The one large negative experience occured immediately after reaching the front gates at 11am. There were huge lines at the ticket booths and only four or so were open. There were tons of people and many would join their "friends" at the front of the line. Without a security officer the lines remained almost stationary because many people were cutting. After about an hour I finally got to a booth where the lady was nice enough to give us both ( 4 tickets total ) Coke buy-one-get-ones instead of just one. The reason this process took so long was the lengthy time it takes to figure out all the discounts, etc. It wasn't the workers' fault, it just happens. So I realize that now I'll order online, especially in the early season. But Six Flags, open more booths and get less people pushing pictures and VIP tours. It would only make sense if five people are coming to the metal detectors at a time that you could move some of those employees to sales. Now, on with the fun stuff.
Unfortunately I'd missed the new ride once again since El Toro isn't open yet, but there's always next year. I did accidently go into the new Plaza and it is stunning like Golden Kingdom. The landscaping and sights are first rate and pictures don't do El Toro justice...the ride looks incredible. The only activity I saw on Toro was people working on the lift in the afternoon. I also love the huge fiery sign. Rolling Thunder was closed at this point and I don't think it opened this day (Tuesday) so first up was...
My trip last year fell during "the big breakdown" (gasp!) but it was entertaining hearing all the b.s. people said. Things like "I heard they made it shorter (in height)" and "someone died and they had to close it." Ignorance is bliss I suppose. The line started at the beginning of the Golden Kingdom and we got tickets. The actual wait started at the beginning of the switchbacks. The quoted wait time was two hours and I'm guessing it was coming off a short delay because two trains went unmanned as we entered the line. We waited in the temporary line by the lockers (I'm assuming because isn't the other line on the left side of the launch?) and there was a very entertaining DJ which made the wait fly by. Of course watching trains launch to 128 mph is entertainment enough. After about 1 hour we reached the station and were two rides from getting on in the second row (front is great, but second is fine to cut off an hour extra wait) when there was a short breakdown. The train stopped on the block after the camelback and creeped back to the station. They then reset the brake, launched both trains again and we were in business. I'll add at this point that only two trains were running (teal & green), with blue being MIA and orange sitting lonely on the left side of the station. Let's hope they get it running all four later on, although the capacity was surprisingly good with only two. After boarding we experienced a slight delay as a mechanic checked the launch track. The operator then imformed us that because someone had taken a loose article on, we had experienced the delay and they were trying to keep the ride up all day and needed our help to do so. I suppose something fell and they were really pushing NO LOOSE ARTICLES, good job on being firm on this Six Flags. The ride:
After queuing behind the teal train and watching it roar into the sky, I came to the conclusion that the first train out launches quicker than Dragster (time wise...there is less delay). We rolled into position, the horn sounded, we rolled back a bit, and the fins dropped. Bam....we're off...but then BAM...we're off again. This thing takes off quick but then hits the NOS button halfway to the tophat. The launch really does feel more intense than Dragster. The tophat was bliss and I like the bit of extra hold due to the trim at the top. The view of NJ and Six Flags was great. After the smooth, intense plummet to earth, the bunny hill was a blur. As we smoothly returned to the station, my friends were in awe (I've done Dragster...they are just general public and have never heard of it, but I love them anway and I'm working on their knowledge) and I was impressed. Kingda Ka is one hell of an intense ride, it is smooth but vibrates a bit more than Dragster (not really an issue, but a comparison none-the-less) and the OTSR's aren't restricting. Props to the professional and quick crew that did their jobs, pushed to keep the ride up, and knew how to fix some minor errors. It appeared that there was a permanent mechanic on site, so Six Flags is hoping for a good season with this one. I hope it works out for them. Kingda Ka **** 1/2 ( out of *****)
After riding Ka we needed to eat so we did at the cheesteak place near Texas Twister. The food wasn't great but I finally saw ErUPtion! in action. The pod launches slower than I imagined but I didn't realize the seats still tilted. I really wanted to ride but didn't have the cash at that point. Hopefully it'll stay around because I'd love to experience it.
Great American Scream Machine without a wait was our next ride. I've always liked this crazy Arrow and we rode in the back seat. The ride ran fairly smooth and intense, especially the drop. The trims were on hard, and I love the hangtime in the batwing. My friends didn't share my love of the ride, but to each is there own. 2 trains, no stacking. Scream Machine ***3/4
Superman, a personal favorite of two of my friends at Six Flags over Georgia, was next on the list. The line was near the first turn under the ride but none of the switchbacks were in use. This ride also had music pumping but no DJ. The crew here seemed slow and for a while, Kingda Ka was launching both trains before Superman dispatched one. I was a bit angry but I realized that when we arrived on the platform that with only two employees, the process was slow. I also imagine that if the operators went by slamming down the restrains and foot holders people would complain. After around 30 mins (the posted wait time no-less) we flew. This ride is just fun, I love the pretzel and flying through the egg turns. It may be short and nothing compares to the pretzel, but I always feel satisfied after the ride. Superman flew well with two trains today. I can't wait to try Tatsu. Superman: ****
After narrowly escaping the Six Flags parade, we rode Texas Twister. Once again I ribbed my friends on their toughness because they complained about the restraints, which were the Huss Topspin usual. The ride had a short rotation with only three flips like at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach.
