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As i was boarding the El Toro train i was really scared. I love intense rides but im always scared. Anyway we leave the station and speed up the lift hill. My cousin thought it felt like a launch it was so fast. The height was amazing for a woody but i just look at kingda ka and its nothin. the drop - OMFG! the most intense drop ive ever rode and i have been on kingda ka! you can reall feel the 76 degree drop. i kept my hands up the hole time(except when i was under supports it felt like i would hit them). so were flyin up and down and up and down with unbelievable airtime(almost as much as nitro). so then we are behind rollingthunder and there is a drop the size of rolling thunder that is totally hiddenwith great air time(everyone screams there). so the drops stop there but not the thrills - then there are higly banked turns twisting and turning into the breaks. everyone claps. you conquered the bull. :-D
El Toro, or The Bull...you know its just such a fitting name; very simple yet it describes this ride with incredible accuracy. This Intimin coaster is pretty unorthodox compared to other woodies, it has a fast lift, absolutely no roughness at all, and extremely hard turns that made the image of the Crystal Beach Cyclone pop into my head. When walking to El Toros entrance, you cannot help but to look at the first drop which faces the path head on, it just looks like a giant wall with a coaster track trailing down the side. My first ride on El Toro was good, I sat in the second to last car. My second ride was absolutely the best ever...I sat in the back seat of course. After speeding up the hill, you make a quick turn and immediately drop down a horribly steep and very tall (for a woodie) drop. In the back you are flung from the seat with great force, its not until the bottom that you actually meet the seat again. The train zips under a very low clearance at the bottom and up a camelback where once again you are ejected from your little seat. Up another camelback, more air, and then you come to a turnaround where the train careens sideways down a swooping curve, my cousin claimed that my raised hands came very close to the side, I beleive him. Next is a little bunny hop which provides a bit of air, around a curve, up a hill, and then you drop down a decent sized hill that absolutely TEARS you from the seat. After seeing the mechanical bull in action at a place near me called Colorado Cafe and after seeing many a bull riding competitions on TV, I can completely see that drop as being the bull rearing back and chucking its lowly rider off. Next came 3 rapid fire turns which also reminded me of a nice bouncer named "Angry Mike" at Colorado Cafe manning the controls of the mechanical bull trying desperately to shake the rider off. The turns are the second best part of the ride if you ask me, and in the back seat you really slam into them. Next you come up over a small hill and coast into the brakes. El Toro is a very vicious coaster for all riders but the backseaters must be the bulls mortal enemy or something. Those people waiting for the front seat are kidding themselves, the back seat IS the seat to be in. I will never ride anywhere else again actually. I havent been on many airtime riddled coasters, but I cant imagine airtime gets any more extreme than on this coaster. I have to give SF credit for this one! Even though when I went on they ran the ride with one train and loaded slowly while everyone waited in a some 1 hour and 10 minute line in the 100 degree heat with only a few areas of shade. Ill save that rant for a trip report though. El Toro gets the numero uno spot on my top 10 list. Again, I feel like a shill giving this ride the top spot but this one is for real. I must have just been up in the moment on Kingda Ka or something because this ride really does supplant Kingda Ka (my previous favorite) in many ways. El Toro has definately impacted the way I will view coasters in the future; it was just the best experience I have ever had on any coaster in my life.
Wow! This is by far my favorite roller coaster i have ever been on. It is just sooo much fun. I laugh the entire time. Sitting in the back is just amazing. The first drop is insane...But my favorite is right before the "twister finale" the sudden drop that catches you off guard and accelerates so quickly. The sharp turns back and forth at the end are soo much fun. The ride so sosoo smooth...I love also how it pulls up up the lift soo quickly. The Ride is just relentless the entire way through. I usually do not like wooden roller coasters all that much, but this one is just amazing. So fast. So much airtime. So smooth. So steep. So much fun. What more can you ask for?
Unbelievable! It was so much better than I had hoped/heard about! It was really smooth and long which was an extra plus. The 1st drop is.....: o! Amazing is the only way to put it!
When I first saw El Toro from the chairlift, it seriously looked like a mirage. The structure is absolutely beautiful and that ultra-steep drop and airtime hills just look too good to be true. The entire ride almost looks fake- thankfully, it isnt. LOL
The theming for this ride is probably the best in the park- granted, that isnt really saying a whole lot, but it really is nice. Theres a statue of a bull that sort of serves as the mascot for the ride, some retro-looking Spanish posters, sand and desert flowers, and an overall Spanish flair to the ride. Even the seat belt sort of looks like a bull, although I doubt that was intentional.
