Zumanjaro opening delayed again as state hasn't issued permit to operate yet

Posted Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:45 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Just a few hours before members of the press were scheduled to get a taste of a steep drop ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson today, park officials again delayed the opening. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom was first slated for a Memorial Day weekend opening to the public, then that was nixed. Now, with a new opening date of July 4 just days away, the press preview of Zumanjaro as been canceled because the park has not secured a state permit to run the ride.

Read more from The Star-Ledger.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:03 AM

Hold on. Just yesterday I saw a YouTube video of Zumanjaro running and it was full of riders, so I assumed it was already... Well, I guess I assumed wrong.

This additional blemish on that poor park is more disappointing than the one I got the day before prom.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:18 AM

I've seen a couple different theories...

One is that the ride isn't permitted to run KK and Zumanjaro simultaneously.

The one thing certain is the the State of NJ won't allow the ride to run with guests - lending additional credibility to AJ's comments regarding the Garden State and the unreasonable burdens placed on operators...

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/six_flags_zumanjaro_ride_delayed_again_still_needing_state_permit.html

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:25 AM

rollergator said:
I've seen a couple different theories...

One is that the ride isn't permitted to run KK and Zumanjaro simultaneously.

You'd think they would've checked into that first.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:22 PM

It's quite possible (likely?) that there are different requirements for operating the ride to paying customers, than non paying (employees). In other words, they may be able to operate it for employees, but not the normal guest.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:46 PM

Someone asked the same question yesterday when I posted the Zumanjaro video on the Coasterimage page on Facebook.

I assume that the permit applies to operating the ride for customers. I imagine that operating it internally is not an issue. I mean, that's how they test, right?

Sort of similar to me building some wacky contraption in my backyard. My firends and I can ride it all day long, but I'll need the proper permission to invite paying guests.

I have no idea if that's correct or not, but it makes the most sense to me.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:55 PM

Six Flags, New Jersey, and Intamin. It's the perfect storm.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:55 PM

Hanging n' Banging was spot on in another post about the issues surrounding the opening of a new ride. Here's the full press release from Six Flags which came in by email yesterday but which I didn't see until today b/c I was at Six Flags Great America and don't have email access while on the road:

"JACKSON, NJ―July 2, 2014―The press preview of Six Flags Great Adventure’s Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom has been delayed. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety Unit has not yet granted the operating permit. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom is a very complex, innovative ride, and the state’s review of documentation is still underway.

All testing and inspection by Six Flags engineers, maintenance and operations teams have been completed. The ride is fully operational and in compliance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Six Flags respects the function and responsibility of the Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety Unit of the DCA and looks forward to their inspection soon.

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom stands a staggering 41 stories tall. Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster—the 45-story monster that ranks as the world’s tallest and fastest coaster—Zumanjaro hoists riders 415 feet into the sky and plummets them back to Earth at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Three soaring Zumanjaro towers stand on the face of the massive Kingda Ka coaster. The trio of gondolas rises to the top of the tower in approximately 30 seconds. Riders pause for a few terrifying moments 41 stories in the air—even higher than London’s Big Ben and twice as tall as Lady Liberty—allowing them to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia 52 miles to the southwest before gravity plunges them back to ground level in less than 10 seconds.

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom was recently named the No. 3 most thrilling ride in the U.S. according to USA Today."

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 1:06 PM

And yes, I assumed finally, that those enthusiastic riders were actors, actresses, and hot models.
Or,... ok, park employees.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 1:49 PM

In Ohio at least, employees have been on the ride prior to certification. Couldn't tell you if New Jersey works that way or not.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 2:17 PM

I don't remember where or when exactly, but sometime around 10-12 years ago, I remember being invited to ride something for a media day...then on arrival, we had to sign some forms making us "temporary employees" for the purpose of being allowed to ride prior to certification for guests.

MIGHT that have been Mummy?

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 3:35 PM

I had to sign a form like that when i was the first to ride skyrocket at kennywood a few yrs ago.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 6:10 PM

Maybe the New Jersey governor has moved on from closing bridges to amusement park rides.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 7:55 PM

The riders were all employees and people riding for the commercial, so I think Gonch is probably pretty accurate in the "non-paying" riders being the only ones allowed on at this time. The only other things I've heard are that Jersey just won't do permits until the ride is fully operational, so it may just be a matter of a few days while they get past the holiday and come and inspect the ride. Did that make sense? So tired that I'm not sure. *laugh*

An interesting yet somewhat disturbing rumor: all three gondolas are lifted by the same winch, so if one gondola is out of commission, all of them are. Anyone know if there is truth to this?

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 8:49 PM

Well, I do know they said they would go up simultaneously then drop independently. So, maybe.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:30 PM

I find that difficult to believe, because as the cable stretch (and they will stretch), it's likely that all three would not dock evenly to the release mechanisms.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:41 PM

I know the gondolas on the west coast version are hoisted by one winch, so probably.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 11:24 PM

What about the stand-alone towers? kpjb would know.

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Friday, July 4, 2014 12:14 AM

It's as simple as getting final approval from NJ DCA (Department of Community Affairs) for the ride modifications. It's actually a good thing, but simply an inherent drawback of legislation and oversight of amusement rides and devices, in this case in NJ. CA is no different.

Think about it. You have an existing support structure (Kingda Ka), and several years later someone has the hair brain idea to attach a new ride to it. So you are basically trying to "mount" a new ride (with new loads) to this existing support structure, that was not initially designed for this new load.

So, some modifications are made to support this new load and as they should, NJ DCA requires a complete engineering and design review before they permit the attraction(s).

I don't think many NJ State inspectors are working on the 4th of July (or more than 38 hours a week for that matter). It just takes some time in states like NJ and CA.

Yes, you can "test ride" an attraction in NJ with "employees" before getting approval for the general public.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Friday, July 4, 2014 12:19 AM
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Friday, July 4, 2014 1:15 AM

Jeff said:

What about the stand-alone towers? kpjb would know.

On the Pitt Fall, all four sections were independent. We could run 1, 2, 3, or 4 sections at a time depending on the wind, maintenance issues, crowd, etc. They all had to go at the same time, though... you couldn't send section 1 and then send section 3 when 1 was half way up.

So in summary, they're separate but synchronized.

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