10.18.2015

Double Date Night @ Dorney: Oct 17th, 2015


I braved the freezing temps and made it up to the Allentown area with the missus, my sister Alison, and bro-in-law Tom on Saturday night for a little double date night of sorts and to check out Dorney Park's annual Halloween event "Haunt". The girls hadn't been to Dorney since at least the late 90s so there was lots for them to do here that they hadn't before. It was also the first time all four of us had been riding together since our Cedar Point roadtrip earlier this summer. 

 I love driving through Pennsylvania this time of year.



We arrived at the park around 5:30pm and were joined by a steady stream of cars entering the lot. We also noticed an empty Stinger train stuck on the 2nd spike, and wouldn't see it operate all night. 




After a brief wait to be wanded by security - who were everywhere all night on their little bikes - we got in, had a quick stop at the bathroom, and checked out the scene at Talon. The line was almost out to the entrance but we could not tell if it went through all of the switchbacks. 


We overheard people getting out of line saying that it was an hour wait, which it probably wasn't, but we went ahead and turned around anyway and headed towards Hydra the Revenge. We waited about 15 minutes and planned to ride in the front row but once we got in the station we said screw it and jumped in row 3. 


I've made it pretty clear here that I am not a fan of Hydra but our ride on this was fun. I'm not sure if it was because it was the girls first ride on this and I was gauging their reactions but we all giggled through our first ride of the night. 


I also had a good chuckle when we hit the brake run and I asked the missus "what did you think" to which she responded "that was cute!" Cute! Not a common term to describe a big bad B&M coaster. LOL. Even though I've ridden this before it still amazes me how quiet this and Talon are compared to other B&Ms.

 Take a virtual ride on Hydra the Revenge, POV by FrontSeatCoasters

From here we headed down the hill towards Demon Drop and were happy to see it was running. It was also here we noticed Thunder Creek Mountain was closed and completely drained. On our way around to Demon Drop we noticed the Haunt maze Cornstalkers had a ridiculous wait but lucky for us Demon Drop only had about a 5 minute wait. 


Check out Demon Drop in action, courtesy of CoasterForce

The girls hadn't done one of these 1st generation Intamin drop towers since Stuntmans Freefall @ Great Adventure probably 20 years ago and agreed it was insane. My sister specifically pointed out that she lost her ovaries on the ride. I'm not sure exactly what that means but sounds serious and we had a huge laugh at this. Upon exiting we saw the line for Cornstakers had doubled, and this had us hoping that folks had scattered around to trails and that lines for rides would be short from now on. We passed the parks old wooden coaster Thunderhawk and the station looked empty. 


The scene at Thunderhawk

We were all hesitant to do a lap on this old painful woody but Tom goaded us into the line and we were able to walk right on to the front and 2nd rows. I will not ride this anywhere but in the front of the train since its like a trainwreck anywhere else. They were running two trains but not sure why since this ride was a ghost town. I have to say our lap was a lot of fun - totally out of control but two great pops of ejector airtime before the 1st and 2nd turnarounds. The trim brakes were definitely on during the bunnyhops, noticeably so. Also the crew was painfully slow on this, we sat on the brake run for maybe 5 minutes with a completely empty station in front of us. 

Take a virtual ride on Thunderhawk. POV by DeathbyIllusion

From here we walked into the Age of Darkness scare zone to head towards the park hypercoaster, Steel Force. I was a bit let down by the scare zones compared to last year as the actors didn't seem to be using many props like shovels, rakes, chainsaws etc for the guaranteed startle factor. Also many of the actors seemed to be standing around talking to each other instead of engaging the guests.

Once we got back to Steel Force, the missus decided to sit this one out (too fast, no shoulder restraints) even though we attempted to convince her the name is misleading and it really rides just the worlds largest mine train, but no dice. The wait was about 20 minutes but the Fun TV's in the queue were playing some really strange interesting music videos that kept us entertained while we waited. I really like that the Cedar Fair parks have these and keep the content interesting. Really helps with the waiting. 


