To the people that brought me spectacular tips for SFGAm and SFOG, I ask for help in planning my trip to Six Flags Great Adventure on Tuesday June 28.
As always the million dollar (or I guess $45 question) is how likely is it that I'll need the regular flashpass? I'll have all day and want to hit all the coasters at least once with some rerides. I had one at SFGAm on a July weekday (needing it desperately) and did not have one at SFOG on a May weekday (no need at all). Any other tips are awesomely welcome.
Last year, I went on that same Tuesday (6/29) and it was empty. All coasters were walk ons or 5 - 10 minute waits.
With Green Lantern, it might be a lot more crowded since last year on May weekdays, the park is generally empty but this year it was much more crowded after the coaster opened. As an example, I went to the park 2 weeks ago on a Thursday and it was jammed. Green Lantern almost had a full queue and the year before I went on a Wednesday in May and nothing had a wait so the same thing could happen in June.
Last edited by YoshiFan, Thursday, June 9, 2011 8:10 PM
If you get there at opening, you should be able to get the major coasters in without much of a wait but later in the day it could get more crowded and make rerides more difficult.
The only problem with waits would be with Superman, Ka and Green Lantern. The load time for them isn't the fastest in the world. Last I was there, Ka was only using one side of the loading area. If you get there right for opening, try to hit up those three first thing (and El Toro). Ok four.
As was said before wait times increase later in the afternoon. Batman is iffy. Its either a short wait/or around a 20 min wait. But if you are a re-ride person def look into the flash pass. Don't be surprised if KA is down during park opening (it was for me when I went May 20th). Nitro and Bizarro load pretty quickly (Esp if they are running all trains)
Check the weather forecast too. If rain is in the forecast (like a 90% chance), crowds may be light, which equals more coaster time for you.
Last I was there, Ka was only using one side of the loading area
That's just how they are doing it now. They did some tests and discovered that using only the one load station increases capacity by 10-15%. Most breakdowns were caused by the switch track sensors so eliminating them from use brings reliability up.
Also, the way it was set up the front and rear switch tracks were linked. Meaning even though one side of the station was loaded and ready, they couldn't move the switch track until the 2nd train from the previous side was fully in the station. This caused a lot of dead time in between sides.
I believe they added a block section at the end of the circuit as well during the offseason so they can send trains out quicker.
If everybody is doing what they are supposed to it really is working well. It is a shame though that first the original queue sat there wasted, and now most of the station as well is unused. : (
But that's good ol' Intamin. Build first. Ask questions later.Last edited by MrX, Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:14 PM
While I buy some of that, it's not like the control system couldn't be reprogrammed.
That seems questionable to me. In the ideal situation where loading happens flawlessly, I could believe it, but in the real world, when unloading and loading often takes multiple minutes, the 4 station configuration wouldn't miss a beat because each train has approximately 5 minutes to load (even though each train would take quite a while to come all the way around and park) whereas this configuration will stack up all three trains (See Bizarro/Medusa). The real question to me is why couldn't they add the block and stick with 4 stations?
Edit: or why couldn't they reprogram the switch tracks so that the front one switches and the trains advance as soon as the previous pair of trains both clear the tower. It's not like that train is coming back.
I could possible believe reliability (seriously though, how hard is it to get switch tracks to work? Storm Runner seems to work pretty well) is a conern.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, June 12, 2011 9:44 AM
While I buy some of that, it's not like the control system couldn't be reprogrammed.
I agree. Not sure if this is a permanent solution or just temporary.
But that doesn't change the fact that if you watch it in action, this system really is quicker and more efficient then using all 4 stations. I had read about it and was skeptical, but when I saw it in person I was definitely impressed.
edit - And btw, they are not using 1 side of the station, they are using 1 out of 4 stations. Also 3 trains. So there is constantly one loading, one launching and one returning to the station. As soon as the returning train passes the new block before the rear switch track, the launching train is clear to go.Last edited by MrX, Saturday, June 11, 2011 9:14 PM
I haven't seen it in person, but given the amount of idiocy I've seen in the loading and unloading of a lot of other coasters, I have a hard time believing that cutting the load/unload time in half and then making it the bottleneck for all the trains (not just the one it's paired with) isn't going to cause serious hold ups due to rider stupidity.
