After several months of being away from the park I finally had an opportunity to visit Great Adventure on Saturday with some family members. We had a great time! Unlike so many other trip reports of mine, this one will be without photos. I promise, photos will be included with my next trip report.
We arrived at approximately 1:30pm and drove right up and into the toll booths. On the way, it was easy to see the progress the park is making on disassembling the King Cobra slide so that it can be relocated to Mexico. Parts of the slide and the tower supports could be seen both inside and outside Hurricane Harbor's perimeter fence. Further down the road, the runners of the annual Wild Safari Invitational race dotted the horizon and the area beyond the old Safari ticket booths. We proceeded to the preferred parking lot thanks to my new for 2018 Diamond Elite Membership.
Having read several horror stories about how lengthy and slow the security check lines have been at times this summer, the full queues leading to the guards had me concerned. However, it was truly impressive how quickly they got guests through the scanners. If they were that efficient at airports, airplane travel would be much less of a hassle.
Once inside the park our first destination was the Safari Off Road Adventure. The queue was almost completely full and the line took approximately an hour. The one question that had many people around us talking was why the last set of queue bars leading to the photo tent does not have a canopy cover especially since this is the set that would most likely be full of waiting quests as its towards the front of the line. They need to install a tent over this set of switchbacks.
The safari was a lot of fun as usual and the animals were plentiful. It was a little disappointing that the trucks pretty much kept to the paved roadway which sort of negated the "off road" aspect of the attractions. Unfortunately the only time they went off road was to cut through the grass between the elephants and the Wilde Plains gates. What made it even worse was all the ostriches and zebras could be seen off in the distance lining the only roadway section which we didn't follow. Instead we had to view them all the way across the Afrikka section from afar. The rest of the safari was cool and it was exciting to see so many lions out and about. The guide said that the park now has three prides of lions.
By the time we got back into the park it was already after 5pm so we grabbed dinner at the Best of the West. The line was short, the service was good, and the food was tasty. It seemed like it had been forever since I ate there and I think I enjoyed the atmosphere as much as the food.
After dinner, we proceeded to visit the indoor terror trails. For years, I always went through them with someone who like myself isn't easily scared. It is funny how much of a different experience it is when a member of your party doesn't really like to scared. This added a whole new dimension of excitement. Out of the four indoor trails the one that really stood out as a breath of fresh air was the new Reflections of the Dead. The mirror maze, which can be found inside the former King Pin/Heist building near the Big Wheel, is really first class and for lack of a better word a "professional" attraction. The glass mirror panels are so clean mostly because guests are required to wear plastic gloves going through the maze. Several surprises await inside the maze which add to the excitement.
Next up was the Unleashed show at the Showcase Theatre. If anyone who makes decisions at the park has doubts as to if park guests want shows all they have to do is check out the popularity of this show. The theater doors had to close early do to capacity with every seat occupied. The show was a quality production with several high energy acts that kept the audience clapping and cheering throughout the performance. Be sure to check this one out.
After the show we tackled several of the outdoor terror trails. Once again it was a mix of old and new. What I was really happy to see was that even the trails that are the staples of Fright Fest were infused with new life in the forms of repositioned walkways, additional buildings to pass through, and a bunch of new props and special effects. Even though they may sound familiar the trails had a lot of new twists and turns which took me by surprise. It was great to see how they were enhanced and in some cases rethemed. More exciting all around!
At this point it was approximately 10pm and we decided to work our way towards the front entrance. Even though we had an express terror trail pass which gave us quick entry to the haunts, there were a handful of things we didn't have time to experience. Although that might sound disappointing, it was nice to know that Fright Fest had so many experiences it would be tough to experience them all. It really did seem "bigger and better" than ever!
Thanks Great Adventure for a terrorific 2018 Fright Fest!