Great Adventure, 12/12/15

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 1:58 AM

This trip to Great Adventure was going to be different. I'm still getting used to them being open in December and you don't expect 70 degree weather this time of year and being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt knowing you are going to be spending hours outside walking around a park. This was also my 25th trip to the park this year, breaking my old record of 24 from 2013.

The lot wasn't very crowded at opening and I expected that to change. So far during Holiday in the Park, crowds are very low until around 4 - 5 and then it gets crowded because people want to see the lights. Today the lot was filling up faster than past weeks.

Since Holiday in the Park began 3 weeks ago, Nitro and Skull Mountain have been running 2 trains. Superman, Green Lantern and Batman have been running 1 train.

First was Green Lantern with a 2 train wait for a middle row and then Superman with the same wait for the last row. Green Lantern was running well with no headbanging and Superman was good as usual. Superman is 1 ride where I prefer 1 train running so you aren't stuck on the brake run with your head tilted down waiting for the other train to dispatch.

Sky Screamer had a 1 cycle wait and although it's more fun to ride at night to see all the lights, I thought it would probably have too long of a line later which turned out to be correct as I heard it was an hour wait around 5:30.

Batman was next again with a 2 train wait. I am glad to see the ride facing forwards again and the intensity of the ride has gotten to me where I rarely ride the coaster more than once per trip.

After Batman it was time to get some Nitro rides in. I knew I had to ride the coaster at least 6 times so I could get my 500th total Nitro ride. Wait times varied from a few minutes to 10 minutes even with the line past that covered part of the queue that goes under the track. They were dispatching trains so fast that they often had to wait until the other train was far enough along the track to dispatch the other train.

In 2007 when I first rode Nitro, I didn't know at the time I would be getting a season pass the next year and getting the park so often and I'm glad to say that such a great ride is my most ridden coaster. After that I rode Nitro once more.

Going up the lift hill on my final Nitro ride of the day, I looked at the parking lot and saw not only was there a lot of cars waiting to get to the parking booths, there was also all the cars trying to merge into a few lanes after the parking booths to get into the lot and that line was barely moving. In the lot, it looked like the preferred parking entrance had a long line of cars waiting to get in as well.

By now lines were starting to pick up. Nitro's line was up to the 60 minute sign and I went to Skull Mountain with about a 20 minute wait for the last row. With El Toro closed, that first drop in the last row is probably the best air time in the park right now.

On the way to The Dark Knight I looked around at the some of the other rides. The Big Wheel had a half full queue, Sky Screamer was almost to the final switchback section and Deja Vu had a full queue. The Dark Knight was only around 15 minutes including the wait to get into the pre-show.

After The Dark Knight I knew it was probably going to be too crowded to ride anything else. Lines had even gotten worse in that short amount of time. The Big Wheel now had about a 2/3 full queue, Deja Vu's line was into a temporary overflow queue and Sky Screamer had almost a full queue. Even Air Jumbo that I have never seen with any kind of wait had almost a full queue.

I was going to try to use my dining pass to get dinner except the lines were probably going to be an hour long so I decided it wasn't worth waiting. It was the same with the lines to use the dining pass for a snack. Most places I walked by appeared to be out of items like the popcorn bag and soft pretzels and lines were very long, even the snack stand by Houdini had a temporary rope queue setup.

Leaving the park there were a lot of people still waiting to buy tickets and go through security. Walking through the parking lot there were more people going towards the entrance than I have ever seen before. Anyone trying to get out of the preferred parking lot was going to have trouble because there were just so many people walking in that area. This is something that really needs to be fixed. There should be a separate blocked off path in the parking lot for people to walk where they aren't walking literally in the exit lane to the preferred parking lot. It is an accident waiting to happen.

When I was walking to the car, I looked at Green Lantern's line from the parking lot and it appeared to be around 30 minutes which didn't seem that bad with how crowded the park was and with 1 train running.

Six Flags did an amazing job decorating the park. There are lights everywhere you look on trees and buildings and Skull Mountain's outside is covered in red lights. There is also a fiber optic tree where the fountain at the main entrance is and at night there is a show with music that matches up with the images displayed on the tree. It almost reminds me of something you would see at Disney.

Even with the crowds at the end of the trip, it was still a very nice day at the park.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:11 PM

Agreed that Six Flags did an amazing job decorating the park. What a great way to not only celebrate the holidays but extend roller coaster season in the Northeast. I was also there on the 12th, my second visit for Holiday in the Park. As to the crowds being low until 4 or 5, this is certainly true. At 2:20 pm the wait time for Batman was 0 minutes. This is the only time in all my visits to the park that I was able to walk right on. I grabbed 2 consecutive rides and thought about more but with a stiff neck decided not to push my luck. The wait time for Nitro between 2:30 and 3:00 was approximately 5 to 7 minutes. By 4 the wait times for Batman and Nitro had increased to a mere 20 minutes and by 5 the crowds began to arrive, so I was outta there. If we get another unseasonably warm day between now and Jan. 3, I will definitely go back. (Riding roller coasters when it's 40 degrees - I've done that - is not exactly my idea of fun.) http://www.upsdownsandupsidedown.com/new-blog/2015/12/13/holiday-in-the-park

Last edited by Bobbie1951, Tuesday, December 15, 2015 4:47 PM
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015 6:14 PM

I'm hoping there are at least some more above 50 degree days this season. Next weekend doesn't look so good but I'm still going to try to get there probably Friday or Sunday just in case it's too cold during the last week of December or January (if the temperature becomes an issue for the coasters to run).

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7:38 PM

I was hoping to see a trip report from Great Adventure's holiday offering. Thanks for posting one Yoshi!

I feel that the warmer temps than normal in this part of the country have added to the people running over to get some holiday fun at the park. Even with the shopping and preparation for the Christmas Holiday.

The Jones Beach Holiday Lights thing has gotten expensive and they always get a huge turn-out so I guess Christmas "Parking" is here to stay.

I wonder about the crowds during the week when school is closed in terms of crowds.

It's also nice to see that the season's pass is now worth a little more - as it is a longer season.

How can you run out of popcorn and pretzels though? Really?

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Saturday, December 19, 2015 1:53 AM

I think the crowds during winter break will be similar to how they are now, very low the first couple hours the park is open and then more crowded when it gets dark out. I guess it will also depend on what attractions will be closed after Christmas. Santa will be gone which usually has the longest line in the park.

They have been running out of snacks since the weekend after Fright Fest ended. I think it's a combination of less places open and so many people with the dining pass since if someone bought it from Labor Day or later this year they had all of Fright Fest and Holiday In The Park and then all of 2016 to use it making it a really good value.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Saturday, December 19, 2015 1:54 AM
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Saturday, December 19, 2015 10:55 PM

And to think I was worried about the cold and whether the coasters would be able to run. Supposed to be in the 70s and 60s at the end of next week! All four coasters have been great so far. Batman far better forwards then backwards and one of the only coasters where I like the second half more than the first. Disappointing that they did nothing with Poinsettia Peak inside. Mayhem construction exciting!

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Sunday, December 20, 2015 11:17 PM

Tonight when I left the park it was 32 out and all the coasters were still running. I guess it's either lower than that to shut them down or it's more ice, snow and gusts. I didn't expect Nitro in the front row to be as painful as it was at night.

I agree it would have been nice to see the inside of the coaster decorated. Even Santa hats on the skull figures and pumpkins and some a holiday soundtrack would have been good.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Sunday, December 20, 2015 11:18 PM
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