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Well, I'm planning a trip to Great Adventure for either this Saturday or Monday. While this might not be the best time to go, being Labor day weekend and all, it's pretty much now or never. I'm just a bit unsure on a few things:


1. Would Saturday or Monday would be better as far as crowds/wait times go? I've heard the place gets crazy on Saturdays, but with Monday being a holiday and all I suppose it could be worse....


2. I've been hearing that Kingda Ka and El Toro frequently don't open when the park does. Is this true, and if so, is there a time when they usually do open?


3. Flash Pass/Q-Bot: What would you recommend? Money's an issue here. The Gold Service for four people runs about $167, while the standard is around $70. Is the gold really worth the extra $100? And furthermore, does the standard service really help all that much?


4. Any suggestions on what to hit first, last, etc? Just general advice for getting on these rides without hour+ waits would be greatly appreciated, as I haven't been there in about 5 years.




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1. I would say Monday would be your best bet... It's going to be jammed all weekend but by Monday night, people need to travel back and the crowds SHOULD be lighter.


2. I've been to GADV a couple times this year and it's been the same thing both times... Head over to Kingda Ka and try to be one of the first in line, this is going to be hard to do if you're getting a q-bot... When it first opens it frequently goes down. What should be a 20 minute wait can easily turn into an hour and a half due to breakdowns and then having to tes tit again. Just wait it out if you want the ride... they start testing and then it's good to go for another half an hour or so before it happens again. With El Toro, I find that it's not usually open with the rest of the rides as they do block tetsing in the morning. You might see them stopping empty trains on the lift to test this, by the time you get your ride on Ka, I would head there next. the line may look very long for this but it moves quickly if they're running two trains.


3. I never use q-bot at SFGADV, and if you don't go there first you probably won't get one. Last year KK didn't have flashpass but I'm not sur e if it has it this year. The rides you will most likely need them on are Superman and Nitro on a busy day but everything else shouldn't be insane like them... El Toro's line moves well and KK is so unreliable it really doesn't make much difference as long as you get there early enough...


4. KK, El Toro, Medusa, Mine Train, skyride to other side of the park for Nitro, Batman, Skull Mountain, etc... The line for Superman gets very crowded so with you hitting the big rides early, it's hard to get on it either way. You may need to get that q-bot.


Hope this helps.

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Unfortunately SFGAdv has denigrated to a place that a Saturday trip would require the Gold Flash Pass to enjoy everything.


I went last Monday and it was not as holiday and it was still packed, SFGAdv is one of the few parks that is not less crowded on Monday holidays.


hard to tell when ET and KK will open each day.


If you don't get the Flash Pass I would head to Nitro and ride it a couple of times until the line builds and then hit B:TR and then Skull Mountain. Then head along the back of the park along the lake for a quiet walk to Medusa. Then after that you'll be waiting in line for the other major coasters when they open, no way around it without the Flash Pass. Unfortunately El Toro is the slowest moving line ever and exacerbated by all the Flash Pass users.

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I'd go on Saturday this time only due to the fact that weather is going to be VERY bad due to Ernesto coming to the Jersey area Friday night into Saturday. I can't imagine there will be that many people there if it's pouring rain... course, that makes the day less enjoyable but the crowds should be way less.


I have no problem going in the rain and actually try to go on days that it does rain for the very reason that it scares people away. You know, cause one could die if you got wet from raindrops.

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I totally agree with Larry. If KK or ET aren't open (since I'm sure those are the one's that you are very interested in) then get over to the other side of the park to hit up Nitro. The crowds are minimal for about an hour back there, so then you can get on Batman.


I would say that if El Toro isn't open by 11 then there is a problem. If Kingda Ka isn't open by 12 or if you see absolutely no activity near it, chances are it will be down all day.

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Monday it wasn't too bad. We only used the Flashpass for Kingda Ka. El Toro's line was filled, and we rode it 3 times! The lonmgest wait for El toro was 30 minutes. But on a weekend, You must get a flashpass! Actually Gold, but it costs alot!

