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bgr861509

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  1. When Great Adventure announced on April Fools Day that Holiday In The Park would be making its debut this season, honestly I thought it was an April Fools' Joke, but sure enough it was no joke and I was really excited about potentially going in December. The 2015 season has been one for the ages for myself, I made six visits throughout the year, and I added one more visit this past weekend. This was my first visit to an amusement park in the month of December in my life. I arrived at the park on a beautiful early December day at 1:15 pm, and it was not crowded at all coming in, but I did have a little concern that it would be packed going on, because one year ago, when my dad came to pick me up from Fright Fest it took him 45 minutes, but that didn't happen, my concerns were put to bed, and it was time to start my final visit of the season. I began the day by riding my all-time favorite Nitro, 5 times before doing my 2nd ride of the day, Nitro was the only major coaster operating for Holiday In The Park, and I didn't mind it all. I wanted to ride Nitro as much as I can before it got cold, because it could potentially shut down for cold weather. I rode Batman: The Ride and Dark Knight after both with station waits. After riding Batman and TDK, I went back to Nitro and rode it 5 more times to make it an even ten, I rode "Poinsettia Peak" after my 10th ride. After "PP", I went and walked around the park to meet up with some friends on the Six Flags Great Adventure Connoisseurs facebook group. I met some of them at Dare Devil Dive. Three new friends who I made that day, were riding DDD at the time. After that, we decided to head to Superman for one ride. It was me and 7 other people. After riding Superman, I heard GL was only running one train, I am going to forego GL this trip, because I rode it throughout the year, and sometimes it could be a very painful ride. After Superman, the lights started coming on, and the park is starting to look pretty. I was really in awe of the whole experience. On the way to Nitro, me and a few of my new friends rode Twister. Now that it has gotten dark, we made our way to the other side of the park for a couple more rides, we went on Poinsettia Peak which is Skull Mountain rethemed to the HITP. But it was the same old Skull Mountain. After SM, we rode Nitro as a group, and it was already after nightfall, and I personally love riding Nitro after sunset. The crew wanted to have dinner, but I decided to ride more and walk around the park to gain more of the experience. I rode Skyscreamer and Fender Benders next, and walked around more to take in the Holiday In The Park. This event is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it to all of you to experience it at least once. It was getting close to 7:00 and starting to get a little bit colder, but I didn't care, I rode Batman again and it moved slowly. I rode Batman twice on the day. With the end of my visit fast approaching, I wanted to ride Nitro to close out my 2015 season, I rode it 7 more times for an hour and a half, I dedicated my last rides to Kevin Gregg, who passed away suddenly in early October. Kevin Gregg was a Great Adventure fanatic who ran his own site, Theme Park Maniacs. I was really heartbroken to hear about his death and I know he touched so many lives and inspired others to live life the way he would want it. He was in my thoughts and prayers throughout the whole day. I rode my all-time favorite, setting a new record, 18 times in one day. I would not want it any other way. Before I left for the final time this year, I went at got some gifts for my mother and sister as well as some ornaments to hang on my tree. Before I close my report, I just wanted to say, on behalf of myself and ACE, I wanted to thank Great Adventure so much for hosting our convention over the summer, it was a memorable first part of the experience. It has been one of the best seasons I have had in years, I came to Great Adventure 7 times in the 2015 season. I made many new friends and hope to see some of you in the 2016 season. I have made 10 appearances over the last year and a half, and I am proud to call Great Adventure my home park. In closing, I want to wish everyone a joyous holiday season and a healthy start to the new year coming up.
  2. My top 5 at Great Adventure are: 1. Nitro-- My all-time favorite coaster anytime, lots of airtime and very smooth, it just doesn't let up, love riding this at night, you truly feel like you are in heaven, I usually save this ride, the magnificent Nitro for my last ride of the day/night 2. El Toro "The Bull"-- this is a toss-up with Nitro, very intense, but smooth ride, does not let up, you feel like you are flying out of your seat, if this was March Madness, it would easily be a top (# 1) seed. If I can't close with Nitro, I would close it with this ride, during ROTB this year, I rode it 12 straight times without having to leave the station 3. Kingda Ka-- "The King of all Coasters"- It would be my # 1 if it was longer like Nitro and Toro, but it's just too short. You really get that adrenaline rush, going from 0-128 mph in 3.5 seconds. 4. Bizarro-- very underrated attraction and smooth ride, I like this ride because it flips you upside down 7 times (it doesn't let up), this ride is totally mindblowing at night when the elements take full effect, love the theme and elements that go along with it. 5. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom-- The worst part is going up, it feels like it takes forever, but there is no greater feeling coming down, I rode this for the first time during ROTB in 2014 and I really loved it, that is why it is in my top 5.
  3. Outstanding pictures, Matt!!! It was very nice meeting you on the Kingda Ka/Zumanjaro/Bizarro tour and it was my third straight Riding of the Bull, I made my ACE debut at ROTB Cinco. I'm glad the weather held up the entire day and night.
  4. I left my house at 5:00 am to attend Riding of the Bull Siete, hosted by the American Coaster Enthusiasts New Jersey Region at Great Adventure. I arrived at the park shortly before 8:00 am, and I had to wait 15 minutes before they opened the toll plaza. After going through the plaza, I picked up my registration envelope and signed up for two of the three tours being offered, they were the same tours for Coaster Con XXXVIII. I signed up for the Houdini/Superman/Green Lantern tour at 12:05, and the Kingda Ka/Zumanjaro/Bizarro tour at 5:20 after lunch. The day began with morning exclusive ride time on Nitro, which ran for 1 hour prior to the park opening. I rode Nitro 8 times without having to leave the station. After Nitro, I went and picked up a flash pass for the day, because I just love using the system, I have used it all 6 visits this season. I chose Kingda Ka as my next ride, I rode that twice, in the second and third rows respectively. Before my first tour, I rode Zumanjaro, because I did not ride it last visit, only 10 days ago. Now, It was time for my first tour of the day, we met at the exit of the Go-Karts, and our first stop was Houdini's Great Escape, We were underneath the ride in the basement. I thought it was a neat way to start the tour. Our next stops on the tour were Superman and Green Lantern, We got to see the storage area for Superman and had many photo opportunities as well. The tour lasted just over an hour and the park was starting to get a little bit busier. I wanted to go on some more rides before lunch, I rode Namtab again with a one-train operation and it moved a little bit slow, I wanted to ride the Dark Knight next, but it was down for minor technical difficulties. I was looking for the next ride with the shortest wait, I chose Bizarro even though it was on the other side of the park. That was the last ride before lunch. Anyways, I would come back to Bizarro for nighttime exclusive ride time as part of Riding of the Bull. It would be offered for one hour starting at 9:00 pm alongside with the Runaway Mine Train and El Diablo. Just like tradition, the lunch was a mexican fiesta buffet, I was in there for an hour and a half break, it was very cloudy and overcast for most of the day, but it did not rain or storm, which was predicted for Saturday afternoon and evening. After Lunch, I rode the Bull before my 2nd tour of the day. This was just a warm-up of what was to come to close out Riding of the Bull. We had two hours of exclusive ride time on El Toro, the signature moment of Riding of the Bull. It was redemption time for me on my second tour of the day, the Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro, and Bizarro tour at 5:20. Our first stop was Kingda Ka, and the last time I did that tour, my camera battery died right as that part was beginning. I had my shot at redemption and it could not have come at a better time. It was the same tour, but in the opposite order. Now that my touring was done for the day, I had one thing on my mind, riding as much as I can before 9:00, the weather held up most of the day, I rode Superman and Green Lantern next, and night was descending upon Great Adventure. Believe it or not, that was the first night rides on GL and SUF for me. To keep the momentum going, I rode Zumanjaro again, this time at night, and my next stop was Kingda Ka for one night ride. My plan was to ride Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro, and Nitro before the exclusive ride time session tonight. It was so humid, I went and got some ice cream to have on the way to Nitro for a couple of night rides, which I love riding at night, by the way. I rode Nitro 2 more times to make it 10 for the day, i rode in the same row. It was 8:30 at this point, I went and retreived my sweatshirt, rain jacket, and souvenir cups from my locker and turned the flash pass in for the day. It was time to make my way to the other side of the park for the final act of Riding of the Bull. I arrived at El Toro at 9:00, but it wasn't quite ready for us yet, so I went and rode Bizarro two more times before heading back to close out on the Bull, That was my plan was to close out by riding El Toro, it is Riding of the Bull after all. I rode "The Bull" 12 consecutive times without having to leave the station. As a result, I broke my previous record from Coaster Con, I rode El Toro 13 times in one day. It was a long and fun 15 hour day at the park, it's so worth it. One family I met from Virginia was nice enough to offer me a ride to the hotel where I would be staying for the night, the Hampton Inn and Suites in nearby Robbinsville. They were staying there as well. In 2015, I have doubled my appearances at Great Adventure and hope to be back before the end of the season, maybe for Fright Fest and Holiday In The Park. Before I close, I just wanted to say thank you to Six Flags Great Adventure for hosting Riding of the Bull Siete and our national convention, Coaster Con XXXVIII. I am proud to call this my home park. I had no doubt that God was with us because it did not rain or storm during our most important aspect of Riding of the Bull. I had another amazing time at my 3rd consecutive Riding of the Bull.
