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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread

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I'm thinking about heading down for a day trip to the park in the near future and was wondering how "good" of a park Great Adventure is. I know I want to go mainly to ride El Toro and Kingda Ka, but other than that does the park have more extreme rides to offer? I've also heard that the park can be a zoo, and has bad operations....


Just curious!

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This was a tragic incident and it could have been avoided if human goose control measures, which are clearly needed here, were implemented


What the hell is that?


Had to be a typo for humane control... It's pretty good money too. A couple of Border Collies, some fake dog decoys a couple of times a week and you're done.

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I'm thinking about heading down for a day trip to the park in the near future and was wondering how "good" of a park Great Adventure is. I know I want to go mainly to ride El Toro and Kingda Ka, but other than that does the park have more extreme rides to offer? I've also heard that the park can be a zoo, and has bad operations....


Just curious!

I think Great Adventure is a pretty good park as far as rides go. Nitro should not be missed as well as the two you stated and Batman is a good intense invert but unless you have not ridden a Batman clone I wouldn't go out of your way for it. I found Green Lanturn to be one of the better stand ups but unless you are a fan of stand ups I would skip it as it can get long lines during the day and the lines thing also goes for Superman Ultimate Flight as well. Skull Mountain is a odd dark ride and if it has a short line I would ride it. Skip the Dark Knight and Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train as they are family coasters (but if you have time and are a credit whore then go for it!). Also, make sure to ride Bizarro as it is an intense floorless and the first one. This leaves Runaway Mine Train and Rolling Thunder which are sort of "meh" rides but are not rough or painful. As far as Flats go make sure to ride Houdini's Great Escape (one of only two Vekoma Mad Houses in the USA), the Parachute Tower (like the one that used to be at Knotts), Sky Ride, and Sky Screamer. Food is nothing special and over priced but Totally Kick In Chicken I found to be decent. As far as operations go, I didn't find them to be terrible, but not the best either if you go on a weekend make sure to buy a flash pass as lines can get long. Also if there is time and you are into animals, make sure to do the Safari next to the park.

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I'm thinking about heading down for a day trip to the park in the near future and was wondering how "good" of a park Great Adventure is. I know I want to go mainly to ride El Toro and Kingda Ka, but other than that does the park have more extreme rides to offer? I've also heard that the park can be a zoo, and has bad operations....


Just curious!



You might want to click on this link and read the reviews that TPR members have written.

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This was a tragic incident and it could have been avoided if human goose control measures, which are clearly needed here, were implemented


What the hell is that?


I just so happened to read an article written earlier today regarding geese...


Scientists take a bird’s eye view to prevent bird-aircraft collisions

Knowing how a bird sees can help us design planes that are easier to spot.


by Allie Wilkinson - July 17 2012, 7:15am CDT



The audio recordings are stark. “Birds,” the captain remarked. Thump. Thud. Then a shuddering sound was heard, followed by a decrease in engine noise as both of the engines’ fans started to slow. “Mayday mayday mayday...this is....Cactus fifteen-fourty-nine. Hit birds. We’ve lost thrust in both engines. We’re turning back towards LaGuardia.” Unable to safely make it back to the airport, the captain announced, “We’re gonna brace,” before dramatically ditching the plane on the Hudson River.


The emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 gave increased media attention to bird-aircraft collisions, which poses a significant concern globally to both civil and military aviation. In addition to safety issues, bird strikes also pose a significant financial burden; worldwide, the cost to civil aviation alone exceeds $1.2 billion a year.


Because birds see so differently from humans, scientists are relying on their knowledge of bird visual systems to come up with possible solutions to reduce the risk of wildlife strikes to airplanes. New research by the US Department of Agriculture has found that using lights to make airplanes more visible to birds could help reduce the risk of bird strikes. The study, which examined how Canada geese responded to different radio-controlled model airplanes, is the first of its kind and was published last week in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology.


