If you weren't aware, this Saturday is "National Roller Coaster Day". Parks all around the country are celebrating. Six Flags Great Adventure is celebrating with ERT on Kingda ka and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom.
They will also be giving out prizes to those wearing Great Adventure shirts.
JACKSON, NJ — August 13, 2014 — Six Flags Great Adventure, home to twelve innovative and exciting coasters, commemorates National Roller Coaster Day August 16 with a thrilling lineup of roller coaster special events, exclusive ride times and social media announcements.
The day kicks off with exclusive ride time on the record-breaking Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest and fastest coaster, plus a bonus of the brand new Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. All guests are welcome with valid theme park admission or Season Pass.
All visitors are encouraged to wear their favorite Great Adventure coaster shirt to win prizes such as free tickets, Season Passes and coaster memorabilia from the “Six Flags Prize Patrol.” In addition, the Prize Patrol will make surprise visits to all of the coasters throughout the day and offer double rides to entire trains of lucky guests.
Guests can also celebrate National Roller Coaster Day with interactive scavenger hunts and competitions on Twitter and Instagram. The hashtag #sfcoasters will be used for Twitter fans to connect with people enjoying the event at all Six Flags locations.
“Great Adventure is home to three of the world’s top ranked coasters -- Kingda Ka, El Toro and Nitro,” said John Fitzgerald, park president. “There is no better way to celebrate this special day than by getting your adrenaline rush with fellow thrill seekers at the world’s largest theme park.”
Gates will open at 9 a.m. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure or call 732/928-2000.
We made our weekly trek to Hurricane Harbor this week for some waterpark fun so I made some time in our day to head over to Magic Mountain to check out what they are doing on Ninja.
Not much has changed since our update on Wednesday but you can start to see just how extensive the work they are doing is going to be.
We'd also like your opinion on our new watermark. Is it too much? Just right? Let us know in the comments below.
Ninja remains closed (no surprises there) but no walls have been placed in front of the entrance which hopefully means it will be open sooner rather than later.
Sorry for the water spot ... I was using the waterproof camera.
Not sure how well you can see it, but a couple of the trees are marked with red tape which probably means they are on their way out.
A look towards the area where they were cutting last week
You could hear some work going on behind the trees, but not cutting, actual "ride noises". Not sure if that means they are pulling out the 3rd train to work on it.
Since they weren't working today, Jet Stream was back open. I hadn't actually seen the lower queue building full in awhile.
The path between Apocalypse and Roaring Rapids was also open, probably due to them not working as well.
A look at some of the work being done from the other side.
Not sure if this was recently cleared or if it's been this way for awhile.
Some fence boards have been replaced, again, not sure if that's recent or not. Maybe they should just replace the entire thing while they are working in this area? This looks really tacky. I wouldn't even leave my own fence like this.
Guessing some trees on the other side of the path may be on their way out as well. It's sad because that's one of the things that makes Ninja great, but it's better than not having Ninja at all.
Just a couple of quick notes from the rest of the park.
Ad's in the Apocalypse queue are advertising a chance to win a trip to ride Goliath at Six Flags Great America. Click to enter
The Full Throttle Plaza just got a nice new paint job. This had to have been just since Wednesday because I certainly didn't notice it the other day. It's nice to see little projects like this. They go a long way in keeping the park looking nice.
I'm no prude, but this shirt caught my eye. Apparently they've been at Six Flags Over Texas since at least 2011.
It was another beautiful day at Hurricane Harbor. No cartoons or music in the wave pool again. Starting to think it's a safety thing, which is totally understandable.
New signs about the "Buttons, Zippers and Rivets" policy at the park. This isn't a new policy, but with the two new slides, no surprise they are letting people know about it.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. Not sure when we'll have another update, but probably in the next week or two depending on what news we hear from the park.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about the new watermark.
