Six Flags Great Adventure | Theme Park Reviews

Theme Park Reviews

Flagship Six Flags Park is a Story of Extreme Highs & Lows
Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson, New Jersey
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Tickets & Pricing
Last Visit: September 2006

Six Flags Great Adventure, located in Jackson, NJ, is probably Six Flag’s flagship park. While Magic Mountain has been downsized in the past few years, Great Adventure has flourished. With seven new roller coasters in the past eight years and the tallest and fastest roller coaster on the planet. Obviously the company is investing a lot in Great Adventure. Not to mention Philadelphia and New York City are just a few hours away. A point of contention for a lot of enthusiasts has been the park’s frequent breakdowns on major attractions like Kingda Ka and Batman & Robin.

Notable Rides & Attractions
I can’t recall any particularly notable rides or attractions. You will find a swinging inverter themed as a space shuttle along with a long list of flat rides and water rides.

Theming & Atmosphere
Great Adventure is located next to a lake in Northern New Jersey. The park has been relatively clean in my experiences and the theming was standard Six Flags fare. Two new sections were recently added. The Golden Kingdom is home to Kingda Ka and a white tiger exhibit. The Plaza del Carnival opened in 2006 with El Toro and some pretty authentic smelling Mexican food.

Coaster Breakdown – Trinity of Coaster Goodness with an Uneven, But Large Supporting Cast

El Toro, Nitro, and Kingda Ka are an amazing trio.

Road Runner Railways – Steel Kiddie Coaster – N/A
Small Zamperla kiddie coaster.

Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure Train – Steel Family Coaster – N/A
I’ve never ridden it, but it’s identical to Beaver Land Mine Ride at Geauga Lake which I gave a 5 (Average). It’s a fun family coaster.

Batman & Robin: The Chiller – Dueling Launch Shuttle Coaster – N/A
Unfortunately, this dueling launch coaster has been shutdown during both of my visits. Check out some pics here.

Superman: Ultimate Flight – Steel Flying Coaster – N/A
Another ride that was down during my visit. I’ve ridden its clone at Six Flags Over Georgia. It’s a short flying coaster that’s fun, but over before you know it. At least the pretzel loop makes it worth the wait. I gave its clone a 7.0.

Rolling Thunder – Wooden Racing Coaster – 3.5
Rolling Thunder’s a racing coaster, but you’d hardly know it. On both of my visits the park was running trains on only one of tracks. Kind of defeats the purpose of a racing coaster, doesn’t it?

Great American Scream Machine – Steel Looping Coaster – 4.0
An aging old steel looper that’s gives a shaky, rough ride. Check out my full review including an onride video.

Skull Mountain – Steel Indoor Family Coaster – 5.5
Decent indoor ride that’s pitch black in most spots.

Runaway Mine Train
– Steel Family Coaster – 6.0
Great mine train ride.

Batman The Ride – Steel Inverted Coaster – 6.5
This is yet another clone of the popular Batman The Ride found at Six Flags parks all over the world. It’s packed with a tight twisting layout. For me some of the inversions are a bit too close together. I got off feeling like I’d just been tumble-dried, but it’s still a good ride.

Medusa – Steel Floorless Coaster – 8.0
Medusa was the first B&M floorless coaster. It features a smooth, loopy layout, with open trains that have no floors and no walls.

Kingda Ka – Steel Strata Coaster – 8.0
The aforementioned tallest and fastest coaster in the world. It’s more of a thrill ride than a full-fledged roller coaster, but it’s quite a thrill indeed. Check out my full Kingda Ka review including an onride video.

Nitro – Steel Hyper Coaster – 9.0
Nitro’s an excellent hyper coaster that deserves the accolades and praise that it receives.

El Toro – Prefabricated Wooden Coaster – 10.0
This wooden coaster is like no other. It’s silky smooth and jam-packed with airtime. To see why I gave it a 10 out of 10 and ranked it 3rd on my Top Ten Coasters, read my full El Toro review.

Six Flags Great Adventure Q.Q.M.

Quality – 6.7/10
Quantity – 13
Mix – Strong

Get There Index – 4

(A Must Visit for Anyone With a Pulse)
The numerous attractions coupled with that trinity of top-notch coasters results in weak 4 out of 4. The pros do just enough to outweigh the mediocre coasters and sub par park operations. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a park with a track record of breakdowns and outages, but Kinga’s launch, El Toro’s airtime, and Nitro’s overall fun ride can make an enthusiast overlook quite a bit.

