Great Adventure - July 4, 2010 - Bar-be-Que - Barfing - A Tribute to Kasey Kasem - Come be one of the Positive Employees - Worst Country Show Ever

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:54 AM

I made my annual July 4th trek to Great Adventure. MOst of you don't care for my usual nonsense, so I'll start with the important stuff and you can exit at any time.

Hot in the high 90s - Parking Lot less than half full (Though Hurricane Harbor must have been hopping)

Nitro - front seat third train out. A bit shakey on the "C" train. Three trains running. Good hustle from crew. Second run about the same.

Congo Rapids - Nice Crew - I was surprised to get a Private boat for one on such a hot day. Being the center of gravity, I took most of the splash-overs and felt very refreshed. (Again, this ride could be so much better with the waterfall turned on, and a few more spash effects (like a mist house or something).

Skyride - Still awesome. It would go down at least twice that day.

Log Flume - Badly needed as I was sweating a lot already. The people I shared my log with had a child who lost her glasses. I stayed on the log and was unable to find it....(platinum pass)...but I did find a quarter in the back of the boat. Later on in the day, one of the guys assigned to watching the logs roll by was wishing everyone a happy fourth of July and he was splashing the boats with glee.

Bizaro - I am far from one to talk, but one of the heaviest ride ops I ever saw was running up and down the platforms, checking the restraints and wishing everyone a "6 Flags day." I swear, that if he keeps it up at the pace he was working he will drop at least 30 pounds by the end of the summer. My train did not have the speaker system working and there was a bit more head-banging than expected. The effects were silly in the light of day, but the 1/2 second of mist felt great.

Ka - (4 trains running) I have never been on this ride without glasses strapped to my face and today I (purposely) left my glasses in the car. I had an option of waiting about 12 trains for the front or 2 trains for row two. I took row two. I LOVE the view of watching the train in front taking off before we rolled into the launch position. This time, there was no "Head back, hold on announcemnts," but I was able to see the fins go up and watch for the "skateboard" to scurry on back to get us. There is no other similar sight in the world to me. When the fins went down I was braced for the launch and I tried to time my last breath. correctly. BOOM! It's a sensation that doesn't get old...but without my glasses to protect me from the rushing wind...I did something that I rarely do to protect my eyes. I closed them. By the time I was able to open them, I was about 1/2 way up the spike. Once there, it seemed that nitro's peak was as far away from us (in height) as the ground is from Nitro's peak. Then I focussed on (for some reason) the sqaure numbers in hte parking lot lanes. The second hill is really a prolonged brake run. Wouldn't it be great if they do decide to take down scream machine, that they extend ka and give it a few more elements. It seems like a waste to just break all that potential energy. The second lap was great too, but for me the whole ride is in the anticipation of the launch and then the run up the spike. Great fun!

Mine Train - Still some moments of fun - but I could use some more leg room. (Choo-choo!)

Scream Machine - A lot of que for a walk on (At least the faded photos in the boxes were updated)- Some people said they knew nothing about its demise, others said this is hte last year. I felt it ran very well today and near standstill before the end run was comical. (Complete with scrunchy break sounds!)

Big Wheel - As I was waiting for my ride an employee was calling after a group of riders who left their glasses and wallet in the gondola. This was above and beyond. I notified a manager who was going over some procedures with some employees nearby to tell him what the Ferris Wheel girl did to save the day for that group, but he didn't seem to care.

Food:

Breakfast - A small Wawa tuna sandchich on the way. NOthing tastes like Wawa tuna.

Lunch - Perhaps the best meal I ever had at Great Adventure was a corned beef sandwich at the Carnegie Deli. It was lean, delicious and reasonably priced for the 12 bucks I paid for it. THe place was not that busy and the window seat was fantastic for people watching. THe same sandwhich at the carnegie deli in New York would be over 20 bucks.

Bar-B-Que - I have grown to love the traditional 4th of July and Labor Day Barbeque deals at Great Adventure...until today. The price went up a bit (Now about $18) and instead of carrying around a soggy receipt, I could have purchased my ticket right at the gate. Oh well...

