Great Adventure first timer..advice needed!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 2:29 PM

After years of avoiding I'm finally heading to SFGA for the first time (actually my first six flags park ever) on monday. My home parks are Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens so I'm not setting my expectations very high.

I do anticipate subpar operations and heavy crowds so better believe I am going in prepared and purchasing a flashpass in advance. So on to the questions-

Hotels in the area...any recommendations and anyone know of any package deals (ie include park admission, parking, etc) I should be aware of?

Flashpass- any additional discounts available besides purchasing online? Is it really worth it to get the "platinum" one?

Working the park, whats the best way to hit the rides?

What are some must do's and see's besides the coasters?

Thanks for any advice in advance..I do plan on making the jump from daily lurker to active poster and posting an in depth trip report

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:16 PM

Actually, the "subpar operations" thing is a stereotype of days gone by. I can't speak for Kings Dominion, but under Cedar Fair I'd say Carowinds - my former home park - was much worse for that than SFGAdv (my current home park).


Anyway, Gold Flashpass is definitely helpful but I'd say platinum is overkill. On Memorial Day with the gold we'd ridden all the coasters by 4PM with multiple rides on Bizarro, Nitro, and Batman. And there's one less now than there was then. :)


If you get there at open, I'd immediately go for Superman or Kingda Ka, because those have the least bearable lines. Knock one or both of those out early then hit El Toro and then Bizarro. But with the Gold flashpass, you're not gonna be waiting much anyway, I think my longest wait was Ka for 15 minutes because somebody had a platinum ahead of me.


As for non-coaster attractions, they have a really good log flume and the rapids ride is OK. Also I'm a huge fan of Round Ups and while there's is weak, it's a Round Up.


But don't over analyze or over plan. It's a nice park, it really is, just let yourself enjoy it.

EDIT:Forgot to give you a great tip! As soon as they scan your pass and you're walking up to the ride, queue your next one. You'll often have another ride ready to go before you're off the first one!

Last edited by Vincent Greene, Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:18 PM
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:20 PM

Wecome in advance to my "home park."

I've only used the Flash Pass twice, both times at someone else's urging. It may be worth it if you've only got one day. On-line is the best price. If it's your first Six Flags visit, I'm wondering if it might behoove you to stop by SF America in MD and pick up a season pass, if you want to spend two days at GAdv. If you have the time, it'll save you some cash. Closest hotels to GAdv are in Bordentown and Freehold. You won't find anything less than a 15-20 minute drive away.

Monday might not be too bad crowdwise, but you just never know. After you go in, go left at the fountain. El Toro and Kingda Ka should be your first stops. Then hit Bizarro, and take the sky-ride over to Nitro and Batman. Dark Knight is there, too..if you must. Superman:UF and Kingda Ka will have the longest lines..IF they're running.

Other things to see and do besides the coasters? Barking up the wrong tree here, pal. Few flats, some often closed, and a currently barren simulator attraction. Ferris Wheel's worth a go.

Have fun and let us know how you make out!

*EDIT* Looks like Vincent beat me by a coupla minutes. I'll recommend the log flume too. Also the carousel is very unusual. See if you can spot the reason why!

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:22 PM

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:25 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I went on a weekday last year and loved the park. No subpar ops, no need for a flash pass, and tons of fun.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:45 PM
rollergator's avatar

As for flats - the Parachute Drop is an excellent *rare* attraction, even if those aren't the thrill-rides they were many many years ago...

Is Houdini running at this point - thought I'd heard about a re-opening?

Never can figure out why S:UF has such incredibly long lines - the other flyers I've ridden never seem to get lines like GAdv does....and the oG ride is a better version (due to terrain).

Toro....is a bad moth-uh...jus' talking 'bout Shaft. ;)

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:49 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

MMMmmmm...Toro...


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:00 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

I personally would not pre purchase a flash pass. I would wait and see how the crowds are. If you need it then get it, but if not you just saved a pocket full of $$$.

I to agree with going to Superman first then to KA and El Toro. On Ka, there are 2 sides that the ride loads from. On the day we were last there one side was packed and the other wasn't but a 1-2 train wait. On Toro the station is a cluster. Once you get up there push toward the back. There it is often a walk on in the back while the front is snarl of people.