Many bird species are adapting to living in urban environments, and quieter aircraft engines are more difficult for birds to detect and avoid. As a result, the threat of bird-aircraft collisions has grown. While success has been achieved in reducing bird strikes in the vicinity of the airport, little has been done to decrease risk beyond airport property. The risk for bird strikes at 500 feet above ground level has been increasing at a greater rate than those occurring below 500 feet, and over 20 percent of bird-aircraft collisions reported to the FAA occurred at altitudes over 2500 feet above ground level.


A team of researchers from the USDA, Indiana State University, and Purdue University used three radio-controlled model airplanes—one with the lights off, one with the lights on, and one painted to resemble a bird of prey—to test the response of Canada geese, a species responsible for a high rate of damaging bird strikes (including the one with US Airways Flight 1549). Although a predator might be more relevant to the geese’s normal experience, knowledge of the birds’ visual system suggested that light might capture their attention more readily.


The researchers found that geese responded more quickly to the model airplane with lights on, responding approximately 4 seconds earlier than the standard airplane with lights off. Using average flight speeds, the researchers estimate that geese responded to the aircraft with lights on from approximately 1,325 feet away, as opposed to 856 feet away with the lights off.


The study also found that geese responded the same way to both the standard airplane and the predator model. This finding is important, because to date, aviation authorities have not considered how birds respond to aircraft approach.


Since previous studies have found evidence that birds that collided with airplanes had tried to avoid them prior to impact, this earlier detection of planes could give birds the chance to effectively avoid collision. The authors conclude by noting that geese are very sensitive to violet and UV light, which could make the design of warning systems even more effective.



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Here's a trip report from my visit today!


Alright, so the plan was for my sister and her fiancee, my future brother in law, to meet at my place at 9:30 so we could get to the park, park the car, and get inside before the rope drop. Well, you know, best laid plans and all...


Turns out she set the alarm for PM and instead woke up at 8:45am panicking. They live in Ventnor Beach, which is just south of Atlantic City, a pretty good drive to my place in Howell, 10 miles east of Six Flags. I'm all set, having just sat down to breakfast when my phone rings and her out of breath voice is on the other end apologizing and saying they're gonna be on the road ASAP.


Fast forward to 10:20-ish. They finally show up, we all pile into my car and hit the road. We got to the park just before 11am.


Oh, side note - This is the first day in FOREVER that the sun wasn't bearing down on NJ and the temperature wasn't in the mid to high 90s. Thanks to a line of sever storms that rolled through last night, the weather was hovering around 80 degrees with a very gray sky all day. This means people were afraid to go outside, resulting in only moderate crowds in the middle of July. Yay!


Anyways, we get into the park and I immediately suggest we go to Sky Screamer for three reasons. 1, I know the capacity is horrible so we should just get it out of the way. 2, I am terrified of Star Flyers (more on that soon). 3, my sister has never ridden one and she has a SERIOUS fear of heights.


Now, a quick background on why I hate and love Star Flyers. I rode the one in Orlando and just recently the one in Germany at Holiday Park. Both petrified me with their minimalist seat design. I mean, really? Plastic seats, thin chains, one tiny metal bar and a crotch buckle?! I'm gonna die on those things! I've always had a fear of wave swingers because I swear the chain is gonna break, so when you put that ride on a 200-foot tower and spin it at high speeds, I start to lose it a bit. The one in Orlando terrified me, but it was an early model, a simple up and down and done. Then I got to Holiday Park and rode theirs. They had an extra seat belt, but still plastic chairs and all that other hoo-ha. Oh, and they had a new-ish model that goes up and then yo-yo's up and down three times before finally stopping. Combine this with a VERY strong wind above the tree line that made your seat rock back and forth and spin side to side, you have the makings of a Kyle Torture Device.


I say all of these things, but I still love them. Mainly because they are the one ride that can seriously terrify me, and I respect the hell out of that. Now let's get back to Sky Screamer.