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Non-Photo TR [sorry - didn't feel like carrying the camera around all day]


Well, we decided that due to the weather, Monday would be better for the trip. I was hoping to get there before 10 so we could get on some stuff without huge lines, but you all know how that usually goes. So we ended up getting in [admission lines are obscene there] around 11, and there was already a 2.5hr wait for KK and ET, so we waited an hour in another line to get a Q-bot/Flashpass [Gold]. After that, though, it was smooth sailing through the park.


The three of us decided to hit Ka first, and waited four minutes or so before the flashpass scanner thingy would let us on. As soon as we got up to the platform, I heard the ride ops call for a single rider - for the front seat. So, like the good friend I am, I ditched everyone for a front seat ride on Ka. Well, the ride was nothing short of insane, although much too short, and it really dries out your eyes. Still, it was awesome being able to look down the launch track and see the brakes drop. The rest is literally a blur, because my eyes were freaking out from the 128mph rush of wind.


So that was Ka. Then we did Medusa, which I've been on before, but it was interesting in its own way. I didn't trust my phone in the little bins they have on the platform, so I went on the ride without "securing all my loose articles." So I went through the ride and got out of the station before I even thought of the thing. When I finally did remember it [i was going to "steal" an onride photo with the camera on it], it was, of course, gone. I asked the attendant at the photo place what I could do about it, and she said that a phone had just fallen off and hit someone!! She got it from under the counter, and sure enough, it was mine. The phone apparently decided that it didn't like my pocket anymore about halfway through the zero-G. The attendant told me that security/first aid had to come and make sure that the woman it had hit was all right, and it didn't take them too long. Meanwhile, I apologized to the woman and her family. They of course were upset, and I mentioned that there are usually safety nets under inversions that are over/near walkways. One guy [i suppose her husband] said "Well then this is a lawsuit" or somethng like that. Then security arrived and said I was free to go. [For all those wondering - the phone is fine, just a few nicks from hitting the concrete] We then did Ka a second time [second row this time....], and then Medusa...again.


Then we hit Superman, got Nathan's, and hit Superman again. Skipped the Great American Death Machine. Nothing special there. My cousin, who had never been to GAdv, didn't believe that my name for it was fitting, and wanted to ride until people got off swearing about their heads. Then, I noticed that El Toro was finally running [it had been closed that morning] Scanned the Flash Pass, and found that it would be a 40 minute wait, even with the Gold Service. So, we killed some time on the log flume. When the three of us got on El Toro [back row], a ride op asked to have the restraints unlocked, declared that he was now on break, and jumped in the open seat in front of me next to my cousin. He suggested that we keep our hands up the entire time, but it is pretty much a physical impossibility, especially through the last few turns. Overall though, an awesome ride. The "Rolling Thunder" hill really is all it's hyped up to be, which surprised me. The whole ride surprised me, especially the way it runs the course at such a furious pace. After the ride, we hung out for a bit with the op [whose name is Ryan], got food, and such. Apparently, we were cool enough to get exit passes from him.


After that, we went over to Nitro, got on immediately with the Flashpass, and enjoyed the ride. Then Batman, which was another quick wait, except for the fact that someone got sick before we could get on. Apparently, none of the ride ops knew anything about what to do with antiseptic spray, paper towels, and sawdust, so we had to wait for some other employees to come and clean it up. Then we got on Batman, and it was pretty much a disappointment to me. Too much snap through the turns, transitions, and inversions. Basically the whole ride. It just didn't flow, IMO. We did Nitro again, and then a second ride on Batman because my friend and cousin like it so much...can't see why though. I knew Chiller was going to be closed, but seeing it and not being able to ride it was still a bummer.


After Batman, we took the chairlift thing over to the El Toro area, and used our wonderful exit passes. The GP didn't seem too pleased about it, though. Got the back seat again for another crazy ride - at night! It was getting late at that point, so we went over to Ka for one last ride. Took the back seat this time. It was all right [the lights on the launch track are cool], but it shook horribly during the launch, and actually gave me a bit of a headache. Got some airtime over the top, though. After that, we returned the Q-bot and drug our asses back to the car and headed home.



My thanks to all those who gave advice, especially about the Flashpass. It really was worth every cent, in my opinion.


So goes a day at Great Adventure.

- Oni

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Yes...I know that you could argue that I technically disobeyed the rules, but I really did not want my phone to grow legs while I was riding, and I did forget to mention that the phone was in fact in a velcro cargo pocket.

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