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The Road to 300: Dorney, Knoebels, Hershey, SFGAdv... and Yeungling!


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team

I was recently reflecting in a separate thread on how life has moved on, my coaster enthusiasm, or at least the pace at which I can consume new coaster credits, dramatically decreasing to make room for other hobbies, pursuits, and work. This has especially been the case for those more elusive parks and creds that I never had the chance to visit during one-off CF-Lives or ancillary travel. And so it was that I nabbed some spare vacation days to do a dedicated, five-day run with a best friend to finally visit Six Flags Great Adventure, alongside a few other planned and surprise coaster credits!

Day 1 – The Dorney Dash

Upon landing in Philadelphia and picking up our rental Tesla, we immediately drove up to Dorney Park for 3-4 hours, which I estimated to be the rough amount of time for a proper cred run. It was my friend Kevin’s first time at the park, so I’m curious about his reaction!


Walking into Dorney, you are greeted with a lovely, old-timey carousel. But for the more Cedar Fair astute, this is a quite merry go round from Cedar Point’s Frontier Town, far better than the Cedar Point Main Midway and Kiddie Kingdom Carousels as it sported wider rows and better pageantry. We had to give it a whirl, as the last time Kevin rode it, he would’ve ridden it. He would have been 6 or 7! With Merry Go Round down, we jumped right into Dorney’s crown jewel:


Ride Experience

While Talon was the recipient of a solid “second class” bird-of-prey theme miming Raptor (welcome to 1990s Cedar Fair corporatism!), the coaster still delivers an ever-solid performance of great inversions, solid g-force, and a super-fun finale of low-to-the-ground overbanked turns. I’m a sucker for 90s B&Ms, and Talon is no exception!

Things that still stand out for this coaster are excellent g-force and inversion stringing between the vertical loop, zero-g roll, and Immelmann. But the coaster’s excellence lies in the second half, if I’m honest – the great pop of airtime coming from the not-a-an-MCBR-but-feels-like-an-MCBR with low flying, overbanked turns and wingover inversion are just a blast.

As we continue the tour of Dorney Park, diadem:



I’d say, “Oh how the mighty have fallen”, but Hydra was always *ahem* punching-above-it’s-weight-class type of ride. You cannot deny the ambition of park management to cram seven inversions into a 100 ft. tall roller coaster, even inventing the now beloved jojo roll inversion in the process. But what the coaster brings in visual appeal…

Ride Experience

… is still lacking in ride experience. A lot of speed loss from the first hill into the inclined loop means tame, floater-ish airtime through the zero-g, corkscrew, and cobra roll. I last rode this coaster its opening year in 2006, where the back row did deliver some good, tugging airtime throughout the layout – but the coaster just seemed to chug a lot, regardless of row selection, during this visit. Bummer.



I am talking of coasters that chug – Thunderhawk! I was curious to check out this coaster again with its new PTC train design and updated livery to celebrate its recent anniversary (50 years? 100 years? 1,000 years?). The new PTC trains are just old ones with holes cut in the front of them ( :p ), but the updated aesthetics is well deserved for a wooden coaster nicely nestled in the park's heart.


Ride Experience

Last I rode Thunderhawk, every trim brake was grabbing with full force, creating a moment of wonder that we had enough momentum to carry us back to the station versus valley mid-run while the coaster was still running… as meh as ever, at least the trims weren’t biting as hard!

Steel Force


This is different from the Magnum you are looking for. There’s been a recent resurgence? Zeitgeist? That Morgan hypers are somehow “good,” “wonderful,” or “better than Arrows.” I’m here to tell you these people are on drugs and need help.

Ride Experience

Don’t get me wrong, Morgan hypers are fine. The layouts are meant to be fun-loving out-and-back designs with good speed and drops. It’s just the lack of airtime that I always find so annoying compared to Arrow hypers – Ron Toomer was designing with coat hangers and pen to paper; how hard is it to emulate and mirror his masterful triangles of floater?

At any rate, Steel Force was fine. Drops were good, and speed was SPEED, especially in the unending 540-degree turnaround (which, I will say, is my favorite of the Cedar Fair hypers, wrapping nicely into the hillside and brush).

Iron Menace


Dropping in (har har) 2024.



