I got to the park around 5:15. The lines for the metal detectors weren't too long and I got to the fountain area just after 5:20. There wasn't early entry for gold passholders today which was kind of disappointing.
I was going to ride Kingda Ka first except it hadn't opened yet so I went to Zumanjaro and got on the 2nd cycle of the day and walked around for another ride waiting 2 cycles. Kingda Ka had opened and after about 5 minutes in line (in the station) they made the announcement the ride had minor technical difficulties. After waiting around for a few minutes, I decided to leave and return to the ride later thinking the lines would be short all night like in past years.
El Toro had no wait and after on the brake run I saw they were testing Kingda Ka with an empty train. Bizarro had 3 trains running with no wait except for the front.
The Yum Yum Palace added back the grilled chicken sandwich to their menu which was removed (or not listed) for the earlier part of the season.
Blackbeard's had a 1 cycle wait and Skull Mountain was a 2 train wait for the last row. By the time my train got back into the station the station was almost full.
When I got to Nitro, I saw crowds were really picking up. The line was in the 1st swtichback and was around 25 minutes. I got the C train and it is running a lot better compared to earlier in the season. From the lift hill, I saw there were still a lot of cars waiting to get past the parking toll booths.
Batman's line was to the entrance of the tunnel. The ride op at the entrance was telling people it was 30 minutes but was only 15 minutes for the front row because they were dispatching the trains very fast with hardly any stacking. When going up the lift, I saw Nitro's line had half the switchbacks full.
The Dark Knight looked to be around 30 minutes so I skipped it went back to Batman waiting just over 15 minutes again. Walking to the Boardwalk, even Blackbeard's looked like it was around a 20 minute wait.
The Boardwalk was very crowded with the balancing act taking place near the entrance to the Parachutes. Green Lantern had the beginning of the queue modified and the rails were removed from the center of the building so now you can skip the switchbacks when they aren't being used. The ride op at the entrance said the wait was 45 minutes even though the line wasn't even up to the 30 minute sign. I used the single rider line and the total wait time was 15 minutes since there were a lot of people using the single rider line tonight including some that didn't want to split up when the ride op told them to go to different rows.
I didn't go back to the Golden Kingdom to check Kingda Ka's line thinking it was likely at least an hour and Zumanjaro was probably the same.
I finished the day at Runaway Mine Train with about a 10 minute wait and even though it was just around 10:00, I thought traffic might be bad leaving the park later in the night and I had to get up early for work tomorrow so I didn't want to stay too late.
I'm not sure why crowds were so much larger this year compared to past years. Usually the first Friday night in October is very low crowds with walk ons and waits under 10 minutes. The crowds tonight were more similar to the last Friday in October when crowds pick up a lot so it should be interesting to see how crowded the rest of the Friday nights are this year.