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".
Skull Mountain 1x