Woof. I have heard that Wicked Twister’s removal was a good cause of operational/maintenance downtime and complicated upkeep. While I haven’t witnessed much Intamin Impulse downtime across those I’ve ridden, Possessed was a sterling example of a coaster in need. The launch was under launching about every other ride, giving a TT2-style launch that had the train barely creep up the front spike. Since LIMs are more straightforward machines than LSMs that operate in a more binary fashion of on/off (versus LSMs, which have more specific train tracking and mathematics afoot to actively calculate the train’s speed and modulate power to obtain target speed), the train eventually got up to speed after 2-3 passes, reaching the full crest of spikes. I guess it's proof that you can limp these coaster designs along, but it's hilarious to see the retching exercise.

Ride Experience

It was absolutely delightful (aside from the maintenance boondoggle) and left me longing for my older, former glory. Even with the back spike holding brake off (boo), I have always enjoyed the pure floater on Impulses.

Let’s also do a quick tour of two other favorite thrill rides while in the park:

The Whip


I’m a sucker for older rides that are kept in good standing. Dorney’s Whip is a near-immaculate example of the proper, full-sized whip. I’ve always appreciated that they kept the pavilion and sign in good shape (looking at you, Kennywood) to give the ride a proper presentation. The ride speed was excellent, with incredible lateral forces!

Demon Drop


🥲 This ride was MY JAM back in Cedar Point. I’m not a fan of massive drop tower rides, but Demon Drop’s easy 100-ish ft. drop is easy to tackle for thrill seekers. What’s better, the audible *clank* of the safety brake decoupling at the top also gives an easy warning when you’re about to drop, removing any anxiety of not knowing when you’ll fall.

Interestingly, the ride cycle operation is close to the original dispatch – loading three cars as three cars are in the dispatch/ride cycle. This is far more efficient than Cedar Point’s operation of loading and unloading 1-2 cars on a more rotating basis, partly driven by a more cautious ride cycle operation after an unfortunate ride malfunction resulting in a car mid-lift in the elevator falling on top of another car. The drop cycle was also a little longer once at the top; rather than a simple 3-2-1 countdown, we were up there for a steadier 10-15 seconds. At least you get a nice view!

Ride Experience

Twas lovely. It has a great pop of floater airtime, with all the old-school pneumatic and clanking sounds to accompany it. Unfortunately, it is one of the last Gen 1 Intamin drop towers out there, making it even more rare than the Whip ride!


After the quick volley of coasters and rides, we tagged on for a few passages; but dinner and beer were beckoning to help us prepare for our next day's journey…


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Day 2- Headed to Middle PA and Knoebels

I had heard many (what feels) fabled tales of Knoebels, a seeming amusement park of misfit rides and cast-off attractions, kept in good stead by what I can only consider the Amish or forest gypsies. But I am here to tell you that all the stories of this magical place are true!

We arrived on a relatively cold and overcasty day (After first making a pass by the Yeungling beer plant in Pottsville, PA, America's oldest brewery!) – to not change the weather, we headed straight for the park’s most intriguing attraction.

Flying Turns


Many know the now famed stories of how Knoebels wanted to rebuild a wooden toboggan coaster, similar to that which the park family owned and operated in Coney Island during the early 1900s… and how it took many, manyyears to build something to OSHA safety standards. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this coaster but was so quickly enthralled with this coaster's downright bizarre layout and sweeping wooden turns.


Ride Experience

This is gratefully more than a one-trick pony and proof that a wooden bobsled can be built in the 21st century – it’s pretty good! The first lift hill leads into a simple 360 helix, setting up for the entire lift hill that leads to a simple double lazy-8 layout that has the trains gradually descend back to earth. While one might think simple left-right turns to be repetitive, a good mix of speed, g-force, and varying drop angle kept the ride layout flowing. A subsequent ride after some mild rain and warmer temps made for an even wilder ride, as standing pools within the trough quickly turned into splashdown effects.

Honestly a miracle of a roller coaster to behold!

After flying turns, we worked our way (I admittedly got sidetracked by every historic attraction and ride along the way) to Phoenix, the true star of the park.



I believe @furie still ranks Phoenix as one of his favorite roller coasters worldwide. And I have heard similar praise from many who had the fortune to ride. Again, I ask: it can’t be that good, can it? It’s a relocated coaster of a super simple layout, far less than that of GCI, RMC, and even Dinn Corp design.

Well, my friends, I am here to say that Phoenix is an insane art form of airtime.


