Here's my TR of the trip Emily and I took to Six Flags Great Adventure a couple weeks ago. Saturday night/Sunday evening, 07/13 and 07/14.
Over my last several TR's, I really try not to fill out TR's with useless personal crap about our trip, because no one cares. HOWEVER, it does significantly factor into this particular experience quite a bit, so I'll have to explain a little. Feel free to skip through the optional skip sections, or if you don't want to hear about our whole experience and what led up to it, you seriously might as well skip it all. You won't be missing much as far as a general rundown goes. But, if you want to hear a tale of wtf'ness and our personal failures, then read on.
***Optional skip section below***
This visit was tossed in during the first few days of our 9 day trip to include: A starter day in historic Philadelphia A few last hours of the day at SFGAdv A following day at SFGAdv A couple days at NYC A night/following afternoon at Niagara Falls Toronto, being our first trip out of the country A finale of Canada's Wonderland and my last giga on the continent.
The aforementioned information was provided so as to offer some explanation of just what our visit to the park was up against. It's funny how the geographic locations of our trips are decided around parks, but that the older we get the more the parks have become a side note of our travels.
Here are the frustrating circumstances that set our mood walking into the park for Emily's first visit and my return visit after 20 years:
Our flight was delayed in St. Louis by a couple hours, meaning we got to Philly around 9pm. We planned on getting into town at 7 and eating a yelp approved dinner. We flew Southwest, which I don't care for. I'm always a little anxious that we won't find seats together. We ended up sitting in the very back row, where there were the only two open seats left that next to each other.
Emily jumped in the middle seat, because she's way nicer than I am, despite me offering to do so. I didn't argue much... I sat on the aisle seat and I discovered twice during this trip that the only thing keeping me from feeling really nauseous is sitting by the window. Emily's seat placed her next to a really heavy dude who kept farting. On top of that, I'm no pilot, but that had to be the roughest most nerve wracking landing I'd ever experienced. I thought for sure my suitcase had burst open. I looked around at other WTF faces, so I know I wasn't alone.
When we got to Philadelphia we waited at the luggage carriages for around a half hour, before discovering that our luggage was at American Airline's customer service department because it arrived on our original flight. We actually lucked out, because I 'think' we were some of the few people who had already been on our way to the airport when we got notification that our flight was delayed. We decided to wait in the terminal instead of killing time elsewhere. We checked our luggage when we normally would have before our flight got delayed. Somehow I think this ended up with our luggage arriving early to Philly, instead of going God knows where along with the rest of the passengers' luggage. We got lucky, yet our luck was over.
We waited in a mosquito infested area for over 20 minutes for our car rental shuttle to arrive. After that, there were three people ahead of us in the car rental service and two representatives. One representative moved at a snail's pace. The other representative did absolutely nothing but talk to another employee.
We were assigned our car at the front desk about a half hour later. When we went outside to get our car, there were three other couples waiting with puzzled looks on their faces. Despite our cars being all within 50 yards away, we had to wait for a rep to lead us individually to our cars and he gave zero cares about quickly doing so. I looked around at everyone else and said what we were all thinking. It was somewhat similar to, "This airport really sucks." No one argued.
Our rental car experiences have always been seamless. I'm usually ready for a five minute check in and a mediocre clerk who tells me that my car is waiting with the keys in it in "stall ##### whatever." Our moment of truth always comes when we find out if we got the piece of crap economy car or the extreme piece of crap economy car. When it was our turn, we walked with the dude for about 20 paces until he pointed us to our Nissan Sentra.
The car was a turd and it was dirty, which I totally expected at this point. But, we were tired and just wanted to get to our hotel. The entire day had been geared toward stressfully getting ready for this exact moment of leaving the airport to start our trip. Naturally, when we pulled out of the parking lot there was a grinding noise coming from one of our front wheels. We had to bring the car back during practically unlit confusing streets and start the entire process over. The dude who took our car back directed us back inside the Alamo rental service and we waited in the same miserable customer service line. Yep. We got the extreme piece of crap economy car this time around.
