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Thunderbolt last won the day on August 25 2016

Thunderbolt had the most liked content!

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About Thunderbolt

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  1. No matter who manages Great Adventure, the issues remain the same. Call it the "Big Wheel" lights syndrome. No matter how many times management promises to replace or upgrade the lights on the "Big Wheel", so many sections remain in a literal dark state or disrepair. I'm not qualified to rate the Fitzgerald Era, as I haven't been to Great Adventure since 2008. His reviews are mixed from what I gather here. Only Harry can speculate with any degree of credibility, how much latitude corporate gave him in terms of future planning and day to day staffing. Out of all the Six Flags Managers I've read about, the best by far was Jay Thomas. What a terrible waste of good talent Six Flags made when they removed him from Magic Mountain.
  2. I remember that "Rolling Thunder" signage animation as a kid. It was one of the things I missed when they let it fall into disrepair.
  3. That video fails to load for me. Suggestions?
  4. Without any doubt, Cedar Fair could not have mismanaged this property any worse than it tried. From closing down the "Sea World" side of the park, to building Wildwater Kingdom on the wrong side of the lake (never mind "Hurricane Harbor" was already pretty new); Cedar Fair's mistakes seem almost orchestrated. Had Premier not been forced to sell SFWoA (or lose control of Six Flags in general), I wonder where the Aurora park would be today? Perhaps it would have overtaken Kings Island in terms of economic value. If I recall at the time, Busch decided to sell the park when their desires to build a mega coaster on their side of the lake were thwarted. Having failed to acquire Geauga Lake, or construct rides on "their side", Busch decided to bail. Someone needs to write a book about this. It would be a fascinating read for any amusement park enthusiast. Geauga Lake really needs their own Harry Applegate.
  5. Is "El Diablo" generally a walk-on? I do miss my visits to Great Adventure. Can't believe my last trip was in 2008.
  6. As cool as that urban legend may sound, I would imagine Kingda Ka was planned before the sale of Six Flags Ohio to Cedar Fair. Unless you mean it was a 'middle finger' to Cedar Point. Then I could agree. Burke seemed like that type to flout his accomplishments. In reality, he should have. Despite lousy ride ops, Premier was my favorite SF Era.
  7. I don't think there was a sinister plot aimed at Geauga Lake by Kinzel per say. It boils down to the acquisition of the Paramount Parks by Cedar Fair. When Cedar Fair took on the debt from acquiring the Paramount Parks, decisions regarding Ohio had to be made. Cedar Fair could continue pumping money into the Aurora Park, or invest at the much more promising (and newly acquired) Kings Island. I'm not sure what the profitability and attendance ledgers were between the two Ohio Parks, but I would imagine Kings Island required the least amount of new CapEx and drew better crowds. Operating 3 parks in Ohio wasn't something Cedar Fair wanted to justify. Why spread customers and capex across three properties, when you could move them to the other two? Geauga Lake's fate was sealed the second Paramount Parks / Kings Island deal was finalized. The only "conspiracy" I can see here, is Kinzel's refusal to sell Geauga Lake. IIRC, the parent company of Kennywood was interested in purchasing the entire 400+ acre property. At least, those were the rumors at the time. Kinzel probably decided blocking a competitor from the Ohio Market, (and re-purposing those expensive rides Six Flags installed) better suited Cedar Fair's bottom line. Kinzel could then sell the property to some developer for an even higher price, making the park acquisition a financial windfall for his company. That obviously failed. It's really sad the post 9/11 recession forced the sale of Six Flags Ohio. It's probably even sadder that Busch failed at acquiring Geauga Lake from Premier Parks. Both properties might still be operating today.
  8. "Demon Drop" isn't listed either. More than likely, it's an oversight. Perhaps park management wishes they could forget them.
  9. I agree with you on this. So many areas of Great Adventure are simply dark. Not just by the lakefront either. The bathrooms across from the Skyway sleds in particular are bad at night. Thank God nobody has been seriously hurt in the park recently. Great Adventure needs so many things, but nobody ever seems ready to say, "Here's an idea, instead of blowing our wad on a $20 million dollar coaster, let's finally spend the money and overhaul the guest experience". Premier Parks came the closest, but went bankrupt before seeing their plan through. You don't need a billion dollars to build a beautiful theme park. Busch Gardens, Port Aventura, and Parque Warner Madrid (A Six Flags Creation no less!), all did it considerably cheaper. You need leadership with a vision, and the ability to execute a plan. A good CEO knows how to bring the shareholders around. Steve Jobs didn't take crap from shareholders when Apple was in the toilet. He envisioned the company to his tastes, and the rest was history.
  10. Dan, I remember when "The Flying Wave", "The Big Wheel", "Round Up", Enterprise II, "Buccaneer", "Calypso", Merry Go Round, "Monster Spin" and "Gingerbread Fancy" all lit up Dream Street. When I was last at Great Adventure in 2008, it was either blackout conditions or awful street / xenon lighting. Long Island's Adventureland is a more pleasing sight at night than Great Adventure. Looking at Harry's pics makes me wish I had seen Great Adventure in its early days.
  11. I wish Great Adventure still had such vibrant colors and contrast! I never got to see the park this way, as my visits started in the 1980's. It's such a shame Great Adventure also lacks the glowing incandescent lights of years past. Dream Street does not remotely gleam the way it used to. The park was a completely different experience at night.
  12. Ah, ok. Just didn't realize that. I never really dined in the park much. My family usually made the trek to Wawa or McDonald's. My parents didn't want to pay the premium to eat inside the park. With 5 of us, that could be very expensive. We managed to eat for less than $5 per person that way, often less than $15 for all 5 of us.
  13. Honestly, I think the finished product was superior to the concept art here. To this day, I love "Batman The Ride". Never fails to deliver, at least for me.
  14. Did the Dining Pass always expire in September? I see now that Six Flags up-charges if you want it until the end of the season. At this stage, it's a terrible investment at $80. It expires in 2 weeks. The park season pass remains tremendous value if you buy 2. $61.99x2 gets you everything. "Giving Away The Gate" is always nice for us as customers.
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