The cars are extremely confining and the lap bar is as tight as it can possibly be. However, this is a good thing- if the restraints were any looser, I cant even imagine how much youd be whipped around. The lapbar sort of reminds me of Nitros restraints- of course, theyre obviously very different, but theyre similar in the sense that you can put your arms up the whole ride without worrying about being whipped around or anything.
Now for the actual ride. The cable lift is really exciting, almost comparable to a launch as others have said. The first drop is pure insanity- the train honestly feels like its tearing into the track! The next two hills offer THE MOST insane, gravity-defying ejector air ever- you wont even understand what Im talking about til you ride it. Im a little hazy as to exactly what order the next few elements are in, but anyway- the headchoppers are awesome- Im pretty short, but even I felt like I had to dodge them. The airtime hill by Rolling Thunder was absolutely fantastic, and really takes you by surprise. My 10-year-old brother, whos only been on 5 or so coasters, actually pointed to that hill when we got off the ride and said it was his favorite part. The twister section towards the end of the ride is unlike anything Ive ever been on before and is probably why they named the ride "El Toro"- its probably the closest you could get to riding a real bull.
The whole ride experience is silky-smooth, yet highly intense. There are no brakes in the middle, so the ride never really slows down.
If there were only one word to describe El Toro, it would be "flawless". I dont care if you live on the other side of the world: Get to Great Adventure RIGHT NOW to ride this thing! You havent lived until you do.
A ride on El Toro cannot fully be translated into words...rather it is a fiery torrent of violent, raw emotion and unbridled insanity that simply cannot be found on any other ride. I have yet to discover the level of intensity that is maintained during the entire duration of El Toro on any other ride, and after three of the very finest roller coaster experiences I have ever had the privilege to enjoy on this monstrosity, I doubt I will anytime soon. Monolithic and inspiring, El Toro has easily taken the crown from Apollo’s Chariot as my #1 roller coaster. Now without further adieu, I will venture to explain the intangible yet life-changing experiences I had on El Toro:
When I first arrived at Six Flags Great Adventure, my eyes instantly locked with El Toro’s beautifully elegant structure among the park’s tangled skyline of steel. And at that very moment, a feeling awoke in the back of my head: could this ride possibly dethrone Apollo’s Chariot? Few rides can boast of the visual and spiritual presence that El Toro demands, even standing in the shadow of the world’s tallest, fastest coaster! However, I knew something was wrong from the start. Every other coaster was testing, while El Toro had yet to have a test train run along that oh-so-attractive course. I did not give up hope, however. I am a strong believer in fate, and I somehow sensed that this would be a day to remember indeed. So we entered the park and hit Kingda Krap, watching the Bull’s desolate lift hill through the trees, watching…waiting…still nothing. After KK, we headed to GASM…still no sign of life on El Toro. We then entered the hellhole that was Superman: Ultimate Flight’s queue. For two long painful hours, we suffered under the blistering heat, always keeping our heads turned towards the mountain of wood waiting for a test run…still silence. Then, just before hopping in Superman’s seat, I caught a glimpse of El Toro racing up the lift hill. They had it testing…hope was restored! After Superman, we obviously headed straight for El Toro looming in the distance.
When we arrived at the ride’s plaza, a line had already begun to form. After a few test runs filled with employees, it was evident that the ride would open momentarily, and after about 15 minutes, we were being stapled into our seats. While the stapling is extremely vigorous as others have stated before, it did not at all detract from the ride experience. The cold truth is…it is ridiculously necessary on this ride. Without stapling the restraints, you would surely be catapulted at some point on this ride. The airtime is just that demonic in nature. Enough said.
