Great Adventure 07/14/09

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:45 PM

Made my first trip out to Six Flags Great Adventure -- don't know why it took me so long to go, since it's not like its all THAT far from me. Not sure what i was actually expecting from the park, but i was pleasantly surprised after hearing various horror stories of excessive crowds and unruly guests.

Weather was beautiful -- hot but lacking oppressive humidity. Got to the park at 10:30(ish) and the parking lot looked pretty light. We didn't get a Flash Pass right away (waiting to see what crowds would be like and we were on a bit of a budget) and ultimately decided not to get one at all, which wasn't the worst idea in the world, as it would turn out.

We decided to start over by Batman/Nitro and work our way around counter-clockwise, since everyone else seemed to be heading the opposite direction.

Hit Bat-Insignia The Ride (old joke??) first. Walked right up to the station and waited one train for the 2nd row. I'm a sucker for B&M Inverts. Not sure what about them i enjoy so much, they're not super-crazy intense, but they are comfortable, fast and fun. This one was no different (though i sorely missed the presence of an Immelman, which i find to be a favorite element along with the heart-line roll) seemed a bit shorter than other inverts but it was surprisingly (and happily) disorienting. 9/10

Jumped over to Nitro after this. Line was at the bottom of the station stairs and we were in the station in about 5 minutes. I was really looking forward to this one and the ride did not disappoint in the least. The seats were way comfy and the freedom of the restraint system was quiet nice, especially considering the size of the ride (perhaps i'm used to Steel Force and Phantom's big boat train design) and the floating airtime was pretty sweet. The opening drop got me more than i was prepared for and the rest of the ride was a blur. Hot stuff :) 10/10

We headed over to the Skyride to relax our way over to the other side of the park, but hit up Skull Mountain first. Walk-on. Nothing much to say i guess. It was a fun, peppy little thing. Are there supposed to be effects or something in the dark mass of twisted track? I could barely make out some sound effects i think, but i couldn't see much around us. I certainly wouldn't wait in line for it, but it was a fun for what it was. 6/10

Hopped the Skyride over to Frontier Land (or whatever) and walked up to Bizarro. CLOSED. Security at the head of the queue said they were working on it and hoped to be running it later.

Ventured over to El Toro next. This was our first line of the day. It was just about noon at this point and i guess we caught up to the rest of the crowds. We got in line at the 60min wait sign. These signs proved to be "worst-case scenarios" all day, as waits were easily half of what was posted. After about 30 minutes we got to the station. I was surprised at how narrow the station was, and everyone seemed to jam up near the front, so we hopped into a mid train seat almost right away while everyone was clambering near the head of the station. Sitting in the train, i was kind of in awe and how small and open the trains were. You're really just hanging out there in those things. Anyway, up the lift we went and even the lift is a bit of a shock - fast lil sucker. As most of you already know, the ride is completely insane!! Pure head-copping, seat-ejecting insanity! And so smooth, especially with the crazy twists and turns towards the end. Had a perma-grim plastered on my face for a good while after that first ride. Holy F*$#!/10 :)

Rolling Thunder was next door so we hit the left side. I suppose a older ride like Thunder is gonna pale in comparasion to something like El Toro, but I thought it was a bit rough. Not without some merit, but i wasn't terribly impressed. Also, our return to the station was delayed 15 minutes or so with a "technical difficulty" that left our train sitting on the return breaks outside the station, so maybe i'm letting that inconvenience cloud my judgment a tad. 5/10

Stopped to see some tigers and the closed Kinda Ka.

Moseyed down to the Boardwalk section. Is it me, or does that area need some TLC? As nicely themed and tended to as the other sections of the park were, the Boardwalk section seemed in dire need of a make-over. It had a beaten up feel (at once overstuffed and chaotic, yet somehow empty and uninviting) that i was expecting the whole park to have actually (though was happy to find out my expectations were mostly wrong).

Hit up Superman next. First Flyer. Unique experience. Trains were more comfortable than i was expecting. Wait was about 40 minutes (as opposed to the 90min that was advertised). Sat (laid?) in the front. Nice moment dangling over the lift hill before the rest of the train cleared it and the pretzel loop was pretty intense. But aside from a near-miss with one of the supports (i was in the far left seat) the rest was just kinda "meh". 7/10 for those couple really good moments.

