So it was memorial day weekend, and all the “Bennies” (that’s what ‘we’ in NJ call tourists, especially from the NY area), were blocking up all the roads, and the beaches/boardwalks were packed. So we took a chance, and headed to SixFlags Great Adventure.
As I’ve stated before, we are only about 25 miles away, and it’s a fairly straight drive down 195. The weather was nice, maybe just a bit on the cool side, but that didn’t stop anyone’s fun.
The lines were packed as usual, and the “Ride Information Center” was actually longer than I’ve ever seen it before, so we forgo getting the NinjaBaby’s disability access pass at the beginning and went for food.
We opted for something more simple than one of the usual restaurants we hit, and had fully loaded Hotdogs (well A and I did) while the NinjaBaby had what seemed to be the world largest/longest Corn Dog. It was good food, and tasted of quality actually and not over-processed crap which set us on a good path for the rest of the day.
I sent the Ninja and A off to ride some rides in one of the Kiddie Areas while I back-tracked to the flash-pass office for our Diamond Elite “skip the line” passes. When I got there I noticed the skip-the-line passes had their own outside cart/kiosk which was actually faster than the full flash pass line where we would normally have to wait to get them so thats where I went.
Now this was the first weird part of the day. When I made it to the front of the line, the attendant said that they weren’t supposed to scan phones there, but he gave it a try. When he did and went through the whole process for all 3 passes with 2 skip the lines each (1 for the Safari, and 1 for Justice League: Battle for Metropolis) it apparently screwed something up in the system, and he hit the “pay cash” button and just signed off on our passes. I hope it didn’t cause issues for anyone behind me, but this is really a problem they need to figure out. Since I can have Mine, A’s and the Ninja’s passes on my one phone, it makes it immensely easier for me to use that for DiningPlan and stuff like this where everyone doesn’t need to be with me, and honestly, it works everywhere else in the park.
Once I caught back up with A and the little ninja, and bathroom breaks were taken care of, we headed straight for our usual go-to ride. The Safari Off-Road Adventure.
Now to say we ride this a lot, is an understatement. In fair weather we ride it almost every visit. More than 10 times per season each year, and every time we find out something new, something interesting, or get to look at new babies. We even found out about what appears to have been a loosely guarded secret when someone pointed out a baby giraffe back in one of the animal care areas, and our guide promptly stated “what giraffe, I see no giraffe and I have no clue what you are talking about”, and proceeded to move on with the tour. It was said with a smile and a smirk, and not in a rude manor but I definitely got the feeling it was something she wasn’t supposed to talk about.
One thing we haven’t done in a while, but did on this trip, was get off at Camp Adventura Outpost- Now it’s an interesting place, and they do giraffe feedings once an hour and you can feed the giraffe. With New Jersey being a “no touch” state, this is the only time you can be touched by an animal without being escorted by one of the wardens in a private tour.
If you caught that little change, it was intentional. You cant touch/pet any of the animals, but if you are feeding the giraffes, they will most likely touch you, with at the very least their 17-20 inch tongues.
After we took some time to cool down, enjoy the little park-like-area, look at the animals on display and enjoy some Dippin’ Dots at Camp Adventura, we got back in line to resume our ride. Thankfully it only took 3 trucks to find room for us to get back on (remember, Adventura is the half-way of the safari, and a mini-island in the safari lands, so without finishing the 2nd half of the safari there is no way back to your car/the theme park).
We had a different guide for this part, and she was great and very bold in what she spoke about. She talked about how dumb the Emu were, especially when we saw one charge a Lion’s cage, in what appeared to be a mating dance, and when we saw two bear siblings, engaging in after-hours type activities.
After our ride through the Safari, we made our way to the Ride Information building. The line was non-existant at this point, and while I knew we were likely to hit mostly kiddie rides from this point, and didn’t need the Ninja’s disability pass, I picked it up just in case, and did the more important thing. I got him measured.
Now at most parks, getting him pre-measured is one of the first things we do. Not only because the poles/sticks/signs can vary over time, and aren’t often re-calibrated, but because it allows us to know what to steer the Ninja towards and away from, so that we can have a fairly copacetic day.
So after ride information, we went to Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, which is quickly becoming the Ninja’s favorite ride. There was a comic-fest (Garden State Comic Fest) happening but I didn’t grab any pictures as A had to stop and rest on our way to the ride, and I left the camera with her.
After defeating the Joker and helping the Justice League, we met back up with A and wandered over to Granny’s for dinner. While our favorite “bowl of comfort” is gone, the food here is still decent. However they seemed to not be able to produce the Fried Chicken fast enough to appease the requests of the crowd. Both lines were open and packed to capacity, and after we grabbed our food, I actually ran into an issue using Samsung Pay for the portion of our food we needed to pay for.
I don’t often carry cards into parks, as they are easy to loose, and can be exploited fast in a park like that, so Samsung Pay is definitely my friend. SixFlags doesn’t accept Apple Pay or Samsung Pay or anything like that at most locations so thankfully my phone has an MST which works with nearly any card-swipe credit terminal. Now at SixFlags this time, instead of putting my phone up on top next to the car swipe, I had to hold it on the side. It unfortunately took 3 tries for the charge to go through, so I’m sorry to anyone behind me. I’m sorry for causing an extra traffic jam!
After Dinner it was off to Looney Tune’s Seaport and the “big big big swings” (no, not the sky screamer), which the Ninja insisted on riding 3 times, before moving on to the Jumping Joey and then the balloon’s over by that.
While our Ninja was enjoying several go-rounds on the Sky Zooma, I took a look at the spot where the “Safari Tours” kiddie ride used to be at the “Safari Kids Area” in SixFlags. I say used to be because while parts of the ride (like the line building, and the transformers) still exist. All the ride vehicles and the track are completely missing.
Now according to the person/people that run GreatAdventureHistory.Com this ride was originally installed as Taz’s Seaport Trucking Company, it was later re-themed during a “wiggles” re-theeming to be Big Red Cars in a change-up where they actually changed out the ride-vehicles and ultimately was re-painted and a few animal cutouts were added to make it “Safari Tours”. In memory of “Safari Tours” as we knew it, here are a few pictures we have of the ride in operation.
So after we got done in the “Safari Kids Area” we headed out of the park. We had plans to grab some ice-cream but as our Ninja was starting to get tired, and a little bit cranky, we opted to stop @ Wawa on the way home. However that being said our little Ninja fell asleep on the way home and we skipped Wawa, but we made it up, with Smoothies from Wawa on Sunday Morning.
And just to round this out, here are a few other images I captured on this visit, that I didn’t manage to feature in this blog 🙂