^^ Thanks TBpony414!
^ Glad you checked it out, Mike, I really liked it and want to go back again. That food we had was super good.
OK fam, finally some airtime!!!
ICYMI last Sunday I went over to the park with a few buddies. It was a heat index of 106°F and after one ride on El Toro he spiraled into a severe episode of heat exhaustion and we spent the next two hours in first aid before leaving for the day
. While it was a bummer, everything happens for a reason. The park may have been empty but it was not meant to be.
On Monday I got a text from my good friend Imri (you may remember Imri from our Hershey trip
or Twisted Timbers opening day
at the beginning of this report). He texted me to remind me that he's free weeknights and since the park is now open later w/ summer hours, if I take the train up to his work (an hour ride for me) we could take the quick drive over (30 mins) for some night riding. We agreed that since we were both off on Wednesday due to the 4th of July holiday, that we should pop over on Tuesday night and stay late. I'd been watching queue-times and the GreatAdv Conn group and noticed all weekend the heat had been keeping the dry park relatively empty, so I had high hopes we'd get a bunch of rides in during a short period of time.
Luckily we were slow @ work on Tuesday and I was able to get off early, and was already stepping off my train a few minutes from his work, right around 5:30pm. The park was scheduled to be open til 10pm (with an 11:30 closing in the Boardwalk area after a DJ/foam dance party and extended ride time on Superman: Ultimate Flight and Crap Lantern) so we had a nice chunk of time. However on the train ride up we apparently hit a snag - it was raining! There was absolutely no rain in the forecast. It was scorching hot and I was prepared to deal with that but rain? Knowing this park and its rain policies I suddenly feared my trip up here was for nothing, as if the rain kept up, and the park was empty, they'd surely close early. Not to mention any kind of lightning will shut everything down even if the park does stay open. As I jumped in Imris car and pulled up Wunderground I was horrified to see a 20-30% chance of T-Storms in and around Jackson... until 10pm. :/
After a quick ride over in a downpour we approached empty toll booths and were allowed in but a very unenthusiastic gentleman informed us that he "has to inform us that all of our tall rides are closed and may not open for the rest of the night
". *Cue slow fart* Nevertheless, we headed in - Imri had some beers in the trunk and he's also got the dining pass so if anything we could get him some free food. Upon entering the lot I was ecstatic to see a decent amount of cars - at least people were here. The lot wasn't packed by any means but certainly wasn't empty. If they wouldn't run the rides for now, at least I knew the chances were low that they would close altogether.
We hung out in the lot as the wind picked up we got a bit of drizzle and watched the storm skim along the southern edge of the park. It was neat to actually watch the Great Adventure Bubble in real time, but it never lets us down. We still hadn't seen any of the big rides run in the 20-30 minutes we were out here, but we eventually headed in anyway. Not yet wanting to eat, we pulled up the app and saw the four indoor rides were all open with 5 minute waits. I suggested Justice League but eventually agreed to face the intensity.
Imri comes for the big thrills and isn't into the "kiddie rides" (his words) but we sat in the back row, the metal was cranked and we had an excellent first ride of the night over in The Mountain. He even said he liked it when we got off. Now our choice was Justice League, The Dark Knight, Houdini, or food. We set off toward Houdini but ultimately chose food. Macho Nacho to be precise. People like to hate on Macho but for theme park food, I enjoy it. Plus they take Imri's dining plan not to mention we'd be right next to the best ride in the park... once the ride started running. On our way over we noticed some smaller rides had reopened - the Tea Cups, etc - and had decent crowds. Through the arcade shortcut, which was packed, and over to Macho, which was empty. We ordered and by the time we got some drinks our food had come out, perfect time.
While eating I was bouncing between the Six Flags app and Wunderground. The big rides were still closed, and sadly the T-storm potential was looking like it was in fact going to stick around the not-so-immediate area, just not hit the park. We sat and bullsh*tted, drank and slowly enjoyed our food, killing a good bit of time, and as we finished up we tossed around the idea of hitting the rest of the indoor rides and heading out, as it was now after 8pm, and at this point I had very low hopes the park would reopen anything that late in the day, when out of the silence came the all familiar roar of a classic B&M floorless off in the distance.
We hurried over and had a fantastic sunset ride on Bizarro in the back of the train, the ride was absolutely hauling and all of the effects were working. While I didn't necessarily appreciate the added heat from the fireworks, the mist (and lights) were on at the S-shield and the meat grinder. I really love this coaster, after dark its so badass.
Heading off we stopped on Runaway Mine Train for a short front row ride. We had another brief debate over whether or not we should ride as, like I said, Imri doesn't do "kiddie coasters" even though, once again he got off and said he had fun. I really have a hard time getting in and out of these trains, and once I'm in I always wind up crushing my nuts on the airtime hill over the lake because of how tight I have to keep my legs together. Its quite comical and also awful. I love this ride.
We stopped to hit the bathroom and upon exiting I squealed with delight at the sound of the Intamin fart beckoning us from across the lake. No screaming riders but we bee-lined for the ride anyways. We found about 50 people already lined up, a few people milling around at the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, and the entrance still closed with the greeter and security guard posted up, and knowing exactly how this was going to go, Imri jumped in line while I quickly got us a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo and dumped our phones and his drink cup in there and I joined him.
