Months ago, my church singles committee and I went into a room to finalize the details of a weekend long conference full of workshops and activities and speakers and whatnot. We came out of that room an hour later having decided to go to Six Flags instead. This Saturday that trip happened.
Marcus was the man behind booking the bus. In other words, Marcus is the man that made this day happen. I just wrote the emails telling people to buy tickets.
What I like about adults is that you tell them when a bus is leaving and they actually come on time. Amazing.
Holly and Bryndee.
Vanessa and Kristin.
An hour and a bit more later and we're at the park. You know who else was there? Morgan!
Nat, clearly about to kill it. His team, Team Micah, bought Flash Passes. I did that the first time I went to Great Adventure, and let me just say, comparing the two days, if you want to actually ride rides at Great Adventure, you're going to definitely need a Flash Pass.
Since it's the middle of September the park was all Halloweened-out. The fountain was supposed to be blood but honestly it looked more like delicious fruit punch.
The early hours is when you gotta hit the park hard if you're going to get anything done.
If you ain't High Thrill then you ain't trill.
Ride #1 was the infamous and ferocious Kingda Ka where you're shot down a runway accelerating from 0 to 128 in 3.5 seconds, then go straight up a 456 foot tall tower, over, and straight down and back to the station in 28 seconds.
Anticipation builds. Each launching train of cars sounds like a crack of thunder. bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk
Amber, Elle, Trisha.
Moments from being seated. It's a time of cold, mean terror.
Photographic evidence of the point of no return pulled from Facebook.
You don't come off Kingda Ka whoopin and hollerin. You exit quiet, chastized, pensive. You've just faced death and made it through. But then you can smile and pose for a photo. (The ride was so fast one of Di's bobby pins shot out of her hair)
Next Up: The absolutely magnificent El Toro.
This ride you do come off whoopin and hollerin. It's just the absolute best.
I'm testing out a new camera this week, a Ricoh GR. I've been having focusing issues, but some of the pictures turn out pretty nice. It brightens shadows in its jpegs too much for my liking, though.
Object of Curiosity: Handicap Parking-esque Smoking Areas throughout the park. It's good to have little stations here and there where you know you can find all the cool people in the area.
Walked right on Bizarro and then watched VIP group after VIP group take our front row spots. This one's seven inversions shook up my poor guts. I would not be the same for the rest of the day.
Then the Runaway Mine Train. Great Adventure's oldest roller coaster. Choo Choo!
Lunch! Although I had organized an official lunch meet-up for all the Mormons at the park that day our wait for the Mine Train ran too long and we grabbed food from a Greek stand nearby. I was feeling queasy from Bizarro so I had a salad instead of something fried. I thought this salad was delicious! You should have heard me ranting and raving about it. But what I didn't realize was this salad was a time bomb that would go off in about an hour and pretty much shut down the rest of my day at the park. Sigh. Sad thing is I'd probably order it again.
Then we headed across the park towards Nitro.
Bumpin into some of our friends, folks that started their day over at Nitro and were headed to have a go at Kingda Ka/El Torro. (Of course, by now it turns out the Kingda Ka line was three hours long. That's longer than it takes to get a Cronut!)
You know who I think is a cool dude? Brent. And I'm not even foolin'.
See, everything was Halloween-themed.
Zombies had begun to appear in the park.
Zombies and also friends from whom we had been separated at the start of the day. Hey Ty!
Aqui estoy in line for Nitro. But who took this picture?
Why, it was Brook!
But wait . . . Brigham, what's this picture? Why aren't you in the Nitro line anymore? Well, remember that chicken salad? It didn't sit so well with my post-Bizarro stomach. So I had to run out of line and to a bathroom. And Six Flags employees are really good at keeping rules, particularly the no getting back in line rule. So I didn't. Sigh.
Friends in line. Poor guys. Who wants to stand in a big dumb line when you could sit on a bench?
Or take in the Loonily themed environs?
Or the insanity of the People Dryer? (conveniently located near water rides)
Once reunited with my Nitro-riding friends (who all said they hated it, which was nice of them) we went and got in line for the Sky Screamer. Which I hear is very cold. I "hear" because I had another chicken salad attack in this line, too. Who wants to ride a dumb Sky Screamer and get cold, anyway?
London friends reunited, if I remember correctly.
At this point I've started to not feel well. Soon I hop the line out.
Pfffft. Lame. Goes more than a hundred feet in the air, too, but who wants to do that?
Strolling over to the parachutes, taking pictures of strangers on the fly.
Nice thing about Great Adventure is even when you go to a ride that seems like there's no line and you can walk right on you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the company of your friends after VIP party after VIP party after Flash Pass holder is let onto the ride ahead of you. I said it before and I'll say it again, if you want to ride rides when you go to Great Adventure, you're going to need a Flash Pass.
With the clock ticking, we dashed to the other side of the park to see if we could do Nitro "again" . . . nope, two hour wait. Batman had an hour wait, Dark Knight had an hour wait. Didn't want to get super sick doing loops and corkscrews, went for the Dark Knight with Amber.
If you don't know that the Dark Knight is a Wild Mouse-style ride you're going to be awfully disappointed with it. Fortunately for me I found out what it was in 2008 so I could enjoy it for that in 2013.
Walked a little out of our way to get my picture with Skull Mountain. Didn't ride it, but wanted my picture with it.
With night falling, more and more zombies (some friendlier than others) were appearing throughout the park.
Sleeper hit of the carnival game circuit was the squid hat.
Then it was time to wave goodbye to the park.
And pass a last few opportunities to have fun (or be dressed like a skydiver and hung three feet off the ground for a photo).
Outlying Great Adventure areas.
Did you know you can take some sort of Jersy public transit to and from the park?
The thing that was so brilliant about the day was we were dealing with responsible adults, responsible adults that head back to the bus at the time we were told to be back at the bus. Amazing.
Obligatory visual pun.
I don't mean to be an narcissist, but I just can't decide which one of these two pictures of me counting the number of people on the bus I like best.
Looks like it's just about everyone!
Marcus gives the day his stamp of approval and we hit the road. What a day!