Great Adventure/Jersey Shore/Steel Pier - September 9th, 2006

Associated parks:


I've been a bit erratic in the writing of trip reports. While I could complain about operations, pricing, closed rides, and other guests, I just go to these parks and have a good time, most of the time. The way I figure, it's just not worth it, other than knowing what order I did things in (and maybe one or two operation quirks). This trip wasn't like that. Kevin and I were thrown surprises at every turn, which is very, very nice.

The first stop was to Six Flags Great Adventure. We both have passes, and I was just there last weekend (when we tried this trip, with us ending up at Morey's Piers), so we were expecting to just get in and waste a few hours until the piers opened up for the day. We arrived just after 10, and in an hour, we rode Nitro five times (walk-on with three trains and barely stacking!) and Skull Mountain. We decided to go over to El Toro, but the line was long, and one train operation killed that decision. We also rode Tango, which was the new Rock'n'Tug this year, which wasn't bad for a family ride.

At this point, we decided to get gas and hit up Jenkinson's Boardwalk. We parked, rode Flitzer, and left. It wasn't a bad ride, and the breaks didn't seem to kick in at all.

Funtown Pier was the next stop. I already had the kiddie Miler, so I headed for the Interpark "Looping Coaster," which was very nice, actually. The ride-op informed me I needed two people to ride, and we looked around, and saw no one wanting to ride, so he let me go alone after a few minutes of staring around. Mighty Mouse had some great head-choppers, and a killer helix at the end, so that was a nice surprise.

We moved the car, and entered the Casino Pier. After walking around the park, looking at all it had, we decided to go with wristbands. Hot Tamales was first, and it wasn't as terrible as Dollywood's Side Show Spin, but Kevin and I think it's because we didn't ride in enclosed cars. The Wild Mouse was very scary, mostly because it creaked a lot, and had some crazy curved drops. Star Jet turned out to be very good, and I think we rode it seven times in all.

The real winner here wasn't even on either of our radars: Centrifuge. It's an indoor Scrambler, with amazing lights, stobes, and music. It was like being at a rock concert, with smoke, and a variety of well-choreographed ride cycles. We rode this four times, and the last ride was around four minutes long, synched to very loud music. It was by far the highlight of the trip. I'm still not convinced we saw all the variations of shows there are for it (it totally blows the indoor scrambler at Rye Playland out of the water). This is a must-ride, and made the $30 for wristbands all the easier to swallow.

We also tried out the other rides: Kite Flyer, Disk-O, Stillwalk Manor, Rock and Roll, Tornado, Tilt-a-Whirl, and the Carousel. This was the first time I got to ride a Zamperla Kite Flyer, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say it wasn't designed for the male anatomy. Just a guess.

It was just after dusk when we arrived at Playland's Castaway Cove. I got my rides on the Python and the Flitzer (which was odd, since this one had a video camera attached, and for $20, you could purchase your ride... I opted not to). Finally, we rode the Sea Serpent, which was Kevin's 200th coaster. Gillian's Wonderland Pier was a short trip down the boardwalk, and we queued up for the aptly-named "Kiddie Coaster," a Miner Mike, which we both felt dirty for riding, and the same feeling surrounded our ride on the Wacky Worm.

The Runaway Mine Train is the new-for-2006 attraction at the park, and we decided it was the highlight of Ocean City. It ran pretty well, the seats are large and comfortable, but it was just a little too short for our liking. If L&T would add more to the layout, they could have a winner on their hands. After Gillian's, we walked around Ocean City a little bit.

Our final stop was at the Steel Pier. Now, we knew it was at the Trump Taj Mahal, but we didn't know where we were going, as we had never been there before. We parked a few blocks away, and walked through the casino, right into the worst pier midway ever. Rides looked in decent condition, but there were too many carnival games for my liking, and it was a weird shift from the glitzy casino to the carny midway. This was the smallest park of the trip, and it instantly reminded me of Myrtle Beach Grand Prix from earlier in the year. It looked like they weren't doing well, and the whole pier looked a little anemic.

The ride op at the Little Leaper, an older man, saw we were in line, and asked us if we were enthusiasts. I imagine he's been there for a while, and he even asked us to sit up front to make the ride faster for the kids in the back. We did about eleven or twelve circuits before he ended the ride, which was thoughtful (although we would have been satisfied with the standard three or four).

The Crazy Mouse was next, and... well, okay, you know when you get on a ride, and notice something's wrong. Well, the other car on the track wasn't spinning, not even a little. I saw it, but I didn't really think about it until our car didn't spin, like it should have. As interesting as riding a Crazy Mouse without spinning sounds, it's not very fun. In fact, it really hurt Kevin and I. I asked the operator if it should spin, and he just said "Sometimes it spins, sometimes it doesn't," though I think he misunderstood. It did not spin the entire ride.

After that, we came to the realization we were tired, and there were no more credits to get on this trip, so we just left. On the way we walked through the main casino, and saw half of the people (mostly older people) sitting down and watching others, so I don't feel the need to return to Atlantic City for gambling ever (I'd rather spend money on coaster trips...). We left Atlantic City, a little angry, and arrived home around 3 AM.

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