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#1 natfrolic

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

Arrived for my FIRST EVER trip to Great Adventure at 9:45. Disclaimer - Trip was with a 6 year old so that changes everything- pacing, rides chosen, etc.

Very pleasant and informative parking attendent (something that really does help start the day off right.) We were among the first 30 cars there. Had time to use the bathroom and then they were letting everyone in. I'd say there were about 150 people there when they opened the gate. We went straight to pass processing and waited only about 10 minutes for our passes. Then to Skull Mountain where we walked right on and one of us was very scared by the dark and scary noises. I'm not sure there are any actual scary noises but if you're 6 and it's dark, all noise is scary. So to recover from that we spent some time on the kiddie rides.

I have an amazingly wonderful and loving husband who soon suggested I go ride Nitro while he watched the little one. Yay! One walk-on, middle car, one single train wait for the front car later I was so very very very happy. Having never ridden Nitro I now understand what all the fuss is about. These rides would have been at about 11:00. The ride was operating smoothly and when I left there was still essentially no line.

More kiddie rides.

Early lunch. 12:00. Really? The vegetables haven't arrived at the restaurant yet? But they did get me a veggie hoagie within 10 minutes.

Buccaneer, Big Wheel, both walk-on and made a happy 6 year old (happy parents too). Then Skyway which was running and stopping all day due to the wind, you just had to get lucky and keep watching to catch it when it was going. From up high we could see that the parking lot looked barely 1/4 full. I love April.

Run Away Mine Train with almost no wait- this was a lovely moment for us. My husband used to ride that roller coaster when he was a little boy so for him to take our son on was super cute. (Yoshi was right- lots of people freaking out due to the bees at the end- but I don't think those are even ones that sting. Why are people so freaked out by bugs?)

The 6 year old then says he's ready for El Toro. Really? OK. We get in line, we get to the part right next to the track and a train comes screaming by and he says, "Mama, maybe not. Maybe not yet. Maybe I would be scared." You think? So we do Rolling Thunder instead. 30 minute wait because they are running two trains on one side and only the green train on our side. Oh well. Worst part of the ride was the super loud speaker volume while waiting- we all plugged our ears every time the attendant had something to say. Second worst part of the ride- screeching on the turns, is it always like that? Worse than the NYC subway! Totally killed any fun of the ride. 6 year old seems happy and proud and declares he's never riding that again. Log Flume with a 30 minute wait, but it probably the warmest part of the day so it seemed the time to do it. And we got soaked. I have to say the 'be kind to your fellow humans' part of me does not love the pay to spray people factor of the ride. Some one paid to drench us but didn't stick around to pay for the family dryer for us, how rude.

Amazing husband now says, "You go ride El Toro, I''l watch the little one."

35 minutes and several swear words later I am very glad the little one declined on this ride. I loved it. Deeply. I think he'll be ready for it in two or three more years. I was ready to go again but felt a twinge of wifely guilt.

Several - really, we lost count, walk-on rides of Blackbeard's go by. Everyone is very happy, though in the back of my head I'm trying hard not to be disappointed that Ka is closed. I didn't see when it closed but it was early, it looked like only a few trains went off in the morning.

More kiddie rides. Jolly Roger.

6:00- Dinner. Yay for Panda Express! I can get a big plate of veggies. Being a vegetarian at theme parks can be a serious challenge.

Back to Run Away Mine train to end the day. (We think.) It had been a wonderful, wonderful day. We had a happy, brave, and tired child. I had ridden coasters I'd been dreaming about every time we went to Sesame Place. Just no Ka. And, in the middle of walk-on ride number two I grab my husband and shout because we can see Kingda Ka is running.

It is 7:35. We really need to get our tired boy home before there is a meltdown. Amazing husband says, "Go." I go.

And for me, the night ends perfectly. Lots of people rushed over there too so there was a line, but how many people could have been in the park by then anyway? I get on at 8:10, a little quicker then some because there was one row that seemed to have a malfunction on one restraint so they were putting singles there so I skipped a few people. It was deep dusk by then, but there was still enough light to see the ground rushing towards you. And in a fun moment, as the train was waiting to go back in the station, there were amazing husband and son right next to the track so the little guy got to see me there. He thought that was great. He asked me if I'd been scared and I told him the truth. I've never been scared on a roller coaster, excited, yes, thrilled, yes, scared, no. But on this one- after the restraint came down, I had my first moment of true visceral fear on a ride. Now I know why lots of people don't ride coasters. But it only lasted about 2 seconds. And then it was all thrill.

While I was doing Ka, the others did Run Away Train 5 more times so they were pretty happy too.

I can't imagine a better first trip for me. Nitro first thing to get the day started right, El Toro in the middle to keep me going, and then the bonus ride of Ka at the end of the day. I know I'll ride the other coasters eventually this summer- but I got in the three I really wanted. And got lots of fun with the family as I groom our budding coaster partner, slowly easing him along.
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Learned to love coasters on Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze in Rochester, NY

#2 Yoshi

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

I'm not a fan of the sprayers at the Log Flume either. Although I'd like to see them removed, I feel at the least, they should be turned off for April, most of May and most of September and October if they keep it open that late this year.

Good to hear Kingda Ka reopened, it's been having so much trouble this year with at least 1 breakdown everytime I have been to the park this year.
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#3 Doug

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:15 PM

My son was 6 when he first went on El Toro. But he has an older sister and he just has to do everything she's ever done and at an earlier age if at all possible. He was pretty scared going up (and down) the first hill. I had my arm across his chest for that added sense of security. I had to do the same thing this year the first time we went on it. Its a pretty intimidating ride for someone that size.
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#4 natfrolic

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

Yup. Scary. Kudos to your son. Ours is such a funny mixed bag- Slingshot yes, but a little worried about how high the Big Wheel goes. How old was your daughter when she rode?
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#5 Doug

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

My daughter was 7 when she first rode El Toro, but she only went on the one time and didn't go on it again until she was 8. She's 11 now and goes on all of the roller coasters in the park having finally conquered Kingda Ka last year.
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