See the rest of the GTI & How I Rate Theme Parks. Got any questions or comments about Six Flags Great Adventure? Leave a comment below.Images courtesy of CoasterImage.com

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

16 Comments

  1. Hi I brought my sister and four other friends to have a fun day at great adventures, two days ago , we left early in the morning to have a good 8 hours at the park in the middle of the week on purpose because we didn't want be with the weekend crowd.When e arrived there around 11 am we went strait to business, the park was packed and lines were running 2 hours each, some of the fun roller coaster roller coaster you had to pay an extra 5 to 10 dollars to be on and they had something called the flash card, a way they have to make an extra buck on you, 15 dollars extra to skip line making the regular people lines longer. Strange when you walk in the park you think this is just a park we are all having fun and equal at this point, kind of going back to your child hood when money and adult problems didn't happen, but to be shoved back on your face. Another thing is the prices, a hot dog is cheaper than bottle of water and you can't bring your on, the all metal detector is to look for bottles of water in your bag and make you spend the money, there is no water fountains and they make you check you bags as small as it can be in lockers for an extra charge. So if you need to drink anything and hydrate in the 10 hours you spend there you ll probably should be looking at an extra 10 dollars for each family member. The machines are controlled by teenagers, with no visual supervision, ours lives and safety are entrusted to them and whoever had checked on the machines before the opening. And they pay no attention to their jobs, i watched one of the most humiliating things doe to a teenager girl at the superman roller coaster. They have this employes teenagers at the entrance of each line to supervise people getting in with bags and drinks, make you check you small bag, but wait and hight limits they over look, we stood on the super man line for 50 minutes, was one of the smallest lines we faced, and behind me was a girl who weight at list 250 pounds. She stood on line the all time until she arrived at the cars, they let her go on, tried to strap her into and told her to leave in front of hundreds of people. I wasn't sure if i was more up set about her humiliation or to the fact they tried when was obvious in that kind of machine she would be too heavy. The last thing that happen was the last line we stood in the end of the day to the new bat-man machine, from 8:30 pm to the end when it brook 7 people to our time. We paid 50 dollars each to get in, 15 dollars for the cheap parking, 10 dollars for water and a hot dog, tolls to get back home and we had time to go on 3 toys because the las one broke. Now you tell me if was worth it?????

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  2. Samantha, I'm sorry you had such a bad trip. Here are a few things to consider when visiting a park as large and popular as Great Adventure:You should really try to be at the park before it opens. Then you can be guaranteed a ride or two on the most popular coasters with little or no wait.It doesn't cost extra to ride any of the roller coasters. There are a few thrill rides that do cost more, like those bungee swing rides. The Flash Pass is extra and it allows people to bypass the queue. BUT they only sell a limited number of the flash passes so it really doesn't make the regular lines any longer.I don't know where you live, but for a better experience you might want to try a smaller regional park like Dorney Park or Darien Lake or a more traditional old school park like Knoebels, Rye Playland, Morey's Piers, or Lake Compounce. Those types of parks might be more to your liking. The prices are a lot better and the crowds are much smaller. Other parks not only let you bring in water, but Holiday World and Lake Compounce have FREE soft drink fountains!The larger parks can be so crazy and crowded that some planning is always needed to really enjoy them. Check out this post for best times to visit theme parks. Lastly, about the overweight woman, isn't it better that they tried to see if she would fit rather than just turn her away. Also, rides like Superman Ultimate Flight have seats for larger riders. I'm not sure if they tried to put her in one of those seats, but it's better that they tried to seat her rather than turn her away.I hope you enjoy your next theme park trip. Thanks for reading.

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  3. The Batman and Robin coaster is gone now. I rode it on my first trip to the park and while it was fun it was also quite rough. Their new coaster The Dark Knight was cool, but over-hyped. It was brand new last summer when I went and I hadn't done my homework on exactly what it would be like since it was an indoor coaster. That was a mistake because it had the longest line in the whole park (including Kingda Ka) and it turned out to be nothing more then an indoor wild mouse ride. Had the line been 15 minutes it would have been fun, but waiting over an hour for a mouse coaster really hurt the experience for me.

    I also have to disagree with you on rating Medusa as an 8. I loved that the coaster was floorless, smooth, and had lots of inversions, but it was simply too slow to actually be able to be excited by any of it. Another 5 or 10 mph throughout the whole ride and it could definitely be an 8 or a 9. As it is now I was somewhat bored throughout most of the ride.

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  4. Great Adventure is so overlooked – but it's great. El Toro is my alltime #2 favorite coaster (second to Revenge of the Mummy in Orlando), Nitro is AMAZING, and Kingda Ka in NEW JERSEY?? That's great. The Dark Knight Coaster and Skull Mountain both give thrilling and fun rides, and Batman: The Ride isn't so bad in the front. There are two doozies though, Rolling Thunder (Rotting Lumber) and Great American Scream Machine. OUCH, headache. This park is great, and sure, some prices are big but that's why you bring a cooler. If you go out in the parking lot around 2 or 3, and come back later, a lot of the crowd is gone.