We also noticed the op kept saying to departing trains "Enjoy your FREEZING COLD RIDE on Steel Force!" We headed for the 2nd/3rd rows since sitting toward the front of the train is the only way you'll get any kind of force on this thing and once we were headed up the lift I became very aware of why the ops were saying that. Jesus lord this was easily the coldest coaster ride I've ever taken! Of course because I am an asshole I went hands up the entire ride and pretty sure my entire body was frostbitten by the end. Brrrrrrr!

Take a virtual spin on Steel Force, POV by DeathbyIllusion


We decided to get Possessed and on our way spotted insanely long lines for Gravewalkers (Haunt trail) and Revolution (spinning claw ride). Tom tried to get us to ride Revolution but none of the rest of us felt like waiting in what looked like a healthy line so to Possessed we continued. I'm willing to queue quite a while for this one since it's one of the best rides in the park, but we only wound up waiting about 15 minutes. We sat in the last two rows and the girls agreed it was very intense and better than Wicked Twister, which they both rode earlier in the season. After our ride I noticed my feet felt tingly. 


Possessed POV by FrontSeatCoasters

It was about 8:30 and we were all getting hungry so we headed back up towards Chickie & Petes and had a stop at the parks other drop ride Dominator on the way. We let the girls decide which side to ride since Tom and I had both done each side before, and since we already dropped earlier they wanted to go for the shoot up side. Glad we did as the line for this was considerably shorter than the drop side. We waited about 5 minutes and this was a lot of fun. Huge burst of cold air as we shot up and great ejector air at the top. We all laughed about how much it smelled like BBQ up there. 


Dominator (Up) in action! 

We headed up the hill through the CarnEvil scare zone and stopped at Chickies for dinner and had an absolutely awesome experience. Since we are from Philly we always hit up Chickies when we are here and last time we ate here was at Coasting For Kids in June and while the food was good that day the service was absolutely abysmal. This time we were seated quickly, put our order right in and had our food and drinks in no time. Our server was great - attentive but not overbearing and got everything right. I had the Hydra (mixed drink) which was nice and stiff and tried the fried shrimp with some crab fries because crab fries, duh. Ordering the shrimp at Dorney Park was a dicey proposition but it wound up to be so good I was in disbelief I was eating in a theme park. Everyone else really liked their food and it all seemed to sit well with everyone. Also not terribly expensive - four entrees, two orders of crab fries, and booze for all and it was less than $100. 



Once we finished up we thought we'd check on Talon again and were excited to find a walk on for row 3. Tonight Talon told me I needed to lose weight! I rode this thing 8xs in under a hour at C4Ks in June and didn't have a single issue but tonight I needed an extra push from the nonplussed op to get the seatbelt to snap! To be fair I had just stuffed my face with fish and fries and compared to just a t-shirt in June I was layered with 2 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and windbreaker. Anyways, I got in. 


Talon POV by FrontSeatCoasters

Butter smooth, perfectly paced, I just can't get enough of this ride. My absolute favorite B&M invert and tonights rides solidified that. So so good. The girls also loved this and were strangely comparing it to Gatekeeper @ Cedar Point which we all loved (but is a totally different style of coaster). We snagged the on-ride pic for this one and then ran around for a second ride, this time waiting two trains for the front row. Another frigid ride with no seats in front of us to block the 40 degree wind in our faces! The crew here was hustling, at least compared to the generally lax ops we experienced so far. 

Our first of two consecutive laps on Talon

After doing a full lap around the park everyone was ready to pack it in when Tom and I gave each other than look that one gives another when they want one more spin on Intamin hotness so we dragged the ladies all the way back down the hill for one last lap on Possessed. 10 minute wait and we went for rows 3/4 and somehow this was even more insane than our earlier ride. Since we were close to the front on the 2nd forward launch it seemed like the front row was less than a foot away from the end of the track on the front spike. It had me wondering if there is some sort of launch boost for when its cold on the impulse coasters. The missus wouldn't do this again so she hung out in the store Possessions across the midway where we met up with her after our ride and I grabbed a Dorney magnet to add to the ever growing collection on my fridge. 

