Great Adventure Opening Day 4/5/12..Is There An Echo On CoasterBuzz?

Friday, April 6, 2012 3:24 PM

I saw Yoshi's TR just as I was about to post my own, folowd by GoPostal's comments. Here's my take.

Met my friend Jen Jen a little past 10:30. She lives much closer to the park now, but ran into a back-up at the parking booths. I thought it was a nice touch that the parking attendant who checked my pass referred to to me as Mr. Gallagher in wishing me a good day. Minor, but nice. I still find it odd that not only does the park's name not appear on the pass, neither does the year.

There's a new security checkpoint to go through before you even get to the ticket windows. They wouldn't let me past there with my food, and I had to put it in Jen's locker. They relocated some of the lockers to a site outside this new security checkpoint. Oddly, the checkpoint was nat staffed later in the day, and items could then be brought to the lockers closer to the gate. Maybe this new checkpoint is just a morning thing.

Jen had to get her pass processed. Although I already had mine, I was gonna pick up my coupon book. I had understood they weren't doing the books this year, but must have changed their mind. Jen's processing was smooth as butter, and we both got our books.

Jen had previously offered to treat to a Flash Pass. I really didn't think we'd need it..I expected the park to be pretty much dead. Nope.

We rode Green Lantern first with about a half-hour wait for the front seat. I'm actually getting to like it, now that I've figured "how" to ride semi-comfortably. I'd still be leery about anything other than front. We had seen Ka testing, which, along with her customary churro a bit later, put Jen on Cloud Nine. Ka was not open yet,and Toro already had a nasty line and appered to be running only one train. That thought was later proved false..the Stride gum ads have been removed from the one, so it was hard to tell until we were in the station later.

We hit Bizarro for two rides, poaching separate seats for the second with a non-existent line. Great rides as always, but unfortunately, the audio was working :(

Since Ka hadn't opened and Toro's line was long, we took a spin on Rolling Thunder before heading to the other end of the park. Would you believe me if I told you RT was quite enjoyable? I wouldn't call it smooth, but it ran much better than recent years. The turnaround didn't lose much speed, and it wasn't as screechy as usual. That was a nice surprise.

We prepared to head over to Nitro. We split up at that point. I've developed some breathing problems, and yesterday was the first time I was gonna put my body to the amusement park "test."
I actually didn't do too badly. Since Jen took some smoke breaks, that enabled me to rest occasionally. I was coughing some, but not as bad as it sometimes gets. So I was mostly OK. But at that point, I did not feel up to walking to the other end. So I headed over for a lap on Runaway Train to be followed by the Skyride over to Nitro. Since Jen doesn't like skyrides, she headed off in search of a churro and we'd meet at Nitro.

Well, the best laid plans of Mike and Jen... (apologies to Steinbeck..liked that one, huh?)
Skyride shut down as I approached the Train station, and then the ride broke down while I was on the platform. So I ended up walking anyway. I was pretty beat by the time I met Jen, and the feeling was made worse when I saw the MONSTROUS line for Nitro. The park had gotten quite crowded.

At then point, Jen decided to go for the Flash Pass. While she picked it up and went through the process, I rode Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train...veerry slow dispatches.

Trekked back over to Nitro and used FP. I think it was at that time that somebody vomited on one of the trains while we waited on the platform for the back seat.. They sent it off empty two or three times after cleaning it, and we finally got our ride..on THAT train. They were only running two, unusual for Nitro. Third was nowhere to be seen. Ride was terrific, and we reserved another one immediately. While we were headed to the FP stairs, FP alerted Jen that KA had finally opened. She made a reservation, and we went to eat our lunch, then headed to the Golden Kingdom. They've moved the FP entrance back near the lockers. Just as we got on line, the big guy broke down. We thought they only had one train. After about a half-hour, it started up again. We were ready to board about a half-hour after that, and realized they were running three trains. We of course waited for front seat. Ride was flying, no real roughness. Worth the wait.