  5. I think it would be pretty cool, it would make it #1. Kingda Ka is in my top 3 at Great Adventure
  6. Last year, I went to Fright Fest the week before Halloween on a Saturday, and the crowds were absolutely insane. When my father went to come pick me up for the night, He stood in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Rt. 537 for 45 minutes, and had to turn around to go on the other side of the road's entrance. Your best bet would be to go on Fridays or Sundays. Not sure if I will go to FF this year though.
  7. I am now up to 85 coasters, gained a few new coaster credits within the last two weeks
  8. I am very happy with the latest addition for next year. It's something different and I am looking forward to trying it out, we already have an outstanding lineup of coasters, this makes it better.
  9. I was at the park today, and they are really making progress, Fort Independence is slowly coming down
  10. I made my 5th visit to Six Flags Great Adventure for the 2015 season on Wednesday September 2, 2015. It was my 2nd park visit in as many weeks, as I went to Hershey last week. My sister came up with the idea because my mother and her were going to Belmar Beach for the day and they invited me to go to Six Flags while they were at the beach. Why not, I have nothing to lose and I have a season pass membership, and that is the whole point of having a season pass to make unlimited visits to the park. I arrived at the park shortly after 10:00 am, and it doesn't look like it's going to be crowded because everyone is starting to get back into the whole routine with school, work, etc. I met Roger, one of the security guards in the front, and he did an amazing magic trick, I was really astounded by it. He had a small cloth in his hand and mysteriously put it in the sleeve of my t-shirt and also had two dollar bills which he turned into a two-dollar bill. I have seen him many times at the park. As soon as I got settled in, I went and purchased a flash pass because I personally love using the system despite the low crowds. It's just me at the park, and I have nothing to lose. I used the gold pass 4 times this season and my next one (my 5th), which will be of course ROTB in 10 days, will be free. On the 5th flash pass, it is free. I have a card which bypasses the training. My first ride of the day was Kingda Ka, I was waiting for the front row because I have not done it before, but since there was an opening in the second row, I settled for the second row, but I will do the front row on KK one day, maybe next visit. It was a good way to start, and I stayed on that side of the park for about an hour. I went and rode El Toro next, and there was absolutely no line at all. It was just a brief wait for the front row on El Toro, I rode the front row for my first Toro ride of the day, and since there was no line, I was allowed to ride again without leaving the station, this time in the back row. I rode the front and back rows on El Toro the day before Coaster Con XXXVIII. After riding Ka and Toro, I made the short walk to Bizarro, and rode twice in the front row. It is dead at the park, and that is what ride enthusiasts live for. After Bizarro, I got a text from my coaster buddy, Stefanie, that she was at the park as well with her children, her friend and children as well. Before I went to work yesterday and knowing I was going to be at the park, I sent a text to my coaster buddy, Stefanie, to see if her and the kids wanted to join me for the day. Sure enough, as she said, it was fate, that we met up at the park. I wanted to meet up with her and she was very happy to see me, I have not seen her since Riding of the Bull last year. I met her at the parachutes and after her kids, Kay and Nick got off the ride, I met them, I wanted to meet her children because we talked about them so much. I walked with her and her crew for the day, and caught up. We walked to the other side of the park and rode some rides in that area. We rode Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train (which I rode for the first time ever), I picked up a new coaster credit, #84, I thought the ride was pretty good, it reminded me of Catwoman's Whip at SFNE. I rode that twice, it allows double rides, I rode the Buccaneer next and that was my first time riding that as well. It was nice for a change of pace. Next, we rode Skull Mountain and after that, they went on some rides, while I rode Nitro twice, that ride is just so amazing no matter what. It was a preview for morning ERT during Riding of the Bull. Next, I rode Namtab: Batman Backwards. It was amazing, and then i rode Nitro again. After Nitro, I rode the Dark Knight, because it was in the area. I met my friend again, and it was good hanging out with her and her two children, it was a pleasure meeting them. It was after 2:00 at this point, I rode Superman and Green Lantern once, and I wanted to ride as much as I can because I was going to leave at 5:30 to head home. I wanted to get a little something to eat and drink, because it was hot and humid at the park today. I got an Oreo churro and a small Coke, I tried an Oreo churro during Coaster Con, and it was delicious. I like to eat small while at the park. After riding Superman and Green Lantern, I had a little time left, and I closed out my visit by riding my all-time favorites, Nitro and El Toro as much as I can before leaving for the day. That will no doubt be, what I will ride most during the exclusive ride time sessions next Saturday. The signature moment of Riding of the Bull is ERT on "The Bull" itself, and that will take place at 9:00 PM for two hours after the park closes to the public that night. I rode that two more times before closing out my visit with Nitro, my all-time favorite at Great Adventure. I rode El Toro 4 times today. My last ride was of course, my beloved Nitro, I rode it two more times to make it five. I always close my visits by riding either El Toro or Nitro. I will close out ROTB by riding the Bull of course. What a fitting way to close out Riding of the Bull Siete. I may even break my records on my two "powerhouse" giants at Great Adventure. I rode Nitro 12 times and El Toro 10 times on Day 2 of Coaster Con XXXVIII. Riding of the Bull is certainly going to feel like Coaster Con XXXVIII Day 2 all over again.
