Sponataneous Adventure: June 29th, 2014

 Aerial view of Great Adventure

After trying to find a riding partner all week to utilize a season pass "Bring-A-Friend-For-$9.99" special, I wound up going with my old friend Teri, a coaster fan who hasn't been to Six Flags Great Adventure in a quite some time. She wasn't sure when she had last gone but she had done a few of the  older coasters like Medusa (now known as Bizarro), Superman and Batman.

Mandatory shot of The Bull from the Skyway

We made it up to the park a little later than I would have liked to but we were in a short line for El Toro by 11:30am, about a 15 minute wait and we walked around to do it again right away, another 15 minute wait. I love this ride so much and Teri did too. Today it ate my sunglasses for breakfast. They were in my front pocket, which I've done before, but this time when I pulled them out afterwards the lenses were both smashed to pieces. The Bull does not fuck around.  

After our morning wake up session we bounced around and did a lot of things that we didn't have to wait for: Bizarro (a station wait), Runaway Mine Train (a walk-on), and the SkyWay (5 minute wait). Upon touching down we hit up Skull Mountain where we waited 2 trains for back row, which I'd never done on this before and OMFG! This is such great, totally underrated coaster. They had the death metal really CRANKED adding to the insanity of this one. 

We then went for Nitro, where the line was out to the switchbacks but with all three trains running it was a 20 minute wait. I say it all the time, this thing is a people eater. Here we got to witness line jumpers being thrown out by security which was nice. In fact I noticed security dudes line-watching on both El Toro and Nitro today. Thank god they are finally doing something about this, the line jumping has been bad all season and no one ever says or does anything, including me. I'm here to ride, not fight. As far as Nitro, we avoided Train C and had a blast in the back row, as expected. 

Nitro's first 230ft drop. No I did not take this.

After this we waited 20 minutes for Batman and waited an extra few for the front row upon Teri's insistence. This ride is intense as hell and feels so much faster than it actually is. The line was even shorter upon exiting, and I almost went back for a 2nd ride but decided against it. Instead we made a quick pop out to the car for some packed Wawa lunch, then back in for another round of Nitro - another 20 minute wait, but with three trains running this line always moves. 

 Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train

Then I got a credit! I always joke about doing Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train which is one of the smallest coasters in the park, and almost did last time I was at the park in early June but my bro-in-law scoffed at the size of the ride. Well, yesterday I finally went on! At 6'2 and without a child I was worried they may turn me away but they didn't! I totally did not even fit into the seat (in the back of course, Teri in front of me) and the operator stapled me in. Good thing as I got some serious whip action on that first tiny drop.

The author as a credit whore

We also did the Buckaneer swinging pirate ship ride upon Teri's insistence and it was fun. The ride ops had each side having a screaming match and everyone on board was hyped up and into it. 

T-shirt in El Toro's gift shop

We then decided we were getting fatigued so one more and done. We figured we'd go out with a bang so we waited for El Toro for one final ride around 5pm. The line was out to the entrance but we only waited 30 minutes. This ride is worth every second of waiting. As we were in line we noticed a helicopter over the parking lot, and knowing of a potential commercial shoot for the new drop ride happening today, I guessed we'd see Zumanjaro and Kingda Ka running together, and sure enough there they both went. Everyone in line with us was buzzing about it, every other person had their phone out filming the coaster running and gondolas dropping simultaneously as the chopper flew around it. Pretty cool to witness.

Cell phone video Teri caught of the commercial shoot

As for El Toro, we rode it in the magic seat all three times and as usual it felt insanely faster on our final ride late in the day.

It was really hot and sunny yesterday so we made many stops at the "misting machines" they have all over the park and were chugging water all day. The lines for the Log Flume and Congo Rapids were really long so we didn't bother. Those misting machines come in handy. That and dumping water fountain water all over me throughout the day. Other than the heat overall a good day with a ton of riding considering we didn't bother with a Flash Pass! With the 3 rides on El Toro and 2 on Nitro how could it not be?

Ride count:

El Toro 3x
Nitro 2x
Bizarro 1x
Batman 1x
Skull Mountain 1x
Buckaneer 1x
Skyway 1x
Blackbeards 1x
Runaway Mine Train 1x


Another Wildwood Weekend: June 14th, 2014

I was back on the island this past weekend and took a brief solo stroll up to the boardwalk yesterday afternoon for some always amazing Macks Pizza, some Kohr Bros custard, and of course took a ride on the "big three" coasters we have here. The weather was gorgeous - very warm, upper 70s with a great sea breeze coming in off the ocean. I keep getting lucky with weather when I've been riding this year.

The Great White, Adventure Pier 

The Great White, the piers' awesome woodie hasn't been opened on any trip I've been down here so far in 2014, so I did it two times, as my first and last ride of the day. This is hands down the best coaster they have to offer here. Both of my rides were in the back seat, both were walk-ons, and it ran super smooth and felt really fast and was the highlight of my day, beside the pizza and custard. If you sit in the very back it provides some nice airtime going over the first drop and a few more nice pops on the bunny hops toward the end. 