Ride Experience

Loading onto Phoenix was one of the first times I bore witness to a very unique, whimsical factor of Knoebels – they don’t require seat belts on their standard wooden coasters. And when I say no seatbelts, I don’t mean instead of tighter modified lap bars – oh no, those are still simple buzz bars just as the first day they were installed. This is a Bonafede, stock 1950s wooden coaster train, with absolutely zero modification for modern safety and requirements, save air gates in the station that feel they were retrofitted in.


This is a critical factor for what makes Phoenix such a good ride – nothing holding you into your seat, meaning every airtime hill will quickly hurtle your body towards the heavens. A healthy slather of track grease also helped the trains speed even more through the layout as we rode time, and again; I screamed like a belligerent granny on an all-night bender. Just the pure, elated joy of roller coaster airtime. The temptation was there, absolutely there, to burn my coaster rankings down and replace them with “Phoenix” hand scribbled in crayon. It took significant coaxing of ourselves to move on to other attractions rather than chain ourselves to this coaster.



We have to keep rounding the roller coaster offerings, no? This roller coaster remains an enigma to me. I know it is based on the layout of the original Mister Twister at Elitch Gardens, which was later bastardized into Twister II (now III) in what can only be described as “my sister loaded into my Roller Coaster Tycoon save files and screwed up my coaster designs.” But I cannot for the life of me comprehend why Elitch would have abandoned such a phenomenal layout design or feel some ability to improve upon it.


Ride Experience

Let’s start with the roller coaster's stature – she’s a big one. There is a singular approach to get to this coaster, having to cross the street and cut between park cottages, which gives the coaster a quite-imposing stance over parkgoers that approach. Having to enter the queue underneath the first drop is an equally nice touch that gives a sensation of walking a pilgrimage upstairs to a mystic temple. Once in the station, you are (again) reminded of this coaster’s stock intention and design. No airgates. No seatbelts. Just artform of ride ops making sure lap bars are down and keep the train dispatch rolling.


The ride experience, like Phoenix, is some of the most genuine fun I’ve had on a wooden coaster. Just the way it’s supposed to be, with great sweeping drops, airtime hills, and an immaculate bowl feature that double wraps the station. The original Mister Twister was advertised as not having “a foot of straight track”, which is equally the case for this Twister.

With the big classic woodies out of the way, it was time to work around to the coaster’s steel collection

Black Diamond

Boy howdy, what a dark-ride-of-a-coaster

Ride Experience

While very cool the park was able to save this weirdly bizarre roller coaster haunted house adaptation by John Allen, it definitely gets upstaged by the park’s haunted house more centrally located (and also beloved). That being said, a very cool ride design, that has train cars going up lift hills with very controlled descent, allowing for taking in the funny and weird scenes of miners digging and blowing up a collapsing mine, which gradually reduces to bedlam and random manikins put in weirdly suggestive positions. While not a necessary improved on traditional haunted houses (e.g. powered doom buggies), it’s an immaculately kept specimen of coaster history.



Oh yeah! That Zierer!

Ride Experience

I will say outright, this beats out Gerstlauer and Mauer vertical lift/beyond vertical drop coasters for having smooth ride design, varied layout, and rather comfortable train design. While the layout a little disorienting (which could have been the fact I was gorging myself on funnel cakes), it’s a shame we don’t have more of these coasters in the world!

Enough about roller coasters though, let’s shout out some other, awesome rides and attractions kept within the park.

Kosmo’s Kurves

Look we’re not getting to 300 without makes some sacrifices. I will say, great kiddie coaster, with a double helix layout that nicely cut over the park’s boat ride.

Train Ride



The park has two trains, weirdly not connected to other parts of the park but rather doing large out and around layouts that end up at the same station. We opted for the main park train, which was loooooooong, going over multiple bridges, passing under Twister, behind park cottages, and going for a very scenic jaunt through the forest. Absolutely lovely ride, and cool to see how many types of train types they had option to run.

Bumper Cars


Hands down the best bumper cars in the world. Designed as a race track with turns on the end, these cars were designed to be fast, which made for excellent crashing and thrashing. Reminded me of my beloved Cadillac bumper cars at Cedar Point (which stood where TT2’s top hat now stands), which had similar high-speed punch.

Cadillac Cars


Absolutely adored the meandering, weaving layout that even intertwines with Phoenix’s structure. Also makes for great photo ops!




