drachenfirebgw goes to Six Flags Great Adventure (July 2011)
Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:44 PM
Also, I have a photographic memory. I remember images and my surrounding environment very well, both in the moment and later on when describing the moment in time. By seeing pictures of certain rides and the park I'm able to recall the trip in detail without too much trouble. Same goes for the ride experiences.
drachenfirebgw, Matthew and my brother, John
Time in park and weather:
I don't remember the exact day but I know if was in mid-July, later on in the week. I want to say Thursday, July 21, 2011: 10:00-3:30 (90 degrees and sunny)
Moderate early on, heavy after lunch.
Rolling Thunder (Right Side) x1 (Second row)
El Toro x2 (Front row, back row)
Bizarro x1 (Second or third row)
Runaway Mine Train x1 (Middle of the train)
Sky Ride x1
Nitro x1 (Rear of the train)
Skull Mountain x1 (Middle of the train)
I know this doesn't look like a lot of rides, but I'll explain why as we go through the report. My brother and I got Six Flags Over Georgia season passes last year during our visit just so we could get into SFGAdv for free during our trip to visit family in Delaware. We got up bright and early to make the three hour drive up there. I've been to the park twice before on choir tours so much of the surrounding area in Jackson and the parking and such looked familiar. Minus Green Lantern staring at us (we park practically right next to it, which was kind of sad as the year before I was hoping I'd get to see the GASM again.
Anyways, we got into the park fairly quickly, after the gates had opened, but before they had opened up each section of the park. We joined the mass of people at the Boardwalk entrance. John and I were trying to guess where they would all rush to. Kingda Ka, the shiny new Green Lantern, or El Toro. Our plan was to rush El Toro, haha, get it. Anyways... I'd say about 2/3's of the group ran towards Green Lantern and the others went to Kingda Ka or El Toro.
John and I got awfully scared when we saw an attendant at El Toro's entrance. He said the ride was getting a late start because of some difficulties but would open up soon. So instead we ran over to Rolling Thunder seeing as I had missed it during my two previous trips. Only the right side was open, the left had the day off apparently. We made our way through the confusing queue to an empty station minus a father and his son. They took the front so we took second row. The crew welcomed us, and was really enthusiastic to seeing people at park opening, makes sense considering it's unusual for Rolling Thunder so see people so early. After a quick ride we noticed El Toro was running with passengers so we ran back over there.
I had done El Toro once before, in the back row mind you, and I knew this thing was crazy but wow. We were met with an empty station minus the front and back rows. We wait two rides for the front because John wanted too. Very much blown away. I'll get into detailed reviews later on. Afterwards we ran back around for a second ride, in the back row. I'll just say I felt like Intamin was attempting to launch me into orbit. It was insane.
After giving my thighs a minute to recover we headed to Bizarro where we were met with a station wait. While I love the color scheme and rode the ride in 2009, only weeks after its "re"grand-opening, I must say that I don't think I'm a huge fan of the remake. Yes, for a year you get to advertise the ride as a "new" thing to the general public, but after that year it becomes what it was before. They know it's pretty much the same thing, the themeing starts to be stripped away little by little. In Bizarro's case the paint on the themeing and the roller coaster itself could have already used a nice touch-up. Little details such as the Medusa letting turned backwards on the station were still there so that was nice.
Being a little more than a decade old, this thing has begun to show its age a little, but still produced a solid ride. At first we were gonna take the back and then I forget how, but we somehow decided to go all the way to the second or third row. The commentary/soundtrack was still intact, which was nice as we actually caught most of the storyline on the way up the lift. After that it becomes white noise between the B&M roar and the wind around you.
We were debating doing the Log Flume, which I admit we should have done because it was hot, and I'm a sucker for the old Arrow flumes. But we did Runaway Mine Train instead, another old Arrow ride, and a credit I had previously missed. We waited full station plus a little extra. Also note this is only one of two roller coasters at SFGAdv not built before 1993, Rolling Thunder being the other.
We then climbed the other fort tower and took the Sky Ride over to the other side of the park. Got some great views along the way. As well as some interesting views of the tops of buildings... there was a nice breeze up there also. We landed and ran over to Nitro. We wait a good half hour, probably a little more, much of it in the sun and rode somewhere between the middle and the back. I don't remember exactly which row. Like I said though, most of our wait was in the sun. Those 30 minutes we the most exhausting part of the whole day trip. I really wish Six Flags would shade the queue more. That and take care of the rusting station, classy.
We then got our park exit stamps so we could chill in the air conditioned car, and have lunch all the while avoiding overpriced park food. We watched Superman, Kingda Ka, and Green Lantern cycle through ten million times and eventually came back in the park. We made our way to Kingda Ka and were greeted with an incredibly long line. We decided to at least see how fast it was moving and after a while of not going anywhere, and very few people coming in behind us we got concerned. We also noticed trains weren't taking to the course. We exited through the entrance, and saw the "this ride is temporarily closed" sign. We spent a good 20 minutes just standing there. Obviously not seeing trains run was considering, but not being notified that the ride was down whether it be a ride attendant or a loudspeaker was somewhat frustrating.
