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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread


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I am curious why this park is dead when all of the So California parks are packed.  Is it the heat or are your locals getting sick of amusement parks?  Knott's and SFMM have hour plus waits on most of the good coasters. Why does SFGA have station waits in peak summer season?

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^ Knott's and Magic Mountain have a much better location for spur of the moment trips to the park. LA and Orange County have over 12 million people living there.  The entirety of NJ is 9 million. People in NYC and Philly have to travel at least an hour by car and there are no decent public transit routes to get you there.  Monmouth, Ocean, and Mercer counties are generally the only people going to Great Adventure on the regular for funsies, especially with gas prices the way they are.

Source - I lived ten miles away from Great Adventure for 25 years of my life.  Practically everyone in Monmouth and Ocean had a season pass to the park.  Outside of that area, though, you're looking at visiting once or twice per year.

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Every non-Six Flags park in the area seems to be doing just fine, but Great Adventure and (to a lesser extent) New England are hurting this year.

I don’t know why, but it’s hard not to assume that some of the changes this year with the passes / dining plans and general price increases at-least play a role. I really didn’t expect them to since they were still positioned as the cheapest chain but I don’t really know what else it could be. 

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I can't believe people aren't visiting Six Flags parks in droves right now, with at least three new cardboard signs per park and themed areas including pre-existing rides.

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14 hours ago, coasterbill said:

Every non-Six Flags park in the area seems to be doing just fine, but Great Adventure and (to a lesser extent) New England are hurting this year.

My theory still holds water.  Great Adventure and New England are the two Six Flags park that aren't located in a population center.  Great Adventure is practically in the Pine Barrens and New England is nearly two hours from Boston and three hours from NYC.

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Simple.  Hersheypark is a FAR better park than any Six Flags, especially for families with younger children.  Amish country is also a huge tourist attraction so there's a built-in audience.  Nobody is driving around Central Jersey for shits and giggles.  I lived in Monmouth and the only times I'd go into Jackson were either to go to Great Adventure or I was on my way to Philly.  You know what else is in Jackson?  Jack shit. Unless you're a rich golfer in which case Metedeconk might interest you, but that $250,000 annual membership might turn some of the Six Flags clientele off.

Edit - Speaking of Metedeconk, I used to caddy there while I was in high school and college.  I actually caddied for Joe Pesci a couple of weeks prior to him getting expelled from the club for tearing up the greens after getting too drunk.  Nice guy, though, and he tipped extremely well.

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On 7/11/2022 at 7:45 PM, coasterbill said:

Every non-Six Flags park in the area seems to be doing just fine, but Great Adventure and (to a lesser extent) New England are hurting this year.

I don’t know why, but it’s hard not to assume that some of the changes this year with the passes / dining plans and general price increases at-least play a role. I really didn’t expect them to since they were still positioned as the cheapest chain but I don’t really know what else it could be. 

Higher gas prices for those that have have to travel from far off (like me for instance). And I agree 100% with what you said about the passes/dining plans and price increases.

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2 hours ago, Jason Maier said:

Higher gas prices for those that have have to travel from far off (like me for instance).

Like I said though, people have to drive to every other park too. The fact that they're willing to do so for other parks and not for Six Flags should be incredibly concerning for Six Flags.

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What Bill said.

I may be personally biased, but if I'm fixing for some amusement park time, I'll drive to Kings Dominion (3.5 hours), Hershey (2 hours), Knoebel's (4 hours), Morey's (2 hours), or even Dorney Park (2 hours) before I'll drive 1.5 hours to Great Adventure.

This summer, I've already taken an 1800 mile road trip west for a bunch of parks, am driving 9 hours each way to Cedar Point in 2 weeks, then taking a 1,000 mile road trip to the Northeast states in August (including two Six Flags parks), and two 9 hour each way trips in October for Kings Island's and Cedar Point's Halloween events.  I have zero interest in going to Great Adventure.

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We visited the park last week and I wasn't planning to do a TR but after reading these reports about the park's attendance this year, figured I would.

We had a great visit and I'd recommend a visit this year to anyone. Operations were crazy good everywhere except Superman Ultimate Flight, where they weren't exactly bad but had the typical Six Flags flying coaster struggles. Seriously, they were flying to dispatch trains at all the coasters in a way I've never seen at a Six Flags park before. Kingda Ka was running 2 trains/one station and they'd have the train out before the other returned. Ditto at El Toro and Medusa. The park was also clean and yes, completely empty. The only thing we were bummed about was Nitro being unavailable, which I hope is back in operation soon.

The only "Six Flags hot mess" thing we experienced was slow food service along with some of the food choices unavailable. We tried going to Yum Yum Cafe for lunch but after waiting about 5 minutes with the employees and customers both standing around looking confused with no food being served, we moved on to Garden State Grill. It was a little bit slow to order and receive food but we got our food in the end and the employees were nice about it.

Now, some pics.

 

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You are legally required to take this photo if you visit this park.