Not sure of order of things after that. We had two excellent rides on Toro in the late afternoon. I've lost a tiny bit of weight, but that wasn't gonna matter with this new crew. They were making no effort to really push down on the lap bar, resulting in more "walks of shame" than I'd ever seen. Dispatches were literally taking up to 10 minutes. Our plan was to have Jen push my bar down then get herself set. That worked well..she did a good job. Last year our friend Paul got turned away after having already rode, due to the approach of the attendants. I hope this is just an Opening Day thing, and not a trend.

Ka broke down again when we were about 15 minutes away from our second ride. We did get a ride on Batman to finish our day at about 7:30, but one train ops and slow dispatches came into play.

So there were a lot of bumps along the way. I'm very appreciative to Jen for springing for the FP, but she certainly didn't get her money's worth. Slow operations and mechanical issues were themes of the day, along with multiple coasters not running to max capacity, which is unusual for GA. I stopped on the way home for fresh orange juice and White Castle. Incidentally, I wasn't too hungry, but popped into Panda Express to ascertain, as CoasterBuzzers have told me, that they do sell orange chicken, and how much it was. They had run out, but do have it. I'm not sure I'll spend the money for it, but it's good to know I have another in-park food option. I also scoped out a Coke stand that has over 100 flavor combinations. I may get a souvenir cup and use it there, since they do have several appealing diet options (Vanilla Coke Zero, anyone?)

SkyScreamer appears to be mostly finished, swings are attached, but the area around the base is a mess of construction materials and junk. I guess landscaping is what mostly remains to be done. The space for the Scrambler is nearby, but is just a hollow concrete bowl. We were trying to figure out where the new bumper cars will go. Jen thinks it'll be on the wide open flat concrete area where the Wave Swinger once resided. I wouldn't be surprised if they removed the remote control boats and put the bumper cars next to the Jolly Roger.

Thanks for reading, guys and gals.

Mike

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Friday, April 6, 2012 6:13 PM

I think they might have stopped putting the year on the passes so you can reuse the same pass for multiple years like at Dorney.

I didn't see Nitro's 3rd train either but was told from some people on another site it was by the storage area not put together. The same thing happened last year where the 3rd train wasn't ready for a few weeks. They really could have used it, I didn't have to wait earlier in the day but when I left the park it looked like it would have been around a 45 minute wait with 3 trains, so it had to be over an hour with 2 trains.

The 3rd train wouldn't have mattered at Bizarro unfortunately, the dispatches were the slowest I have ever seen.

Was Green Lantern running 3 trains? I couldn't tell from the entrance but it looked like 2 trains were running so I skipped it since I also couldn't tell if the single rider line was open or not.

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Friday, April 6, 2012 7:36 PM

GL was running two, third was in the shed. Single rider line not open.

In amusement park parlance, SDC usually refers to Silver Dollar City. Yesterday in Jackson, it stood for Slow Dispatch City.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Friday, April 6, 2012 7:39 PM
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Sunday, April 8, 2012 1:58 PM

I don't get it either. Titan has been running 2 for a couple seasons now with the 3rd not in the shed. It only took about 2 weeks of existing for New Texas Giant to go down to 2 trains and this season started with the 3rd not in the shed (though on that ride, the 3rd train usually doesn't help *that* much).

I'm not really sure if there's some policy coming down from the top to keep 3 train coasters running 2 trains most of the time.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012 2:10 PM

I don't know about Titan, but it's too early to be worried about missing trains. Even with the best maintenance staff, there can be surprises or other delays during rehabs. If it gets to be mid-late May and trains are still missing, then it's worth discussing.

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Monday, April 9, 2012 3:20 AM

ApolloAndy said:


I'm not really sure if there's some policy coming down from the top to keep 3 train coasters running 2 trains most of the time.

Gotta sell those Flash Passes! :)

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