Six Flags Great Adventure - 8/9/06 (Trying not to rant)

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, August 10, 2006 12:53 PM
After months of reading trip reports, I finally get to write my own. Unfortunately, I am out of practice so bare with me.

My friend and I arrived at the park around noon to find lines stretching 50-75 feet out the gate to purchase tickets. Ok, no big deal, right? I’ve been on longer lines at Disney and was through them in 15-30 minutes.. Well, after an hour of sitting in the sun, barely moving, hearing the recorded “Welcome Spiel” 30 times, we walked in the park with deflated spirits, although I wasn’t going to let this one ordeal bother me throughout the day.

Is it just me, or is it really hard to not smirk at the “rides closed” list when entering this park. Three rides closed for the year (one I am assuming being the signature Sky ride, which should be the first ride you see entering the park, instead looking like power wires), three additional rides closed for the day (Including both sides of Chiller, and both sides of Rolling Thunder, that’s 4 roller coasters in my opinion!) and three rides with “Delayed Openings” (Including Kingda Ka and El Toro).

Hoping to snag a ride on Kingda Ka, we walked straight to the Golden Kingdom; good to see it’s still as beautiful an area as its inaugural year. The line did not look long to the point of being intimidating, but two train operations seemed to be moving slowly. And the fact that an employee told us it was 5-6 hours (probably closer to 2) scared us away.

We then moved towards Plaza del Carnival, which definitely had a fitting theme and aesthetically pleasing landscaping. But the most impressive thing by far is El Toro; this ride just screams greatness. My friend and I both agreed, if we had to wait 2+ hours for a ride, it would be this and not Kingda Ka. However, we were too hungry to wait just then, so we went over to Medusa for a quick ride and then a bite to eat.

Medusa 75/100
Operations: 2 trains (stacking)
Wait Time: 20 min
Ride: Same old Medusa, not increasingly rough as I have heard, in fact I would say it was smoother than my last ride a year prior.

After a bit of looking, we found Best of the West tucked under the log flume. What a wonderful location for a restaurant, surrounded by the flume, adjacent to a lake, and most importantly – relatively serene. Our food was above average with an above average cost of $10 a plate.

We decided to wait for El Toro now seeing that we would have plenty of time to digest.. Well we would have much more time to digest than needed as it would turn out..

El Toro (99/100)
Operations: 1 train (6 minutes between dispatches)
Wait Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Ride: There was a lot of hype for this ride, and I have not been on another ride that has lived up to its hype more. This was everything I have ever wanted in a roller coaster, the best air time I have ever experienced, relentless (in a good way) pacing, and a killer twister section at the end.. I subtracted 1 point for horrible operations and for the playing of an entire Jock Jams CD in the queue. (Where are the DJ’s Six Flags promised??)


With El Toro still running through my veins, I was on a bit of a high. However, I was also extremely thirsty after waiting mostly in the sun for 2+ hours.. Ok, now for my experience with Six Flags vending machines!
Vending Machine 1: Sold out of my first 3 choices of drink
Vending Machine 2: Only Exact change (only quarters taken)
Vending Machine 3: Sold out of everything
Vending Machine 4: Ate my money.

Ok, now I am back to being a disgruntled Six Flags customer.. I get directed to the store that is responsible for this last machine, and luckily get a drink for my troubles…

Hydrated, we feel that a round of DDR is in order on our way to Nitro. Pads were great except for 2p’s up arrow. We also noticed they finally added doors to this arcade so it can be air conditioned. Although there is a gaping area where there are no windows so I cant see that as being efficient on energy..

Nitro (85/100)
Operations: 3 trains (trying hard not to stack all three, trying at least)
Wait Time: 30 min for front row
Ride: My second favorite ride at the park did not disappoint. While nothing about this ride is amazing, everything is enjoyable. The speed, the wind rushing in your face in the front row, the comfortable seats, the great layout, etc. I noticed half the time it’s the fault of the parks patrons for the ride stacking…
Operator: “Please clear the exit doors”
Woman standing on the exit ramp: *Oblivious*
Operator: “Please, exit through the doors”
Woman standing on the exit ramp: *Still unaware*
Me: *sigh*

We then had dinner at Wok and Roll. Food still sucks and is overpriced, but we had an inside joke that was powerful enough to draw us in. We passed on the extremely slow bumper cars, walked by a sad dormant Chiller coaster statue and just headed toward the exit after a what seems to be typical Great Adventure day..