 Tom and Al about to be Possessed again

All in all another fun trip to Dorney Park. I know this park gets a lot of flack and they sure are missing that signature coaster that would really bring them some attention but I like that this park is relatively close as its a nice chance of pace from Great Adventure. The Haunt stuff wasn't as good as last year (though I can't speak for the trails since we didn't do any) but the best scare we witnessed was an actor lying down in some bushes right near the front as we exited. Would never have noticed him until he suddenly jumped out at a couple of tweens walking in front of us. Made us jump a little bit too. 


Possessed flying up the back spike

Both of the girls commented that hardly any of the rides at Dorney have that major HOLY SHIT factor like we have with El Toro, Kingda Ka, etc but overall everyone had a really good time and I'm looking forward to another visit, probably in the spring for C4Ks 2016. I was really beat up on Sunday and I think it maybe partially because I haven't ridden any coasters in a month but I think it had to do with how cold it was and how I was likely tense and not relaxed while riding. Regardless, by Sunday morning I felt like I got in a fight on Saturday night! 


Ride count:

Hydra 1x
Demon Drop 1x
Thunderhawk 1x
Steel Force 1x
Possessed 2x
Dominator (Up) 1x
Talon 2x

9.21.2015

Final Weekend @ Morey's: Sept 19th, 2015

Awesome shot of the Great White closed for the season, courtesy of my Mom

With the Pope coming to Philly this weekend people are acting like its the apocalypse and everyone I know in Philly is heading down to Wildwood. Since Moreys Piers are only open one more weekend, I decided to get a jump start and head down to my folks over the weekend to get some last rides of the year. Got in late Friday night so didn't head up to the boardwalk til Saturday afternoon after getting a load on @ brunch.  I was riding alone as my folks decided to relax on the beach.

Moreys Screaming Swing in action

I decided to try to ride as much as I could and use up any remaining tickets I had left on my Wild Card since I won't be down again before the piers close (I think I had close to 100 tix when I checked it). Headed to Adventure Pier first and hopped on the Screaming Swing for two consecutive rides. Ops let me reride (not for free - they took my card and swiped it again) since no one ever rides this amazing flat and there was no wait. Of course I bribed them to run the cycle longer but as always they laughed and explained maintenance would have to come and do that.

The Great White POV by ThemeParkReview

Also jumped on the Great White for a back seat ride on the blue train and it was very sluggish and bumpy. Still fun. Headed off down the boards to grab my final slice of Macks Pizza for the year, excellent as always. Do not sleep on Macks if you are in Wildwood. Just the best. Wandered further down to Surfside pier, hopped on the Kong flyers, got a little snapping going and didn't get kicked off like last time lol. Decided to take a ride on Atmosfear, their Larson drop tower. Its the only ride on the piers that intimidates me but its so ridiculous and fun. Rode with a little girl next to me who was scared out of her mind. About 3/4 up the tower she nervously asks me "Have you ridden this before?" to which I happily replied "Yep!" She then asked "is it gonna just drop or does it stop" and before I could finish saying "It just drops!" we were already on our way down. She let out a big "WOW!" when we hit the brakes. 

 Atmosfear in action

All summer I've been wanting to hop on the classic Flitzer and the line is always one of the longest since its a coaster all the really young kids can ride, but today the line was about 5 minutes, so I jumped in. The entire queue were 7-10 year olds, and then big old me. Such a great little junior coaster and always a nostalgic ride.


Flitzer POV by ThemeParkManiacs
 
I left Surfside and slowly walked back to Adventure to get another ride on the Great White and Screaming Swing. Only running blue train on TGW so I hopped in and braced myself but it felt a bit smoother on that ride. From here I headed back to my folks to meet up with them for dinner (Five Guys and more drinks, yo). 

Another awesome POV of The Great White


After dinner my folks decided to hang at the house but I had a few tickets left and there would be fireworks on the beach at 9pm so I walked back up and got in two more rides on the Screaming Swing (the ops were all "Oh, he's back...") and two more laps on the Great White. TGW was now running both trains so I waited an extra cycle for the red train and had a great ride. I'd heard Kohr Bros had some pumpkin custard but of course they were out so I snagged a peanut butter + chocolate twist on a waffle cone and slowly strolled back to my folks place to end a nice day.

