Six Flags Great Adventure - one of my favorite theme parks. It is home to Kingda Ka, which is my all time favorite coaster, and is a launched coaster that shoots riders up to heights of 456 feet at speeds of 128 miles per hour. That isn't all there is to do, though. Great Adventure is also home to a great steel coaster called Nitro, a safari adventure where you get to encounter many animals, and the world's tallest drop ride, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. Read on, to see what a day at Great Adventure is like.
For the first roller coaster of the day, it was, of course, Kingda Ka. There's about a quarter mile sprint to this coaster from the place where you wait to enter, so, if you can run fast, you can grab a front row seat with minimal wait in the morning. Watch out for me, though - no one beats me to my favorite ride!
I probably got about five or six rides in, but one stood out. I'll explain. Kingda Ka is a very complicated machine, and the launch to this ride is ofter too weak to propel the train over the main hill. So, to compensate, the computer system will "boost" a launch to make sure it clears the hill if the previous trains were just barely clearing the top hat hill. I swear I got one of these so called "boosted" launches, because everything felt like it was going in fast forward. Just imagine a 128 mile per hour launch being even faster - it's very fun and gives you an even better adrenaline rush - worthy of the number one slot.
There are two parts to the ride: the slow ascent in anticipation, and the drop. Once the cars are cleared for dispatch, they slowly rise up. Going up, the view of the whole park is laid out ahead, only making the 415 feet seem higher. If you're afraid of heights, either don't ride or don't make the mistake of looking down - it's a long distance. The anticipation of the drop increases the closer the car nears the top. A few seconds later, you're at the top - waiting. Then you hear a click . . . and you're gone! The drop is intense with a sustained negative - G feeling. It really feels all of the 415 feet, and it's a great drop tower - my favorite one. It's new for 2014 and I really think Six Flags made a great choice to integrate Zumanjaro into the lineup.
However, it comes at a cost - the state of New Jersey will not let Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro run simultaneously due to safety concrens (loose articles dropping and injuring riders on the other ride). In turn, that makes the lines for each attraction longer and move more slowly. Kingda Ka's line was about two hours during the mid-day, where in previous years it was considerably shorter. With that in mind, though, I still do think the new thrilling experience of Zumanjaro outweighs the bad, so I'm still happy that Six Flags put it into the lineup. Hopefully, next year, they can get this issue sorted out with the state and increase capacity for both rides.
For some reason, I just don't find El Toro very thrilling or fun. Its hills of airtime - one after another - followed by a banked turn, and then more airtime, get monotonous after a while. Also, the ride attendants make sure you are stapled in your seat (by the lapbar), which eliminated the thrill of airtime for me.
I'll leave the rest of the photos of the safari in gallery format, so click on the pictures if you want a better view.
I had a great time at Six Flags Great Adventure, and I rode Kingda Ka multiple times and it maintained its spot as my top coaster. Also, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom was a fun blast of adrenaline down a 415 foot track. Great Adventure still remains as one of my favorite theme parks, and I hope to be back soon!
Coasters are my passion. It's what I do, it's who I am.