Carrying on our travel reviews in New Jersey, dad and I would like to share our favourite theme park in the world. We especially love riding roller coasters and are air time junkies, air time being that falling feeling you get when something drops rapidly. We can therefore be found at the back of roller coasters, where the connoisseurs and air time junkies can be found – the front seats are for the tourists! At the back, you get the best falling feeling as the cars will be accelerating the fastest down the drops
Of course, I’m not strictly allowed on roller coasters as I could be classed as a loose item but dad has snuck me on a few. He tucks me into the front of his jacket and does it up really securely so that I can’t fall out but my head is sticking out so that I can see
So, which is our favourite theme park in the world? It’s Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. For those of you who don’t know, Six Flags is a theme park company in the USA who own many parks right across the country. Great Adventure is just off junction 16A of the I195 and is about 25 minutes drive from the Red Roof Inn in Princeton where dad and I usually stay on our trips to New Jersey. It’s a tradition that we start off our trips to the USA here
Strictly, there are 3 parks here. There’s Great Adventure, the theme park with rides, Hurricane Harbor, the water park and there’s a safari park, which used to be a separate attraction but has now been absorbed into the attractions of Great Adventure
As with any theme park, never pay the gate price. There’s always a good deal to be had for admission, even if it’s just pre-buying your ticket to the park over the internet. Also, for overseas visitors, be aware that American theme parks will charge you an exorbitant amount just to park your car. Once again, the parking fee is cheaper if pre-bought over the internet. I think the the premium parking option isn’t worth the money unless you arrive really late and have to park at the far end of the car park
Six Flags aren’t very generous with the entry time – you will only gain entry into the park itself at the advertised opening time unlike the Cedar Fairs parks like Cedar Point, which often let you in early. The queues start building up from 45 minutes before the gates open
Six Flags have really been investing in Great Adventure with many of their marquee record-breaking coasters now residing at the park. For example, below is Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest roller coaster at 456 feet and the world’s second fastest as it accelerates you from 0 to 128mph in 3.5 seconds!
Here’s the front seat view of riding Kingda Ka. It’s over very quickly but is quite rough compared to the ride with the most similar layout, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
Dad and I always head over early to El Toro, one of the modern wooden roller coasters with a steel track. You get the creaky fun of a wooden roller coaster but the steel smoothness of ride. El Toro means the bull in Spanish and what an appropriate name. Imagine a bull running the streets in Pamplona with amazing drops, tight high-banked twists and turns and non stop action from start to finish. We love the amazing air time including a surprise drop in the middle of the ride. It is adrenaline-packed and high velocity but super smooth. In the morning, the queues tend to be minimal and you can get many re-rides quickly. Our second favourite ride in the park
We also like Superman, a flying roller coaster. Be aware that the queue for this ride moves slowly as it takes a long time to load guests on and off this ride. However, it does give a great flying feeling as it swoops close to the ground and the proximity of the ground gives an added sense of speed. There’s also a unique on-your-back loop, which is unique in my and dad’s experience where you feel a real pressure on your chest as the centrifugal force pushes you back. One to hit while the queues are shorter at the start of the day
Now, we would like to share our favourite ride in the world. We have been privileged to ride many roller coasters and there are many great ones but Nitro remains our favourite. At 230 feet tall, it’s not the tallest roller coaster but its steel construction makes it super smooth and it delivers buckets of air time, both going over the top of the perfectly shaped hills and on the drops. Most gravity coasters like Nitro tend to run out of steam by the middle of the ride but Nitro packs in the air time all the way round, even to the series of bunny hills at the end of the ride. They also have the greatest seat restraints to aid that sensation of flying – big restraints come down over your hips so that you feel completely safe but have your feet free and most importantly your arms and shoulders feel unfettered to let you raise your arms in the air (the only way to ride coasters incidentally) and make you feel like you’re literally flying. Nitro, we salute you!
Here’s a front seat view of riding Nitro
These are our favourite rides at Great Adventure and we can be found having many rerides on them. There are a host of other roller coasters at the park but dad and I have found that our tolerance for rides with inversions has dropped over the years and we now enjoy the rides with air time more. In part 2 of our tour of Great Adventure, we’ll be looking at the gentler attractions
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, New Jersey 08527