Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
After a not so great trip to Dorney on Friday night (1 train on Talon, Hydra and Steel Force with 30+ minute lines), I unexpectedly was able to get to Great Adventure on Sunday for the last few hours of the season and have a proper finish to the 2011 coaster season.
I figured it would be either empty or very crowded, figuring more towards it being crowded since even though it was cold out, the park being closed on Saturday which is probably one of the biggest days if not the most crowded day of the year for the park probably caused some people to postpone their trips one day later.
Thankfully I saw the overflow lot wasn't being used but the main lot was very crowded, I would estimate it to be at least 75% full.
It was 5:30 and I wasn't sure how long I would stay depending on lines and the weather.
I went to Nitro first since I was afraid the coasters might close if it got too cold out and it was already around 45 out. The line was a little past the 120 minute sign. The line was moving really fast until I got to the part before the stairs and it slowed down and ended up being around 40 minutes total for row 7. A group tried to cut in the switchbacks, I stepped in front of them from getting in front of me but unfortunately, they cut in another spot and no one stopped them even though there was a guard in line. I also saw someone smoking in line which happened a lot that night. It was a great ride as always, but freezing.
Batman was in the garden area so I skipped it and went to the Dark Knight which was it's typical around 15 minute wait including waiting to get into the pre-show, watching the pre-show and the line after the pre-show. At the station, some teenage girl really didn't want to ride and was crying but she ended up riding.
Skull Mountain had a line into the cave and looked to be around 30 minutes, not worth it so I went to the Skyway. Both sides were open and I didn't realize the left side had less cars running but it still took only around 10 minutes. The ride op asked me if I am an employee since he said he has seen me a few times before and I said no but am a coaster enthusiast. The Log Flume was closed as expected even though I would have stopped there if it was open. Runaway Mine Train had a 1 train wait and I had a mini marathon getting 6 rides in having to walk around a few times. From Runaway Mine Train I saw Bizarro had at least a 30 minute line, so I skipped it for now and planned to try to go back later.
I took the Skyway back to Dream Street with no wait, went back to Skull Mountain which was now a 1 - 2 train wait and got 2 rides having to walk around. All the props at the first drop like the tiki mask, glow in the dark track and sign that says go back were not lit up.
Blackbeard's was listed on the closed rides board but was open. Only 6 people were in line ahead of me and they took the front so I went to the last row. At the end of the ride, the lap bars at the last few rows wouldn't release. The ride op told me that it would be a few minutes until they could get the lap bar to release but I could try to climb out of the seat with the lap bar still down if I wanted to. I was able to get out of the car with the lap bar down, easier than I thought I could.
I walked to Plaza Del Caranval, stopped at Tango and went to Rolling Thunder. Both sides were open when I first took the Skyway but only the right side was open now. Dispatches were very slow as usual but worse than normal. A 3 train wait was almost 15 minutes. Like at Blackbeard's, the buzz bar wouldn't release and they had to manually unlock the buzz bar. That didn't even work at first and took a few tries. That is the 2nd time that has happened to me. It first happened in 2009 when Dainan was working at the ride and he had to manually release the buzz bar for me. I figured maybe the cold weather had something to do with the lap bars not releasing.
I went to the Boardwalk, stopped at the parachutes which were less than a 5 minute wait and saw from the parachutes Green Lantern's line was much shorter now. From the Skyway earlier it was almost in the switchbacks at the queue entrance. The line was a little before the 30 minute sign which would have meant less than a 5 minute wait if the single rider line was open but it was closed. There was a breakdown in line for around 10 minutes where a train was stopped at the top of the lift, and 2 ride ops climbed the lift to talk to the riders. Once the train got moving again, they ran 3 empty trains and started loading trains again. The total wait time including the breakdown was around 40 minutes.
I took off one of my gloves to buckle the seatbelt and with it being 39 out, the metal part of the buckle was freezing, so much that my fingers were hurting and after the ride I went to the restroom and ran my hand under hot water for a minute.
It was less than 10 minutes until closing and I figured there was no time to go anywhere else other than Green Lantern again or Superman and since I had only ridden Superman Ultimate Flight 4 times this season, I decided to go there. The wait was in the first switchback which should have been a little over 10 minutes with 2 trains. However tonight the dispatches were the slowest I have ever seen for the ride, the other train was sitting on the brake run waiting for over 2 minutes at a time so dispatches were taking almost 4 minutes. To make matters worse, when I got to the station and chose row 2, twice out of 3 trains they loaded that row with people coming up the exit so it took almost 30 minutes total. The only good thing about the wait was I was on the final train of the season and possibly the last train of the season in the entire park (I think I heard a supervisor say that but am not 100% sure). Since it was the last train, when we got back to the station, there was no stacking since they didn't have to load the other train.
My phone said it was 36 degrees out and 10:30 and even if the park was still open, I might have left anyway since my hands were cold even with gloves and my toes were starting to feel a little numb. This was the most bundled up I ever got for a park trip wearing 2 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, 2 jackets (both light jackets but one has zippered pockets so I had to wear it instead of a warmer jacket without zippered pockets) and jeans.
Lines were longer than I would have liked for the major coasters but I was still glad I was able to get to the park on closing day and I can now say I went to closing day for both Dorney and Great Adventure in the same season which I don't think will happen ever again.
Great!! In related news, it is very cold right now where I live.
Indeed, that was a nice segue.
Anyway, I have a cat.
Do you like pancakes? Or Maverick?
Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."
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