Great Adventure 5/10 (longish)

Associated parks:

Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:28 PM
I graduated on Wednesday with my Master's Degree in Social Work, so my
dad and sister came to stay at my apartment in Brooklyn and the three
of us drove down to Six Flags Great Adventure on Thursday morning.

It was a late night on Wednesday so we didn't get on the road until
about 10:30 and hit the park around 1:00. First thing I have to say
is this park is doing a lot to make the no-smoking rule known. I was
a little angry after hearing they were ejecting smokers, but after
visiting I must say there is no way you would not know it was against
the rules. There are posted signs everywhere, an announcement playing
in the entry plaza, and people handing out rule cards and telling you
personally. Also, after putting my lucky zipo through the metal
detector the guard there told me as well. So I guess I retract what I
said about it being a simple mistake. If you smoke in the park you're
blatantly breaking a well advertised rule.

We went over to El Toro first. I noticed that Rolling thunder was
running the front side, which I haven't seen operating in the last
three years. After a 40 minute wait dad and I got on the back seat,
Angie somewhere in the middle. This was the first time I noticed an
annoying trend that would last the whole day.

There was a large group of young (maybe 10-12 or so) girls visitng the
park for the day. I'm not sure of what religion they are, but they
all were wearing long black skirts and similar shirts. Different
groups of 8 or so of these girls throughout the day would walk up to a
ride through it's exit or fastpass lane without having fastpasses, and
then tell the operators that for some reason they could not wait in
the lines. My sister heard them say something about not being
seperated. This seemed wrong to me, and continued to happed a few
trains in front of us for every ride all day. It was usually
different groups of these girls, so there must have been tons of them.
Maybe they had brought such a big groupt hat they were given special
priviladges, I'm not sure. But it was annoying.

Anyway, El Toro was just as good as it was last year. This ride does
not let up. Every hill has very violent airtime, but the ride is
extremely smooth. I really enjoy the section on the infield of
rolling thunder with the quick turns. It was funny though, as soon as
we started going dow the drop we had peices of paper and small
trinkets and other objects flying past our heads. I got hit in the
eye with a dollar bill that fell out of the pockets of the girl a few
seats in front of us. The 4 benches in front of us were filled with
those black skirt clad pre-teens I mentioned. I guess the pockets on
those black skirts do not hold things in as good as pants. The girl
who's dollar bill I got hit with appologized, which was nice of her.
Too bad I wasn't able to grab the buck.

Dad, Ang, and I all agreed that it was a great ride. The crew was
also doing a really good job with getting the trains out, a big and
well needed change from last year. The only problem I have with the
ride is that it doesn't feel 'wooden' enough for me to be in my top 3.
It definately falls somewhere in the top 10 though.

We walked over to Medusa and got a nice, relaxing ride in the big
comfy chairs. This ride does nothing for me anymore. The only part
that gets a reaction out of me is the in-line twist (3rd inversion).
The rest of the ride is nice and smooth, but through all of those
inversions it seems as though nothing happens. Still a very nice
ride, but nothing special.

We walked around and grabbed a ride on the Mine Train next. There was
no wait so we hopped right onto the front seat. Me and my sister had
a lively discussion about whether Metamorphasis was a delusion on the
part of the main character taken to a very great extent, or a form of
literary surrealism. It was a fun ride. They updated the seats from
a few years ago (can't remember if it was like this last october) so
now I can fit in the train comfortably. Definately a good ride. The
one parabolic hill gives a little pop of air that always surprises me.

We walked all the way across the park to Batman and Robin: the
chiller. The robin side had been testing and a few people had lined
up outside. We joined them to wait for a bit, and an employee came
out and waited by the phone. After about 10 minutes he called into
the station, and then went into the building. He came back out and
said it wouldn't be ready for a while longer and advised us to go to
other rides.

Over hear was where I really began to notice how empty the park is
becomming. There have been so many rides taken out over the past few
years, and nothing has gone in to replace them. Not even landscaping.
Most of these spots are now designated smoking areas. The park looks
almost barren without anything in these spaces. Also adding to this
feeling was the numerous closed restaurants and shops. However, that
was understandable since it was a thursday in early May. Maybe the
park wont seem as empty when filled with people and with these stores
operating, but as it was it did not seem the same as it used to. I
miss Chaos and spinnmeister, Freefall and the cow-themed breakdance.
I also miss the best paint-scheemed Huss Frisbee I've encountered yet.
There doesn't seem to be much to do at the park aside from coasters
and kiddie rides. Most of the flats are much more kiddy than the ones
that they used to have. However, also on this note the space shuttle
was operating, which is a rare sight for me. They were also running
the parachute tower, huss top spin, round up, and ferris wheel.

We went over to Batman and after a 10 minute wait me and dad jumped
into the second row. The intensity of the ride tends to gives my
sister a bad headache, so she crossed over to wait. But, as soon as
we sat down and were locked in a call came through to the station.
There was a massive thunderstorm passing nearbye and every ride was to
be shut down. We got off and went over to skull mountain, but
apparently they shut down the indoor rides as well for thunderstorms.
Bummer. We waited it out in the only indoor restaurant that we saw
open for the day, but the rain never came and once the clouds were far
enough away the rides started running.