A few moments later, we were rolling out of the station and speeding up the cable-lift. Now I have read reviews praising the speed of this lift, but no review prepared me for this thing. I even noted that the lift hill on El Toro was more of a “launch” than Turd Coaster’s sorry piece of crap launch LOL The ride then levels off and rounds a left bend. In the back car, you are flung down the first drop before you are even finished rounding this turn, adding to the thrill of the maniacal airtime you experience all the way down the initial record-breaking plunge. Pulling out of the first drop and ducking under some fantastic head-choppers, you are then thrust upwards towards the sky, the sound of the upstops being devilishly slammed against the bottom of the track ringing in your ears as you are once again weightless for precious seconds of utter perfection. The second drop is followed immediately by a nearly identical hill, with the same sinister yet awe-inspiring airtime in seemingly unending abundance. El Toro than tears through the turn-around, which offers some horrifically terrifying yet fantastic head-chopping moments with the handrails. The sheer brutality of this initial series of drops is simply unmatched in my mind. It is by far the most intense first portion of a ride I
In an attempt to post original reviews on the various sites that I am on, I decided to wait a little bit before posting something here. However, after riding this thing for the first time about 3 weeks ago and not reviewing it here, I feel it would be keen of me to contribute something, so I will have to post an already used review. Here it is...
I had known about this ride since back in May of 2005 on Kingda Ka Media Day when a "little birdie" whispered into the ears of Joe and I that the park was planning on putting in an Intamin Plug n Play woodie for the upcoming season. I was intrigued by the idea of it, even without any kind of specifics. However, I knew that it was going to be something really special. Now I know the word special is an understatement.
The reason I had bought a Six Flags season pass for the 2005 season was to get on Kingda Ka and experience a new and improved Great Adventure - a place I had a couple of bad experiences at in the past and vowed to never attend again. I watched Kingda Ka grow and I was more than excited for it. I thought it would be hard to find something that would be more interesting for me to watch and have a great amount of anticipation for. Then came El Toro.
All of the news came spilling out about this coaster, it is was mesmerizing to say the least. Even with the big announcement of The Voyage at Holiday World earlier in the year, it did not take away from the magnitude of what was and is El Toro. I had waited so long and finally it was time for me to ride.
In my first walk to the station, I had bad flashbacks of Viper. Once I got over those, it was nothing but excitement.
The station is very nicely refurbished and fits the theme of the ride perfectly. There are still some odds and ends that need to be worked, but it is still early. Once all of the trees and flowers grow and bloom, it will be a very well themed and beautiful area.
The structure of the ride is amazing. It truly is a beautiful ride to look at. The coaster is a welcome addition for sure in terms of the skyline and looks fabulous from across the lake.
The trains look very nice and I especially like the bull sticking out on the front. The trains are long and hold 36 people, which is great because Great Adventure needs more rides with great capacity.
The ride starts right at the lift. The cable lift is very fast. I have to say that this lift is the first time that I have ever felt Gs on a lift. It literally is a ride in itself.
At the top of the lift is a turnaround that is taken at a high rate of speed, and then comes that steepest drop of any wooden coaster in the world. The drop is great and over before it starts. I do have to say that it is not my favorite wooden coaster drop - it is beaten by J2 at Clementon, and actually by a long shot. The drop on El Toro has good air, but nothing compared to the J2 drop in my opinion. The air is not completely sustained throughout the entire plunge and feels like it levels out really early. However, it is still great.
Then come the hills. These are not just any hills, but are potential killer hills. These are the reasons why riders get stapled into their seats in the station. I was a little skeptical at first about the air on the ride, but once you hit that first airtime hill you will know too. This is not airtime by definition. There should be a new classification for airtime just because of this ride. 1. Floater 2. Ejector 3. Pick your butt out of the seat and hold you there airtime (aka El Toro Air). On the second airtime hill I actually counted to about 3 1/4 Mississippi starting from the time that I was lifted out of my seat and then placed back into it, and I count a pretty slow Mississippi. Lets just put it like this - out of the seat half way up the hill and not back into the seat until the very bottom while hanging out of the car and practically standing up at the climax inbetween.
The turnaround is<
The year 2006 has brought us several new wooden coasters, and of great variety. A GCII twister in rural Kentucky; a kiddie coaster in Wisconsin; a gargantuan hybrid in Indiana; the rejuevenation of a classic in the hills of PA; Europes first GCII; and finally, Americas first Intamin, Pre-Fabricated wooden coaster. Some critics say it is not a true woodie, and the basis of which is unclear. The structure is entirely wooden - something the "granddaddy" of wooden coasters, the Coney Cyclone, cannot claim (nor can that new one in Indiana
). The ride does indeed remind me more of a hypercoaster in terms of the ride delivered, but is even better than any hypercoaster I have been on. However, thats not the qualification standard of a wooden coaster... but I shall digress.