The useless rep from before was the only employee booking cars and she thought she was the jokster of the day and made the same joke of telling people they were on the "No rent list" several times. She took forever just to assign cars. Thank God, when it was our turn another employee came out to help us. But, she looked exhausted and completely unmotivated. Either way, I was happy we didn't have the other lady, because I was in no mood to put up with her garbage jokes and I was at the point where I couldn't have even forced myself to laugh. I wasn't rude, I was just defeated and ready to be put through the meat grinder so that we could just get the hell out of there.
The booking lady looked at our ticket. She asked us several times what was wrong with the car. She didn't quite understand what our circumstances were and she seemed confused as to the timeline, despite explaining it several times. When she asked again what was wrong with the car I again told her it was grinding somewhere near the front end> finally said something close to, "Look... We just need a car that's not falling apart so that we can drive out of here." I wasn't that nice about it. I think she finally realized that our circumstances really sucked and she instantly changed her tone. She was nice and gave us a free upgrade. We finally got a Hyundai Santa Fe, which was a drastic improvement over the Sentra, and we were on our way. It wasn't time for a sigh of relief.
Our route to our hotel took us through what I would imagine was the worst part of the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. We hit road closures, detours, and traffic jams at midnight. All of this was happening while smelling strong industrial gassy odors and looking out our windows at shady housing, despite getting closer and closer to our Hyatt Suites. Obviously, the initial hopes of having a nice dinner in Philly were laughable at this time and we succumbed to the healthiest gas station options of prepackaged wraps and sandwiches to take to our hotel.
When we got nearer to our hotel I was relieved to find that it was in a huge really nice commercial district. The area looked really clean and modern. We drove toward the lobby and I told Emily that I was finally feeling good about something, since the hotel looked nice. This is the norm for our Hyatts and we stay there because of the reliability of clean/better than average hotels. Due to our Chase card we almost always get our rooms at the cost of 100% free. (Fun fact, our soon to come $1,000/night luxury Hyatt Suite near Central Park in NYC was free with points. God I love this card.)
Part 2 - to be continued:
Last edited by prozach626 on Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:45 pm.
We got to the nice relaxing lobby and were greeted with the normal friendly employee. We got our keys and went to our rooms. We opened the door... We tried to pretend in silence that the place was nice until I couldn't stand it anymore. Shithole. Complete. Shithole. The floors were sticky/greasy. The shower and bathroom were dirty. There was a haze on everything that looked like it had been wiped down. There were dust buildups on all of the light sockets, trim, ledges, and vents. I'm really sensitive about the smell of my environment and the place had the stale old cigarette odor. We were tired. We had about 7 hours until we had to wake up, get our quick workout in, eat breakfast, and get the hell out of dodge.
Our bedding was the only part that smelled and looked clean. It passed my usual thorough bedbug check. We ate our gas station wraps in silence on the bed. I put our tightly shut suite cases up on solid surfaces, I set a pair of sandals down for me to walk in for my consistent nighttime pee trips. I buried my face in the sheets to try to cover up the odor, to no avail. After 4-5 hours of restless sleep, our alarm went off. I was actually glad to be taking the next steps to GTFO of there.
I still felt the effects of my necessary sleeping pill, so we ran it off in the gym for a really quick 20 minute workout. Believe it or not, this actually helps. That and the combination of a good free mostly healthy breakfast and we started feeling good again with never looking back at that hotel.
I showered with towels draped across the floor and my sandals nearby. I spend a lot of time scrubbing away any traces of the hotel room. We had everything packed up and ready to leave. I'm not a "I need to speak to your manager" person, but I couldn't stand the idea of getting screwed over that hard. I called the front desk for a really polite manager and a really polite manager promptly responded to our room.
Showing her the condition of the room and trying to be as nice as I could about it, I asked for our points back. After about 20 seconds of looking around during our conversation, I could tell that she was embarrassed, which I tried to avoid. She had no arguments about getting our points back and she actually encouraged us to contact upper management and voice our displeasure. We didn't, but her concern for our stay reinforced our mentality on our Hyatt card. Our points were back on our card within the hour.
