Well I said I wouldn’t put out a TR unless this was an exceptional visit and it was! The day started out pretty bad, it was my birthday (!) and it was pouring when I woke up. I was really bummed as it looked like the rain wasn’t supposed to let up at all, and some severe storms were going to roll in later that day. After getting some breakfast and stalling to see if what looked to be a break on the Weather Channel radar screen would actually materialize, I reluctantly headed out, deciding to just head to Wildwood to meet my fiancée early and call Great Adventure a washout for today.
When I got to the exit off the NJ Turnpike for I-195 though, I couldn’t help myself, I had to drive towards the park and just see if by some miracle, there was a bubble of good weather. I exited, and drove to the park, and was the only car turning into the parking lot, although there were 4 busses surrounding me. I figured if the busses were there, the park must be open, so since I had gotten a season pass for just this reason at SFNE the day before, I’ll pay my $10 and see if I could get a birthday miracle. Little did I know, this was going to be one of my best park days, completing one of the best park weekends of all time.
As I approached the parking booths, I look at the marquee and what do I see? April 30 – Bowling For Soup. Now, if you don’t know who BFS is, they’re a punk band who’s gotten real popular with the “pop” drones, I mean sheep, I mean kids, lately, edging out whatever rap, or boy band is *supposed* to be popular these days. I’ve been into BFS big time for a while, and I missed their show in Pittsburgh about two weeks ago because all of my friends were busy and I didn’t feel like going by myself. So, at this point, I’m absolutely stunned, I can’t believe my luck that not only is the park open, but from what I can see, at least Nitro is operating, and Bowling For Soup is playing! I’m all about this so I pay my money and head in.
I won’t get into too much ride details as I’ve been on all of them but one before. After one Robin launch and two amazing rides on my now #2 coaster Nitro, the rain began to actually let up. I walked around with the park to myself on a Saturday hitting ride after ride, including the new-to-me and surprisingly fun Skull Mountain (#131). Superman had a breakdown that consumed about 45 minutes of my time, but the hours until BFS’s show at 5:00 passed quickly. Tally pre-concert, 6 Nitro, 2 B:TR, 2 Chiller, 1 S:UF, 1 Skull Mtn, 5 Medusa. The gates were supposed to open for the BFS show at 4:00 in the theatre back by Medusa so I was riding Medusa until 4:30 figuring how popular could the show be, they’re just a punk band, right? I’m one of the only ones who knows who they are? Well, at 4:30, with the doors yet to open, the line already is back to the huge teepee from the back end of the stadium! And the line is full of every age group, from grandparents, to moms and dads, to people who I felt “should” be there, to kids to literally kids like 3 and 4 years old. I was amazed. From what I heard, the line ended up stretching all the way back to the entrance fountain!
Finally the doors opened and they let us into the show. Well, the doors weren’t the only thing to open; I wasn’t down on the main floor more than 5 minutes and the clouds darkened and the rain started again for the first time since 1:00. Not a bad delay since it was supposed to be flooding listening to the Weather Channel! So, about half an hour late, Bowling For Soup arrives and the place just rocks out. I was a little worried about them having to censor their songs for the crowd, but while they kept the inter-song banter a little cleaner than I would have expected, the songs were all in their unedited, probably not family-friendly glory! While it was nice to see all the “pop” people jumping and singing the words to one of my favorite band’s songs, I had a little of that “I knew them first, who the hell are you?” thing going on. But, that’s immaterial. The rain was absolutely *drenching* through the entire show. The kind of rain that hurts just to stand in it. Luckily there was no lightning, so the show went off without a hitch. Everyone was absolutely soaked by the end, it was absolutely awesome, added to the experience in a way that’s indescribable. So after this amazing show, I decided, f this, I’m already soaked, and apparently the ride crews don’t care that the Atlantic Ocean is coming on-shore, so I’m gonna go ride more!
In some drenching rain that hurt like a mofo, I managed to rack up 2 more Medusas, 2 more Nitros, and a Chiller. It was an absolutely incredible day, lines were non-existent, the rides never shut down, even in the most intense rain, the concert was an amazing surprise, and Great Adventure gave me the best birthday present I could have asked for in the given situation!
Some notes about the park, the last time out, I complained that Great Adventure had taken a few steps back, well they leapt forward this time! Customer service was excellent, I got “enjoy your rides” from all the ops who checked me on all the rides, all the ops were talkative about the rain and such, the guy working the doors at the concert venue was a kick-ass old dude, the park looked great, despite the 1” of standing water, deeper in places, all over the place. Ka tested at various times throughout the day, made it with no sweat, even when it was raining and windy, a feat that to my knowledge, Cedar Point’s never been able to accomplish. I don’t think that the curvature of the hill is going to give much airtime, I think it’s more to distinguish the ride from TTD and to shorten the required brake run more than it is an airtime thing.
Two of my three visits to Great Adventure have been in absolute deluges, and those have been awesome times, rivaling my best Cedar Point days. This one was definitely over the top thanks to the awesome show. Bowling For Soup rocks, Great Adventure is a great park, and I can’t wait for the fiancée’s trip to Wildwood next year so I can do these two parks all over again!
Thanks for reading boys and girls.
Edit: Again, as usual, paragraphs don't import from Word ... *** Edited 5/2/2005 4:07:48 AM UTC by Impulse-ive***
New Plan... GAdv Friday for C.A.D. II.
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