Food break. Not totally rape-worthy chicken nuggets and fries and ice tea combo for $7.50. Kelly's CheeseSteak and drink combo of over $12 on the other hand....

Log flume. Good ride for digesting lunch. Don't think i've been on a flume that has that many drops. We got a good soaking actually (i never get wet on these things). 7/10

Went to Mine Train next. 5 min wait. Kinda big for a train I thought. Had a couple really good moments with short but steep drops. Liked the finale down by the water Kinda rough in spots though. 6/10

Saw empty trains running the Bizarro course. Large group of people waiting at the (empty) queue entrance. No word on opening.

Decided to hit up El Toro again while awaiting the verdict on Bizarro. Wait was a bit longer this time, but not too bad. Sat more towards the back this time. A bit of a shake in spots i didn't notice on the first ride but nothing painful and still way super OMG crazy. I want one of these in my backyard.

Swung back around to Bizarro. Same status. Getting late and noticed the Sky Ride was down so we walked back to MovieTown/Gotham for re-rides on both Nitro and Batman (waits considerably longer than earlier, but still not horrible).

Opting not to get back to see if Bizarro had opened yet we headed for the exit at around 7pm. Was tempted to head back for a last ride on Toro, but was getting hungry and tired (man have i gotten that old already?) and we had to drive back to PA, so back to the car we went and that was that.

All in all it was a great day. Lucked out in the crowd department and the ops were all friendly and efficient. Surprised by the lack of lines and wonder how much shorter they would have been IF.....

Biggest con of the day was closures -- with both KK and Bizarro down all day, the skyride being closed sometime after 12 and not up again until we left at 7, Rolling Thunder trapping us for a time and Batman actually had a small hiccup when we were in line the second time. Hey, it happens but it still kinda blows.

Still, there was lots to do and see and we didn't even ride GASM (my back was sore and i have heard bad, bangy stories) or Dark Knight.

I can certainly say i wouldn't hesitate to go back if the opportunityarises (and maybe I'll have extra extra-income) and splurge on my veryown Q-Bot....Someday.... :)

Last edited by Tsunami78, Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:54 PM
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 5:19 PM

Great TR. I am looking forward to our trip in August. I can only hope for a light crowd day like you had. I am planning on a gold q-bot though.

It was too bad that they had 2 of the headliners down. This will give you a reason to head back to the park later in the season.

Has anyone heard any updates on KK suspected reopening?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:02 PM

^Ummm....you do read SS, right??

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:07 PM

Yes Tig, I do. They are saying late July. We will be there August 17th.

The trouble is I read somewhere mid July not to long ago. Hopefully by the time we get there everything will be running fine. Fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:52 PM

I have heard all different rumors about KK reopening. Everything from the end of the month to Frightfest to being closed the rest of the season.

Tsunami78 said:
Are there supposed to be effects or something in the dark mass of twisted track? I could barely make out some sound effects i think, but i couldn't see much around us. I certainly wouldn't wait in line for it, but it was a fun for what it was. 6/10

There are some props in the ride, they aren't lit anymore (they were lit in past seasons and earlier this season). There are 2 tiki masks, 1 by the first drop that you can't see unless light is in the building or during the strobes (the 2nd one is only visible with lots of light in the building and I forget where it is), 2 pumpkins, one near the end the final helix/drop that used to be lit up and one near the middle of the ride that was never lit up and a giant skull figure near the brake run,

Last edited by YoshiFan, Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:53 PM
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Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:25 AM

Gotcha, I kinda figured there would be more themeing, since they went through the trouble of making the outside mountain and all.

One other thing i noticed throughout the park (and forgot to mention in the TR) was how good they were about hiding the queues from sight. especially early when we could walk up and on to just about anything; it seemed to take forever just to walk to the station. There was always ANOTHER turn just beyond ANOTHER corner.

Just an observation...

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Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:35 AM

I like the almost pitch darkness of Skull Mountain. The fact that you can't see what's coming makes the ride more fun.

My first trip to GAdv I enjoyed it ok, but I decided to take a back seat ride on my second trip and holy crap, what a difference that makes! The air I got on the first drop was crazy...

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Friday, July 17, 2009 2:35 PM

Before El Toro, Skull Mountain in back had the best air in the park! ;)

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Friday, July 17, 2009 11:48 PM

^^More than Night Row???