El Toro is also a massive structure of a ride - standing nearly 200 feet tall and sporting a clean, natural look, it is one of the most beautiful roller coasters I have ever since. The structure is thick -- reinforcements on the ride are utterly rediculous. The trains are pretty comfortable, even with a nice staple job, it doesnt leave me struggling for air or legroom like the Intamin hypers do.
Once you depart from the poorly-designed station, you notice that this will be unlike any wooden coaster ever seen in these United States. The ride is smooth, smoother than most coasters and significantly smoother than even the best of GCII. Once you engage the lift, the train takes off. This, to me, is simply unreal. On the steel-tracked hypers I can understand, but something about being on wood makes it unnatural... and just awesome. Once at the top, you slow down a bit as the train has to navigate a turn first, and then you hit the first drop.
The initial plunge is steep, very steep. The steepest of wooden drops out there, it delivers an ass-out-of-your-seat "moment" that is hard to match, certainly more forceful than most first drops produce (if not all that I have done so far). Up the huge second hill you go, and the train flies over the top, propelling the riders out of their seat once again for an unimaginable duration of ejector airtime. Its forceful stuff, a pinned against the lapbar sort of feelings. The third hill is much the same, and then you make your way to the turnaround. The banked turn-n-dive is great to ride and a beauty to look at.
Going "back", there are a couple of good hills to deliver some more air. Not quite as forceful as the initial series, but still far above average for coasters. Then a quick turn to the left and the first-time rider is left emitting an exuberant sound that is probably just as hard to describe as the sensation itself is. The hill is probably the most insane airtime hill I have ever experienced, the negative Gs are just incredible.
Continuing on, the following section is anti-climatic. The twister section is still has some of the best out-of-control execution available on a coaster, but just pales in comparion to the superb first half. Lots of wild laterals, visuals and even a couple more pops of air.
Overall, I could ride this thing all day. It is truely a new sensation that just slaughters the overwhelming majority of existing roller coasters, at least in my mind. Please, someone, build more of these over here!
muchachitos y muchachitas, este toro tiene cajones grande! i say this both literally and figuratively. the literal version of that phrase refers to senor bulls "huevos", which are in plain view for everyone to see on the bovine statue when they enter the queue. this well endowed bovine also asserts his "sabor picante" by being flanked by hundreds of beautiful little live chile pepper plants kneeling down in the fresh mulch along the gigantic wooden structure. the figurative version of the phrase refers to my impression that el toro the ride himself had some big ones too, and he showed some steam-snorting, nimble, wild-bucking and ingenious character for a brand spanky new ride, and i cant recall anytime in my life when a spanky new ride made such a hit with me. this big honkin timber sonovabi*ch is ready to kick up some dirt, jump the fence and charge at you in order to blow (or gore) your mind. its amazing that the mega-corporation that owns this park actually OKed opening an all wood roller coaster that genuinely kicks mean snarling ass instead of one of those "family-friendly" steel coasters ive heard about popping up around the country over the last season or two. imagine, if you will, a ride on a classic roadhouse mechanical bull set to "high speed" (i.e. "urban cowboy"
,only in this case you are stapled onto it with a u-bar, thus glued down while moving through one convulsion after the next. thats pretty much what it feels like on el toro, the only differences being youre screaming at 70mph and occasionally shoved face first down into a maze of precarious, twisting planks. many reviews have given the blow by blow of the breathless economics of the brief layout, so instead id like to delve deeper into the overall experience and philosophical ramifications of this fascinating ride. first, im going to borrow an idea from michael moore of all people. there was a chapter title in one of his books - something like, "bill clinton, the best republican president of the last quarter century". so MY version of that idea is - "el toro, the best steel coaster in america." yes, it is entirely constructed from gorgeous timbers. yes indeed its track, though prefabricated overseas, is entirely wooden. but when you put poly-urethane wheels instead of metal ones down onto that funky extra wide steel top-rail, you basically get the same wheel/track marriage as a steelie. its smooth and buttery like a steelie. but the fact that el toro glides like a steelie isnt the big issue in my mind. the big issue is this - where are the steel coasters that have the ridiculous ejection moments, violent banking, and punishing positive g-forces of el toro? why did intamin make their most extreme "hypercoaster" to