Sorry guys, no Waffle House in this next report, but a hundred photos of the broke-ass lights at Great Adventures' Holiday In the Park is a fair trade, no?
You all might recall my epic birthday bash
in late 2017 where the missus and I visited Florida and hit 3 parks in 2 days. Unfortunately the budget was much tighter this year, but I was happy to settle on spending the big day at my local Six Flags. Can you sense the excitement?
In all seriousness, I am huge fan of Great Adventures' seasonal Holiday In the Park, and by the first weekend of December it was in full swing. Sadly the weather did not cooperate, with the forecast calling for warm...ish and a steady all-day-long drizzle, subsequently causing almost all of my pals to cancel on me. Yes, even the missus: "Sorry babe, I know its your birthday and all but there is no way I'm going to Six Flags in the rain in December. Have a great time!
Ouch. But I get it.
Fortunately I do know of a couple of completely insane people who wouldn't cancel a day at the park - even if it meant risking the fact that Great Adventure could and likely would shut the whole thing down early, as they're known to do. Nonetheless, Bill and Brit braved the 3hour+ drive down from Bumblef*ck, NY in a lunatic effort to join me for some beers and Nitro rides in the rain before the park inevitably closed early. I would swap out "inevitably" for "disappointingly" but that's the great thing about this - we know this park and how they operate, therefore there would be no disappointment if we expected it. It was a challenge of sorts. Would we be one of the only cars in the lot? Was this a complete waste of time? Probably, but we had nothing better to do.
I know the Florida/Cali people reading this will recoil in horror but "warm...ish" was in the upper 50's. Combine that with the steady morning drizzle and the entire Philly/Jersey area was coated in a thick layer of fog. Sounds like some good ridin', if you ask me.
Taken from my train crossing the Delaware river just before arriving in Trenton where my fellow loonies would be scooping me for the last 20 minute leg of our journey.
Would you look at that! Not only is the park open but there are other mental patients here. Not pictured: the parking lot where we were surprised to see at least 100 cars. Things were looking up.
It looks pretty soggy but it actually wasn't even really raining at this point. More of a light mist. Naturally we started our day on Six Flags' Most Explosive Coaster™.
Stoked to see Batman running as well, since we know this time of year is when this monster really shines. We were hoping the wet tracks would make for even wilder rides.
We rave about Batman during the winter months but Nitro is no slouch either. The warm air and slick tracks & wheels had us absolutely flying, even with a mostly empty train. We took a few laps since no one else was.
It's really nice having a couple big B&Ms all to yourself on your birthday. Thanks, Rain?
Right over to Batman for a few rounds and were blown away by how insanely fast it felt. A real treat these rides, gave my feet some real tinglers.
Feels like they finally got the air conditioning working in here.
This ride is positively bonkers.
We popped over to Metropolis for a minute to see if Cyborg was cooperating today.
We had ourselves a quick ride on Justice League, and for the first time ever (for me at least) we didn't have to wait at all. Walk right in and jump on. I still love this ride, the subway scene does it every time.
An audience of one, ready for the show.
Yeah, there was no f*cking way I was going anywhere near Cyborg. One and done, not for me. But these maniacs were all about it.
They've actually ridden this before and then willingly got back on it.
Sure is pretty though, innit it?
Expressions of the deranged.
We're super excited for this ride and you should be too!
It's a HITP tradition to goad Bill & Brit into standing in front of one of the displays set up for cheesy photo ops. They're not actually rolling their eyes, but trust me - they are.
By now we were truly convinced they were going to close. The rain was coming in short light waves, and the crowds were certainly not picking up. There was no conceivable reason for them to stay open until 9pm.
We thought we should get a ride on Sky Screamer since it wasn't freezing and the queue was empty. It was just our luck that as soon as the gondola lifted the sky opened up and we were painfully pelted by what felt like tiny bullets the entire cycle. Full disclosure: I regret nothing, and that may have been the most fun ride I've had on a star flyer yet.
My recollection of this part of the day is a little bit foggy but I'm pretty sure Brit went off to find the goats (which we found out were not around due to the weather) while Bill and I had an insane ride on Joker.
