Great Adventure 7-31-14

Friday, August 1, 2014 9:56 AM

I left Scranton around 7am ish and got to the park around 9:50am. At 10am, they started letting people through security and all congregated at the fountain. Season pass holders were allowed in at 10:20am. A tough security guard made sure there was no pushing or shoving. At 10:30am it was the running of the bulls. I made a B line to Zumanjaro first. Here is where it gets a little interesting. None of the employee's knew when it would open. The security guard kept telling those waiting in line he had no idea when it would open because it was having "technical issues" KA was not open for park opening either. Eventually KA did open before Zum did.

He mentioned it would probably be a good idea to leave the line and come back. Then his mom steps to the front of the line and starts a calm argument with the employees. Now all of this started happening after we had been waiting two hours in line. She rallied a few others and asked to talk to a supervisor. She then asked to speak to her supervisor.

Finally one did come over and explained that it was a new ride and their staff were making sure it was safe. (People were working on the top of the drop tower earlier). Those 30 of us that were left were surprisingly given exit passes to any ride expect KA, Zumanjaro or the Safari. I know I could have gone onto other rides but Zum was my priority.

My friend and I went to El Toro which I probably could have gotten a few rides in had I gone there first thing. We went up the exit ramp and no one was there to check our exit pass. Rode in the last row for great air time. We saw Zum testing and went into the single rider line for a 20 min wait. We even got to ride together! Such a smooth ride with great views. Def a rush for me. We then hit up Nitro (where our pass was taken) and were placed in row 8. This is the most air time I have ever gotten on Nitro. Rode on the left outside seat.

After a quick lap on Skull Mtn. we ate at the Yum Yum Café. Not sure why it went from Character Café to this name. Great chicken tenders and fries, just a weird name. Her chicken salad wasn't great and a little icy. She didn't finish it and had their vanilla ice cream which was also not that great tasting.

My friend never rode Lantern so we took a very slow walk to there next. Line was at the bottom of the steps. Riding in row two, my ears got banged to hell. I will probably not ride this for a loooong time. My friend had to go home so I hit up Bizzarro next. Wait again was at the bottom of the steps (about 20mins) Trains were stacking and dispatches were really slow. Sitting in row three it was an ok ride. Not my fav floorless, but some thrills are there. I went to KA and the ride op told me it was about 1hr and 20min wait. I had waited enough earlier in line so I passed on it.

I was beat up from the heat and humidity so I called it a day. With the threat of storms coming and the sky getting dark, I headed home. Turns out it never rained there but it was worth the trip to get my first ride on Zum. Thinking about going the day before Columbus Day to catch some fright festivities. Even though I could have done more, Zum tied it all together for me. Crowds were light, my food was great, and a nice surprise with that exit pass.

Last edited by kingdakacor, Friday, August 1, 2014 9:58 AM
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Friday, August 1, 2014 10:38 AM

Character Cafe was originally the Yum Yum Palace, so I guess the re-name is aiming for nostalgia in the park's current 40th Anniversary season.

20 minutes from the bottom of the steps on Bizarro? That's a lot. Running all three trains as usual?

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Friday, August 1, 2014 10:39 AM
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Friday, August 1, 2014 11:54 PM

Yep. Trains kept stacking and stacking. It may have been closer to 15 but it was really slow.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014 10:35 PM

I was at Great Adventure this same day. I was also in that frustratingly hot Zumanjaro line in the morning, waiting for it to open. It kept testing and the employee said he thought it'd open at any minute. After about 45 minutes of it not opening, we quietly moved on and caught some great rides on El Toro. Then we noticed Zumanjaro with riders and headed back over.

Only a 30 minute wait at that point, and man, was it worth it! I haven't felt that drop ride rush since Demon Drop as a kid. The ride felt like what I'd expect it'd feel like if I was a window washer on a high skyscraper, and my suspended scaffolding just randomly snapped. It felt very minimalist and unstable, with the carriage clanging back and forth with the sway of Kingda Ka's tower. The drop seemed to go on forever, saving us just before impact with the ground -- just the way I like my drop towers! Intamin definitely knows how to deliver thrill.

We left the park after this for some drinks and good food and returned around 7PM for a much more pleasant Great Adventure experience. My opinion of the park improved with the significantly more comfortable weather and low waits, as I expected. I had a lot more fun on Bizarro this time, which I previously thought was very average. Skull Mountain was rougher and more intense than I remembered (and reminded me of Flight of Fear), which probably had something to do with the seat choice.

We had a very interesting experience on Nitro though. We had a good ride earlier in the day, so I know it was something to do with the particular train. But man, I have never experienced a B&M so rough. The wheels had to be long overdue for replacement and felt like squares. The ride experience was like a jack-hammering wooden coaster on the outer seats of the front. We said we wanted off after 1 ride, but the employees thought we wanted a re-ride and dispatched it again while we laughed with groans. We thought it might be better in the back and changed seats, but it felt rough and slow back there too, on the same train. Hopefully they take care of that train soon, as it wasn't fit to be on the track.

