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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread


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Awesome article, thanks Ryan. It really gives me an appreciation for what goes on at the park. However, I was getting the vibe that they are a little too afraid to spend money after the Premier days and, most recently, Zumanjaro. The parking lot issue bugs me less knowing it isn't a cheap, simple fix. You can't blame them for that. I'm still hopeful for either a dark ride or new coaster next year, but now I'm not entirely sure that's in the plans. The fact that they're finally turning a profit and emphasizing how coasters are not in the plans leads me to believe they're not jumping on the opportunity for a major coaster. Some great info, also very excited for Holiday in the Park!

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Does that mean they won't run Zumanjaro much at all, since it can't run concurrently with Ka yet?

 

Also, after reading the article Ryan posted, I retract my previous statement and outrage about El Diablo. I can understand the logic behind putting something like that in. Hopefully I can make it down to New Jersey at some point this summer to see the changes that I have missed (I believe the last time I was in the park, GASM was still operational and standing).

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Last year they ran Zumanjaro as fast as possible and Kingda Ka was the one that suffered. This year I hope they make it a point to let at least 2 Ka trains launch between Zumnajaro dispatches as last year it was often less than that. I think that's the best option for both rides given this unfortunate situation.

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Last year they ran Zumanjaro as fast as possible and Kingda Ka was the one that suffered. This year I hope they make it a point to let at least 2 Ka trains launch between Zumnajaro dispatches as last year it was often less than that. I think that's the best option for both rides given this unfortunate situation.

 

I agree with that. Has Ka begun to show any sign of age yet? After all, it's the tenth year of operation. Have they overhauled the hydraulic system within the last few years, or are those systems quite durable?

 

I hate to sound ignorant on the subject, I just haven't kept up with roller coasters in the past couple of years.

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^ That's what I've heard but I don't see the point in riding it anywhere besides the front row anyway. I think Dragster and Ka are both let downs in any other seat but in the front they're both some of the most amazing experiences you can have on a coaster in the country (notice I didn't say "most amazing coasters"... they're not, but the feeling of being launched at those insane speeds in the front seat is awesome).

 

My advice to anyone who dislikes this ride is to ride it in the front. You'll never bother riding it anywhere else.

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Personally I've never had a problem with Kingda Ka, and I've never actually waited for the front row (I was about to one visit in 2014, but they shut it down when I was first in line for the day for the threat of rain). I usually ride once per visit every time I make to the park, and I've ridden all throughout the train. With that said, I've never had a problem with the roughness. No, it's not glass smooth, and there are noticeable vibrations further back in the train, but to me it doesn't make it "pointless" to ride. It's an amazing experience no matter where you sit, but even better towards the front.

Comparing to Dragtser, which I have about as many rides on throughout the train, I would agree Dragster is the better ride and is slightly smoother.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Six Flags defender by any means. However, I would argue the roughness has more to do with the train design than maintenance, or lack of. Dragster's trains sit closer to the track and vibrate much less, combined with lap bars only that don't press down into your thighs. They also look really sleek, while Ka's are fairly ugly, IMO. You can't blame everything on Six Flags, or would you rather them have just not built Kingda Ka at all?

Or Scream, for that matter. I'd rather have a seven inversion, high capacity B&M floorless on a parking lot than, well, a parking lot.

Ka isn't the smoothest launch I've ever ridden, but it's far from the roughest coaster out there, and I wouldn't call it brutal at all.

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^ I would agree that it's the trains, too, but TTD is still vastly superior. KK is a fun ride in the first two cars or so, but the rest isn't worth it. I remember grabbing a seat in the back last year that rattled me so hard it drastically changed my opinion of the ride.

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I don't mean to change the topic, but I was curious. I'm not the finance type, but going back to the winter adventure write up, how could the park have possibly survived if 2010 was the first ever year the park turned a profit? Wouldn't they be forced to declare bankruptcy rather quickly? Obviously this happened after the Premier days, but how did this last before then? Very interesting to me.

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I don't mean to change the topic, but I was curious. I'm not the finance type, but going back to the winter adventure write up, how could the park have possibly survived if 2010 was the first ever year the park turned a profit? Wouldn't they be forced to declare bankruptcy rather quickly? Obviously this happened after the Premier days, but how did this last before then? Very interesting to me.