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  5. One of my favorites

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  6. CC, could you review Medusa.

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  7. In great adventure, most of the roller coasters are great, two of which are in my top ten. However, some coasters are pretty boring. Roller coasters:8.5

    The paths are good, not as bad as alot of parks, but not as good as some of the other parks. Paths:7.0

    Flat rides at SFGA are either okay, good, or bad. Because some are good are give it more than average. Other rides:6.5

    Food and Drinks: Pretty good, but about as good as most amusment parks. Food and Drinks:7.0

    Toatal Rating: 7.0

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    • i`d rate the coasters a bit higher than that.

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      • Well the only reason I rate them that low is because of the rides that are boring, ans it has alot of kiddie rides. Some might not agree to this, but a perfect score on an amusment park is just a few kiddie rides,like two or three, and some fun middle rides that the little kids can go on but still amusing to the older rider, and some intense thrillers to keep the thrill seeker inside of me busy. Great Adventure does a pretty good job, but I think their middle rides are a little on the boring side and thier kiddie rides wasn't even exciting as most kiddie rides. (And painful, quite frankly.)

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  8. I went today, and had an amazing time. What I think of each coaster-

    Rolling Thunder-3. Got stuck on the lift (which happens a LOT), and the ride was insanely rough.

    Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train-5. A decent family ride that's a bit uncomfortable, but at least you get two laps.

    Runaway Mine Train-6. Decent mine train ride.

    Skull Mountain-6.5. More intense than I expected, which was nice, but again a bit bumpy.

    Batman The Ride-7. Great layout, and very fun ride, but a bit short, and it would be nice if it was a little faster.

    Superman Ultimate Flight-7.5. The drop is great, and the pretzel loop is terrific. There's not much else to the ride, but those two elements make it great.

    Kingda Ka-8. Insanely thrilling and scary. I agree that it's not a full roller coaster, but it's an incredible experience.

    Bizarro-8.5. I love the floorless trains, the smooth ride, the loopy layout, and the fire and mist effects.

    Nitro-9.5. I rode near the back first, and thought it was great. Later in the day, I waited much longer for the first row, and thought it was world-class. Great smooth ride, wind blowing in your face, intense g-forces on the hammerhead and helix.

    El Toro-10. Wow. What else can I say about this ride that hasn't already been said? Simply the best ride I've ever been on.

    Overall, I loved the park, a ton of great rides, and the lines weren't bad at all.

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  9. My home park, and i love it so much! The rides are amazing, and the waits arent usually too bad.

    El Toro – 10000/10 My favorite ride in the world, the back row is INSANE.

    Nitro – 9.5/10 Front row is better IMO, the back is fun but not amazing, and the middle is good but the worst row. The smoothest ride I've ever been on.

    Bizzaro – 9.5/10 My favorite looper in the park. Very smooth and I love the effects.

    Kingda Ka – 9/10 A bit rough, but the ride is really cool. The launch is insane.

    Batman – 8.5/20 Fun, forceful, but short. And the lines are always the longest!

    Superman – 8/10 Unique ride but VERY slow loading and a short ride.

    Skull Mountain – 7/10 Best kiddie ride here! The first drop, sitting in the back, gave good airtime.

    Dark Knight – 6/10 Short, kinda boring.

    Blackbeard's – 6/10 Fun and the train is really long

    Runaway Train – 5/10 Has gotten a lot rougher, decent ride.

    Rolling Thunder – 2/10 Very rough and it seems dangerous, but I know it isnt. The screeching is horrible.

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  10. I started going to Great Adventure at around age 7 when the only coaster was the Runaway Train. It was probably 1977. I have seen every coaster added and some taken away. This place is great on the right day [midweek not summer] You can hit them all no prob. In the summer or weekend plan on just hitting the best… Nitro, Ka, Toro, Medusa or whatever they call it now… also don't miss Rolling Thunder, love the bouncing off the track bit… I just wish they still raced the 2nd train backwards like they did back in the 80's. Avoid superman if your heavy, It can be painful hanging in the restraints waiting to unload. I now live in No. Va and enjoy Kings Dominion as my home park, and just discovered the charm of Bush Gardens Williamsburg, I will always judge everything else against Great Adventure, and until i can make the pilgrimage to MM or CP I don't see anyplace else living up to the coaster experience at GA.

