Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
Like everyone else on this site that doesn't live in an area where parks are open all year, I have been waiting for the cold winter and offseason to end and finally start riding coasters again. I was a little worried about crowds after hearing about long lines yesterday but like the past 2 years, going on Sunday of opening weekend was a good idea since the park wasn't crowded at all.
I got to the park a little before 3:00 and went to Nitro first. 2 trains were running with the 3rd train taken apart near the train storage room. I hope they get the 3rd train running soon. Today 2 trains was fine but with spring break coming up, they are going to need the 3rd train. The boneyard near the first drop has a lot of new additions like part of the center of the Royal Elephants ride, part of the pirate ship play area from Wiggles World and a bunch of signs and statues from Wiggles World. It was a 2 train wait and I walked around for another ride.
Skull Mountain was next, 2 trains were running but 1 train had the last car closed off and the other train had car 5 closed off. The skull figure was turned to face the train at the bottom of the first drop and was lit up along with the pumpkin in the final helix and the tiki mask that I have never seen lit up before near the first drop. The other tiki mask near the final helix and pumpkin in the middle of the ride were not lit up and are only visible if you see them during the strobes (and you have to know where to look).
The Skyway had the right side running and the new cars look great. Runaway Mine Train and the Sawmill Log Flume were both walk ons. Thankfully no one was at the water cannons since it was around 60 degrees out and getting soaked wouldn't have been fun. Bizarro was listed on the closed rides board but was running with 2 trains. I didn't see the 3rd train anywhere. Dispatches were a little slow with some stacking but it is the beginning of the season so hopefully the dispatches will be faster as the season goes on.
I went back to Runaway Mine Train and went to Plaza Del Carnaval. It was nice to see Tango running and I stopped there for a ride. I decided to skip Rolling Thunder as I had a slight headache already.
Kingda Ka had no wait to get into the station. I noticed they opened up the first part of the old queue, normally there was a small fence and you turned left to get to the switchback area. They removed the fence and there is an additional queue area now I guess since they expect the switchbacks to be full more often now. It was a 3 train wait and a little less than 5 minutes. It would be nice to see the back loading area used for unloading that way the train can come to the front part of the station empty and be loaded faster. Otherwise, the dispatches seemed fast but it should be interesting to see what happens on a more crowded day.
I skipped Superman for the same reason I skipped Rolling Thunder, I didn't want to make the headache worse with the pretzel loop. I stopped at Blackbeard's, went back to Nitro, Skull Mountain and Batman and finished the day at the Dark Knight. There was no wait to get into the pre-show room and the only actual wait was just watching the movie. I was able to get a re-ride.
It was a great start to the season with low crowds and short waits. It was also the first time other than season pass nights that I didn't see a single person using the Flashpass.
I was there yesterday for a bit too. I was surprised that the Jungle land was closed and you couldn't even talk around it. Going to make a lot of people unhappy come summer. Did Nitro have the new cup holder things on the station wall?
Yeah it is annoying to have to walk through the Boardwalk to get from Frontier Adventures or Plaza Del Caranval to the Golden Kingdom.
Nitro had the cup holders near the exit gate.
*SIGH* I wish my home park had Toro.
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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
FYI. Ka will only be using one side of the station this year and only running three trains. SFGAdv had the controls reprogrammed to do this and they expect it to be more efficient (and obviously cut down on staffing too). Apparently they can also switch to the other side of the station as a backup if the main side has any issues. The park is hoping enthusiasts will get the word out that it's more efficient this way. We'll see how it goes once the crews get used to the new pace/setup.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
I can't figure out how running less trains and cutting half of the loading platform will make things run more efficiently and faster, but my brain doesn't work like Six Flags management brains work, so whatever. It's stuff like that that makes me question if I should ever step into that craphole again. Why build all the amazing rides if you are not going to keep them open or run them right?
The way it was before, the second station couldn't send anything until both trains from the first station returned, then the switch track had slide over, then the next two trains could be dispatched to the pre-launch position. The idea now is that they can just keep sending one train after another every time one launches and not have to wait for the switching or the second pair of trains to return to the station. The old system seemed inferior to Dragster's IMO, which seems to do what Ka is intending to do now--continuously send trains.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
It seems to be working well so far, I didn't get to the ride until 7:40 today so crowds were almost gone but with a wait right in the station it was a little over 5 minutes. My 2nd ride would have been a little less than 10 minutes with a few small delays (someone's restraint wouldn't raise) and some people took my row trying to get a re-ride. It worked out though since they had to launch another train so I got the front without an extra wait.
I'm not going to write a full trip report for today. It was a little more crowded than last Sunday. Nitro was the longest wait of the day at a little over 20 minutes. The 3rd train is not put together. Batman was running 2 trains today, Toro is still running 1 train. A lot of closed rides. Skyway and Parachutes were closed because of wind, Jolly Roger and Buccaneer were closed because of mechanical reasons, Toro was listed on the rides closed board but was when I was near the ride, I think Twister was closed as well. Dispatches at most of the coasters was a little slow. I also noticed closed rows again this week. Last week 2 different cars were closed off on Skull Mountain. This week, a different car was closed off and Runaway Mine train had a car closed off. I still managed 13 rides in a little over 3 hours (I got stuck in traffic on the turnpike) so not too bad. I just hope they get the 3rd train on Nitro running soon since it is really amazing how much faster the line moves with 3 trains compared to 2.
The original Ka arrangement seemed like it should be faster than Dragster (and had the nice bonus that each train had a hell of a lot of time to unload and load before it was "due") but in practice, it felt like it took a really long time for each train to launch, pass the brakes, enter the station and park before the next train could even advance. A really long time.
At least with Dragster (if I'm not mistaken) the next train could launch after the previous train cleared the end of the brake run before the turn.
I assume the new Ka will have to advance a pair of trains at a time, so I'd guess it goes like:
1) C in block brake, B, A in station
2) C in station, B on launch standby, A on launch
3) A in station, C in station, B on launch
4) B in block, A, C in station
5) lather rinse repeat
Getting the A train (the one that pulls into the second section of station) loaded will be the bottleneck...unless they don't want to load either train until everybody is parked, which makes sense in which case the loading of both trains will be the bottle neck.
Regardless, I seriously doubt it will increase capacity because the previous bottleneck was the actual (unnecessarily long) ride block. Unless they figured out a way to shorten that block, at best they can match the previous capacity.
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."
I love El Toro..
I just saw the pictures of the Green Lantern and they need to hurry up with it! There is still a lot of dirt.....
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