Side note: last weekend I bought an El Toro t-shirt at Great Adv so I wore it while out on Saturday and had at least 10 people throughout the day and night say something to me about it. One of the game employees even yelled it to me across the boardwalk on the microphone. "HEY ELLL TOOOOROOO!!!!!" LMAO.

No photos, had no camera with me this weekend but just wanted to share my last weekend of the season at one of my favorite places on earth. All in all not a bad day of solo riding. Feels like the end of the season, even though I still have Great Adventure til January! Woot!

Ride count
Great White 4x

Screaming Swing 5x
Kong 1x
Flitzer 1x
Atmosfear 1x

9.13.2015

Ant's First Great Adventure: Sept 12th, 2015

 
 The "Blood Fountain" doesn't have its blood yet

Back yet again. Between an 5K inflatable race, the christian rock concert, and a Bring-A-Friend-Free special, it was inevitable the park would be crowded even though I'd hoped for the opposite. There was also the American Coaster Enthusiasts annual 'Riding of the Bull' event. To be fair, it didn't really rain much at all as was forecast so good for the park that they were able to make some $$$ even with the threat of a potential washout. 

I went up w/ my buddy Ant who has never been to Great Adventure. He's done Hershey, Dorney, the Florida parks, and a few in China (including his favorite Ocean Park) etc but for whatever reason not Great Adventure. I was excited to take him on the big dogs, and even though I tend to avoid it, especially wanted to get him on Kingda Ka. I just love first time riders reactions to that insanity. I didn't have a camera with me so Ant took a few photos he told me to share here. 

  
We arrived to the park around 11am to major backups getting into the lot and a moderate wait to get in the gates. No season pass lines open. Lametown. Felt very busy at the entrance plaza and generally while getting in. I was praying for a quick downpour in hopes it would clear it out a bit. Once we did got in we noticed a ton of fright fest decorations up including the skeletons around the fountain and a new giant pumpkin headed monster thing in the center of the fountain, all looked great. No red dye to complete the blood fountain just yet but it will look great once they do it. 

I asked Ant what he wanted to do to which he responded "just take me where you want to go" so of course we headed straight for El Toro and were lucky to walk right on. This was the only ride my buddy was leery of, he told me he gets beat up by wood coasters so as we boarded I explained what Intamin prefabs were and how smooth of a ride it is. The Bull was running nicely and we had a great ride, and of course we have a new convert. After he said it was in the top 5 coasters he's ever done. 


I figured Bizarro would be dead and we headed there and walked right onto the front row with another couple and the rest of the train was empty. Only one of the fire cannons were working which made me LOL. We also saw one of the ACE ROTB tours in their orange vests on the infield of Bizarro as we rode. Ant said it reminded him of Hair Raiser @ Ocean Park, only not on the side of a mountain. 


From here we jumped on the Skyway where I noticed that they were running both sides  and were actually cranking through the lines. At first we were going to do Skull Mountain but then we decided to head to Nitro where the line was back at the 60 minute sign but they had all three trains running and we waited about 15. For whatever reason I didn't even think to look at which train we got on but whichever it was it was smooth as butter. Namtab was only running one train and from watching in line for Nitro it seemed they were sending out trains about every 4 minutes. I didn't even bother to look at the line, so we headed to Skull Mountain and walked right into the station, waited about 3 cycles for the backrow. The air conditioning was pumping even though it wasn't really hot outside. Great drop, death metal cranked, ridiculous as always. Haters gonna hate, but I love this ridiculous junior coaster.



It was time for some beer so we walked across the park, stopping at Liberty Pub and had some issues getting what we wanted. Some of the beer was coming out warm and foamy, then another ran out mid pour. Ugh, I normally love this place. We eventually got sorted and downed those quickly before setting off for Zumanjaro. We noticed Kingda Ka had a full queue but we waited about 10 minutes in the standby line for Zum. Ant liked this but he didn't seem blown away by it. I knew we were making a mistake trying to ride Ka, but he wanted to do it and I wanted him to do it. So we got in line. Of course they were barely dispatching trains and of course it started to rain after we had waited 40 minutes, only getting though a third a queue when it then seemed to shut down completely. So we said screw it and got out of line. 


