Six Flags Great Adventure with another epic night on El Toro 8/13/09

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:50 PM

If you feel like just skimming this then make sure you read my last paragraphs mentioning El Toro. That is certainly the most interesting part of the TR.

This was the 2nd part of my two day trip. The other part was at Six Flags America the day before. Unlike the years past, I only had one day at this park; so I did not waste much time. I eat one bagel before I got to the park, and that was it until we left. Once in the park, the only breaks I took were for the bathroom and to get drinks at the water fountains. I am very hardcore as you can see; especially, when I only have one day at a park of this size. I was with the same friend that I was with the day before at SFA, but unlike last time he also took his girl friend. She wasn’t very hardcore, and they ended up leaving the park for 2 hours for lunch; while, I stayed spending the rest of the day solo and on the rides constantly.

The arrival Thursday 8/13/09
We arrived at the park around noon time, and we were treated to a light drizzle. It seemed as though; it could start raining at any moment, and this was the case throughout most of the day. In fact, when we got into the park, we were warned of an approaching storm coming from the south, and that some of the rides may have to be closed. This storm never ended up coming, nor did any. But you would still think that with the threat of rain the park would be empty, But no! I was stunned that this park was probably at least 3 times more crowded than SFA the day before. On the SFA day, the sun was out the whole time!

Medusa/Bizarro 8.5
As ridiculous as this sounds, this was my first ever ride on a coaster named Bizarro. It’s ridiculous because the other Bizarro is only an hour from my house! Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the sign that showed the two lightning bolts at the two different Six Flags parks.

Anyways, I ended up waiting an hour for a seat in the very back. I think this was the best ride I’ve ever had on Medusa! Or whatever you want to call it. The theming did help, but it was really the smoothness that took my breath away on this ride. This was definitely the smoothest ride I’ve ever had on this coaster.

I think the changing to Bizarro does make it better, but I still agree with most others that it really wasn’t worth it. My ride was great mainly because of the layout. When in the back, I didn’t even see or feel the flame thrower go off. I felt it more when waiting in line. I will admit though, that watching that flame thrower go off at night must be quite the sight. Overall, I would still rather they did this makeover with SUF.

Nitro 8.5
We had a one hour wait for a front row seat. The ride was just so incredibly comfortable and smooth as always. I also think that Nitro has the fastest crew in the park. This ride never seems to have long waits anymore.

Batman the Ride 7.5
This was the point when I split from the other two, and did the rest of the day solo. I was beginning to get frustrated by the lines. I really felt like this line could approach 2 hours, but it never did. All those signs were wrong, and I got a back seat ride with only an hour wait! This just goes to show how much this park has improved with ride operations over the years. I feel as though, this line would have been 2 hours if it was 2005. Anyways, the ride was great as always. Its short, but it more than makes up for it in its lightning quick pacing.

Superman Ultimate Flight 7.0
I was very worried while venturing over to SUF that it was going to be a ridiculously long wait, but I was pleasantly surprised when the ride attendant at the entrance told me the wait was only one hour. So it was the same old same old, it was a one hour wait for a back seat. While in line, I really thought that I heard the horn of KK go off twice, but it was probably just my imagination. As for the ride, everything was pretty typical except for the pretzel loop. I never remember it being that intense! I found it, at least for that one instance, to be more intense than the vertical loop on Batwing from the day before.

Kingda Ka
I felt like getting as close as possible to see If I could find anything interesting. I saw many people taking pictures of KK in awe of the 456 foot tall hill. Apparently they have the whole area around the ride closed off with a security guard guarding it. So you really can’t get that close to it. I was sad that it was down, but since I have been on it 8 times and 6 of those rides were in the front seat, I wouldn’t call myself devastated by it. I also kept telling people that it’s not just the loss of KK in itself that is a downer, it’s also the fact that now all the lines are longer. Think about it. Every thrill seeker who goes to this park has SUF, KK, El Toro, BTR, Nitro, Bizarro, and dare I say GASEM on their to do list. So with one ride down that’s easily a 10% more wait at every one of those rides from people who would have been in line for KK.