We get to the ride and see the line isn't horrible, but it's taking forever because, let's be honest, these aren't the best rides for a super-busy park. Beau (future brother-in-law) heard me mention Flash Pass and said screw it, let's go get one. He ended up buying the group the Gold Flash Pass. We walked right onto Sky Screamer. Sweet!


I realize prior to boarding that, this being the latest model, has much firmer seats. Mostly metal construction with legitimate buckles, including a full-on seatbelt across your chest. This made me feel a LOT more comfortable in the ride and less like I was seconds away from a gory death. Now, don't get me wrong, the ride still freaks me the hell out, but I was able to relax my death-grip on the safety bar and actually look around this time, as opposed to Orlando and Germany where I had locked my vision straight ahead and even the jaws of life wouldn't get my fingers off of the bar.


We realized going up the tower that they had installed speakers in the tower blasting AC/DC's Thunderstruck, which is awesome in it's own right, but even cooler today due to the heavy cloud cover and threat of storms. The ride was great. It scared me, but it still allowed me to have a good time. Watching my sister shake from nerves for the 10 minutes following the ride made the entire day worth it, and we were only one ride in, haha.


Anyways, from there we worked our way around the park with the Flash Pass. We did Dark Knight next which is still just a mouse in a box with a lot of broken effects and a few crappy working effects. After that it was off to Batman and wow, it was running as fast and furious as the day it opened. I really don't know how this ride manages to stay as good as it was 19 years ago, but it does. Side note, wow, I'm getting old. This was my first looping coaster and that was 19 years ago. Holy hell...


Off to Nitro next. After being bored to tears from B&M hypers I wasn't expecting much. I should note that I have ridden Nitro before, but it's been years since I went to Great Adventure. I completely forgot that this was a really good ride with a ton of airtime. We rode in the back and had a blast.


Skull Mountain was next. Yeah, still Skull Mountain. Crappy blacklight effects and a soundtrack that can hardly be heard. Hooray, I guess.


We worked our way over to the Log Flume and rode. I should tell you guys that Beau is a pretty big guy. He's not fat, just friggin' huge. And he got the front of the log. This ride went from being among the dryest log flumes to HOLY WOW WHY AM I SOAKED?! Thanks to Beau sitting in front we caused a tidal wave on the last drop that absolutely covered the entire log in a deluge of water. Lots of fun, still! I love this flume. It's long, it meanders, and it has two smaller, quick drops that pack a lot of speed.


Runaway train was next. The restraints are still horrible, the transitions are among the worst I've seen, but that final airtime hill never fails to cause ejector air. It sucks but I still love it.


After this we were going to do Bizzaro but the Q-Bot buzzed at us to tell us that Green Lantern had finally opened. We immediately reserved it and had a 5-minute wait. Well, it would be a 5-minute walk, so let's go!


Green Lantern was fun, though I do prefer Riddler's Revenge. I never got a chance to ride this as Chang, but it's already starting to show through the paint on the trains and the tracks that this is a transplant. There are a bunch of spots on the train where the red and yellow are clearly visible and the track's wheel marks are grinding to the old paint. Its not a real complaint, but for a ride being only a year old you would think the paint would last a little longer. This thing pulls some serious G-forces in the second half, so much so that it was starting to become painful on my legs. Luckily I was able to perfect my posture for our second ride and it wasn't nearly as bad on my muscles. That horizontal loop is evil if you have the wrong stance, btw, so watch out, haha. Also, this is one of the few rides who's layout is still a mystery to me. After the horizontal loop it just makes random left and right turns all over the place and I loved the disorientation. The second corkscrew caught me completely by surprise both rides.


Superman was up next and, while it is a fun ride, felt like it was running slow today. It could have been due to the weather, but the pretzel loop was practically forceless! We did get to witness someone in the rows ahead of us lose their phone and watch it smash into pieces on the rocks below the loop, though. That was cool!


After Superman we got a notification from the Q-Bot that Kingda Ka decided to work again! Hooray, we can ride a one trick pony! Let's go!


