National Roller Coaster Weekend: August 16th & 17th, 2014

August 16th is National Roller Coaster Day, so after my all day trip to SFGAdv on Friday the 15th, my coastermania weekend continued with a ride down to Wildwood on Saturday morning, with the missus and two of my closest friends. We stayed with my folks and actually went up to the boardwalk three times over the course of Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we stopped up around dinnertime to eat some Macks Pizza and to walk down the beach to dip our feet in the ocean. We strolled the boards a bit but no rides. 

Later on that night we made a trip back up to the the boards, arriving around 10pm and immediately right on to the back seat of The Great White. Surprisingly, the line was out of the station and down the steps, the first time I've seen that long of a line in a few years. Our first ride was a full train, and was tearing through the course. 

After all of our rides this season we've decided we prefer the red over the blue train as the restraint sits higher on the blue train and sort of leans into your stomach while the red trains' restraints sit over your thighs making for a much more comfortable ride. I love the whip of airtime over the first drop and the bunnyhills. The turnaround before the bunnyhills needs to be retracked, it is beyond bumpy. 

We made it down to Mariners Pier and did the Riptide pirate ship ride. Just like a few weekends ago, we sat on the end for some great airtime. I love that they cycle this ride for so long. We got some boardwalk eats (more Macks Pizza, some Kohr Bros custard) and were on our way home around midnight. 

Sunday afternoon we headed back up for a few more rides - yet another back seat spin on The Great White. We were very stoked to walk up and see that only the red train was running. 

To top it off we got a ride with another almost full train so we had another great ride on it. My buddy Art and I also did the Screaming Swing ride which has some seriously scary awesome ejector airtime. 

Healthy food on the boardwalk? Who knew?

After doing Zumanjaro a few times recently I was determined to do Wildwood's 140 foot Atmosfear drop ride, and no one would ride with me, so I did it alone. It felt more forceful of a drop but so much shorter than Zumanjaro's 415 feet. 

All in all it was another great weekend at Morey's Piers, with tons of quality riding. 

Ride Count: 

The Great White x2
Screaming Swing x1
Riptide x1
Atmosfear x1
Tram Car x1 (so bumpy its a ride all in itself!)


Sibling Session @ Great Adventure: August 15th, 2014

After a few failed attempts over this summer at getting a plan together this past Friday my sister and I finally made it up to Great Adventure. This weekend also marks National Roller Coaster Day (August 16th) so we are getting a head start today. It was my 7th trip to the park since opening day and easily the most crowded I've seen it this season. Upon arrival @ the park around 10:15am the line to get through security was insane. I hate to admit but we kind shuffled around the crowd and jumped as much as we could to get to the front and managed to get in pretty quickly. 

 Picture does not really capture how crowded the entrance was

Because we noticed how packed the lot already was and had seen so many groups of kids with matching shirts (camps trips/class trips? beautiful weather? some teeny-bopper concert?) we went straight for Flash Pass HeadQuarters and even that had a serious line right away. This time I asked for the frequent user card so I no longer have to sit through that lame instructional movie. As my sister hadn't been to the park in quite some time and hadn't done everything at park, we really wanted to get a lot in and not have to stand in line with kids all day. 

Greeted by Supermans amazing 'pretzel loop' from the parking lot

Our first reservation was El Toro and while the Flash Pass had us set up for an immediate ride, when we got to the entrance it was completely closed. On every trip this year besides opening day, El Toro is my first stop and today I'll have to break that tradition. Bummer. We saw some empty trains testing and decided to head toward Bizarro since it is close by. We didn't need a Flash Pass reservation, as it was a walk on this early in the day so we reserved Nitro while we did this. Bizarro is a floorless coaster and
we sat in the front for the full experience and it was fun as usual. I'm a definite Bizarro fan so it was a nice first ride of the day. It's a smooth-as-hell moderately forceful looping coaster.  My sister had ridden it years prior when it was still Medusa so she dug the paint job and fireballs but kind of knew what to expect. We got to do it once later as the sun set so the smoke/lights adds a bit more to the ride. 

Bizarro in action

View of the Saw Mill Log Flume from the SkyWay

After Bizarro we attempted Runaway Mine Train but the line was very long and even with Flash Pass it would have been 15 minutes so we reserved Nitro and jumped on the Skyway which luckily had no line. 

SkyWay selfies

Upon touching down on the other side of the park we popped into the lineless Skull Mountain for a back seat ride and it was just awesome fun as always. My sister was surprised by the airtime on the drop (her words: "my ass was completely out of my seat!!!") but laughed her off right along with me the whole ride. Then it was off to Nitro for a back seat ride. After departing we popped right over to Batman for a backseat, very intense, positive-G filled, but smooth ride. I have fallen in love with this coaster over this summer. 