I talked to many people throughout the day while in line and whenever KK got brought up they usually mentioned how they have never been on it. In fact, they were usually stunned when I mentioned that I’ve been on it. I don’t know why, but they were; maybe it was my cedar point shirt or the fact that I’m from Massachusetts or something. I just couldn’t get over how that many people in the park have never been on it. Anyways, this was the first year that I failed to get on an Intamin rocket except for 04 and 06 when I didn’t go to either CP or SFGADV. Isn’t it kind of ridiculous that I managed to get on either TTD of KK all these years until 2009? I thought these things were getting better, but that’s not what I’ve seen. This is a real shame.

Great American Scream Machine 5.0
So while the other 5 major coasters in operation had one hour plus waits, GASM was a walk on! I took the back seat and had the entire car all to myself. It was a very jerky ride as usual, but not quite as bad as the Mind Eraser was from the day earlier.

El Toro 9.5
Usually I completely delay riding El Toro until dark, but since I had only this one day, I wanted to make sure that I got on it a least once, just in case. This was the longest wait of the day. I believe it was about 75 minutes. As always I took the very back row on this ride. The ride was unbelievable as always, but it was not dark outside and it was not too late yet, and I could definitely feel the difference. I knew that I would have to wait until dark to get blown away by it again.

Nitro 9.0 3x
It was this and El Toro for the rest of the day/night. For all three of these rides I went to the far back and had waits under 30 minutes each time! Man I love this coaster! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not the height, the speed, or even the air time, it’s the fact that it’s just so re rid able; that is what makes it such an addicting coaster. Back in 2007 when I was on this coaster, I managed to catch someone’s sandal while going over the first airtime hill right before the hammer head. This time on the 2nd of these 3 rides, if I remember correctly, it almost happened again! The train was just starting to descend the hammer head when all of sudden, I saw a hair tie flying in the air. I reached out to grab it, but it was to far away to catch by less than an inch! I think it may have touched my middle finger, but that was it. So I’m now 1 for 2 on catching things during this ride. On both of these occasions, I was in the same seat: far back row and the left outside seat of the train. Best seat on the ride!

My one complaint
My one and only complaint of the day were all the re rides I was seeing, and I’m not talking about the allowed ones on El Toro later on. I’m talking about the times that I blatantly saw people get off the ride walk over to the side and then get back on the ride wherever there was an empty seat. This was definitely the worst on Nitro throughout the day.

El Toro
It was now about 8pm, and I wanted to finish the night with some back seat rides on El Toro. Once I got over there, I found that the ride was down! I was sure glad that I got on it earlier! So I ran back to Nitro for some more rides.

Nitro 9.0 2x
It was now dark outside. I took two more back seat rides and both waits were extremely short. I believe around 5 minutes. I can’t believe I’ve been on this coaster 25 times now. It’s such an awesome ride. Those 2nd generation B&M hypers like Behemoth and Diamondback must epic if they really are that much better than the first generation. After the 2nd ride, I asked the ride attendant at the entrance if Toro was up. She didn’t know, but I decided to run over there and check anyways. I’m glad I did! It had opened!

El Toro 10 4x
This ride still had quite a line. It’s obvious that Toro is the most popular ride at GADV and for good reason of course! I was thinking 2 rides maximum when waiting for my first ride. The first wait ended up being 45 minutes for the very back.

It was now well after 9pm, and I was hopeless for a 3rd ride until I saw that the line finally shrank; it was only 50% queued. Once in the station, I saw that one of the middle rows only had one person waiting so I grabbed it praying that this wouldn’t be my last ride of the night. Last summer, I tried to get back in the line about 5 minutes before 10pm and was turned down so I knew I was taking a chance doing this. During this period my other 3 rides deserve 10’s but this one didn’t. The middle is never as much fun as the back. It was an awesome bonus though!

I managed to get in line again, and the park was allowing people in several minutes after me. Last summer, I took the last full train of the night out on this coaster, and got one extra ride after the whole train chanted for one more ride. I was hoping this would happen again. Really hoping! If you’re interested: http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Thread/49213.aspx

The following is the most interesting part of the TR; so if you skimming the following paragraph is the one not to miss..