Beau had never been on the ride before so I let him and my sister ride the front row while I went for the second. The launch is great, the view is great, but the ride is meh at best. Up, down, twist, hill. So many people love this thing but I just get bored with it. On to El Toro!!!!!


Now, I mentioned I haven't been to the park in a long time and honestly, I was expecting El Toro to have gone the way of Rolling Thunder. I was really expecting a rough ride that is a shadow of it's former self. Boy, was I wrong.


We went straight to the back row. Right off the bat, I completely forgot how unbelievably steep the first drop is. I mean, holy crap! Ejector air on the first drop and the first two hills. The turnaround is fast and furious, and the return run is nice, though no airtime. And then it was time....for....THE HILL. If you've ridden before you know what I'm talking about. Right after the left hand turn around the station, you go up, and then right back down a drop that's pretty much as steep as the first drop. Riding in the back causes the most terrifying ejector airtime available on earth. You don't even get to the top of the hill when you're launched from your seat and then the ride pushes you even further out of your seat the entire time down the drop. Absolutely incredible. And the twister section is just turn after turn at such high speed. Sheer relentlessness and adrenaline. This ride is stunning and I love the hell out of it.


Finally we made our way to Bizarro and, to be honest, I'm kind of sad we even bothered. The ride crew was the worst I have ever encountered anywhere. They were running three trains and they wouldn't start checking the train in the station until train number 3 hit the final brake run. Meanwhile, the train would come in, unload, people would climb on and close their restraints and be ready to go before the last train even left the lift hill. These ride ops were busy crowding around the control desk talking with each other or texting on their phones to bother doing their damn job. Once the train hit the final brakes they would then "check" the train, which consisted of them lazily plodding to each seat with a "I hate my life" look on their face as they nudged the harnesses. It took over 2 minutes for them to check each train. Every time. I couldn't believe I was witnessing it.


As for the ride, well, it hasn't aged well. There's a few random headbangs, the LED tunnel at the bottom of the drop has a few broken strips, the flamethrowers are a lost relic, and the sound system is almost blown out. At least the two speakers on my seat seemed to be. They were quiet and extremely distorted. The final corkscrew is still cool, though, because of how close you get to the scenery.


Those ride ops, though, were absolutely atrocious. I feel sorry for the trip members on August 1st if they get stuck with them.


We went back to Kingda Ka after that and rode in the second car, rows 3 and 4. Oh god, what have they done to this thing?!?!!?!?! It was like sitting through a 9-pointer earthquake! It was horrible! The front car was great, but WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REST OF THE TRAIN?!


After that we rode El Toro, Green Lantern, and Superman one more time before calling it a day. Overall I had a great time (thanks, Flash Pass!) except for the wretched Bizarro crew and the second Kingda Ka ride. El Toro is running extremely well, Batman is still great, Nitro rocks, Green Lantern is nice, and Sky Screamer is terrifying/awesome. Maybe I'll return in a year or two, but I'm in no great hurry, hahaha.

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^UGH that crew still hasn't gotten their act together yet?! Honestly, I thought they were bad in the beginning of the season with trying to load the whole damn train with people and that they wouldn't dispatch the train until they had that single rider fill the last seat on the train. I mean, I like to see a crew try to fill most of the empty seats but, one rider isn't going to make a big difference in capacity and how fast the line moves, if anything it slows the line down by waiting for one person to fill the empty seat, none of the other crews were doing this but why are they? Also talking/texting on a cell phone while working the ride is BAD. The crew should be trying to work the ride and keep the line moving at a reasonable pace and not waiting for ALL 3 trains to hit the break run just so they can text each other. Judging by what you said, that whole crew should be fired. Also, about Kingda Ka, I think the OTSR's ruin the whole ride by making the rattle down the launch track more noticeable. I think if Dragster had OTSR's the ride would be just as bad as Kingda Ka. Also, they are kinda pointless considering Dragster has lap bars and shares a similar layout to Kingda Ka and that Formula Rossa is faster then Kingda Ka by about 20mph and has lap bars, why does Kingda Ka have OTSR's? If I had to guess, it has something to do with insurance costs.