I was genuinely chuffed to check out this one – a merry-go-round WITH RING TOSS!!! Only in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d have chance to ride such a carousel. It took a few rotations and a stubbed middle finger to get the hang for how to grab for the pewter rings, but was awesome to nab a couple during our ride. Having the throw return was an equally awesome touch. This merry go round was immaculate though, and amazing that they had not one, not two, but three music machines that rotate in interval for playing. Just amazing the care for running these rides!



This was a particularly deep cut attraction I was excited to play. Fascination was a quite popular amusement park/boardwalk game that took hold in the 40s and 50s. For my home park Cedar Point, they too had a Fascination, noted as the first (first!) building with air conditioning, where Johnny Rockets (or whatever took it’s place) now stands. The game is simple, a quarter to play and you are rolling balls to play bingo (essentially balls go into the hole, and you’re trying to get a line, diagonal, etc.). occasionally (and to hilarious fanfare), there would be super rounds where a second ball magically rises next to your machine, where the objective is to fill the entire board. Chatting with the attraction operators, they were thrilled we knew of Fascination and to hear we were from Sandusky originally. Again, very cool to meet folks who have genuine appreciation for the history of the industry!

Haunted House

Celebrating it’s 50th year, this is a tride and true haunted house, cheap tricks scares and all. Honestly the best specimen of traditional haunted house I’ve done (and really helps you appreciate the feat Disney’s Haunted Mansion truly was), the gist was having your ride car crash through very tight fitting doors to some unknown scene, having random scenery and props jump out at you, wash, rinse, repeat. But the hilariously obvious scare tactics really started getting to me, especially (if I’m honest) the brutality we were crashing through doors – there was a lot of jump scare packed in!

My most favorite part of the trip was this park. It so exceeded all expectations at how amazingly kept and cared for these rides are, just a perfect capture of theme park essence!


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Day 3 - Hunting for Wildcat's at Hersheypark


I always remembered this park as being a genuine, tier-1 park offering as far as amusement parks go. And even with a ten year hiatus, the park still delivered on a stellar coaster lineup, with some new tweaks and additions to behold.



First up is the new Hersheypark entry plaza and Candemonium – you have to give Hershey credit for leaning into the brand with the entire redesign and coaster integration. While it isn’t Gatekeeper (sorry, far superior entry plaza experience); definitely a good use of the space.


Ride Experience

Look, can I be real a second? I want to like the new B&M Hypers (Mako, Candemonium, etc.). I really do. But their layouts are just so… lame. I enjoy the airtime, I enjoy the drops. But living in a Joe Draves/Alan Schilke world of wild inversions and elements makes simple out and back layouts as leaving a lot on the table, especially remaining still uninventive since Apollo’s Chariot and Nitro debuts nearly 15 years ago. The ride is fine, but trim brakes just crimp airtime, and make the ride an easy out-of-the-top-50 ranking.



We zipped over to Skyrush after Candemonium to experience it’s glorious, Intamin goodness. I was especially interested to give it a whack since riding it in it’s inaugural season.

Ride Experience

While the cable lift is noticeably slower than it’s original design (and Flying Aces earlier this year), the layout is still an absolute BANGER. I forgot how good the low-flying layout is, with airtime hills hurtling you hither and yon. (I say having ridden Phoenix only the day before) Ended up even bumping Skyrush up a notch in rankings after it kept delivering such amazing rides.

Wildcat’s Revenge


RMC strikes again, this time on a classic.

Ride Experience

It’s been a while since I rode a “smaller” RMC, but I was very excited to see how RMC worked out such a jampacked layout on the bones of Wildcat (RIP). In short, it’s easily a top 3-5 for ridden RMCs, thanks to it’s amazing lineup and high g-force combos. The drops also give great airtime experiences, with speed eeked out along each and every inch of the ride (perks of dipping below the starting elevation of the station). For many, it probably easily breaks their top 10.


BUT, just as Skyrush’s killer lap bars struck for uncomfortable rides 11 years ago, Wildcat has, a thing that just made rides borderline unbearable. Some of you have already heard me gripe about it even; high-speed, flag turns. Specifically, the turn adjusting into the under flip and turn heading into the brake run, both of which deliver body-killing lateral force that is just unfun. I did my best to adjust (which with RMCs, often takes 2-3 rides to really get the hang for riding), but try as I might, my body was slamming into middle-seat divider or side of the train, with force, everytime. Don’t get me wrong – we ended up riding the coaster nearly a dozen times, but a pet peeve that just held back the ride for me in rankings. For smaller RMCs, I still remain a sucker for Storm Chaser at top, but Wildcat’s Revenge easily beats out the likes of Twisted Timbers.