We were hungry and decided to get some food at the new eatery near Toro, Macho Nacho. Upon heading out of the Golden Kingdom we noticed Safari Discoveries was open and we asked the girl standing at the entrance if the entire path was open and she said Yes! So we were able to avoid going all the way around the boardwalk and cut over there in 2 minutes, stopping for a second to check out the seals and baby otters. Awwwww...

I had tried Macho Nacho earlier this season and just had some drinks. I'd heard the food was good and the place was jumping so we placed our food order and went into the bar and had a seat. Our bartender was very much on top of his game while we waited a long time for our food. Once it did come out it was hot and fresh - he tried the avocado burger and I had the loaded nachos. We both enjoyed our food and the beers were nice and cold. I recommend checking this place out if you haven't yet. Having Toro roar past you every few minutes is the icing on the cake - the bartop literally shakes each time. Pretty cool. 


Since we were in the area we checked out El Toro's line and both switchbacks were full but since we just ate we decided to just wait and digest but good timing because they were absolutely cranking out trains and we got through both switchbacks and into the station in under 20 minutes. Once we were in my suspicions were confirmed - this crew was hauling ass. Always lovely to see. Kudos to the Toro crew yesterday. Absolutely fantastic. As usual the ride was faster and better than our first ride this morning. 


It was just a little after 6pm and we decided to head out as we were both getting tired and wanted to go out on a high note. Bummer I didn't get him on Ka but its a reason to get him back. He also had been interested in Sky Screamer but the line was ridiculous anytime we passed. We never even bothered with Superman:Ultimate Flight or Green Lantern. I asked him what were his favorites of the day to which he responded "El Toro. That's probably my favorite coaster that I've ever been on".

Ride count:
Toro 2x
Nitro 1x
Skull Mountain 1x
Bizarro 1x
Zumanjaro 1x
Skyway 1x

8.17.2015

National Coaster Day & El Toro ERT: August 16th, 2015


My most recent visit to the park is a perfect example of why I love being a season pass holder at Great Adventure and living so close. Myself, my sister Alison and my bro-in-law Tom made a short visit were in and out in of the park in about 2 hours this morning, and managed to do a ton in a really short amount of time. For National Coaster Day the park was having a short half hour ERT on my favorite woodie, El Toro, before the park opened, just for season passholders. I'm not sure if it was the heat or what but it seemed crowded as we entered, however everyone must have been heading to Hurricane Harbor as the dry park was kinda dead. 

A little news story/on-ride of El Toro

We got in at 10am on the dot, no problems at the gate and right over to El Toro. They had a table set up outside the gates where you had to get a bracelet for the ERT so I'm so glad Tom noticed that since everyone in front of us in the season pass entrance were getting out of line to go get their bracelets! ERT was nice (3 laps, one with Al, two with Tom), though they were very much Sunday morning rides as the Bull was very sluggish today. Toro has some major jackhammering on the turnaround, we also always sit in the non-wheel seats and it was noticeable today as always. But otherwise its smooth as butter and the best wooden coaster there is! 

We also took my 2 yr old nephew for his first ever visit to the park in hopes to take him on the safari but after the ERT we asked him if he wanted to do rides or see animals (he can barely talk). His response? "Rides!" We checked out Bugs Bunny National Park to scope out their kiddie rides but they wouldn't open til 11am, so we headed out into Fantasy Forest where my nephew got to ride on a chicken on the old Carousel, which he loved. 

Batman Backwards POV

From here we headed over to Safari Kids and noticed Batman was still running backwards, and Al hadn't yet done it so we hopped on and had a brief station wait. While we did that, Tom took my nephew into Safari Kids (which if you didnt know, has the BEST bathroom in the park! - spotless and freezing!) and got him on a bunch of rides, including Road Runner Railway so he got his first coaster credit today! Big moment for him (read: us) and he seemed to love it.
 
