Six Flags Great Adventure Plans to Top Dragster's Records

Six Flags Great Adventure: Kingda Ka -- like Dragster, another rocket coaster from Intamin -- will launch to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds, then rise 456 feet in the air.

From John Kendall
Posted September 29, 2004 at 2:34 PM
Six Flags Great Adventure plans to smash Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster's record as the tallest and fastest coaster on the planet.

Kingda Ka -- like Dragster, another rocket coaster from Intamin -- will launch to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds, then rise 456 feet in the air. Dragster hits 120 mph in 4 seconds and tops out at 420 feet.

The ride is expected to open at the central New Jersey amusement park next spring.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 29, 2004 at 3:29 PM
Ok so....Cedar Point can't keep Dragster up on a consistant basis. Why should I (or anyone else for that matter) think that Six Flags of all chains will be able to do any better. It's pretty much the same model as Dragster, except for a bunny hill at the end like Stormrunner at Hersheypark and an additional 30 feet of height. The Intamin rocket coaster hasn't exactly proven to be the most reliable model over the past few years. Stormrunner hasn't had quite the amount of problems that Dragster has, but Dragster is twice as big and twice as fast as Stormrunner and Xcelerator. For Six Flags to go ahead with this ride after seeing Cedar Point's woes with a slightly smaller version of it kinda makes me question their sanity.

From Russell Meyer
Posted September 29, 2004 at 3:59 PM
I will give Intamin some credit for at least making it slightly different from Dragster with the hill at the end. Also, the double side-by-side loading and unloading platforms should give the ride a high capacity if it can run consistantly. I will agree that I am extremely skeptical that this coaster will run on a consistant basis next season. And believe me, I don't want to be caught dead in that park when Kingda Ka is down, because the lines for all of the other coaster will grow out of control. And we all know how well Six Flags controls lines and crowds...

However, let's not overlook the rest of the announcement SFGAdv made along with Kingda Ka...They will be creating an entire new land with hands on animal exhibits, a large tiger habitat, which looks incredibly similar to BGT's, and a huge childrens' play/ride area. Six Flags is not releasing a price tag for this expansion, but conservatively it looks to be in the $50 million range, which is more than Six Flags has ever spent in a single year on park improvements. Kudos for SF for trying to create a more complete theme park experience. Perhaps our complaining on sites like this one has made a difference, but that name, Kingda Ka, sounds like a Bostonian trying to say Kinder Car. The rumored name "Maxxx" would have been fine with me.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 29, 2004 at 4:48 PM
Despite my skepticism, I'm glad to see Six Flags making a bold step with Great Adventure. Magic Mountain has had enough play. Money is probably real tight at SF, but the best way to make money is to spend it. Let's all hope that Intamin learned their lessons with Dragster and will get this one right.

The question still remains. Will the guest experience get better at Six Flags?

From John Kendall
Posted September 29, 2004 at 5:39 PM
that's a good question derek. But from my point; I think things will tend to start going uphill. Will see how the attendance will be next year, is it gonna go up or keep on going down?

From Russell Meyer
Posted September 29, 2004 at 6:15 PM
What's interesting to think about is that Cedar Point is helping to build Kingda Ka. Six Flags may not have been able to pull off a project of this magnitude if they had not sold Six Flags Worlds of Adventure to Cedar Fair. So in a roundabout way, Cedar Point has paid to break their own record.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 29, 2004 at 6:22 PM
There is no doubt that attendance will spike next year for Great Adventure. Dragster had consistant four and five hour lines during it's first season. I expect attendance at the park to rise considerably because of this ride...that is, if it runs properly. If it doesn't, Great Adventure will be a nightmare on it's busy days. I would also hope that the park also spends some time on capacity solutions..ie moving people faster. That would be a good start on the customer service end. There are few worse things for guests than a congested, crowded park.

I really hope that this is the beginning of new life for Six Flags. They were smart to unload Worlds of Adventure to a more capable handler. Even so, they are still up to their eyeballs in debt, so it will be a while before we see capital improvements like this across the board.

As much as Cedar Point covets the "highest fastest" record, I think that there will come a time when they focus on making their park a more well-rounded place. Of course there will be more coasters, and they will be world class machines, but they could also use some new flat rides, and some rides that the whole family can enjoy together. Even so, I suppose it's only a matter of time before Cedar Point builds a 500 footer. As big of a coaster enthusiast as I am, I still hope that they wait a while before going for the record again.

From Robert OGrosky
Posted September 29, 2004 at 7:05 PM
While it is good news to get a great ride in the park, the lack of rides isnt what ails SF parks. It is the guest experience once in the park and if that isnt improved a couple of new rides will just add to the 2.1 billion the company is already in debt.
While this may get some or alot of coaster enthusiasts to come visit the park(alot of whom probably have season passes) it wont help much if the line is several hours long and the experience overall at the park isnt a very good one.
I havent been to this park yet but if reports are true the park may be better than SFMM but still has your typical SF problems with guest behavior/employee's.

