Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
Mother's Day turned out to be a very good day to visit the park, as the ride queues were significantly shorter than usual. After grabbing 2 quick rides on Nitro, I headed for El Toro, where I got in 10 rides in the space of half an hour. For several of them I didn't even have to get out of my seat, as there was no-one waiting to get on in my row (3rd from last). Consecutive riding is a luxury to which I could easily become accustomed and I considered it good practice for Coasting For Kids, in which I'll be participating at Dorney on June 8 - and for which I'm still trying to raise funds. After ride number 10 the loading station was starting to get a bit more crowded and I decided to move on. So I took 2 rides on Bizarro (the flames didn't come on after the dive loop!) and one on Runaway Mine Train (longer wait) before taking a lunch break and going back to El Toro for rides 11 and 12. Although the line had gotten longer it took only about 30 minutes to get on. From there it was on to Skull Mountain and The Dark Knight. At 5:45pm Batman was a walk-on, something I've never seen on that ride except at opening time.
There was time for one more ride on Nitro (about a 20-minute wait) before catching the bus back to Philly. 21 rides at SFGA without a Flash Pass is the most I've ever been able to manage so it was indeed a very good day - although for the first time in a while I got the distinct impression that both El Toro and Nitro have gotten rougher than they used to be. Of course Kingda Ka remains closed pending completion of Zumanjaro and although media day for the drop tower's opening had been provisionally scheduled for May 22, the latest news feed I got from the park said that they're hoping to have it up and running sometime in June. And no, I didn't see Brooke Shields, who was there with her kids and husband.
I have not noticed that El Toro has gotten rougher per se, but I do find that it has gotten more AGGRESSIVE. My rides at RotB last fall were insane. Opening day this year, Toro actually seemed just a touch sluggish or tame compared to my last awesome rides of 2013, but I'd disagree with it being "rougher". However, I have had a few rides where I distinctly remember writing trip reports saying that I was afraid Toro was getting more "wooden" in feel, so it may have just been a bad day.
Nitro on the other hand...back seat of the third train is craptacular. I don't know what's going on there, but I won't ride in the back anymore as a result of the crummy rides I've been getting. Front row seat is still fantastic though, and I'd recommend it.
"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band
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