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The Good, the Bad, and the Classic -- Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure: Mike Monostra offers his break-down of the New Jersey park.

From Mike Monostra
Posted October 27, 2004 at 7:13 PM
I'm sick and tired of hearig that SFGAd is a misunderstood park. I live 30 minutes away, i've been there 6 times, and they have all sucked. So hear comes my analysis.

Fantasy Forest
Good- Houdini's Great Escape
Bad- Flying Wave
Classic- Big Wheel

This place was very boring and kiddyish. If not for Houdini, I wouldn't give this Forest a passing glance.

Boardwalk
Good- Edwards AFB Jump Tower
Bad- Superman: Ultimate Flight
Classic- The Great American Scream Machine

The Boardwalk is another disappointment. Superman should be torn down in two seconds. I've been on better flying rides in traveling carnivals. I feel this whole land needs a facelift.

Frountier Adventures
Good- Medusa
Bad- Viper
Classic- Rolling Thunder

This land is the best in the park mostly because it is forgotten by most guest. Medusa is the top overall coaster in the park. The only problem here is Viper it sits there year after year and does nothing. Get rid of it already.

Lakefront- Known for its garden and nothing else. Buccaneer is the worst swinging ship ever and Skull Mountain is a Space Mountain wannabe. Get a wiff of the flowers and leave the lake pronto.

Old Country- This place is literally for ur ancient ancestors. Every ride excluding the Pendulum is old here and they all suck. Be afraid.

Movietown
Good- Stuntman's Freefall
Bad- Either side of the Chiller
Classic- Batman

This place is crowded and uncomfortable. Freefall is fantastic otherwise don't get ur hopes up, especially with the huge line of Nitro.

Kid's Areas- Besides the River Rapids, Seaport is stupid and a waste of time. Bugs Bunny Land is closed for a new children's area. Maybe there is hope.

What they should do next?- Kingda Ka will decide the fate of this park. If they succeed I say take the time to update traffuc flow near KK and update older sections of the park. If KK is a bust then bring back some older rides such as Bobsleds, Ultra Twister, and Lightning Loops. These rides are all still in operation. Oh yeah and Shockwave too.

Overall- Kingda Ka holds the park in its hands. It couyld be the beginning of the golden era or the beginning of the apocalypse. Make that the new apocalypse. The old one has climaxed. 2/10.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Jeffery Beal
Posted October 28, 2004 at 4:49 PM
Mike,

No one is going to tell you that you should like any park or ride. Indeed, you will find people who don't care for Disney, Islands of Adventure, or Busch Gardens Williamsburg, theme parks that most people would consider to be superior to Six Flags Great Adventure for a variety of reasons. So be it.

My wife and I, however, have been to Six Flags Great Adventure and have enjoyed our visits. The same can be said for several of my friends who have visited Great Adventure. I normally don't have a problem with a critique of a theme park on this site, but your criticism seems quite unfair. I will point out some of the criticisms I take exception to.

You stated that the Movietown Section is "crowded and uncomfortable" and that the line for Nitro is "huge." I'm not a particular fan of huge crowds either so whatever park I'm visiting I usually go when school is in session or a weekday. I always avoid holidays and typically Saturdays. However, I know that large crowds are something that you sometimes have to contend with and I don't blame the parks if they are crowded or a particular ride often has a wait of over an hour. I find it interesting that your favorite theme park, Cedar Point, has several rides that it is not uncommon to have a 2 hour wait or more and no such criticism was leveled at that park.

You also dismiss some of the rides without so much as a reason why. Nitro, for example, is considered by the majority of people who have visited Great Adventure to be the best thrill ride in the park. It is consistently rated as one of the top 10 (and often top 5) roller coasters in North America. Besides mentioning the huge line, you essentially ignore any evaluation of that magnificent hypercoaster.

You called Batman and Robin: The Chiller the "Bad" of the movietown section. Why? I consider it to be Premier's best coaster. I like the launch and shuttle aspect of this roller coaster. I would also point out that two respected authors on roller coasters and theme parks, Robert Coker in his book, "Roller Coasters: A Thrill Seekers Guide to the Ultimate Scream Machines" and Steven Urbanowicz in his book, "The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion: A Thrill Seekers Guide to the World's Best Coasters" have rated The Chiller quite highly.

Urbanowicz, in particular, considers The Chiller to be one of the best coasters in the world. I'm not saying his opinion is any more important than yours and indeed I don't agree with all of his opinions. However, you do owe it to the people who visit this site and have not been to Six Flags Great Adventure, why in your opinion this is a bad roller coaster. My only complaint about The Chiller is it has to much down time.

You also don't care for Superman Ultimate Flight, Bolliger and Mabillard's flying coaster. Considering the lines this coaster has, I believe most people who have ridden SUF would disagree with your assessment that it "should be torn down in two seconds." I believe one of the regulars on this site, Derek Potter, said it best in another thread about B&M roller coasters; " I have ridden many, many Beemers, and while some are better than others, I have yet to ride a bad B&M coaster." I concur with this opinion. SUF is a B&M coaster and I also have not ridden a bad B&M coaster yet.

