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This is the absolute greatest ride ever created. I haven't been on much, but this beats anything I've ever ridden in my life.
First of all, deciding where to sit on the ride really affects your ride. There's never a line for the back, so the first time I rode it I went there. There is a HUGE difference between the front and back because the train is so long.
The chain lift is nice and fast, not making much noise and is very smooth. Actually, the whole ride is insanely smooth. The train turns at the top of the lift and as the front hangs over the top of the first drop, the back starts picking up speed while still on the turn. It RIPS you out of your seat the whole way down the first drop. By fat the most insane first drop on anything. The two airtime hills following the first drop giving off an incredible and fierce amount of airtime. The reason is because the train is going really fast over the hills. Then the turnaround comes and gives off a very strong amount of g's. The next hills are fun, then the best part besides the first drop comes.
The train crosses over the bottom of the first drop and into a small hill at a very fast speed. This gives off the most INTENSE and INSANE amount of airtime on any ride. Everyone on the car screams on this little hill thinking they are gonna fly off. The awesome turns come and two more small airtime hills come and the ride is over.
The train goes very fast the whole ride, even at the end. It seems like the ride never slows down. The only flaw is that it's over in just over a minute and some seconds. I recommend NOT sitting in the front, it's less thrilling than the back. I will always sit in the back from now on.
After about a good 6-7 years, I finally made my way back to Six Flags in 2006 when this ride was just about to open, however it wasn't quite open yet. They were still dummy-testing. I wasn't bothered because I was thinking that Kingda Ka would be all I needed. Boy would I soon learn that'd be wrong. I finally got to ride it in '07, but it was in the middle of the train. I thought it was fabulous then, but I finally got back to SFGA this weekend and let me say, it's more incredible that I thought. We waited a bit longer to ride it in the front and it definitely didn't disappoint. On the first drop, it is so steep that you can't even see the end of the track until you're right up on it! It was so exciting. This ride maintains top speed all the way through, with unsuspected twists and turns to boot. The airtime is amazing too. Furthermore, the name is completely perfect because you literally feel like you are on a bull and towards the end you experience these S-twists that make it feel like the bullfighter is furiously whipping his flag from right to left to right. It is relentless to the end!
The park was not that crowded so we got to ride it 3 times! The first time was in the front, but the other two were in the back. The back is even BETTER. You can feel the pull there like no other part of the train. It also felt faster for me. That's how you can tell you have yourself a true roller coaster. It just gets BETTER the more times you ride it! Kingda Ka is great. Nitro is awesome and it was my fave...until this. Definitely my favorite ride ever and I can't wait to ride it again next season. I still merely WATCH the ride in awe. I love its unique sound as it whizzes past. I love seeing the excited or terrified faces of the riders going by as I wait my turn in line. An angry bull indeed.
The structure of the coaster is also amazing. I just watch in awe the beauty of its architecture. The steep climb and even steeper drop are intimidating. Any adrenaline junky would get their fix here at a level even Kingda Ka can't provide. The sheer consistency of its speed and power sets it apart from the rest. Intamin knows how to make a coaster!! It's to the point now where I feel like if Kingda Ka were broken for a extended period of time, I'd still go to the park. However if El Toro were to be broken down, I'd hold off until it was running again. Get your butt to Jersey as soon as you can to experience this magnificent ride! To be honest, this is the best Six Flags on the east coast to me anyway, so it's worth it for the overall experience.
On my trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, the ride I most anticipated was the number one wooden roller coaster in the world, and the best rated coaster on this site. El Toro. After riding several coasters at the park today I couldn't wait any longer to ride this much hyped Intamin Masterpiece. I had heard for so long of El Toro's insane drop and incredible airtime but couldn't imagine what it would throw at me. Luckily today was a beautiful and hot day, with short lineups, which meant we waited a total of about 20 minutes for 2 rides on Toro.
