Questions about SF Great Adventure
I am strongly considering going to this park this fall and was wondering about a couple of things. First, I would be visiting on the last Saturday in September for an ACE event so I was how crowded the park tends to be this time of the year. Being that this in an ACE event, there is ERT on some of the coasters (like El Toro and Bizarro) but not others (like Kingda Ka), so I'd be guaranteed some repeat rides on those that are on the ERT bill. Just wondering if I'd be waiting a long time for other coasters or not.
Speaking of El Toro, how rough (or not rough) is this coaster? I've never heard anything bad about it regarding roughness but have heard plenty of bad things about Rolling Thunder, so I might give that one a pass due to my bad back. Actually rough woodies tend to hurt my neck more than my back (even though I have nothing wrong with my neck) so I try to avoid the worst of the bunch. I can tolerate a front seat ride on some of the rougher woodies mentioned here like Mean Streak and Wildcat at Hershey, though I'd have no interest in re-rides on anything like that.
Can't speak to ERTs...I know when I was there in spring FlashPass got you on KdK and all of the other coasters. Damn FlashPass cheated me out of a final ride on KdK, in fact.
El Toro is hands-down the best wood coaster I've ever been on. I wouldn't call it "rough", really...it's pretty smooth. It has to be with the intensity of the hills and all.
But then, different things bug different people when it comes to roller coasters. People complain that WildCat at Hershey beats them up. I've never felt bad on that...it's intense, but not brutal. Whereas Blue Streak at Cedar kicked my arse so bad I didn't even RIDE Mean Streak.
I was at Great Adventure on a Sunday in late September in 2009. The lines were very short. With no ERT on Kinda Ka, I would ride it first in the front seat as soon as the park opens if it doesn't conflict with an ERT. As far as El Toro, you're in for a real treat. If someone were to blind fold you before you left the station, at the end of the ride you would think you just rode a steel hypercoaster. That's how smooth and intense it is. It's my favorite coaster, wood or steel. If Nitro is not on the ERT list, don't worry. The line is usually short and is the fastest moving of all the coasters in the park. Your longest waits of the day will be Superman and Green Lantern. Have fun.
> I was at Great Adventure on a Sunday in late September in
> 2009. The lines were very short. With no ERT on Kinda Ka, I
> would ride it first in the front seat as soon as the park
> opens if it doesn't conflict with an ERT. As far as El
> Toro, you're in for a real treat. If someone were to blind
> fold you before you left the station, at the end of the
> ride you would think you just rode a steel hypercoaster.
> That's how smooth and intense it is. It's my favorite
> coaster, wood or steel. If Nitro is not on the ERT list,
> don't worry. The line is usually short and is the fastest
> moving of all the coasters in the park. Your longest waits
> of the day will be Superman and Green Lantern. Have fun.
This man speaks the truth.
Kingda Ka is very weather dependent and even goes down when the skies are clear. Best bet is to get a front or second row ride on it. Second row is elevated so to me it's a good ride with less wait, you can see just as much.
El Toro is not rough at all, it was laser cut and prefabricated so it is A LOT smoother than traditional wooden coasters. You will even the notice a difference on the accent ;) El Toro will buck you around in the second half of the ride though, but it's not a rocky type of bucking around, it's more like the literal sense of actually riding a bull!
As already said, Nitro has the best moving line, especially with a 3 train set up going. It holds 36 ppl per train and the crew on Nitro are IMO the best in the park at times. Trust me, I've seen them enough! haha
Bizarro has had NO line latley because it's in the FARRRR corner of the Park. If you want to ride that 10 times you should have no problem. You might die from terrible music though ;)
After KK head STRAIGHT TO Green Lantern. The line will be long all day, if it's not, then no other line should be long. It's my new theory, and it has panned out to signal the overall park wait times.
Bizarro has had NO line latley because it's in the FARRRR
> corner of the Park. If you want to ride that 10 times you
> should have no problem. You might die from terrible music
> though ;)
If it hasn't been repaired train B has no audio - if you can get on that one - the peace and quiet is well worth it.
The only part of ET that may give you trouble with your back is when it goes into the turns - it's very intense but not rough at all. You will go from side to side though. Just brace for it when you see it coming (i.e., hold on).
As you mentioned stay away from Rolling Thunder, even if you have no back problems LOL! It's awful. I agree with what everyone else has mentioned. Superman is the worse line b/c it's capacity is horrible. GL's line fluctuated throughout the day. It went down a few times (not for very long) but that added to the wait. We had a Flash Pass so I'm commenting on what I observed as far as line length. ET gets a pretty good line as well but with ERT you'll be fine.