We hadn't really planned on doing a Magic Mountain update for awhile. With Bugs Bunny World and Speedy Gonzales: Hot Rod Racers open, Colossus not closing for over a month, and the 2015 additions not being announced until the end of August we figured there wouldn't be much going on at the park until then.
Due to the incident at Ninja the other night, we figured we'd head up and see what the park was doing to bring the ride back. If you missed our coverage of the incident regarding Ninja, click here.
Don't usually check the "rides closed" list, but we did today. No surprises here, except for maybe the Whistlestop train.
Heading up the hill, we weren't surprised in the least to see Ninja closed. That didn't mean that people weren't still trying to get in line so they had an Employee stationed at the entrance. Hopefully nobody is giving the employees out here a hard time.
Depending on how long the ride is closed, I wouldn't be surprised if they just walled off this entire area.
Heading down the hill towards the back side of the park, you can see them doing work through the trees. More than see, you can hear them doing lots of work.
Due to it's proximity to Ninja, Jet Stream is also closed.
As you can see, employees are stationed here as well. Most park guests don't understand why Jet Stream is closed from what we could tell, especially since it was in the 90's. But please don't give these guys a hard time. They'd rather be operating their ride and giving people a good time vs. standing out here telling people the ride is closed.
Looks like Jet Stream was E-Stopped as soon as the Ninja accident happened, which is supposed to happen.
A look at some of the trucks up on the hill working on the trees. There is an access road that goes pretty much in the middle of both rides.
Guessing that the crane is to hold up trees as they are cut below. Don't need any more trees falling on the track or the Jet Stream flume.
A little further down the road, you can see the trees they have been working on. Guessing that Ninja is a bit more "open" when it reopens.
The path from the end of Cyclone Bay (near Apocalypse) up to the exit of Roaring Rapids is closed to allow crews easy access from backstage area's.
As soon as we hear ANYTHING regarding the ride reopening we'll be sure to pass it along. The most important thing is making sure the area is safe for everybody.
Unfortunately, Ninja wasn't the only coaster incident on Monday. Sadly an 18 year old Man was ejected from the coaster "Inferno" at Terra Mitica in Spain and later died from his injuries. The coaster in question is an Intamin Zac Spin coaster which is the same type as Green Lantern: First Flight.
As always, safety is the first priority. Below is a statement from the park regarding the incident:
We are saddened to hear of the accident in Spain. The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority and as a precaution we have temporarily closed a similar ride for a thorough inspection
As we were taking our pictures it was obvious from the interaction between park guests and the employees stationed out front that the news of the accident in Spain hasn't reached most of the "GP".
Again, our thoughts go out to those impacted by this tragic accident in Spain and we applaud the park for taking measures to make sure all of their rides are safe.
Around The Park
Just a couple of quick notes regarding the rest of the park ...
I'm not a "Coaster Shirt" guy, but I actually liked this shirt, and for $6 I was almost tempted to pick up a couple. If we make our weekly trek to Hurricane Harbor this weekend I may head in and pick one up.
I didn't notice them at the time, but the "Ultimate Coaster Match" shirts behind this sign actually don't look too bad either.
Swashbuckler is still down (and not listed on the "Closed Rides" list) but there is now some kind of shed on the site. Maybe it's the swings?
Lastly, a couple of these charging stations have shown up outside of Studio 6F (near Gold Rusher). This is actually a pretty good use of ads and I'm sure they are very popular.
Blast from the past time!!! Who recognizes this? I hadn't actually seen this in years but as CoasterMatt and I were looking for area's to take Ninja pics, we came across it.
That's going to wrap it up for this quick update. Again, as soon as we hear anything about Ninja or Green Lantern we'll let you know.
We headed up to Hurricane Harbor for a bit of family fun yesterday (Sunday) and while I wasn't specifically planning on doing a report I did take the waterproof camera with me again. If you missed our previous Hurricane Harbor report featuring the new slides and park improvements, click the link.
I want to start off with saying that we had another GREAT day, but sadly our visit didn't come without a few head-scratching moments.
