Six Flags Great Adventure
I felt like I cheated on SFNE. This was the first time in several years that I didn’t go to SFNE’s opening weekend. Usually I’ll brave the frigid cold and/or drizzly weather. So I found it ironic the year I skip is the one when it was sunny and in the mid-60s. Surprisingly the good weather was maintained this past weekend when I did make it to SFNE (Here
I needed to drop someone off at my sister’s college near New York City. The original plan was to spend all day at Six Flags Great Adventure, but my sister wasn’t free until midnight due to a clinical. SFGAdv closed a bit too early, but I found a more appealing alternative, Hersheypark.
Since my route had me taking the New Jersey Turnpike, it would have been wasteful not to exercise my membership and rack up some rides on El Toro. I felt deprived after seeing it idle during my HITP visit. Plus I could get a free lunch out of it too.
Once the park opened, crowds diverted. Some wanted to get the perfect selfie by the fountain. Others wanted to conquer the world’s tallest coaster. Enthusiasts flocked towards El Toro. Smart enthusiasts flocked towards El Toro’s fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo.
The fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo policy has been discussed ad nauseam on this site. It’s a bummer those who properly secure their phones and don’t try to post an amateur POV are penalized, but it is what it is. Essentially it makes El Toro a $1 upcharge and let’s be honest, it’s worth it.
I could have boarded the first public train of the day. If I cared about bragging rights, I would have. But I didn’t. I care about quality. Therefore, I happily waited an extra cycle for the second to back. That’s the money seat on El Toro. You get all the goodies of the drop without the few extra bumps of the back row.
Speaking of that first drop, it’s incredible. It’s without a doubt the best drop on any wooden coaster I’ve ridden. RMC woodies can match El Toro’s drop in terms of steepness, but they’re outclassed in the airtime department. And that’s saying a lot! El Toro’s drop is just that crazy- powerful, sustained ejector air.
But the sustained ejector airtime doesn’t stop there. The following two camelbacks are two of the best airtime moments on any coaster. As you approach the apex of the hill, you can already feel your keister starting to lift. Your upper half feels like its flying, but your thighs pressed forcibly into that lap bar.
If there’s one weakness to El Toro, it’s the middle section. The entry into the turnaround, subsequent drop, and speed hill all give airtime. But it’s meek floater. It feels wildly out-of-place on a ride as intense as El Toro. Don’t worry, the bull is getting ready for the finale- the Rolling Thunder hill.
When an element is universally known across enthusiast circles without stating the ride (hive dive, quarry drop, Rolling Thunder hill), you know it must be something special. And that’s exactly what the Rolling Thunder hill is. It is some of the most violent sustained airtime anywhere.
That’s immediately followed by a wild series of low-to-the-ground turns. You feel like the bull is trying to fling you over into El Diablo’s now barren pad. But then the speed just evaporated. Usually those final hills at least give tiny pops of air, but on this day, I felt like El Toro was going to valley as it crept into the brake run.
In the span of 1.5 hours, I think I got about six rides on El Toro until it broke down briefly. Every single one of those rides was in the back car. I know the front is awesome too, but I can’t rob myself of that first drop. El Toro is undeniably wild and I applaud the park for continuing to maintain it. 9.5 out of 10
I then used my dining plan, or tried to use it. I had no issue buying a gyro, which was a delicious surprise at a Six Flags park. But the pretzel stand claimed I could only use my membership’s dining plan to get a discount. I have no clue what the issue was since I’ve used it at numerous other Six Flags parks.
I always seem to encounter an odd policy every other visit. Usually it’s related to photography. Last year one security guard said I wasn’t able to bring a point-and-shoot into the park since it was a “professional camera”. On another visit during Justice League’s construction, I took a picture of the Chiller’s old observatory from the Movie Town (no fence scaling, just a regular shot from the midway), but a security guard told me I had to delete all photos with the Observatory since it was “behind a fence.”
It’s somewhat sad that I visited a park with 13 different roller coasters, including the world’s tallest and four B&Ms, but I only rode one. That’s a testament to just how good El Toro is. I didn’t feel compelled to ride anything else. And I was perfectly content doing so. If El Diablo were still there, maybe I'd be singing a different tune.
Oh and I feel so sorry for whatever employee mans this game.