We came to the almost certain agreement that an uncleanly person had probably been living in that room during a long term stay. Sometimes community aid programs will put people displaced from house fires or other circumstances when they can't afford or have no other means to house themselves. It was evident that other people were living there. (Please don't misunderstand my statement as meaning that low income people are unclean.)
We hit historic Philly with plans to do a quick tour. We had taken a free brochure from the airport advertising a $20 guided walking tour. The brochure completely mapped out the route and highlighted the site seeing locations. Thanks for the tour, suckers! Our free google tour guide was great! Except... the damned power was out. We had to wait in a half hour line just to look at the Liberty Bell, which I had seen 20 years ago. I had still been looking forward to the Liberty Bell second most in Philly and Emily had never seen it. We had to look through a greasy palm printed window to see it. We weren't allowed inside without electricity. lmao fail
Thank God, we were able to make lemons out of lemonade in Philly. Due to your great suggestions, we bypassed some of the crappier cheesesteak places we were told to avoid, even though they were nearby. We took an Uber to one of the suggestions closest to our location, which ended up being Tony Lukes. God love you guys for your advice. This is what I was looking forward to most out of Philly. I got the whiz/peppers/onions combo. Emily got the horseradish cheese plain. We had to eat standing up at the counter, with zero shits given. Delicious. It was worth the risk of the plane crash.
We left our our mostly terrible experience of Philly. I'm not knocking Philly. We're not hating. It was just our experience isolated to that day due to the circumstances. Had more time been available under different circumstances I could see myself spending at least a full day of enjoyment there.
There weren't any Hyatt's near SFGAdv, so being hotel snobs, we booked a decent Hampton. I was gun shy at this point, but when we got to our clean room, which smelled great, we fell on the bed and passed out on the soft bed for about an hour to the gentle hum of the air conditioner. I should have stayed there, honestly. This was my first mistake separate from the unavoidable circumstances we had been mercilessly exposed to. We should have just relaxed instead of me trying to force fun and visit to the last few operating hours of Great Adventure. I set in motion our doomed experience of Great Adventure.
***END OF PERSONAL NON RELATED CRAP TO SKIP. PARK INFO AND TOO MUCH NECESSARY CRAP TR BELOW*** If you skipped it, just know that there were really morale killing circumstances over the past day.
I think we got to the park around 730-8ish. I tried to pretend, but neither of us couldn't care less about being there as we approached the entrance gate. I didn't even care about my first view of the skyline despite my last visit being Medusa's first season. We walked toward the gate past empty booze bottles and the repeated smells of skunk cannabis. Uhg. The Saturday night crowd around us was filled with mostly rowdy teens, early 20 somethings, or drunk/high immature older people surrounded by their doomed children.
Even at this time of night the security line was a mile long and moving slowly. The employees were exhausted from obnoxious Saturday crowds and 90 degree heat, so I get it. We waded through the thick crowd when we got into the entrance and dodged the flight of all of the tame mature responsible people and families heading toward the exit.
We walked to the Skull Mountain side of the sky ride. I knew the line would be shorter this time of night and I wanted to relax. We rode it toward Bizzaro and headed there for our first coaster stop. Being a veteran at this crap, I knew that a B&M at this time of day would make for a short line and we were right. We waited for the front row. Emily was fascinated by googling who the hell Bizzaro was and his depressing story, lol. Maybe that's what made her optimistic about a B&M looper for once. To my surprise, she liked it and so did I. I finally enjoyed a B&M looper again and I didn't even care for Kumba when I rode it a couple years ago. It only slapped me in the face one time and we had a good ride. Emily really liked the cheesy themeing and effects.
After that, we hit the mine train. Big big big mistake. It killed any of Emily's remaining and she expressed that we were probably getting too old for this crap as she looked around the station composed of young children and their parents. Oh crap. If Emily is in a bad mood it will kill a park for us. But, why wouldn't she be in a bad mood after our circumstances?? On top of all of that the ride beat the ever living ffffff out of us.