Pros:
- A great selection of roller coasters with a few gems.
- El Toro
- Much improved landscaping
- Clean pathways
- Kingda Ka and El Toro have alleviated lines for Medusa and Nitro.
- Plenty of interesting shows

Middle Ground:
- I noticed Kingda Ka launch 3 trains per El Toro’s 1.. I am not sure if it is good operations for Kingda Ka or just the horrible operations of El Toro.

Cons:
- 9 rides closed or with “delayed openings.”
- Some garbage in lines
- Prices: $3.50 + for Drinks, $10 a meal, $15 parking, $65 admission, there is not one thing in this park that isn’t seemingly expensive.
- Poor Ride Operations
- Issues with many vending machines
- Batman almost ran me over in his quad

Thanks for reading! *** Edited 8/10/2006 4:54:56 PM UTC by NoRulz2k***

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Thursday, August 10, 2006 1:05 PM
Wow, you did a good job of not ranting. Did you seriously only get 3 rides in all day?

SF is "definitely sucking" this year :) I could go on, but I'll hold back this time.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 9:41 AM
Heh, yep, 3 rides the entire 8 hours I was there.. It didnt help the line for Best of the West was 45 minutes long... 45 minutes for FOOD!
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Friday, August 11, 2006 10:21 AM
You are a dream Six Flags customer, only rode 3 rides but brought two meals and played some arcade games!!!
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Friday, August 11, 2006 10:25 AM
You should be proud to have made such a contribution to Shapiro's bonus pay.

It is amazing to me that the place could be so crowded at $65 a pop. People are morons. :)

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Friday, August 11, 2006 11:16 AM
The GP in GAdv's area are like sheep. They think amusement park and think GAdv. Not Hershey, Dorney, Knoebels or any other place within a less than 4 hour drive.
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Friday, August 11, 2006 11:53 AM
My wife and I were there in June, and had a nightmare of a time (ill do a trip report in about 20 minutes so you can understand). We wrote a letter...expecting to be laughed at or "apologized to". Instead, they gave us free tickets for anytime in 2007 as well as complimentary Flashpasses for the day we go back. Hope, at least...on the horizon.
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Friday, August 11, 2006 1:11 PM
My trip there wasn't much better -

http://www.bannister.org/coasters/trips/2006/0730.htm

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Friday, August 11, 2006 1:24 PM
I'm tired of trip reports that say "Five coasters down, typical day at a Six Flags".
Just because Great Adventure and Magic Mountain suck, doesn't mean it's a chainwide phenomenon. I've been to SFoG twice this year and aside from Freefall - once - I haven't seen a coaster down all day. And we have Deja Vu! I think various other parks around the chain are similar. Maybe you should say "typical day at my crappy local Six Flags".


The bias is astounding. Or maybe - as I'm rapidly starting to suspect - SFOG is the best Six Flags. *** Edited 8/11/2006 5:25:42 PM UTC by Vincent Greene***

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Friday, August 11, 2006 1:34 PM

The bias is astounding. Or maybe - as I'm rapidly starting to suspect - SFOG is the best Six Flags.

A little from column A and a little from Column B. :)

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Friday, August 11, 2006 1:35 PM
^Sadly it is a chainwide phenomenon for the most part,my last couple trips to SFA this season were less than enjoyable with several key rides down & or running at less than capacity.

Good thing I'm going to PKD tomorrow...at least they know how to run a park for the most part.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:04 PM
You won't be seeing me at SFGAdv any time soon. If I go to a big megapark it will be Cedar Point. Its much closer to home, more affordable, and has better operations. I certainly want to get there, preferably with niece who likes big coasters.

People in Northern Ohio and Western PA are not sheep. They enjoy amusement parks but expect good value. The parks in this region all deliver in this regard. Six Flags learned the hard way that their way of operating at most of their parks just doesn't go over in this part of the country.

As for eastern parks, possibly Knoebels, Hersheypark, or Lake Compounce might be in my plans over the next several years. Snyder's NJ empire is not.

