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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6

Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
10/7/12 at
11:02:57 AM

Yep, he's writing about Great Adventure...again.

I had been, for several weeks, considering going to Knoebels for the Phoenix Pfall Pfunfest yesterday. Three things ultimately made me decide not to:

1. Tough week to spring for the ticket, as I had to put out a bundle this week for insulin.

2. Lack of desire to drive 3.5 hours home at a late hour with my tired eyes.

3. Lack of desire to hang around for a couple hours in the morning, waiting for Knoebels to "officially" open.

During the week, gad198 (Gary) from URC let me know he'd be at GrAdv on Saturday and Monday. I'm not off for the holiday Monday, so I decided to pop down to hang with Gary for a bit and scope out this year's version of FrightFest.

There was some sort of delay in "ringing up" my parking. Normally, they look at the season pass, see "parking" on it, and you head on in. It was taking a few minutes, so I asked if there was an issue, especially since this was my first time using NEXT season's pass. But no, the woman had hit a wrong button on her computer/register, and had to wait for a manager to come fix that. I asked her if there were any special events going on today and she says, "Yes. FrightFest." I said no, I mean concerts, organized events, charity things, etc. She said no. She was wrong.

Outside the gates, I saw a registration area/VIP/wristband distribution area for something called Electric Adventure. That turned out to be a very well attended "concert" in the arena, featuring dance music played by DJ's and (maybe?) live performers. I have less than zero interest, but it did affect the crowds, as the park got loaded with teenagers and early twenty-somethings. Mostly girls, many in get-ups suitable for, but not intended for, Halloween. The concert was a mostly all day, free form thing so attendees could come and go as they pleased. A wristband was required, so I guess it was NOT included with park admission. Speaking of park admission, since I get a Season Pass, I hadn't realized the cost of a single day, non-discounted gate admission to theme park only (safari and Waterpark closed) is now over $68 when tax is figured in.


As is always the case now, I had to remove my belt at the metal detectors, which is a pain because I was wearing jeans that were pretty loose at the waist. I also removed my key, coins and credit card to go through. But the beeper was still going off, and it turned out the zippers on the pouch I wear under my arm and under my shirt were setting it off. That hasn't been the case before. So, already beltless and trying to make sure my pants didn't end up arouund my ankles, I had to take off my t-shirt to remove the pouch. And that's not a pretty picture.

Following that Magic Mike moment, I got myself back together and headed to the gate. It was a bit after 10am, and Gary and I were planning to meet by the fountain between 10-10:30. But lo and behold..it's after 10 and they haven't rolled up the entry gates yet. They always open them at 10, and drop the ropes inside the park at 10:30. Not this day. We were kept in a "holding pen," the area between the ticket booths and the entry gates. That area got very crowded very quickly. The gates went up at 10:30.

The meet-up was easy, as Gary and I ended up in adjacent lines at the gates and spotted one another.


Gary and I headed first to El Toro, and were in the backseat of the Soul Train almost immediately. We got a total of three rides, not leaving the station. Despite ET's usual morning sluggishness, the rides were quite nice. We then headed to Bizarro for another triple ride, in the back. Audio was on. Ride ran well. The MCBR was not on heavy, so the train FLEW through the initial part of the second half. It was a bit strange to crest the lift hills on those rides and see no cars driving through the safari. The animals were certainly out, enjoying the beautiful early fall weather.

I asked Gary if he wanted to hit Kingda Ka, but he declined and went over to the 3-point basketball shoot for a while. While he did, I walked to Ka, only to find a line with the switchbacks 3/4 full. It appeared it would be at least 1.5 hours, so I passed. I checked in with Gary in between shoots to let him know I was gonna try to grab a spin on Green Lantern. I waited about 5 minutes to get to the single rider stairs, which was open and quite popular this day. I waited at least 20 minutes ON the stairs. Got my ride..unfortunately, it was near the back. Not my favorite spot, and it banged me around more than a little. The line tripled by the time I got off, and it was only a little past 12:30.

Waited for Gary to finish up, and, with the skyride not running, we walked to Nitro. The line looked to be about 20-30 minutes, and Gary was heading to SFNE. So he split at that point. Gary's a nice fellow, and I always enjoy hanging with him for a bit. We bid adieu and Bon Voyage, and I got on the Nitro line. Turned out to be about 20 minutes. I waited for two rides, then managed to grab three more in empty seats. First two rides in the back were great, but the other three elsewhere..not so much, although I did get some air at spots where I wouldn't expect it...but none on some spots where I DO expect it. Also, the first drop and following climb seems quite jarring.