We walked toward El Toro and I took the usual really tired used up picture which everyone has seen 1000 times. As I did so, we noticed yelling in front of us. As we continued to walk, what we witnessed was something on a smaller scale of exactly what recently happened as Disneyland. It really adds to the ambiance seeing a grown man and a grown woman square up strike facial blows at each other after he screams and curses at her. Seriously, it was nearly identical to the Disney brawl, just a few less people involved. I'm pretty sure the final straw was when the guy, who was the agitator, tossed his GF's phone into the pond. Let's be honest. If Mickey Mouse can't stop this crap, neither Left Twix nor Right Twix had a chance at breaking this up.
I was calm and I don't get involved in that crap. There were plenty of people who were calling security and the match made in heaven seemed both mutually involved at that point. I know the best way to handle these sorts of situations is to keep our distance, stay back, and stay out of it. I calmly stood back and told Emily to do so. "Hey... wait! Dude! I just told you to stay back! Hey, get back here!" I had to run after Emily, being an Average Joe, she's not used to being exposed to this extremely inappropriate behavior. She chose to power walk right by the altercation in a minor panic and not hear what I told her. "Well, I just wanted to get away from it" is not getting closer to the fight by trying to walk in front of it, instead of staying back and keeping distance.
We were starting to have what some people sarcastically refer to as a Six Flags Day. The picture for Great Adventure had already been tainted. The first impressions were in. I knew Emily wouldn't recover from her initial experience and we were doomed. I had little hope.
We locked our crap up and headed toward the bull, because the line looked manageable. Why does anyone have a problem with this? $1.00 for two hours was a pretty good deal and I didn't have to worry about anything falling out of my pockets.
The half hour wait was fine. People were relatively more calm here. The station was cramped and the operations sucked, but we finally took our seat in the middle of the train. Despite the great experience up to this point... What we experienced of El Toro was that it was mostly fun, but one wild ride! One ride was enough, but it was fun, if not just a little uncomfortable.
We closed out the night with Nitro in the back, which was cool since we had no idea where we were going. What a great hyper. Seriously, this thing rocked from start to finish and there were a couple brief moments that reminded me of Fury, which is my favorite coaster. Emily loved it and it's not too often that she's that vocal about liking a coaster that doesn't have Millennium in its name. She thought she may have even liked it more than Mako, which is what she 'thinks' is her favorite hyper, since we don't really care to categorize much. I liked it about as much, if not more, than Diamondback and Diamondback never ever fails me. Finally, a true high point!!
But, we killed that off with Houdini, which made me feel sick. That was yet another mistake, since I should have left the instant I realized it was a motion simulator ride. They always make me sick to the point where I have to close my eyes and put my head down halfway through. This was no exception.
We then had to find our lost car, since we were too numb to the world when we arrived to take note of where we were. Another Morale killer. We started a trip trend with a stop at the gas station for a late night dinner of almonds and healthy protein bars. Delicious...? Trend. Morale killer... We showered and passed TF out on engulfed in cleanliness and fresh smells. This was our one step forward from our 10 steps back.
We got the endorphins flowing again the next morning in the gym and started our day with a great mostly healthy breakfast at the hotel. I really tried to look forward to the day, but my anticipation was forced after what we'd already experienced. We were still tired. But, as Bill recommended, we got our true NJ experience by having someone fill our gas! Awkward.
I made ANOTHER critical morale error. After we got through the eternity of the security line of being around people composed of wearing too many scented products and others wearing too little... or possibly rotten onion scented products... Do they make those? I headed straight toward the Flash Pass Counter. I swiped away $235 from our bank act., after our $5 season pass holder discount(!!!! yay!!!), and immediately proceeded to throw about $200 of that in the trash. I would have been better off using that $235 to slap myself in the face a few times and put it back into my pocket. It was almost useless and the watch system sucked for us, only because I think ours was partially broken. Guess what? Huge morale killer throughout the day.
This is about the closest order of rides I can think of: Superman: I hate them all. Not only do they make me sick, but the pretzel loops make me feel like I'm having a heart attack. Flash pass verdict: Worthless. It was walk-on.
