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Six Flags Great Adventure Trip May 2018

TPSou

Member
This is my first trip report here so apologies for the format and lack of pictures. It was so rainy most of the day I didn't really want to be standing about with my phone out!

So last weekend me and my wife finally made the trip over to Six Flags Great Adventure. We'd been to Magic Mountain for the first time last October and picked up a 2018 season pass with that offer where it was barely more than buying two day tickets so thought we should make the most of it.

We had booked flights and hotels to go to New Jersey for a couple of nights then head up to New York for a couple of nights before coming home. After we'd booked we realised it was memorial day weekend so potentially incredibly busy. We read reviews on Tripadvisor saying people had waited hours and hours to get on a ride so we decided to buy the bullet and buy the expensive fastpasses. We figured we would only be there once and definitely wanted to get on Kingda Ka, El Toro and Nitro, so would have a much more relaxing time if we didn't have to worry about queues. The information online suggested they could sell out of the passes so we booked them. That was a mistake.

About a week before the trip the weather report looked really bad. Storms all day on the day we were meant to be in the mark, and the evening before and the morning after. I moved the car rental so we could stay longer on the Monday if we wanted, but we were starting to accept the idea that Kingda Ka wouldn't even open after hearing rumours that they can't open it on a day with lightning.

Getting there from the UK wasn't too bad, we flew to JFK in New York and rented a car and drove down (about an hour and 40 minutes) to New Jersey. We had planned to get to the park at around 8pm to sneak in a couple of nighttime rides on our first night but about half an hour away suddenly lightning was forking across the sky and the rain began to pour. A little nervous about driving in the US anyway (only our second time) we decided just to head for the hotel in Robbinsville instead, nervous about whether we'd get on anything the next day.

In the morning we left the hotel at about 9:30 and drove the quick 20 minutes through pouring rain to get to the car park. There were maybe five other cars there when we arrived, half an hour before the park opened. We took that as not a great sign. This was the view that greeted us:



Pretty spectacular coaster skyline, but dismal weather.

Getting into the park was refreshingly easy with our season passes working and we went off to see if we could get a refund on our fastpasses because there was no-one in the park. They opened the fastpass shop ten minutes late then said categorically no, that in the terms and conditions it said no refunds, and anyway we could use it to see when the rides opened (if they did). The pass we were given said that Kingda Ka was unusally open and let us book a time for it (all day the times were immediate because nothing had a queue) but after we walked all the way there (it is a very confusing layout) and got absolutely soaked, every ride was shut including Ka.

Thankfully the Safari opened so we headed towards that with the idea that at least we could stay out of the rain. Turns out that was maybe the best decision of the trip!

Safari

The safari was absolutely awesome, but maybe just because we had the entire truck to ourselves for both halves so essentially had a private tour. The first guide actually came and sat with us and just chatted to us about the animals as we went round. It was really informal and friendly and we learnt a lot. Thankfully the animals didn't mind the rain so were out and about and the driver was happy to stop whenever something cool was happening because there were no other trucks behind us. In the second half we had someone who I'm guessing was newer because she insisted on running through the standard script (including asking questions aimed at kids, like 'does anyone know what a digeridoo is?' which was a little embarassing) but she relaxed a bit after a while. It was amazing seeing all the bears and other larger animals even if some of the enclosures seemed a little cruel. Highlight was probably seeing a massive group of some kind of cattle taunting a tiger on the other side of the fence, then running away when the truck came close like they'd been rumbled.

By the time the 40 minute safari was done the rain was easing off and things began to open. We immediately walked over to Bizarro, the B&M floorless.

Bizarro

We've never really been fans of the older B&M rides but Bizarro seemed to be a little better than usual. There was only us two on the back and a group of three on the front row so maybe it was running slower, but everything felt much smoother than Dragon Khan and the layout felt really long. When it got to the mid-course breaks I thought it was over until we went round the corner to see the expected double corkscrew. It was a fun ride but we didn't feel the need to go on it again, it's incredibly similar to Dragon Khan, Scream, and Kraken. Weirdly it was running all three trains and one of the ride ops told me it was just their policy in the mornings. Meant we stacked up on the brake run because no one else was going on the ride.

