Great Adventure, 10/9/09

I was a little worried about crowds today since I wasn't able to get to the park at opening and that $15 promotion had me thinking it would be more crowded that the first Friday night Fright Fest last year.

I got to the park around 5:45 and saw Superman was a walk on from the lot so I knew unless it got a lot more crowded as the day went on, lines would not be an issue.

First ride of the day was Nitro. 3 trains running and a 1 train wait for the front row. After that I stayed on for 5 more rides only having to move seats a few times.

I got to the Dark Knight as they were letting people into the pre-show. The room has about half full. Since there was no one waiting, I got another re-ride.

Blackbeard's had 3 people in line and since I haven't ridden it in 3 months, I stopped for a ride.

Skull Mountain had a half empty station, no soundtrack today but the skull figure and pumpkin in the final helix are lit again. I guess they only shine light on them for Fright Fest now. I got 4 rides, changing seats once.

Before going to Skull Mountain I saw the Skyway had about a 15 minute wait, now it was only a 5 car wait so I took it over to Frontier Adventures. The Log Flume is done for the season which is understandable, it's just too bad it wasn't open tonight since it was around 75 out.

Runaway Mine Train was a walk on, 4 rides only having to walk around once. Bizarro had 3 trains running but was closed for a few minutes because someone got a nosebleed on the ride and they weren't letting anyone into the line. Around 5 minutes later it opened, and then it was a 5 minute wait in the station. The soundtrack sounded different today. I thought I heard "The Wheels On The Bus" near the corkscrews. The auger of doom looks cool lit up at night.

I walked by El Toro, saw it had a station wait and went to Rolling Thunder. Both sides were open until walking up the left side's line, they were about to close it down so I got on the last train of the night on the left side. No one was in the station so I grabbed the front row and almost had a solo ride until 3 or 4 other people entered. Then I went to the right side and walked onto the front row there as well. The op referred to the yellow and red trains as ketchup and mustard. I don't know if those are unofficial names like trains on Kingda Ka have or he just made up those names.

Kingda Ka only had the right side open and had a packed station. Just to get to the area to choose a row took a few minutes. The total wait was around 15 minutes which was the longest wait of the night. The front row lines looked to be at least 45 minutes. I was going to go back to the ride later in the night and see if it was shorter for re-rides, but I ran out of time.

Fly Me To The Moon is gone again for Elvira. 10 minute wait or so, it was a really good film and I hope they get rid of Fly Me To The Moon next season.

Scream Machine was only running 1 train which was all that was needed. I stayed on for 2 rides and heard lots of negative comments some people saying they wish they hadn't even rode the coaster.

Superman was running 2 trains and was a walk on except for the front. I got the last row and stayed for a re-ride but at the end of the 2nd ride, before the seats lowered, an op took some kind of metal rod and had to go to the back of the train with it. I'm not sure what happened. Even though it only took 2 or 3 minutes, it was horrible with your head tilted down like that. It makes me wonder how horrible it would be to be on the ride like that when it has broken down for 15 - 20 minutes or longer.

With all the talk of Houdini opening up again, I decided to check out the ride. The garden queue was really nice and it was about 5 minutes to get into the pre-show room. That room was great and I thought it was up to Disney quality. The actual ride itself was too disorenting for me. I wasn't expecting that to happen since I had been on the similar ride at Dutch Wonderland but I guess because this was more "complex" compared to Dutch Wonderland's version I felt kind of strange afterwards.

It was 10:35 at this point and with only 25 minutes left I decided to finish the night at Nitro. 2 trains were running now but most of the rows were empty. I got 5 rides before the park closed.

It was a very exhausting trip to the park tonight getting so many rides in 5 1/4 hours but it was so much fun not dealing with lines. I just hope the next 2 Friday nights are just as empty.

Ride Count:
Nitro, 11x
Skull Mountain, 4x
Blackbeard's, 1x
Scream Machine, 2x
Superman, 2x
The Dark Knight, 2x
Runaway Mine Train, 4x
Rolling Thunder Right, 1x
Rolling Thunder Left, 1x
Elvira, 1x
Houdini, 1x
Skyway, 1x
Bizarro, 1x
Kingda Ka, 1x

Sounds like you get your money's worth last night.

Either that or it was marathoner's heaven. :)

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

DaveStroem's avatar

Yoshi, I notice that in most of your trips to SFGA you seem to skip El Toro. Is there a reason for this?

