Six Flags Great Adventure (Opening Day 2010)

Saturday, March 27, 2010 11:34 PM

There was a lot of good and a lot of bad today. First off, the season pass processing was just a mess. There were lines everywhere outside the main gate, the ticket takers were having an enormous amount of problems today and I was not impressed at all. (we got to the park at aroudn 10:05 and didnt actually get into the park until around 10:40). The weather was nice and sunny but the temperature was very low (in the low 40s most of the day so many rides were affected)
1. Bizarro (8.5/10) - there was no wait time for our first ride. Half of the effects were on (audio, flamethrowers) and the others were shut off because of the weather. The ride ran nice and smooth but it seemed to run quite a bit slower than it has in the past and the test trains were almost stalling in the first large loop which was making me feel a little uncomfortable. The audio was a little messed up but the volume was set much better this year. Still a solid ride.
2. Kingda Ka (9.5/10) - wait time of around 10 minutes because it couldnt open on time due to the cold temperature. We sat towards the back on it this time and it was by far the best run ive ever had on this monster. The ride was running the best it has ever done all day and there was no shuffling at all and the trains were literally flying over both hills for the first time that I've seen. This was the first time I was really impressed with this ride. It is repainted and just looks fantastic and is now better than TTD in my opinion.
3. El Toro (9.5/10) It was cold out and the operators were having a ton of problems with this so the wait was about 10-15 minutes in what could have been 3 trains. This is one fantastic ride but because of the cold it was running much slower than usual due to the wood structure (the part that this effected most was the point from the 3rd hill/helix up to the twist finale). The ride is still crazy powerful and one of the best woodies in the world.
4. Great American Scream Machine (7/10) - Walk on like always. Let me make it straight... I love this ride but never rate it too too high because I know a lot of people dont like the shuffling and headbanging but I definatly did not like the advertising on the trains on this (they were advertising some sort of hair glue product and it looked god aweful) This is such a nice ride and really the park doesnt take the best of care of it. Interestingly in the morning the MCBR were turned off and made the second half of the ride much more interesting than usual. The ride in the back row is just nuts.
5. Rolling Thunder (4/10) - Left side open and was a walk on and this ride is really falling apart... its not rough but it doesnt run well at all anymore and that squeaking is just unbearable.. this ride could use some retracking and maybe actually race... it would really add to the experience of this ride because its not good enough to run on its own as one coaster.
6. Skull Mountain (4/10) - this ride used to be more fun without the sound effects and the lighting... its kinda lost its touch a bit.
7. Dark Knight (5/10) - there were actually improvements on this coaster this year believe it or not.. there is actually more themeing (including this train that blasts at you toward the end of the ride. Small improvements actually made this a better experience and it ran a bit smoother so im happier with this bust of a ride that i gave a 3 to last year
8. Batman the Ride (8/10) - another walkon and riding in the backrow it ran great and forceful as it always does. Can anybody else find a roller coaster that looks as great as this coaster always does at its relatively old age. The queve area needs to be straightened up a bit though
9. Nitro (9/10) - a 2 train wait for the back row and it was running fastastic and smooth as it always does. The only problem that I have with this coaster is that it gives me more of a "wee" feeling than a "wow" feeling but i could ride this coaster all day if I wanted to because the floater air is just amazing
10. Superman Ultimate Flight (2/10) Thank you to the fail of the day for SFGA. there were so many problems with the operations that the line took over 2 hours on a day when there was nobody in the park. They swapped trains 3 times and had to do constant test runs. The attendents were aweful and the coaster seemed really jumpy and just off. I was not happy with this run at all.
We rode other flats during the day as well.. the crowds were light and it was actually quite a nice day at the park besides the weather being a problem. Not my best trip, but I dont have too many bad ones down there. The parks still a solid 9/10 in my book and yay for the fact that Im working there during the summer now :)

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:07 PM

I wanted to make it out there yesterday, but the strom from two weeks ago killed my roof and I have a bad cold. I'm glad someone from here went "in my place."

Any take on the food (Selection, quality and prices this year)?

If you can say...where will you be working/ what will you be doing this year?

Thanks for the report.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 4:21 PM

I was there yesterday, too. I bought my pass at the gate abot 9:15, got processed and photographed, and was in the park for the rope drop.

My first ride on Toro was disappointing...no airtime in the usual spots. But ne next nine were back to almost normal, and will improve as the season goes along. Incidentally, contrary to the original poster's note, I don't believe Toro HAS three trains. Toro was shut down when I went over there to finish my day a little before 6. I don't know if it re-opened or not.