We then headed over to the ride that I thought would be my favourite of the trip, El Toro. I love wooden coasters, especially when they feel out of control like Wodan at Europa, and I had seen this appear in lots of people's top ten. At this point my pass was saying El Toro was closed but it clearly wasn't, with people entering the queue, so we headed in and waited about 5 minutes for the front row, the only reason for the wait was because it was running one train.

El Toro
El Toro was a massive disappointment for me. While it is very high, and the first drop is awesomely steep, it's just lacking interesting elements. There's a lot of airtime on the first couple of hills and a couple of the early drops are so steep you feel like you're standing, then when the ride crosses over the path there's a drop that flattens out way too quickly and leads to a massive jolt. Just after that there's a brilliant snaking bit that you do at incredibly high speeds, but then the ride is over much too fast. Clearly El Toro is better than anything we have in the UK, but for me it doesn't live up to Wodan or even Joris en der Drak at Efteling. Turns out speed and airtime isn't everything!

After El Toro we checked on Kingda but there were still no signs of life, no test runs or anything, just a couple of people in the station giving me a faint glimmer they were trying to get it open. We decided to brave the drop tower since it was almost as high as Kingda, being attached to the station, and after we chickened out of Lex Luthor at Magic Mountain, we had to do this one.

Zumanjaro

Zumanjaro was fine, but I 100% agree with everything I've heard about it. It's great that it's tall and everything, but the drop feels so incredibly forceless and the structure stops the height from being too scary. I'd say Atmosfear at Liseberg and Ikaros at Grona Lund are much scarier than this. I'm glad we did it but it definitely isn't as scary as it should be.

After the drop tower (feeling very brave) we decided to run around and do as many creds as possible while the rain had stopped in case the storms started:

Nitro

Nitro is our fourth B&M hyper and probably my least favourite. While I love some of the twists at the top of hills, it feels very by-the-book. I feel like we've been spoilt with hypers after Shambhala, Silver Star, and Mako which are all awesome in their own rights, now things like Nitro don't seem to pack a punch. The height doesn't do much for us anymore and the airtime is nice with the amazing restraints, but it's just something we've seen before. It's a good idea, but I feel like the hypers are all too similar. Someone please tell me if there's one that's different!

The Dark Knight

This the dumbest coast I've ever been on. The theming outside is pretty cool but when we were in the preshow we were thinking 'what's that weird noise?'. Getting in the cars we didn't know what to expect, they looked a little like Gerstlauer cars so I thought it might be a little like SAW, but how wrong I was. It's a wild mouse. In a warehouse. With like three pieces of theming. The horn is the only noise in the warehouse and goes off every few seconds. Me and my wife really enjoyed it because it was hilarious. The rollercoaster is terrible, with a boring layout and the whole premise of it is just completely wasted. Surely someone got fired for this?

Skull Mountain

This was unexpectedly the scariest ride of the trip. Ok maybe it's a family coaster but we were the only ones on the train, in the dark, and I'm pretty tall. I was just about convinced I was going to lose my head. Overall it's not a great coaster, but the atmosphere is pretty cool when you're alone!

Batman

We've done the other Batman inverted at Magic Mountain and this was very similar. They're fun, but nothing too special or fancy and we've been spoilt in the UK with Nemesis showing how interesting an inverted can be.

Superman

Again, a bit of a standard B&M flyer with the same inversions as you'd expect. Not as pretty surroundings as Manta and not as big of a pretzel loop as Tatsu, it felt like it needed to closer to the ground to make the twists and turns more exciting.

