Six Flags Great Adventure 4/5/09 as odd day...LONG

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Monday, April 6, 2009 2:47 AM

Well, my husband bought me a Great Adventure pass this year, so I decided I'd take care of that early in the season and satisfy my maddening craving for Toro in a quick visit. I fully intended on being in and out of the park within four didn't happen. LOL The first few paragraphs sound like I'm complaining, but I'll get to the good stuff then...and then the weird thing that happened...

I got halfway to Great Adventure and realized I had forgotten my printed e-ticket thinger at home. Called Great Adventure to see if they could print me a new one, but since I didn't have my husband's credit card on me, they said I had to go get my original paperwork. Gah! ARGH! The lady on the phone was real condescending too: "It would be utter chaos if we just went re-printing everyone's papers who forgot them or lost them". Whatever.

So I went to Great Adventure after an extended detour, and I saw that the season pass line was fairly long, but not too horrible. However, the attendant said I should go inside the park and get processed at Fly Me to the Moon because the line was shorter. Shorter my a$$. When I finally got to my picture line, another line of people were directed to my line and they all just decided it would be okay to cut in front of me. I was chapped, but all was forgotten once I got my pass and raced over to El Toro. The line was to the little churro stand, but it went quickly. My middle train ride was okay, I still was all smiles at the end, but I noticed a little sluggishness and uncharacteristic roughness. I wasn't complaining though...rode it again immediately afterward in the back seat. I noticed Medusa was looking a bit more ominous with the Bizarro colors, but I'm not sure that it's an aesthetic improvement. It seemed kind of gloomy.

Was waiting in line for Ka for a while due to technical difficulties, but I knew better than to leave (I've discovered that the best thing to do is just to wait it out unless they unload all the passengers). Finally, they got Ka running again and...wait for it....there was a rollback! The station erupted in cheers. I was only three trains behind that rollback...still haven't decided how I feel about that (lucky I wasn't on the rollback train vs. bummed that I wasn't on the rollback train). I finally got a ride on the fabled "smooth" trains...I noticed a minor difference (improvement) in the roughness, but I noticed a DEFINITE feeling of more velocity and airtime. I don't know why that would be. Maybe I have just forgotten what Ka feels like.

Anyway, I went to ride Toro one more time, and then I headed over to the other side of the park. Skull Mountain has now implemented the locker policy as well (knew that one was coming). I got my first "stay-on" experience on Skull Mountain and rode the back seat twice. It's a fun little coaster, especially with no wait.

I headed over to Dark Knight next and had no wait to get into the pre-show. It was about 15-20 minutes until I actually boarded a car, but that was okay. What was not okay was how overbraked they've made this MIAB. Last year that thing was running so fast it was practically smokin'. I'm not a fan of Wild Mice, but I actually kinda liked this one because it seemed so fast. Now...well, I wouldn't wait for it ever again, really.

Then I went on Batman. In the second to last row. Stayed on and rode again. And again. Actually, the third time, I just stayed on because I couldn't get my seatbelt undone (neither could the ride op). I was starting to feel a little sick after the third ride, but Batman was killer all three times on this visit. Tons of limb-ripping G's sucking all the blood into my feet, barely any headbanging, incredible speed. Some of my best rides on Batman, actually.

I was starting to get tired, and I was gonna leave soon, but I decided to ride Toro once or twice before I left. Ride ops were BOOKING, and they managed to cut the line down to nearly all walk-ons. I rode the same seat twice with the same guy, and he was telling me he had ridden it already seven or eight times so far. We were joking we should go for 10. I gave up at 7 and went to Ka for one more ride on the "King of Coasters". The Ka staff was HYPED up, getting the crowd to scream and cheer. The staff in general was super friendly all day, actually. Then I saw it was 6:55 and RAN back to Toro and managed to make it for ride #8. Then they locked Toro up and allowed whoever was already on the coaster to have one more ride, so I got last train of the day on Toro for ride #9.

Then it happened. I was heading out of the park when I saw the guy I rode Toro with sitting in the smoking pavillion with his hands contracted to his chest and his fingers all contorted. I took one look at his face and those twisted hands, and I swear to God, I thought he was having a stroke. I did whatever assessment I know how to do for a stroke, and he was doing okay until I got to the last part of my "tests". He couldn't speak right, was slurring his words all over the place. I ran to get help, and by the time the medics came, the guy had fallen over on a bench, shattered his glasses, started sweating profusely, and he was ice cold and lolling all over the place. He could barely speak by this point. Turns out he had sat on Toro and ridden 15 times in a row. Then he got off the ride, fell over, passed out, and vomited. I didn't see that part, but I definitely saw enough. I thought he was going to die. The medics gave him oxygen and water, and his hands relaxed and he could walk...fairly well (although he was so scared to get on anything else that moved that they were having a hard time convincing him to get on the golf cart to go to first aid). The park medics and staff told me I could go at that point, the guy shook my hand and thanked me, and everything seemed to be okay. Then as I left the park, ambulances showed was a nightmare. If anyone hears anything about this guy, let me know okay? I really hope he's alright.

So that was my interesting trip to Six Flags.

Ride tally:

El Toro: 9

Kingda Ka: 2

Skull Mountain: 2

TDK: 1

Batman: 3

Ummm...I think that's it! Should be an interesting season.

And I'm spent.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, April 6, 2009 9:49 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

That was really nice of you to go get help. There are a lot of people especially in that region who would have just ignored him.

Monday, April 6, 2009 2:01 PM

I don't know that many people would have known there was anything wrong with him, either. At first, he almost looked like he was physically handicapped. I just knew he didn't look like that earlier in the day. But thank's a sad day when you have to think that way, but it's true. I keep scanning the internet looking for anything related to the incident, but I haven't seen anything, so I'm thinking he's probably's got me preoccupied.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, April 6, 2009 5:10 PM

Wow! I saw the guy laying on the bench with security all around him. I was coming out of the bathroom with my son when I heard a woman in a green shirt telling security that the guy had ridden Toro fifteen times. Was that you? I was wondering what happened. Definitely freaked me out. I was hoping to hear what happened to him. I agree if something terrible happened we'd have heard.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 1:02 AM

That was me! LOL Small world. I still haven't seen anything new in Jackson news or just on the internet in general. I remember them saying they thought he was severely dehydrated, but I was talking to a co-worker about it, and they were thinking more along the lines of brain or spinal cord injury...I don't think he would have gotten up and walked around if he had a spinal cord or brain injury though, so I don't know....really makes you think about things, though, doesn't it? Can't get it out of my head.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band


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