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

7.19.2015

Return To The Sea: July 18th, 2015

 

I was back down in Wildwood once again this weekend after we had such a blast last weekend, and we managed to make it up to the piers two times on Saturday: first in the afternoon for some rides, arcade action, day drinking and Macks pizza of course. The Great White was running really well today, especially our rides at night. I guess you can rent these balls and climb inside and roll around on the beach. Seemed busier at night.  



The Boardwalk Mall is always fun to get out of the heat. Some weird stores and has a great arcade in the basement. Crowds were light but it was extremely hot in the sun while walking the boards so we spent a good amount of time popping into arcades to play cranes in addition to boardwalk junk/t-shirt stores to compare what seems to be the same exact merchandise that is in all of these stores.   


We stopped at Capt'n Jacks Boardwalk Grill which i located next to Sand Jam and across from Sams Pizza. I've always wanted to stop in here. We wound up being seated on their second floor for a cool view of the boardwalk below us. We didn't eat but instead enjoyed a liquid lunch. This (above) is lemonade with blueberry infused vodka. Yum! 

 And more lemonade (this time topped with a Twisted Tea, as you can see).

The Nor'easter was busy today, but I didn't ride. I didn't feel like going  
through an airport security checkpoint just to ride a crappy SLC.

It was nice & windy, perfect for a ride on the KONG flyers.

  Far left, airborne, enjoying the hell out of this ride.

 Then they yelled at me and kicked me off. :(

After a delicious dinner of fish N chips and oranges crushes at local hole-in-the-wall Ship-N-Shore, we headed once again back to the boardwalk for night rides, more boardwalk junk store browsing, and more awesome boardwalk food. 

The Great White was running fantastic this weekend. 

Lines weren't as bad compared to last weekend and we had a great time. In fact all weekend was great. I love Wildwood!


Ride count:
Great White 3xs
Screaming Swing 4xs
KONG flyers 1xs (got kicked off for snapping. doh!)

7.13.2015

Summer At The Seashore: July 10th-12th, 2015

Morey's "Giant Wheel" with its fun lighting package

I was in Wildwood, New Jersey at my folks place all weekend and actually made it up to the piers Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon and had a fantastic time, pretty much my favorite park trip this year (with our trip to Cedar Point in May being the exception of course). I moved to my new house this past April and while packing I discovered a whopping 5 (!!) ticket cards, all with random balances on them. I was able to combine all five of them onto one card and it turned out I had about 250 tickets. Score! I haven't visited the island since the piers have been open this year so needless to say I was ready for riding.

We didn't manage to take a lot of photos but here is a fun gif of Adeventure Pier.
Left to right: The Great White (coaster), Skycoaster, Screaming Swing, and Sling Shot. 

I didn't get down to Wildwood til 7pm on Friday and my bro-in-law and I didn't get up to the piers til 9pm (the piers close at midnight) and had some great night rides. We started on Adventure Pier with The Great White, first trying a back seat ride in the red train, then walking around for the blue train. Last year I felt the red train was running better but our 2nd ride on the blue train Friday that thing was tearing through the course. Obviously after this we had to hit up the Screaming Swing because its right next door and easily the best flat on the three piers. I'm so glad its no longer an upcharge, I want to ride it over and over. 


After this we headed to Mariners to do the Riptide pirate ship ride, and while I still think its a great installation it felt tame after the intensity of the Screaming Swing. Our ride on this was made fun by watching/listening to the woman reluctantly riding with her son in front of us, screaming for dear life. After working up an appetite we stopped for some Macks Pizza because its the best and then we went drinking, off the boardwalk, to close out the night. 


Saturday was another lazy day involving the beach, day drinking and a huge family dinner, so we ended up not getting up to the piers til 10pm. Adventure Pier is closest to my folks place so we usually start/end there, so again we started with the Great White. If you haven't been to Wildwood you should know that - similar to Dorney - there are basically never waits longer than 5-15 minutes for any rides. Most of the time everything is a walk on. So it would come as a complete surprise that we walked up to the Great White to find the never used queue completely full and spilling out onto the midway. We said "screw it" and waited which is just such a weird thing in Wildwood, but the line moved and we got on in about 25 minutes. We had another amazing ride on the blue train in the last car. Somehow it felt even wilder than our ride on Friday night. 


Since the line was so long we gave up hopes for a second lap and headed for the Screaming Swing again - a walk on. We couldn't get enough and since no one was waiting the ride ops let us stay in our seats and just swiped my card while we waited for them to fire it back up. So so so fun. 

