Featured Photo #31 – The Rock Monster Makes The Difference

Featured Photos

Skull Mountain at Six Flags Great AdventureThis is a photo of Skull Mountain at Six Flags Great Adventure. It illustrates just how much of an impact theming can make on a ride. Inside this rocky building you’ll find a pretty benign Intamin family coaster. It’s almost like an over-grown version of the neighboring Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure. RCDB calls Skull Mountain an Indoor Family Coaster, but there’s a least one copy of the ride that’s completely outdoors.

By adding a rock covered building, Six Flags created darkness and mystery to a ride that would otherwise look rather puny next to the park’s arsenal of large coasters like Batman – The Ride and Nitro. New guests to the park have no idea what to expect. And with the darkness there’s the opportunity to surprise them even though it’s pretty pedestrian ride.

What’s Your Take?
Can you think of a roller coaster that’s greatly enhanced by its theming? What do you think of Skull Mountain? Leave a comment below.

Photos, content, and the most insightful, entertaining, or amusing reader comments from my Featured Photo posts will be included my new book. Read more about my book project. All images are the property of TheCoasterCritic.com

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


  1. This ride sure beats out the lame Dark Night!!

    • Bring back B&R the chiller!

  2. Theming can absolutely affect a ride. Skull Mountain does have good theming, and I like it. The darkness makes it seem faster than it actually is because you cant see how fast your going and the transitions seem out of nowhere. I must say that the theming on the dark knight a short walk away is much better. And it may not be that thrilling, but I like riding dark knight. It has great theming, lighting and sound effects, and the drops seem sudden and are fun. I actually might like the dark knight a little better, because of the theming, and that skull mountain is just too short in length.

    • Dark Knight is a mouse clone. barely worthy of true attention. One ride, then look at other lines.

  3. I agree that themeing can have an effect on a coaster, but for whatever reason, I've always hated this ride. Seven years ago I was just tall enough to ride it, and I didn't even like it back then! Six Flags Great Adventure is my home park, and I visit it often. I think that the Dark Knight is better then Skull Mountain, but not by much.

  4. Why is it that many coasters are themed around Skulls or Death? Do professional ride namers want Final Destination 3 to repeat itself?

  5. Space Mountain is a prime example of incredible theming hiding a far less than average coaster. Flight of Fear also falls in that category, although they are less excruciating to ride since the restraint replacments several yers ago.

  6. Dark Knight has good theming?? You gotta be kidding me,lol……


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