The parachute ride: It was fun and my first one. Short, but fun. This belonged to SFStl, I think? Sucks for us, getting rid of it. Flash pass worth: none
Green Lantern: It likes to rattle, there's no doubt. I've perfected the riding style by squatting before the seat locks and sticking my head as far forward and over the shoulder restraints as possible. I usually still hate d, stand-ups no names Georgia Scorcher, but I actually got enjoyment out of it. I had no head banging with defensive middle row riding, no ball busting, and it's only flaw for that ride was a lot of rattling. I told Emily I actually enjoyed it. She had no reply. Or... I think she literally said she hated me? Great start.
We had to split our usual guilty pleasure park day fountain coke soda as a reprieve. It almost always kills off the starter ride headaches and we walk it off, anyway. Even the healthiest have physiological addictions to sugar. Sugar consumption releases endorphins. Oh... and Flash Pass result for Green Lantern: Offered as much value as the empty soft drink queue. Damn, Green Lantern needed a lot of explanation, since Coke is almost always necessary... "Yeah, I think the crowds will pick up and this FP will really be worth it." But, I knew we were likely in for a realization of a waste of money.
Skull mountain was maybe next? We rode in the back, as suggested. It was fun and easy on the kidneys, which is not typical of your near complete darkness enclosed cheap steel roller coasters. The two pieces of glowing themeing enhanced the ride from my childhood memory of literal complete darkness... seriously. Add beers and it would have been even more fun and worth another ride, but that wasn't in the plan. Flash Pass benefits: Now that actually was a punch in the kidneys.
I think maybe we did a front row ride on Nitro after that? That cheered us up a little. It was still awesome during the day. Flash pass benefit: still waiting. Emily was right when she suggested to wait before buying it.
We then sky bucketed/Von Rolled or whatever over to the Sufari when our $235 time piece told us it was open. On our way, we realized that everyone was right about them loading 4 deep in the flume, which we wanted to try before confirming that. Four deep in a flume = soaked. No thanks.
We finally got use out of our Flash Passes at the Safari and we skipped about maybe 30 minutes of line, if I'm being generous. We awkwardly queue merged in with the regular line, since there was no grouper there. That was really cool, because despite the lack of crowds, every ride had a FP grouper standing by except for the only freaking ride that held a line??? Fail.
A guy, who was with his family asked us about the $235 time piece. He wanted to know if it worked similar to his home park. I put two and two together: He goes to his home park, which is not this park. But, he looked and acted completely cool and normal, so I was skeptical. But, we continued to talk more about parks and I realized I was talking with another coaster enthusiast who I found out lurks TPR. It was nice actually having normal conversations with a normal person who liked roller coasters and knew what the hell I was talking about. Nice dude. If you're lurking this post, it was nice to meet you. I think there is a much higher likelihood of someone who visits this site being a normal person than other on coaster enthusiast sites.
We freaking loved the Safari and it was the highlight of the day. As a matter of fact, it was the highlight of the trip up to that point. We even got off at the stop in the middle. The sloth and ant eater were cool. We didn't bother to watch the giraffe feeding, since we've been to a really sketchy zoo in Florida. That Florida zoo was nice and well maintained, but it was sketchy and awesome in the way that you could feed the animals, including giraffes, completely unsupervised. Seriously, I think I could have gotten away with riding one there.
One thing that errked me at this stop were the people. It's a minor pet peeve of mine when people look at animals that are beautiful in their own nature and say things like, "Uuuuuuh... He nasty!" Seriously, the nature of humanity is much more nasty than an ant eater with a long snout, of which I happen to find really cool looking. I'd gladly share a nice meal with the ant eater over people who make those comments. Mother nature is awesome, people. Which is why it seems to dislike humanity, in often very unfortunate ways. Mother nature probably looks at our landfills and makes silent impressions such as, "Uuuuuh... They nasty!"
In the end it's really cool, because the tour guide made us feel like real humans and told us about all of the species we're killing... He was absolutely hilarious during the trip, and then he had to smack us in the face with reality. He urged us to buy the $5 Sufari Pins, where the proceeds go 100% toward wild life preservation. Sold. No idea where it is, though.
I may have made a couple mom jokes directed toward Emily about the elephants, rhinos, and other large animals pertaining to her mom, because I'm 12.