Green Lantern

This was much better than I was expecting. I've done Riddler's Revenge and Shockwave before and this blew those out of the water, the helix was really cool standing up. Obviously these rides aren't the most comfortable, but this was by far the best one of these I've done, the first one I wanted to do more than once!

El Diablo

This was horrible, it's like Submission, just hanging you upside down in uncomfortable restraints. I felt like if it picked up some speed it could be good, but I'm not sure if they're capable of that.

After that run we had some ok food in Panda Express then went to go join the queue for Houdini. As we were there I suddenly saw on my pass that Kingda was accepting a queue, we literally ran out of the Houdini queue and over to Kingda. It was raining a little, the clouds looked like they could storm at any moment and we were terrified it would shut again. We queued for the front so had to wait for four trains to launch, staring at the clouds the whole time.

Kingda Ka
When we sat down and finally got out onto the launch section I was so happy, this was the ride we'd travelled so far for, the unique ride of the trip. It didn't disappoint. While a second ride on row 3 confirmed what others have said about how rough it is, the front row was beautiful. It's so, so fast, it went over the top hat surprisingly quickly and then the drop was much more of a big deal than it is on Red Force or Stealth, it feels like you're falling for ages and by the time you level out you're travelling incredibly quickly. It's nice that the brakes are quite far down the second hill too so you crest that at high speed. I'm so glad we came ot the park just for Kingda, and can't wait to do TTD at Cedar Point one day since everyone says it's better.

After that we just did Houdini and a couple more rides on El Toro then left. Overall it's a pretty great park but I'm glad we didn't have to queue for anything. All the things I used to hear as a kid about Six Flags being a load of rides in a car park feels a lot more true here than it did in Magic Mountain. The clone coasters really lack personality and landscaping that could make them so much better. Still, glad we got on Kingda Ka!
 

Pear

Active Member
I also don't like Nitro that much and agree with most of what you said

If you liked Kingda Ka you will adore TTD it's so much better it's not even funny!

Strange that you were disappointed by El Toro as usually most people are blown away by it. I've never felt it was too short and it's still my favorite wooden. What did you think of the famous crossover hill?
 

TPSou

Member
Is that the part where you slam back down and go into the twisty section?
For me it felt like there was a crazy fast lift, a great first drop, then a collection of airtime hills (some better than other) with some good headchoppers as you went under the structure, but it all got quite samey, then you go over the path with that bit that hits quite hard when you hit the bottom, then there's the fast twisty bit that I really liked, but that part is over too soon.

I feel like Wodan is basically a whole coaster just made out of the last section.
 

Pear

Active Member
It's the hill that crosses over the station right before the spaghetti bowl section. It starts around 58 seconds into this video

 

TPSou

Member
yeah that's the bit, no matter where we sat I found the bottom of that hill really rough, the only rough part of the whole ride. The bit afterwards was my favourite though!
 

Pear

Active Member
The spaghetti bowl section is my least favorite part of the ride because it doesn't do much.

I also forgot to ask how on earth you think Green Lantern is better than Riddler. Riddler is so much better and smoother than Green Lantern it's not even funny.
 

TPSou

Member
Maybe it was something to do with the weather or how many people were on the ride, but Green Lantern felt way smoother than Riddler's or Shockwave to me, all of the inversions felt forceful but in a good way, it felt like it did a lot more and was actually enjoyable, but I hated the other two.

I really liked the spaghetti bowl just because it's so fast and starts to get that 'out of control' feeling that I love in coasters .That's why I love Wodan and Twisted Colossus, they just feel like they're cannoning through the track and throwing you about. Some of the other 'better' rides I've been on like Baldur, El Toro, or Wildfire just feel too tame and controlled.
 

Pear

Active Member
You're one of the only people I've talked to that has hated Riddler, and liked Green Lantern. It very well could have been the way they were running as last time I did Green Lantern it was very painful and not fun at all.

I do agree that El Toro does feel a bit too controlled but the extreme airtime is what makes me love it. I'm very excited to try Balder next month.
 
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