 Batman's zero-G roll 

 Batman's 2nd vertical loop

As this point we saw El Toro was available again on our Flash Pass and had 30 minute wait for us, so we reserved and took a stroll around the lakefront and killed some time in the arcade near Attitudes until our time to ride. We sat in the magic seat (middle seat of back car) and it was fantastic as always. This is easily my favorite ride in the park at this point. 

Ready to ride the bull

Strap yourselves in for the most wild ride in the park

Shame the lines were so long as I would have killed to get more rides in on this. It was around this time - between 1-2pm we noticed our waits were getting seriously long. All the big dogs - El Toro, Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro, Nitro all had 1 hour+ waits for us on our Flash Pass. But Sky Screamer, which I have had yet to ride, was only about 20 minutes so we headed that way. The Sky Screamer is similar to a wave swinger ride, only it goes 240ft in the air. Sis was scared to death - afraid of heights - but we went for it anyway. I have to say she was a trooper all day. As we were the next to board, the ride broke down with riders stuck about 20 feet in the air. We waited for a bit, maybe 10 minutes, until the Flash Pass attendant told us it would probably be a while so we then reserved the monster that is Kingda Ka (an hour wait for us) and went out to the lot for our Wawa hoagiefest lunchtime ritual. 

Kingda Ka & Zumanjaro's 456 foot tower

We took our time eating and hanging out, then slowly wandered back in and over to Kingda Ka. This was a first time ride for sis, so she had no idea what she was in for. We sat close to the front and my ride was more enjoyable that the last time I did it in July when I sat in the last row. She couldn't say whether or not she liked it, but that it was quite the experience. 

Standing at the foot of the tower ready to board Zumanjaro

All day she had been saying she didn't know about doing Zumanjaro, now the world's tallest drop ride, but after we got past the Kingda Ka attendant I reserved it without saying anything to her. We still had time to kill before we could ride so we wandered around and got a beer and sat for a bit until we could ride. Once we got back there the regular line had 200+ people, the Flash Pass line was at least 50 people. It was completely disorganized, they were letting tons of regular line riders on while the 50 of us FPers had to wait. And the thing broke down not once but twice as we were waiting. We waited an additional 45 minutes and after we were past the attendant, now waiting to board next, it broke down AGAIN. Irritated to say the least. Finally we got on, and I can honestly say it was much more enjoyable to me this time around, my second ride of the season. The drop felt reeeaaalllly long. What a rush! This was the only major hiccup for us all day as far as frustrating operations that directly affected us. Annoying, but it is what it is. 

Superman: Ultimate Flight

We had managed to reserve Superman without a super long wait after we got into Zumanjaro so after we got off we headed that way and got on pretty quickly. Fun as always, love that pretzel loop! Our next reservation was a 2nd attempt at Sky Screamer once again and this time we actually got on and it didn't break down! Yay! This was my first StarFlyer and it's actually terrifying up there in such minimal restraints on open seats, and I didn't expect it to go so fast. However, I'd probably do it again. I don't usually do spinning things but I liked it. I think my sister feared for her life.

The monstrosity that is Sky Screamer

From here we headed back over to the west side of the park for a short wait for Runaway Mine Train - always fun, I love the two airtime pops before and over the lake. We reserved Bizarro while on Mine Train and that had a half hour wait for us so we killed more time with a few beers and people watching at Best Of The West. The sun was now setting so a kind-of-darker ride on Bizarro is always great. We wanted a night ride on Nitro but our wait was still an hour around 8pm at night. 

 Bizarro's fireballs at night

We decided the best way to end the day was one more ride on El Toro, which was an hour wait for us. We reserved it after realizing we were hungry so we did the Garden State Grill restaurant for some fries, chicken nuggets and another beer. We wandered around and drug our feet until our time was ready for El Toro

Zumanjaro portal and El Toro's batshit crazy first drop

It had just gotten completely dark by the time we boarded so it was a true night ride - my first on El Toro. Of course we went for the magic seat again and I got to show my sister how it hauls so much ass later in the day. We bought the on-ride photo, because I didn't realize my sister could open her mouth so wide LMAO. 

Hands up for me on the bull, always

By 9pm we were on our way out. Too tired, very long day and didn't feel like waiting a long time for anything else. It was most definitely a mandatory FP day, I don't think we would have gotten much of anything at all without it. I like to think we went for quality over quantity and had more of a laid back day compared to usual with the long waits... The weather was BEAUTIFUL and any day at SFGAdv is a good time any way you cut it!

Ride count:

El Toro x2
Bizarro x2
Superman x1
Batman x1
Nitro x1
Runaway Mine Train x1
Skull Mountain x1
Zumanjaro x1
Kingda Ka x1
Sky Screamer x1