Great Adventure & Hurricane Harbor - June 25, 2006

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 12:13 AM
Good evening , afternoon and / or morning Everyone.

This will be long, so if you want the stats, just scroll. I will put the ride names in all caps. If you want it all, here goes...

Date: Sunday, June 25

Weather: After a very rainny Saturday, Sunday was slated for showers throughout the day, with heavy downpours at times.

Anticipated Mission: Get there early, get a goldbot, try to ride Ka and Toro, and to basically enjoy the park.

From my point of view, the forcast for riding was perfrect. It was not raining, but the skies were cloudy and would remain so all the way to the park and most of the day. I left Long Island at 6, but made my first stop at a bait store in Sheepshead Bay in order to purchase some fisherman's rain gear. I figured, if it was going to pour, I might as well be ready with quality foul weather gear, instead of a hefty bag.

Second Stop: Wawa - Gotta get a tuna sandwich for breakfast.

Once I crossed into Jersey, I took the scenic route (Route 9 to 537)

Parking: It's still 15 bucks and no posters anymore. The "Prefered Parking" barricades were pushed out a bit farther than I remember, and it's interesting to note that one space is all that seperates the end of the preferred lot and the rest of us. I would hate to be the guy who pays the extra five bucks and is right on my bumber.

Ticket: I used one of my teacher tickets for the children's reading program. The people in my school don't like parks, know I do, and end up loading me up with them.

I sat on the floor, ate my sandwich and read the newspaper. It was nice to be "home." It was also nice to see very few customers. I did notice that there were sticker signs that said Ka would be closed today. No problem...I will find other things to do. By the way, by 9:00 four different people wished me a happy aniversary.

Gossip: One of the guards told me that there was a big fight last night due to a concert cancellation. We talked about the push for families and how he didn't like rides. Boy, that's a bad job to have if you don't like rides. I mean, it must be easier to be a security guard for other businesses than to deal with teenagers, line cutters, spitters, swearers, and angry mobs on a daily basis. He also looked like he wouldn't be able to do any serious running pursuits, as he was in his late 50s and quite out of shape. (He also wished me a happy anniversary and gave me the current map to read). Mr. six was on it and appeared frequently throughout the guide, yet there was very little mention of him anywhere else.

9:30 - Gates open - but a change has taken place. Instead of making the cutoff around fountain so the crowd can take off in several directions, the 10:00 barrier made it only to the end of "main street." This made it hard to properly position myself for the run to El Toro. IN any case there was a mini show that was...well lame.

First a guy on a unicycle came out in a superman's outfit holding a plush superman doll. (I know not why) He attempted to do afew tricks and to entertain the crowd, but aside from being able ride it around the fountain, he was wasting his time. THen an employee, came out with a weasel-like critter on a leesh. The little guy kept trying to scamper up a tree and every time he did, he was yanked down hard by his tail. (At one point the critter grabbed the lady's leg in a "bad dog" position. That was funny for a second or two.

THen came the looney tunes characters and some dancers, dancing to a pre-recorded soundtrack. (I tell you guys that Daffy has aged well). Finally the Star Spangled Banner and then a child was chosen to help officially open the park. She plunged, the ropes dropped and EVERYBODY RAN....right into a line of security people who told us to wlak with them, not to run and anyone who did would be ejected. The walked with us (at a nice pace) to the Boardwalk area, and then came the stampede....

Ran to EL TORO...CLOSED. The Ka horn sounded...ran there...CLOSED. FInally I realized...I can't really run anymore. I got a ride on ROLLING THUNDER.

Just when you think that ROLLING THUNDER can't get anyworse, it does. Very bumpy, very shaky, very bad. It hurt. I'm a big guy. It hurt a lot.

I thought That thing better improve soon, if this was going to be a good day. I mean Here we are, new year, new possibilities...same six flags Great Adventure. I passed by the runaway train...DOWN, I passed the log flume...CLOSED...finally, in lightly falling misty rain that was falling, I heard coaster wheels and smiled. SOMETHINGS OPEN!!! My day was about to change. MEDUSSA was running.

When I made it up to the steps, I was shocked. NO PEOPLE! Front row seat. ( I tend to like front row seats on coasters). When the ride came to stop. There were only a few poeple at the station. The operator said that we could stay on if nobody was in our row. THere was, so Was able to move to row 2. Before, the third ride, I stood up, removed my watershoes and hung in there for five rides. (What's going on...it's Six Flags, IT's a Sunday in June...I am on what at one time was a majot attraction, and I was power riding).