(Nerd alert) Road Runner Railway is the only coaster I had not ridden at Great Adventure as I was never sure if they would let adults ride alone and I never cared enough to try - I think Ive been in Safari Kids once before today - but once I heard he rode I asked him if he would ride again with me and he said yes! Once we got back to it, he wouldn't go back on! So since we were there and there was all of two other people waiting for it, I swallowed my pride and approached the op with my fingers crossed behind my back and he just kind of smirked at me and on I went. Back seat, super intense for a tiny little thing. I said to the op when it was over "thats as intense as El Toro" which got a laugh out of him. 


Nitro POV by FrontSeatCoasters

We went for Nitro which had a station wait just before noon, and good thing since the crew was slooooooooooow today, and from there we left. It was nice in the shade but the heat was unbearable. Never felt crowded at all but as we exited out to the lot at noon the place was becoming rammed. Overall we had a great morning and short and sweet visit for National Coaster Day.  No photos except the one up top that Tom took of me during our mini Toro marathon.


Ride count
El Toro 3x
Namtab 1x
Road Runner Railway 1x

Nitro 1x

7.30.2015

Coasting on a School Night: July 29th, 2015


I stopped over at Great Adventure for a few hours last night w/ my broski Tom and had a really good time. I feel like it was a redemption for a kind of disappointing and average visit last Wednesday. I had a really crappy day at work so I needed a release, and bad. It was hot and sticky (still almost 90 degrees at 7pm, and didn't get much cooler when the sun went down), we probably lost ten pounds each from all the sweating all night, but we didn't let that damper our fun one bit. 

 
We walked from our car to the gate at exactly 7pm and as we approached we were greeted by an endless stream of hundreds of kids w/ camp trips all leaving in unison. This made us so very happy. Our goal of this somewhat spontaneous trip was so that Tom could finally ride Namtab (Batman Backwards) so he wanted to head there first but I needed a warm up. Since I had such a great ride on Nitro last Wednesday we agreed to go there first. Faster and taller, but no inversions and not backwards. 



We had a 15 minute wait, got train A and it had a bit of rattle in the back row but it was still a fantastic ride. I hadn't ridden Nitro all season until last week and after my rides then and last night I am in full appreciative mode w/ this beast. 



It is absolutely a back seat ride simply for the extended floater airtime you get being yanked over and down the drop. Glorious sustained floater air over the hills as the train yanks you toward the ground. Hands up all the way, so so so good. 

 

We are so lucky to have this coaster so close to home. We encountered a couple of line jumpers here which was especially lame considering how short the wait actually was. And no one says or does anything (including me). 


From here we bee-lined around the corner for Namtab and were surprised to find it a complete and total walk on. Score! Too intense for everyone?



 

I can also confirm that the air conditioning is still working in the tunnel and stairway up to the station. This is one of the best things the park has done in a while, it normally gets brutally hot in there, especially during a long wait. 

  
But not today! It was so nice to walk right on to what is the "hot" ride in the park right now. 
 

Like last week, we sat in the last row (first row out of the station) and holy moses it is so intense. It makes my feet feel funny, all tingly, like all the blood in my body rushed to my feet. 



Rider cam footage by Coaster Force
While Namtab is very enjoyable its not exactly re-rideable so we decided to head towards El Toro and stopped @ Liberty Pub (we like it here) and chug a beer before the Bull.



The park was pretty quiet for a July weeknight, must have been all those camp trips leaving as we entered. Trust me, I'm not complaining at all. 


Liberty Pub is a nice little "hidden" beer garden sandwiched between the Main Street fountain and the the Flash Pass headquarters. Main Street Pub is also right here, and since they serve food, its seems most people go there. At Liberty there is usually no line and a nice little outdoor area to sit and enjoy your brew, it also offers some nice vantage points to check out the Sky Screamer and Skyway



After our beers we made way for El Toro, and walked up to about a 10 minute wait for it, snagged the magic seat (2nd row from the back), and as usual it was fantastic. 



When we stood up Tom had an issue with his lapbar opening so it took us a few extra seconds to get out of our seats - in that time I noticed a couple single riders w/ empty seats up further ahead in the train so I said to him "let's go up and try to get in those", and neither person cared when we asked if we could sit with them. 