Things were looking up!
After paying $5 to help ease my guilt we were in high spirits. We decided to ride the tallest roller coaster in the world. We sat in a non wheel seat near the middle, since that gives us our best rides on Dragster. We didn't want to sit in the front, because we don't like flapping cheeks and eyelids. The flapping eyelid thing weird me out and it makes me want to close my eyes. Despite what I'd heard about the ride, I was pretty hopeful when I saw that the launch track is surrounded by plant life which closed in the track. I figured it would give more of a sense of speed.
It didn't work for two reasons. For one, I'm always anxious on Dragster. It's one of those rides that makes me feel the extreme stomach/chest tickle where I have to scream like a little girl halfway through to get ride of or I'll die of a heart attack. I never get anxious about rides, so I love the anticipation. BUT, I didn't get the reward. There was much more of a gradual increase of speed vs. the shot out of a cannon sensation. By the time I finished thinking wtf, I didn't even notice the trees, because MY GOD THIS THING IS TRYING TO KILL MY BRAIN CELLS BY RATTLING. Cresting the highest drop, spiraling out of control, camel back/rattle/stopping/omfg it's/almost over thank God/braking, and I finally experienced the plane crash that I narrowly missed with Southwest Airlines.
I looked over at Emily and there was little hope of recovery from this tailspin. I felt like the time I dragged her away from our Huntington Beach honeymoon resort and went to SFMM, where we had a terrible time. It was like those past 5-6 years of park conditioning her up to have real excitement and enjoyment had drained out of her from the previous night and that day's experience. I honestly think that this was the shifting of the winds for her and I with how we feel about parks. It was inevitable, and here it was.
Oh yeah... and Flash Pass verdict on Ka: How in the hell did we just get off of the tallest roller coaster in the world and there's no line? Painful rattle indeed.
Seriously, we had to get the hell out of there and take a brake. We wanted a cold beer and some cheap food, so naturally we picked the nearby Mexican restaurant to guarantee both. We were desperate for an uplifting experience and recharge. What we got was pure suck. The judgmental, "We don't serve alcohol" comment was really not necessary, since some customers, who the staff treated warmly like frequent customers or possible friend/family, kept walking in and out to smoke weed immediately outside of the doorway, while dressed in skin tight prostitute-wear. With the smell of weed drifting into the restaurant I couldn't help to think... sure... we were the assholes...??
I mean damn. I really don't like to get drunk, but I do like to have a couple beers or cocktails in the evening when we travel. Also, you mean to tell me that everyone here with the massive margaritas are seriously drinking 1000 calorie virgin sugar drinks? Where the hell are we? Oh, and by the way, our food came out 40 minutes later and my tacos might have well been from taco bell. Flash Pass verdict: As useful as it was in the park.
We got back into the park and walked by a few closed bars before we were finally able to grab a 16 ounce Yuengling each near Joker. We sat and tried to enjoy our beers. It was too hot. Our day was too shitty. I can't even remember if we finished them. They didn't even taste good due to the circumstances. How can we fix this day with so much potential?
Somewhere in the mix we rode Dark Knight. Maybe earlier in the day. I don't know. I do know that we watched the tourbillion ride cycle, which was a good comedy show. I thought it would be fun to watch, which it was in its own way. 5 minute load... tilt up... slowly gain full momentum after about ten swings, spin/meander around for about 30 seconds, hear absolutely zero screaming or enthusiastic noises from riders, slowly come to a stop, tilt down, and watch guest look incredibly bored and confused. I'm so glad SFStl hasn't ended up getting one of these and I hope they never do.
I really can't remember what we did for a while, because it wasn't memorable for us due to our current state of feeling pretty low and being tired. I think eventually we grabbed one of those Corona blast drinks, which I'd never had before, and it actually tasted good in the heat. We queue'd up for the bull and finally we got some use out of our FP+ by skipping probably a one train wait.