Just like that, the ride opened and at least half of the people in line got turned back toward the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo for loose articles. We were able to get in and get to the magic seat with a one train wait. One train ops but who cares. I'll never get tired of the faithful, unanimous cheers returning trains on El Toro will consistently deliver, it makes it that much more exciting to climb onto. I was especially excited to ride The Bull on such a hot, humid day and believe me when I say it absolutely did not disappoint. As mentioned I also got to ride on Sunday morning and noticed it was running exceptionally well then, but tonight we were fuc*king flying. Holy crap, we're so lucky to have this ride so close to home. Ole!
The timing worked out perfectly that when we got off, the line had completely dissipated and we were able to walk right around and right back up to the station, and to our surprise found row 1 to be a two train wait, and, well... you know what time it is. It's funny, I'm a huge 'magic seat' fan, and 9.7 out of 10 times will go for it, and had never even ridden the front until earlier this year, but since then, every visit I've ridden it in the very front as well. I prefer it in the back by far - the airtime is much more sustained. But the front is fun, its just a different animal.
By now it was almost dark, and we'd had a really great night, and agreed we would have been happy with going home, but I checked the app and noticed Nitro was finally listed as open, so we decided the rest of our evening would be better spent marathoning a fabulous B&M hyper through the sticky Jersey Pine Barrens. What better way to get there than the Sky Way, which was a walk on. Here's some photos we got up there
Nitro was a walk on, we literally walked up and hopped onto the back row of the train that was loading. All of the coasters had been running exceptionally well tonight but Nitro was really the shining star. With the sun finally down the air cooled and the ride was delivering. No moonlight, just butter-freakin-smooth, racing through the dark woods, delivering the most tranquil, beautiful floating air. The girl running the thing was clearly bored, hot and tired and her lifeless robo-schpeil of "enjoyyourNitrobyyeeeee" for every dispatch had us in stitches.
With the back half of the station empty we stayed seated for a second ride and then played musical chairs for another ride a couple rows up. All three laps were incredible, we couldn't stop talking about how great and fast it was running and how strong the air was. After our third ride the operator mentioned the park closed in 19 minutes. Earlier we had talked about how cool it would be to ride Zumanjaro around 10pm when the fireworks were going off. Now, with the park closing, Imri suggested we try it. I told him he was crazy and doubted we would make it all the way from Nitro to Zumanjaro in... OK by the time we passed Nitro's photo booth we had 17 minutes. I also had my doubts they would even keep the entrance open all the way until 10pm and felt it was pointless to try.
We speedwalked our way through Movie Town, Adventure Alley, Main Street (where crowds had begun to assemble for the fireworks), the Boardwalk, and into the Golden Kingdom which was as usual pitch black, and also completely deserted. When we passed Twister, noting the beginnings of the foam party, it was 9:54pm.
We made our way through the dark maze of the Kingda Kingdom when through the bamboo I head a familiar, robotic voice - "arms down, head back, hold on!
All night Ka had been listed as closed and at this point we hadn't even considered riding it - our focus was a drop ride, but it didn't take much else for me to loudly declare "Oh F*ck That, Dude! We're Riding The King Daka!
" We hurried back to the entrance and found a handful of other latecomers also entering. I guess the loose article policy depends on the time of day as the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo/kiosks were all closed up and while there was security at the entrance, no one stopped us and we rode with phones in our pockets.
We were thrilled to find it a one train wait for the front row, the ops (as usual) encouraging people to re-ride, with most of the back of the train staying seated. Before long were slowly advancing out onto the pitch black launch track. Not sure if Zum was even still running it was hard to see to be able to tell if we'd have to wait a few minutes for that to cycle before we could launch.
But as soon as I had that thought, I heard the familiar hiss of the brakes retract and the train slowly roll back and "click" onto the catch car. Between the moment where that happened and when we launched, the sky to our right suddenly exploded and off we went! The launch and catapult up the tower were incredibly smooth, and as we crested the top, I glanced to my left and caught the sky lit up again - exploding rainbows of color, and caught a glance again as we twisted down the drop. As we pulled out and soared up the airtime hill - just as we crested - BOOM! Another huge firework. We hit the brakes and the train burst into cheers, the firework show continuing over our heads. Best. Ride. Ever.
I'm not "not a fan" of Kingda Ka but Ive always been fairly indifferent about it due to its brevity and (for me) tight restraints. Regardless, I will ride it when there isn't a wait, and especially love taking people on it that have never ridden it. But this lap was just otherwordly and like no other ride I've had on it before (and I'm not sure I'll get again). The parks fireworks were quite impressive and lasted quite a while, we were able to make it all the way out of Golden Kingdom and catch them from the Boardwalk. Took a ton of photos.
Instead of battling the crowds in the lot, we'd hang out and check out the DJ/foam party which was weird. Like... teens that are too cool for it, preteens that are way to into it, and families with babies that are out way too late all dancing in foam and strobe lights to such favorites as "Gagnam Style", "Timber", and "Party Rock Anthem". The Sling Shot had free rides and had a sizeable line, Twister was running as were the Go Karts (which were also free) as well as Superman and Green Lantern. We didn't ride anything, instead we got some ice cream and stood around going "this is weird".
I tend to hate (and avoid) the place during the heat of the summer but I can't deny it was an all around a great night at the park. A roller coaster of emotions as we went from being excited to get out on a weeknight to the doubt of anything running due to the weather to the the elation of getting to ride some of the worlds best coasters which happened to all be running exceptionally well. Thanks to Imri for contributing some photos for this report, and thanks to YOU for reading and hopefull commenting.
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Six Flags Most Explosive Coaster 3x
King Daka 1x
The Mighty Skull Mountain 1x
Runaway Train 1x
Macho Nacho 1x
Sky M&Ms 1x