The burgers were "highly processed" and the hot dogs were undercooked. THey no longer had fried chicken. Instead they had a form of bar-b-que chicken and pulled pork. I don't know which pig they pulled it from, but it just didn't look like a healthy barnyard animal. The soda was flowing and the ice-cream cups (generic supermarket fare) were good enough, but sadly, the barbeque this year didn't cut the mustard. (Available in small packets). I should note that the large pavillion was upgraded and given a more - modern look...though it was still noisy and hot in there.

A few other sights, sounds and smells from my day at the park:

1) Some guy must have come off of Batman the Ride. He proceeded to hurl right over the bushes. He did not look good.

2) You know how we tend to analyize everything and compare and contrast everything park-related on these forums. Well, not everyone does that. Case in point, there was a family who were buying a ticket at the front gate who didn't realize about coke cans and buy one get one free and discounts from wawa etc. They were presented with a ticket fee of over $300 which they clearly didn't have or expect. They thought (in their best broken English) that the deals were automatic. I felt bad for them and if I had an extra coupon- I would have given it to them.

3) The Mr. 6 dance contest is cute (for kids) but it's a farce. "We only have 5 flags of fun…let's see if you can cheer some more to make a 6 flags day. (Asking for applause is lame…especially in 95 degree weather).

4) I sat down because a small country show was going to start and I just wanted to rest for a while. When it did, I was disgusted. I know and love old classic country, and I like the stuff from today…but these wannabes were using horrible hee haw style dialogue and a pre-recorded background track to sing to. No wonder people who aren't country fans make fun of country music. It was really bad!

5) I couldn't get over how clean the place was and how many employees were around. I did not see one line cutter all day…even when I didn't use my pass. My only "keep it to yourself" complaint was a group of high school kids who were cursing un-necessarily on the Nitro line. I hate when kids think they have to do that.

6) What happened to Reuban's Glatt Spot? I love a good Kosher Frank. It seems to be gone this year…unless I missed it.

7) They seem to sell a lot of capes.

8) Parking – Yes, it's still 15 bucks, and yes, they still have not repaired the messed up part of the lot.

9) There was a fireworks show at 10 and a parade at 9, but I left at 8:30. I saw a lot of fireworks over the turnpike and the tail end of the New York City show off in the distance.

10) Lots of misters and spray cans. (Sometimes the guy at Balin's water hole or whatever they call it) will let you put your head under the fountain. Sometimes they won't. They all should on such a hot day.

11) I took a nap in the best of the west restaurant terrace as people were feeing the fish and turtles. One turtle was as large as a submarine.

12) On the way up, I was listening to Z-100 and heard Ryan Seacrest hosting American Top 40 (I am not a fan of seacrest, but this show was special). It was the 40 anniversary of AT40 and he paid homage to Kasey Kasem by using some of his material from year's back. Later on the way home the Philadelphia country station played lots of patriotic songs – which were great for the fireworks on the parkway. A nice added bonus to a nice day.

I forgot to mention that everywhere I went were signs up asking for more employees. They seem to have a nice lot this year!

Thanks for reading this and have a great night.

Last edited by Richie Reflux, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:56 AM
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 1:00 AM

I'm surprised the lot was not that crowded, I would have expected it to be packed.

It's a shame to hear the speakers still aren't working on Bizarro, I wonder if they will not bother to fix it and just give up on it.

It always is crazy to see how long the front row line is for KK when other rows don't have that much of a wait. I'd take a 10 minute middle row wait over an hour front row wait any day.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 1:00 AM

Casey Kasem is a douchebag. I hated running his show when I was in radio too. This used to make the rounds all the time long before the Internet. I think I first heard it in my announcing class, circa 1992, my sophomore year.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 8:34 AM

Lunch - Perhaps the best meal I ever had at Great Adventure was a corned beef sandwich at the Carnegie Deli. It was lean, delicious and reasonably priced for the 12 bucks I paid for it. THe place was not that busy and the window seat was fantastic for people watching. THe same sandwhich at the carnegie deli in New York would be over 20 bucks.