That proved to be worthless when an ADA guest sat in our seat... who 'appeared/acted' completely healthy, but who am I to judge when I don't know the full story. Because of that we lost the comical FP+ advantage on El Toro. We finally boarded and went down the big drop. Jesus, this thing wants to throw me out of my seat!!! Awesome, right? Eh. I don't know. Man, I just don't feel these aggressive rides like I used to. My thighs are the type of cadio/light resistance doucher lean, so there's no padding there. All I could do is brace and try to have a good time as I was reminded of Sky Rush at Hershey Park. I lied to myself and Emily for quite a while about riding it. She was quiet about it.
We did some other crap and came back to El Toro later on. We were getting ready to lock all of our crap away and it was 8pm. I wanted to give it one more try, but underneath it all I knew I probably wouldn't care for it. We only had an hour left. I wanted to give the bull another try. I wanted to like it so badly, since it was the reason we came.
Then, I did the right thing. I went with my gut and I called it off. I suggested Bizzaro since I knew Emily really liked it and I liked it, too. Why force it? Neither of us could pretend to like El Toro enough for another ride. i305 was almost too much and we liked it a lot better than El Toro. Keep in mind, I don't even care much for SV. I have enough uncomfortable things in my life and I've come to appreciate more care-free rides a lot more.
Riding Bizzaro was a good call. Emily laughed at the scenery in our front row and I appreciated what a kick-ass ride it delivered. So much fun. Flash Pass ruling: Walking through the fast pass queue despite walk-on rides made me feel more uncomfortable and El Toro...
I wanted to cap off our visit with Nitro, since we had about 20 minutes to get there and snag a ride. We hit the last seat and we were 70% of the way in our happy place mood! (Maybe 60%...) The ride delivered againt and I 'think' maybe we got four rides total on it throughout our time at the park? Two of those rides were in the dark including the ride we just finished. Flash pass verdict: LMFAO let's stop bullshitting ourselves and realize that we completely threw away $235.
When it was all said and done, at least we concluded the day with a good ryyyee... oh shit... these rides are still running... I looked at the wrong day. The parked closed at 10, not 9. *idiot* All I could do is laugh at that point. Just another morale killer. Have I used that term enough?
I decided to hit Joker, since I'd ridden it before at Great America a couple times and we both liked it. We had tried to ride earlier in the day, but we were told we couldn't because we had items in my zipped pocket, including a cell phone... There were plenty of signs at the entrance saying that that we could have seen. Except oh wait... there were no signs saying that at the Flash Pass entrance posted. Suck it. The fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo line was long at that time and we skipped it.
Hey, at least we could ride now for what will assuredly deliver as a fun laugh machine. FFFFFFFFFFFF! It tried to kill us. Like seriously, it smoked my head and body slammed the shit out of us repeatedly. I don't think we ever stopped spinning and violently rocking. I now hate these rides. It was a perfect analogy of the experience we had. It had so much promise, but it just didn't turn out well (Joker/SFGAdv). But, I know if we rode again it could be a completely better experience (Joker/SFGAdv). Was it obvious enough what I just did there?
All in all, at the end of the day I can say that at least we had a good tiieee.... well, no. Our trip blew. It wasn't all the parks' fault though, so before you go thinking that this park is a bad park or that I'm trying to trash it, that's not the case.
There was a time a while ago where I read one of Bolikus' statements about going to the park pretty often to grab a couple rides, maybe dinner, and leave. I used to wonder how in the hell do you could get enjoyment out of skipping out on a whole day visit? Now I get it, man. I really don't think it's exclusive to Great Adventure.
I think it's a Six Flags thing for us. When we visit SFStl, we'll go out to dinner to a place halfway in between home and the park, close the gap to the park, grab a drink, ride a few rides for an hour or so, and then take the hour trip home. Unless it's HITP, we don't stay longer than that.
I feel like SF parks just don't cater to all day visits for us, anymore. The clientele seems less laid back, the rides aren't nearly as aesthetically maintained, there are always some hodgepodge dumpy areas, and there's more of a pre-existing emphasis on 'thrill' that was locked in since the 90's. This is opposed to the overall experience and atmosphere that I think private parks and even chains like CF accomplish.
I would LOVE to have this park as a touch-and-go local park. But, as far as a destination, it's not for us. Oddly enough, it was our destination that led us to Philly, NYC, The Falls, which was the Gateway toward Toronto, and CW.