  11. For the first time since Coaster Con XXXVIII, I visited Hershey Park in the sweetest place on Earth, Hershey PA. I arrived at the park around 10:15 am. After having problems with my printer and my phone (which didn't cooperate on the way), I went to guest relations to get my ticket for the day. After I got my ticket, I went to the Hospitality Services center in the main area of the park to see if I could purchase a Fast Track pass for the day to get on the coasters quickly, I was able to purchase the pass. The pass itself is like the Flash Pass System at Six Flags and the Cedar Fair Wristband. It was a sheet that had all the coasters available for that day, but the only con was that you only can use it once, unlike the others, where they allow you unlimited rides. My first ride of the day was Skyrush, which opened in 2012, I used the pass, you gain access to the ride by going up the exit, and they have rows reserved only for Fasttrack users. I was in the middle row for my first Skyrush ride of the day. I thought it was a very good and intense ride just like Nitro. I stayed in the same area for a while, and rode the Sooper Dooper Looper, which is similar to GASM. After I rode Skyrush and Sooper Dooper Looper, I rode the Great Bear, a B&M inverted coaster, similar to Batman and Bizarro. I rode that three times, all in the front, middle, and back rows respectively. I really liked that ride. I did 3 rides in a span of 1 hour. I wanted to walk around Hershey Park to get a feel for the place because I have not been there in 6 years. I visited Hershey 5 years ago on the way to Atlanta for a weekend, but I did not go to the park, I went to Chocolate World for some candy for the ride to Atlanta. I chose the Comet as my next ride of the day after walking around the park for a bit, and it reminded me a lot of the wooden coasters I've been on in the past. As an ACE member, I appreciated the wooden coasters as many of our club members do. There are not too many of them left unfortunately. Now that I've conquered the four coasters in that section of the park, I rode Fahrenheit next, and some of the attendants did not understand the Fast Track system. So, I waited a little bit until I can ride. I met a family from NJ and told them about ACE and convinced them to join, I educated them about it, and they learned something new every day. Fahrenheit reminds me a lot of Kingda Ka, but it was a bit longer. I came here to pick up some new coaster credits, I rode the Wildcat, another wooden coaster, Hershey has a really good selection of wooden coasters. Since it was right across the way, I chose Wild Mouse, and it is a wild mouse style coaster. just like Dark Knight, that ride was a little rough, and I rode it only once. It was around 1:00 at this point, I was walking the park to find Laff Trakk, the brand new coaster for 2015, I found out, I waited 35-40 minutes for the coaster, it had a really cool funhouse glow-in-the-dark theme to it. Now the ride itself, I enjoyed it, it reminded me of Dark Knight and Skull Mountain, more intense than those two combined. I walked around a little more, I chose to ride Lightning Racer, a dueling coaster, reminds me of Rolling Thunder, I rode it on both sides, the Thunder side (green train) and the Lightning side (red train). Our train won the race both times, I heard from another park-goer, that the winner alternates every time. After riding both sides, I used the fast track pass for LR, I stayed on the Lightning side, but this time, I lost the race, but 2 out of 3 is not bad. I really loved this ride, and all the racing coasters, they are so much fun. I was getting hungry and thirsty, I had a hot dog, sausage, and water, normally I don't eat too much at a park, because I would feel very bloated for the day. After a quick lunch, I rode Sidewinder and Storm Runner, both in the same area. Sidewinder is a boomerang coaster, while Storm Runner, is a launched coaster similar to Kingda Ka. Hershey has two rides similar to KK, but not like it. I rode all the 9 coasters on the fast track for the day. I got done with the first go-around right around 3:00. It was now time to do some re-rides, I chose to ride Skyrush again, because I really liked it, I rode that three more times in the front, second, and back rows respectively. I wanted to get all the perspectives. I rode Skyrush 4 times, and it was a walk-on with the exception of the first ride, which I used the pass for. With one hour before leaving for the day, I walked around to see if I could get on a couple more rides, but decided to ride the Lightning Racer, that was one of my favorites. I rode on the Thunder side for my last ride, and our train won. I rode LR 4 times. It was 6:00, that meant time to leave for the day. We had a 3 1/2 hour ride home ahead. Overall, it was a good day to be at Hersheypark, the sweetest place on earth, the crowds were not bad for a Wednesday before school starts. If you are in school, i wish you the best of luck this year. I'm not sure when I will return to Hersheypark again, but I liked the park, it was very clean. I know for a fact, I will be at my third consecutive Riding of the Bull at Great Adventure on September 12th. It is a fun event and so worth the 14-15 hour day. I just hope for nice weather, because it was hot last year at ROTB.
  12. I don't think you should have a problem buying a regular flash pass, when I went for my first visit of the 2015 season, I arrived at the park after 3:30 PM, and there were still plenty of flash passes available. I was able to buy one for the remainder of that day. In my honest opinion, I love using the system and use it often, it is one of the best inventions ever. If you have a season pass, they will ask you for it, and they usually ask for the last 4 digits of your pass. If not, you will need to bring any form of photo identification (ex. driver's license). You should consider buying the flash pass early in the day in case if they run out, but other than that, it shouldn't be a problem.
  13. I know it may be a little expensive, my suggestion would be either the gold or platinum level flash pass. The Gold includes Zumanjaro and Skyscreamer, the Platinum includes the three rides including El Diablo, with that you can wait once and ride twice. When I go, I usually get the gold flash pass and on occasion, the Platinum. I personally love using the system. It is a good idea.
  14. As of July 2015, I have been on 76 coasters in my life, gained many new coaster credits within the last year
  15. The sun has set on one of the most memorable weeks I have had since joining ACE in 2013, it was time to head back to New York and reality. I wanted to stay until the end of Coaster Con XXXVIII, but my family and I decided that we would leave a little bit earlier than planned, when I got up, I wanted to go to breakfast and see some of my friends one last time before hitting the road and thank them for everything from the past week. We got an oversized wine glass from Wildwood, and our group picture as well. I didn't get on any rides on my last day, and that is okay with me. I know I will be back to another ACE event later this year. Before I close my report, I just wanted to say on behalf of myself and the American Coaster Enthusiasts, I just wanted to send a special thank you to Six Flags Great Adventure, Storybook Land, and Morey's Piers for allowing us to hold our national convention, Coaster Con XXXVIII. You have made us feel right at home during that week and It was one of the most memorable experiences I will remember for the rest of my life. I've made a lot of new friends and got to know people from all over the world, and it was an absolute pleasure to share the experience with you guys. I've met a lot of amazing people such as the park presidents and supervisors as well that love the whole atmosphere of being at an amusement park, as I do. I thank my friends for helping me out over the week as well with transportation and everything as well, and most important, my mother and sister for joining me for the 2nd part of the week-long convention. I left Wildwood at 10:30 am and got home just after 4:00. I would without a doubt, attend another Coaster Con in the future. Also, I just wanted to say it was nice to meet you Harry as well, and you did an amazing job with the Great Adventure history museum as well. I'm glad it came back for our special event. It is not about the records I've broken on this trip, it is about the friendships and the whole experience itself. Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you at a park in the near future.