The Great White POV by Theme Park Review

Directly in front of me was a guy my age with his young son (maybe 6-8 yrs old?) who was riding for the first time. Its always fun to witness this, especially how scared the kid seemed during the ride but then how stoked he was after we pulled back into the station.

 The Great Nor'easter, Surfside Pier

I continued down the boardwalk toward Mariners' Landing and felt up to a bit of torture in the back seat of the Sea Serpent after which I officially denounced all boomerangs from now on and forever. It's been real, but that's where this relationship ends! Then it was down further to Surfside Pier for the Great Nor'easter which was running insanely rough in the back row to the point I actually was a little worried the train was going to tear apart mid-ride. Also noteworthy was that I was once again "wanded" for loose articles while boarding this ride, but not on either of the other two coasters. 

After a stop for some of my favorite pizza I did The Great White again followed by a delicious custard and headed back home. The Great White is a great little coaster and a Kohr Bros is a great way to end the day.

Ride count: 

The Great White x2
Sea Serpent x1
The Great Nor'easter x1


Great Adventure Bro-Fest: June 1st, 2014

As a Six Flags season passholder, I have a handful of "Bring A Friend Free" days, and since I don't drive, took advantage of these to get folks up to the park with me since neither my guest nor myself have to pay to get in. Originally I had planned to make my fourth trip to the park a day spent with my sister, who used to go on all-day riding adventures in Wildwood with me as kids. I got a text the morning of saying her and my nephew were sick and hadn't slept, so her husband would go with me instead. No matter, my bro-in-law was up for a day of riding. 

We were parked by 10am and were through security and the main gate insanely fast, and for the first time I was able to take advantage of the season passholder "early entry" and we got let in a few minutes before the general public. I could get used to this! 

 The Bull in action

As is now the routine, we headed right over to El Toro and got on the 2nd train of the day. We got in two rides with no wait at all, then popped over Superman: Ultimate Flight before the lines got too bad and it rode great. I love this coaster. We actually wound up getting stuck on the break run, of all places due to problems with the dispatch in front of us. We were only stuck for about 10 minutes, but the issue with this is you are still in the "flying" position until you get all the way back into the station and they lower your seat. 

Take a virtual ride on Superman: Ultimate Flight

After this we headed toward Batman and line was almost out to the garden but I really wanted to ride as I hadn't the last few times we've been at the park. So we waited about 20 minutes and it rode great. We didn't care where we sat, station was a shitshow so sat row 5 in center right side. Much less headbanging than I remembered and so incredible fast paced and downright intense. Great finish too. This is probably fantastic at night. 

 Batman & Superman POVs provided by DeathByIllusion

After this we went for Nitro and saw the line almost out to the front gate. Feels like Flash Pass time. This was my first time buying a flash pass but I had a BOGO coupon with my season pass so we headed to the FP Headquarters and even that wound up having a wait. I learned they make you sit through a brief movie on how to use the device. Seems easy enough. 

After this the day got pretty great. So nice to not have to wait. I took the advice I got to reserve next ride right after we'd pass the Flash Pass attendant for a given ride, so that while we're in the station waiting for one ride we're also virtually waiting for our next ride. This allowed us to bounce around a lot and get in a good amount of riding. We also did a lot of walking so I'll no doubt sleep good tonight. 

My brother-in-law hadn't been to the park in years so we tried to get on nearly everything. He's always wanted to ride Kingda Ka but we didn't see it running all morning or afternoon and he was super bummed. Anytime he's been to the park since it was built it is closed. While we were in line for Green Lantern around 5:00pm I was scrolling through our Flash Pass to reserve our next ride and what do you know? Kingda Ka pops up for only 15 minutes from then! PERFECT. 

We took our quick ride on Green Lantern and hurriedly ran over to the enormous Kingda Ka. Since they've been doing construction on the worlds tallest drop ride, Zumanjaro, which is attached to the same tower, I haven't been able to ride since last year. And ride we did. 

Take a virtual ride on the worlds' tallest coaster

When we went to get off the first time his restraint wouldn't open, while mine did so I stood up to get off. I motioned to the ride operator that his wouldn't open. In typical Six Flags employee fashion, she ignored me and walked away. During the confusion they allowed him to stay on the ride a second time! I stepped back to not get closed in the air gates, while some random dude sits down next to my bro, and the ride op comes by and staples him in for 2nd ride in a row!! 

While its absolutely something to experience, I can give or take Kingda Ka. Its all about the very intense launch but other than that its a one trick pony. Give me Nitro or El Toro any day. That said, it was cool to ride it again today, that launch is just nuts. I got some nice floater airtime on the camel hump. We more or less bounced around all day until finally around 7pm we decided we were just tired and sick of weaving in and out of huge crowds as we hopped from one ride to the other. 

The happy author with his first Flash Pass and an afternoon summer shandy

Overall it was a GREAT day with a ton of riding. Super hot and really crowded. Probably my last weekend day til after the summer. 

Ride count:
Nitro 2x 
El Toro 3x 
Kingda Ka 1x 
Superman 2x 
Bizarro 1x 
Batman 1x 
Green Lantern 1x 
Skull Mountain 1x 
Saw Mill Log Flume 1x