by Robert Rosetta (also on Facebook)
The Star Ledger had an article about their top 5 roller coasters at Great Adventure. Needless to say – I disagree with them. This was their order…. 1. Kingda Ka; 2. El Toro; 3. Nitro; 4. Green Lantern; 5. Bizzaro.
My favorite and recommended coasters at Great Adventure however, are…
2. El Toro
3. Kingda Ka
Except for the height and speed – there is nothing to Kingda Ka. You go up and you come down – there isn’t even any air time. I like it – but it doesn’t deserve number 1 in my opinion. If you are from far away though and going to Great Adventure may be a once in a life time experience – then absolutely ride Kingda Ka – it is the tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world after all. (sorry, I don’t consider that glorified train in Germany to be a roller coaster – it doesn’t do anything other than shoot you down a FLAT track.)
Nitro and El Toro are basically tied – but I still like Nitro better. Both give you great air time and are FAST. Nitro is usually my first ride of the day when i go to the park. It is even better during sunset and night by the way. As for Superman I can’t believe that didn’t make their list – what other roller coaster literally makes you feel like you are flying? Being on your stomach with your hands stretched out – flying like Superman – is a feeling all its own. Why didn’t Green Lantern make my list? Well it is basically Bizzaro but you are standing up. Instead of feeling the negative G’s like you do on Bizzaro and other roller coasters, you really feel the positive G’s and are pushed down. I enjoy more air time – although I also like twists turns and loops that Green Lantern has. I would just choose Bizzaro over Green Lantern though. The standing up part is unique, so if this is a once in a life time and you can’t go on ALL the rides, decide between Bizzaro or Green Lantern.
How did Kingda Ka even make my list , let alone third place, since there really isn’t much to the overall ride (no real air time, twists, turns or loops)? Well I love the take off – it is like a rocket. There is nothing like it – so for that reason I had to include it. It is literally like being shot off from an aircraft carrier and rocketing into the sky and plummeting back down to earth. Contrary to what most people think though – there is no sensation of falling on the way down.
For people who have never been to Great Adventure (real New Jerseyans don’t call it Six Flags), that is my recommended coaster list and why. Of course I also have my recommended seating positions: Nitro – back row – most air time; El Toro – back row – most air time; Bizzaro – front row – nothing like not having ANYTHING in front of you but air; Kingda Ka – basically anywhere (I don’t have a preference); Superman – no where but the front, unless you want to be looking at the bottoms of people’s feet. So what would your recommended list of the 5 Must Ride Roller Coasters at Great Adventure be?
5: Batman: The Ride
This ride makes my top 5 list because it has one trait no other roller coaster in the park has. It’s a “punchpacker”, which means it’s small & intense. With the high positive Gs of the first “death” drop how relentlessly fast it whips around those inversions, this ride takes place at number 5.
I personally love going on this ride. It is very enjoyable with the effects and the good-timing audio. It goes around 7 inversions at speeds in excess of 60 mph, with nothing but air below you.
3: Superman: Ultimate Flight
My favorite part is loading up in the station. I absolutely love going in the flying position. The inversions are intense, and your facing the ground well face first. Even though it lacks Gs, it still has qualities of a good roller coaster.
There’s nothing in the park like it. It is the smoothest coaster in the park, and I love how comfortable the restraints are, and how quite the trains go down the first drop while standing on the queue line. I love the floater airtime, and how you feel weightlessness on almost every hill. Nitro has every quality of a good ride.
1: El Toro
My favorite ride at the park is El Toro. It gives so much adrenaline rush goes up the lift hill, and so much positive Gs on the first drop. It’s ejector airtime is amazing. It is the most aggressive roller coaster I have ever been on, and it travels over the hills so fast it makes a rattling sound while doing so. It is one of the smoothest wooden coasters in the world, and still packs in almost 4.5 Gs and very intense negative Gs.You get the feeling that the world is dropping from under you on the first drop. That’s something to remember.