You also seem to have a habit of dismissing rides that are family oriented or geared to young children (or at least this is my perception). Plus, in your brief assessment of family attractions, you did not mention two major family attractions, Spongebob Square Pants 3D simulator ride or their popular dolphin show that they run typically during the summer months.

I had some other issues with your criticism of Great Adventure, but will let them pass. I am not a Great Adventure fan boy. I believe Hersheypark and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, for example, are superior theme parks that I can get to in less than four hours drive time. Like many of the parks in the Six Flags chain there is plenty of criticism that can be fairly leveled at this park. Many of them have been mentioned before. Two that come to mind are the high price that Six Flags Great Adventure charges for sub standard food and employees in general are not as professional as the ones found at Universal, Disney or Busch Gardens.

I agree with your assessment of Viper. It needs to become scrap metal. It is a rough ride, is not well liked by the general public and is never open (probably because it is not well liked).

I don't think this park's future will be determined by the success of their new coaster Kingda Ka. Six Flags Great Adventure's attendance is among the highest of the seasonal parks. I personally believe there is going to be a lot of down time with this ride. If Cedar Point, who has a good maintenance record can't keep Top Thrill Dragster up and running on a reliable basis, I have my doubts about Great Adventure keeping Kingda Ka up and running on a dependable basis. But, Great Adventure does have many other very good attractions that are guaranteed to be running when you visit and as long as that is the case, people will come. Anyway, that is my opinion.

From Mike Monostra
Posted October 30, 2004 at 8:04 AM
I simply can't get anyone to agree with me here. Even though it is your opinion Jeff, I have been to SFGAd plenty of times to tell you that this park is very disappointing. It's not as disappointing as say Magic Mountain but it is very close. Let's start with the Chiller. According to Six Flags Great Adventure Source website, the Batman side was closed since June 14,2004. When I went that side was never running. his ride broke down three times in the one day I was there. In my opinion it's an above average unique boomerang coaster, but sucks in the end since there is no dueling and there is lots of downtime. As for Movietown, the crowd problem might diminish with Kingda Ka opening on the other side of the park. Nitro is a pretty good ride but I would rather sit in a 2 hour line fr Milenium Force or even Magnum XL 200. I have respect for B&M since they are the best coaster company in the market. However, they also make mistakes. I have been on better flyers then SUF. The first flyer, X-Flight in Geauga Park, has a whopping 5 inversions compared to SUF's 2. O. K. maybe it's not as bad as I said, but it's definitly the nowhere near the best.And don't tell me about not mentioning family oriented attractions. Those are some of my favorites and I didn't think highly of them. Though the dolphin show was pretty good. And don't tell me about the park's fate won't lie in the hands of Kingda Ka. If Kingda Ka is down, the attendence will be down also. Geez, can't I get an ounce of support?

From Cherri Pursell
Posted November 2, 2004 at 9:46 PM
Im a bit confused....was that a trip report?

Because Houdini wasnt open on Oct 27th and Pendulum hasnt been in the park at all this season?

Thats an odd TR to me....

From Cherri Pursell
Posted November 2, 2004 at 9:48 PM
Opps sorry, BBL was also not closed.

From Dave Chariot
Posted July 17, 2005 at 9:15 AM
some guy in chicago bought the pedulum

From Dave Chariot
Posted July 17, 2005 at 9:16 AM
how is freefall the best it last like one damn second. even though nitro line is long it takes me only half an hour every time i go.

From Eric Williams
Posted July 17, 2005 at 12:51 PM
Ok, if you're going to sit here and complain about how horrible Six Flags Great Adventure is, then here's an intersting solution! DON'T GO! Great Adventure is probably the best Six Flags park there is seeing that Magic Mountain has a horrible staff. Superman: Ultimate really is a good coaster, and it's not like the park took down one of their other coasters to put this one in, so what's the big deal? Six Flags Great Adventure is an awesome park, and Kingda Ka will definetely be a crowd pleaser once it is open.

From Jefferson Heller
Posted July 18, 2005 at 11:28 AM
Mike, I agree with you...for the most part. However, I think Nitro is, without question, the best ride in the park (not including Kingda Ka since I have not ridden it yet). I have been going to SFGAd since the year it opened in the 1970's (before it was owned by Six Flags) and I have seen many changes in the park. Many of their rides now ARE painful (Batman the Chiller, Rolling Headache..I mean Thunder, etc.) and it's usually a question of WHICH ride(s) will be closed on any given day and not IF any ride(s) will be closed. On the bright side, it does appear as if Six Flags is starting to treat Great Adventure as its premiere park which means things can only improve. Let's keep our fingers crossed because the park still does have great potential!

