Walking into the park once I park my car, I glance over at Superman's queue to see that there is no line...strange for Superman, as there usually is a long line. So I go in the park, show my season pass slip, and head straight to Season Pass Processing. Within 5 minutes, I'm in and out with my brand new season pass (with a new photo that I think makes me look fat...) and I'm headed to Superman for my first ride of the day.
So they changed the Superman queue line, so it now goes through the final set of switchbacks and up what was once exclusively the FlashPass entrance...the other entrance area is now marked off as being a Restricted Area. I then wait a total of two trains before I get on my first coaster of 2007. Superman was really flying today (yes I had to use the pun) and I noticed that they moved the on-ride camera from the pretzel loop to the 2nd straight flying section on the ride after the loop). So that should hopefully make for some better pictures (with less strained and intense g-force looks).
After that, I head over to El Toro, to get my first woodie of the year out of the way. The only negative event happened here at this ride today, when it shut down right as I was next in line to get on the ride. First, the ride stopped just as it started to go up the lift hill...and in about 5-10 minutes (i don't know exactly how long, I didn't have a watch or my cell phone on), the maintenance people came to see what was up. After a few minutes, they had the train backed up, and sent up the lift hill again to complete the circuit. After that, the entrance air gates never opened up, a sure sign that the ride was stopped again. From what was understood, of course, there was a power outage on the Toro/Medusa/Ka side of the park...then for some reason, they said none of the coasters were operating. So after about a half-hour, we were told "we're going to be down for a while, so it's recommended that you go to other attractions"...but in a nice way. So I up and left the ride.
Let me interrupt this TR to bring you an important note...their customer service was dead-on today! Even though they only ran 1-2 trains on all of the rides today (Toro was 1 train), the trains were flowing most of the day, ride ops seemed to be doing a good job, and everyone was pleasant and helpful! While the train had stopped right before the lift hill, and while they were waiting for the mechanics to come, a few of the ride ops went out there next to the train to keep the guests occupied and happy...they even tried to get them to do the wave a couple of times...they tried...but it's a good sign. It was freezing cold waiting in Toro's station, and at one point, snow flurries were coming down.
So after I left Toro, I could tell something was going on in the park, because I could hear this faint rumbling in the background. When I get within eyesight, I see that Nitro is testing on the other side of the park...so I get over there to find about a 20-30 person line waiting in front of the Nitro entrance, watching it test. What we were told was that the track was too cold, and the ride ops were trying to get the trains running to warm the track up and get optimal speed up (well duh!!) but the 16 year old was trying. After a good 10-15 minutes of me being there, (and a good 10-15 people in front of me leaving) one of the ride ops came out to give the all clear, they opened the gates, and a bunch of happy riders entered the line for Nitro.
Now this is where the day starts to get really really good (at least for me)...I get into the station, and on the 4th row, on the first Nitro train of the day. Now I'm very thrilled...seeing as how most of the "big people coasters" I didn't get to ride last year in my numerous trips to the park (being accompanied by a three-year old who wouldn't let me and my fiancee go ride the big rides, even though his mother was with him) so this was a big plus for me, my first ride since '05. Nitro was definitely running up to par, and I was delighted to be riding the coaster again. Anyway...we get back into the station from our cold ride, and since there was nobody in my line, they asked if we wanted a re-ride. Score! So I rode Nitro twice in a row.
After that, I needed to use the men's room, and while I walked by Batman, i saw them testing that ride. When I came back out from doing what I needed to do, I saw that the ride op had just opened the gates, so I dashed over to get my Batman ride of the year...front row, first ride of the day...wasn't as intense as I remember it from last year, but was still moving pretty well.
While in Nitro's queue (walking up to the station) and after I got off Batman, I noticed that Chiller (Robin side) was testing, then I saw people on the ride...so I knew that would be my next stop. Once again, a walk-on in about the 4th car. I have to honestly say...this ride didn't quite live up to my expectations, and I really miss the zero-g roll. The trick-track before the spike honestly isn't all that noticeable, it just seems like a cheap way to get up to the spike, with no flair or pizazz. The ride was still as incredibly forceful as it usually is for me, and I was one-and-done for the day on that one.
Since I had hit the coasters I had wanted to in that side of the park, I went and headed back to El Toro to see what was going on there. I saw a train testing, and when I got there, the line outside the queue was about 70-80 people deep. I figured I'd wait it out, and after about 5 minutes of waiting, I look over (out of curiosity) and see a train zipping up Kingda Ka's hill...and immediately (without any hesitation at all) I leave Toro's line and head straight for Ka...seeing as this will probably be the only shot I have of riding this ride this year. I get there...to see no line. Zip. Yes, Ka was a walk-on today, and I got on the middle of the 2nd train of the day. I'm telling you, I'll never get these kinds of waits again. Ka was a bit rough on the launch, but actually felt a little less intense than when I rode it back in '05.
I go back to Toro...people are still there waiting. Apparently they're taking the water dummies off of the train now, but the guy watching the line is not sure what other checks have to be made before it re-opens.
So I go over to Medusa, one of my favorites, to walk-on to the 2nd row (empty station) and fly through the ride. I'm telling you, especially after the mcbr (which was barely on if at all), she was flying through the corkscrews and final part of the ride. Still very fun after all this time.
I think to myself after the ride, eh it's no big loss if I don't get on Toro, is it...but as I walk by Toro to take one last look...yup...people are on the ride again...so I figure why not, wait for it. I get into the station, and get in line...a nice few people asked if I was a single rider, I said yes, they let me go right in front of them to the front of the line...so for me at least, Toro was a walk-on as well. Thanks whoever you were! Toro was bullishly flying (sorry again) and I was happy to be able to see the ride this time (last time it was a night ride, and without my glasses on, I'm rather blind at night) and it was a great punch.
Overall, this had to be the best coaster-riding day I will ever get. Sure, it was damn cold out there...but I got to walk-on to most of the rides, including some that I was not expecting...the rides were kickin it...the Six Flags staff were all friendly and helpful, and the crews were on point today. I loved it!
Nice TR. Why can't I have a great day at GAdv like you?
Hint get a strap for your glasses they may look geeky but hey I want to see where I'm going on a ride.
I also think the 40 degree high temps scared a lot of people from the parks in this area this weekend. I know I canceled my planned visit to Hershey due to cold and possibility of snow flurries.
Great to see you had a great time at Great Adventure and very nice Trip Report.
And the whole snow flurries and cold weather was exactly what I was hoping for, that people would get scared away from the park...I didn't want to wait in the lines, and my gamble paid off.
I do recommend trying to get to Six Flags, at least in the early part of the season while customer service is still good. As the year goes on...well...we'll see.
I also agree about going to the parks early in the season the best experiences I have had at Great Adventure were before Memorial Day weekend.
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