MEDUSSA was running smoothly in the rain, and the only serious headbanging was right before the midcourse break run. THen you snap both ways if you're not paying attention.

After voluntarily de-training, I started to head back to the middle of the park. Now the LOG FLUME was up and running. Got on, (Heck I'm a little wet anyway and I'm not using the rubber clothing). This flume is still nice, but can use a bit more themeing to make it better. A fog house, some music, something! It also is banging a bit too much in the trough, and there are scratches along the walls, but it was a nice ride and I didn't get too wet. Another rider was leaving the platform. Turns out she was an employee enjoying her freee time. She was a part of the Flume crew, so her co-workers went out of their way to mak esure she took half of hte water home with her. I wished her a happy aniversary. By the way, this ride was a walk on. I once waited 3 hours for it when I was a kid with my family.

What? The RUNAWAY TRAIN was rolling. What the heck. Another walk-on! Another front row seat. And to make things even better...new restraints. There is now a better lap bar than there was before, so your legs don't take a beating. A work crew was installing them on another train that was in the shop. Nice, gentle, RUNAWAY TRAIN. Perect step up from kiddie coasters for the young uns testing there metal.

SKY RIDE: Another walk on. Nice view, I waved hello and wished opposite direction cars a happy anniversary. I also admired the view of the Fort. From there I could see NITRO (running) and that both sides of CHILLER was closed. BATMAN THE RIDE was also open. First NITRO.

NITRO: Waited for front seat. Total wait time, fifteen minutes: five if I wanted something else. Nice ride, good air, a little eiree to see dark clouds in the sky. ON the second hill I got so much air that I didn't come down into my seat until after the initial curve to the right. It was like the track turned from under me. When we got back, there were empty seats, but the op didn't let anyone go back for a quick re-ride. I even did the begging thing with my hands in his direction, but I was turned down. Meanwhile a girl was angry (rightfully) because when she came to pickup her flip flops, she found that someone left a protein spill all over them. I wanted to tell her that it was fresh lobster sauce, but I didn't think her dad would appreciate it.

CONGO RAPIDS: I went twice, once with a group of ten and once on my own. Didn't get wet at all. I thought as an experiment that traveling alone I would have the most weight in the boat, casuing it it push down more frequently when wave opportunites prevented it. I was wrong. Nothing!

BATMAN THE RIDE: (walkon) (boost to front row because i was a single rider) Nice, fast, fun in the rain. Very smooth. I like the "kick outs" more than I liked the inversions. CHANGE SINCE LAST YEAR: The city scence in the que with the damaged police car is gone. (The hydrant is still there). THe other thing (That took away from the ride) was that instead of the dripping water effects and Alfreds message that used to say "Sensors indicate that you entered the batcave...." were gone. Instead I heard Faith Hill singing "Breathe." Come on. Does Batman listen to Faith Hill. I mentioned on this board that I love country music. But I just don't think it's appropriate here. I also heard a Keith Urban ballad and The New Kids on The Block singing "Incomplete." Rode twice without getting off.

SKULL MOUNTAIN: It's a very smooth ride, but there aren't too many effects. A soundtrack going (Booooo) and that's about it. It's also too short. Another walkon.

JOLLY ROGER: I kind of like this standard rotating Zerperla ride. It's not the best themed, but it's nice. (walkon)

BUCKANEER: Cycle started when I got there. Not too long of a ride, but it';s ok. 5 people were on board with me. The one that used to be in Coney Island used to be 20 minutes long. THis was about 2 minutes.

BLACKBEARDS TREASURE TRAIN: I swear this ride had a few surprises for a kiddie coaster. First, it had twenty rows of two. That's a lot at once. Second, I was able to ride it (Walkon) without a kid. THird, I am sure this ride was another model of the kiddie Ladybug coaster from Adventureland (Long Island).

FLYING WAVE: again, a bit too short (walk on) The guy running it was saying things like, "How bout some noise?" (He didn't get much.) It's hard not to smile when you're on one of these.

WATER EFFECT: It's drizzling. Do I really want to do this? Oh all right. Me and 4 other people got very wet. Oh, the exit, do I really want to wait for the next boat to get me again. Oh all right. I was soaked. Oh...walk on.