I do believe that adding the new block does greatly increase capacity and maybe that's having more of an impact than the station setup, but I still can't see how, given the same blocking, this setup could be faster.
I suspect this move has a lot more to due with the 1/4 staffing requirements, but again, I haven't seen it in person.
Cedar Points configuration certainly works well. If the ride launch resets in a timely fashion, there is generally a train ready to go. Granted, there are some gains with a separate unload.
I think the major gain there is allowing 2 trains to load at the same time, giving them approximately twice the time to get everyone down and checked each cycle. That seems like a pretty reasonable compromise Six Flags could have made (4 trains, 2 stations, no switching).
When I rode KK, I couldn't believe how long it took to load trains. I attributed it to the fact the ride is pretty complex behind the scenes and it just took longer for it to be able to launch.
Then I rode TTD and was amazed at how smoothly it went. Pretty much same ride from all external appearances (ok, little shorter and slower), and they loaded in almost same format. But, they could kick out trains half the time as KK.
I believe (but I'm not certain) that the New Jersey and Ohio rides have the same motor. Dragster could have run on the smaller motor at Knott's, technically, but they wanted "room to breathe," apparently.
Still, given the arrangement at CP, why didn't they just do the same thing? The control system is complex enough, and they wanted to add a couple of switches?
What I usually do in terms of the Flashpass is I go into the park, head towards my favorite ride (Toro), and look at the line. If it is behind the snack stand, I walk my butt back to the flashpass area and get a Gold flashpass. Honestly I wouldn't bother with a regular one if the lines are long because you will easily still have 1.5-2 hour waits every other ride then. Especially if you want re-rides. However, since it is the middle of the week, you very well may get lucky. I have had some great days at GrAdv in June with no flashpass.
Also, in terms of other tips, when you do get up to the station, if you want to ride sooner rather than later, (politely) ask to squeeze past the hoarde of people that always cram into the front of the station. The station is very narrow and set up poorly, so most people don't realize that they are standing there waiting longer than they need to for absolutely no reason. Often, the back of the train doesn't even have anyone standing there. And the further back you go on this coaster, the better.
Nitro is a fantastic coaster from any seat in the house, though I do recommend at least one front seat ride and one back seat ride.
For food, there is a great cheesesteak place near the superman coaster. They're expensive, but the steaks are yummy, and they have real cheese on them, unlike some places where they use cheez wiz. Ive heard Houdini is a fun ride, but I didn't even know it was open...um...kingda ka is definitely better at night and rougher in the back...Skull Mountain's first drop is actually pretty cool in the back seat...Superman is also best from the backseat...oh, and unless you want to wait while the surly attendants kill the chickens and cows themselves (or so it seems from the ridiculous wait times), don't go to the eatery by the log flume.
In any case, I hope you have a great time. Great Adventure may be lacking in a variety of flat rides, but it makes up for it with some serious world class coaster riding. I wish I could go that day too!! :) I also wish I could be more helpful but it is after midnight and I'm delirious. Lol
Hey thanks guys; bunky666 great details! Looks like I'm gonna try to squeeze a couple hours @ Rye Playland on the way home the next day. Anyone got experience there?
With a good bit of time on TTD under my belt, sounds like KK will be interesting to watch operate. I guess I just always assumed it was run the same as TTD. Always seems like everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel.
Do NOT miss the dark rides, or the Derby Racer. Also, if you're tall, you may not be able to ride the Mouse or, for some really strange reason, the bumper cars (?!?).
Houdini was open, and running in top form when I was there on the 3rd and 4th. I took my friend on, who had no idea what the ride was or did, and it blew his mind.
Just a quick thanks for all the tips! Great trip and had plenty of time to enjoy both parks and all the coasters and other rides. I highly suggest staying in Bordentown. It was less than a 20 minute drive to the park and was significantly the cheapest town to stay in. Town and Country Diner (also is Bordentown) was an awesomely charming and unique big bite to eat on a little budget!
When I was at CP last week, it seemed we waited longer when they were running 5 trains than when they were using 4 trains. Perhaps less trains = quicker block clearance? A little diversion, thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.
Edit - this is my experience on Top Thrill Dragster (High Heel Dragqueen :) ). When I rode Kingda Ka in 2006 it was one station operation with horrible operations.Last edited by CoasterDemon, Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:34 PM
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