Some daytime off ride footage of Adventure Piers' Screaming Swing

I was really looking forward to trying the new KONG flyers that Moreys installed this year as they built a store and put the flyers up on top of it. So after our adventures on Adventure Pier we took the loooong stroll all the way down the boardwalk to Surfside Pier to check out the new ride. What a GREAT job they did with this, it looks absolutely fantastic at night. I wish I had remembered to bring my camera but I did not so I have no good photos of it at night. It had a decent line, not surprising for their new ride. We waited about 15 minutes. 



Some daytime off ride footage of this awesome ride.

The centerpiece is a giant Kong figure hanging off of a lighthouse, wearing an "I <3 WW" t-shirt, and holding a Wildwood tramcar in his fist, and the vehicles are themed to sharks. They have a really nice lighting package on it (including lights under the vehicles), smoke billowing out of Kongs nose, and when the ride starts they pipe in the sound of a propeller plane taking off. During the boarding shpeil they mentioned "intentionally slacking the cables will result in your removal from the ride" lol. They run a pretty good, lengthy cycle and we were able to really get our boats moving, almost snapping the cables a few times and then I got it once really good right before the cycle ended. We had such a great time on this, the added height of the ride placement on top of the store (which, keep in mind, is on the boardwalk 15 feet above the beach) majorly adds to the thrill. The themeing is sooooo Wildwood it fits perfectly, its been so long since I've been this jazzed about a new ride @ Morey's. 


 
Check out this POV and offride that I found on YouTube to get a 
sense of the placement of the ride and the awesome lighting. 

After our awesome ride on KONG, we decided the best way to end the night would be to hop on their crazy Larson drop tower, AtmosFear. This thing is only 140 feet but its so incredibly forceful and insane its the only ride on all three piers that makes me a little nervous beforehand. It drops so fast and forcefully and stops on a dime. 

AtmosFear

After a quick stop at Kohr Bros around midnight for a chocolate-on-chocolate custard, we slowly wandered back home to get some sleep. 


On Sunday we decided to take my just-about-2 year old nephew up to Surfside Pier so he could get a bunch of rides in on the kiddie rides.


Mariners Landing

Surfside Pier


Myself, my sister, and my bro-in-law all took turns joining him on them, so I got to get my first (and hopefully last) ride Happy Feet, a Zamperla 'Happy Swing' ride. The ride was surprisingly forceful and I feared my nephew might lose his lunch. Upon debarking he cried "again, again!" 




I also took my first ride on the Jump Around, also a Zamperla themed to baja buggies, where the entire ride leaned to one side when I climbed into the tiny seat LMAO. 


 It's amazing to see these piers and rides through my nephews eyes, it gives me a whole new appreciation for it all. We were bummed when we figured out he is just an inch shy of riding the Flitzer and Doo Wopper (wild mouse) coasters w/ an adult. Maybe next year. :/ I'm not 100% sure he is even ready for that yet! But he will be - the kid loves rides, he has this look of simultaneous bewilderment and impending protein spill when he rides anything, but cries when its over and repeats "again, again!" We always say its in his blood.


Tom and I also used this Sunday afternoon trip to get back on the KONG flyers again and all three of us took turns doing that crazyass drop tower AtmosFear again. Good times. 


The Great Nor'easter (SLC for the unfamiliar) seemed to be closed all weekend. We *almost* rode it Sunday afternoon but it was shut down completely. I didn't see it run at all over the weekend that I recall. I meant to ask someone what was up but I didn't care that much and totally forgot about it. We did stop at the Zoom Flume "soak zone" to cool off a bit. 


A new food vendor that I discovered opened recently at the front of Adventure Pier is a Beaver Tail truck. I was so stoked to find this as when planning our Cedar Point trip I had read these were a must-do and we totally skipped them. So I got to try a Beaver Tail! My toppings were chocolate hazelnut, peanut butter and Reeses Pieces because YUM. I will definitely have another. We also stopped at Idaho Potatoes across from the entrance to Mariners Pier because they have the best fries on the planet. Wildwood has so much great boardwalk food! 


Adventure Pier

Overall we had a great time at Morey's this weekend. Ive said it here before but I feel that this park is very underrated in the enthusiast community. If you haven't been and you are looking for a summer getaway, don't hesitate. Their three big coasters may include an SLC and a Boomerang, but their woodie is fantastic, they have a great flat collection, and like Cedar Point, the location on the beach is amazing not to mention the food and atmosphere overall is a huge part of its charm. I might be going back this weekend! 

Total weekend ride count:
The Great White 3x
Screaming Swing 3x
Kong 2x
Atmosfear 2x
Riptide 1x
Happy Feet 1x
Jump Around 1x