As we boarded the train in the very back my heart pumped wildly. I was very nervous to see what this bull would do to buck me off. As we left the station and turned to the left I looked up the massive 181 foot lift. We then engaged the cable lift and were pulled up the hill at extreme speeds. This lift may even be faster than Millenium Force, which is quite unnerving on a wooden coaster. You then slow slightly at the top of the lift and turn to the left once again. Since we sat in the back of the train the drop starts before you even exit the turn. The train pulls you over the steep cliff like drop and rips you out of the sky with incredible force. You are absolutely pinned to the restraints until the bottom of the drop. After this insane drop the bull sucks you back into your seats. The head choppers at the base of the drop are a great effect as well, and I had to put my hands down for fear of losing them altogether. The coaster then takes another trip skyward this time once again hurling you out of your seats and into the restraints. The airtime on this coaster is just unmatchable. Since the train is so long by the time the back of the rain is at the apex of the hill the front is nearing the bottom, and because of this every drop is filled with airtime as well, because the back of the train is travelling at such highspeeds. The Coaster then takes you over another insanely wild airtime filled hilled, and then into a hill that leads into banked downward sloping hill to the right. This turn packs some crazy vertical G's and is banked quite high. The turn then travels to the left and crosses over the bottom of the last hill. El toro then takes you down another airtime filled drop and over another airtime hill. This hill is a tad bit tamer than the rest, but still packs some great floater air. Toro than travels over another hill and into a steeply banked turn to the left that has some great headchoppers on it. Then the coaster flys up into the air and over the MOST INTENSE moment of airtime you could ever imagine. Being in the back of the train the front starts accelerating on the drop and the back speeds up so quickly the train is ripped over the hill and your body is thrown into the sky and the force of the intense negative G`s almost becomes too much by the time you hit the bottom. And the bull doesn`t want to let up anytime soon. The coaster then travels through a series of banked turns similar to those on Maverick. Your thrown the side like a rag doll, twisting this way and that, and then over two more twisted airtime hills until Toro finally lets up.
Overall the coaster is too much for words. You can`t imagine it till you experience it. As soon as it hit the brakes it became my Number 1 roller coaster.
This roller coaster just blew me away. From the moment we hit the lift hill (yes, the lift hill) to the moment where the ending brakes put the beast to a final stop, I was in complete awe. This ride is like nothing you've ever seen before.
If you've already read TheCoasterCritic's review on El Toro, you can see that he made out a really good point! Basically, he says that the reason why people are so excited and awe-struck, but still unabused and happy when they hit the brakes, in a way you can't observe people act on other coasters, is that they are not used to riding something so thrilling and comfortable.
At first I was hyper-nervous. I was expecting this ride to beat me up and strike me nuts. The trains are very comfortable and opened-up and truly look and feel awesome. Their look really enhances the beauthiful theming of the coaster, which itself truly adds to the athmosphere, thus to the ride experience significantly.
The lift hill really didn't quite help me relaxing. It is the fastest I have ever experienced. It pulls you up the ride's extreme heights in absolutely no time, while still being almost completely silent. Very exciting start.
Then, we went through a surprisingly fast left-handed 180 degree turn that freaked me out alot more, due its height and speed and the fact that it goes down directly into the terrifying 75 degree drop.
THIS DROP IS AMAZING!!! The speed at which you take on the plunge, its steepness and the extreme headchoppers and G-forces at the bottom of it make it seem like eternity. It's insane no matter where you're sitting, though even more towards the back, of course!
Two extreme airtime hills follow. Both are taken terribly fast and go back down so steeply that the fierce ejector airtime lasts over 2 seconds each time. This is insanity.
Still at awesome speeds, we rose back up, then down into a turnaround filled with vertical and lateral G-forces and, of course, high speeds.
The way back is probably the weakest part of the ride, and to tell you the truth, it was quite disappointing. The train does a s-turn over the second airtime hill, then drops quite weakly, into a very mild speed hill.
Fortunately, the pace of the ride picks up again when the train enters an ascending razor-sharp curve to the left with surprising speed and headchoppers. And what does this ascention lead into?
The most sudden and powerful ejection you have ever experienced, unless you were smoking crack when you rode. Your upper legs are fiercely (but comfortably) smacked into your lap bar while your hair, shirt and seat belt all rise up skywards together. Even though it should have been just a little bit weaker, this 7th hill is a celebration of airtime.