date out of timber? im not entirely sure, and im certainly not complaining, but i think im beginning to get some interesting ideas about it. i think the wood track and structure threaded with the fancy new train concept and rubber wheels open a new and exciting dimension. its like a new improved "warmer" version of the steel hypercoaster. the wooden structure and track are naturally going to breathe and sway with the wailing trains and changing atmospheres in a way steel doesnt. thus the softer more "organic" qualities that myself and so many others love about wooden coasters are not undermined on el toro, in spite of the obvious technology involved in creating, building and running the ride. the death rattles and herky-jerks of classic wood rides are not present, that is certain, but this new style is bringing the wood genre up-to date with the size, speed and smoothness expecations required for mass-consumption nowadays. i personally like the warmer "feel" of el toro much more than the other very large "airtime" oriented coaster in the park, which happens to be made of steel, and its fantastic to think that el toro is in the same speed and height class as that other one, yet its<
El Toro- The queue:
Queue started right between first and 2nd set of switchbacks. 10min later it would be out of entrance. The queue for the ride is nice. It has a beach feel to it, with sand, those posters on fence, and of course the ride going right over the queue. The queue is basically 2 switchbacks, and at the end of the 2nd they stop you, and let about a trainload into the station at a time as station is fairly small width wise. It gets HOT in the queue as ther eisnt much shading and no misters. Anyway, while waiting there was a DJ playing decent music, and there was the SF party patrol, which were pretty funny and entertaining. After about 45min wait, we were going up the stairs to the station. The station is MUCH nicer than when it was Vipers station. It is VERY long and cleaned up from its past, along with fans that really cool you down. We went to 2nd to last row, and waited a train to get on....
El Toro- The Ride....Ole!
After an hour wait in total, we were finally on the ride. The trains themselves are very nicely detailed, with the bull head on front car, and some nice touches to sides of trains. The wings themselves arent as bad as I thought, and are between shoulder/elbow. It is more of an armrest then anything else. The lap bars are different than the T-bars....a little bulkier, and fit much better to your body....it fit perfectly with hips/thighs. Anyway, i buckle seatbelt, move up in seat an inch, they staple me with lap bar (not as bad as people say, though), then i move back the inch so I got a tiny bit of space and am comfy. All clear, and we make the 180 degree left turn out of the station. The cars in front of us start to rise upward, and soon we do, too. Click....click....BAM! Once back car is on incline, the train rises upward SO fast!!! It felt much faster than MFs lift. When we were at bottom of lift, Medusa was at middle of lift. When we were at top, the Medusa train was just dropping! Once we get up to top, we make the 180 degree left turn into what is, IMO, the 2nd best drop in the world. Hands up! The first quarter of it is floater, and then it just throws you out of your seat, even if you are stapled. It is pure insanity, and just a taste of things to come. The pullout is very intense with a nice headchopper. We then ride upwards yet again into the first camelback. I cannot speak for front rows, but in back row the pullin to the apex of the camelback is on the line of floater and ejector, while the pullout of the apex is INSANE ejector airtime!! You are literally tossed out of your seat for a good 5-6 seconds throughout the whole hill. Next hill is exactly the same, and for a reference of how good it is think S:RoS at SFNEs 3rd camelback, but even more sutained and at bigger height. And at bottom of the hill are even more great headchoppers. Next up is the turnaround. I was sitting on right side, so the railings and catwalk were both sort of head/side choppers, and very cool effect. The turnaround is extremely fast, very smooth, and the positive and lateral Gs are fantastic. Next up is a tall, curving hill into straight drop, which is also fairly intense with some great floater airtime on drop portion. Next up is the small bunny hop, which also gives great floater airtime. The 2nd half of the bunny hop is engulfed in heachoppers. Next is a sharp left hand turn, which throws you to side of trains, and with an insanely close heachopper midway through it. Next is the infamous hill over RT. The airtime on this is insane, and one of best airtime moments I have ever experienced in terms of intensity. The pulout of the hill is interesting, as it is sharp and with the airtime makes you sort of pushed forward. Next is the twister section, which is FULL of heavy lats and positive Gs. I cant even really remember it, it was just a blur. Next is the first S-curve, which gives some borderline ejctor in back seat, and 2nd which is gentle, then brakes....
El Toro- The review:
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