OK, so my plan was to get to the park super early, ride Kingda Ka and El Toro, and then just take it easy for the remainder of the day. I told my friends to be ready at 6:30 (even though my plan was to leave at 7:30) I was not going to run the risk of being late. So at about 7:45 (hahaha, my plan worked) I was on the Cross Bronx expressway heading to George Washington Bridge. The weather was amazingly clear. It was not too hot, the sun was out and there was even a breeze. Great! Ofcourse that means a more crowded park. I liked my company though. There were 5 of us including my cousin (Kamila) and some friends from college.
So we get to the park, and I was surprised at the light crowds at the entrance. I saw Mr Toro in the distance and whoosh, Kingda Ka was doing a test run (Oh yeah!!)
All of us had season passes, so after about 3 minutes at the gate we entered the park. It was only about 9:40, so the party patrol was keeping us entertained at the main fountain. This party was way more entertaining than what they had at Magic Mountain and New England. It was about .6 of something Disney would do, which ain't that bad. At 10, they opened the gate and everyone made a dash for Kingda Ka. In my excitement I made it over there in about 5 minutes. I had to wait for my friends (who were a little peeved that I left em') but hey, its not my fault I do a 6 minute mile...and I was excited to ride this bad boy.
We were on one of the first (or second) trains of the day. I was scared to be honest. What if this train implodes at the end of the launch track like the others. Anyhow, we assumed our launch position and then wham!....of we went. Undoubtedly I loved the view from top, and the speed of this ride is unreal. Definitely my top launched coaster. I have never ridden Storm Runner, which many claim is the second coming of Christ as far as launched coasters go. But this one definitely hit the spot with me. 9/10
Our second coaster was El Toro. The ride was not yet open and was still doing some test runs. Me and my cousin did some salsa dancing to pass the time in Plava del Carnaval. Very nicely themed area by the way. Not as spectacular as Golden Kingdom, but nice nonetheless. After about 20 minutes, they opened the ride with TWO trains (hooray) The loading was not as slow as some claimed. I have definitely seen slower (later today). After about 30 minutes, me and Kamila were stapled in the front seats. The lift was very fast which I think is cool because you enter the drop at a nice pace.
The drop disappeared under my feet. I was never one to grab the handle, but heavens to betsy I was sure this day would be my last if I didnt! At the top of the first hill I saw stars. It was the most ejector air I have ever felt. The second hill was just as powerful. We flew through the turnaround so fast and so seamlessly. The next two drops were more floaty (ref: Lord Gonchar). Then wham, I was hurled again into Rolling Thunder's center section. Before riding this ride I would have preferred having this ride end with some bunnies. However this ride's ending sequence is the best I have ever planted my ass on. Sorry Nitro/Superman/Sheikra/Dueling Dragons, the tribe has spoken, and ET reigns supreme for me. In the words of Usher "on a scale from 1-10, you're a certified 20..."
After that huge adrenaline rush we head to Medusa. There was absolutely no line and we waitied about 10 minutes for the front seat. They were only running two trains but loading was extremely slow. (boo!) Still nice and smooth as always though after 7 years. I still think Medusa is one of the better floorless coasters. 8.5/10
Our next ride was Nitro, dear old Nitro. I still love thee. The line was about 20 minutes and they were only running two trains. Like Medusa's crew, the ops were running a little slower today. The announcer did his best to keep the crowd upbeat though. As a matter of fact that was an observation I made this year in comparison to 2005. The crews were a lot more personable, most of which told me Good morning as they passed me on the midway. Awesome!. Anyhow, back to Nitro. This ride was as good as ever. The air was nice, but definitely not as strong as Mr Toro. Still one of my favs. 9.5/10
Next was Batman. It was stuck on the lift and many people fled the lines. We were stubborn though and decided to join anyway. As soon as we joined the ride started again, and we were on the front seat in about 10 minutes (not too shabby for a friday eh!) Batman, still a perennial favorite inverted coaster of mine. After 13 years and no head bashing whatsoever. Sweet! 8.5/10
We walked by Chiller which was still closed. I have not ridden the Blue section since the Lapbar retrofit and I was hoping to nab a ride today. Oh well.
We decided it was time to eat, and went to the Chicken place (whose name escapes me right now). It was not gourmet, but better than the food we have had in year's past.
I have to catch a plane in about 2 hours, so I have to cut this TR short.
We rode Superman (BOOOO!!) Slow as hell loading. We're talking about 10 mintues here. The ride had the longest line of the day (1.5 hours) The ride itself was eh! They really have to do something about the loading!
We rode El Toro 3 more times, (one time at night...Orgasmic!) Three more laps on Nitro and one on Batman. We also saw a Dolpin show (AWESOME!!) and another show (whose name I can't remember) where they use garbage bins and other scrap to create some cool sounds. It was really good, and the choreography was excellent.
Overall, I think it was the most fun I have had at Great Adventure in a while. The park was really clean (except for that garbage bin in El Toro) The restrooms were clean, smelled nice, and actually had handsoap. The landcaping was AMAZING. There were flowers and topiaries everywhere, and that view of El Toro from across the lake is one of the best in the park.
Not sure if its because I went on a friday, bur the park is definitely on the right track to becoming what it used to be. (If they could just improve their ride capacity)
*** Edited 7/9/2006 7:50:07 PM UTC by Antuan***
Thanks for the report.
The next two drops were more floaty (ref: Lord Gonchar).
You make me proud, 'Tuan. :)
I'm so disappointed that I missed El Toro by a few days. No idea when I'll get back out that way - El Toro sounds exactly like my kind of ride.
I have never ridden Storm Runner, which many claim is the second coming of Christ as far as launched coasters go.
Oh boy, IMO Stormrunner is one of my least favorite launched coasters. I'm glad Hersheypark took the initiative to build a hydraulic with inversions, but I found the ride to be quite rough. I've ridden it in nearly every seat and still incur quite a bit of headbanging, especially through the inline-twist/snake-dive.
Great TR, I'm glad to hear Ka is back open after being down a few days. When I was to SF on the 4th it was closed. But I must agree with you Antuan, El Toro is my new #1 also. Glad you had a great time!
If Sir Isaac Newton were to ride El Toro he would say: "Major airtime + fast speeds + steep drops + smoothness + steep turns + lots of Gs = El Toro, thus it shall be called the best roller coasting device ever."
Good to see the park in better shape.
I'm not a huge fan of Ka, either. Personally, I like the lap bar versions of the hydraulic launch coasters--Xcellerator and TTD are sweet rides.
Am I missing something with SR, or is it just highly overrated? Great Bear makes my top ten list--Storm Runner does not.
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