Six Flags Great Adventure, 4/5/09

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, April 5, 2009 9:45 PM

After way too long of an offseason, I started my 2009 season with Great Adventure since they are the only park open in the area right now.

I got to the park around 10:45, the lot wasn't that crowded. Seeing Nitro on the closed list board as I expected since it vallied yesterday, I went to Kingda Ka first since that is how I started last season as well (the difference was last season was my first time riding Kingda Ka). 2 trains running, it was a 2 train wait for the middle of the train. As usual the front seat had a very long line. I forgot how intense the launch was so even though I could have ridden again with less than a 10 minute wait I went to Superman.

1 train wait for the back row. Just like the launch on KK, I forgot how intense the pretzel loop was. Since Scream Machine had no wait I went there next. Other than being stapled, it was a good ride. No headbanging at all.

Even though it was only in the upper 50's/low 60's, the Saw Mill Log Flume was open. I took 2 rides since it was a walk on and thankfully didn't get hit with the showerhead looking water blaster that gets you soaked.

Runaway Mine Train also had 2 trains running, no wait as usual. You could see some of Medusa/Bizarro from the ride. The blue paint looks good seeing it in person.

Since the Sky Way was closed, I walked back along the Lakefront area. Also closed was Blackbeard's which I saw cycle a few times during the day with no riders but it never opened.

Skull Mountain was a 1 train wait for the back, same as last season with the Skull figure and pumpkin in the helix lit up and strobes at the end of the ride.

I went to Nitro to see what they were saying. The person outside the entrance was saying it won't be open until the end of the week.

The Dark Knight had a short wait but broke down before I got into the pre-show so I left. Batman was a 2 train wait for the 7th row.

I went to the other side of the park again for some re-rides and to ride Rolling Thunder. It was warmer out so the log flume had about a 15 minute wait. I also rode RMT again. Rolling Thunder was a 2 train wait but with horribly slow dispatches like last season, it was still 10 minutes.

I checked Kingda Ka's line, it looked to be around 30 - 45 minutes since there were still only 2 trains running. Not worth it, especially since I had already ridden it earler. I stopped back at Superman, GASM and Skull Mountain all walk ons and stopped at TDK which was 20 and had enough. Even though lines were mostly short, I didn't feel like power riding today like I normally do.

Just like last year, people are still thinking TDK is a thrill ride and the ride sign still lists it as a high thrill. I heard people ask the person at the entrance if it goes upside down and 2 guys in line asked me if it launches from 0 - 60 (like Rock N Rollerocaster I guess, even though that is 0 - 57).

One thing I noticed was how many things already seemed in bad condition despite it being the 2nd day of the season. One of the lights in Skull Mountain's station was out, GASM's line had rust all over the walkway, the empty sign displays were still empty, even the restraints had some rust on them. I also noticed a lot of cracks on the paths. I realize these are minor issues but I still noticed them.

I also didn't like the amount of closed rides. Tango's sign is removed and the ride is hidden by newly planted trees. I have heard it may open later in the season but I expect it to be closed all season. Old Country is still closed, and Houdini is still not operating. Plus all the kiddie rides in the Golden Kingdom aren't operating. 2 kiddie rides from Looney Tunes Seaport were also removed. Not counting kiddie rides and coasters the rides available today were: Teacups, Pirate Ship, Jolly Roger, Carousel, Twister, Fly Me To The Moon, Log Flume, Fantasy Fling. 8 rides for the park the size of Great Adventure is ridiculous and I hope that they can get the Old Country rides and Houdini repopened.

Ride Count:
Superman, 2x
Kingda Ka, 1x
Skull Mountain, 2x
Rolling Thunder right side, 1x
Runaway Mine Train, 2x
Saw Mill Log Flume, 3x
Buccaneer, 1x
Tea Cups, 1x
Dark Knight, 1x
Scream Machine, 2x

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Sunday, April 5, 2009 10:29 PM

I was at the park today also. Lack of flats doesn't bother me since I am purely a "coaster person" unless I am at Disney.

I was there with my 6 year old son and there definitely seems to be an emphasis on customer service and family atmosphere, at least for now. We'll see what happens as the season continues. We were told to " Have a six flags day" repeatedly. I guess you can take that however you choose. I have had some Six Flag days from hell but this certainly wasn't one of them. In fact, the employees seemed to be bending over backwards to be helpful which I have never seen before even around opening day.

We were constantly asked if we needed help finding anything. My son got tons of stickers and high fives from security. One even held down the button on the water fountain for my him. The cleaning people in the bathroom were handing out towels to everyone. It was actually kind of weird. We even got free cheese bread at Papa John's because we had to wait five minutes for our pizza.

El Toro is still an amazing ride. We got in about 10-12 rides since there was absolutely no line the last two hours before closing. We rode in the front, back, middle. I prefer the back but Toro is great no matter where you are. For the first time, I noticed a tiny bit of roughness through the turnaround but nothing major.

Yoshi covered everything else. The only new thing I noticed was more lockers, even for the log flume which was a bit irritating and souvenir cups for ice cream refills. The cups are $7.49 and you get refills for the rest of the season for $2.99. I haven't decided if that is deal or a rip off yet.

All in all, we had a great day.

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Monday, April 6, 2009 1:02 AM

Nitro sort of valleyed Saturday morning. It definitely turned out to be a "Six Flags Day" at Great Adventure for my friends and I on Saturday.

Oh and Gator, remember that SICK hill on El Toro? Ya know, the one over Rolling Thunder that has the sickest ejector airtime ever? Well on Saturday, the train was running so slow that it just crawled over the top of that hill and didn't even offer floater air, and then it barely made it onto the brakes. I had heard the ride sometimes ran that badly, but I had to experience it myself to believe it. I can't think of another coaster that varies that much!

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Monday, April 6, 2009 2:10 AM

Toro was running pretty roughly, I agree. Could it be it's just too cool outside yet? I noticed it during the Halloween season too, but never got bad rides during the summer.

Nitro valleyed, huh? I was wondering what happened...I was looking for possible clues when I walked over to Batman, but I couldn't see anything except the sadly empty station.

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Monday, April 6, 2009 3:27 AM

Yeah, a friend called when it happened. He was watching Nitro test from the Batman area (I believe he was looking out the door at the back of Batman's station) and he said he saw the train valley between the second and third hills. No one seemed to think the park was prepared for that to happen and wouldn't be able to deal with it anytime soon.

And apparently El Toro's second train (light brown) also valleyed that morning, but it happened just before the brake run which isn't unusual for that ride in cold weather, even though the train was loaded with water dummies. I guess they have a winch to pull it up onto the brakerun? Apparently this is why they were only operating the dark brown train once the ride finally opened, resulting in a 45+ minute wait most of the day, despite the park being pretty dead otherwise. The light brown train was barely making it to the brakes as it was.

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Monday, April 6, 2009 10:54 AM

IT was very very windy here on Saturday. I wonder if that had any effect on Nitro valley. When I say windy I mean gust up to 60-70mph.

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