USA 04/19 – Six Flags Great Adventure

Day 4 – Six Flags Great Adventure

Wow. For what I imagined to be the 2nd most significant park in the chain after Magic Mountain, this place wasn’t… well presented. Fading clones and relocated rides in a derelict looking car park. Six Flags.

It didn’t get much better as we entered a lengthy queue for security. Queues were out the door for season passes with a sign detailing all the nearby (closed) highlights you can do. Six Flags Darien Lake. Six Flags La Ronde. Never mind the ‘local’ ones, I’ve done you one better.

Straight in and straight to the bull, no time for messing. Locker up lads.

So the ugly looking promotional wrapping paper they put on one of their trains is currently advertising the Kia Soul, specifically in red. I can now finally reveal what our hire car was for the trip.
The Kia Soul, specifically in red.
We’ve been driving the bull. This made us happy.

#1 El Toro

And away we go. Set complete and it’s the best of the Intamin prefabs. I assumed as much going in, but tried not to set my expectations too high. The first drop and two hills already double what made T Express the standout to me and then it doesn’t turn into a clone. It does, you know, cool stuff.

That Rolling Thunder(?) hill is amazing and kicks your ass at the bottom with a weird crunch, then the forceful turns of the following bucking bronco element are a fresh and welcome change to the usual unremarkable cornering on these rides. As with Skyrush, a light moment of pause for contemplation brings you into the brakes, but what a fantastic ride. Intamin you’re finally doing me proud.

Limped away from that, with the wounds from yesterday already re-opened after a single lap.

#2 Kingda Ka

Casually walked on to the tallest rollercoaster in the world. Again not what I expected from this park. They don’t make a big deal out of this record breaking piece of engineering, it’s just plonked out the back alongside more car park and a field with no particular fuss made over it. The queue has bamboo and they’re playing disco beats on the sound system throughout. The station is boring other than being dual loading again (and not using it again).

Sitting on the launch track waiting for the drop tower to finish its cycle with absolutely no suspense built is dumb. We ended up having a conversation on the ride, unphased, and other guests were doing the same.
And away we go.

I’ve heard it’s a three stage launch, steadily getting rougher with each. Then you’re up 400ft. Ears popped. Felt like it had trim brakes over the top hat so I start laughing, and then you’re back down to earth being presented with the second and last hill in visual form only, no feeling.

Casually walked on to the tallest drop tower in the world from there. I say casually, but it’s a stupidly long walk through unthemed fence and fields along the entire length of Ka. Ugh.
Again, not what I imagined. No fuss is made by the park about this ride either.

A sign proclaims I might get a lubrication substance on my shirt from the ride. View of the park is decent. Three stages of roughness in a reasonably weak drop. I did get lube on my shirt.

We’ve turned this into a fun game now, how many creds can you hit before your locker expires without having your phone and knowing the actual time?

#3 Superman – Ultimate Flight

Superman added to the suspense by breaking down as we entered the air gates. This is happening a lot. Security came and looked in a bin, then engineers at the train. And then it ran again.

Crystal Wings was a weak B&M flyer with amazing theming. This was a weak B&M flyer in a field, some car park and some desolate earth between. Cool.

#4 Green Lantern

Green Lantern man… I thought I’d worked out how to handle the B&M standup, but this was just awful even in the front row, middle seats. Car park, desolation and being punched in the ears.
Probably the only B&M in the world I would need serious persuasion to ride again. They’re meant to be one of the most infallible manufacturers out there. Not cool.

That was it for round 1 of locker time. Stopped for a bite to eat. Not quite the quote of the day, but the facial expression of the day happened here with a waiter walking round some tables:
“I’m looking for a number 5.”
One woman pipes up:
“I’m 26…”
If he could have had his head in his hands, he would have.

#5 Runaway Mine Train

Did the mine train next, after almost walking onto the sky buckets by mistake. It was better than the previous day’s, with a bit more to look at and a bit of an airtime hill (pictured). Then a girl sitting behind us started screaming at the top of her lungs about a wasp on the brake run. Please let me off this ride now.
Escape was difficult as the exit path was filled with people too large for the path all making weird comments and noises. It was a strange end to the experience.

#6 Bizarro

Mirrored Scream. Shortest locker hire ever, not coming here again.

Was surprised to see it run 3 trains. +1.

Actually wanted the buckets now for a trip over to Skull Mountain.

#7 Skull Mountain

What a legendary ride. Back row didn’t disappoint for the first drop and then it was a bit of general indoor fun. The face out front amuses me, so I was always going to like this.

#8 Nitro

Nitro was cool. Felt like it moved with a bit more purpose than most B&M Hypers and had a bit more kick in some of the hills. The helix was quite intense and different and it still had the signature mid-course fun.

You’re alright Nitro, you’re alright.

#9 Batman The Ride

Batman was a thing. Was nice to walk straight through the empty queue after spending 90 minutes in the identical looking one at the last Six Flags.
Still never gets better than La Fuga somehow, the rest of the clones all fail to replicate that unyielding intensity throughout the second loop and all the way through the following corner that makes you want to scream and rip your feet off. And that saddens me.

#10 Dark Knight

Joined the apparent longest queue of the day for the indoor wild mouse. Then it broke down. Sounds familiar?
Stuck it out this time and eventually ended up in the elaborate preshow room. Thought the story was going to be about Batman but it turns out Joker has command of 2 rides here.
The cars on this thing look weird with their subway theming and there’s a couple of bits of scenery going on indoors that make a welcome change from the mediocrity of the model. S’alright.

Joined the actual longest queue of the day for actual Joker. Then it broke down. Ugh.

#11 Joker

Still had a proper fear (but the good kind) for this thing going in, due to Arashi trying to kill me several times in the past.
It’s true that they don’t ride the same over here for whatever reason. It wasn’t even close in the intensity department, but did introduce a little unpleasantness into the mix by failing to flip and then rocking back and forth with a bit of a nasty head sensation. Nah.
Best compliment I could come up with was “I wouldn’t be averse to riding another.” For the cred.

Time was running a little low now, though we weren’t particularly sure how. This place seemed to have a way of sucking time out of nowhere. Still had 2 creds left to hit before an evening with the Bull.

Hit #12 Road Runner Railway, the 2nd Zamperla 80STD in 2 days first while the queue faded for the Zierer Tivoli. This wasn’t listed as an attraction on the map, so finding it and subsequently getting on it was a bit of a bonus.

#13 Harley Quinn Crazy Train

The Tivoli. +1.

Unfortunately the evening didn’t turn out to be quite as magical as the previous. They had taken a train off of El Toro and there was a general contempt in the air from other guests about how terrible the ride operations were.
The station was a complete scrum following 10-15 minutes of outside cattlepen and many people were getting to the top of the stairs just to instantly bail after seeing the state of it.
Quote of the day here from a man who had Flash Passed his way to the top of the stairs only to walk away again, his voice cracking under the emotion – “It used to be my… favourite ride”.
I love the idea of poor operations being a deal breaker for something you regard that highly.

Managed just 2 more rides in the last hour, but at least it got properly dark for the final lap. Rode about the same as the morning so – amazing stuff.
Shame it’s Six Flags.
Up next – Six Flags.

Day 5

USA 04/19 – Hersheypark
USA 04/19 – Six Flags New England

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