From Jen Lubanko
Posted July 26, 2005 at 4:21 PM
I agree with Eric, if you hate SFGAV Don't go.
I have been to differn't Six Flags's and Great Adventure is by far the best.

From Jon Mello
Posted August 22, 2005 at 7:30 AM
I live in MA and decided to take an overnight 5 1/2 hour drive to SFGA to ride the kingda Ka on Saturday, HOWEVER when I arrived at the park I noticed a sign on the way in reading "SORRY the Kingda Ka will be closed for the DAY" no notice of this on their Website, nothing, in weeks past when it was down for it's 2 month stint there was a notice on the site about it, however the site said it had reopened. so I took this with a grain of salt and sucked it up and tried to make the best of my day.

Throughout the day I rode Nitro, Medusa, Scream Machine, etc. the SUF had a 2 HOUR WAIT though, some people may like this ride but it is NOT worth a 2 HOUR wait, throughout the park NOTHING was open on time, vending stations were closed till about 1:00pm, Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train was closed, stuntmans freefall was closed, the batman side of the chiller was closed, half of the park was pretty much closed, then to top things of to a crappy day, I was leaving to head back home with a pleasant 5 1/2 hour drive and the Kingda Ka was running, I purposely made it a point to arrive to the park an HOUR in advance to get in the line for that RIGHT AWAY and saw a sign closed for the DAY, then when they did open it they never announced it, so to conclude I will NEVER got to this park again, the lines are to long, it is poorly run, there is a LOT of misdirection not only on their Website but also throughout the day. The lines are WAY to long, it is a disgrace having the biggest coaster in the world located at this park.

although the Top Thrill Dragster is 36 feet smaller than the Kingda Ka it has been open far longer in the season than Kingda Ka and there isn't as much misdirection at Cedar Point, Six Flags is a POOR establishment in terms of employees and reliability

From ryan saunders
Posted August 23, 2005 at 6:29 AM
I agree that SFGADV is a horrible park. I will never ride Nitro again since I have been on Millennium Force. Makes me realize just how boring Nitro is now. Also, I would rather go on TTD than Kingda Ka just for the fact that CP gets you pumped up for the ride alot more than Six Flags does. I felt like i was in a top fuel dragster while on TTD. I felt like I was being eaten by a tiger while riding Kingda. Now they are copying CP and building hotels..... LOL

From Dave Lilly
Posted October 8, 2005 at 9:17 PM
Obviosly you don't know G/A all too well. The Chiller is one of the best rides in the park. I think that if the Chiller has a short line, its better than Nitro, but not KK. However, I do agree that a lot of rides are down quite often and need better maitnence. How you thought Free fall was good, idk. For a 2 second ride that is almost 20 yrs old and that gives u a headache, i dont see how its "good"

From Jenna V
Posted December 30, 2006 at 9:49 PM
Ryan:

They are not "copying" Cedar Point. Intamin makes these coasters because they want to expend their knowledge of making and designing coasters, and they decided to make an improvement on TTD. One park HAD to buy it, and it happened to be SFGA. What's wrong with buying a coaster when it's up for sale? And actually, Six Flags gets you more pumped up, because the launch is UNPREDICTABLE. TTD, which I have been on, has stupid lights that go off, making the launch obvious. KK has a random syrin that launches you off at any given time.

From Dave Chariot
Posted December 30, 2006 at 10:45 PM
If you rode the coaster like me you would know that when the train backs up a little bit and the hydrolics sort of reale then in 3 secs youll be launched. It almost more given away then TTD>

From Jenna V
Posted December 31, 2006 at 10:51 AM
Which train are you talking about? TTD or KK? I have riden them both, and yes, I agree, but I just feel that KK is more unexpected though because it doesn't exactly give you a set time to fly off. Ah well, then again, it's all a matter of opinion.

From Dave Chariot
Posted January 1, 2007 at 2:22 PM
I underatand where your coming from I have ridden both as well. But I dunno I am so used to kingd ka. Rode is 30+ timesvs TTD only 2 times

From Jenna V
Posted January 2, 2007 at 6:12 PM
Wow, 30+? How did you even have the time for that? I've ridden TTD 2 times to on my trips to Cedar Point, and I've only ridden Kingda Ka 13 times. I thought 13 was a lot, lol :). Yes, you have already adapted to KK after riding it 30 times, but I still remember TTD and I still think that Kingda Ka is more random, but, yet again, opinion.

From Bob Mackay
Posted March 30, 2007 at 10:11 AM
I rode Kingda Ka only twice the summer it opened, but I remember a kind of horn going off just seconds before the launch. So, basically, I didn't find the launch unpredictable. I had spent the entire 90 minutes in line listening to this horn go off a few seconds before the cars launched, so I practically had it memorized. The anticipation is still great, because when you hear the horn, you know it's coming and you tense up ... but "unpredictable" would not be an apt description for my personal experience with the ride.

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