I know this is technically line-jumping but we are really just filling empty seats so we are not causing anyone to wait any longer and none of the crew batted an eye. We also justified this in thinking that we gave everyone else on our train a better ride because we added 450 lbs of combined weight. Ole! 


We made the mistake of trying Zumanjaro next. After the looooooooong walk back the line looked to be about 20 minutes but just as we got there it broke down, stalling with riders onboard about 8-10 feet in the air. It was brought down, they were taken off, and it was run a few times empty, then with employees. At first this was great because half the line left, mumbling things like "I'm not riding something having problems like that!" so we now had about a 10 minute wait, but after another 5 minutes the same thing happened and they basically told us they were shutting down the ride. Some people waited, we gave up. It was almost 9pm, almost totally dark and we realized Tom has never done a Nitro night ride!



So on top of riding some awesome rides last night we also burned a crapton of calories because we hustled all the way back across the park and got two rides on Nitro in the pitch darkness. Only a line on the stairs, but once we got to the back row to queue up, it went down for "technical difficulties" which was actually just them hosing someones projectile vomit off of half the train. It was EVERYWHERE. Of course we calculated the amount of people in front of us to make sure we wouldn't be on that train and luckily we were not. This time we got train B and it was much smoother than earlier. Once again we were sneaky snakes and jumped in empty seats for a second lap. It was just a station wait anyway, we just couldn't be bothered to walk around. 


Nitro night rides are great because the coaster actually goes into the woods after the drop and there is nothing back there, so after dark it is DARK and makes the ride feel incredibly faster and out of control. 


We were going to head out to the car but it was 9:45 and we thought "maybe Namtab is still a ghost town" so we went there and walked right on to the front row (last row leaving the station) for our final ride of the night. My fourth ride on Namtab so far and probably the best. Sweet baby jaysus, so insane in the dark but also because of being able to see the ground being yanked out from underneath you. I'm surprised I've actually ridden it so much already, I definitely enjoy it. Foot tingles though.

And with that we headed back towards Pennsylvania where Tom dropped me off at the train and it took me ten years to get into the city to get home but it was worth it. After two recent average visits to the park I am loving Great Adventure again. We are so lucky to have these rides so close.

Ride count:

Namtab 2x
El Toro 2x
Nitro 3x

7.23.2015

Mid-Summer Hooky Day: July 22nd, 2015


We had a nice relaxing day at our home park Great Adventure yesterday. Crowds were medium to high for a weekday, but it never got super packed on the midways and the longest we waited for anything was 30 minutes, so we never bothered with Flash Passes. Seemed like a ton of day camps on trips - lots of teens and pre-teens with matching shirts, many with camp logos on them. 


We got to the park around 10:45, got a good parking spot right near the preferred entrance, and headed for the park entrance where we found the ticket booths all had long, seriously slow moving lines. Two of the three of us have season passes so the third was getting the BAF for $9.99 deal so we had to wait. After 45 minutes (!!!) we made it to the booth and it took all of 2 minutes to get him a ticket, I really don't understand why it takes people buying day tickets so long. Lots of people with coke cans in line. Ugh. 



Since I have yet to ride Nitro in 2015 we headed there first and were greeted by a walkon. Score! We got train C, sat toward the back and I can happily report it was smooth as butter. What a great first ride of the day, that first drop in the back of the train never gets old. I love this ride. 


We all had our heads set on Namtab but when we attempted that next the line was out to the entrance. I figured since it's the "hot" ride of the park right now everyone would head here first so it made sense the line was so long. We would try back later. 


Since we were in the area we ducked in Skull Mountain and we had a station wait. I love this ride so much. They really had the death metal cranked today and its nice they sealed all the holes in the building, its nice and dark. And would you believe it - Skull Mountains station was Air Conditioned! Whoa now Six Flags don't get carried away or we'll start expecting this kind of treatment all the time. We sat in the last row of course because you get great ejector air over the drop. The rest of the ride is just silly and always makes me laugh like an 8 year old. 