MUSIC EXPRESS: Too short, one direction, no back drop, nice lights though. When the ride started, the music did too. (THe tune was a rock song that I didn't know or care to remember). The ride ends, the music stops, I got off. (Walk on)

AUTOBAHN: For the type of clientele that Great ADventure has, they could speed this thing up a bit. There were too few cars for a busy day, but not too bad at all for today. (1 cycle wait). By the way, I usually don't do the bumper cars at 6 flags, but on such a light day, why not.

Not Open: FREEFALL

In deep disarray: SPINMEISTER (Afraid to go on anyway)

Lunch: Chippy's Fish & Chips. Very expensive, but in all honesty, the best fried fish I ever had. I would love to find one near me, but they aren't around here. Since there were too many french fries and the rain was falling steadily now, I ate in the theatre by lake - which is now part of Bugs Bunny National Park. I also gave some fries to the geese. Lot's of goose ppoop in this section. BONUS JOKE: What is the only thing that grows down as it gowes up? (Answer: A goose!) (Get it?.."DOWN")

BUGS BUNNY NAITONAL PARK - is not that spectacular. There are a few kiddie rides there, and a water tower that spouts for 30 seconds every ten minutes (A bell rings to warn you), but not all of these rides operate at the same time. (Maybe that was due to the lightness of the day) There was also a "house" that offered nothing. No ride, no character, no nothing. (There is or was a similar hoouse at the seaport)

Now the rain was letting up.

EL TORO: EL TORO was now open! I went ot the back of the line, got a ticket from security and was told to give it the platform guard to show that I wasn't cutting the line. Sounds fair enough. (Oh and he wished me a happy aniversary). After forty minutes, I was on the platform. After another 20 I was in the front seat. (Give those fishys some time to digest).

I know a lot has been said about this ride. I have to say that it wasn't a good ride at all FOR ME. First of all, I meantioned that I am a large guy. I entered the seat, and put on the bele. The ride op checked our belts and then SLAMMED DOWN on the bar. OUCH! I was wedged in quite well. Why they only had 1 operator, and two 2 staplers is beyond me. There was a third op, who didn't really do anything. That was what was preventing the rides from launching out of the station each time. They needed mor ehelp. Finally they were ready to go. "CHECK ONE." Up came the lifts and again they were slammed down. OUCH! "It's the first seat." Up and then down and then down again. By now I was in pain. Then came the pre-recorded announcemnt. (by the way, I think it's the same guy on Dragster and Ka) I was unable to breathe and I was in a lot of pain. SO much so, that I felt like I wasn't able to take in enough air. (I never felt like this and I didn't like it). The ride up the lift was different. Slow at first, and then very fast. THe hills were were high, but I was feeling sick. (Not sick from the air and the high g forces, hurt from the bar. I couldn't wait to get off. When we hit the pocket going into the ROLLING THUNDER infield, I wanted off, now. I just was not enjoying it. When we got back it took a while to get used to the breathing and I decided to just sit down for a while. No. I'll go to the water park.

Got my hand stamped and went to Hurricane Harbor where me and about 50 people had the place to ourselves. (Oh and even they were wishing me a happy anniversary). Two of the towers were closed due to green water. The wave pool - which runs on 45 minute cycles on - 15 minute cycles off was closed. Who cares? I just grabed a tube and floated away to the happy tunes of Jimmy Buffet and the beach boys. There was no way this place made any money today.

Tried two sides, a fun one on a round tube. And the twisty red one. That one starts off fast and just seems to build up speed quickly. I was rolling up the walls a bit and I completly lost orientation. When I landed (big wedgie) I was beat up. I know the ticket..another lap or two on the lazy river. Ahhhhh......

Hey what's that?

KA WAS OPEN! I saw this from the waterpark. I wanted another shot at it, since I only did it once. I left the park, drove back to the rides and ran (alright walked, alright waddled to KA.

Got on line. I heard (after the usual happy aniversary) that the line would be 1.5 hours. This is where you need a gold bot. If you ever wanted to power ride this thing, and I don't think I could, it's the only way to do it. Even though this was last year's big attraction, it will be hot for a long time, as long as it works.

I saw my first in line smoker. He was built like a truck and had a marines tatoo on his arm. I was not about to say anything. Especially to a Marine.

The line is deceptive. It moves in chuncks and you have to get to a guard who will release certain numbers of people to the next area. Again we were given a ticket. Watching the launches, they were using 1 platform and 2 trains. At some point you could see water falling from the break fin holders. Also a splash when the train launches. There was grafitti along the top part of the wooden fence. I hate that.

