SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE
& Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Jackson, New Jersey
Six Flags Theme Parks
Park News - (7/18/14) Six Flags Great Adventure has opened the Great Adventure History Museum in the Red & White Tent near the carousel, featuring park memorabilia from over the years and more. It will remain open through to July 27th and you can find pictures posted to GreatAdventureHistory.com who lent many of the items to the exhibit.
(6/10/14) In a sad story, a disabled teenager who has been enjoying trips to Six Flags Great Adventure with his family for years is now in the middle of a serious legal battle with the chain over the revised safety rules set in place at the park which were put under review after a disabled Veteran was killed when thrown from the Ride of Steel roller coaster at the Darien Lake amusement park in New York. (NOTE: Darien Lake is no longer part of the Six Flags theme park chain, and was not part of it when the accident took place)
Joseph, now 16, was born without feet, has one arm that ends at the elbow and his remaining arm has only a malformed hand. Prior to 2012, he had enjoyed going on almost all the big thrill rides with his family at Six Flags Great Adventure. Following the accident at Darien Lake, the safety rules for many of the parks rides were revised by the manufactures, and Six Flags put the rest under their own review process as well to determine a set of requirements disabled guests must meet to ride any given attraction.
The end result is that Joseph, who used to ride almost everything, now is limited to just two attractions in the entire park: the Ferris Wheel and Skyway. He isn’t even allowed to ride the carousel under the new rules, which don’t permit the use of prosthetics of any kind out of fear that they may break away and strike someone else. According to the article, attractions that even a 3 year old can ride while under supervision, or rides that will allow a quadriplegic who has the limits, but has no control of them, are still beyond the reach of Joseph. Joseph can both walk and run with his prosthetics and is said to have both a firm grip as well as the ability for fine motor control with his one hand, but is still banned from the rides because the hand is malformed.
Currently the issue is before the US District Court in Trenton, as they are asking that disabled guests be allowed to undergo personal evaluations to determine their exact limitations and strengths, rather that just following the current checklist rule regarding the number of fully formed and functional limbs that they have. While the limitations are there for safety reason, it now seems clear that perhaps they do need to undergo some revision and personalization, rather than just make broad general strokes.
2014 - Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom - NOW OPEN!! - (7/9/14) According to an update from a staff member, the unload/loading process for Zumanjaro can actually begin when the mobile roof section over the station is lowered into place, protecting the cars from any falling items from above. At this point, Kingda Ka is cleared for launch and once they roof panel goes up again, Kingda Ka’s operations are put on hold.
Also, according to this source, the operational throughput of Zumanjaro really hasn’t been affected by this proceedure, as the time it takes for Kingda Ka to position and launch two trains is how long it takes to reload and check the restraints at Zumanjaro, so the full impact of this proceedure is being felt mostly over at Kingda Ka.
Also speaking with some other more knowledgeable folks... I’m told that the state is actually justified in wanting some better protection for the Zumanjaro riders as the area where the ride sits has long been a graveyard for lost guest objects dropped during a ride on Kingda Ka. The area would routinely be littered not only with hats, but an unhealthy number of cell phones have been chewed up and spat out here as a few too many guests failed to realize that taking a selfie during a Kingda Ka launch was simply not the best idea. (Like this poor fellow...)
(7/8/14) While Six Flags Great Adventure managed to open their new Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom thrill ride this past weekend, built onto the side of the massive Kingda Ka coaster, all is not well in the park right now… or with either attraction. For reasons than I find hard to fathom, the state of New Jersey has put some serious restrictions on the operations of both rides, that is simply causing more harm than good. So be fore warned… if you intend to ride either of these… get ready for a LONG wait time.
The short story version is this… the state has decided that Six Flags can not run both of these rides at the same time, and is rumored to have gone so far as to require that the park link the ride control systems of each ride together so that there is no chance of it happening. Why? Because they are worried that either on purpose, or on accident, that loose objects from the riders on Kingda Ka may go flying into the riders on Zumanjaro: either horizontally during the launch towards and up the tower, or could fall down on them from the top of the tower. It seems that they felt the roof panel on the top of the Zumanjaro cars provided inadequate protection and the only way to protect the riders is to simply not run the rides at the same time. While it is a slightly different layout, apparently the lack of any problems with the similar Superman / Lexx Luthor combo ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain was not enough to convince them otherwise.
The resulting bit of insanity has caused very long lines as a result so far on both attractions as I’m told the operations go something like this. While Zumanjaro sits empty and idle, Kingda Ka will load and launch two trains back to back. Once they return to the station Kingda Ka goes into a hold and only then are riders allow to load into the Zumanjaro seats and then dispatch into a ride cycle. Once they land again and are removed from the car, Zumanjaro goes back into a hold mode and Kingda Ka can launch two more trains. Rinse… Repeat… and watch the faces of the park guests start to contort as the lines get longer and longer.