From here we wanted to get a ride on El Toro so we headed over to the Skyride and discovered a modest line and one side operations. After not moving in line for 10 minutes we gave up, hopped the queue fence and decided we'd get over there faster by walking. On our way we spotted some cool sandcastle art advertising Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park. Pretty cool. 




On our way to El Toro we caught El Diablo running (even with a very short queue still skipped it), and we stopped at the just opened Macho Nacho and had ourselves some margaritas. They were pretty good but the service was slooooooow. They had one bartender and he was brand new and lacked any sort of grasp of English. Still, they were good and its nice to be able to sit and have some booze in this park. Finally! 


 

With bellies of tequila we sauntered over to The Bull where we had a quick 10 minute wait. Upon entering the station we heard this announcement over the PA system: "I know this is going to sound weird... but El Toro has 14 different trashcans placed around the ride. We understand the ride is bumpy, but if you need to use a trash can after the ride, please make sure it goes INSIDE the can and not on top of or all over the side of it" to which the station responded with cheers. After we found our rows toward the back of the train we watched one of the crew cleaning up the trash can directly next to the train inside middle section of the station. Gross. As we were boarding my buddy was securing his phone, a kid on the incoming train noticed and yelled at him "You better put that phone away, we just lost mine!!!" As we departed the station around the first turn we saw the same group of kids looking through the fence and obviously conspiring a way to get that phone back lol. The ride was fantastic as always, it was my one buddies first lap in the last car (he'd ridden with us last year toward the front of the train) and he was blown away. 



From here we attempted Zumanjaro, as my concerns of it being closed were for nothing - we had seen it running with people throughout the day. Of course when we got back there the line was closed off for technical difficulties. We turned towards Kingda Ka and that line was out of the entrance. Booooo. We walked out of the Golden Kingdom and gave Superman a shot - the greeter informed us it was an hour and a half wait. Nope! 


Let's give Namtab another shot. So we headed there and the line just into the switchbacks before the tunnel. They had two trains running and this line basically never stopped moving. This crew was hustling more than any other crew I witnessed all day. And believe it or not - the tunnel/steps have AIR CONDITIONING!!! I was really blown away by this. We sat in the front (row 7) and jesus god that thing has so much insane force. Easily the most intense ride in the park after Toro, got us all a little dizzy. From the lift we could see Nitro's queue was totally full. We needed lunch and a break so we headed out to the lot to eat sandwiches we had packed in the cooler in the car. 

 

Once we headed back in we gave Zumanjaro another shot and the line was long but bearable. For one, its nice that most of the queue is covered and for the whole not-being-able-to-run-both-rides-at-the-same-time thing they seem to have it down to a science as just like Namtab, this line never stopped moving. It was about a half hour but didn't feel that long. This was my one buddies first ride on this and he has an extreme fear of heights so it was fun to see his reaction. He said he would do it again, but he was white as a ghost and basically speechless when we got off. 


On our way out of the Kingdom we stopped at Superman: Ultimate Flight and the line was a lot shorter than earlier. Again we waited about a half hour for this but mostly in the shaded parts of the queue and the line didnt really stop moving. I have to say this crew was hustling too. We did the last row and holy crap the way you get yanked through that pretzel loop is just ludicrous. While exiting through the gift shop I picked up a really cool Superman magnet to add to the growing collection on my refrigerator. 


All day we had been talking about doing one of the water rides so since none of us have done Congo Rapids in forever (its been 2 decades for me) we headed there. Another 10 minute wait and we all managed to basically get soaked head to toe. I forgot how fun that ride is and I'm glad we did it. 


We headed out at 5:30ish, as one of my buddies got a muscle cramp in his side on something midday (Toro we think?) and with each ride it was getting worse and worse. Since we had done everything we really wanted to we decided to head out, stop for food somewhere and head home. Nice weather, never felt PACKED, glad we could take a day off and enjoy the best of what the park has to offer for a few hours.

Ride count:
Nitro 1x
Skull Mountain 1x
El Toro 1x
Namtab 1x
Zumanjaro 1x
Superman UF 1x
Congo Rapids 1x