Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Six Flags Great Adventure

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The fastest, tallest roller coaster in the world? Why yes, I would like to try that.

The catch? It’s 3 hours away in, New Jersey. There’s another Six Flags amusement park near here, in Annapolis. Butbutbut, that one does not have the world’s fastest, tallest roller coaster, which clearly won’t do. Oh, and the tickets are $30, WITH various discounts. Not too bad, you’d think. Except that you of  course have to pay about $12 in tolls to get there (ignoring the gas price). And then when you arrive, they charge you $15 for parking. WTF? It’s not like there’s any way to get there other than by car, it’s in the middle of nowhere. So is it worth all these hassles? Yes, yes it is.

After a few hiccups we ended up going on a Friday evening, which turned out to be a brilliant move. There were only a few people there, such that we rarely had to wait in line for rides. And with Halloween coming up (apparently in America it isn’t just Christmas that starts a month early), the twilight was quite in tune with the various cobwebs and oogly booglies they’d put up everywhere.

On top of the lighting and decorations, they even had eerie Halloween music and ominous laughter going on pretty much all over the park. And the various closed stalls (on account our timing, I reckon) didn’t hurt either. This was most noticeable in the Golden Kingdom (where Kingda Ka is), where even the streetlights were off in places. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In the manner of most American theme parks, most of the rides are… well, themed. The first one we went on was the Dark Knight Batman ride, which turned out to be the least memorable of the outdoor rides (but better than the indoor ones, and most of the rides in Tivoli). But we didn’t know that at the time, so it was plenty enjoyable. These themes were also used to separate different areas of the park, such that the area around the Batman had a large number of clowns:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the other end of the park held a Western/Mexican theme, and the Asian Golden Kingdom. And while of course the decorations changed, the effect was compounded by various grim characters loitering around each region. The left shot above shows two of the evil clowns that would sneak up behind you and boo (while keeping a straight mean-face) or grate the pictured shovel along the asphalt. Surprisingly effective, that shovel was. The other areas had dead cowboys, witches, etc. Extremely cool, really.

But enough fluff, what about the roller coasters? There were lots, and they were all really good. The best ones in my opinion were:

Kingda Ka of course. It’s extremely short, but extremely fast. No gradual acceleration either, it just launches you forward at break-neck speed, leaving you too flabbergasted to be particularly scared even when you descend the 130m tower. The speed cannot be overstated; at more than 200 km/h, the wind force will alone blur your vision and reorganize your face, at least in the front cars. It was unique, but probably not quite as good as…

Nitro. If nothing then then for the simple fact that the Nitro ride is 5 times as long. It’s not just the duration though, but the massively wavy ups and downs. It’s the essence of roller coaster-dom. Climbs that make you giddy with anticipation, followed by huuuuge drops and 130 km/h rushes. The same kind of ride was to be had in…

El Toro, except that this one was a wooden coaster. Never in my life did I think I would see turns like that on a wooden coaster.

Bizarro was pretty sweet too, with twists, turns and spins everywhere. Plus it had lights and mist and belching flames that looked infinitely cooler at night than in the video I’m forced to link you as a replacement for the one I can’t upload (curse you wordpress.com).

Finally, I should mention Superman. I guess it’s probably the most well-known ride at Six Flags, even though it’s not nearly the coolest. You’re hanging face-down in a harness, which leads to some pretty scary ‘if I fell from here I’d make a massive splash of meatsauce on the ground’ moments. But other than that it’s nothing spectacular (in comparison to the others anyway).

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Written by Martin

2010/10/12 at 18:38

Posted in Uncategorized

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