  16. Coaster Con XXXVIII is now in its last full day, and it started early in the morning for some, some of the attendees participated in the Breakfast in The Sky at the Big Wheel on Mariner's Pier. I got up just after 8:00 am, and left my room at 9 to get started with the day's activities which started near the north end of the boardwalk at Surfside Pier. A continental breakfast was served at Joe's Fish Company at the Surfside Pier, where ERT would take place from 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM. The piers opened to the public at 1:00, except for Adventure Pier, which opens at 4. I rode a few of the rides on the Surfside Pier and picked up some more coaster credits as well, I rode the Doo Wopper, the Flitzer, and the Great Nor'Easter. As I left the Flitzer, I discovered I left my cup at the station and I wanted to go back to retrieve it, apparently the ride operator made a big stink about it, and told me that I had to go back to the line, great, here we go again, I didn't want to deal with that crap again, I had one of my friends get my cup for me. I have literally had it, but it wasn't going to ruin my whole experience. Some others were complaining as well. I rode the Great Nor'Easter, and you have to put all of your stuff in a locker, to me I think It is a little too much to ask for. They have metal detectors on this ride, now we have to go through a metal detector just to get on a ride. Come on, that will slow the process. I rode a few others on the Surfside Pier as well, I was the only one on a few of the rides, I rode Rock and Roll, another Music Express type ride, "it", similar to Maelstrom and the one at Seaside, and Zoom Phloom, which had two drops, it was a log flume ride that Bret suggested I go on. That was a fun ride, my buddies and I went on that ride as well. I wanted to use some of my Morey's Piers vouchers for food, I got Chicken Fingers and Fries with the old bay seasoning, it reminded me a lot of the Nathan's fries for lunch. At 1:00, It was time to meet for the group picture which was taken on the Surfside Pier. Wildwood has some of the most creative benches I have ever seen, and they were right in front of the group picture. After the picture, I spent some time with my friends, and one of my new friends, her name was Valeria, she gave up her ticket for the Attractions Maintenance tour so I could experience it, She wanted to go to the beach, and so did some of my other friends as well. My tour started at 2:30, we went into the workshop were some of the parts for the rides, and where they kept some of the tools, and the whole behind-the-scenes of how the park is run. There were a few other tours as well, the food and beverage of Morey's Piers, and the pirates of Wildwood. Coaster Con sure offers these unique tours, I thought it was a pretty neat tour, you know it's something different just to break up the day. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and after that, I headed back to the room to get ready for another marquee event, the ACE Banquet held at the Wildwoods Convention Center. The Banquet was held at the Wildwoods Convention Center (nice place), and this is an annual tradition of Coaster Con. I talked with Marty Moltz, who led the way for the Midway Olympics, and I asked him various questions about Coaster Con. They plan for these conventions years in advance, they like to do it east and west of the Mississippi. Last year, the Convention was held in N. California, and the year before in the New England region. Next Year, the convention will be held at Six Flags St. Louis and Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. At the business meeting at Great Adventure, they announced the 2017 Coaster Con would be held in Texas. The Banquet itself, was a nice touch, they had awards from the video and photo contests, that are part of Coaster Con. They had a buffet-style setup, and the food was very good. They sure know how to feed us. After we ate, they played a slide show of the Coaster Con, and they had various pictures and I was included in there as well. The keynote speakers were the Moreys, and they talked about how they got into the whole amusement park business, how Morey's Piers developed, and more. Very interesting, they compared it a lot to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a co-host for the 2014 Coaster Con. It lasted about 3-3 1/2 hours. It was about 10:00 at this point and with the last night ERT looming, I went back to the hotel and changed into some comfortable clothes and my mom asked me to take some pictures of the boardwalk at night and that is exactly what I did. The boardwalk looks so cool at night, and it was my last night being there. Despite some hiccups, this has been a memorable experience which I will never forget. As I was riding the tramcar, It started to rain and rain heavier, could this put a damper on the late-night ERT, I hope not. The rain intensified and I was right near the hotel, so I went back and got a sweatshirt, not only it was rainy, but it was chilly as well, the rain let up for a bit, but it wasn't enough to hold our late night ERT on Adventure Pier featuring the Great White in the dark. They had to cancel the ERT because of the weather and dampness to the track. At this point, I just wanted to go get some rest because we would be leaving the very next day.
  17. Now, that part 1 of Coaster Con at Six Flags Great Adventure is officially in the books. They did an outstanding job hosting the first part of Coaster Con XXXVIII, everyone made us feel right at home for the last three days, I was there four days in a row., It was now time for the second half of ACE's national convention, which will take place in Southern New Jersey. Parts 2 & 3 would take place at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township (near Atlantic City) and Morey's Piers in Wildwood (near Cape May) respectively. Many of the ACErs wanted to explore Storybook Land, a New Jersey treasure which hosts an ACE Christmas event in December. A Christmas Storybook Land will take place on December 5th, and Holiday In The Park/Winter Adventure will take place the day after, December 6th. It should be a fun and memorable weekend before the mad rush of the holidays. On April Fools Day 2015, Great Adventure announced it would host Holiday In The Park, the Six Flags version of a Christmas celebration. I really want to go to Holiday In The Park this year, it sounds like fun. I didn't go to Storybook Land, I went right to Wildwood. I left my hotel just after 10:30 to head to part 2 of my Coaster Con adventure at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, NJ. I went down the NJ Turnpike to Exit 3 with a pit stop at the Walt Whitman Service Area, I wanted to get some lunch at Roy Rogers and some fries from Nathan's (I absolutely loved Roy Rogers when it was still in business, I also picked up some brochures for Wildwood, Storybook Land, etc.) It was my first time visiting Morey's Piers in Wildwood. After exiting the NJTP, connected with the Atlantic City Expressway (ACE), ACE has more than one meaning apparently, and took the Garden State Parkway to Wildwood. This was the first time I've been on New Jersey's three major highways in one day, I arrived in Wildwood right around 1:30 PM and was able to check in to my hotel right away and they were nice enough to not charge my mother and sister, who joined me for the second half of the convention. They didn't go to the convention, they just wanted to get away for a few days and also go to the beach. My mom came up with this idea. I've checked in to my hotel, and my one thing I want to do is to get a feel for the place because I've never been to Morey's Piers. I walked up and down the boardwalk and I am really starting to like this place. At registration, they gave us wristbands for the three days we would be there, an orange USB port for some ride photos (I didn't purchase any), a drawstring bag, a beach towel, and 20 dollars worth of food vouchers. Morey's Piers made sure we were treated well and made us feel like VIPs. My first stop was at Mariner's Pier and I wanted to purchase a souvenir cup so I could get drinks for the day, it was cooler there than it was at Great Adventure, it was very humid most of the time we were there. I rode the Tramcar many times, and they have a saying "Watch the Tramcar Please", and one of Wildwood's residents came up with that saying. My first ride was Rollie's Coaster at Mariner's Pier, the piers open at 1pm and are open until Midnight, and we would have late night exclusive ride/pier time until 2:00 am at the same site. Next, I wanted to ride Maelstrom, and that is where I had my first issue with a ride attendant's conduct, it was me and two other attendees, they were wearing sunglasses, as I was too, apparently the attendant gave me a hard time about, but gave the other two a free pass. She threw my sunglasses on the