From here we made our way into Merry Marketplace for some booze and Brit got a baked apple.
Bill had beer and I got a spiked apple cider.
Happy Birthday to me.
Come have some s'mores ya'll. Only $19.99 and your dignity. Plenty of room for everyone!
We took our brews over to Liberty Pub and hung out in there for a bit to get out of the precip and get have some more dranks. It's my birthday after all!
From here we had a couple options: into the boardwalk where the only attraction of interest was Ultimate Flight...
or back to the west side of the park to walk onto an 80mph hypercoaster in a light drizzle.
Surprise! The whole ride to ourselves. How is this park even still open?
Now just about dusk we wandered around a bit.
Nah, no triple R for us today, we just like the bathroom back here.
We stopped back over to have a brief hang with The Caped Crusader who treated us to a few spectacular laps, including a few in the back row that were just absurd.
We wanted to sit and eat something for dinner so we eventually settled on Granny's, since for once it was actually half empty.
We ran into a regular we know who was kind enough to give me his dining pass dinner for the day since he was leaving but wasn't using it, so I got this whole awesome turkey dinner for free. And surprisingly it was all good. Happy Birthday to me!
You didn't think you'd make it through an entire report about my
birthday @ Great Adventure without a stop to pay our respects to The Mighty Mountain?
For some reason they didn't do the lights on the exterior like the past few seasons, and I'm not even sure they're calling it "Poinsettia Peak" or whatever, but rest assured the pumpkin and strobe skull both remain, and the death metal still blares. We were the only people riding and took at least 3 consecutive back row rides.
You didn't seriously think we weren't going to ride the Sky Way, did you?
This ride perpetually has a wait during HITP and for good reason: you get a fantastic view of the park, the lights, and everyone in the family can ride. But for once this ride had absolutely no wait and further convinced us the park would be closing at any moment.
Enjoy the view.
It wasn't until we got up here that it was impossible to not notice that half of the holiday lights were out.
Joker & a passing cabin.
One of the coolest things about this ride during HITP is you get a brief, albeit dark, glimpse into the non-operational side of the park.
Check out King Daka all brooding and sh*t in the fog.
A really nice touch having the Fort decorated for the event.
Peep Bizarro creeping in the rear. Artsy!
Upon touching back down, amazed the park hadn't yet closed, we begrudgingly agreed we should get some rides in on Superman, so we walked back over toward the boardwalk where the lights looked great.
As you can tell from these few photos, we weren't the only weirdos hanging out in the rain.
I can't walk through this thing and not slap the side of it.
Paybacks are a bitch.
What lights were working looked great, and the wet concrete/blacktop made for some cool pics.
I still haven't ridden this thing since at least the early 90s.
At this point we had asked a few employees what the deal with the lights were and were universally told it had something to do with the rain. Uhhhh.... ok.
Haha lol yeah right no way.
Another way you know the park is dead? When the front row of Superman is a walk on.
Just like Nitro and Batman, Superman was running extraordinarily well, feeling faster and much more forceful than usual.
I know these rides aren't respected much around here, but as long as I don't have to wait for it, I'm a fan.
That maniacal pretzel loop never gets old.
With only 90 minutes til park close we felt like we had won a race or something. We felt accomplished. It was cause for a celebration so we stopped back at Liberty Pub and grabbed some beers to drink while we watched the tree show...
... before heading back to get a few last laps on the two stars of this event. We weren't even sure they were operating since the area was so dead but as soon as one of us said that out loud we heard the unmistakable sound of a B&M lift starting up. Once we got back to Nitro, seated and ready, as if on cue the sky opened again, but this time a full-on downpour. And as we should expect by now from the great ride operators at this park, "all clear, dispatch" and out into the monsoon we rolled.
As soggy as we were by now, none of us cared and threw our hands up for our last soaking ride of a really, really amazing day. Sure they would now be closing the ride we decided to end our day on a high note, swiftly making our way through the rain, out of the now-deserted park and into the parking lot.
Through the trees just beyond the picnic groves - just barely audible over the sound of the rain hitting the ground - we could make out the sound of a few fellow maniacs, still riding Nitro in the rain.
Thanks for reading!