From Mike Monostra
Posted September 30, 2004 at 4:46 AM
I live 45 minutes away from this park and have been following construction for months. I visited there and saw construction fencing around the area by Rolling Thunder and Viper. However, I thought originally they were putting a coaster there and that's it. Yesterday I found out on rcdb that the coaster is part of a brand new land. just want to know how everything is going to be squashed in the area next to Rolling Thunder, the old Bugs Bunny Land, and the small space aquired by taking out parking and the safari exit.

From Philip Curds
Posted September 30, 2004 at 6:38 AM
Of note, is the two loading stations, which presumably will speed up loading times and lower queue lines. I think the ride will be very similar to Cedar Point's Dragster. Interesting to see, Six Flags making a slight airtime hill to separate the ride from Cedar's Dragster. The theming might be of lower quality than Dragster, I base this on previous visits to Six Flags parks. A jungle theme, humm, interesting, not what I would have picked. The name of the ride is non-desript, surely they could have thought of something a little bit more imaginative than Kingda Ka, I mean come on, even the public could choose a wittier name than that. What the hell does it mean, for a start. The height is more than Dragster, but not by much, though technically I guess, it is taller.

From Russell Meyer
Posted September 30, 2004 at 8:45 AM
It's about 9% taller and 7% faster. That's a significant enough jump. It's not like they went out and made it 422 feet tall and 121 MPH. The type of coaster doesn't really allow for a lot of elements if you're going to break height and speed records without taking up a monstrous amount of space, and I don't know if anyone else has noticed before, but Intamin isn't a big fan of MCBR(block brakes), and hasn't created a coaster with midcourse blocks in a long time. I am a little bummed that the 90 degree twist up and 270 degree twist down are the same as TTD, they could have tried something different there, especially considering that the trains on KK will utilize the OTSRs like Storm Runner. That twist down may be painful for some people.

Let's give SF a chance...Maybe they're really trying to fix the problems of the past 10 years, and this is the sign of things to come at SF parks, especially with new ownership beginning to take the reigns. Snyder and Gates would not have bought SF if they thought that this project, which has been on the drawing board for probably a year, was going to cripple the company. BTW no one knows if SFGAdv attendance has dropped over the years since SF does not release individual park attendance numbers.

From rob luttrell
Posted September 30, 2004 at 3:49 PM
Nothing wrong with breaking the record, but i will be anxious to read some reviews after its up and running. It should be a good ride, but i dont think it will be a night and day difference. It would be nice to see a park build a new ride from the ground up in stead of taking a already current configuration and just taking it a higher and faster. I feel something totally different or a much larger envelope would be more of a challenge to develop.

From Derek Potter
Posted September 30, 2004 at 3:44 PM
The two loading stations do in fact move the lines quicker. Hersheypark's Stormrunner has the two loading stations, with the connector track simply shifting to either station. The line is long, but it does increase capacity quite a bit.

While this system moves the lines, it does generate more potential for maintenance problems. When I was at Hershey earlier this year, they were having problems with the connector track and had some downtime throughout the day.

I don't why they are using OSHR's on this ride. My guess is that after the Superman mess, Six Flags doesn't want the T-bar restraint. The OSHR is bearable on the Intamin rockets, but not the most comfortable, and certainly not as comfortable and thrilling as Dragster's T-Bar. I suppose that Six Flags has their reasons.

From Russell Meyer
Posted October 1, 2004 at 7:45 AM
Word is that SF mandated the OTSRs because of the Superman:ROS problems, and the decent reviews Storm Runner got with its OTSRs.

What everyone will be watching with this attraction will be if SFGAdv can keep it up and running, and how their customer relations department handles things on the innevidable days that it is down. Will they have a status report on their website or phone message like CP had, or will they just tell their guests that they're S.O.L. This coaster could possibly be more of a public relations nightmare than a dream with thousands of pissed off guests who will travel many miles to ride this thing. It could, however, give Six Flags a chance to shine and show they can be just as good at customer relations as the upper echelon park chains (Disney, Universal, and Busch). I, for one, am extremely doubtful.

From Kris Sanner
Posted November 24, 2004 at 7:46 PM
Kris S.fROM toledo, ohio....
i really dont see much diffrence between Kingda-KA and top thrill dragster, despite it's a meager 8 mph faster and only 36 feet higher. The faster that coaster travels, theres more likleyhood of injuries and even death. It's practially the same thing as top thrill dragster, exception being a 80 foot bunny hill. Personally, I probley wouldn't ride it because the wind rush on the dragster was incredible, and most likley wont be any diffrent on, so-called Kingd kU. Dragster was a rush , this new ride may be to much of a good thing. Will see how it turns out once it debuts next spring.

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