I skipped KK due to the early afternoon line. When I went back around 5:30, they had closed one side and were running only two trains.

Sorry you had bad luck with Superman. I encountered the shortest line I've seen since it's been there at around 4:45, and was on and off by 5:10.

I actually found Nitro a bit rough on my first ride around 3pm..back seat, right side. I prefer the left, and I got that for my next 5 rides. Was more like itself, and still my #2 at the park.

Incidentally, I noticed they had taken away the signage for the awful Fly Me To The Moon in the simulator building. that gives me hope the theater will be occupied later in the summer. Anyone heard anything?

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 6:52 PM

Screamscape has been saying that something new will be there sometime in '11. It's rumored to be a 5D experience. I wonder what that means?

I hate SFGAdv, by the way. By some things in this thread, it sounds like they haven't changed their ways of low capacity at all. Worst. Park. Ever.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 6:57 PM

Sounds like a pretty good first day to me.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010 9:04 PM

Superman had problems today as well, it was stuck on the lift for a little while in the morning.

I saw pictures of the season pass processing line from yesterday and after walking through the same empty line today I couldn't believe how long the line was that they were set up for. With crowds so light, I can't believe people still had to wait around 30 - 40 minutes to process the pass.

I also agree about the ads on the train on Scream Machine. I hated it last year especially because there was also a banner for the hair products in the station covering the station art. At least it is only 1 train with the ads and not all 3.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:13 AM

In response to a few things...
Where will I be working... Im supposed to be operating the major coasters on the left side of the park this year which im real exited for as well as work with the Team Tiger program as part of an internship for school (for those of you who havent seen the Temple of the Tiger program, you should because it is most excellent and actually I don't think great adventure gets enough credit for the excellent upkeep of their animals in the park/safari. :)
Houdini's great escape was supposed to be up and running this year again.. but alas it was not and was not happy about that one bit.
I'm actually happy about the removal of fly me to the moon because it was one of the worst simulator experiences in the world to me. Hopefully they do something smart in changing it.
And in response to bad capacity. Great Adventure has rides that have some of the best capacity in the business... namely the fact that they have 4 coasters that run at least 3 trains almost all of the time (nitro, bizarro, great american scream machine, kingda ka) and while el toro is slow to dispatch, the trains are huge and carry a lot of people at a time. Superman is actually the only ride that seems to ever have a line and I really think they should try to fix the problem up if at all possible. All the other rides have fantastic capacity.
The food may have actually gone a little down in price (good news is that nothing is more expensive than before) I've actually found the food quality to be actually descent around the park for the most part but I think it would be great if they could add two or so themed restaurants in the movie town section and in the golden kingdom section... I think that would really help the park out a lot
The park is aiming for a huge increase next year which could mean the reopening of the Old Country section. We KNOW that there will be a new roller coaster for next year, but it would also be nice if they re-added some good flat rides including reopening things like the bumper cars and such to give the park a better feeling to it. Great adventure is on the right track and I think that next year is the year that we should really judge in terms of where the park is going.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:22 AM

I greatly enjoyed Shockwave and Scream Machine. Both were trimmed nearly to a stop at the mid-course every single time I've ridden. I'm glad for that because that bowtie/cork combo at full speed would cripple anyone.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:37 AM

good to see that somebody else actually enjoys the work of arrow dynamics... i think they produce rides that give more of an out of control feeling than some more recent B&M creations

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 6:42 PM

Jimmy Boy said:
Great Adventure has rides that have some of the best capacity in the business...

And some of the worst dispatch times, longest lines, and most inaccurate wait time signs that I have ever seen.

I took notice. The park hired sloths to run their coasters.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 7:49 PM

Those wait times signs are the worst, I hear they are for when only 1 train is running but I think they are designed for you to want to buy a flashpass because each sign has a flashpass ad on it. So many people are misled, I was in line for the rapids last year and it was at the 60 minute sign, some family got in line and saw the sign and were about to get out of line when they thought it was an hour wait. I explained it was really around 10 - 15 minutes because no switchbacks were used and they thanked me and stayed in line. At Nitro, it is roughly 1/3 the posted time, at the 30 minute sign it is really 10 minutes when all 3 trains are running.

