The Joker wreaks havoc at Six Flags Great Adventure
July 30, 2016, 11:49 AM ·
Ready for a ride that is refreshingly different and totally unpredictable? The Joker at Six Flags Great Adventure is exactly that. This drolly wicked 4D Free Fly coaster from S&S combines state of the art technology with some whimsical surprises. It’s located in the Lakefront section of the park, where the dolphin stadium used to be, and easily accessible from the main entrance.
Operating with five vehicles holding eight riders – four on each side of the green and purple track - The Joker features swiveling face-off seats which are tilted slightly backward prior to dispatch. So it feels somewhat like sitting in a reclining chair or a rocker. The restraint consists of an OTS harness with attached seat belt. Upon dispatch the vehicles ascend a 120-foot 90-degree chain lift hill and the seats do rock during the process. The experience of going up the lift hill is one of being suspended in midair, separated from the track. When sitting in a wing seat and going up backwards, you can see the lift hill behind you and it’s an odd sensation of disconnect.
Shortly after the vehicles reach the top, the seats flip, for the first of half a dozen times. This is a multi-level ride with a series of dips and short hops and while the vehicles traverse the various levels, the seats flip at seemingly random intervals. To the casual observer, the ride looks like a tumbling exercise. There is no way to anticipate when the seats will flip and as a result the ride is utterly chaotic. (The flips happen so rapidly that it’s difficult to maintain any sense of orientation.) With the exception of a few dark rides I’ve been on, I can’t recall ever having been on anything with this degree of topsy-turvyness.
This coaster features two 90-degree "raven" drops which afford the sensation of free falling. It was during one of these that I found myself facing practically straight down in a way that was reminiscent of top spin rides but of course without the hangtime. There is a green side and a purple side, and having ridden both, I find that the ride is more intense from the green side. Why is something I haven't been able to figure out, as there are no readily perceptible differences between the two sides. And while it’s obvious from the RPOV that there is some jerking of the head forward, at no time during the ride did I experience any physical discomfort.
Nicely themed, featuring an image of the comic book villain with oversized playing cards outside the ride’s entrance, The Joker is a short ride and while it falls short of the extreme thrill category, it delivers titillation and wreaks havoc with the senses. Plus facing the riders seated across from you enhances the ride experience. Pretty cool! And fun.
It could be said that The Joker really rocks, both literally and figuratively. It’s a good addition to Great Adventure’s stellar lineup of coasters because of its novelty. Also worth mentioning is that it has a single rider line, a rarity for coasters at this park. Thanks to public relations supervisor Kaitlyn Pitts and public relations coordinator Kaitlyn Adams for going out of their way to escort me to The Joker and set me up with a wrist-mounted GoPro to shoot a make-up video.