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I was at Six Flags Great Adventure for the first time on Tuesday. Overall, I loved the park. It was great in many aspects, but here is what my day was like, ride-wise:


El Toro: First up was the main reason we came: El Toro. I have to say, wow! This ride is incredible. The airtime was amazing and the ride was fast and intense and I loved it. It may not be my favorite wooden coaster, but it is up there! Immediately after our first ride, we got back in line and rode it again! Overall: 10/10


Rolling Thunder: Rolling Thunder was next, mainly because it was right next door. The ride ops weren't the greatest. They took awhile to load/unload the trains. We were sitting on the brake run for a little bit of time. However, I did like how they said enjoy your ride to every person after they checked their restraint. That was nice. Overall, the ride wasn't bad. It wasn't great and it wasn't bad. It was fun. It didn't feel rough at all. The drops didn't feel steep at all. Overall: 6/10


Kingda Ka: I wasn't expecting much when I decided to ride this, after what I heard about it. But, wow! Was I impressed! Kingda Ka was a lot better than I thought it would be. The launch was amazing and the view was amazing. Sure it was a short ride, but the ride itself was so much fun. Now, Kingda Ka is my #2 coaster. Overall: 10/10


Saw Mill Log Flume: This is now my favorite traditional log flume (Overall favorite is Splash Mountain). This ride was pretty long and the employees in the little booths at the top of the lifts and right before the drops were really nice as well, while on the rest of the log flumes I've been on, they just sit there and read. Also, the drops were really fun. Overall: 10/10


Runaway Mine Train: Again, another ride I wasn't expecting much of, but wow did this ride impress me. It may not be the most exciting in the first half, but the second half is so fun. I got three huge pops of airtime at the end, which I loved. Overall: 8/10


Skull Mountain: This ride was okay. I did, however, get ejector airtime on the first drop. Some of the effects on the ride were cool and the sound was awesome. Overall, not my favorite ride, but an okay one that gave me mild quizziness. Overall: 7/10


Congo Rapids: Not a very good rapids ride. I can recall the ride having 3 rapids... Overall: 6/10


Nitro: My favorite coaster. This ride was absolutely insane! The ride was SO comfortable. The seats and restraints were just so relaxing. I could've fallen asleep on the lift hill if I wanted to. The airtime also felt amazing. It wasn't like El Toro's or Skyrush's airtime which jacks your legs up into the restraint, it just makes go lightly into the restraint while still getting a lot of it. Also, the helix felt absolutely awesome. I love putting my hands up in it because it is so hard to do. The second time I rode Nitro, I blacked out on it, which was actually fun. Overall: 20/10


The Dark Knight Coaster: I loved this ride. Not loved like Nitro or Kingda Ka, but loved like really enjoyed. I thought the preshow was cool and the effects weren't bad. The ride ops were nice and they gave me a high five . They also let us go a second time because the preshow wasn't over for the next group of riders. Definitely my favorite wild mouse. Overall: 8/10.


Sky Ride: I enjoyed the view on Sky Ride. It took us back over to the Runaway Mine Train area, so I could get rerides on Runaway Mine Train, El Toro, and Kingda Ka. Then, I had the choice between riding El Toro for a fourth time, or riding Nitro for a second. Obviously, I'd choose Nitro. So, I got my last ride of the day on Nitro and we left the park.

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Yesterday I took a trip to the park for a few hours in the evening, and was happily surprised by the progress of Fender Benders. I snapped a few shots so check 'em out!




Concrete Base.




It's just a tad elevated from the existing concrete.








Plastic protection from the elements.




Bertazzon cleverly labeled their cars.




The cars fit the retro theme of the area.




