Great Adventure, 10/29/10

I knew I was taking a chance going to the park tonight since it is Halloween weekend and that is usually the busiest weekend of Frightfest.

After waiting at the parking booths for around 10 minutes, I parked and got into the park at 4:55. At 5:00 they dropped the rope and told people not to run but a guard no longer walks everyone to the rides. Of course most people didn't listen and ran anyway despite some of the guards warning people would be thrown out of the park for running.

I was the first person to get to Bizarro even though I walked and had a solo ride. 3 trains were running and I got 2 more rides without having to leave my seat. It's amazing how much faster dispatches are with only 3 - 5 riders per train since even with 3 trains running they weren't stacking.

Runaway Mine Train and the Skyway was closed and I wanted to get some laps on Nitro before crowds got bad so I went there next. 3 trains were running and it was a 1 train wait for row 7. I got 4 rides having to change seats once.

Skull Mountain had a half empty station so I got 4 rides in and stopped at Blackbeard's. They were only loading the front half of the train, maybe because it was so cold out. I noticed the kicker tire wheels near one of the last hills were missing which also might have had something to do with the full train not being loaded.

The dolphin show was just about to start and I haven't seen it in over a year so I stopped there. It was ok but like last year I thought it focused too much on the trainers comedy and not the dolphins and sea lions.

Crowds were starting to pick up now and Nitro's line was a little before the 60 minute sign. It was 15 minutes for the last row. Dark Knight was around 10 minutes total including the pre-show. I hope during the off season they fix all the problems with the ride. During the pre-show the projections of words on the walls were turned on too early and flickered, the sirens and the exit of the pre-show room turned on with the message to board the trains to leave the city while the movie was still running, the screen that puts a clown mask over your face in the line in the station hasn't been working for months, one of the holographic projections has been turned off the whole month (and maybe longer), and the bat signal light at the end isn't working right (it just shows a circle that is blurred).

Batman was into the garden area, not worth it and Nitro's line was now almost to the entrance but they weren't using the switchbacks. I went back to Skull Mountain and got another ride with a 1 train wait and walked around to see if anything else had a short line. The Skyway was still closed even though it wasn't windy anymore. Blackbeard's had 2 switchbacks full with them loading the full train, Bizarro's line was out of the queue area but most of the switchbacks weren't being used. Runaway Mine Train was still closed and Rolling Thunder looked to be around 30 - 40 minutes with just the right side open. I didn't even bother checking Kingda Ka's line and decided to leave.

It was 8:30 and more people were entering than leaving and I couldn't believe the amount of people buying tickets with only 2 1/2 hours left before closing. There were also people in line to buy a flashpass after 8:00 which didn't seem like it would be worth it to only use it for a few rides.

I still got 15 rides in which I'm sure is a lot more than most people will get going tomorrow or Sunday. The lot looked to be around 40% full when I left.

It's still hard to believe the season is over. I got to the park 15 times this season and other than 1 bad trip on April 1st with huge spring break crowds, every other trip had little to no lines. Having Scream Machine removed was the low point of the season but I am looking forward to Green Lantern.

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