Once in the station, there were probably only about 5 train loads left. But before anyone got on, there was one train that came back with everyone screaming and chanting, much the same way mine was last summer, for one more ride. THEY GOT IT! And off course when the next train came back, they were clueless that the passengers that were in front of them are now behind them. Then when the next train came in, they also yelled for one more ride but failed. The following train that got back also yelled and only the passengers who were in the rows not filled were allowed one more ride. The next train was mine, the last full train of the night. I had the very back seat as always, and when we got to the station, I noticed that I was the only one with enough courage to start, but I knew it wouldn’t work doing it alone, so that failed miserably. I opened up the exit gate, and then for some reason decided to look back and noticed that some people were getting back on. So I did too! The train was not completely full this time, and I only had the seat 2nd furthest to the back, but I’ll still take that over almost anything else! While on the ride, the people sitting behind me were trying to convince me that the front was better than the back, but they failed at convincing me. All four of these rides especially the 3 in the back were more than super. This coaster has the best airtime on the Planet! Or at least that I’ve been on. Truly epic!

Last summer when I got an extra ride on El Toro, we were all told to go to guest relations and fill out a form saying how awesome the ride attendant for El Toro was. This time everyone who got an extra ride was told to do the same thing. I did it this time. Her name was Andrea. I went to guest relations myself and filled out one of the forms along with many other people. I love the El Toro crew. First last summers extra ride and now again this year! Once that first loaded train got there extra ride; about half the people in the station from there on out got at least one extra ride in, and some people even got 3! Fantastic just fantastic! So I would recommend to anyone going to this park, Go on El Toro as late as you can, and you’ll probably have a good chance, especially if Andrea is on I suppose, for one extra ride on the greatest airtime machine on the planet! It’s worked for me twice now.

Once off El Toro, the biggest shocker happened. I reached down into my cargo pant pockets and realized that my glasses case with my glasses disappeared. I still don’t know how it happened, but somehow the air time was so incredible that they flew right out! I’ve been on 65 different coasters and only El Toro was good enough to do it I guess. My friend was driving home anyways, and I had a backup pair at his house. Plus I’m due for a new pair now anyways. So it really wasn’t a big deal; just a huge shock.

Day as a whole
Even though I starved myself throughout the day, went solo, lost my glasses, lost my voice, and last but not least banged my jaw walking back into the car after buying food at the WAWA that night, I HAD AN AWESOME TIME. The rides were great as always. The ride operators had everything moving VERY quickly, and off course that ending on El Toro at night was epic once again. I wouldn’t take any of it back.

Last edited by GIGAFORCE01, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:51 PM
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:56 AM

I LOOOOOVE when they let you do a little mini-marathon at the end of the night. They'll even close up the queue, and you can see the unlucky bastards that just missed the last train slumping their shoulders in defeat as you travel around the bend to get to the lift hill. I had that happen at Storm Runner as well, getting extra rides (unusual at Hersheypark).

Nitro is real bad with the re-rides if they don't have a long line, but I really don't see the harm in it if they're allowing it. I stayed on Nitro in different seats three times in a row on my last trip or two trips ago. If they're not loading the trains up, why not? That's one of the greatest things ABOUT that ride (okay, not the greatest, but it's still pretty sweet).

I'm babbling. Great TR!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:14 AM

Try 9 times in a row!!! Or atleast that's what this one teenager was claiming he managed to pull off on Nitro. He tried the 10th time, but was caught so I guess they didn't want anyone doing it. But yea i see your point a little, I can't stand it when i see a train going up the lift hill with empty seats, but at the same time it is line jumping and against park rules. Idk i guess i'll have to think of that one a little more.

And yes, the best part of any day at any amusement park is at night especially when the crowds die down and there is the possibility of re rides!

Last edited by GIGAFORCE01, Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:18 AM
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Friday, August 21, 2009 12:11 AM

Ah... aparently my "One-Cheek-Sneak" has caught on. I am guilty as charged and Nitro has always been where it is most successful.

I ONLY do it if an empty seat is available. I skope out the que as we meander back into the station so I know which part of the train to hit when we exit the ride.

I also help the crew by pressing down any open seats near me to save them time and effort and I have also made the trek to customer service to honor those who make agreat ride even better.

Nice Trip Report!

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