The first time I rode, this hill felt so powerful I was litterally knocked out for each of the 3 following s-curves. Each time the train banked to a side, my inert body was dangling with it. After those intense curves comes a turnaround with great G-forces, and then some weaker twists and turns (where airtime would've been nice) into the brakes.
When the ride is over, unlike on most rides, you can't immediately turn around and talk about the ride with your friends. First all you can do is breathe, because El Toro is one hell of an intense ride.
More than 3 memorable airtime hills would have been nice, and the straight part after the big turnaround and second half of the twisted ending could've and should've been more thrilling.
But El Toro is absolutely brilliant in every aspect. It has beauthiful landscaping and theming, extreme airtime, relentless high speeds, a next-gen feel and spectacular smoothness, thanks to the prefab track.
Thank you Mr. Stengel for this wonderful creation that emerged from your lovable brain.
This thing just blew my mind when I first rode it. The ejector just.. insane.
Its only shortcoming is the length.. but I think the sheer <3 ejector almost makes up for it.
One amazing ride, filled with air time. This ride has so much air and so much speed. The back seat of this thing is amazing. The steep drops hi speed and the fact of how smooth it is make this a top ten coaster!
I returned to Six Flag Great Adventure after a 10 year hiatus, and I was most looking forward to El Toro over all of the coaster additions since my last visit. To my surprise and delight the crowds for the 2 days I spent at the park were light (at least from what I was previously accustomed to.) Thanks to some strategic and fortunate timing, I waited no more than 15-20 minutes total for the FRONT seat, although the longest wait of the night had nothing to do with standing in line (more on that later.)Over the course of my visit, I rode numerous times in the front and back. I have a little quandary with this ride being a wooden coaster. Intamin has made the smoothest wooden coaster I have ever ridden, but that ride quality has been stated ad nauseam. It IS a wooden coaster, but really too smooth to be classified as a “traditional” experience. “Wooden Hybrid” seems to be the term I would use. The wheels are oversized, run on nylon instead of metal-on-metal, and the track sections are connected with expansion joints. I imagine that the up-stops fit snug under the top-rail, as there is absolutely no “bounce” to the ride, and I do not recall seeing any bare spots on the crest of the hills that so many “traditional” woodies with air have. Not that this ride really gave me an opportunity to study that feature very carefully anyway. El Toro is a name most befitting this ride. It does not take much of an imagination to believe you are riding on the back of a bull that wants to throw you off. Fortunately, you are locked firmly in your seat. Even though this stapling prevents one from experiencing traditional airtime, you and your well-being are better off for it. The airtime (or uplift) is astounding. Certain ride dynamics remind me of Superman: Ride of Steel at SFNE. I would never have previously compared a woodie to a steelie, but as stated above, this is not a traditional wood offering. With no mid-course block brake, El Toro delivers great pacing like S:RoS. I found the front seat was my favorite as the air was superb. The first drop in the back is fantastic, and the s-curves are really wild, but my preference is the air up front. Furthermore, it feels a little flat in the section of track that runs parallel to and then under the “out” leg while in the rear of the train. The best moment of airtime occurs when the ride hops over into the middle of Rolling Thunder, as the top of the hill produces great ejector-air then yanks you down violently and slightly to the left. It really seems as if this bull has had enough and wants you off his back, but there you remain. The S-curves after this seem like his final attempt to dislodge you. They are taken with incredible speed and executed with dexterity. My only real criticism is the aforementioned section running along the out section, and the very end just after the S-curves. I found it a bit underwhelming, considering everything else this ride just threw at you. Anecdotally, my last ride of the last night was in the front seat with my 10 year old son. It was dusk as we ascended the lift, but we began to decelerate and the train stopped about 10 feet from the top. An employee made the climb up the imposing hill and advised us there was a problem with the lift cable. After 15 minutes or so 170 feet up, the ride restarted and by now it was dark. When the cable re-engaged, the train slipped back about 1 or 2 feet before the safety dogs took hold, causing most on the train to scream. I was even a little startled by this, but I thought it made the experience all the more fun. The rest of the ride went off without a hitch, although we had to de-train on the brake run outside the station. Overall, I feel this is the best ride in the park and easily the most fun. El Toro just ekes out a 10. Are there more of these Itamin pre-fabs on the horizon? I hope so, because I can envision these hybrids co-existing with the trads quite nicely.