 

Perhaps they always either broke pretty much even, or fell short just enough to survive. Mind you, I'm not the financial type either.

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Ive only ridden KK a handful of times and once was in the very back. Just awful. Mucho vibrations, and felt like the entire back of the train was fishtailing from side to side during the launch. Not enjoyable in the slightest. Ive ridden it all over the train but never again in the back - and I usually ride every coaster in the back.

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I've never ridden it in the back. Only in the front (most of the times) and three times in other seats which were rougher then than the front but not really enough to make the ride unpleasant. (maybe that's because I've never tried the very back)

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For KK is the entire ride rough or just part of the launch cause after riding TTD 5 times at the very back or really close I didn't feel any roughness except for when the train started its upwards descent or while go through a rollback( when the train started to re-enter the launch track area) but those instances of roughness only lasted of upmost a part of a second to a full second. If the ride is rough throughout I feel like it would just fully detract from the ride experience. Unfortunately when I was at Gadv KK was closed due to Zumanjaro construction.

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For KK is the entire ride rough or just part of the launch cause after riding TTD 5 times at the very back or really close I didn't feel any roughness except for when the train started its upwards descent or while go through a rollback( when the train started to re-enter the launch track area) but those instances of roughness only lasted of upmost a part of a second to a full second. If the ride is rough throughout I feel like it would just fully detract from the ride experience. Unfortunately when I was at Gadv KK was closed due to Zumanjaro construction.
when I rode Ka many years ago I remember the launch being the most rough part of the ride. It was awful compared to Dragster. However it's been years so I don't know how things have changed in time.
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For KK is the entire ride rough or just part of the launch cause after riding TTD 5 times at the very back or really close I didn't feel any roughness except for when the train started its upwards descent or while go through a rollback( when the train started to re-enter the launch track area) but those instances of roughness only lasted of upmost a part of a second to a full second. If the ride is rough throughout I feel like it would just fully detract from the ride experience. Unfortunately when I was at Gadv KK was closed due to Zumanjaro construction.

 

For me, the launch is actually the smooth part. Once the train hits top speed, that's when the rattling begins. Once the launch is complete, the ride is pretty unbearable in rear seats.

 

If they got the softer Intamin restraints founds on I305 and soon-to-be Maverick, it'd probably improve the experience significantly. But, hey, let's face it, that's not happening.

Edited by michaellynn4
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If you can avoid the last couple rows of Kingda Ka, for me at least, there is no roughness to complain about. Towards the back there is some shuffling and vibrating, but only towards the last couple hundred feet of the launch track and less than halfway up the tower... which is less than two seconds. Near the front of the train, Kingda Ka is really an incredible experience that shouldn't be missed. I have a difficult time calling most of the seats "rough" at all. If you could handle a ride like the defunct GASM or Rolling Thunder not on its best days, you would have reason to complain about Kingda Ka. Sit in pretty much the first four rows, and really there's no roughness at all.

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If you could handle a ride like the defunct GASM or Rolling Thunder not on its best days, you would have reason to complain about Kingda Ka.

 

The main difference here is that GASM and RT were walk-ons more often than not, whereas KK is a ride that is usually one of the longest in the park, especially after Z:DOD was installed. I was more okay with the roughness on those two coasters because I knew what I was getting and was willing to accept that as a trade-off for the short wait time. I feel bad for people who wait 60, 90, 120 minutes to ride KK and choose to ride from the middle of the train back. Such a large amount of time to dedicate towards a mediocre-to-unpleasant ride.

 

Besides, I think we could all agree that the RT "not-on-its-best-days" (which was pretty much every day prior to its last year of operation) is a LOT worse than KK in the back. My spine certainly has a strong opinion on that.

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Last year they ran Zumanjaro as fast as possible and Kingda Ka was the one that suffered. This year I hope they make it a point to let at least 2 Ka trains launch between Zumnajaro dispatches as last year it was often less than that. I think that's the best option for both rides given this unfortunate situation.

 

 

It was SO bad that most of my visits, KK only launched 1 train in between a Zumanjaro cycle. It was terrible.

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Can somebody who works at the park (Ryan, is that your name?) explain why, for whatever reason, they don't unload Ka at the back of the station so that when the train is wheeled to the front it's empty and ready to go?