platform, and that really ticked me off, she had some kind of an issue against me. Wow, This is off to a bad start, you gotta to be kidding me. It was almost time for our clambake dinner to be held at the Rendezvous Beach Pavilion on Mariner's Pier. I was so livid at this point, how dare she disrespect me and have no regard for anyone's property. My first visit to Wildwood, so far it is off to a rocky start. I talked to Bret Ulozas, the head ACE NJ Representative and some of the Morey's Piers management team about this situation and they said they would look into it immediately. I hope not to have any more issues the rest of the time here, but there is NO REASON WHATSOEVER to mistreat anyone, especially the ACE members who paid lots of money and travelled from all over to put up with that type of nonsense. It was time to settle down at the beach party, held at the Pavilion on the Mariner's Pier. They had lots of amazing food, a live band, a volleyball game, and a sand sculpture. Morey's Piers is really killing it so far, with their welcome to Coaster Con XXXVIII. During dinner, a plane flew over and everyone applauded, because it was welcoming us to Morey's Piers. They really rolled out the red carpet for us. I walked along the beach with my new friend, Paul, and we collected some seashells and took some pictures of the amazing sight. It sure felt like heaven, but it's Wildwood. I can really sense that this night will turn around quickly. Wildwood is so lively at night, it had a NYC feel to it. After the party, we were given a Green bag, and it was a block of wood from the boardwalk.They also gave us a souvenir cup that says Coaster Con XXXVIII on it, so I had two souvenir cups. They had free refills during our stay. Really nice touch from Morey's Piers. Now that we ate and are settled in for the nighttime activities, my friends and I went on some rides on the Mariner's Pier, we went on the Super Scooters (bumper cars), and a ride that reminds me a lot of some of the rides I went on at Disney. This place is really buzzing right now, and we walk down the boardwalk to Adventure Pier to tackle one of the best coasters, The Great White, and I am looking forward to this ride very much. I rode it twice in a span of 15-20 minutes, I absolutely loved this ride, it is one of those classic woodies that ACErs love. The night after, they will be offering ERT on The Great White in the Dark!! Now, that's something I will look forward to after the banquet. We also went in a maze that was absolutely confusing, my friends and I could not find our way out and ended up heading out the chicken exit. My friends wanted to to do the Skycoaster on Adventure Pier, but I did not, and I got to watch a video from it. It was pretty funny. One thing that I like about Wildwood, is that it is lit up at night, taking on a whole different experience. It was getting close to Midnight, which meant one thing, late night ERT on the Mariner's Pier. It was so nice to have the whole pier to ourselves after the general public left. They had snacks for us, nice touch to get us through the two hours. I went on a ton of rides during the ERT session, I went on the Sea Serpent, a boomerang coaster, Riptide (similar to Buccanneer at SFGA), Moby Dick, Maelstrom (it was like the one at Seaside), Wave Swinger, and the Teacups. I picked up some more coaster credits on this day, I decided that it would be time for me to get some sleep, it is a quick turnaround for our first full day at the piers.
  18. I visited Kings Island twice during their last weekend of the 2014 season, I really loved The Beast, Diamondback, and Banshee. Two close friends of mine live right near KI, I really liked the park and it was the best time to go, not crowded at all. As for Cedar Point, I really want to visit there, that is on my bucket list. If I can't get there this year, I will definitely plan on going next year, maybe for Coastermania. I am a part of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) and Coastermania is open to all coaster clubs. Nice pictures by the way, and I hope you had a wonderful trip.
  19. Here we are, the final day of ACE's stay at Six Flags Great Adventure for part 1 of Coaster Con XXXVIII. Today, I broke a record for most visits to Great Adventure in one season--four. I've never visited Great Adventure four times in one season, let alone on back-to-back days prior to Coaster Con. My day started bright and early, just after 7:30 am. I met up with my friends in the hotel lobby and we arrived at the park shortly after 8:00 am. After getting all settled in for Day 3 of Coaster Con, The last day started with a light continental breakfast at the Great Adventure cafe, on Dream Street leading to the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk would play host a very important event of the day, the annual Midway Olympics, a Coaster Con tradition. The Midway Olympics is a series of competitions played for medals involving carnival and midway games. We met in the boardwalk and I signed up as an individual and went on a team and we had to pick a team name, since most of my teammates loved to fish, we decided to call ourselves the Fighting Muskies. We had members from Missouri, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York on our team. I signed up for the Whac-a-Mole, Darts, and Basketball Plinko. A tradition of the Midway Olympics, is when Marty Moltz makes his grand entrance, he carries a torch with a fake flame and a toilet plunger attached to it. He does it in the most unique way possible. This year, he came out on a float which went from Superman to Nathan's on the Boardwalk. Now that we had the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Midway Olympics, our first game was the horse race, where we came close to winning, but fell short in the end. Right across the way was to shoot the gun into the target, but there was a catch, you had to do it blindfolded. It was not easy, as our player could not even get into the target. But we gave a great effort though. Next, it was my turn to participate in the Whac-a-Mole, I came up close, but the guy after me, got 150 points, and the first person would need 150 points to win. After that was the Dart game, you had throw the darts backwards, I was unsuccessful on the first two tries, but nailed it on the third try. Next, was the wrecking ball, we absolutely dominated that game. After that, we did the football toss, we were unsuccessful that part. Last, was the basketball plinko, I came so close to getting into the hoop. I feel like some of these games are fixed and are hard to win. As a team, we won 440 points. The Midway Olympics was officially in the books, it was time to go on my first ride of the day, which would be Kingda Ka, the king of all coasters. The morning ERT would be on Superman, Green Lantern, Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro, Parachutes, Houdini's Great Escape, and the Carousel. I performed a Kingda Ka marathon on the last morning of ERT at Great Adventure. I rode it 8 times during the morning ERT, and after my 7th ride, I was interviewed by WWOR-My9 in New York, and it was for Chasing News, a news magazine program which airs ay 10:00 PM. Kristin, the PR supervisor at Six Flags, arranged this to happen, and she advised me not to curse, this was going on television and was extremely pumped about that. I had my dad DVR it for me, and had to tell him I was going to be on television. I broke my third record of the convention, I rode KK 8 times. After breaking my third record, I decided to buy a platinum flash pass, i was like, why not, i have nothing to lose. I went and got my exit passes from the previous night's ordeal. After that, I went on Green Lantern and Superman, I rode each ride twice. One of the perks of a platinum flash pass is waiting once and riding twice without leaving the seat. After riding GL and SUF, I wanted to call my mom and tell her the good news, she and my sister would be coming down that night to join me for the 2nd part of the convention which begins the next day in Wildwood. I rode Kingda Ka two more times to make it a perfect ten. While some of my group was participating in some of the other activities, I decided to choose to participate in some riding marathons. After Kingda Ka, I wanted to ride Zumanjaro, but that was facing technical difficulties at the time. I will come back later. I rode the Log Flume twice next, and it was the first time in a long time that I did one of the original water rides at Six Flags, you know I wanted to do something a little different. I got wet the first time, but got soaked the second time. I have one easy solution, just go on the roller coaster to dry off. I rode the Runaway Mine Train twice after that, I broke some more records at this point. I never do these rides more than once. I wanted to ride Bizarro a few times before dinner, I broke a new record on Bizarro and that was 5 times on the