Best coaster ever! Usually I like steels better, but Intamin really did an incredible job with this. The whole ride is insanely smooth and that first drop was just as good as it looked. All of the hills gave absolutely crazy ejector air and the speed of this ride just blew me away.
Now this is a firm number two for me in my rankings and for good reason. My first Intamin woodie certainly wont be my last. That first drop is just pure insanity and the only thing that even comes close to the Cyclones first drop. I was sent up towards the heavens during that drop and it was only a taste of what was to come. The following hills gave incredible air as well and was just plain relentless. Then right before the helix finale was an absolutely deceptive drop that gave an incredible amount of air time that completely caught me off guard. The ride then finishes it up with a wild series of twists and turns that are taken much faster than I had anticipated. Just an incredible coaster that is the only thing that comes close to the Cyclones intensity.
After traveling four hours, and reaching New Jersey for the first time in my life yesterday morning, the site of this cartoonist thrill ride creation was still stunning to me. As a relatively new enthusiast, this is one of the first coasters I have seen come full circle: I remember the roomers, the construction, the announcement, the delays, the early fan-boy hyping, and the brilliant reviews and rankings pored in shortly thereafter. When I actually came face to face with this ride with a walk-on wait for the second train of the day, I was more than hyped for my first thrill ride of 2008.
Wow, did it deliver! The first drop is without a doubt the greatest first drop I have ever experience-stapled or not stapled, from the back seat to the middle of the train (I never got a front of the train ride). It puts Griffon’s mind-blowing first drop to shame. The forthcoming series of insane camelbacks round out the one of the best first halves of any roller coaster I have been on. The 150-decibel zipper-like noise it makes while the train crests these things is unbelievable. Again, stapled or unstapled, the airtime here is just incredible powerful, and lasts for a good long time.
My only real problems with El Toro were the middle and ending sections. Sure all those ridiculously banked turns at high speeds are pretty great considering the supreme smoothness they are executed at. Sure a few of these turns probably represent some of the most intense moments on any wooden roller coaster around. But my only problem is: If the airtime is so great, why stop it? Perhaps it was because of the tight squeeze it was to create this huge ride in a relatively small area. Perhaps it was because a regular human being may not be able to tolerate many more extreme zero-G moments. Whatever the reason, if El Toro would have continued its mindless assault of airtime hills throughout its course and not focused on twister sections, it had the possibility of dethroning Phoenix as my number one ride. With Phoenix the airtime hills seem endless, and you almost think they go on for too long towards the end. El Toro has the three great airtime hills at the beginning, two turnarounds, one more awesome hill, and another twister section. So, by my count it has four great airtime hills. Although the sensation of air may be a bit better on El Toro, I will take Phoenixs aggressive pursuit of ejectorism by a nose over El Toros four-with-more. Another plus to Phoenix is the restraints. Now I know a modern ride from a company with a bit of an accident problem will never have single position lap bars, but that doesnt mean I cant dream! The fact of the matter is I am actually a foot out of my seat on Phoenix and about an inch out of my seat on the Bull.
I also at least want to mention the themeing. So often, Six Flags has been accused of plopping down wonderful thrill rides with no theme in a generic location. The Plaza de Carnaval section of Great Adventure is really fantastic, as is the theme to El Toro itself. I know that a painted fence, sand, some posters, a bull statue, a themed train, and a nice station are not the most difficult or expensive things to pull off, but man does it just top off the experience so well. Not to mention the entire Plaza de Carnaval area looked, smelled and sounded like a Mexican restaurant. El Toro’s position right by the lake and its interaction with Rolling Thunder really make it feel like the ride belongs where it is, even though it has only been operating for less than two years.
One more thing I want to mention is the lift-hill speed. I know that the cable lift moves very fast, and yesterday it was cranking us 18 stories in the air pretty quickly. However, about 20 feet before the top of the lift, the cable would slow down. I believe this started about half way through Toros second year. I would suppose that being thrown down the first drop with a little more speed would certainly improve t
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