> Being that this in an ACE event, there is ERT on some
> of the coasters (like El Toro and Bizarro) but not others
> (like Kingda Ka), so I'd be guaranteed some repeat rides on
> those that are on the ERT bill. Just wondering if I'd be
> waiting a long time for other coasters or not.
That event is "Riding of the Bull, Tres."
Events like that make for a real long day at a park, but it also "relaxes" my attitude about the normal ops hours and what the crowds may bring.
Normally I would not be happy with say a 50 minute wait for (insert coaster name here), but when I attend an event like that, I figure so what, I've got all day with that after hours ERT goodness waiting for me and relatively few other souls.
Last year, a few of us snagged a KK ride with just a 20 minute wait; around 2 PM, but admittedly it had been down, an we lucked out being in the area soon after it re-opened.
It was a nice sunny day, the place was busy (prior year, the event's first, had rain).
A better barometer IMO is Nitro, a people mover.
It was about 35 minutes at its busiest last year.
Hoping for more of the same this year; I am making this a "must do" event to get me to SFGAdv each year.
I would love to attend the event, but like all ACE events I'm interested in going to, I'll be on the boat. I'm off for the national convention next year at Dollywood and Carowinds. I'm getting the kids ACE memberships so we all can go. Have fun "riding the bull". Maybe I'll see you guys there next year.
Let me give you a tip:
I'm usually a "back rider" for the pull on the first drop. But every single roller coaster in Great Adventure is WAY better in the front!! Especially Green Lantern, Nitro, El Toro, Kingda Ka and Bizzaro! Superman you can live with not the front. If you've been waiting this long, might as well wait another 20 minutes for the front (Could be as much as 30-40 on KK)
El Torro is not only super effing smooth - it's SO AMAZING because after the first drop (which is amazing, way better than nitro's) the 2nd and 3rd hills don't go as high as they could, which means the train doesn't slow down as much. It really does soar over the hills without barely losing momentum. You can actually see it when you're waiting in line. You're literally coming out of your seat and it has such awesome air time. The name is very appropriate.
On KK, the back seat is pretty terrible.. The ride is already a bit rougher than dragster, but if you seat ALL THE WAY in the back, which is the car that only has 1 row of 2 - maybe it's because it weighs less than the rest of the cars, but it rattles pretty badly which kind of takes away from the experience. The front or the 2nd row is THE SHIZZNIT. My contact flew out of my right eye!! (I'd still give the edge to Dragster because the seat belts but it's still quite an experience)
One last tip: I know you're doing the ERT thing but to me - skip that and get a flash pass. That's my honest opinion. You get to ride everything without waiting almost at all besides when you want to ride in the front. Even Green Lantern - We went there twice this year (yeah, flew all the way from st. louis) and each time we rode green lantern at leats 2-3 times throughout the day without much wait. Also, ride the Houdini because it's pretty unique, and their log flume is one of the best i've been on, if not "the". Do yourself a favor and get a gold flashpass.
Have fun :-)
> Let me give you a tip:
> I'm usually a "back rider" for the pull on the
> first drop. But every single roller coaster in Great
> Adventure is WAY better in the front!! Especially Green
> Lantern, Nitro, El Toro, Kingda Ka and Bizzaro! Superman
> you can live with not the front. If you've been waiting
> this long, might as well wait another 20 minutes for the
> front (Could be as much as 30-40 on KK)
What have you been smoking!? LOL! Front for GL and KK, yes but back for Bizarro, Nitro, El Toro. It's a no brainer - the back on those rides are much better with amazing forces compared to the front. While I like to get a front ride in every once and a while for the visuals, the back on those blows the front row away.
> On KK, the back seat is pretty terrible.. The front or the 2nd row is THE SHIZZNIT.
That one I def. agree with. I hate the back on KK (and on TTD as well).
Well that's good news about El Toro; I don't mind intensity in a coaster (wood or steel) but what I can't take repeatedly is the "jackhammering" or "washboarding" which actually hurts my neck more than my back, even though I have nothing wrong with my neck. I can pretty well protect my back from all but the worst coasters but some woodies make my neck feel like someone's jumping up and down on top of my head while I ride. I'd really look forward to a woodie that I can get more than one or two rides per ERT session on, not due to too many people being there but due to it being too rough for me.
As for the other coasters, I'm really mostly concerned about being able to get at least a couple of rides on KK since on my trip to CP I just wasn't able to get enough of TTD and won't be able to get back out to CP until next year. Superman I really don't care much about other than for the count as SFGrA and SFOG have those which I've ridden before. On Bizarro maybe we'll be lucky so that they will turn off the audio during the ERT, but I guess I won't count on that, though.
Looks like there is a first ride on GL so that shouldn't be a problem, but I will plan on making a quick dash to KK as soon as we can leave that area of the park.
But thanks everyone for the advice.