I headed over to Six Flags Great Adventure on Sunday, December 4th for some Holiday in the Park fun. I really liked the event last year so I was eager to head over and check out this year’s festivities. I got to the park at around 4pm and spent the first 45 minutes walking around getting photos and video of coasters and such; basically stuff that I’m not going to be able to get photos/video of once it’s dark. The lines at this point were all 10 minutes or less, maybe 20 for Joker.
September is a special time for some of us U.S. theme park fans. It’s the time when many parks announce their additions for the next year! Both Six Flags and Cedar Fair owned parks start teasing announcements in August, spurring copious amounts of speculation and wishing. Six Flags Great Adventure fans in 2015 were largely hoping for an RMC woodie, or a Giga coaster…possibly just the former as wishing for a Giga is practically a meme now. On September 3rd, 2015, we got our answer: Total Mayhem! An S&S 4-D Free Spin coaster that would be placed into the largely overlooked Lakefront area!
Coaster fans were obviously overjoyed by the announcement. Hey, at least it’s not a superhero or villain, right?
Seaside Heights, NJ – One of the worst kept secrets coming into next season has been Casino Pier’s 2017 roller coaster addition. I say this because for the past month there’s been pieces of what looks to be a pretty substantial coaster sitting in the parking lot next to Breakwater Beach waterpark. Today, Casino Pier released a video about their new Gerstlauer Euro Fighter coaster as well as some renderings of the expanded pier area.
Rather than showing a rendering, the video shows similar coasters to the one being constructed as well as some features of the coaster including a 97 degree drop, vertical loop, Immelmann turn, and heartline roll. According to a user on Reddit, the stats seem to line up with Gerstlauer’s Euro-Fighter 320+ model, which would mean it would be like Untamed at Canobie Lake Park and Rage at Adventure Island, but that’s just speculation at this point. Also unknown is the name of the coaster. The video refers to it as “Eurofighter,” but I don’t think that’ll be the final name. A photo render on Casino Pier’s Facebook page places the new coaster on the newly constructed pier expansion on the north side of Casino Pier. The render also features Casino Pier’s second new attraction, a large ferris wheel.
I’m really glad to see Casino Pier rebuilding and then some after being decimated four years ago by Sandy. It’s an impressive looking coaster as well, unlike the more portable looking coasters that have grazed Seaside parks in the past. It’s also nice to see a Ferris Wheel coming back to Seaside. Casino Pier used to have a Chance Century Wheel back in the late 90s or so, but Funtown Pier to the south always had the more prominent wheel before Sandy destroyed the park. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Funtown Pier will ever come back.
Here’s some phone pics I’ve taken of the coaster and pier construction (need to turn HDR mode off next time!) Also included are a few pics of Pirate’s Hideaway in its new location. It was moved to the back of the pier from the north/front side which is right where the pier expansion is being built.
Last year, Six Flags Great Adventure closed for a few weeks between the end of Fright Fest and the beginning of Holiday in the Park. This year, the park made the decision to open on the weekends and for a few days during Veteran’s Day week as the NJ Teacher’s Convention was going on which meant no school for most kids that Wednesday to Friday. I heard that the first weekend was really quiet, so I decided to head over on Sunday, November 13th, which would essentially be the last day before the park transitions to Holiday in the Park festivities.
2016 marks 25 seasons that Six Flags Great Adventure has done Fright Fest. It originally started as a modest weekend festival called Halloweekends in 1989 and adopted the Fright Fest moniker in 1992 (Great Adventure History has some great articles about the early events.) Since then the festival has grown into a huge event for the park, bringing in some of the largest crowds all year. I visited Fright Fest twice this year; on October 7th and October 23rd. Both trips were pretty uneventful in and of themselves, so I’ll talk about Fright Fest as a whole and add in some bits specific to each visit.