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on running a theme park, I know a LOT of factors go into staffing, including funding, etc.
What I am suggesting below are a few things that as a consumer and fan I think the park could be doing to make things easier not only on their park guests, but probably on them as well.
The first issue we had was with the Gold Thrill Pass Early Entry. Let's start by the positive ... this is a GREAT incentive to get the Gold Pass. The early entry allows you to get in 10 minutes early, get your spot by the wave pool and probably ride a couple of slides rather quickly.
The problem is that if they don't check passes when people get in the line (they weren't) then it's not an incentive at all.
They had a survey taker going through the line, as he was scanning the passes it was clear that half of the people didn't have a Gold Pass, but they let them stay in the line, which before long stretched all the way to the gates of Magic Mountain. This meant that everybody going through the metal detectors had to go around the line or cut through the people standing in line.
They did have some employees come and ask if everybody had a gold pass, but they took everybody's word for it. Once we got let in only about half of the people in the early entry line had the proper passes. Yet they let everybody in. It wouldn't take much to have somebody situated right where this sign is and have them check the passes before they get in this line.
Once we got into the park at 10:20 our first stop (as always) was to Red Eye's Kitchen to get our refill bracelet for our 2014 Souvenir Bottles. Again, another GREAT incentive to get the bottles as you need them on hot days.
Sadly, as guests were entering the park, there were no food places open. Employees were inside, waiting to open, but they couldn't process any transactions at the time. Again, if you are going to have guests in your park at 10:20 for early entry, and it's already 90 degrees outside, and you can't bring in your own water ... then you need to have places open to get something to drink.
After getting our spot, we decided to ride the family raft ride (fun as always) and spend some time in the wave pool. Last time we were at the park we were VERY pleased to see cartoons playing on the big screen for the Dive In Movies as well as music in this area of the park. Yesterday, no such luck.
Not sure if this was due to Lifeguard's being unable to hear but it was a great idea that we hope comes back. Consistency is key!!
This was probably my favorite picture of the day, taken from under the water in the wave pool looking up at the sky.
Next up ... this was the line for the all new Bonzai Pipelines and Black Snake Summit as of about 12:30 in the afternoon. they hold the line down here due to FlashPass ... which I have NO problem with.
I also want to give them credit for getting one of the Black Snake Summit slides open for now as they work on their water pressure issues.
The problem here, and it's not a new one, is that as I was watching people on the slides, the ratio of people riding the yellow slide (twisty) and the blue slide (Straight down) was about 3-1. Meaning that if you want to ride the blue slide, you must still wait in this long line and then once you get to the top they ask for people who want to ride the Blue slide.
What is needed here is a separate line for the blue slide so that they can keep the line for that particular slide down and make sure they are getting maximum capacity.
The same issue used to happen on Venom Drop as well. This would take little to no effort on the parks end. I'm hoping they just aren't aware of this discrepancy and it will be an easy fix.
And lastly, a pretty glaring problem. Below is the Crow's Nest, which is the closest food/drink location to the wave pool ... the most popular part of any water park.
This particular location has two walk-up windows and usually has 3-4 employees working inside and one specifically for drinks. What usually happens though is only 1 side is open for both food and drinks which means that even if you just want a drink or a refill, you are typically waiting 5-10 minutes as somebody waits for their food order.
Easy fix, open the other window only for drinks. It's 95 degrees outside, refills are quick (no more than 30 seconds each transaction). As you can see from the line below (sorry for the water spot) is that most of the people in this line have a souvenir bottle and a couple have the wrist bands. But yet they have to wait in the line.
Overall I know that this may sound like I'm being nit-picky or just trying to find something wrong. I assure you that this isn't the point of this. We love Hurricane Harbor, we go there more during the summer than Magic Mountain. It's basically our pool since we don't have one. And we ALWAYS have a great time and this visit was no exception. These are just small things I think they can do to make the park even better.