Finally - the platform. I took the front seat and I was surprised. It is one of the few rides that offeres less legroom in the front seat than in the back. Looking at the tower, I loved watching the train in front of me. It shot out and climbed up the tower which only enhanced the anticipation. Then, the memory I will never forget...seeing the block return from the end of the run to the train well after the previous train returned to the station. It just had a cool look to it. Waiting, waiting, anouncemnt and then BOOM! The push was so forceful that I had tears in my eyes. I don't remember the view from the top, but the view looking down was breathtaking. The second hill was almost not even mentioning. I will say that there was a lot of shaking on the way up the hill. I felt that last year, this ride was much more smoother. THis year, the shaking took away quite a bit of hte enjoyment for me. But NOTHING can measure up to the rush of the launch. Very impressive!

After KA I headed to the Boardwalk area. SUPERMAN ULTIMATE FLIGHT was a walk on. This ride is always busy, and I don't love it too much, but since there was no line, I went for it. Like the batman ride, I like the fly-arounds better then the inversions. The eight ornine of us could have had re-rides, but I decided against it. By the way, when we were waiting for the train in front of us to launch, we looked down and saw wads of gum that was "deposited" from other riders. (It was not a pretty sight)

SCREAM MACHINE: This ride got a nice paint job last year, and it's starting to "age" again. Also, the photos in the que are very old and hard to see. One was for Ultra Twister. Those photos have been there since the ride went up. It's about time to change them or cut back some of the que for more attractions. (SCREAM MACHINE just isn't a big draw anymore, but when it was new it was a big deal).

There was nobody on the platform except for the exiting riders. The Op said, "Come on let's make some noise" so I went "YEAH." Just then two more people came up and also wanted the front seat. The op said, "Come on, I'll let you sit anywhere." The other guys said they would wait for the seat. I got a private charter. Just me on the whole train. When I got back back he said. "How was your ride?" (I was whooping it up cracking him up.) I declined a re-ride.

SCREAM MACHINE has some nice moments, but the banging is still hard to take.

SPACE SHUTTLE: Heard some talk of late that it hasn't been running frequently. It was going on Sunday and the two toher riders and I were enjoying it quite a bit. THere was the usual (Seat belt chorus) banging out their tunes as we were approaching hte 180 degree mark)

TEA CUPS: I love this ride. No matter how hard I spin the axle, I can't get a big spin. Sometimes it goes, reaches a certain point and then stops. Maybe I need more caffeine.

BIG WHEEL: As the park was lighting up, it was a nice way to enter the night. Tonight it was moving at a nice clip. It needs a paint job and there was grafitti in my car. (I still hate that)

Dinner: Wok and Roll. THe chicken was good, teh lo mein was good, but cold and the rice was passable. THe soup was fine, except for the wontons. (Yuk) The best park was that I sat by myself outside on the porch underneath the fans. I could hear the Jolly Roger to my left and the very faint (Boooo) from Skull mountain to the right. I found it to be peaceful. Expensive though and not as good as back home.

NITRO: Different crew. (Front row-slide in as a solo rider-sweet) Nice air under dark skies. This time the girl at the control wanted noise. "I'm not gonna push the button until I hear some noise." She had the right amount of attitude, and she didn't mind re-rides or seat changes if someone else appeared in that row)

I remember though that when I moved to the center of the train I felt some rumbling right after the curve that takes you to the helixes. Last year's Nitro crew was awesome, but this year's was just as good, despite the fact that they had a light night, they made it fun.

Power rode this for at least ten laps.

Ended the night on one last ride on the swings (barefoot) and left the park at 9:45.

Overall: Considering the weather conditions, and the signs that were around and the light crowd, they still got Ka and Toro up and running. Rides oped throughout the day, though TANGO, FREEFALL and CHILLER never opened and SPINMEISTER is...well very sick. Nitro, Superman, TORO, Scream machine had 2 trains.

Food: I found good food. I just had to pay a lot for it. Too much. It was noticeable by many people who felt trapped, but spent the money anyway, because there were enough rides without unreasonable lines.

I also had a hot dog at the United Nathans. I call it that because when I walked in, I was the only customer and everyone greeted me with a smile. It was evident that at least 5 different cultures were represented there.

Security: THey weren't out in full force like they were last year, but they were where they should be. Polite, but firm, that's the best kind.

