SF Great Adventure - Tuesday, 5/31

Associated parks:

Great Adventure, a park that I vowed never to visit again after the fiasco I had last year, was yet again on the top of my list of must-visit parks in 2005. This mainly do to the addition of Kingda Ka, but I also wanted to give the park a chance to redeem itself on my list of "Great Parks". After being rained out last week, my friend and I finally caught a good weather day in order to make the 4.5 hour trip to Jackson. We arrived at the park this morning roughly 5 minutes before 10am. With not a cloud in the sky and many glimpses of Kingda Ka sending test trains successfully over the hill, we were predicting a good day. We only waited in the ticket line for about 5 minutes before we were off and running to Kingda Ka.

Kingda Ka - I didn't have really high expectations for Kingda Ka because I've been on Dragster so many times but a part of me kept saying that I just had to ride it. I guess it has something to do with it being the "tallest, fastest coaster in the world". We arrived at the queue around 10:10am already spilling out in the midway. After hearing rumors of this line being able to hold up to a 6 hour wait, I was pretty upset. Luckily, they hadn't opened any of the wrap-arounds yet so the line to the station was rather short (30 minutes). As luck would have it, the ride broke down once we reached the very outskirts of the station. Three mechanics made their way out on to the launch track all the way down to the end where they fiddled around with something for about 25 minutes. It was back up and running after two test trains. We waited for the front seat which was a no-brainer after being on Dragster in other rows but the front and not fully enjoying the ride. The wait was another hour or so for the front (factoring in another 10-15 breakdown). We finally got on and launched in the orange train. I can honestly say that I felt the launch to be more intense than Dragster's. My friend said I was nuts but I've been on Dragster enough times to recognize a difference between the two. Trust me, for those of you not wishing to ride Kingda Ka because it compares so closely to Dragster, throw that mindset out the window - the rides ARE different. The brakes at the top were a bit different especially with the trains consistently flying over the tophat. I definately noticed the extra "hang time" over the top as I was staring straight down 400+ feet. The drop was nice but the bunny hop produced VERY little airtime. Although I had heard that to be the case, I was still expecting some air...oh well. Overall, I loved this ride. I was worried that it would deliver a ride too similar to that of Dragster - To my surprise and delight, it didn't. - 10/10

I've been on every other Great Adventure coaster so there's no need to really dive deep into each like I did for Kingda Ka. I do, however, have a few random comments and questions:

1.) Superman: Ultimate Flight was running one train today which I found to be extremely irritating. I've NEVER in my 20 year life seen a B&M coaster running one train. Perhaps I haven't payed close enough attention in the past but I sure did today. That was absolutely hideous. Is the other train down for maintenance or something?

2.) Overall, I found the the Golden Kingdom to be a wonderful addition to the park. I was shocked to see so much time spent on minor details throughout the GK. The tiger exhibits were very impressive - Even better than Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Although my little brother did not accompany us today, I know he would have had an awesome time in the play areas that the GK has. I give SF two BIG thumbs up for the GK.

3.) The Kingda Ka queue was very nice. Although I didn't get a chance to wait in a good majority of it, I can't imagine waiting in it is all that bad of a time.

4.) The Chiller was only running the Robin side which was slightly annoying but oh well. I was not pleased with the dispatch intervals on it though. The line moved slower than Superman's did with one train. At least it's inside, I guess.

5.) Nitro is awesome. I always forget how great this ride is. I'm almost ready to rank it up there with the likes of Millennium Force and S:ROS

6.) After reading the thread about Magic Mountain being closed down because of a riot, I made an honest attempt to evaluate the security at GADV. Security around KK was tight which was good. I don't know what's so confusing about the station arrangement to some people (I didn't find it confusing at all) but people were constantly walking up the QBOT ramp thinking it was the line. Then, once they realized what they did, they'd complain that they'd have to wait in the line. I'm glad their is a security guard around that ramp all day because a fight/riot could easily break-out at any time. Overall, security was pretty good at GADV. I was impressed...

Today definately redeemed Great Adventure's spot near the top my favorite parks. Like I've already said, Kingda Ka and the Golden Kingdom have been a great addition to the park. I can only hope this new wooden coaster proves to be as successful...Which gives me a reason to go back next year ;)

Ride of Steel's avatar
Lucky you to get on it.

It's nice to here some comparison between TTD and Dragster.

I'm hoping to get me parents to take me down to SfGadv this summer because we have a SFDL pass.

Ride of Steel said:

It's nice to here some comparison between TTD and Dragster.

Uh the same ride dude....

I was totally willing to make the trip to ride Kingda Crap but from all the threads on here about the long wait and breakdowns ill stick to some parks closer by.

I saw people walking up the Q-Bot ramp on Superman last year, with no Q-Bot and no guard. They just walked up on the platform and rode. Perhaps that's why you see that on KK; they've done it before.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

ApolloAndy's avatar
That happened quite a bit on KK yesterday. There was a point when they were short staffed (one of the console folks was yelling at one of the other ops to do q-bot and check the train) which I found completely ridiculous. If 75% of the people in your park are there for one ride, it makes sense for that ride to have as much staff, security, and maintanence as you can put on it.

Also, for those of you playing at home, ScubaSteve was poking fun at the fact that RoS said TTD and Dragster rather than KK and TTD. No harm, no foul. *** Edited 6/1/2005 2:43:56 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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