I can only hope that clear heads and look into this and solve this issue, as rides criss/cross over and under each other all the time and they’ve never been banned from running at the same time. The state obviously had no problem with El Toro running over the top of Rolling Thunder for all those years, so why the headache now?
(7/7/14) Zumanjaro is now open, and Six Flags has posted a fun video showing off some of their staff test riding it from a variety of angels ahead of the grand opening.
(7/4/14) Six Flags Great Adventure has finally managed to get the state to sign off on Zumanjaro and just confirmed with a tweet earlier today that Zumanjaro is now open!
(7/3/14 10:55am EST)
I’m told that the July 4th Grand Opening of Zumanjaro is now off the table since the park can’t obtain the needed permits in time. But did the park just unofficially reschedule the grand opening for July 10th instead? This may have been in place before, but a promotion on the park’s website to find the eight park guests with the tallest Mohawks will take place in the park on the 10th, and after the judging is over shortly after 2:30pm, the eight winners will be escorted to the front of the line at Zumanjaro to “take those mohawks to new heights” as some of the first riders on Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom.
(7/2/14 6:30pm EST) Bad news for Six Flags Great Adventure. Keep in mind this story may be evolving as you read this, but the “media” day to ride Zumanjaro on Wednesday morning was called off at the last second. The ride is ready and Intamin has handed to the keys over to Six Flags to run it, which they have for employees, but so far the state has yet to get their inspections crew into the park to ‘sign off’ on the permit that will allow Six Flags to open the ride to guests.
I’m sure Six Flags has been ringing the bat-phones they have to any and all influential corporate and political friends to try and get this resolved ASAP, but at the moment the only official word from Six Flags is that they have already been forced to cancel the Passholder Preview event on Thursday. According to a tweet from the park they will reschedule it, but don’t have a date yet. From the sound of things, they likely wont be able to make the announced July 4th grand opening to the public either... and according to one local reader, a local radio station has been broadcasting this afternoon that the July 4th opening is canceled, though Six Flags has yet to make a statement to confirm this.
Stay tuned… as we try to keep up to date on this story.
(6/30/14) Great news for those waiting to ride Zumanjaro… the park announced on Twitter than there would be a Season Passholder preview event on July 3rd and that the ride would open to the public on July 4th.
(6/26/14) The locals are starting to get restless around Six Flags Great Adventure while they wait for some kind of sign that the delayed Zumanjaro drop towers will be ready to open soon. While we have received so such sign from Six Flags just yet, video footage showing off the ride making full tower drop test runs was posted to YouTube earlier this month along with the park releasing their own video on June 6th showing off a POV view of the ride up and down the tower. As long as they have been able to continue testing all this time, Zumanjaro could open in the very near future, but I’ve yet to hear any reliable reports on if it has been testing daily or not so far this month. If the testing stopped for some reason, the opening could be delayed for a long time.
(6/3/14) It’s about time, but Zumanjaro has begin testing the drop cars at last at Six Flags Great Adventure. The official video from Six Flags isn’t great, and only shows the cars moving UP… so lets hope that the crew knows how to test and finish up this ride better than the person who recorded that vertical video. (VVS – Vertical Video Syndrome, is a horrid problem, but you can help. Friends don’t let friends record video the wrong way.)
(5/15/14) It sounds like Zumanjaro’s opening date may have been pushed back a but. Warning signs at the park telling guests that Kindja Ka would not open until Memorial Day Weekend due to the construction of Zumanjaro have been updated to now say that Kingda Ka wont open until sometime in “Late Spring”, which technically gives the park about another month to work.
(4/3/14) Footage showing off the final track piece of Zumanjaro being put into place was posted to ThemeParkOverload.
(2/19/14) A new picture posted to NewsPlusNotes shows off new tower supports that have been added to the base of the Kingda Ka tower as they install the new Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom ride to the backside.
(12/29/13) An interesting construction update for Zumanjaro has been posted to CoasterFusion this week, as the park has begun work to create two massive new footers behind the Kingda Ka tower. While the three Zumanjaro drop tracks will be attached to the existing Kingda Ka structure, it looks like that’s ride’s existing structure will end up being reinforced by some kind of new support structure to handle the increased weight or movement.
(9/6/13) ThemeParkOverload speaks with SFGAdv spokesperson, Kristin Siebeneicher to find out a little bit more about the new Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom coming in 2014.
(8/29/13) It’s official… a world record setting new freefall drop ride is being mounted to the FRONT of the Kingda Ka tower and they are calling it Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. Lifting riders 415 feet in the air, it will be the tallest drop tower in the world, sending you rocketing back down to Earth at 90 mph aboard an 8 passenger cart.
