people, especially Groups who came on Bus Trips, will be leaving the park to return home. Naturally The Waiting Times for rides will go down, and I'll enjoy the rest of the evening to enjoy the Park! One little Side Benefit, I'll find a nice Restaurant in town that not only serves better food than what's inside the park, but is CONSIDERABLY CHEAPER too! :)

:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Look out PPP! Here I Come!

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Sunday, October 1, 2006 4:52 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
It's crazy how the TR's coming out of Jersey are so varied. I had a great day there as well. Seems to be a crowd thing. A little consistency and they'd be all set.

You may have a point. SFGAdv does better when the crowds are smaller. But you know what? That's not good enough here. SFGAm handles crowds better. Hersheypark handles crowds decently, too, as my trip yesterday proved.

Those coaster ops aren't quite optimal for crowds, either, but they were ok for last night. For instance, Nitro should be running 3 on a crowded day, and TTD should have 4.

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Sunday, October 1, 2006 5:24 PM
Never said it was good enough. :)

Just pointing out that there has been a wide gap in the satisfaction of visitors based on TR's around here. Those of us that have a good time usually hit the park on a dead day.

If they could scale that level of service with the crowds (consistency!) then they'd have a good thing going.

All the pieces seem to be in place, just turn that last bend and bring it together.

AT the very, very least - it is possible to enjoy a visit to SFGAdv...you just have to get a little lucky. ;)

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Monday, October 2, 2006 12:37 AM
I think it comes down to motivation and training...should there be some sort of benefits/motivation (besides guest satisfaction) for employees that run rides well? Have a supervisor come up to a ride for a half hour and watch a crew...see how quickly they can cycle trains through, checking everybody safely and having fun doing it...give points/bonuses, whatever, for the best crews.

Also...don't just randomly assign people to crews...put some of the hard-working, dedicated kids on the most crowded rides and watch the wait times drop! Back when I worked at Sesame Place, there were times when I worked up at Vapor Trail and we'd cycle kinda slowly, people were lazy and all, "i don't care about my job-ish" and such...and less trains were cycled. They put a whole bunch of lazy people up there. However, put a bunch of happy, hard-working people up there, who can have fun with each other and the guests, and suddenly, the atmosphere is more relaxed, the trains get cycled quicker, and wait times are decreased.

If little Johnny is lazy and not motivated, and wants to work Nitro, El Toro, or Kingda Ka, make him work for it, don't just put him there for the hell of it, or to be with his friends...start little Johnny off on Runaway Mine Train, or Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train and work his way up from there. The better he gets, the more energetic and motivated, move him up to Scream Machine, Superman, and eventually up to the big rides. That way he has something to work for, and only the best employees get to run the top rides.

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Monday, October 2, 2006 8:17 AM
The problem with supervisors doing the checking is you won't get a true reading. Every worker knows who the supervisors are. They could work hard then slow down when the supervisors leave. Best way to do it is hire independent evaluators when the season is busy. This way no one knows who the evaluators are.
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Monday, October 2, 2006 1:55 PM
What makes you think that isn't already being done? Six Flags does unannounced audits all the time. They know exactly how many people are being cranked through which rides, which crews suck, and who is responsible. The issue is that they don't ever seem to use that information to fix the problems.

-Nate

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Monday, October 2, 2006 2:52 PM
I think if it were me, you'd almost never get to work with your friends...unless you'd proven capable of doing so. It would definitely be a *restricted* benefit...

Since parks cannot seem to PAY their best employees, I'd at least make CERTAIN that there were ways of *distinguishing* those who were REALLY doing their jobs, from those whose level of performance was "acceptable". Unacceptable performance, that gets a pink slip...and due to whatever benefits I *could* legitimately scrounge up, there WOULD be people waiting to fill ^those^ job openings... ;)

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