Trafrfic: It really was a great day, except for the traffic on the Verazano Bridge home.

Hurricane Harbor: Could get very crowded on a hot day. I found it relaxing, except for the family in front of me who were cursing up a storm while they were waiting for their tickets. FIX THE OTHER TWO LANDINGS.

Q-Bot: Didn't need it today.

Well done Great Adventure. You took a bad start to the day and fixed it fast. I felt apprecaited, safe and happy. (The rain that fell was a blessing in that it kept everyone away and I had a nice selection of rides to go on again and again and again.

Oh, and happy aniversary.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 1:56 PM
Sorry about the length of hte initial positing, but I forgot a couple of things that struck me as unusual.

1) Have any of you noticed that not all of the ride ops are wearing official uniforms? One guy was wearing a badge with a t-shirt and a jesters hat.

2) Some employees were not employees, but only "volunteers." They don't have a photo name-tag - only a magic marker written first name on a clear plastic base.

3) I also want to report that I stopped in to the Fast Pass office on the way out to answer my own question that I posted a few weeks ago. The answer is "YES" you can still use your Q-bot Frequent User card from last year to get four stamps to get a free bot.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 2:17 PM
Why would someone "volunteer" to work at a theme park for free?

It's a good thing you had the bad weather, otherwise it probably wouldn't have been as enjoyable.

They really should fix the El Toro operating procedures. They should have 4 people checking restraints, and they shouldn't staple beyond reason. I know that a too-tight lapbar can ruin a ride (see SoB, though that ride would be bad enough with some room anyway).

Don't expect Spin Meister to come back up anytime soon, if ever. This park could use some more flats. Why did they remove so many of the ones they had?

Sounds like SFMM with things not being open with the park. When I was there 2 weeks ago, I went to X, then to Viper, then to Tatsu, and none of them were open right away. The first coaster that I heard running was Revolution. If you're gonna open at 10AM, you ought to have most of your rides ready to go at that time. If not, then open at 10:30.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006 2:03 PM
Excellent detail in your report.

A few comments:

The volunteers are from certain organizations that are trying to help enter certain individuals into the work force ;)

El Toro more often than not will have 4 ops doing the stapling. It was probably a lack of staff issue. Or, perhaps some staff were sent home. All I know is that in previous years, a day like this would have had half the rides closed completely so this is a nice tradeoff IMO.

Some of the ops are stapling more than others. Its a shame you didn't try again on the other side of the train to see if it were any better. Plus, the back is by far the best place to ride ;) I can see why you wouldn't want to though after that.

Spin Miester is officially gone. They could no longer get parts for it. For now, a smoking section has been added there which I guess is better than letting the ride sit and rot and look like more of a eyesore.

The Ranger Station in BBNP is for the charactor meet and greets and actually makes for a awesome photo op with your kids ;) I suspect with the weather that the 30 charactors in the park rule didn't apply on this day.

GASM is 10,000 times worse with a empty train. I feel your pain... Really, I do.

Finally, as for things not opening on time, etc... it is quite possible that with the weather there were traffic delays for staff getting there. With Gadv being located in the middle of nowhere, it tends to hurt them when the weather turns bad. A lot of staff also use public transit. Although on a Sunday, I doubt this was the case lol. I'm just putting it out there.

That is rather freaky that Free Fall and Tango weren't open. Actually, nearly every single ride except for Chiller (obviously) have been consistantly open now.

Again, enjoyed your report.. Thanks for sharing.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006 5:16 PM
GASM is unbearable this season. Its shuffling and squeaking and running so slow. I really didnt think we were going to make it through the batwing.

Beginning of the season i was slightly impressed by how well it was running. i think trimmy mctrim is pressing way hard outta the 1st loop now

edit: there is a trim somewhere around the 1st loop yeh? *** Edited 6/29/2006 9:18:02 PM UTC by DorneyDante***

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Friday, June 30, 2006 2:47 PM
RTneedsTLC & Dorneydante - (RE: GASM) THere is one point (mid course break run) on the Great American Scream Machine where the ride almost comes to a complete stop. (It even has a screaching noise - like rubber tires trying ot stop a sppeding boat) It's almost like the ride won't have enough momentum to finish the course. It takes away a lot from this ride.

Rablat - If the park was loaded with peeps, I would have opted for a gold bot. A sunny Sunday in teh summer means a lot of peeps at Great Adventure.

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