last day of Coaster Con at Great Adventure. I would be back later for more ERT on some of my favorites. El Toro was down for most of the day, and didn't know when it was going to reopen. Good thing, I rode El Toro when I did, the previous day, I rode it 10 times, a new record. Now that I've broken another record, I wanted to give Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom another try, and I was successful this time around, there was literally no lines there, so I got to stay on for as long I wanted to. I rode Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom 4 times in a span of 15-20 minutes. It was getting close to 5:00 at this point, and with dinner looming, I wanted to get on another ride or two before then, I chose El Diablo as my next ride. After that, it was time for our Italian feast at the same site for ROTB. It was originally supposed to be in the same spot as our breakfast, lunch, and dinner the last few days, but the weather was going to get bad later on, so they moved it indoors. During dinner, we had an opportunity to thank our hosts at Six Flags Great Adventure for three memorable days of Coaster Con XXXVIII, we were all given a group picture and a thank you note, nice touch by SFGA. I was not ready to say good-bye yet, I love this place, and they made us feel right at home. It was storming outside, so all of the outdoor attractions were shut down because of the weather. The only ride that was open was Skull Mountain. After dinner, just after 7:00, and with the threat of bad weather, could this put a damper on the last day at SFGA. I was still yet to ride my all-time favorites for the day, El Toro and Nitro. I was not going to leave without riding those two heavyweights. I wanted to do something while the bad weather was going on, I had nothing to lose, and it was supposed to clear up in time for the Exclusive Ride Time session. I did another coaster marathon on Skull Mountain during the weather delay, I rode SM 12 times without getting off. After my 10th ride, I got an alert on my flash pass saying that some of the roller coasters were beginning to reopen, that means the storm passed. Thank God, Little by little, the rides opened up one by one. The sky was so impressive, it had a fiery feel to it, but it was neat. This is going to be a good night after all, my mother and sister had just got to the hotel and they did not get caught in the bad weather. I rode Batman twice before going on Nitro at sunset, that is the best ride ever at sunset. I had faith that it would let up and was I right. After riding Nitro and knowing that I will close the night with it, I turned in my flash pass and made my way over to El Toro and my locker to retrieve my belongings because I did not have to worry about it getting stolen with the general public out of the park at regular closing time. I rode El Diablo first during the last night of ERT, and this ride is neat. El Diablo has an incredible light package at night, and I was impressed by it. Next, was El Toro, but I rode it once in the front row, but as soon as I got off it broke down again, but I will make up for it at Riding of the Bull. I rode the Bull 18 times during the four days I was at Great Adventure. After Toro, I made the short walk to Bizarro, and I rode it 5 more times during the nighttime ERT, and there was nobody there, so it really did feel like an exclusive ride time session, can this night get any better? There was a point, that I was the only one on the ride in the front row. I broke my Bizarro record earlier in the day, I rode Bizarro 10 times on the last day of Coaster Con at Great Adventure. It was 10:00 at this point, and with one more hour before ERT ends, it was time to go on the skyway and close out my 4-day stay by riding my all-time favorite, Nitro until they made the last ride call. I arrived at the Nitro station at 10:10, I rode it until they made last call. I dedicated these last rides to Tanya Regan, an ACE member from NY, who loved this ride, and would have been at this event, no doubt about it. Even though I didn't get the chance to meet her, You could tell she was with us in spirit. When I made my ACE debut, they did a toast to her at the Nitro station at Riding of the Bull Cinco. I rode Nitro 9 times during the last day of Coaster Con at Six Flags. I rode Nitro 26 times in the four days. We left the park shortly after 11:00, and I was not ready to say goodbye to Great Adventure just yet. I love this place and you made us feel right at home. I am proud to call Six Flags Great Adventure, my home park, even though I live in NY. I am planning on coming back for my third straight ROTB, on September 12, 2015. Part 2 in Wildwood begins the next day, and I would be making my first ever appearance at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, so I am looking forward to the rest of the experience.
  20. Now that Coaster Con XXXVIII has started, it is now time for it to get into high gear. I met my friends in the lobby at 7:30 am, so we can get to the park by 8am, because breakfast would be served in the exact same spot our opening night dinner was held. We went in a separate entrance, just after the main gate, they scanned our passes, one of the perks of going to Coaster Con, even though I have a season pass, if you didn't have one, they gave you one at registration the day before. Our breakfast consisted of bacon, eggs, and all the fixins of your typical morning breakfast and to give us the fuel for the longest two days ahead. Right after a quick breakfast, it is time to start riding for the day which began at 9:00 AM, I wanted to kick off the day by riding Nitro, but it was still testing. I chose Skull Mountain as my first ride of the day, that morning's ERT took place in Adventure Alley, Seaport, and Movietown. We had ERT on Nitro, Skull Mountain, Dark Knight, Skyscreamer, Road Runner Railway, and the Skyway for a round-trip photo opportunity and an activity. During breakfast, we were all given a ball to throw from the Skyway cars from up above to try to win a prize. Something you don't ever get to do, on a typical visit to the park. Normally, this behavior would get you thrown out of the park. But at Coaster Con, it is totally okay, because the park is not open to the public until 10:30 am. Nitro still wasn't ready yet, so I rode Batman: The Ride and saw that Nitro was open, so that was going to be my next stop. As I said in the previous report from Day 1, I thought Batman was not going to be available during Con, but it was. After two rides, it was time to hopefully break a record on my favorite coaster, Nitro. I arrived at Nitro before 9:30, There were hardly any lines, so I got to ride as much as I wanted to before the 10:30 opening, and that would be the time that we would take our group picture by Batman: The Ride. I broke my first record of Coaster Con on my favorite coaster, Nitro, my previous record was 9 times during my ACE debut at Riding of the Bull Cinco on September 7, 2013. I rode Nitro 10 times without having to leave the station. I was on Nitro for a good hour, I love this ride. 10 times is my new record. This is what Coaster Con is all about, riding your favorites with no lines and just staying on. Day 2 is already off to a blazing start. Now, it was time for our group picture, and that did not take long at all, after that, some of us wanted to ride more or participate in one of the three tours that were being offered for that day. They had the Nitro/Batman/Congo Rapids Tour (I did that at ROTB last year), Green Lantern/Superman tour (new for Coaster Con), and the Bizarro/Kingda Ka/Zumanjaro tour (I was doing that tour later in the day). More on that later. They are all part of Coaster Con and many ACE events, and I knew it was going to be a good tour, the tours are really top-notch. On the same subject, I wanted to ride Green Lantern and Superman to keep riding the momentum, while on Green Lantern, I saw some of the Coaster Con attendees on that tour. It was after 11:00 at this point, and the crowds were steady for the day, but it wasn't too bad. After conquering Green Lantern and Superman, I rode Twister next, Twister underwent some refurbishments and had just recently reopened. I saw a lot of my friends after riding Twister, and they offered to let me tag along with them, I said maybe later. I walked around the park a little bit and I saw that the Great Adventure History Museum was open, I stopped by and was really in awe of the whole exhibit. I met Harry, the creator of the museum and the Great Adventure History website, I took some pictures and I found it to be quite impressive. It deserves a permanent home within Six Flags Great Adventure for all you history buffs out there. The museum made a comeback just for Coaster Con, it made its debut last year during the 40th anniversary of Six Flags Great Adventure. Harry, you did a nice job with the Great Adventure History museum, great