Sunday, July 17, 2005

Six Flags

We interrupt the Duluth pic-o-the-day with a brief description of my venture yesterday to the Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Great park! Unfortunately a lot of lines, and certainly expensive...but all in all a good experience. They also have a ton of roller coasters. I went on about a dozen different rides during the course of the day. Here is a list of where each of them rate (just the roller coasters though):

#1: NITRO: Probably the best roller coaster that I've ever been on. A lot of good things going for it: it's TALL (23 stories), LONG (over a mile, and over 4 minutes--quite long compared to other coasters in the park), and FAST as all hell (reaching speeds up to 80mph). In general, these are the critical aspects that roller coasters need to have--any additional loops or corkscrews are just an added bonus in my opinion, and like many of the other coasters in the park are overdone and distracting.

#2: MEDUSA: Also a lot of fun, this is the only coaster that I was able to go on twice yesterday. It claims to be the first floorless roller coaster on the website. Also lasts pretty long (>3 minutes) and it seems like you're always moving or turning--very fun!

#3: THE GREAT AMERICAN SCREAM MACHINE: Made good use of consecutive loops which was a thrill. Also gets points because there was a very short waiting period (it's right next to the Superman ride which gets a lot of hype) so I was a lot less annoyed by the time I got to hop on.

#4: SUPERMAN: The gimmick here is that after you sit down, your seat adjusts 90 degrees and you are suspended in midair, facing the ground, thereby giving the illusion that you are flying (like Superman!) during the ride. This actually works pretty good, there are several parts where it looks like you are about to hit the ground, and then swoop up again at the last minute. The line was a little long, but they have cardboard cutouts of various Superman villains that you can read while waiting--cheesy but kind of fun for a comic book dork like myself.

#5: ROLLING THUNDER: The old wooden coasters are actually pretty underrated--while they generally can't offer any loops or gimmicky turns, they are well-designed and fun. What they lack in speed they make up for in the rattling and jostling that occurs with the aged wood. Also I had to wait in line for only like 5 minutes, which is practically nothing.

#6: BATMAN THE RIDE: Regrettably, some of my decision to rate this so low was the abominable wait in line (over an hour, with really bad techno music blared over a subpar loudspeaker system). Also, the ride just tries to do too much--there are so many turns, loops, corkscrews, and abrupt stops & starts that the whole experience is merely discombobulating and not truly fun. I wasn't scared--just kind of annoyed.

#7: RUNAWAY MINE TRAIN: Really just a few notches above a kiddie roller coaster. Nothing too special--built in 1974 and you can kind of tell. The only good thing about the ride is it's a less intimidating "warm-up" roller coaster that people who are intimidated by the big ones can try out first.

#8: BATMAN THE CHILLER: The biggest disappointment of the park. There are a couple gimmicks with this ride which just don't work. The first gimmick is that the ride takes off and accelerates to max speed (70mph) almost immediately. The second gimmick is that the 2nd half of the ride is backwards--basically just doing the same track in reverse direction. The upshot is a jarring, uncomfortable ride where you can't tell what the hell is going on that lasts for only about 45 seconds. And yet it's one of the longer waits in the park?!?

The Verdict's Still Out--KINGDA KA: This is soon to be the centerpiece of the park's roller coasters, and is certainly physically impressive--this is the first coaster that you can see when you drive into the park, towering a staggering 46 stories (!) Sadly it was closed for the entire visit (and for the next couple of weeks for some additional construction or safety checks or something). It will allegedly bring riders up to speeds of >120 mph through means of a hydraulic launch. My only reasons for skepticism are that the ride will last just under a minute and the wait is sure to be long. Still, I have to admit that during my entire visit to the park I was enviously eyeing the massive green roller coaster and wishing that it was open...


Blogger Antonio said...

Well done on a nice blog n hanhellman. I was searching for information on home theater pictures and came across your post Six Flags - not quite what I was looking for related to home theater pictures but very interesting all the same!

If you have a moment, why not hop over and take a look at my report on home theaters.

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