Framework for the shelter.




There is also a large crane on the site.



That is all of my pictures. Thanks for reading!

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I know this has probably been ask here before but I never been up to the park in October. I am thinking about taking my friend who has never been to the park up there in October. My question is are all the coasters and most of the flats open? He wants to ride all coasters and many of the flats.


Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!!

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^ I was up there with a friend last October and all the coasters were running. We didn't do many flats, but I don't remember seeing anything noteworthy closed. So the answer to your question is YES!


I would recommend going sometime before Halloween and/or buying a Flash Pass.

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Yeah the park can get insanely crowded in October. I remember last year it was mentioned on at least 1 Saturday, the main lot, overflow lot, Hurricane Harbor lot were all full with cars also parking on the grass.


I usually go on Friday nights which arent too crowded especially compared to Saturday or Sunday. Columbus Day is also good since many schools don't have off that day.

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(7/24/12) The latest word on the proposed 400+ ft drop tower ride that would be mounted to backside of Kingda Ka is that they are still very interested in the concept, especially after the popular response Six Flags has been getting for Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Look for this to possible rise up for the 2014 season.


From: Screamscape

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I've always known SFGADV as a park with a great selection of flats and coasters, a drop tower ride would make the variety even better. I think they have been due for a modern age drop tower for some time now, would love to see the Golden Kingdom expanded to include this rumored project. Imagine the views of the safari animals as you climb to the summit.

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Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has sent us a press release regarding the opening of their latest addition, King Cobra!


King Cobra, America’s first cobra-themed, racing tube slide, today bares its venomous fangs at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.


King Cobra promises one of the most extreme riding experiences in the industry while also delivering great spectator appeal. Complete with bold red, black and white scales to resemble a massive cobra on both the interior and exterior, this slide tower is the first of its kind anywhere in the United States, and its opening is presented by Kia Motors.


King Cobra’s unique configuration enables two tubes to race through a circular path with twists, turns and surprises through enclosed and open sections of the slide at speeds up to 32 miles per hour. The ride’s finale features a sudden, 25-foot plunge at a 50-degree angle with riders racing until the heart-pounding finish as they appear to be swallowed by the massive jaws of the cobra.


King Cobra is manufactured by Polin, a world leader in the aquatic industry with its innovative design, manufacturing and installation of water parks in 80 countries around the globe. King Cobra marks Polin’s first major U.S. installation in the company’s 35-year history.


“We are confident that King Cobra’s intense ride experience and unparalleled design will make it our most popular and entertaining water attraction,” said Park President John Fitzgerald.


The serpentine water slide is the fourth of five new rides to open at the Jackson, New Jersey complex this season. The Six Flags Great Adventure theme park launched SkyScreamer, a 24-story extreme swing ride; Déjà Vu, a music-themed scrambler; and the Air Jumbo flying elephants in the newly-themed Adventure Alley. Later this summer, new Fender Benders bumper cars will complete the additions.


“Our five new rides are perfect for families, which is exactly what guests were asking for as a complement to our signature collection of thrill rides,” Fitzgerald added.


For more information, visit http://www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharbornj






Edited by jedimaster1227
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Neat! It's interesting seeing Polin getting their slides here into the U.S.


As for the drop tower idea, I say "woah!" That idea has lingered in my head before, but I never knew that they would actually consider doing that! Heck! Maybe Intamin could now find ways to sell drop tower/strata coaster combos.


I say thay should dig a ditch as deep as they can under Kingda Ka for the drop tower to fall into, just so they can have a much higher falling distance! Think we can get it to have a distance of 500ft?!

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Only 200 pounds maximum? Is that normal for a boomerang slide to be so low? I guess having only single tubes will help, but it just seems really low. Hopefully they'll have a scale or something at the entrance so people don't wait in line only to not be let on.


Also, El Toro has again been ad wrapped, but I'd say these are much better than the stride ads and actually look kinda cool.



Pictures from GrAdvHistory

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