Saturday  - October 20th, 2012

It was easy to see from the start of the day that park was planning for a very large crowd.  They actually had workers in the parking lot directing traffic to parking spaces.  As the day went on the crowds grew and grew, and while there were tons of people, the park seemed to handle the overflow fine and provided an exciting Fright Fest night.

In the Frontier Adventures section of the park, prep work seems to be taking place in the woods around the Northern Star Arena.  While nothing significant probably will happen until after the park closes for the season, the photos below may be able to provide some hints as to what is coming in 2013.

The Safari and Mr. Six signs have been removed.
The canvas canopies at Nitro and the Camp Kitchen in Bugs Bunny National Park have already been packed away for the year.
Congo Rapids is closed for the season. "Skull Fountain" was also turned off.
The park planned ahead and installed additional queue ropes on many rides. In just over a year thick vegetation has grown in on what was once the bottom of Prospertown Lake.
The conveyor belts and rollers have been removed from both lifts on the Log Flume.
Surveying tape outlines two paths in the woods just behind the Northern Star Arena.  The first one looks to cut through from the arena walkway back through the woods to near the tiger area of the Safari.
The other path seems to follow the clearing through the woods which parallels the lake and runs from the area near the Western Shootout building back to the area on the edge of the tiger section. 
  Ground zero for changes next season.  
  The Right Stuff lives on in this 2009 permit card!
The Halloween themed sea lion show was a big hit bringing laughs from kids and families alike.  Check out the Fairy Godfather's "holey mackerel"!   Holey mackerel, get it?  Holy?  Mackerel?  C'mon, you know your laughing!
    Here's some old fencing from the Carousel.
    DejaVu's soundtrack now features Halloween themed music. 
The changing lighting pattern was working on the Big Wheel tonight!
Fright Fest is REALLY popular... check out the lines for Insanity, the Wasteland, and to get through the metal detectors at 9:00pm!

Friday  - October 12th, 2012

Tonight was the first night that truly felt fall-like at Fright Fest.  A cloudy sky, cooler temperatures, a chilly breeze, and the rustle of dried leaves equated to a great autumn evening.

Below are some photos taken tonight during a brief visit to the theme park at dusk.

The Safari plaza sits vacant with almost all its signs and notices removed. The security screening was backed up prior to additional lanes being opened.
The park hosted a late season upcharge concert tonight.   New benches have been added all around Main Street.
The Log Flume's reservoirs have been totally drained.
Additional sections have been carefully removed from the Log Flume's track.
  The parachute ride has become a U.S.A. exclusive with this week's demolition of the Texas Chute Out.  

Saturday  - October 6th, 2012

This was probably the first Saturday in Great Adventure's history when the theme park was the only park that was open at Great Adventure.  Even so, the Safari animals still seemed to be roaming their homes grazing as usual.

Check out all the photos below for some preliminary work in Frontier Adventures and the large crowds that turned out for the Electronic Adventure concert series and Fright Fest.

Looking in from Reed Road, nothing new in the Safari.
  The Safari has been removed from all the entrance roadway signs.
  The Safari entrance looked lonely Saturday.
  Electric Adventure packed in the crowds.  
  Alternate directions were posted in the ticket windows to reroute traffic slowed by this week's Turnpike fire. Both the Safari and Hurricane Harbor were removed from the Park Hours boards.
  Kids love their candy!
    The Safari Tours booth is now closed.
The first signs of work inside the park for the Safari Off Road Adventure have started.  A portion of the Log Flume has been removed to bring in equipment to prepare the site.   Frontier Adventures will look very different next season.  While the Log Flume is safe, some of the buildings won't be as lucky.
  These new ads for Fox TV are a little odd.
The Safari Tours sign has been replaced with a Season Pass ad.  
  SkyScreamer was misbehaving a little today.  
I never realized the Liberty Pub had a bar    
Scary kids abound!    
The Musik Express - R.I.P.
Voodoo Island in now $8 (down from $10).    
The ghouls look really good this year, especially the makeup.  From the western ghouls in the Bone Butcher Terror-tory, to the pirates and  clowns, and all the other monsters - scary looking stuff!
Sway poles are back at Great Adventure ala 1974!
  Safari info has also been deleted from the maps.  

