Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
So my family and I took a vacation out east, and in part it was to see some relatives in Delaware. The main course of the trip, though, was the amusement park portion. First park was Six Flags Great Adventure. This had been a park I had been to previously although some in my family had not. My favorite coaster of all time is El Toro, so it was great to be back to ride it. Other things to note was the poor weather forecast. I didn't know how Great Adventure dealt with weather policy, but I assumed the worst especially for Kingda Ka. However, it was on and off rain all day, and the only weather based closing was Kingda Ka, and that was shut down because of rain about half the day. Nitro was also closed for non-weather reasons, but it actually started operating for the last two hours of the day (as you'll find out later, it was fortunate that they opened it up), and also, the Joker was closed all day for non-weather related reasons. That was going to be my only new credit, so that was unfortunate.
We got to the park at 9:30, and the park opened at 10:30. To my pleasure, we were the first people to the mandatory Six Flags security screening. We noticed behind us were schools coming, but this would not become an issue. The park was actually pretty dead the whole day. I've never had much crowd troubles at Six Flags Great Adventure (at least compared to CP and Six Flags Great America), and I've even been there in late July. Then, we got in 10 minutes early because of our fabulous gold passes, and I ran, perhaps it was a sprint ;), to Kingda Ka. Unfortuantely, it was down due to rain, and i was even the first person there. However, I was able to run all the way to El Toro to get first in line for that when the park opened even with my Kingda Ka delay. That was likely due to the locker situation, and that was hilarious. How I bypassed having to put my stuff in lockers is my rock climbing belt that I bring to a lot of parks. It's kind of a combination between a belt and a fanny pack, and on Kingda Ka and El Toro, I would slide the front part of the belt with my stuff in it in my pants, with the rest of the belt still on me, and I'd put my shirt over it. That allowed me to bypass the no phone or keys issue, as I'd literally have to be groped in order to have them access my phone. Once again, pure brilliance was on display.
Anyways, El Toro (Sponsored by Kia!!!) I got front row in the rain, and wow is all I can say. Actually, I will say more. I was glad to get back on my all time favorite coaster, and El Toro really packs a punch. The air time is like none that I have ever experienced. The final big air time hill before the twisty section is my favorite part besides the drop. The air time is just so intense, and I really don't think there's any coaster that compares. After riding it in the front, we proceeded to ride it 3 more times in the back, and it was even better. The first drop really tugs you over in the back. One sort-of negative is that El Toro has begun to get a bit rough, as my last time at the park, I remember it being smoother, but specifically for me, this was not much of a negative. I like it when those woodies play a little rough, as coasters like the Voyage and the Beast are both in my top 10. After El Toro, we purchased the season pass digital photo thing for 30 dollars. Probably not worth the money, but we got several photos out of it even one printed at the park. Unfortunately, the cameras were not running on several attractions, but we got like 35 photos from our digital thingy, some off ride, some on ride. I couldn't figure out how to upload or save them yet or else they'd be in this report but whatever!
After the majestic El Toro (Sponsored by Kia!!!), we headed by the Joker and Nitro which were both closed. Then I got a ride on Skull mountain. This is such an odd ride, and I never know what to think of it. I actually get ejector air on the first drop in the back. The theming is peculiar and kinda random. The Takis advertisements are simply annoying. It's basically a family coaster that doesn't do much, but nevertheless, it's still a fun coaster i ride each visit here.
Next was Batman the ride. Not much to say here. It's forceful. It's fun. Rode it once in the front and once in the back. Typical Batman clone goodness. Then we rode the Dark Knight, and they actually ran the effects and the pre movie like I wanted, so that was cool.
Next, we I checked the Six Flags app on my phone, and too my delight, it provided wait times, whether rides were open or closed, coupon information for my gold pass, and more. This app is fantastic, and i highly suggest getting it if you are a pass holder or not. Anyways, this app informed us that Kingda Ka was open, so we went over there. Before we rode Kingda Ka, we got a front row ride on Green Lantern. Green Lantern hurt a bit, but it was very fun! The ride was pretty forceful, and I can safely say I enjoy this ride, and it is the only stand up coaster I can say that about. The best part was that massive yellow loop. This ride isn't very easy to ride more than once, but that's okay.
Then, we rode Kingda Ka with an uncharacteristically short line. When we got on, it started raining, and we rode near the front and got pelted by rain. It hurt, but it was fun as well. As we got back to the station, the crew announced the ride was closed again due to rain, and we were the last ride before it closed this time, so that was fortunate. We took the "animal adventure", or whatever it's called, route leaving Ka, and we saw a very cute giraffe named Einstein. Einstein was born to a couple of Giraffes in the safari, and he was hiding from the rain in a shed. The animal parts of Six Flags Great Adventure makes the park feel less corporate, and it's really refreshing. After this, we took a couple rides on El Toro, and then we went to Bizzaro.
Bizzaro was running all of its effects and it was running very well. Like normal, there was stacking on the brake run, and they were running an unnecessary three trains. We rode it in the front row, and it was quite forceful. I only rode it once, as it made me feel a bit queasy, as riding these coasters all back to back with no lines despite my Dramamine was getting to me. Next, though we went to the Safari.
The Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure is honestly a gem. The animals were all running around, and the best part of this ride is looking at the tigers, as they have some rare and endangered ones. Also the kangaroos and bears were cool. We didn't stop at the half way point because the rain really poured when we were on the safari. After the safari, it was around 3:15/3:30, and we went to the car to get some food. We saw a lot of the school children leaving as we were walking back in at 4. When we re entered the park, we headed towards Superman Ultimate flight, but before then, we passed Houdinis Great Escape, and we were like "what is this" so we tried it. This ride was nuts! I wish I had some sort of Psycodelic or something during it, as the experience was quite trippy. I have no clue how it works, but it's designed to look like your whole room is rotating and flipping upside down. It's disorientating and weird. If someone could explain how this works, that'd be fantastic.
Superman Ultimate Flight is what we rode next, and to our surprise, it was a walk on. It was also only running one train, but that wasn't an issue. Superman, like normal, was pretty great. We rode it in the back twice, and that pretzel loop was fantastic like normal. After Superman, we rode the park's Sky Screamer. It was pretty cool, but it felt very sketchy. It was my first Sky Screamer, and I thought it was better than any Windseeker, and I like how it went up and down kinda quickly, as it felt like more of a thrill ride rather than a scenic ride for views. By now it was done raining, so we headed back to Kingda Ka again.
This time on Ka we got the front row, and this is always intense. The wind really blows on your face, and it's a really cool feeling. We rode the drop tower next, and like usual, this was quite intense as well. Drop towers give me a rush of adrenaline, and it's a cool feeling especially since most coasters don't give me that feeling anymore.
After the drop tower, we rode El Toro four more times, and I basically just sat in the same seat the whole time and didn't have to get out. One time, I was on a train with only six people on it. After this, I checked my Six Flags app, and Nitro had opened! We quickly headed over there and rode it twice. Nitro is great, and we rode it in the back row. It was running rather sluggish, but it was still forceful and filled with floater air time. After Nitro, it was 7 pm and we decided we rode enough rides for the day.
Overall, it was a great day. The rain wasn't too much of an issue, and I had a lot of fun at this park.
El Toro #1, 100th coaster: Gatekeeper
Good trip report! Another diehard El Toro fan. Of the 132 coasters I've ridden, El Toro remains my favorite. I went to Great Adventure on Sunday the 4th and there were so few people waiting to ride it that I managed to get in 8 rides, 5 of them consecutive. As to its being rough, I had the impression that the A train was running rather roughly, whereas I used to think that the B train was the rougher of the two. Yes, Batman is forceful alright. A late friend of mine used to describe it as the most intense ride in the park. Now that I have to completely empty my pockets to ride Kingda Ka I don't think I'm going to bother with it. Pretty slick of you to get out of that on Ka and El Toro with your rock climbing belt. Superman is probably one of my least favorite rides of all time. I find it far, far inferior to another B&M flyer - Galactica f/k/a Air - I rode 10 days ago at Alton Towers. I gather that you didn't ride Zumanjaro with the VR headgear, which may not have been operating in the rain or at the time that you rode. As one who would basically like to see the end of VR on coasters and other rides, I must say that VR on a drop ride was a pretty amazing experience.
Houdinis Great Escape, and we were like "what is this" so we tried it. This ride was nuts! I wish I had some sort of Psycodelic or something during it, as the experience was quite trippy. I have no clue how it works, but it's designed to look like your whole room is rotating and flipping upside down. It's disorientating and weird. If someone could explain how this works, that'd be fantastic.
Bobbie, the VR head gear was not operating. VR is closed for the season for Zumanjaro.
I ran into a few other "enthusiasts" in the park, and I talked to them about the El Toro and Kingda Ka issue, and none of them actually followed the locker thing. It was mostly used to rip off dumb teenagers who always are on their phones and get caught with them.
Another funny story (actually it's rather unfortunate) is that my dad had my sisters phone in his cargo pants pocket on El Toro, and the iPhones screen shattered while in his pocket. In fact, on a previous visit to this park, his phone flew out his pocket and nailed me in the face and fell to the ground on the final hill before the twisty section because of all the forces. Maybe this phone ban is necessary...
El Toro #1, 100th coaster: Gatekeeper
That's my biggest fear when I'm riding with my phone in my pocket. I know I'm not going to lose it, because I've got it secured, but I can't be so sure all that banging around in the train or smacking into the lap bar isn't going to break the screen.
I am afraid I am going to lose it if it is in my pocket, and that's why I bring my rock climbing belt to all parks I go to. Phones are easy targets to steal, so I don't want it in a ride bin either.
El Toro #1, 100th coaster: Gatekeeper
When I first read that, I was picturing a rock climbing harness. My first thought was you standing on the station platform, cramming your phone into your chalk bag and pulling the draw string.
You're probably talking about one of those athletic belts that's not a fanny pack, but totally a fanny pack, right?
Technically it's considered a "mirage pack". Never would I ever wear a fanny pack.
El Toro #1, 100th coaster: Gatekeeper
I'm the same way, Josh.
I always put my phone in my cargo pocket that either zips, buttons, or velcros shut. I always put the screen toward my skin. It ain't goin nowhere, and shouldn't smash.
I also ride every coaster with my hand on my thigh covering my pocket. I can't shake the fear.
100% - You can see me in ride photos with my hand covering my phone every single time.
CP was so dead on Sunday, though - that we actually put stuff in a locker and went full on ride-mode. We had the 12 year old and her friend with us (who had never ridden a roller coaster before that day) and we had so much fun. We let them go off and ride a lot of things without us while we waited nearby or had some Brew and BBQ samples... It was so nice to have such a dead day - even Maverick was about a 10 minute wait.
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