Hotels, we just staid at the Hampton in East Windsor. It is about 20 miles from the park. I plan on staying there next month too.


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

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:23 PM

rollergator said:


Is Houdini running at this point - thought I'd heard about a re-opening?

When I was there on July 25, it was running. Others had told me it was up most of the last two years, but I certainly never saw it. It might have been my imagination, but I sensed that the bench ascended a little more steeply that day than in the past. Still not nearly as much fun as the Wonder House (at least I THINK that's what it was called) at Dutch Wonderland, where you never moved, but the illusion of movement was MUCH better than Houdini. Wonder House was one of three rides in my life that made me ill, along with my first rides as a kid on a Zipper and an Enterprise..now I love 'em both!


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:26 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

Don't go hehehe :) Spend the time and money going to Dorney, or Hershey or any park in PA for that matter. It will be many moons before I go back to Great Adventure.

Seriously though, have a good time :)


Billy
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:29 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Anybody know why there are no hotels near the park?

I love the park, but always found it odd that there were no hotels next to it. It's not like they are short on space.

Houdini is running this year, but only durring the summer months. El Toro is one of the best coasters out there. Don't forget to check out the tiger show, and dolphin show. They are both good.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:34 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

My advice: don't skip Great American Scream Machine! Its worth seeking out.

Last edited by Mamoosh, Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:42 PM
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:38 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

LOL.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:54 PM

crazy horse said:
Anybody know why there are no hotels near the park?

I love the park, but always found it odd that there were no hotels next to it. It's not like they are short on space.

I seem to recall a news article a few years ago about that very subject. GA itself planned a hotel, but apparently zoning variances on Rte. 527 that runs in front of the park prohibited it. Never read anything more about it.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:58 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

crazy horse said:
Anybody know why there are no hotels near the park?

Did you check the park's lodging web page?

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:25 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Mamoosh said:

crazy horse said:
Anybody know why there are no hotels near the park?

Did you check the park's lodging web page?


Yea...I have checked.

The closest hotel is 20 min away. I thought that it was weird given the size of the park and all.

If it was zoning issues, I wonder why they would not try to rezone it. A hotel next to that park could make a fortune.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:50 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Houdini has been open all summer (minus any downtime). It was announced to be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but opened before Memorial Day. Last year it was closed all season until Fright Fest and then finally reopened with all o the effects even working. And if I recall correctly it didn't open at all the year before that.

Don't miss the log flume. One of the more interesting flumes out there. And make sure you ride Skull Mountain in the very last ride for some frightening airtime. :)

Since you're planning to get a Flash Pass anyway, I highly recommend going on a Saturday when the Fireworks show is scheduled. It is outstanding and better than any ride at the park IMO.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 9:57 PM

You might want to check out the Dolphin show and Tiger show while your there for something to do and if you have the time i highly recommend going through the Safari its very good. There are a bunch of hotels in Borden town off exit7 on the NJ TPK and its about 15mins from the park.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:17 AM
kpjb's avatar

Was there last week. Park was awesome, haters don't know what the hell they're talking about. Clean, efficient ops, great selection of coasters, decent food, loads of fun.

Keep meaning to write a TR, but haven't gotten around to it.

Stayed here. It was a really nice hotel at a very reasonable rate, and only about 15-20 minutes away. They have free real (i.e. eggs, burritos, waffles, etc) breakfast, small pool, and some eating places not too far off.


Hi

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:41 AM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^Yeah! Skull Mountain is a really great coaster, I wonder why it doesn't rate higher. That half-lift scenic is great, and that first drop is killer :)


Billy
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 1:09 AM

Skull Mountain isn't up to it's full potential but it still fun, there are props in there that aren't lit up like 2 tiki masks, a 2nd pumpkin, the soundtrack isn't always working and too much light can be let in at times. I usually ride it a few times each trip when there is no wait.

I heard the reason the hotel wasn't built was because Shapiro/Red Zone canceled it, the original plan had some problems. They were going to restrict entry to hotel guests only so locals or passholders not staying there couldn't enter to eat at the restaurant, shop or use the arcade and it also was going to take up around 700 parking spaces.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Wednesday, August 11, 2010 1:10 AM
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