Sunday  - September 30th, 2012

Today marked a milestone in Great Adventure's history.  After some 39 seasons of operation as a drive-thru park, the Wild Safari closed its doors to vehicular traffic on Sunday.  Guests will no longer be able to jam into the family car and traverse the sprawling hills of the Safari.  However, starting Memorial Day Weekend 2013 visitors to Great Adventure theme park will be able to explore and learn about our well stocked zoological center with a journey aboard the new Safari Off Road Adventure!

The photos below include an early morning visit to the Safari, an afternoon stroll through the theme park, and yet another tour of the Safari at closing hour.  It wraps up with a look at the Safari Park after closing including a video of the last cars exiting the park and the Safari gates being locked for the last time.

Thank you Drive-Thru Safari for so many incredible memories!

July 1, 1974 - September 30, 2012

  The last chance for a morning Safari.  
  Balloons and music marked the occassion.
Gift stands from Green Lantern and Bizarro have been set up as glow toy shops.
The kids sure grow up fast don't they!  
Fred and Wilma in da house! El Toro - #1!
    Bugs Bunny sleeps with the fishes.
Vacant Bizarro gift stand site.    
Paint ball one step closer to removal?  One can only hope.    
    Hurricane Harbor debris.
    I know I am getting older, but is he young?
Promo for 2013 in the main entrance area.
And now, some photos of my last tour of Great Adventure's Drive-Thru Safari (aka Six Flags Wild Animal Safari Park).
    Heading out of the park for the last time.
The park officially closed while we were driving inside the park gates.  When we finished the park entrance area was deserted.
    Kind of sad to see.
The last two cars emerged at 6:29pm.  It seems they were in competition to be the last car out.
Click below to view a brief video of the last cars departing the Safari Park at 6:29pm on Sunday, September 30th, 2012.

All locked up.
Access to the former Safari Exploration Station area and the entrance and exits of the Safari will most likely be off-limits to regular guests in the future.  We were the last to leave this area... already a ghost town.

Saturday  - September 22nd, 2012

If the size of the crowds at the park were any indicator, Great Adventure made a very wise business decision to start Fright Fest a couple of weekends early.  Guests poured into the park right through to the evening hours and only a strong storm front put an early end to the party.

An RV show was set up in the overflow lot. Hurricane Harbor slides were closed and dry. While the Safari opened for its next to last weekend.
Drivers get in their last minute visits to the Safari.  
Haunted Wagon Spells once again ventured in to the Great Adventure woods.
  Think Glow In the Park Parade!  
Props from the new Shipwreck Cove
  Poor old Musik Express :(
The cast of ghouls did an excellent job entertaining and scaring at the Fright Fest Media Preview picnic.
New props and a new theme transformed the former Demented Forest into the Wasteland.
Some of the cast of Insanity: Gears of the Mind ..and The Manor
Voodoo Island takes advantage of the spacious site on the Log Flume peninsula. 
New props, costumes, and a "spirited" group of actors  populate the park's newest of four terror trails.
  Haunted Wagon Spells is an entirely different experience at night.
Lightning, thunder, and a stormy night... you can't buy special effects like this!  

Friday  - September 21st, 2012

It's that Fright Fest time of year again and the park offered its season pass holders a preview of some of the 2012 festivities.  Here are some quick pictures of tonight's event.  Watch for a full Fright Fest report tomorrow!

  Floats dot the Great Lake for Saturday's triathlon event.
The Lakefront is home to a new pirate themed trail.
  The Season Pass Combo is a pretty good deal.  
New fencing has gone up next to the Stagecoach ride and Voodoo Island.  
Insanity was much better than the Asylum.
  ^ This was a surprising area of the maze!  
  Riding the Big Wheel during Fright Fest!  
Insanity from the Big Wheel.
  Some of the Manor's cast of characters  
    The right-side exit was open... that is rare!