 

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As we parked, we saw Kingda Ka launch a train, soon followed by El Toro going up. Things are good. Oof, I will say that both Kingda Ka and El Toro were running kind of brutal on this visit, but I heard from a friend that El Toro got new wheels this week and is back to running great, which I'm super jealous about.

 

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I honestly can't remember if this pre-entrance building was here last year, but being able to breeze through security without stopping (they have those wide-range metal detectors set up) was great. It also gives the park entrance a bit of a nicer touch.

 

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Toro toro toro. My #1 coaster and there's no denying that first drop and orgasmic airtime. But boy did the turnaround and pullout from the RT hill hit hard that day.

 

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The Intamin duo. Later in the day, the park was so empty that El Toro's trains were going out with 10 passengers or less. Riding in an empty train also seems to make for some rougher rides. In total we got about 8-10 rides before we had to tap out. I'm happy they replaced the wheels and maybe we'll make it back up later this year.

 

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The Ferris wheel looking interesting with some gondolas missing.

 

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Even though you may now purchase your marijuana legally in the state of New Jersey, Six Flags would still prefer if you partake elsewhere. Maybe setting up "designating toking areas" would help with attendance at this point?

 

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A Green Lantern pic from the parking lot that I snapped on the way out.

In all, we rode El Toro about 8-10 times, Kingda Ka twice, Jersey Devil 4 or 5 times, Batman twice, plus one ride each on Medusa, Superman, Green Lantern, and Skull Mountain. Oh, and we even rode Dark Knight, a coaster I haven't been on since it's opening year.

We did all this in about 6 hours and we even left earlier than we'd planned to get some dinner. Check out Great Adventure this year, you might just have an awesome time.

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That building out front really added to the new premium experience. Time to add another themed area by painting Nitro black and calling it Cat Woman's shady alley, or something. Little would need to be done, aside from adding a few more 2D cutouts. It worked for Great America, right?

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What's weird about Great Adventure is that it's probably the only park that really did improve the experience this year. They added that, painted 2 coasters (they never even paint one) and didn't get rid of Holiday in the Park. Most parks got a price increase, an operating season that's 2 months shorter and maybe a single rider line that's never used.

... it still couldn't be less of a premium experience if it tried. 🤣

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Went yesterday for the first time. As others had said it was dead! Basically every ride we did was a walk on. Did Green Lantern, Superman, Kingda Ka, El Toro (4 times without getting off!), the Mine Train, Medusa, Log Flume, Swinging Ship, Jersey Devil (2 times), Nitro (2 times, not sure if this was its first time reopening), Batman, Skull Mountain, Dark Knight, the Houdini House and El Toro once more all in about 5 hours. 
 

Crazy amount of rides for one day. Loved our experience. 

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Thoosies should really be taking advantage of this park this season. Go forth and marathon.

Seriously, I'm considering a midweek hooky day visit as soon as this heat chills the f*ck out.

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Was at the park Saturday.  Saturday.  I rode El Toro 10 times in a row to start the day then at 2pm I rode Jersey Devil Coaster 10 times in a row (and other rides less than 10 times in a row)  It was absolutely mind boggling how dead the park was.

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We're flying into Jersey to visit family in October so I looked into doing a Fright Fest night at the park.  I think I found the attendance issue.  Single day tickets are ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Now, I don't know about y'all, but there isn't a single Six Flags park in history or future that is worth that price.

Edit - Looks like they changed their pricing in the summer, but still, $75 on a Saturday is just dumb for this park.  I know Six Flags is pushing the memberships hard because every bean counter loves subscriptions but when inflation and gas is so out of control they're gonna be hard-pressed to get customers from NY and Philly to make the trek.

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3 hours ago, CoasterAuditor said:

Was at the park Saturday.  Saturday.  I rode El Toro 10 times in a row to start the day then at 2pm I rode Jersey Devil Coaster 10 times in a row (and other rides less than 10 times in a row)  It was absolutely mind boggling how dead the park was.

Holy Shucking Fit ..... I never thought I'd hear a story like this about GADv being that dead on a summer Saturday!

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On 7/13/2022 at 9:30 PM, xVicesAndVirtues said:

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I honestly can't remember if this pre-entrance building was here last year, but being able to breeze through security without stopping (they have those wide-range metal detectors set up) was great. It also gives the park entrance a bit of a nicer touch.

 

The building is new but the scanners aren't; last year they were just housed in tents.

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Trying to plan my trip to the park next week,  quick question for anyone that’s gone somewhat regularly this season. Is there any pattern as to when Ka opens besides weather conditions? For example does it open later/close earlier than the park hours? Or is just kinda if it’s working, it’s running?

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32 minutes ago, itsme102 said:

Or is just kinda if it’s working, it’s running?

It's basically this. It's scheduled to open with and close with the park but it's Kingda Ka. Also, the first bit of the day it might be "open" but it won't look open because they won't launch a train until it's full so 20 minute dispatch times are common considering the park has been empty all year.

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Thanks! It’s been at least 5 years since I’ve been and just reading through this thread it seems like this year is vastly different. Trying to maximize the opportunity for my younger siblings to get on Ka and Toro for the first time. 

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