Gotta respect the classics.

Ride Experience

Still remains a clever Schwarzkopf looper design, similar to Revolution at SFMM as it careens through hills and gives a nice sightline to the loop. Great we still hold onto these ones!

Laff Trakk


Look this thing is crap in a tent. Let’s move on.


Still keep moving. (Sorry, I'm sure it was running great, but man what a downgrade from Koebels lol)

Great Bear


The often-underappreciated B&M!

Ride Experience

I feel Great Bear can often be misunderstood, making it a significant sleeper of an invert. As context, B&M was on a roll building inverts throughout the 90s:

1993 – Batman the Ride

1994 – Nemesis and Raptor

1996 – Montu

1997 – Pyrenees and Alpengeist

1998 – Great Bear

1999 – Afterburn and Dueling Dragons (Dragon Challenge)

2000 – Katun

So it’s understandable that expectations began to run increasingly high, with escalating expectations of taller, faster, more inverting… inverts. And yet Great Bear was built as a “meager” 124 ft., 58 MPH, and four inversions, falling lukewarm on reception by the enthusiast community. And yet, this coaster packs in amazingly strong positive g’s, alongside an amazingly complex and clever layout built around a river without being built in the river. I’ve also found a new love for B&M Immelmann’s and their great g-force design.

Lightning Racer

The GCI that still keeps Hersheypark rattling!

Ride Experience

It might be a tick slower than I recall riding my first go-round – but this could also be simple relativity having come off of faster rides – but the Lightning Racer layout is still too fun to pass up! Smoothness-wise, the coaster was a bit rickety (again, relativity, having come from Knoebels that slathered their woodies with grease like barbeque), but nothing too distracting from the ride experience. Still somehow lost each ride too!

Jolly Rancher Remix


Because the original SUCKED.

Ride Experience

Look, it’s pretty good! Vekoma trains are a massive upgrade to any older Arrows or Vekomas. And the clever use of Jolly Rancher theming is a great touch, corny unlicensed music and all. I especially liked the tunnel light package coming off of the cobra roll, which rides very close to the train for a fun head chopper effect.

Storm Runner


Man I miss my Intamin hydraulic launcher.

Ride Experience

It’s just perfect. Let’s be honest. Amazing acceleration, wildly ornate and spirited layout, and easily the most reridable coaster in the park. Just really enjoy this ride, leaving me longing for good ol’ TTD days!



When Blitz coasters were Eurofighters.

Ride Experience

This is a weird, quirky coaster with it’s followers. While there’s a few, too many inversions for my taste on it that gives a sensation of perpetual barrel rolls, it’s excellent how they packed in so many inversions and punches, even squeaking in a cheeky airtime hill or two.


For other rides and attractions, we were also sure to swing by the Zoo (nice North American animal exhibit) and enjoy the Arrow Log Flume a few times throughout the day (another rarified pleasure these days).


At the end of a verrrrrrry long day, we were excited to make it to Troeggs just down the street for a celebratory beer to still standing!


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Day 4 - Hitting 300 at Six Flags Great Adventure

After a cannon-ball run of a morning, it was a welcome surprise to see a coaster skyline emerge out of the forest (and emphasis on forest – boy howdy is the park in the middle of nowhere!). To tell a truth about SFGAdv, I have never been. It falls under the “I’ll get there one-day” category, with life having never gone by way of middle Jersey. And so it was that I was excited to have the chance to hit the park and my 300th roller coaster.


Let’s start in!



What actually turned out to be my buddy’s 200th coaster!

Ride Experience

Man, y’all weren’t kidding about these S&S Freespins!!! A massive design improvement to Intamin Zacspins (I was lucky to get Green Lantern in it’s hay day at SFMM), the spinning control is so much more on point, allowing the cars to flip and fly throughout the layout more easily. An instant favorite, even if load times are a bit on the slow side for capacity throughput.

Jersey Devil Coaster

That other RMC

Ride Experience

My first single rail, and a fun one at that! Since you have luck of the draw for loading the queue in-single-file, had to ride a few times to try chances for riding at different parts of the train. Middle and back parts were absolute best, with the front weirdly clunking on track joints to make for a less stellar ride.

