What do you do when you’re on vacation in New Jersey in the middle of a July heatwave? Head to Six Flags, of course!
Before we left, we did a little bit of research on this park and our almost-10-year-old had done more, surfing the internet for facts about all the different thrill rides. We had been unaware – but he wasn’t – that the tallest thrill ride in the world is there, Kingda Ka. That same ride is the second-fastest ride in the world too. He wasn’t sure if he was tall enough to ride them, and he came thisclose to missing out, but he just made the 54″ limit for the thrill rides. Bring ’em on!
We had a great day at the park. We traveled with my brother-in-law and his son, and the seven of us were ready to ride. We were not disappointed.
We started our day by tracking down a ride accessibility pass for Vivi. That took a little longer than anticipated, but was worth it. There are more details on how to get the pass and how to use it in our review, but here’s what it looked like.
First ride of the day for the big kids (adults included) was the Sky Screamer.
It’s like a big swing ride. Except on steroids. You sit on a double-seated swing and get ready to fly.
Except these aren’t any ordinary swings. With these, when you fly, you’re 242 feet in the air and you spin around at 40 mph. Here’s the view from the safety of the ground.
Next stop, Skyway – the gondola-in-the-air ride that carried us from one section of the park to another. Viv loved it.
It took us to the other side of the park and deposited us by the Runaway Train Coaster. It was a good wooden coaster that whetted our appetite for bigger and better things to come – and lunch.
After enjoying a lunch that featured pizza, gluten free chicken nuggets, and a gyro, we were off to ride El Toro, which means “the bull” in Spanish. Having never ridden one, I can’t attest to that actual comparison. However, I can tell you that riding this wooden roller coaster felt a lot like what I would imagine riding a bull would be like – very fast and a lot of sudden movements. It’s got the steepest drop of any wooden coaster in the world, and you can feel it. But I’ve ridden other wooden roller coasters and this one is at the top of my “awesome coaster” list. Here it is up close.
Immediately after braving that, we stopped at El Diablo. Because after you ride the bull, you need to face the devil.
This one was a loop and it went forwards and backwards and suspended the riders upside down. Crazy stuff. Only the big kids rode this one.
They made it out – and they looked like they even enjoyed it.
Vivi and Tim had spent time riding the Safari ride while the rest of us did a few more coasters, including Skull Mountain, Houdini’s Great Escape, Enchanted Teacups, Congo Rapids and the Bumper Cars. Then while the boys went off ride the Justice League: Metropolis ride, my girl and I rode the Skyway again and the merry-go-round, and she kicked back with a solo ride on “Bugaboo,” which featured her favorite ladybugs.
All day, Kingda Ka loomed over us – literally and figuratively. At 456 feet high, it ranks as the highest roller coaster in the world. At a top speed of 128 mph (which it reaches in just three seconds), it’s the second-fastest coaster in the world. With its 90-degree ascent and 90-degree descent, it’s the most terrifying coaster in the world. That last one may be only be my vote, but it was unarguably a sight to behold. And Micah had been toying with riding it all day.
He went back and forth about it. He really wanted to, but the fear was real. Finally I said let’s just do it. Who knows when we’ll get back again and you don’t want to live with the regret of not doing it, which he is already doing from not riding a coaster in another park. So we got in line. I have to admit, when we were three people from the front and they stopped running the cars for ten minutes while they checked something, I was ready to back out. But we stuck with it, got on – and had the craziest, fastest, most exhilarating 50.6 seconds of our lives.
Here’s a picture from the Skyway where you can see the height difference between El Toro, the wooden roller coaster on the right, and Kingda Ka reaching into the air on the left.
And here’s our boy, celebrating how great he felt after he conquered his nervousness and rode the ride. At the end, as we were still strapped in our seats, he summed up the experience in his own almost-ten-year-old way: “It was AWESOME!” I was so proud of him for choosing to face his fears and not spend the months watching videos of it, wishing that he had summoned the courage to do it. No regrets – he faced it head on.
Six Flags was an awesome park. Despite the heat and humidity, each of us had a great time. Thanks for the memories, Six Flags!