Our California Coaster Kings Correspondent Joseph visited Six Flags Great Adventure while other correspondents were visiting Texan parks. Below you’ll find his extensive Trip Report of his visit to the large East Coast Six Flags park!
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Last week, we were able to check out Six Flags Great Adventure, located in Jackson, New Jersey! Some of you may be quite familiar with the park, as it has quite the outstanding lineup of coasters, including the world’s tallest and former fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka!
As we entered the park just after opening, we were greeted by the park’s newest coaster, The Joker!
…And to our immediate disappointment, it was closed for the day. The staff within the area were very clear that there was no chance of the coaster reopening that day. On the upside, we did catch a glimpse of test runs throughout the day, as well as near constant work being done, as seen below.
Once we finished staring at The Joker, we decided to head over and check out Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, the park’s Lex Luthor-esque drop tower.
Kingda Ka is an incredible experience, although a very quick one. Definitely worth experiencing, though definitely not the best coaster in the park. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom took me by surprise, as it felt quite a bit faster than Lex Luthor, and sitting on the right-most tower allowed us to get very close to Kingda Ka’s track on the way up. It’s also worth noting that Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro never run at the same time, they take turns dispatching. This surprisingly didn’t seem to affect either ride’s capacity.
Speaking of the best coaster in the park…
El Toro is incredible! I always seem to forget just how exciting this wooden coaster is until I re-ride it. From the second you begin the initial descent, the coaster never lets up.
Definitely one of the most intense, exciting coasters I’ve ever ridden. We were also lucky enough to have what was basically a walk-on for a wait!
Interestingly enough, there were still remnants of the recently demolished Rolling Thunder racing coaster scattered around El Toro. A few cars, and even some seemingly permanent track!
As we walked over to Bizarro, we had a view of one of the park’s many beautiful little “breaks” in coasters. A very nice contrast to some of the California parks like Magic Mountain and Knott’s. Pictured below are Runaway Mine Train and the Skyway system.
As some of you may know, Bizarro opened as Medusa, with a similar color scheme to SFDK’s coaster of the same name. Shortly after X2’s renovation, Medusa was repainted and transformed into Bizarro, along with the addition of onboard audio, flame effects, and additional scenery. The coaster is also a mirror-image of Scream! at Magic Mountain.
Today, Bizarro is a slightly different coaster, as the onboard audio was permanently removed recently. I feel this hinders the ride experience, as I was a fan of the soundtrack, but of course, it’s still a great little ride, especially as a walk-on!
As we walked across the park towards Nitro, it’s hard to ignore some of the park’s charm.
Certain structures and areas of the park just didn’t really feel like “Six Flags” to me, in a positive way. Of course, the only other park in the chain that I’ve been to is Magic Mountain, so my opinion is biased.
On the other hand, it’s worth acknowledging that Six Flags has definitely left their mark in other areas, including advertisements on coaster trains, billboards, and even flat rides.
This year is Nitro’s 15 year anniversary, and let me say, it definitely holds up well! The hyper reminds me a lot of Silver Star at Europa Park, and packs a much bigger punch than I would expect from a coaster without inversions.
While there was a 45-minute wait posted, we boarded the ride in roughly 20 minutes. The ride operators were wonderful, and were working all three trains to their full capacity!
Over in Movietown (Gotham City), Batman: The Ride was closed for the day. Meanwhile across the pathway, The Dark Knight Coaster was waiting for us.
This might be one of my favorite wild mouse coasters, well-themed by Six Flags’ standards. There is a pre-show at the beginning, reminiscent of Terminator’s old pre-show. Most of the ride wasn’t using trim brakes, which made it even more fun.
Back on the other side of the park, we went to check out Superman: Ultimate Flight and Green Lantern. The midway both rides are located on is pretty cool, and even features a parachute drop!
Due to Superman’s 1 hour wait, we decided to pass. For those wondering, it’s basically Tatsu, without all of the good parts. No feeling of soaring over the world below you, just a brisk flight over flat land.
Speaking of flat land, Green Lantern is the Scream! of Great Adventure. It’s definitely a fun ride, though it won’t win any awards for it’s theming.
This was the longest wait we chose to wait in for the day, which took about 45 minutes. While we waited, I noticed something a bit interesting. The coaster was running two trains, and the second train would always stop in this position outside of the station:
What makes this interesting is that the coaster is stopped with the back half of the train on the transfer track, and the front half on the holding block before entering the station, taking up two blocks, rather than resting on one or the other.
We decided to end the day on Houdini’s Great Escape, a wonderfully themed Madhouse attraction. While it’s difficult to recommend this ride to those who easily get dizzy, it’s certainly a fun, disorienting time if you can stomach it!
That’s all for this trip report, we had a wonderful day! It definitely would have been cool to ride The Joker, and considering how new it is, it’s pretty disappointing that the park couldn’t keep it open. Employees surveying us before we entered the park even asked if we were planning on riding it. All things considered, though, Great Adventure is a beautiful park with (mostly) friendly and helpful staff. Before I leave you, spot the coaster in this picture!
Thank you for checking out our Six Flags Great Adventure Trip Report! Stay tuned for many more out-of-state trip reports from several Texan parks! The first one is now LIVE, our Six Flags Over Texas Trip Report! Also make sure to check out our full review and park walk-through of Raging Waters Los Angeles!