I could tell the crowds were following the usual Saturday FrigtFest pattern, the park beginning to fill up around 2pm. Batman's line was out in the garden, so I passed. I grabbed a ride on Skull Mountain, and even went on Dark Knight. OK, pick your jaws up off the floor. I had read on another site there were some new lighting effects, so I tried it. The only thing I saw that I thought was new..and I may just never have noticed it before..was some "burning" oil drums at the very start of the ride. Ride still bites, though. SkyScreamer was operating early, then was closed. I thought it was due to FrightFest activities, but it had re-opened when I got off the Scrambler. It had a monstrous line, so I skipped. Scoped Toro's line, and both sets of switchbacks were full with overflow to the entranceway.

After 3 or so, I didn't do anymore rides. I had planned on leaving when it got crowded, but decided to stay. I got a pretzel to hold me over, and took in the sights..human and otherwise... for the next hour or so. I picked up a FrightFest show schedule and decided to head to the Showcase Theater for GhoulMaster's Ghosts at 5pm. There's a sameness to these Zombie singing/dancing shows, but this one features a few neat effects along with laughably bad lip-synching by the lead. I do miss the Hypnosteria show they've had in the past in that hall.

It was odd, earlier, to see the Big Wheel operating on a FrightFest Saturday. The reason is that everyone's favorite zombie rave, Dead Man's Party, has been re-located to a stage between the Dark Knight building and the old Batman Stunt Show arena. Gives them a lot more room, and as always, it's preceded by the Awakening Of Dr. Fright and the zombie parade. DMP was okay at best. It does now include one of my favorite songs, Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Haaa!" Cool pyrotechnics, more comedic relief than in the past, a bit more family-friendly. But I'm still not crazy about it.

I left after that, the midways so crowded you couldn't walk without making contact. It was a gorgeous day, and people definitely came out.

Now (pulls out soapbox)..let's talk about gouging. This is Six Flags, so it goes with the territory. FrightFest essentially boils down to two things: Shows and Walk-through haunts. All shows are included with admission. That's the good news. GrAdv this year features a hayride and 5 Haunted walks: Haunted Heist (laser tag), Voodoo Island, Insanity:Gears Of The Mind, The Manor, and Wasteland. You get one guess how many of those are included with admission.

Answer: Zero. Zip. Nada. Nil.

Hayride is $5, all others are $8.

You can buy a combo for $18 that allows you to do as many of those as you can. Considering what the lines would be like, I'd imagine that number might not be very high. But wait!! For $55 you can get the Scare Pass that gives you front-of-line access to these 6 upcharge haunts.

Great Adventure's pretty good about discounts for SP holders, offering them for FlashPass, some merchandise, some food, some regular upcharge attractions. So I was curious to see what the SP holder discount was on these items for the haunts.

There ain't one.

Matter of fact, they charge SP holders MORE than the unwashed masses. Combo? $25, not $18. Scare Pass? $75, not $55. Can you picture the meeting where the execs set this up? "Well, these people that support us all year have not given us one red cent to get in to FrightFest, so...in keeping with the theme..let's bleed them for even MORE money than John Q. Public is putting out."

If I was someone who was REALLY interested in the walk-throughs, Six Flags Corporate would be hearing from me.

White Castle finished my day on a positive note.

Thanks for reading!

Mike

* This post was modified at 10/7/12 5:17:32 PM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by drachen drachen Profile at 10/7/12 3:34:23 PM
Thanks for the write up. That gives me an idea of what to expect next Saturday when I go.

It sounds as if the opening crowd still goes straight to Ka. I guess we have to follow suit since my guest has yet to ride it. Otherwise I have no problem skipping it. Nitro, Bizarro, El Toro, and Green Lantern have more manageable queues.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
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Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 10/7/12 3:37:52 PM
Cool tr!

I am still shocked about the $68 single day price. Not just because it's just for the park minus the safari and water park, but because it's so steep. With all the buy 1 get 1 free promotions and stuff, you'd think the park was trying to give away admissions. Otoh, maybe SF has learned they shouldn't have such cheap fares and turn away the 'undesirables'?

That's also quite surprising how 'thorough' they are with the metal detectors. I had no issues with my belt passing thru the ones at KD.

* This post was modified at 10/7/12 3:41:01 PM *

Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 10/7/12 3:55:13 PM
drachen said:

It sounds as if the opening crowd still goes straight to Ka.

Yeah, but a large number head for Supes and Lantern as well, as he's still the "new kid in town."

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 10/7/12 4:08:22 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

Cool tr!


I am still shocked about the $68 single day price. Not just because it's just for the park minus the safari and water park, but because it's so steep. With all the buy 1 get 1 free promotions and stuff, you'd think the park was trying to give away admissions.