We went over to Nitro, but it seemed that everyone else in the park
had the same idea. It was a stampede through the queue as soon as the
rope was dropped, but the wait ended up being about 45 minutes, our
longest of the day. We sat towards the back-middle and it was a fun
ride, but I've never fully understood the appeal of this ride. It's a
lot of fun in the back seat, and is rather smooth all around; but
anywhere else in the train it doesn't do it for me. Most of the hills
have some nice floater air, but there is no intense air on the ride,
which is the kind I prefer. There are also 2 trim breaks on the
section before the hammer-turn (does b&m make up these lame terms, or
is it six flags' doing?) I remember there being one possibly since it
opened, but I do not remember there being one on each hill in the out
section. They weren't grabbing hard, but the train was already going
slow and I still felt both. Still a good, fun ride though. Just not
one of my favorites.

We noticed while in line that B&R:TC was now carrying happy
passengers, so we rushed over there next. The line was short and they
were quick between launches so after about 20 minutes we were seated
in the back seat. The launch felt stronger than the 3 I experienced
two weekends before at KD (didn't get to ride hypersonic, saddly). I
recommend riding this before Kingda Ka to anyone planning a visit, as
the launch will not seem as impressive if you'd ridden that a few
hours earlier (I've made that mistake before).

I was very worried how I was going to feel about the ride, but as soon
as it launched I remembered why I like it so much. Even without the
xero-g roll it remains a great coaster. The launch is fun, but not
too fast. The cobra roll is intense enough, which is a nice contrast
to Medusa. Without the OTSRs the roll feels smooth and fun, even in a
wheel seat.

The little left bank right bank re-allignment did nothing for me on
the out run. I shed a small tear for what was previously my favorite
inversion. But going backwards, with the train pushing us faster down
the odd double bank double down (quad d, or quaddy...did I just invent
a term?) It produced a nice falling feeling with a little whip from
the bank to straight. I have to say I was not completely
dissapointed. The ride remains my second favorite in the park, just
below El Toro.

We headed over to Skull Mountain again and grabbed a back seat ride.
I've always enjoyed this thing. The combination of cheesey theeming
and overgrown kiddy coaster works well. And if there are any area
people that remember the original commercials for this ride that made
it seem like a super intense crazy thrill ride, the irony in that has
always added to my liking of this ride. The great pop of ejector air
on the first drop (always sit in the back seat) doesn't hurt the thing

It was getting close to closing, so we decided to try our luck on
superman before calling it a day. The wait seemed too long to us so
me and Dad jumped on GASM. Angie sat it our due to the headache
factor. The train seemed to be tearing through the second two loops,
but the midcourse brought the train to a complete hault. The second
half of the ride was spent hanging uncomfortably in the restraints,
but this ride still gets a smile out of me for some reason. I like to
take at least a lap every time I come to the park, which is never hard
because it always seems to be a walk-on.

We walked by the tigers and had the wonderful oppertunity to see them
playing together. One had a nasty case of the runs right into the
swimming/drinking pond which totally stunk up the viewing area. But
right after the tiger was done with that two of them started chasing
eachother and playing around. It was a blast to watch, but I hope the
one tiger isn't ill.

We finished up the day with a ride on rolling thunder. Me and my sis
sat in the second to last seat (avoiding the wheels and keeping our
backs off the seat the whole way - tip for rough wood coasters to new
riders). The ride was a lot of fun. The track is still screaming
(literally) for grease, but this side actually had a few moments that
tried really hard to give a little air. There was some jackhammering
at the bottom of a few drops, but overall it wasn't a bad ride. This
coaster could be a lot of fun with a little bit of track work and some
grease. We did forget to remind dad, who took the very back, about
keeping his back off the seat, so he had a pretty nasty headache when
we got off.

Overall it was a really nice day at the park. They were only open to
6, but we were able to ride just about everything we wanted without
rushing around at all. We skipped KK because dad and I've already
ridden it and Ang was going to sit it out anyway. To me the ride is
not worth more than a 10 minute wait. Last October it was vibrating
badly through the whole coarse and the terrible loading procedure
makes me way more angry than it actually should.

I would like to see more trees in the park around Nitro and B&R. Also
the boardwalk is just horrible, and it gets 10 times worse in the
summer. The park seems to be doing a great job with making the rules
known and enforcing them, so I retract my previous statements about
the smoking=expulsion issue. I still think they went too far, as a
peice of private property, by getting the rule backed by law. But,
for now at least, I don't believe they are going to actually charge
the fine that can be attatched by and for the state.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:40 PM
Ride of Steel's avatar Great report.

I really liked Gadv when I visited a month ago. Personally I thought Medusa was one of the best B&M's I've been on. I thought it was moderately forceful but for some reason it really gave me that sensation of flying because of how graceful the layout was and it just flowed well while being super duper smooth.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:55 PM
Its good to see SF enforcing things. Also isnt SCREAM at MM supposed to be a clone of Medusa, and is Medusa is bad as scream?

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Sunday, May 13, 2007 1:03 AM
Medusa doesn't seem anything like Scream. I love riding Medusa (we've done it 4-5 times without getting off before), but Scream was just ok. Like in the TR, Medusa is wicked smooth. Scream isn't painful (at least to me), but it's definitely rougher than Medusa.
Sunday, May 13, 2007 1:08 AM
Yeah, I love when the Medusa crew lets you stay on a bunch. It's just a very nice coaster. And I also forgot to mention how fond I am of watching the animals run around in the safari from the lift. Watching the baboons upside down from the lift is one of the most fun (not thrilling) coaster moments for me. I haven't been out to the west coast yet, so I can't comment on the scream comparison. But I'd guess that the parking lot location would take a lot away from the ride for me.
Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:45 AM
Good job Mike! My son is now tall enough for "Rolling Thunder" and your comments and points will be taken into consideration. Thunder could be a great transition coaster, but it will turn off younger riders if they find it too shakey. (I like your term about jack-hammering. That hit the nail right on the head!)

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!


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