Yeah, it's quite good..although I've had the pastrami, not the corned beef. Too skimpy, though. Yeah, you'd pay a lot more at the real Carnegie (or the Stage, or the Second Avenue) but it would be in an authentic setting and 3X the size. I'll take that over GA's any old time.

Thanks for posting..I enjoyed reading your report!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 7:53 PM

I happen to care for your usual nonsense, Richie. Always enjoy the little side bits you include, well most of them. Nice TR.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 9:29 PM

Yoshi - - -> I agree, especially for the second seat. But I also feel that everyone needs to be inthe front seat at least once.

Jeff - - - > I also agree. I was never a huge fan of Kasey (Or Ryan), but being in radio at one time in your life you have to admit there is very little homage to those who came before. I thought it was a nice gesture from the network and from Ryan. By the way, according to the show, Kasey's favorite bit of chart data of all time was that on one chart, the Beatles held the entire top 5 positions. That hasn't been broken and probably never will. (By the way, Bob Kingsly on his country countdown show featured a listener's letter asking to hear "The Impossible" by Joe Nichols. The writer of the request was a blind woman who never gave up. Not exactly a dead dog story...but not far off. On one hand- those syndicated shows allow people to get a start in the business to run the local spots in between the show. These shows also help to give the full-timers a day off. On the other hand, it limits local programming and creativity. Now too many local stations just fire up the network shows and collect a paycheck. So sad.

Mike - - -> The sandwich in NEw York would have well over a pound of (fatty) meat. That is just too much food (even for me). Here is the website: http://www.carnegiedeli.com/

By the way, I realized that the bar-b-que was sponsored by B&M baked beans. I'm a Heinz man myself, but I tried it. I liked it. I had some more with the salad. (My apologies to anyone sitting down-wind!)

Last edited by Richie Reflux, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 9:31 PM
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 10:24 PM

Mike - - -> The sandwich in NEw York would have well over a pound of (fatty) meat. That is just too much food (even for me). Here is the website: http://www.carnegiedeli.com/

Don't need the website, Richie..I've done it! Although only in NY at the Stage and 2nd Avenue, as well as a place here in Jersey called Harold's. I loves me my pastrami!!! Stage was the best....and didn't even hit the $20 mark! And when it comes to corned beef and pastrami...keep that lean stuff away!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010 11:13 PM

Richie Reflux said:
I was never a huge fan of Kasey (Or Ryan), but being in radio at one time in your life you have to admit there is very little homage to those who came before.

The only legacy he has worth anything is voicing Shaggy on Scooby Doo. :) He, Dees and the like simply recorded talk-overs with as many takes as they needed between songs arranged by a trade rag like Radio & Records or Billboard. I think that outtake shows what a talentless and robotic hack he was. He represents everything that sucked about radio even before it was dominated by Clear Channel. He's from the era of guys that Stern and Carolla talk about, the douchebag program directors who would tell you how to "punch the calls" and other such nonsense. Local radio never had a chance, even when the ownership limits were enforced.

Not that I have any opinions on that. :)

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Richie Reflux said:
Yoshi - - -> I agree,especially for the second seat. But I also feel that everyone needs tobe inthe front seat at least once.


Yeah I made sure my first ride was in the front seat (the park was dead so it was only a 1 train extra wait), and now will try to get the front whenever it is only 1 or 2 trains extra or when I am lucky enough to see that there is another single rider in the front seat and will ask a ride op if I can take that empty seat (they always say yes and a few times they call for single riders to fill in the empty seats).

Mike Gallagher said:

Don't need the website, Richie..I've done it! Although only in NY at the Stage and 2nd Avenue, as well as a place here in Jersey called Harold's. I loves me my pastrami!!! Stage was the best....and didn't even hit the $20 mark! And when it comes to corned beef and pastrami...keep that lean stuff away!

Harold's is awesome, my family always tries to stop there for dinner on the way home from NYC. 1 regular sandwich is enough for the 4 of us to split, we usually get 1 side and 1 slice of cake and it is a little over $50 total with tax and tip of course bringing most of the cake home.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Wednesday, July 7, 2010 12:03 AM
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