Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
Warning: This is my first time writing a trip report and it will probably be very long.
Note: I visited Six Flags Great Adventure on Tuesday August 13th and Wednesday August 14th with a party of 6 people and this is my Third visit to this park. I rode every coaster in the park that was in operation during the visit but I am only going to talk about notable experiences unless someone would like me to comment on a ride in this forum. (Leave me comment please!!)
The day started out with stormy weather and a tornado warning in the forecast but it had passed by the time we got to the park around 1:00. Fortunately for us the bad weather had deterred the crowds from visiting the park so we walked on almost every ride and attraction! We have season passes from Six Flags New England which includes parking at only the Massachusetts park but the teenager working in the season pass lane in the parking lot didn't seem to notice a difference so we got parking free both days :)
El Toro- Unfortunately El Toro was closed both days of my visit this year. It still is my #1 favorite coaster that I have ridden :)
Nitro- I, like many others, love this ride! It is fast, smooth, and I love those two diving drops! I have found that It has a shorter line then most of the other major roller coasters because it is tucked away in the quieter section of the park and it is a high capacity ride.
Sky Screamer- This is my new favorite non-coaster ride! I rode Windseeker at Kings Dominion a few weeks ago and really enjoyed that but the Sky Screamer was much more fun! I like the Windseeker's height and how much further away from the center support you are but I think the Sky Screamer's seats are much more comfortable and liked how it went up all the way, then dipped back down a little, and one final soar to to top when the ride op asks the guests to scream. I love this ride!!!
Dark Night Coaster- Loved to see Six Flags doing some theming even if it is on a simple wild mouse coaster. The room where you watch the video was pretty well done and I liked the subway station theme in the loading area! The trains were a really nice touch!
Safari Off Road Adventure- This was the only line we waited in all day. We decided to do it the first day because there wasn't a large crowd but I could imagine someone spending their whole day waiting for this on a busy day because the line takes so long. The safari guide was so knowledgeable, funny, and seemed to really love her job. (I'd imagine if you are an animal loving college student this is a great job for you). There is a camp where the vehicles usually stops half way through but it was closed due to the bad weather in the morning. They have a huge variety of animals and I was surprised how long the safari was! (It more than justified waiting in line). It added so much to our day and I definitely recommend it!
Kingda Ka- Rode it twice and were on the last ride before it broke down the first day. Felt that this and top thrill dragster were about equal in my personal rankings. My main frustration with this ride is that they have two loading areas and two unloading areas yet they only use one of the loading areas for both loading and unloading! This is completely unacceptable! Cedar Point operates Top Thrill Dragster way more efficiently capacity wise then Six Flags does. This has been the same case with Kingda Ka all 3 years that I have visited. Still there is no thrill that can quite match Kingda Ka.
Day 1 was great we rode all the coasters in the front row with mostly walk on lines and did the safari as well as the saw mill log flume and some other flat rides. It was all around a great day!
This was Wednesday August 14th and initially we thought this would be the better of the two park days but we were very wrong.. The weather was perfect 80 degrees, not humid, sunny blue skys.. The crowds came by the thousands... It was worse then some weekends that I have witnessed.
THE FLASH PASS PROBLEM
The flash passes were sold out before we even got in the park even though we were there at opening time. There were quite a few large groups that had purchased flash passes which meant that everyone in the group was getting front of the line access... The flash pass people were in line all the way down the exit ramp on many rides, even rides like rolling thunder! Since they get preference they had to send a few trains out with only flash pass people causing the standby line for some rides to reach 3 hours long!!! To make matters worse the flash pass people seemed to take twice as long to get settled on the trains before dispatch then any regular park guests... I urge Six Flags to reconstruct the flash pass line so that it skips past most of the line but merges before reaching the station so that it doesn't slow down operation the way it did on my day of visit. Enough complaining..
We did get to ride Nitro twice, Rolling Thunder once, Bizzaro once, Sky Screamer once, and the Congo Rapids twice on the second day.
Six Flags Roller Coaster Ranking: (Me rating the rides from my favorite to least favorite in this particular park)
1. El Toro
4. Kingda Ka
5. Green Lantern
8. Dark knight
9. Runaway Mine Train
10. Skull Mountain
If you have any questions or want me to go in depth about any ride or experience please let me know in this form! THANKS!
A couple (three?) years ago, Great Adventure said they'd be permanently disabling one half of the KK station. I don't know how many trains they're running these days, but only needing 2 station crews instead of 4 saves on operating costs.
Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."
Well, on several of my past visits there, it seemed like Kingda Ka wasn't anywhere close to being the most popular ride at the park. On my last trip, I think it actually had the shortest average wait. I would think they'd have retained the capability to run four trains and four stations for the really crowded days, though.
13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones
They switched the loading setup of Kingda Ka supposedly to help capacity and lower downtime since the switch track is no longer used. With only 1 loading station used they now have 4 people checking restraints instead of just 2 at each station so the trains can dispatch faster. The 4th train is no longer being used so now it only runs 1 - 3 trains depending on crowds.
I was considering going to the park yesterday later in the day and after hearing how crowded it was, I'm glad I stayed home.
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