To help speed things up however, you will first “blast up” to the top of the tower in just 30 seconds, pause… and then you’ll be back down again 10 seconds later. There will be three separate Zumanjaro tower rides attached to the Kingda Ka structure. While waiting to board you will pass through a new animal exhibit area and watch Africa Anubis baboons.
The park has also confirmed that Rolling Thunder will be removed, closing forever on September 8th.
(8/28/13) All American Thrills has posted more pictures of the new supports on site at SFGAdv that are being laid out near the base of Kingda Ka.
(8/26/13) Interesting news from Six Flags Great Adventure came up Friday afternoon as a series of large supports, somewhat Kingda Ka colored, were spotted on site at the park. Makes me think that long-rumored Giga Drop tower concept mounted to the back of Kingda Ka may be happening after all. You can see a picture of the supports in the background here.
(8/19/13) Keep in mind this is rumored only, but again I’m hearing that Rolling Thunder could be removed at the end of the season, and a drop tower ride somehow attached to the Kingda Ka tower. Other rumors for 2014 suggest that Ballin’s Jungle may return with a new kiddie coaster and that the Temple of the Tiger venue may get a makeover and Baboons from the Safari may move in.
(7/22/13) I’m told that the word, Shango, as seen in the Six Flags future attractions survey, may have been leaning towards a different definition, unaware of the Swahili translation. It’s my understanding that Shango is a demigod / diety of the Yoruba religion that hales from Southwestern Nigeria where Shango is the god of Fire, Lightning and Thunder. This certainly makes more sense as a possible ride name, though the name also has many spellings as the story moved through the various regions and even into Latin America, Caribbean and is even said to be part of Haitian VooDoo.
On a final note, it’s worth mentioning that Six Flags also sent these same questions about adding an African themed ride to guests at The Great Escape and Six Flags over Georgia.
(7/19/13) Six Flags put out an interesting survey for SFGAdv guests asking them to vote for the best sounding name for an “Africa themed, intense thrill ride”. They were to choose from “Kimanjo, Zumanjaro, Kimondo, Kushuku, or Shango”.
This alone seems to lock in the location that the park’s next major ride will go in somewhere on the new Safari end of the park, no matter if this is the rumored freefall ride or something else entirely. As for the names… while Six Flags failed to explain what any of them meant in the survey, running the names through Google and Google Translate has yielded some interesting and even amusing results.
Kimanjo is the name of a location in Kenya.
Zumanjaro comes up with no results at all and appears to be simply made up, as if they tried to put “Zu” in font of Kilamanjaro. Sorry… as the old Disney ads used to put it, Nahtazu!
Kimondo is another province within Kenya, but also translated from Swahili as the word for a Meteor or Shooting Star in the sky.
Kushuku translates from Swahili as “Skepticism”
And finally, Shango translates from Swahili as “Chlamydia”. Ummm… yeah… they went there. Sorry… while Six Flags may end up starting a new Meme with that one, I don’t think we’ll be riding Chlamydia: The Ride anytime soon.
My vote is for Kimondo… as a shooting star is a perfect theme for a massive freefall tower I think.
(7/17/13) According to the early rumors, Six Flags Great Adventure will announce a “record-breaking” new attraction for 2014 on August 29th. Could this be the long rumored drop ride that might be attached to Kingda Ka, or perhaps something else entirely?
(11/19/12) I’ve posted a few rumors lately about how parks in both Six Flags and Cedar Fair may have been asked to each pick an older coaster for possible future removal. In virtually every case so far, the rumored ride selected for future removal has been a steel coaster, but in the case of Six Flags Great Adventure, I’m hearing that the park decided to put Rolling Thunder on the chopping block. What makes this interesting, is that the location of Rolling Thunder also opens up a large piece of park property for future development, stretching all the way over to the Kingda Ka tower. Makes more sense if they want to open up a big pathway down to the Kingda Ka tower to eventually put in a giant drop ride mounted to the back side.
Just a remainder… this does not mean Rolling Thunder is being removed now, or anytime soon. This is just a rumor that the park may opt to remove this older coaster at some point in the next five years or so for any number of reasons. Just a possibility… nothing more at this point.
(7/24/12) The latest word on the proposed 400+ ft drop tower ride that would be mounted to backside of Kingda Ka is that they are still very interested in the concept, especially after the popular response Six Flags has been getting for Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Look for this to possible rise up for the 2014 season.
(5/15/12) The rumor about adding a Lex Luthor style drop tower to the back of Kindga Ka is starting to gain some momentum locally it seems. Check out this latest report and new details as posted to CoasterFusion.