idea to bring it back. It was around 1:00 at this point, I wanted to get on more rides before lunch, which would be at 2:00. I rode the Runaway Mine Train next, and the Mine Train was the park's first roller coaster, and that would be offered during the ERT that night along with the Log Flume. After the Mine Train, it was time to make my way to the other side for lunch and one of my friends asked me If I went the Safari yet, I said no, they convinced me to go on. I will go on after lunch, which was a mexican buffet, just like ROTB. This day is turning more into ROTB, later this year. Nitro was offered during the morning ERT, and El Toro will be offered during the nighttime ERT, it feels like ROTB all over again. Throughout the day, I would offer my appreciation for most of the employees and thank them for hosting our convention this year. I went to the Exploratory, right near the Chiller, where it used to be, and voted for the photos in the annual photo contest. One of the photos I voted for, took one of the top 3 for the 2015 Coaster Con Photo Contest. This is another perk for Coaster Con. It was time for lunch, and there wasn't much for me, but I had some of the chicken and rice for lunch. After lunch, I went to the Safari Off Road Adventure for the first time ever, and I thought it was pretty neat, the first part took about 20-30 minutes, it was right around 3:00, when I got on the ride. This is a really impressive attraction, and the Safari used to be a staple at Six Flags, it used to be a drive-thru safari, but it is now located inside the park. I stopped at Camp Aventura, I discovered the giraffe feeding was free for the Coaster Con attendees, but I never did that. I did the second part of the journey, and the guide was so enthusiastic, I absolutely loved her energy and when I told her that I was here for Coaster Con, she asked if anyone else was part of the convention, I was the only one from the convention on there. Now that my first safari ride was in the books, it was time do some more riding before my tour at 5:40. I rode Bizarro a few more times before heading to El Toro. Bizarro and El Toro will also be available during the ERT after park closing on night 2. I went on the Bizarro/Kingda Ka/Zumanjaro tour and I thought it was neat, we got to walk along some of the areas that park guests are normally not allowed in, and I took many photos before my battery eventually died. During the tour, we got to go see the control room for Kingda Ka, right near the Zumanjaro station. This was a neat way to break up the day, and I can't wait to tour El Toro during Riding of The Bull on September 12th. Now that my second coaster tour was officially in the books, I wanted to ride Kingda Ka, because the tour stopped right in that area, that was my next ride of the day. It was just after 7:00, and with 2 hours before the nighttime festivities, I wanted to ride Ka and Nitro before it closed for the night. I rode Ka 2 times in a row, and I happened to get off there in the nick of time, because the ride broke down right after. I wanted to do Zumanjaro next, but it was closed at the time. Instead of Zumanjaro, I rode Nitro next because it was getting close to sunset, and this ride is amazing at sunset and after. I rode Nitro two more times before park closing, and after I got off the second time, I tried to retrieve my cup from the cup-holder and discover it was stolen!! My next stop obviously was to report it, this really made me furious because I paid 20 dollars for the green cup with free refills. It is not fair for people who spend their hard earned money for a souvenir and for the whole Coaster Con itself. I went straight to guest services right before closing and reported it, they were very nice but could not offer me a green cup, so they gave me another red one instead. Because of what I went through, they offered me 2 exit passes for the next day because it would be the last day I would be there. They advised me to put my green cup in a locker, and that is exactly what I am going to do tomorrow and from now on. I am not bringing it on a ride. It was 9:00, and it was time to return the flash pass and make my way over to the Frontier Adventures and El Toro for some more ERT, there was still 2 hours left until the first full day ends. They offered us snacks at Best of The West and it was a great way to have something before the nighttime ERT. I began night 2 of ERT on Bizarro, I rode that two more times, I love this ride at night, it is a totally different experience. After Bizarro, I made my way over to El Toro and rode it until they made the last call for the ride. We shared our ERT with another roller coaster group visiting from Belgium and the Netherlands, and they were a lot of fun to share the session with. Despite the stolen cup, I wasn't going to let that ruin the rest of my night. I broke my second record of the day and that was on El Toro "The Bull". I rode that 10 times until they made last call. I rode Nitro 12 times and Toro 10 times on Day 2 of Coaster Con. It was time to head back and the last day at Great Adventure is a few hours away. I am not ready to say see you later to my home park just yet, I love this event and this park. We returned to the hotel after midnight, my new friend Tim drove me to and from the park and saved me a lot of money. I appreciate all the help at Guest Services as well, her name was Miriam, I thank her for time and help in that situation. We love you guys and appreciate all you do each day, because some days, are not easy.
  21. It was the moment that I have waited for since I joined ACE in August 2013, When I first joined ACE, I found out after ROTB Cinco, that Coaster Con was coming to NJ in 2015, and when I looked to see what Coaster Con is all about, to me, This was going to be a lot of fun, I literally counted down every day until ACE's premiere event, the National Convention, Coaster Con XXXVIII. Before I went to the park, I volunteered for my club by helping at the ACE General Store in one of the hotel ballrooms where I was staying at. I met many new people at registration while volunteering from all over the world. This is going to be one amazing experience that I will never forget, the event hasn't begun yet, and I am already pumped for it. It was also Father's Day too, I hope my dad and all the dads have an amazing Father's Day I arrived at the park a little before 2:00 on the day of the main event. June 21, 2015 marked the first time I ever went to Great Adventure on back-to-back days, I have never done that before prior to this day. When I stepped into the park, I decided to get a flash pass anyway, because it was only me who was going to be doing part 1 of the Coaster Con. My mother and sister were going to meet up with me on Tuesday night and join me for Part 2 of the Con, to be held at Morey's Piers in Wildwood. In the parking lot, I didn't see Kingda Ka operating at all, is this going to affect night one of ERT. But when I had the flash pass, I saw Kingda Ka was open, and I made that my first ride of the day and to begin Coaster Con XXXVIII. After getting my first Ka ride of the season, I chose Zumanjaro as my next ride because it is right next to it. Day 1 is already off to a good start and it is only going to get better from this point on. After riding Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro, I wanted to get my first El Toro ride of the Coaster Con itself, the day before, I rode "The Bull" in the front and back rows the day before, first time I ever did that. After riding the bull, I went to Bizarro, after the technical difficulties the day before, I got my first and only Bizarro ride of the day. I would be riding Bizarro anyway over the next few days, Bizarro would be featured on Monday and Tuesday during nighttime ERT, slated to begin 30 minutes after the park closed to the public. The first nighttime ERT session would feature El Toro, El Diablo, Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro, and Tango. I would be back to get on more of those rides during the exclusive ride time session. After conquering four rides prior to the opening day festivities of Coaster Con XXXVIII, I would ride Superman: Ultimate Flight, but no Green Lantern because it was getting close to the opening dinner for us. I wanted to get to the other side of the park, so I could get on some more rides before dinner. I arrived at the other side before 5:00, I rode Skull Mountain, Batman: The Ride, and Skyscreamer. Prior to Coaster Con, I thought Batman: The Ride would be a no-show during Con, because of the transition for Batman going backwards, new for 2015. Sure enough, it was operating, this was one of the surprises during Coaster Con. Before dinner, I decided to ride my all-time favorite, Nitro. Our dinner was held in the catering groves, and it was special to be a part of. I met most of the park management, including the park president, John