That said, Six Flags seems to be doing well with their current business strategy and I really don't think they should change a thing. They offer some things for families and also a lot of stuff for younger people. And then there's our awkward segment of childless adults looking to have a relaxing time and some excitement in between. The chain doesn't seem to cater so us and why should it? Are we really their bread and butter? We're the smaller market. Do what you do, Six Flags. We'll definitely have fun stopping by to say hi, but we're not staying for the whole party.
Special thanks to coasterbill and Boldikus for taking a trip to Wildwood that exact weekend. Where were you to make our trip better? Assholes.
I've only been to Philly once, but it was during the Pope visit. My friend who was local said I saw a nicer side of Philly than usual since they cleaned it up for that weekend. However, I'm sad to report he took us to his favorite two cheesesteaks places, Pat and Gino's.
It sucks to buy Flash Pass when you don't need it, but I'd rather have the piece of mind I can ride everything I want to in a park I don't often make it to than miss out.
^That's kind of how I am, but I can tell that it really puts Emily off every time we use it and there's no line. Even though she won't say anything, we're so in sync that it kind of gets passed down to me.
But yeah, it was a shit show and I feel like we wasted what could have been a great day. I feel a certain sense of guilt for not having a better time.
Sorry you had a less than stellar visit to SF:GAdv... It's interesting, because I've been to that park more than most non-"local" amusement parks, and while I really appreciate a lot about the park - its coaster collection, some of the flats - it also doesn't get a high spot on my Park Rankings, because of the "but" that always seems to follow a description of something I enjoyed about the park. I have had similar crowd experiences most of my visits to the park, including a really bad time the one time I took my then-wife for her first (and only) visit, and she professed to actually being scared at times by the intimidation, and other sketchy things that were going on all around us. Having said that, I thought the park was a lot better in that regard the last time I went there a couple of years ago.
I have yet to ever have the misfortune of going to the park when it's super busy. We went July 5th of 2017, and didn't have a substantial wait for much of anything. Definitely nothing more than a half-hour. My sister and I rode everything we wanted, rode the bull a bunch of times, and could have marathoned it for hours on end, but instead decided to leave a few hours before the park closed. I still can't believe we did that, looking back, but we'd done what we'd wanted to, had a good time, but were tired and didn't feel like pushing ourselves past that point, just to hang in the park a few more hours, and get some El Toro night rides. As you mentioned in your post in the other thread, and alluded to here, times change, and as you get older, what you want out of a park experience often changes. So while I'm sorry it was such a rough day for you two, I'm not entirely surprised by anything you mentioned in your TR.
Also, thanks for the lengthy TR, and all the time that went into it. I know how daunting that can be, and in spite of being a writer myself, whenever I am faced with writing a TR about a trip, I tend to avoid it, postpone it, and usually end up never writing it! Take my trip to SF:Gadv two years ago for instance... I still haven't written that one, in spite of saying I would two years ago! Oh well... So, just know the time and effort you expended is appreciated.
Top 10 Coasters! 1.Steel Vengeance 2.Fury 3.Millennium Force 4.Maverick 5. Twisted Timbers 6. The Voyage 7. Lightning Rod 8.Storm Chaser 9.El Toro 10. Leviathan Honorable Mentions: Phantom's Revenge, Behemoth, Mako, Ravine Flyer II, Shivering Timbers, Kraken Underrated Coasters: Steel - Yukon Striker, Wood - White Lightning
Haha thanks. I really don't like to get into so many personal details. I don't like to be the guy who thinks people should care about what I did all the way up to exactly what I had for breakfast. It makes me feel like I'm being vain. In this case, I felt like it was relevant to our experience and I didn't want people to think it was all the park's fault for us not having a good time. My CW trip report will be much shorter!
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I have no fucking clue what this attraction could be.
Honestly, I could see it being something like a t-rex, but I could also see it being something like an air launch coaster, something like West Coaster Racers, or even a mega looper like Steel Curtain. I would love to see something airtime oriented though since only two of their coasters are airtime oriented.
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