We waited an hour to cool off on the Log Flume next (not my choice) and it turned out to be decent as these rides go. I didn't realize until later that the park has two of these. We got soaked when the water struck the bridge after the big drop and landed on our heads. It felt great. After watching an escalating fight between husband and wife which ended before security could stop it, we headed towards Dip-N-Dots and Medusa.
Despite being one of my favorite rides we always seem to get only one ride on Medusa and today was no exception. After about a fifteen minute wait we neared the front seat. The ride operator asked us if any of us were in the park yesterday (Memorial Day) when El Toro tested for the first time. He was and said it was "awesome." I enjoyed how many of the operators were personable on this visit. Our front seat ride was great and the ride ran fast and smooth. The trim wasn't on too hard and I love the helix, corkscrew, turn, corkscrew finale. Two train operations with minimal stacking. Apparently the ride broke down after we left because a train got stuck on the lift until we couldn't see the ride anymore. Medusa **** 1/2
With only 2 1/2 hours before closing we headed towards the other side of the park for our best experiences of the day.
As we headed for The Chiller I noticed Spin Meister was gone (rehab I hope). I love the Chiller but was a bit bummed that only Robin was going...but when we reached the plaza I nearly cried. The Batman train launched through the tophat and into the twist. After hearing that it had opened a bit this season I was elated to finally get the chance to ride this elusive beast. We entered the line and waited about fifteen minutes for a back-seat ride. Hands down...Batman kicks Robin's ass. Although Robin is also one hell of a ride, Batman is that much better. The launch is intense ( and this is after riding Ka ), the tophat is incredible, and the twist is unlike anything else I've ridden (except Robin I suppose :) ). Going in reverse I felt like I was being ejected from this planet because the twist was so intense. The hangtime in the top hat was equally blissful. Props to Six Flags for getting this open and if you have to run one side, run this side! I am guessing they switched during the day due to shortstaffing, as Robin had been running with people earlier in the day. Fast crew and a funny, if a bit odd operator made the line go quickly. Thank you Premier and Six Flags you made my day. Batman: The Chiller **** 3/4
Batman: The Ride was next and I enjoyed the music in the station. While they didn't set any speed records, the crew on this was funny and seemed to be having a good time. With the ride being a walk on, I didn't mind. Holy Batman! did someone give this ride a shot of adrenaline, I've never seen it run so fast. Our first ride was near the middle and it was damn intense. The inline twist was crazy and the helix, corkscrew, turn, corkscrew finale was extremely forceful. As we hit the brake run, my head was spinning ( in a good way) and my feet were tingling. Needless to say, back seat was what coaster dreams are made of. The ride was running two trains and was very smooth but extremely intense today. People who say B&M doesn't do "forces" need to check this out. Batman: The Ride **** 1/2
"Please paint me and my station, I'm getting ugly." Nitro wanted me to relay this message to the authorities. With the line only on the stairs we were on in row 8 in ten minutes. The operators were great on this ride, the crew was fast and the announcers were hilarious. The guy with the pink wig on was crazy. Two train operation with the third nowhere in sight, it must be in pieces somewhere. I love this damn ride and I know that opinions are divided. It was running fast today, the operator said both trims were working, meaning the train was "flying" at probably "85 instead of 80mph because it is so hot." Who knows if the speed quote is true, but the ride was going quite quickly. Unfortunately there was a bit more vibration than normal. I did have a bit of a g-force headache from Batman so this may have been more from that than the ride, as I had this same occurence on Millennium Force last summer at Cedar Point, with one ride seeming to vibrate when I had a slight headache. The first drop was incredible, as was the twisting drop. The first camelback gave a TON of air and the hammerhead was taken at an abnormally high speed. The rest of the ride was great and the helix was very forceful today. The midcourse was on a bit hard, but the camelbacks at the end gave a good amount of air. Nitro **** 1/2
After riding Nitro again in the last row, we did Batman again in the front and rode Freefall. I like these old rides and this was on par with SFOG's and not as smooth as Cedar Point's.
