Great Adventure Opening Day, 4/5/12

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Great Adventure Opening Day, 4/5/12

Postby Yoshi » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:00 pm

I just got back from the park and was disappointed about how my day went.

I got to the entrance to the park around 10:40 and the line of cars was backed up to 537, and by the time I made it to the overpass, the cars were on 537 waiting to get into the park. It took over 30 minutes from the time I got to the entrance until I parked the car.

There are now metal detectors before you get to the ticket booths, so you have to wait for the metal detectors and then wait again at the entrance to get into the park.

I went to Nitro first, 2 trains were running and it was a 2 train wait. It was great to be riding Nitro again and the ride was awesome as always. I walked around for another ride and with so many cars still waiting to enter the park, I thought I had better go to some other rides rather than going for more rides on Nitro.

Skull Mountain was next, 1 train wait for the last row. The pumpkin at the final helix is now on some bales of Hay and the Skull Figure is still lit up, other than that the ride is dark with the tiki masks no longer lit up and the black light glow in the dark track had no lights on it so it wasn't showing.

I checked Green Lantern's line and it looked to be around an hour so I decided to come back later and walked over to Kingda Ka. It wasn't running and there was a small line outside the entrance but after a few minutes of waiting and nothing going on, I left.

The Saw Mill Log Flume was closed and there was all this stuff on the turntable like the ride was having some kind of work done and didn't look like it would be opening today.

The Skyway was broken down, Runaway Mine Train was having problems so I went to Bizarro. 2 trains were running and it was a 1 train wait. Unfortunately, the dispatches were the slowest I have ever seen at the ride. By the time the train I was on got to the final brake run and was waiting outside the station, the restraints on the other train hadn't even been checked yet. I decided against another ride and went back to Runaway Mine Train.

On one train they weren't loading the front 2 cars, on one train they weren't loading the last 2 cars. It was a 2 train wait but after I was seated in the train, they made everyone get out of the train because the ride was broken down again. I waited a few minutes, and the ride was still broken so I left again, saw the Skyway was closed and then went back to Kingda Ka because I saw it was running.

By the time I got to the entrance the ride had broken down again and they had only been able to launch 2 trains. After about 10 minutes, they opened the ride again and this time it launched 3 or 4 trains before breaking down yet again. They actually took the train ready to launch and reversed it to the other side of the station that isn't being used anymore. About 15 minutes later, the ride started again and I was able to ride. The coaster seemed rougher than I remembered and by the time I exited the ride, the line was past the entrance although no switchbacks were used.

I had seen the Skyway running again while walking from Kingda Ka but by the time I got to it, it had closed again. Runaway Mine Train was open with the line to the entrance with no switchbacks used. It took around 10 minutes to get to the station but when I was 3 trains away from boarding, it broke down again. They said it would be another minute but then said it would be longer so I left after wasting 25 minutes in line.

From Kingda Ka, I had seen Green Lantern's line was even longer than before and was ready to leave but I figured I would try to ride 1 more coaster. Blackbeard's had a long line, Skull Mountain looked to be around 20 minutes and Nitro was in the switchbacks. With 2 trains running, it was at least an hour. I saw The Dark Knight didn't have much of a line so decided to go there. It took forever to get into the pre-show room which I later found out was because the line after the pre-show was all backed up. It normally moves quickly but was crawling today and the entire wait took over 30 minutes.

The hologram billboards still aren't working and the Bat Signal wasn't working at the end of the ride (it showed a light but it wasn't the Bag Signal). On the way out of the park, I saw Batman's line was in the garden area.

I had enough since so many rides kept breaking down and the open rides had long lines. Exiting the park, I saw they switched to using the old metal detectors at the entrance to the park.

The lot was maybe 40% full but the park seemed crowded. I also noticed that candy bars from the vending machines went from $2.00 to $2.75! I thought $2.00 was a lot but the $2.75 didn't seem to stop people as I saw the vending machines being used.

I know it was opening day and things can go wrong but this was one of the worst visits I have had to the park. I hope to go again next week and have a better trip to the park.

Ride Count:
Nitro, 2x
Bizarro, 1x
Skull Mountain, 1x
Kingda Ka, 1x
The Dark Knight, 1x
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Re: Great Adventure Opening Day, 4/5/12