One thing I didn't notice last time were some new table's near the Crow's Nest for people to use. Didn't look like many people were taking advantage of them (Maybe because of no shade?) but more seating is a good thing.
What do you think? Have you visited Hurricane Harbor this year? Have you experienced any similar issues? Do you have any other suggestions that can make this fun park even better?
Today was media day for Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure. So Chris, Bill, Nicole and Jeff headed out to the park today to partake in all of the media day activities.
About 5:50am (Pacific time) I happened to be up and got an email from the park that due to issues with the state signing off on the ride, media day was to be cancelled. I quickly got on the phone with park reps to make sure our four representatives could still get into the park for the day and they were MORE than accommodating. Thanks guys!!!
The park actually allowed us to get lots of great pictures, see the ride up close, and do pretty much everything we would have done on a typical media day, except riding the ride of course. They took what was a bad situation that was out of their control and still managed to give our reporters a fun day. So thanks again for that!!!
Below is the press release regarding the delay:
Preview of Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom Delayed
JACKSON, NJ―July 2, 2014―The press preview of Six Flags Great Adventure’s Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom has been delayed. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety Unit has not yet granted the operating permit. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom is a very complex, innovative ride, and the state’s review of documentation is still underway.
All testing and inspection by Six Flags engineers, maintenance and operations teams have been completed. The ride is fully operational and in compliance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Six Flags respects the function and responsibility of the Carnival-Amusement Ride Safety Unit of the DCA and looks forward to their completed inspection soon.
Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom stands a staggering 41 stories tall. Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster—the 45-story monster that ranks as the world’s tallest and fastest coaster—Zumanjaro hoists riders 415 feet into the sky and plummets them back to Earth at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
Three soaring Zumanjaro towers stand on the face of the massive Kingda Ka coaster. The trio of gondolas rises to the top of the tower in approximately 30 seconds. Riders pause for a few terrifying moments 41 stories in the air—even higher than London’s Big Ben and twice as tall as Lady Liberty—allowing them to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia 52 miles to the southwest before gravity plunges them back to ground level in less than 10 seconds.
Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom was recently named the No. 3 most thrilling ride in the U.S. according to USA Today.
Let's get to the pictures and Chris' review media day.
Chris: After we got your call this morning we were already there. We spent an hour or so nerding out with me talking to the production team. We were pretty much the first media people there except for a couple satellite trucks. We followed signs to the media stuff, went through security..
After we were the only people inside the gates the made an internal announcement about it being canceled.
So once they did that.. we left and just left that area and rode stuff for a few hours since we were already in the park.
Heading into the Press Preview entrance.
A plethora of satellite trucks were on site
The rides entry area, looks like it's pretty close to that awesome coaster.
Chris: The queue has no theming and barely any shade.
A comment from our Facebook page that probably fits pretty good here:
"You know what would have provided a lot of shade for the queue ... Rolling Thunder"
Heading into the loading area
Chris: They legally couldn't allow anyone to ride.
Chris: Even though we couldn't ride, they were really cool with letting me take photos and videos and selphies (blah) on the ride
Picture of the selfie thanks to Bill.
Some pictures for all you camera rigging nerds. You know who you are. =)
Doing some filming
Caution: Intamin Nerd Porn Ahead!!!
A look at the rest of the queue
Hopefully something will be added here
Walking back towards the park
I only got to ride Rolling Thunder once, but I think this was part of it? Forgive me if I'm wrong. (Gregg)
A few shots of the ride provided by the park as well as some great B-Roll footage.
That's going to wrap it up for our "Media Day" coverage. If/When the park ever sets up another Media Day we'll try to be there so we can get some reverse POV and our review of the ride.
Thanks again to Chris, Bill, Nicole and Jeff for going to the park to cover this. I'm glad that you managed to still have a great day. And thanks again to the park for doing everything they could. We really do appreciate it.
And because we didn't get to ride Zumanjaro today, we made up for it by riding the ride pictured below. So look for more on that early next week.