Fitzgerald, and communications/public relations manager, Kristin Siebeneicher and they were thrilled to meet me and I told them it was my first Coaster Con and that I love going to this park. They were very happy to hear that. The ceremony included a lot of fun things, including a song, all about the Bass, but it was all about that ACE, and the park president and some remarks from the ACE President, and the New Jersey regional representatives. The dinner was not your typical park food, they had a lot of good food, they really went all-out for ACE, and it was only day one. We're in for one memorable week. After dinner, I wanted to ride Nitro a few more times because it would be not featured until the last night of ERT, and that will be my last ride that night of course, because it would be a great way to close the first half of Con. I rode Nitro 3 times on the first day of Con. It was getting close to 9:00, the park would be closing to the public, and that means one thing, exclusive ride time until 11:00 PM. I took the skyway to the other side of the park. Exclusive Ride Time is an institution at any American Coaster Enthusiast event, especially the premiere event, Coaster Con. I went on El Toro first during the ERT session, and it felt like that we had the whole ride to our selves, no lines at all. I rode that a couple times before heading to do a couple of top 5 attractions, Kingda Ka and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. They are in my Top 5 at Great Adventure. I wanted to ride Kingda Ka next, but that had difficulties, so I did ZDOD next. After Zumanjaro, I went back to Kingda Ka, and they had more difficulties, but I wanted to wait it out, while we were waiting, they did some trivia to keep us entertained and I knew a lot of the answers to the questions, and a lot of my new friends were very impressed that I knew so much about this park. After all, this is my home park. I rode Ka and Jaro once during the first night of ERT, and I stopped in the Great Adventure History Museum on the way back to El Toro. I met the creator of the site, Harry, and also saw some of the management there as well, I am so glad that the Great Adventure History Museum made a comeback during Coaster Con XXXVIII. I rode El Toro as much as I can before they made the last ride call. My friends agreed to offer me a ride back to the hotel, so I wouldn't have to take a cab back, they thought it was a little too much that I had to wait for a cab and spend extra money. I thank them so much for all the help that week. As we were leaving the park, the security and some of the workers were there to show their appreciation for us and we thanked them as well. They have made us feel right at home. We left the park at 11:30, and in just a few short hours, we will be back at it again. This is only the beginning of a memorable week ahead. The next two days are going to be long and exciting.
  22. On June 20, 2015, I made my first visit of the 2015 season to Six Flags Great Adventure for a "dress rehearsal" for the main event, Coaster Con XXXVIII, the annual convention for the American Coaster Enthusiasts. I left my upstate NY home just after noon and I arrived at my hotel, about 20 minutes from the park at 2:40 pm. I was able to check-in early and get settled in because my plan after checking in, was to head to the park until closing. I arrived at the park just after 3:30, and my first stop of the day was to see if I could get a flash pass for the few hours that I would be at the park, sure enough I was able to. This was the beginning of four consecutive days at Six Flags Great Adventure. My four visits of the season would break last year's record of three, my last visit was Fright Fest 2014. In each of the last 4 seasons, I have went at least twice in each of those years. My first ride of the day was The Dark Knight, and it was a cloudy/rainy day, but it was a good day to be at the park after waiting all year for this day and the week ahead. After I got off the Dark Knight, it was raining a little bit harder, but none-the-less, the rides were still open. I decided to choose Bizarro as my next ride of the day and just as I was getting on the ride in the front row, the ride operator sent us back in the waiting area, and said it was down for minor technical difficulties. I waited about 20-30 minutes, but with not much progress, I decided that I would come back later and knowing that I will be at the park for the next 4 days. Instead, I saw that El Diablo was re-opening just as I arrived to that area, so why not give that a try? It was the newest ride of the 2015 season, and I wanted to try it out, I liked the ride, I thought it was exciting, but to be honest, even though they say it is a coaster, to me, it was just a flat ride. After riding the newest addition, now it was time to get things going. I rode The Bull in the back row for the first time ever, this would be the first of many rides on El Toro to come. I purchased my all-season picture pass, and I really like the value of it, as you get free photos throughout the season. After riding the Bull, I decided to choose the Green Lantern and Superman as my next rides of the evening. I went over to the Golden Kingdom to see if Kingda Ka was open, but it wasn't, and they didn't know how long it will be down, could this be a cause of concern? I rode Zumajaro: Drop of Doom as night was beginning to fall upon Six Flags. I wanted to get a drink at this point because it was so humid at the park, but it was manageable. I decided to go back to ride El Toro again, this time in the front row, some of the folks in front of me were so nice enough to let me go in front of them, and paired up with another single rider. It's not even Coaster Con yet, I can now say that I rode the bull in the front and back rows, both neat experiences. I wanted to check Bizarro again, but the ride was experiencing more minor technical difficulties. Oh well, I will be back tomorrow for another crack at Bizarro, I will have plenty of opportunities during Coaster Con. I went on the skyway to the other side of the park, and it was the first time I rode the skyway in quite some time to head over to Nitro to close out my dress rehearsal for the days ahead. I arrived at Nitro just after 9:00, with one hour before closing time, I decided to ride the back row as my first Nitro ride of the night, and I saved this ride until nightfall, because I love riding Nitro after sunset and in my opinion, that is the best time to ride it. After getting off the back row, I decided to do Nitro in the front row, because I have never done it before. This ride is just amazing anywhere, this is my all-time favorite at Great Adventure. I know this will be a hit at Coaster Con XXXVIII. After my second Nitro ride, I decided to call it a night, but I will tell you, this was an awesome way to begin my 4-day stay. I left the park right at closing, and I called for my cab, Tu Amigo Taxi to take me back to the hotel where I would be staying, the Holiday Inn in East Windsor. I waited about 30 minutes for my cab, and my driver, his name was Chris, he was one of the nicest drivers I had, and we were having a conversation about Six Flags and some other things. I highly recommend this company to anyone who needs a taxi in and around the area. I got to the hotel after 11:00, and it was time to wind down for the week ahead. The first day of Coaster Con XXXVIII is the very next day, this will be my first ever Coaster Con.
  23. I think that is a great idea to add a dark ride, like Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story at Disney. It would be a ride for everyone and would keep everyone entertained. They should do a Looney Tunes theme to it.
  24. I know it doesn't relate to theme parks, but the one thing that really grinds my gears is this time of the year in stores especially Black Friday. In the last few years, some of the major retailers think it is okay to take away Thanksgiving, so they could make a quick buck. It just gets worse and worse every year. I just do not like the idea of Black Friday and having to work retail on Thanksgiving of all days. I worked in retail for over 2 years and thank God I do not anymore, in my first year, Target opened at midnight on Friday, the following year at 9PM, and last year, 8:00 PM. Guess what time, they are opening this year, 6:00 PM. Absolutely ridiculous. On the same subject, before I quit, I was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving from 9PM to 6AM on BF, then 3-11PM the same day. We get the short end of the stick and it is not fair. Thanksgiving is all about one thing only--FAMILY, not a sale where you could get something online or 362 other days of the year. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season. My advice is to spend it with your families, not in a line for something you can get any other day.
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