With the number of discounts available..even to folks who don't order tickets on line..anyone who simply shows up to GAdv and pays gate price deserves what they get. I wouldn't imagine they get more than 50 people a day that do. Although, to be fair, it is a bit harder to find discounts this time of year.

Mike

* This post was modified at 10/8/12 10:53:17 AM *

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by alpengeistno3 at 10/7/12 7:32:44 PM
beastmaster said:

Matter of fact, they charge SP holders MORE than the unwashed masses. Combo? $25, not $18. Scare Pass? $75, not $55. Can you picture the meeting where the execs set this up? "Well, these people that support us all year have not given us one red cent to get in to FrightFest, so...in keeping with the theme..let's bleed them for even MORE money than John Q. Public is putting out."

If I was someone who was REALLY interested in the walk-throughs, Six Flags Corporate would be hearing from me.

Mike

Thanks for the report, Mike. I had really wanted to go to Gradv one more time this year since they let me use my SFA parking there, but hearing stuff like this makes me just want to go to Dorney instead. How do they charge season pass holders MORE for the upcharges? Do they wait for you to "flash your pass" then zonk you with the higher charges?

Paul

Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 10/7/12 7:42:22 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

beastmaster said:


Matter of fact, they charge SP holders MORE than the unwashed masses. Combo? $25, not $18. Scare Pass? $75, not $55. Can you picture the meeting where the execs set this up? "Well, these people that support us all year have not given us one red cent to get in to FrightFest, so...in keeping with the theme..let's bleed them for even MORE money than John Q. Public is putting out."

If I was someone who was REALLY interested in the walk-throughs, Six Flags Corporate would be hearing from me.

Mike

Thanks for the report, Mike. I had really wanted to go to Gradv one more time this year since they let me use my SFA parking there, but hearing stuff like this makes me just want to go to Dorney instead. How do they charge season pass holders MORE for the upcharges? Do they wait for you to "flash your pass" then zonk you with the higher charges?

Paul

You know what? That thought never entered my mind, how they'd know you were a season pass holder when purchasing. The information I got was from signs throughout the park. I certainly don't think I read it wrong. The way it was written wasn't exactly open to interpretation. And I didn't see anything on the site about being able to buy in advance. Needless to say, I'd be embarrassed if I was wrong, but that's what I saw, and I read it multiple times. But your post is making me question it.

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 10/8/12 5:32:46 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

beastmaster said:


Matter of fact, they charge SP holders MORE than the unwashed masses. Combo? $25, not $18. Scare Pass? $75, not $55. Can you picture the meeting where the execs set this up? "Well, these people that support us all year have not given us one red cent to get in to FrightFest, so...in keeping with the theme..let's bleed them for even MORE money than John Q. Public is putting out."

If I was someone who was REALLY interested in the walk-throughs, Six Flags Corporate would be hearing from me.

Mike

Thanks for the report, Mike. I had really wanted to go to Gradv one more time this year since they let me use my SFA parking there, but hearing stuff like this makes me just want to go to Dorney instead. How do they charge season pass holders MORE for the upcharges? Do they wait for you to "flash your pass" then zonk you with the higher charges?

Paul

Someone on another forum posted that the Scare Pass and Combo prices I referred to are for the ENTIRETY of FrightFest for Season Pass Holders. The other prices are for one-day buyers. I have no idea if this information is correct. There was no indication of that in the signs' verbiage.

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 10/8/12 6:56:14 AM
drachen said:

Thanks for the write up. That gives me an idea of what to expect next Saturday when I go.

It sounds as if the opening crowd still goes straight to Ka. I guess we have to follow suit since my guest has yet to ride it. Otherwise I have no problem skipping it. Nitro, Bizarro, El Toro, and Green Lantern have more manageable queues.

When I was there this last June, it sure didn't seem that the early crowd was at Kingda Ka (11:00). As for "manageable queues", I would say that everything you listed was ok except for Green Lantern. Superman was bad back in '07 and both were not all that great this time (around an hour wait each before noon). With it being new, SkyScreamer had kind of a long nothing to look at while you wait line. Everything else was a piece of cake to get on.

Re: Six Flags Great Adventure Yesterday 10/6 by Coaster316 at 10/8/12 9:16:25 AM
beastmaster said:


Someone on another forum posted that the Scare Pass and Combo prices I referred to are for the ENTIRETY of FrightFest for Season Pass Holders. The other prices are for one-day buyers. I have no idea if this information is correct. There was no indication of that in the signs' verbiage.

That sounds right to me, but I think it would be neat if a park were to charge more for passholders for this sort of thing.

"Hey cheapskates, you've been getting our entertainment for pennies on the dollar all year, now pay up!"

I would love to see an exec with the intestinal fortitude to try that. :)

- Jeff