(2/27/12) Rumor has it that Six Flags Great Adventure has a new world record ride plan in the works that may shock you. If they go ahead with it, look for it to come in either 2013 or 2014, and will involve somehow mounting a Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom style ride system to the 456 foot tall Kingda Ka tower structure. Looks like poor SFMM wont have the drop tower record for very long.
2015 - New Coaster - Rumor - (6/2/14) After doing some serious thinking and chatting with a reader about the idea… I have to say that I do have some doubts about the possibility of a custom RMC wooden coaster coming to SFGAdv for 2015. This rumor has been in the pipe for well over a year now, and while I do believe that we will see an RMC creation in the park eventually, 2015 just may not be possible.
The main factor to consider is just how many rides can RMC actually design and construct in one season at this point in the company’s development? 2013 was the first time we saw 2 new rides launch from RMC in the same year, one of which was an I-Box transformation of an existing ride (Rattler into Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas) along with the built from scratch Outlaw Run (Silver Dollar City). 2014’s work slate for RMC follows the same pattern… one I-Box transformation (Medusa at Six Flags Mexico) and one custom creation (Goliath at Six Flags Great America). Keep in mind that RMC also has a heavy load of other side work, as the company is heavily involved with off season maintenance, structure rebuilding efforts and re-tracking on a number of other wooden coasters throughout America as well.
Looking ahead to 2015 and 2016, IF the pattern continues, we should only expect to see 2 new RMC coasters each year as well. While 2015 is still technically wide open… the long standing rumor has been for SFMM to re-work Colossus for 2015, or maybe 2016. Kolmarden is on the books already to build Wildfire, a custom RMC, for the 2016 season (their first project in Europe). If the previous pattern stays, if SFGAdv doesn’t add one in 2015, they may have to wait until 2017.
Other factors are already starting to stack up against adding one to SFGAdv in 2015 as well. If my sources are correct, they claim that the park has yet to have or schedule a meeting with the Jackson planning board to discuss their plans and how any possible tree removal that may be necessary, which I’m told is always a sensitive subject with the township. For now we’ll just have to wait, watch and see what happens.
(5/30/14) The early buzz for Six Flags Great Adventure is that the park may tap Rocky Mountain Construction to build another custom crazy creation like Goliath that will soon open at SF Great America, but bigger and meaner. The only clue as to the location is that our sources says that they would like for it to try and dive underground, traveling under 'the lake' at some point. If this is true, then look for this new coaster to go in the back of the park, perhaps near the old water-ski stands, or possibly over where the log ride sits. This also makes sense as the backside of the park could use a new major attraction, as almost every other new addition for the last several years has been placed either up front near the entrance (Superman, Green Lantern, Sky Screamer) or in the nearby north-east corner where we can now find Kingda Ka, Zumanjaro and El Toro. Off the top of my head the only new addition in the last decade to go elsewhere would be The Dark Knight indoor mouse coaster on the dead western side of the park where The Chiller used to be.
(9/20/13) I’ve heard this rumor on and off ever since Six Flags Great Adventure announced that Rolling Thunder would be removed, but it seems very likely that the park will be tapped to install a new wooden coaster for 2015. Chances are, this could be a similar creation to Goliath from RMC going into the Chicago area park, but I’m not sure if that is the right thing to do. Sure, a crazy RMC is going to get people’s attention as it will thrill you and send you through inversions, but with Rolling Thunder gone, what the park really needs is just a basic classic regular wooden roller coaster experience for the smaller thrill seekers to start with before they try to tackle El Toro. Something like GCI’s great Gold Striker installed at California’s Great America earlier this year would be perfect.
(8/19/13) If the rumors are true SFGAdv’s next coaster may be in the works for 2015, and will be located on the former spot of The Chiller. The rumors suggest it may be a B&M coaster project… and if not a Wing coaster, possibly B&M’s first 4th Dimension style ride if they are ready to go ahead with the concept. The theme isn’t known, the area around the ride could become home to a new flat ride or two as well to try and build up this closed off area of the park once again. This is a very long term rumor and a lot can change between now and 2015, so this may only be a placeholder.
???? - Onsite Resort Hotel - Planning - (11/27/13) Adding a resort hotel to the Six Flags Great Adventure property has long been a dream for many over the years. As we’ve seen the torch of ownership and control of the company pass from one hand to another over the past couple couple of decades, the idea of adding an on-site resort has been revived, killed, and revamped more times than I can count. This latest video news report from “Today in America” about Jackson, NJ talks briefly with Six Flags Great Adventure’s President, John Fitzgerald about their latest attempt to revive the concept in order to allow the Six Flags property to become a multi-day vacation destination. Looks like the plan is back on again, and since the Jackson area is essentially devoid of other hotels, it sounds like an idea that should not only work, but should be a success if built at the right scale.