 

Maybe the system won't let a train move forward with the restraints unlocked, but I would imagine that's a relatively simple reprogramming that they could've easily implemented when they ditched three out of the four loading areas. Seems especially worthwhile now, considering that they have a hard time even getting two trains out between Zumanjaro cycles.

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For KK is the entire ride rough or just part of the launch cause after riding TTD 5 times at the very back or really close I didn't feel any roughness except for when the train started its upwards descent or while go through a rollback( when the train started to re-enter the launch track area) but those instances of roughness only lasted of upmost a part of a second to a full second. If the ride is rough throughout I feel like it would just fully detract from the ride experience. Unfortunately when I was at Gadv KK was closed due to Zumanjaro construction.

 

Opinions vary pretty greatly here as you see but here's my take. KK is simply a different animal. There is a relentless rattle @ about 5Hz for the entire ride after the launch. Sure the back is worse, but it's everywhere. Rode both TTD and KK as a first time rider from their front seats this past season, within a month or two. I was skeptical about really enjoying either.

 

During my TTD ride I could not stop thinking: "Wow, this is actually a really fun ride." Came back with a huge smile on my face.

 

KK ride went something like this: "Wow, that launch" .... <> ..."What the *bleep* is all this *bleep*..." .... <> ... "...-ING RATTLING??!" Came back rolling my eyes.

 

It's not a painful or an even particularly uncomfortable rattle in the front, whatsoever. But it detracts enough from my experience that I walk away feeling very "meh". This style ride just needs to be glass smooth to "work" for me, like TTD is and does.

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Can somebody who works at the park (Ryan, is that your name?) explain why, for whatever reason, they don't unload Ka at the back of the station so that when the train is wheeled to the front it's empty and ready to go?

 

Maybe the system won't let a train move forward with the restraints unlocked, but I would imagine that's a relatively simple reprogramming that they could've easily implemented when they ditched three out of the four loading areas. Seems especially worthwhile now, considering that they have a hard time even getting two trains out between Zumanjaro cycles.

 

I was told by a SF employee last season, that it has to do with staffing. just to unload in the back would require more employees. And if you have been to the park lately, every coaster in the park is usually run with min staffing.

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Can somebody who works at the park (Ryan, is that your name?) explain why, for whatever reason, they don't unload Ka at the back of the station so that when the train is wheeled to the front it's empty and ready to go?

 

Maybe the system won't let a train move forward with the restraints unlocked, but I would imagine that's a relatively simple reprogramming that they could've easily implemented when they ditched three out of the four loading areas. Seems especially worthwhile now, considering that they have a hard time even getting two trains out between Zumanjaro cycles.

 

(Yes my name is Ryan) From what I've seen, Ka almost always launches two trains in between Zumanjaro cycles. Ka stacks its trains out on the launch area while Zumanjaro is going and then once Ka is clear, it usually launches two trains with the third train in the station already loaded and ready to be dispatched. Idk, you guys may have hit the park on a bad day but I've always seen two trains in between Zumanjaro cycles.

 

I'm not sure why the park doesn't utilize an unload station but I'm guessing that has to do with staffing. The park typically has 4 people checking restraints and a height checker as well so if an unload station were to be used, two of the restraint checkers would probably be moved to the unload platform. If staffed properly, an unload station would probably be a huge benefit but I don't think it would make a difference with Zumanjaro delaying Ka's operations.

 

I think Ka could also use a rolling block system as well to allow the train on the load platform and the train on the 2nd platform to advance simultaneously but I doubt that would ever be implemented. I think it would make a huge difference though.

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From what I've seen, Ka almost always launches two trains in between Zumanjaro cycles. Ka stacks its trains out on the launch area while Zumanjaro is going and then once Ka is clear, it usually launches two trains with the third train in the station already loaded and ready to be dispatched. Idk, you guys may have hit the park on a bad day but I've always seen two trains in between Zumanjaro cycles.

 

I agree. I do recognize that Z:DOD has affected KK's capacity, but I don't know where this "one train per cycle" thing came from. I think it's difficult for them to get three trains off, but I've always seen at least two trains go through a cycle, unless there is a separate issue that prevented it (walk of shame on KK, for example).

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