$65! That gets you both CP and GL! Hopefully tht sends a message that NJ needs another megapark, one that is run better than SFGAdv and delivers better value.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 7:50 PM
Yes this is what SFGA has come to. with like 10 GMs over the past 5 years including one three this year, you know everyone who works has to have there head spinning. The current guy is only there sometimes. Everyone knows he is a short timer and someone will be in shortly to be the next person in the lineup. SFGA we all no has potential, but they need to get alot together to make that park work.
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Friday, August 11, 2006 8:13 PM
wow. three rides for 65 bucks. I had to spend $68 extra to get the gold flashpass...but got on 12 rides (good ones, not filler) a few weeks ago. Six Flags has made it so one MUST buy a flashpass to enjoy the park.
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Friday, August 11, 2006 8:56 PM
^That statement isnt true all the time. It just depends when you go. I was there on a monday and tuesday earlier this month and the first day I was there I got on all coasters except chiller and the left side of rolling thunder. In fact, I got on Kingda Ka twice. The first time Kingda Ka did not break down at all, the second time it broke once for 20 minutes.

Tuesday started off horribly. Kingda Ka, El Toro, and Superman were all down in the morning. Superman opened around 2 and El Toro opened around noon. Kingda Ka opened at four. Yeah, the two main rides closed in the morning isnt good, but eventually (again except with chiller and left side of rolling thunder) all coasters opened. And that park has plenty to do.

Neither day did i get a flash pass. is it really so bad to wait in lines to ride something now a days? The lines moved, some better than others. Sky Ride was open both days as well and stacking was minimal. Maybe I have just been catching the park on good days, but every time I have gone, me and my friends have had a blast.

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Friday, August 11, 2006 9:56 PM
I wish the posted list of closed rides would be viewable BEFORE you shell out for parking.

6FGtAdv has so much potential. I wish it could start living up to it.

Whatever promises it holds for the start of the season tend to deteriorate by the time summer rush hits. By the end of the summer...most of the employees have already "had it." Most (NOT ALL) either quit, or know that the park needs them more than they need the park.

I would love to take Shpiro and his tag-a-long cronnies to spend a day in the park with me...unannounced, without the corporate suit, to spend the day.

I don't think it will happen. *** Edited 8/12/2006 1:56:22 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***

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Friday, August 11, 2006 11:12 PM
Richie: Amen on the before you pay to park thing. I loved how CP let you know Dragster was down it's opening year before. I also distinctly recall the first year Serial Thriller opened at Geauga Lake seeing a sign at the Parking entrance saying it was down that day. We turned around and came back a few days later since we were staying in the area :)
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Friday, August 11, 2006 11:50 PM

Vincent Greene said:
I'm tired of trip reports that say "Five coasters down, typical day at a Six Flags".
Just because Great Adventure and Magic Mountain suck, doesn't mean it's a chainwide phenomenon.

Besides Flashback, Magic Mountain hasn't had regular closures of any of their other coasters this summer. 16/17 open. That's not too bad, considering both Chillers and Rolling Thunder were down. That's what? 10/13 open - counting Chiller as two, as they are distinctively different tracks.

But don't me wrong, both parks still suck.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 12:18 AM

kRaXLeRidAh said:

Vincent Greene said:
I'm tired of trip reports that say "Five coasters down, typical day at a Six Flags".
Just because Great Adventure and Magic Mountain suck, doesn't mean it's a chainwide phenomenon.

Besides Flashback, Magic Mountain hasn't had regular closures of any of their other coasters this summer. 16/17 open. That's not too bad, considering both Chillers and Rolling Thunder were down. That's what? 10/13 open - counting Chiller as two, as they are distinctively different tracks.

But don't me wrong, both parks still suck.


I'd say 15.5 open. One side of Superman TE is terminally down which makes the long lines longer.


But in my rush to glorify SFoG - which is a nice park - I forgot that Acrophobia was down the second time I went and reportedly down for the year. So just forget my whole post, basically. :)

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Saturday, August 12, 2006 11:51 AM

kRaXLeRidAh said:

That's not too bad, considering both Chillers and Rolling Thunder were down. That's what? 10/13 open - counting Chiller as two, as they are distinctively different tracks.


Sorry, forgot to mention Stuntman's Freefall was down for the day.. 9/13

It's funny how they have 2-3 security guards walking around El Toro mostly asking people sitting on railings to get off. What they should be doing is telling operators to put on that second train to get the line moving. Then people wouldn’t have so much time to sit in one place!

And this was a Wednesday, I can’t imagine weekends!
*** Edited 8/12/2006 3:54:04 PM UTC by NoRulz2k***

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