I also think the problem with the dispatches is only 2 people checking restraints per train. Bizarro is a longer coaster than Hydra yet Hydra rarely stacks because they have twice as many people checking restraints (figuring both are running 2 trains and Bizarro is not running 3). They really need 4 people checking restraints on Bizarro and Superman.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:38 PM

Yoshi, you would be correct in your assumption... those inflated wait time signs are strictly made like that for the marketing of the flash pass. Its actually a bit of smart marketing because impatiency is really common amongst the gerneral public in these parks. However its nice knowing that those signs arent true or else visits to the park would be very very painful.
In response to stacking... I think a lot of the problem with the stacking in this park is caused by people not following rules and placing things on the sides of platforms and things like that and also the fact that on some of the rides, the opening of the air gates in very late because they are now manually controlled. Superman is much bigger of a problem than bizarro at this point and at least bizarro has 3 trains..
And Lost Kause.. thank you for calling me a sloth :P

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:42 PM

You could very well be the exception to the rule, Jimmy.

If we are understanding correctly that the misleading wait time signs are a tool to market flashpass, then what's to say that the partnership between the two companies are not pulling other shenanigans to further get people to pay to cut in line?

For example, I often wonder if the park celibates capacity records with their ride operators. I wonder if it is common for the park to offer incentives for having a higher throughput than before. What reason would management have to encourage their employees to work faster, if it results in the park losing money in flashpass sales?

I may be wrong. I really would like to know.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 12:07 AM

LostKause said:
What reason would management have to encourage their employees to work faster, if it results in the park losing money in flashpass sales?

What reason?

The other 99% of guests not using Flash Pass.

You seem to keep forgetting about the part of the equation. We've been over it time and time again.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:43 AM

LostKause said:

For example, I often wonder if the park celibates...


Wait... when did they start hiring celibates?

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:10 AM

Calibrates,

Darn it kpjp, now it would be wrong of me to go back and edit ti. lol

Well, Gonch. It looks to me that they better get a move on then. I'm not forgetting that part of the equation. I'm just trying to figure out why they aren't hustling. I am seriously asking if management focuses on speed with their employees. If they don't, then maybe I'm on to something. If they do, then maybe I am wrong.

Cedar Point, for example, focuses on capacity every day. They get their ride operators to hustle. It is very important to get as many people through the line as safely possible. That creates "warm fuzzies" with the guests. It shows that they care about guest satisfaction, because hustling all day is no easy task.

I never noticed the same work ethics at SF. I never worked there though, so maybe I was never close enough to the subject it to really notice it. That's why I am asking.

If SF doesn't encourage speed, than maybe they have a reason. Of course it's so "not right" that it seems that any park would never put flashpass sales above high throughput, but I don't think that the regular park-going guest would notice enough to affect the bottom line.

I really believe that it's possible. Some of you guys believe that SF would never do that, because it's so wrong. You think that people would notice and it would ultimately affect attendance. I think that you are giving the regular park-goer too much credit. As long as the park kept their motives secret for not encouraging their ride operators to hustle, guests will never know. Heck, the ride ops would never know either.

It's a possibility, is all I'm saying.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 3:03 PM

Nitro may be the exception but last season I have seen the ops literally running to check restraints and only stacked a little with 3 trains running on multiple visits. They were still somewhat fast on Sunday. Dispatches were a little slow on Sunday on some other coasters but that was still opening weekend so I am going to give it a few weeks and see how things are. I didn't see 1 person using flashpass but that usually isn't the case since usually on slow days you still see a few people with them.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010 8:14 AM

In all honestly, last June I went to SFGAdv and LOVED it. The only ride not open was Ka, which I knew going in was going to be closed. Even then, they tried to get it running.

The dolphin show was great, LOVED the rides, don't think I really waited in any long lines all day. Maybe my first Toro ride, but that was still less than an hour.

I didn't really experience any lethargic operators and had a lovely day. So much so that that evening, AVMatt called and wanted to know when I'd be done with the park, cause we could have went to Knoebels, and I opted to stay at SFGAdv.

The park has a terrible reputation, and I expected to hate it. I got multiple re-rides on the coasters and only missed 2 credits, Ka & I forgot to go ride the Kiddy Coaster (I was having too much fun).

I'd love to see SFGAdv do what Carowinds did this year, Major landscaping, lots of fresh paint, get Houdini open (Carowinds re-themed their dark ride), and then if they would plug up some holes with flats, it would be a really great park, IMO.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:04 PM

Houdini is opening from Memorial Day to Labor Day possibly for Frightfest as well. They got so much demand for it they decided to open up it this year (last year it was open during Frightfest only and not open at all in 2008)

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Thursday, April 1, 2010 2:35 PM

^ do you have any idea why it closed in the first place, considering the fact the one in new england ran this whole time

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