Our final rides of the night were on Batman: The Chiller. We waited twenty minutes for an incredible front row ride and then slipped into an empty second row for the last train of the night. Damn it feels good to be on Batman. A fitting end to a great day at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Ticket buying fiasco, no Toro (not really a con but a disappointment), no Rolling Thunder or Runaway Mine Train (construction?), not especially good food (but what the hell, it's not a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse)
Overall quick, nice, and personable crews, Kingda Ka was open with good operations, Batman: The Chiller, great landscaping in the park, very clean park, clean restrooms, El Toro and surrounding area looks incredible - great job Six Flags, $32.50 entry with a Coke can, row 9 on Nitro, the "incredibly different" selection of coasters my friend noted that Six Flags has
My best day at Six Flags Great Adventure yet, I look foward to things to come. Pictures to follow:
*** Edited 6/2/2006 2:05:22 PM UTC by Willh51*** *** Edited 6/2/2006 2:06:18 PM UTC by Willh51***
I actually noticed 4 instances of acceleration when I rode it for the first time Memorial Day.
"...I finally saw ErUPtion! in action. The pod launches slower than I imagined but I didn't realize the seats still tilted. I really wanted to ride but didn't have the cash at that point. Hopefully it'll stay around because I'd love to experience it."
It should stay around, and I think that it's priced decently. I remember when they had that temp slingshot ride there, it was somewhere from $10-$20 per person to ride it, whereas ErUption is only $8.
"We waited an hour to cool off on the Log Flume next (not my choice) and it turned out to be decent as these rides go. I didn't realize until later that the park has two of these. We got soaked when the water struck the bridge after the big drop and landed on our heads. It felt great."
Yea, they actually do have 2 flumes, this one being a regular log flume. The other one is an Arrow Hydroflume, though they don't really run it as a Hydroflume much anymore (only use 1 of the drop chutes and they took out the bunny hop after the big drop). Actually, I think the water on the bridge you experienced was not water that splashed up, but rather water that pours down from the bridge as a result of someone putting a quarter in one of the machines across the way (same machines that activate the water guns/cannons).
"I love the Chiller but was a bit bummed that only Robin was going...but when we reached the plaza I nearly cried. The Batman train launched through the tophat and into the twist. After hearing that it had opened a bit this season I was elated to finally get the chance to ride this elusive beast."
Actually, the day before (Memorial Day), both sides were running, which was definitely a good sign. Not sure why they didn't run both sides on Tuesday, unless it was s staffing issue.
"Please paint me and my station, I'm getting ugly." Nitro wanted me to relay this message to the authorities."
Paint? That would be nice. But how about they rip all the sheetmetal off and give us a nice station instead?
Great TR, eventually I might actually get there lol. Also, Just was curious about Nitro's station since it was mentioned, like in this picture:
is that rust and everything on the logo/running down intentional? *** Edited 6/2/2006 3:29:03 PM UTC by P18***
It's not intentional, I think the logo used to be silver and the station did not look like that in the early years of Nitro.
The Nitro area is one of the few in the park I find not attractive. They really should rework the queue and the station. It looks so cheap and the ride is so nice. I'd also like to see a wooden station.
*** Edited 6/4/2006 3:52:16 AM UTC by Willh51***
After boarding we experienced a slight delay as a mechanic checked the launch track. The operator then imformed us that because someone had taken a loose article on, we had experienced the delay and they were trying to keep the ride up all day and needed our help to do so. I suppose something fell and they were really pushing NO LOOSE ARTICLES, good job on being firm on this Six Flags.
That should never have happened. You do not know how lucky you were. The same thing happened to me on my trip back in August. Only I was in line for 2.5 hours and someone had a hat get stuck in the launch. The ride was shut down for the rest of the day; fortunately I rode KK two times in the previous days.
Six Flags should enfore the no loose article policy before something get's stuck or almost stuck not afterward.
I hope that in all of the hype about El Toro that they "fix" Rolling Thunder. When Rolling Thunder first opened, it was a nice ride. Over the years (as witnessed by many posted reports here as well as my personal experiences) it looked nice, but began to deteriorate.
WILLh51 - While I think that the station needs to be fixed or "beautified" I disagree with you about wood. I think It just doesn't fit with Nitro's look.
Rablat5 - The Rusted sign is not a good effect. It looks...well like a rusted sign. Save those effects for a western theme, but not for Nitro.
I will go at the end of June! Hopefully El Toro will be open. One day, I hope we get Rodeo Stampede back.
Ah to dream...
is that rust and everything on the logo/running down intentional?
I rode it the Wednesday (4-11-2001) after it opened (Saturday, 4-7-2001) and the logo was already rusted like that, though the drip down the sheet metal has been developing ever since. Not sure if it was planned, but it sure seems like it, as it's been that way for almost the entire time the ride's been open.
And don't expect the Rodeo Stampede to come back--I think they sent that to SFoT. Unless we get a new model, or somebody else's used model.
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