We closed with the last drop of Zumanjaro for the night, and it was incredible once again. It was very dark right there, so it felt like we were just dropping into blackness. Overall, I had a very fun day!

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Monday, August 4, 2014 7:16 AM

Hey Jeph, where'd you eat/drink? Tommy's? McGinn's?

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Monday, August 4, 2014 10:50 AM

With the help of Yelp, we wound up at Surf Taco in Jackson. The food was good enough, but most importantly, there was a full bar to ease the headaches from the morning sun. ;)

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Monday, August 4, 2014 12:49 PM

Yes, because drinking alcohol helps dehydration and headaches. ;)

I've always liked Ka much better at night because they don't light the track and you're just basically flung out into the cosmos with no clue if you'll ever stop flying. Glad to see they didn't add lights or anything for Zu so that everyone gets a plummet into an abyss. Pretty cool.

I'm not really into drop towers at ALL, but I think I might have to give this one at least one try. It is getting absolute rave reviews from everyone, and that's kind of unusual for a drop tower. There's been a lot of talking about this ride being a crappy idea, but if riders are pleased, sounds like a win to me!

Last edited by bunky666, Monday, August 4, 2014 12:50 PM
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Monday, August 4, 2014 12:52 PM

Interesting. I keep looking, but I seem to keep missing all of the complaining that's required in trip reports about this park...

Did two people go and actually have fun?!

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Monday, August 4, 2014 1:54 PM

The way I read it, Jeph complained plenty, but he didn't present it in a way that looked like complaining. Like I said many times in my Gadv-TR, he just "shrugged it off," and moved on.

Nice to hear that Drop'emajaro was open and thrilling riders. I wonder if the park feels it was a mistake to build it now that they know that it and Kingda Klozed has to alternate cycles?

I still don't like that park though. There are just so many better choices. It shouldn't be necessary to be tolerant of their incompetence in order to have a pleasant visit.

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Monday, August 4, 2014 4:01 PM

Hmmm...I said I had a very fun day overall, so I wouldn't consider it a complaint about the park.

I suppose you could have taken the Nitro train condition as a complaint, but really, it was just something surprising that I remembered. I had never ridden a B&M coaster that felt like a rough Mean Streak, so it prompted a discussion about why people have such vastly different opinions of coasters. Different seats, trains, weather, and times can change everything.

The delay of a new attraction opening on time (especially from Intamin) was expected honestly, and I imagine it could happen at any park. Ka seemed to be running well the whole day.

If I had a complaint about something at Great Adventure (and this applies to all Six Flags parks), it'd be the ads. I was commenting that some areas of Great Adventure were actually very beautiful and well-themed, yet the ads really cheapened the experience and ruined the vibe. El Toro's train was coated in KIA decals. There were KIA and Chevy cars sitting throughout the park. Skull Mountain had banners for chips over the theme. The in-queue TV's were playing ads for hair product. You couldn't even escape the ads in the bathroom. It gave off a cold, corporate feel that I don't get as much from other parks.

We're bombarded with ads so much in our lives that I think a trip to an an amusement park should be a getaway. While I'm sure Six Flags is collecting some good money from the ads, I think Cedar Fair is playing the right card, and I hope they don't change.

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Monday, August 4, 2014 4:42 PM

I think we're about par for the course on this one. I've read at least a couple of dozen Trip Reports/threads on SF:GrAdv this season and most of them sound the same to me.

Jeph said:

The delay of a new attraction opening on time (especially from Intamin) was expected honestly, and I imagine it could happen at any park.

Falcon's Fury anyone?

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Monday, August 4, 2014 4:57 PM

Blackie said:

Falcon's Fury anyone?

Shhhhh!

It only happens at Six Flags!

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Monday, August 4, 2014 5:24 PM

I wonder if some of the difficulty in getting a ride up and working has less to do with the parks and the atrocious weather and more about the manufacturer/ride designer. We've already discussed many times that Intamin overengineers their rides, and I can imagine that that could create a situation where rides don't necessarily get finished when they're supposed to, regardless of the park's timetable. I'm not saying that it is NOT Six Flags that seems to have no idea how to schedule an opening even close to their projected dates, but I seem to recall Cedar Fair having trouble with opening Maverick, TTD, I-305, etc. Also, isn't Falcon's Fury Intamin? Could it be mainly all this new tech that just needs tweaking? For all we know, Holiday World will have a delay with the new B&M coaster because of the launch mechanics that they haven't really worked with before (often, anyway)!

Jeph, C train on Nitro needs new wheels. Badly. That may be what the issue is.

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Monday, August 4, 2014 5:30 PM

Actually, I didn't see any complaining at all. Like you said, Travis, he shrugged off the little bit of negative and had a good time.

Apparently so did Jeph.

Where you see complaining, I see reality.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Monday, August 4, 2014 5:32 PM
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 1:47 AM

Jeph said:

I was commenting that some areas of Great Adventure were actually very beautiful and well-themed...

On a positive note, that is something I should have commented about. The park is really gorgeous in some spots, with the lakes and trees. I overlooked that aspect of the park experience.

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