Postby stealth220 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:47 pm

I went this past Tuesday (4/10) and I didn't have a very good experience either. In almost 7 hours in the park we got on 5 coasters.
Superman had the longest line, as usual, with trains waiting on the brake run for several minutes. I never understood what is so different about loading this coaster than other Beemers - it's a standard shoulder harness, and the leg clamps close automatically. It could be Six Flag's policy of only having 2 attendants at these rides.
Kingda Ka surprisingly had the shortest wait, less than 30 minutes. It did break down for a few minutes right before we got on, and the train before us rolled back, but our trip had no problems.
El Toro was close to an hour, since it too broke down right as we got into the station. Still worth it for one of the best rides in the park.
Nitro only had 2 trains on when it could have really used 3, although the third one wasn't put together yet. The crew here was faster, but with almost 3 minutes to load a train they weren't really rushing.
Green Lantern was the last one of the day since it only had one train (and a 60+ minute wait) first thing in the morning. Now it had 2 trains running and the line was just about an hour. Of course it too broke down when we were about 10 trains away. Six Flags really should have cut their losses with this one and converted it to a sit-down. I've never had such bad head banging, and since my ears were already cold it hurt even more. Plus, we found out why the ride was down before - my sister's harness wouldn't open after the ride and they closed again. Took about 5 minutes for maintenance to get there to open it up but I was surprised the ride ops didn't have a manual release key. All in all this ride seems like it's more trouble than it's worth, but the GP seems to enjoy it.

As usual Six Flags' operations rank on the lower end of the scale, and it was frustrating having to wait almost an hour in lines that should have taken half that, either because of slow operations, not enough trains running, or both. If the park wants to open early in the season they should do a better job of prepping and getting enough staff. I know it's hard but the benefit of waiting an extra week to open and having a better trained staff & full capacity would be well worth it.
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Re: Great Adventure Opening Day, 4/5/12

Postby Yoshi » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:51 pm

Having 2 ride operators check restraints at Superman and Bizarro has been a problem for years. Closing day at Superman it took over 20 minutes when it should have been a 10 minute wait. If Dorney can have 4 people checking restraints at Talon and Hydra, Great Adventure could too.

Nitro's 3rd train wasn't ready until late April or early May last year, so I guess it will be the same this year.

I went to the park today and did have a better visit, 15 rides in just under 5 hours but by mid afternoon, the major coasters all had long lines.

Here's my trip report for today:
This week there was no line of cars and I walked into the park around 10:15. Rope drop was strange, they had the usual rope up on the right side of the park before the Big Wheel and on the other side, there was a rope to the right of the carousel. If you went towards the Boardwalk, you could go right up to the entrance of any ride there and wait and the entrance to the Golden Kingdom near Twister had a rope there as well.

I went to get my coupon book and then got in line for Green Lantern around 5 minutes before opening. Both Green Lantern and Superman had to have 100+ people in line waiting for the rides to open. I got on the 4th Green Lantern train but didn't get off the ride until 10:50. I noticed that every time a train was loaded, they reminded everyone to stand up and it was not a sitdown coaster. I guess they have been having trouble with people not standing? I also noticed there were 4 ride ops checking restraints. I wonder if there will be 6 ride ops checking restraints again like last year after May or having 6 ride ops checking restraints was just for last year.

Superman looked to be around 20 minutes and I didn't want to spend that much time knowing it would be getting more crowded soon so I went towards Kingda Ka only to find it closed and not testing. I was going to go to Bizarro but Frontier Adventures wasn't open until 11:00 so I stopped at Rolling Thunder. Only the right side was open with 2 trains running. The dispatches were slow as usual but the ride wasn't too bad in a non wheel seat.

I went to Bizarro to find an empty station, if some others had not gone for a re-ride, I would have gotten a solo ride. I ended up getting 3 rides only having to walk around once. The train did not have the audio working.

Runaway Mine Train was next, 2 train wait and thankfully I was actually able to ride the coaster this time after trying 3 times last week and having it break down every time. The Log Flume was still closed and didn't look like it would be opening so I took the Skyway over to Dream Street. It was only a few minute wait but the Dream Street side had at least a 20 minute wait.

I saw Nitro had a line almost out to the entrance but no switchbacks were being used. I decided to go to Skull Mountain instead waiting a little less than 10 minutes. The crew at Skull Mountain was awesome, running to check the lap bars and the dispatches were the fastest I have ever seen at the ride with full trains. I was very impressed. The black light was turned on at the bottom of the first drop which was good to see. I walked around 2 more times for more rides.

The Dark Knight also was running better than last week. It only took a few minutes to get into the pre-show room and the wait after that was short because the line was moving fast like it usually does (last week it took almost 20 minutes to board a car from after the pre-show). I went back for a 2nd ride and checked out Batman's line. It was into the garden area so I skipped it again and went to check Nitro's line.

The line was a little shorter than before but I decided to wait. With 2 trains running, it was a little over 35 minutes. I hope the 3rd train gets put together and is running soon since they could really use it.

By now, everything had a long line. Skull Mountain had a line well into the cave, the Skyway had almost a full queue, even Jolly Roger had at least a 1 cycle wait. I walked over to Blackbeard's, saw it was at least 15 minutes and skipped it and went to Frontier Adventures.

Runaway Mine Train was a little less than 15 minutes so I stopped there and saw the Skyway had gotten a long wait on that side of the park as well. I decided to go to Tango which had no wait and leave after that.

Kingda Ka was running later in the day but I didn't even walk over to see how long the line was since I was sure it was longer than I was willing to wait.

Overall it was a better trip than last week, with better operations and less breakdowns so I was able to get more rides in.
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