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  11. What rides fat ppl cant go on? im overweight n dont want to look stupid getting on rides I wont fit in

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    • El Toro is terrible for overweight people. Every time I'm in line there is at least one person that can't ride because they are unable to fit

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  12. SFGA is my home park, so I go there 15-20 times a year. I've never seem the crowds that people say make all the lines above 2 hours. The longest ive ever seen was Kingda Ka's opening (4-6 hours all day). The park has an amazing collection of rides and coasters, most of them are reviewed below.

    Skull mountain- A small, compact ride with some decent outerspace/horror themeing. Most of the ride is in near darkness, which makes the ride more thrilling, but it makes the themeing hard to see. 5.5

    Rolling Thunder- a woodie that used to race, but now one side never runs. The first drop is okay, but the rest is rough, and the ride is kept in terrible condition. 4.5

    Bizzaro- B&M's first florrless coaster, this ride borrows from Kumba's layout, but features a helix directly after the breaks. The ride is rather forceless, but the helix and zero-g roll are better than they are on most B&M's. At the end of the season, this ride runs amazingly fast, making an amazing ride, but the rest of the season, especially the first few months, this is the parks worst looper. 7.25

    Superman: Ultimate Fight- B&M flyer with a twisted layout. The ride always has the longest lines, mostly due to the two train operation and terrible dispatch times. The whole ride is the pretzel loop, the rest is just dull turns over the que. The trains are as comfterble as you can get for a flyer, and the flying does help the layout a lot. 7.25

    Green Lantern- formerly Chang at SFKK, this is considered the best stand-up by most. I think I agree with people saying this ride is the best stand-up, but mostly because Georgia Schorcher is the only other one worth riding. The first half of the ride isn't much, just some super-sized inversions, but after the brakes, there are some tight, quick turns and flatspins that save the ride. 7.5

    Batman: the ride- A well themed B&M invert clone. The tight, no breaks layout make a thrilling ride, but since the whole thing is only 90 feet tall, it doesn't have much momentum, and the whole thing is over in 40-45 seconds. If you come at the end of the season, one of the trains vibrates like a massage chair, making an out-of-control ride. 7.65

    This is getting long, so I'll finish the rest in another post tomorrow or Tuesday.

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  13. Kingda Ka- The tallest roller coaster in op. (High Roller was on top of a hotel, so technically, it was taller). The ride is all in the launch, it's so fast that any other forces disappear. However, That means that there arn't any laterals on the vertical twists, and no airtime on the top hat. Still, the launch is awesome, and makes the ride great. 9.70

    Nitro- A B&M speed coaster from the 90's. This one has a simple L shape with a layout that has a smooth flowing pattern (build-up, airtime, g's, airtime, stronger g's, airtime, strongest g's, airtime, airtime, airtime.) This ride also takes you far away from the rest of the park, making the centerpiece helix even better. Like all speed coasters, it is extremely comfortable, and it has enough floater air to make everyone on board cOme back cheering. Also, this coaster has amazing night rides if the weather is cold, the icy wind and darkness make the train seem like it's going faster than it really is. 10

    El Toro- The parks other woodie, this one is a pre-fab. The ride has a fast lift that gets everyone on board ready for the first drop: a steep drop with insane ejector in the back and massive speeds in the front. Than, there are two cammelbacks, similar to Voyage and Shivering Timbers opener. Next, there is a long, somewhat forceless, turnaround that leads to another cammelbacks similar to the first two. You then speed into a tight helix and into the famous RollingThunder Hill (CC calls this the biggest moment of airtime in the world, and I have to agree with him). Now, the ride lives up to it's name with three ferocious, lateral-packed ground-level turns that leave the rider breathess. Things end with an overbank and another floater hill before returning to the amazed riders to the station. This ride is perfect- it's smooth, tall, fast, airtime and lateral packed, and it has great progression. 10

    I forgot to review flats and water rides last time, so i'm covering them now

    Twister- weak, painful top-spin. It starts strong, than it just tilts you back and forth until you comelet one last flip. Never any lines for it, so its worth checking out. 6

    Log flume-The worst log ride I have ever been on in my entire life. I could end the review with that, but i said I'd review all the rides so, hear it is: I have never gotten a drop of water on me from this ride, the water fountain cools you off more than this. Most of the ride is spent less than walking speed; I've seen Segways move faster than this ride on it's 'soaking wet curves'. Unless you come early or late season, this is always packed, so I'd skip it. 1.15

    All-in-all-9.15

    Roller coasters-10

    Flats-5.35

    Water rides-2

    Kiddie rides-6

    Food-6 (I'd recommend best of the west by the long flume)

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