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

I can't ride it right now, I'm hoping opening day next year I will be able to (15 pounds lost since the beginning of the season so far)

DaveStroem's avatar

I understand. I was soooo tight when we were there earlier this season.

I too am on the El Toro Diet. I want to get down low enough so that I don't have to be stapled.

Good luck, I hope you succeed with your plan.

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Yoshi and Dave, you have kinda answered my question about El Toro. Is it really that bad??? I am at about 38 inch waist, sometimes that going to be too big? I easily fit on Dragster, and can squeeze onto MF most of the time...just thought id ask :)

DaveStroem's avatar

You should be fine. Just don't put on any more over the off season. :)

My waist is 40-42 with a bit of Dunlop disease. ( that is where your belly dunlops over your belt). I was a tight fit and it was not the most comfortable of a ride because even if your stapled you get massive air. The problem is that when you come back down in your seat it hurts where your belly hits the lap bar.

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Yoshi, thanks as always for the report. Your advice really helped today!

My brother and I came out from Ohio to go to the park yesterday. We got to the park right at opening, and as Yoshi has consistently said EVERYONE went to Kingda Ka. We went to El Toro first and got three walk-on rides. I thought about going for a fourth, but by the time I got back a huge crowd (probably 1,000 people, and this isn't an exaggeration) got in line. Had we gone to KK first we would have been waiting in a 45 minute long line for ET and really set us back the rest of the day. By the way, does the Bizarro crew usually stack trains all the time?

Yes, stacking and double stacking is a problem for the past 2 seasons on the ride (maybe longer but I only had a pass last year and this year). 2 people can't check a 30 seat train that fast and the really need 4 people checking a train like Dorney does.

Glad to hear the info helped

I'm so jealous! I went for Fright Fest this past Sunday and it was an absolute nightmare. Full queue for Toro, plus an additional roped off area that wrapped around the walkway to the back of the coaster heading towards Bizarro. Kingda Ka kept breaking down (shocker there), and even with Gold Flashpass, waits for reservations were between 20 and 40 minutes long. Toro was running great, and I actually got the husband to go with me, so that was cool, but I don't think I'll head back out there for the 'Fest unless someone else is springing for the pass (especially since they increased the price). A season pass has proved nearly pointless when figuring in all the flashpass purchases. LOL

Although, on a happier note, my husband's new favorite coaster (previously Steel Force was the favorite) is also Toro. It shocked the hell out of him, although he feels that unnecessary stapling was damaging to his bladder. Ehehehehe...I may have created a monster. I think there will be many less trips to parks all alone. :)

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band


Sunday was brutal!


YOu got your moneys worth... The only time that you can get a ride count like that is to have a Qbot! Sounds like a good time.. Lost kause I'll pay for a Q bot if you want to hang out!

Crash, I'm sorry I missed ya! LOL Were you standing in the lines with all the rest or did you spring for the Flashpass? I HAD to get a FP. If I didn't, we would have ridden one or two rides tops, my husband is totally crowd-phobic, and I would never be able to get him to go again. LOL I truly try not to buy a flashpass, but sometimes it's a necessity.

Wonder what was up that it was so crowded on Sunday? Don't these kids go to school???

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

DaveStroem's avatar

Off topic a bit. I had to laugh at the people that had FP when we were at SFStL on Sunday. Sure they had a 1 train wait while the regular que had a 1-2 train wait.

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

^I can't believe the amount of people using Flashpass when the park is empty. I don't know why they don't look at lines and the amount of crowds first before buying it.

^^Sunday's are always packed for Frightfest. I guess with a 10:00 closing, most get home by midnight unless they are really far from the park. I'm sure this weekend is going to be worse since a lot of people who didn't go this past weekend because of the weather are planning a trip this weekend or closing weekend.

Last year closing day on a Sunday was very light on crowds but that was because it was after Halloween, the park was only open until 8 (so a lot of Frightfest stuff was cancelled) and it was thought that a lot of people didn't know the park was even open. This year they close at 10 instead.


I was working that day. I work there part time for fun durning FF.

$15 tickets caught on and Sunday was a nice day.

36k in the park. Insane!!


PS we are expecting huge crowds this weekends so get there early!


Even on Friday? I went on this same upcoming Friday last year and got 31 rides in a little over 6 hours (11:15 was when I exited my final ride of the night), I was hoping for the same thing again this year.

Sat and Sunday. Friday is a toss up. A lot might come out cause of the crappy weather last week but Sat and Sunday are going to be nuts!


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