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Photo TR: Derek and Nicole do SF Great Adventure


DerekRx
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Last time Nicole came to visit me was over New Years, and I decided to take her to Jersey (it makes Pennsylvania appear much nicer ). So, when she came back down for Easter, once again we decided to go to New Jersey, this time to Great Adventure. April is always a weird month around here, though usually temps are in the 50s. Well, either Nicole brought the cold weather with her from Buffalo, or those Canadians just can't control their arctic winds, because all weekend it was in the 30s. We were thinking about skipping it for now, but we already had made plans with Bret and family for the night before, and Nicole could get in for free to SF with my SP coupon book, so we figured why not see what'll be opened.

 

Turns out it was a great call on our part, as pretty much every coaster was either opened, or would open while we were there (though "apparently" Chiller opened up shortly after we left). The only things she missed out on were the kiddie coaster, tivoli, 1 side of Rolling Thunder, and Chiller. We didn't get to the park at opening, figuring that it would take some time to get everything up and running, so we arrived around 11. A few observations:

 

Lots of costumed characters around the park in various areas, which is great, except with hardly any children in the park, they looked very bored and cold.

Multi-train operations were everywhere except El Toro. Even Kingda Ka had 4 trains running (when it was actually operating). Hardly any waits for anything

Friendly employees were abundant. Everyone seemed to tell you to have fun or ask if you're having a nice day, or staying warm, etc while checking your restraints. Most employees were also quite efficient. Even the X-ray security dudes were happy.

Lots of "no smoking" signs, even the employees had buttons on.

 

We've seen this before last year at the start of the season, but let's hope it continues for longer this year! If it continues, SF will definitely impress me. Onto the pics:

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The former site of Stuntman's Freefall. Sorry Joey!

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Robin and its S curve hill thing, Batman and its gap

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Apparently these worker dudes were finishing the inspection on Chiller or something. Who'd a known!?

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mmmm, forces good!

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This would happen to be Nicole's first Batman: The Ride. It's no Nemesis :( but also no Talon :)

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Two great coasters, 1 short walk between them

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Whatever this ride was called, it was pretty cold, but freaking great! And the ops would even let you stay on

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Just in case you forgot what the name of the ride was

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Still unsure of the theme, but who cares, it's an awesome coaster

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But Looney Tunes Seaport still exists, and Foghorn is awaiting a rematch with Robb

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This Zamperla bouncy thing was rethemed from Looney Tunes

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The yellow B&M corner of the park with some of Wiggles World nearby

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This year's newly rethemed kiddie area is Wiggle's World. I know nothing about them

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Hooray for Skull Mountain! Nicole had no idea what she was in for. And then I made her sit in the backseat with me and my beer gut :D

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One of the only closed coasters that I would think should have been opened

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Random entertainment that Nicole got all excited for because it was musical. Then I started making up lyrics for the song and that killed the moment

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The new, larger Flashpass center over towards Fort Independence. I feel kinda sorry for the schmucks who paid for this today!

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As of this picture, Kingda Ka was Kinda Klosed. This is what Nicole thinks of that!

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From this picture, you'd think it was a nice day and the people were warm and enjoying their ride. Amazing filter the Arrow corkscrew must have

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Jahan, this coathanger loop's for you bud!

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mmm, sweet El Toro, sweet sweet airtime (oh yeah, and Kingda Ka too)

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So I agreed to the swap. And then Petunia got all nervous when I broke out the BBQ sauce

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Nicole wanted to trade me in for someone more Porky

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I think it's the first time I ever sat in the front on this. Although to have Nicole experience the Arrow coathanger awesomeness, we probably should have gone toward the back

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Runaway Train was packed

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I like tacos. It has nothing to do with this photo, but I just thought you'd like to know if you actually read these captions

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By the zero g roll, Nicole proclaimed it was a better ride than Hydra. I proclaim that as of the lifthill

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Next up, Medusa, which seems to hardly get any love these days at SFGAd

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I think the cable lift is faster than the maximum speed of Rolling Thunder. The crew was really doing well too with 4 people checking restraints

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and to make things even better, this is as long as the line would get all day, about 30 minutes with a 1 train operation

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Of course, right next to it you'll find the most meaningful woodie in all of Jersey, El Toro. Running only 1 train, but at least it's opened before noon!

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Next up for Nicole, the awesomeness that is Rolling Dumpster, right side. No where else in Jersey will you find a more meaningless woodie

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The white tiger in Kingda Kaland (the Golden Kingdom) was all "WTF, why's it all cold and junk!?"

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Nicole says "um, I don't like this ride anymore"

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Of course, in true Derek's luck, Superman broke down with us on the brake run. Joy

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You know it's empty out when Superman has no wait (and the fact there were only like 150 cars in the parking lot!)

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On the way into the park it seemed that only Superman was running, so that's where we went first, as Nicole needed every credit there

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Lots of costumed characters were stationed throughout the park, though there were very few kids to enjoy them

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Here we are at SFGAd on a very cold, dreary day in Jersey. But look, the skyride is running!

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and so, we actually really had a good day at SFGAd. Maybe it was cold, but the lack of crowds and the overall cheeriness of the employees along with running the rides well got us in a good mood. We'll definitely be back!

