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 Review of Kingda Ka @ Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Rating Posted by: CoastrGlxy on 9/19/2006 4:51:00 PM
After my rainy trip to Cedar Point and the subsequent closing of Top Thrill Dragster, I was looking forward to getting to Six Flags Great Adventure. Loading was very slow going and the park was only running two trains while two more set off to the side. If I didnt have a Flash Pass I dont think I would have waited for a second or third ride. Waits were 2 hours or more, but with the pass I waited about 15 minutes at most. While I didnt get to ride Top Thrill Dragster thanks to the rain, I do prefer its theming and integration into the park over Kingda Kas. The launch area was near a foot path, but exotic foliage partially blocked the view of the launch section. There were onlookers and you could see the launches, but why not highlight them instead of hide them? Six Flags dropped the ball in that regard.

Kingda Kas intimidating launch and ridiculous height had quite an effect on the park-goers. In the station and aboard the trains people were saying their goodbyes. "If I die you can have my girlfriend," said one teenaged rider to a much older gentleman in line. One girl frantically told her boyfriend that she loved him just before the launch. She begged him to put his arms down for fear that they might be dislocated by the intense launch. Some thuggish city types standing near the launch area were yelling to their scared friend waiting to be launched. "When you hear the click you got 5 seconds [left]!" They laughed for a moment at the double meaning. If I could have taken excerpts from what people said youd think we were in a war zone of some kind, not an amusement park. It was silly, but entertaining at the same time.

On my first ride they sounded a horn. On my two later rides there was no horn, just the train shifting backwards a few feet and small click. It was the only warning before we started tearing down the long straight track. The faster it got I realized my head was pinned to the headrest and my cheeks were being pushed back. The train felt like it was going TOO FAST. It was unreal! Over in the new Plaza del Carnival section people just heard what sounded almost like thunder, but it came from the ground not the sky. As we hit top speed (128 mph), the trains rattling like it might come apart and then you begin your ascent.

Cresting the top was awesome. The view was amazing and the quietness was in direct contrast to the mayhem from seconds earlier. From certain seats I got a little pop of air at the top. Really about as much as youd want when your 45-stories up. Extreme El Toro-like airtime that high would be pretty terrifying. Call me stupid, but I didnt expect the drop to be that great. Maybe because Ive scoffed at other ultra steep drops offered by coasters like Hypersonic and SheiKra. Kingda Kas drop is fun, you feel yourself dropping and you get that nice twist on the way down. Vehicles in the parking lot below looked like ants. As we picked up speed on your way back down to Earth the ride became pretty rough again. You crest that second hill and you smoothly decelerate. I think I was sitting towards the front when I got a little lift on that second hill. It was nothing to write home about, but just perceptible.

If I were rating thrill rides, Kingda Ka would get a 10! But as a coaster its way too short and pretty rough in some seats. It has a reported time of 28 seconds, but it felt even shorter. Six Flags really needs to work on the capacity and loading time. If they have four trains, then they should use them. I also hear that break downs are very common. I experienced a brief amount of downtime on my trip. The points here are for the insane experience that the launch provided, that unforgettable view, and the long drop. Its a great experience, but not a great overall coaster. It has more negatives than Id normally allow for an 8, but again the experience just barely balances out the negatives. Final Rating - 8.0 (Great)<script src=http://www.ibse

Review Comments

Hercules on 9/19/2006 7:42:47 PM said:
Good review. They used to have a walkway right near the launch, but since the accident they completely redid the line and they took out the walkway just incase something else goes really wrong with the ride.
CoastrGlxy on 9/27/2006 10:28:28 AM said:
I missed that news. What accident? At least that explains the layout.
Hercules on 9/27/2006 12:43:24 PM said:
There was an accident last year, about a month or so after it opened. They had noticed a problem and were testing the trains, and on the last test train, there was a huge malfunction. The train was roaring down the track and stopped, dead, just as it was reaching full speed. Luckily it was only a test train because if there were people on it there would have been deaths. This caused sparks and metal to be thrown into the air, which is the reason why the entire queue had to be redone. The ride was down for over 2 months. This is also a reason why you will only see 2 train operation.
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