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Saturday, July 18, 2009 4:35 PM

I just talked to one of the representatives, they said "about one more week and we are getting pretty close."

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Saturday, July 18, 2009 5:06 PM

Thanks, that is great news since we will not be going till mid August.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:32 AM

another quick update on KK. I asked again yesterday and one of the head guest services said it is expected to be open before the end of this month. He stated they are vigorously working on it and it is their top priority. He also said it's getting to the point where they just have to do some test runs on it and it should be good to go. I guess we just wait and see.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:28 PM

^Awesome update! I'm going with some non-enthusiast friends very soon, including my new girlfriend who's never been to GAdv and foreigners from Australia, and I've already told them all (sadly) no KK for you! However, my park luck is usually down right angelic so if it's open when I go that will be sweet!! :)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 6:28 PM

tigellinus said:
^^More than Night Row???

Yeah. I never got much air out of Nitro. I really like the ride, but I felt like I could have made it without the restraint...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:30 PM

^Wow! I get tons of air! And as someone who loves riding with loose restraints, the ONLY time I've ever legitimately felt like I was going to fall out of any ride was in the last row right-side seat before the helix on the left-turn drop...I seriously almost flew out!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 2:51 AM

Nitro's kind of temperamental with the air. I've gotten rides on it that were vibrate-y and lacking air, and other rides I've had have been ridiculous in intensity and airtime of ejector AND floating types.

I'm glad to see you enjoyed Toro so much. As you can see, nothing has come close for me for replacing it as my favorite coaster. I haven't ridden nearly as many as other people, so I'm sure I'll find something I like better, but it hasn't happened yet. Whenever I see someone excited about Toro, it makes me want to go ride it again and again (most in one day: 9 times). The first time I got on that thing, I grabbed the guy next to me (I didn't know him at all) and screamed out a string of expletives that had the dude cracking up so hard he was crying. Then I couldn't STOP laughing once we pulled up to the station. It was such a SURPRISE, wasn't it? I thought "meh, a wooden coaster" when I saw it, but when I rode it...I'm all excited now. I've gotta get out there again soon. I don't know why I don't...have a pass and everything....


I haven't read about the problems with Ka. I heard it was down for a long time, but I don't know why or when it will be up again.

Tig, when are u going to Great Adventure? We should meet up! :)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:04 AM

Bunky, While I haven't ridden Toro (next month) you have to get to Holiday World and ride Voyage. Make you plans right now for the Fall Affair or next years Holiwood Nights..

As coaster enthusiast with a number of rides under our belts, it gets harder to get that same scared/thrilled feeling. We still enjoy the rides but are rarely surprised. Voyage gave me that feeling on every ride. I am hoping that Toro does too.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 12:35 PM

^I will be honest, Dave, try to trim down for Toro!!

It's a lot more restrictive than MF (have you been to SFNE this year yet?). Keeping in mind I refuse to ride anything stapled or even sort of tight, after riding ET for the first time last year at over 200 lbs (which I'm now thankfully way under again), dare I say I might be unwilling to ever ride ET again at over 200...the air and ride just didn't come close to being good compared to when I rode it at 185 (in 07) and 175 (this year).

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 4:41 PM

Bunky - I can easily see why its your favorite, there really wasn't a moment of that ride that i didn't totally love (though i might hesitate to call it MY fav, if only because there are so many different types of coasters that give different rides, i find it hard to cement a #1 - even if my facebook page currently says otherwise). I had heard it was big and fast and crazy, but i didn't know just how big, fast, crazy, awesome it was til i got on it. I also haven't been on all that many coasters compared to most everyone here (i think my count is a paltry 46).

Tig - I'm beginning to wonder how i fit in those cars so easily. I'm hardly the most lithe individual (clocking in at 5'10", 220) and i had no trouble with the restraits and still got thrown out of the seat quite often. Maybe its just my body shape: a guy behind me, who was more broadly built but probably just slightly heavier, had to get off the train because the safty system wouldn't "go green" for him.

I'm gonna have to lay off the ice cream pretty soon ;)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 4:45 PM

Thanks for the tip Tig, I am always trying to trim down.

I doubt that I will ever get below 200. I was at 270 for a few years and after a lot of work, got down to 240 where I am stalled. It does not help going to parks most every weekend and having almost no healty choices.

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