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But that's fine, it was short and sweet, and didn't involve trying to step over 1200 people and 900 strollers on your way out of the park

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Some floats were better themed than others

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Short parade of only a few floats, each with like 2 or 3 characters

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Poor Wonder Woman! No wonder women hate comic book geeks

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On our way out, the parade was just starting

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With our second ride only taking 10 minutes, we were quite happy with our day at SFGAd. We would have stayed longer, but we made dinner plans back in PA

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El Toro is definitely a woodie ;)

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and then it was over to El Toro for another ride

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and then it broke down again with us in the brakes, so after they got us back in the station, they took a train off. Cha-ching!

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With only like 20 minutes of downtime, Ka opened back up and we were on the 2nd train out (with all 4 running!)

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and while in line for Houdini, we saw Ka running, so we ran over (you can't see it running here because it's broke again)

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On our way back to El Toro, we stopped off at Houdini's Great Escape. Nicole was hoping it would teleport us to New York so she could ride Comet. It didn't, but she still liked it

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Chiller again, with the jumping Batman side

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So, some parks have running BMs in the cold . . .

 

Let me rephrase . . .

 

So, SFGA can operate their B&M coasters when it's less than 40 degrees (apparently).

 

Cool TR, indeed.

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OK, so since this was my first trip to the park, here are my thoughts.

 

The Golden Kingdom section and Wiggles World were really nice, but the rest of the park looked kind of dumpy. Some of the midways need a good repaving and maybe some flowers and trees. I had a really good time at the park, and really enjoyed many of their coasters. However, I can see how it could get annoying when crowded. Here's what I thought about the coasters:

 

GASM - I was expecting pain from this ride, but received none. I think I have been well-trained in defensive Arrow riding from growing up with Viper at SFDL.

 

Nitro - I thought Nitro was AWESOME. It was my first B&M hyper, and I really liked it, especially the bunny hops at the end. The first time we rode, they took me by surprise.

 

El Toro - Yeah... hi. El Toro kicks butt. More parks need to get Intamin woodies.

 

Medusa - The only other floorless I have ridden was Hydra. Medusa is pretty fun, and not at all vibraty like Hydra.

 

Skull Mountain - I didn't know anything about this ride before I rode it, except for the fact that it is indoors. HOLY HECK the airtime on the first drop caught me by surprise!

 

Rolling Thunder - Rolling dumpster.. yeah. It's a coaster.

 

B:TR - This was my first B:TR. B&M inverts are definitely my favorite "coaster format". I didn't B:TRs had two vertical loops! Definitely a fun and forceful ride.

 

S:UF - Yawn. This ride is very short and weird. The pretzel loop is interesting, but then the ride just kind of wanders around. At the brake run, I was like, is this the MCBR?? Wait, that was the whole ride?

 

Runaway Mine Train - it's a mine train.. wooo

 

Kingda Ka - Hmm, what to say about this one? The launch is great, then it's VIBRATE VIBRATE VIBRATE up the tower... ouch my brains. The view from the top is spectacular, but then it's VIBRATE VIBRATE VIBRATE back down the tower. I would probably not wait more than 15 minutes to ride this again. If it's a walk-on, sure, why not. It's just nothing special IMO, which is a shame because it's the "Tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world".

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The photo of Chiller with the signs and the queue out front suddenly made me really, really miss coasters (haven't been on one for two years now).

 

Looks like it was fun! Avoiding a theme park because it's cold is for weenies.

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Hey, I was there on opening day. Kingda Ka, El Toro and GASM all had periods of downtime.

 

But...

 

I was on the VERY FIRST TRAIN El Toro ran in the '07 season!

 

That is, after waiting for an hour for some electrical problems to be fixed.

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This kinda reminded me of our trip last June when there was a lot of rain. I think there were about 300 people in the park when were there. Yeah Nitro does kick a lot of butt, especially while you ride in the front row while it is pouring rain....ouch! It really sucks to get stuck on the break run on Superman, especially if you have to go poopie. Whenever you get the chance to ride Tatsu, I think you will like that one a whole lot better than Superman.

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Looks like at the most, 50 cars. It was really dead that day.

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Hey Derek and Nicole I can't believe I didn't saw you guys ! I think we were on the same train on Kingda Ka on front row ! (green train, left lower side of the station) and they took it out after it broke down again with us on the brakes !

 

It didn't vibrate at all on front row ! Great trip report ! That day was super fun but coooolllddd.... at least it wasn't snowing like at Hersheypark the day before !

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In your opinion (Derek/Nicole) which coaster is better, Apollo or Nitro?

Nicole hasn't been on Apollo's Chariot yet, but I prefer Nitro. Apollo is a nice ride with lots of fun floater air, but I think I like Nitro's drop and U-turn and helix better than Apollo's first drop and random turnaround.

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In your opinion (Derek/Nicole) which coaster is better, Apollo or Nitro?

Nicole hasn't been on Apollo's Chariot yet, but I prefer Nitro. Apollo is a nice ride with lots of fun floater air, but I think I like Nitro's drop and U-turn and helix better than Apollo's first drop and random turnaround.

 

I found Apollo's last few hills much stronger then Nitro's. I wish you could merge the two rides and keep it in Jackson.

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