John and I did Top Thrill Dragster the year before at Cedar Point so John said he didn't mind skipping it. We then jotted to the not really all that new Green Lantern, and found another slammed full queue. I wasn't going to do Superman - Ultimate Flight either after getting a bit disoriented on the one at SFOG. Also, may I say how disappointed I was with the Green Lantern addition. I've talked about this numerous times I'm sure, but the area has some cheap themeing, but that's about it. It's very open with very little shade. It doesn't fit in with the Boardwalk, Superman you could somewhat make a case for, but the Green Lantern, no way. Two different roller coasters sporting different shades of green beside each other just doesn't look good. That and they used more parking spaces to accommodate this ride. Ineffective use of space. There are other areas in the park Chang could have fit in nicely. That and it's angled weird, so much so that it leaves an open area beside the ride that could have been occupied by park of the Green Lantern's layout, and taken up less parking spots and been a more natural fit. That and I wans't feeling looking forward to it anyways because of my experience on Mantis, despite hearing Chang/Green Lantern is better than Mantis.
Anyways, all of the lines for everything major were at about an hour by this point. Though we did find Skull Mountain to be only a 10 minute wait tops. We sat towards the middle of the train. Just a jerk but dark and fun as I had remembered when I rode this thing nonstop six or seven times during a thunderstorm in 2006.
John and I decided to call it a day after that. It was just too hot with too many longs line to be really enjoyable. We left at a good time too. Got back in time for dinner, and got to relax for a while before calling it a night. I got gas in New Jersey on the way back, and had completely forgotten about the fact that the gas stations in New Jersey are full service. John and I were thrilled just because it was so new to us. I tipped the guy who was about my age doing community college work and headed back to Delaware.
Here are the ride reviews.
El Toro: Woah! This bull really goes go. The front provided a fantastic view, and especially the first drop, which we couldn't see the bottom of until we were already there. It was more impressively steep that I had remember. Personally I like that very steep tradition drops rather than the vertical or beyond vertical drops. There is such a thrill in getting a ton of airtime, while falling but not being able to the see the bottom of the drop. G's all over the place on this thing. Positive, negative, positive, negative is what the whole first half felt like. The ejector air in the front started really early, just as you began the curve of the crest of each hill. Noticed a rattle in the turnaround, more so when sitting in the back than the front. Then came the hill above Rolling Thunder. What in the world?! This is the hill that would have launched me into orbit. In the front I was thrown into the lap bar. The highly banked turns changes directions at the end were very well done and one of my favorite parts of the ride. I think both of our reacts were, "This thing is out of control." I know John was incredibly blown away, and if I'm not mistaken I believe this landed at his number 2 overall, behind Thunderhead, actually. Great minds think alike. I've stated and explain my Thunderhead vs. El Toro argument several times but I can rehash it out if need be. Oh and the back! Just ridiculous. I actually came away with bruises on my thighs, thank you airtime hill above Rolling Thunder. I say 10/10 though of the roller coasters I've ranked 10 out of 10 this would be in middle to bottom of that select group.
Nitro: During my two previous visit I only have only ridden this thing once. In the second or third row I believe in the pouring down rain in 2006. That plus not being able to see the entire ride definitely made for an interesting ride. I was very excited to give this ride another try because I remember how great the airtime was last time during my wet ride. While maybe I came in with too much anticipation because this ride was definitely underwhelming. Many enthusiasts in recent years have lowered this ride on their list and now I can see why. Six Flags hasn't done a good job of maintaining this thing at all. It might have been just that particular train, but the rattle was the worst I've ever experience on a B&M. The first drop still lived up to what I expect, and I believe is the best first drop I've ridden. There was some decent air throughout, but the only really good airtime came at the very end. Maybe I would have felt differently if I had ridden up front, that and the helix was very intense, which normally is great, but it was jiving with me on this hot and humid day. 8/10 is the rank here, and I feel like I even feel like I'm being a little nice.
Bizarro: I gave my opinion regarding the Medusa to Bizarro transformation and themeing early. Now regarding the ride, it's definitely beginning to show its age. Riding not as smooth, slight rattle at times, sharper transitions tend to be a little rough. Nonetheless a great design for B&M's first floorless. Loved the headcopper under the brake run going into the dive loop. The zero-g-roll was good, but not as great as the likes of Kraken, Incredible Hulk, and Kumba. Though we sat in the brake run for what seemed liked forever, granted they were running all three trains. I gave a 7.5 out of 10 here.
Rolling Thunder: Surprise of the trip. I rode in the second row so that might play into it, but this thing was smooth, provide some decent air, and was fast. We took the right side like I said a got a ton of air on the first hill. The turnaround was very unorthodox but fun. The big hills were fun and transitions in between hills were well done also. Little to no air on the last line of hills, but all is well. I gave it a 7/10 as it definitely exceeded my expectations.
Skull Mountain: Dark and fun as I remembered. Some interesting transitions on this ride though, and they are rougher than they should be because as a rider, you can't prepare for them because you can't see them. Indoor rides cover up everything, but can be very revealing about the execution of a ride's design also. This one wasn't done incredibly well, but decent. The themeing in the queue is very well done also. 5.5/10 here.
Runaway Mine Train: Interesting little design here. You can tell this park was very custom as were most parks that opened in the 1970's, but especially this ride. The station is way up, the helix is fun, there are some good hills and surprise that happen in the trees. And then comes the hill. The hill over the water that tries to mimmick the bull riding along beside it. A great pop of air that was slightly uncomfortable because of the hard lap bars and older Arrow mine train cars. I give a 4 out of 10 here. Some dull moments and really poor, rough transitions also. That's the thing with these Arrow Mine Trains. Good layouts but rough execution.
Thanks for indulging my almost year late in-depth trip report. Kings Dominion with BJ will be up soon I hope.
2013 Agenda: Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Dollywood, Dollywood's Splash Country, and Carowinds.
Coaster Count: 120 - Griffon Count: 52
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