As for the ride itself, inversions were pretty good, and airtime delivering. I do thing the softer restraints – quite comfortable, I must say, but with a lot of give – which weirdly may make for less “feel” of airtime and inversions, essentially more floating than being pressed into your restraints.

Overall, it was great to finally ride a single rail, and would gladly greenlight more of these in more places, especially to bring smaller footprint thrills to space-constrained parks.

Batman the Ride


Onto the B&M classics!

Ride Experience


The opening loop, zero-g roll, loop sequence is still a banger start to this coaster design. And the snappy wingovers are still #1 corkscrews in my books. While these coaster layouts are definitely smaller by todays comparison, there’s no denying the good value of high g-force delivery.



The other B&M classic!

Ride Experience

I was excited to ride a roller coaster many coaster enthusiasts have credited as their “start” to fandom. And I can see why! A far more aggressive coaster than Apollo’s Chariot, and long! It was just a blast of a B&M hyper. To my Candemonium gripe earlier, this coaster was ahead of it’s time in design, packing punch that matches what we seek in modern B&M hypers.



The other, other B&M classic!

Ride Experience

I always have a soft spot for B&M floorless coasters, and Medusa instantly wiggled to the core. A pure bred inversion machine, the classic B&M inversions hit with a snap we don’t often get these days – especially the Dive Loop and Cobra Roll. We were sure to take a few spins to really soak it in!

El Toro


Holy guacamole!

Ride Experience


Where to start – this coaster was bonkers as promised, and even smoother than I was expecting after the ghastly track breakdown of last year. The opening sequence of drop and airtime hills is nothing more than voo doo; how does the train carry that level of airtime!!!??? But what shocked me was the second half, and the train still carrying speed and high forces; especially the drop into the s-bends that nails riders with airtime. I was grateful to experience this one finally!

Kingda Ka


300, here we go!

Ride Experience

Aside from being my 300th (yay!), I was also looking forward to seeing why KK is often considered so much less than TTD, while having more in every way. I was also excited to do the comparison having ridden Formula Rossa earlier this year, to compare our “triple tug” hydraulic launchers.

To confirm what everyone already knows, the rattle is beyond belief on the coaster train, and takes so much out of the otherwise great ride experience. Riding towards the front of the train and bracing the OTSR upward kind of helped, but only just. If anything, I came away with even more marvel at how Formula Rossa operates, regularly, smooth as glass, in a desert.

Superman: Ultimate Flight


The other, other, other B&M classic?

Ride Experience


Look you can’t hate a B&M flyer. The ride style is delightful, even the simplest element feels elegant, and overbanked turns make you feel like the Man of Steel himself. It has been a hot minute since I rode a Superman-specific B&M flyer, so was fun to “go back where it all started” as my first B&M flyer design.

Green Lantern


Definitely not the other, other, other B&M classic

Ride Experience

On the down-low, I also looked forward to “rounding out” my B&M stand-up creds for America, especially the last of the larger stand-ups (Mantis, Riddler’s, Chang/Green Lantern). I quite enjoyed Mantis (granted, having spent many, many hours perfectly how to ride so you wouldn’t be riding by way of one’s taint), and Riddler’s is a rare specimen of perfect B&M stand-up execution – but woof is Green Lantern pretty worse for wear. The rattle was probably what struck most, but a far cry from other stand-up brethren. Regrettable, SFGAdv couldn’t just give it a floorless treatment (oR cOuLd ThEy!?), which has served Rougarou very well in rejuvenation.

Skull Mountain

At least the one in SFOT goes backwards. What a crap ride.

Dark Knight

Skull Mountain with $10M worth of intellectual property. Also a crap ride.

Harley Quinn Crazy Train

You know what, it’s actually not half bad!

Runaway Mine Train

Yikes is this a short layout, with a MASSIVE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE station.

As for other fun rides we partook:

Houdini's Great Escape

Yoooo so I didn't realize there was one of these Vekoma Fun Houses on the premise! Absolutely hilarious experience!

We were quite spent at the end of this day, and welcomed the inevitable collapse into our Best Western beds.


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Day 5 - Six Flags Great Adventure – Day 2

We woke up the next morning, in partial pain from the daily blugeonings we had been inflicting on ourselves over the last few days. And when staring down the shotgun of another full second day at a Six Flags park…

Day 5 – Six Flags Great Adventure – Day 2 Nickelodeon Universe

… we opted to drive north to the new American Dream mall instead for a quick visit to Nickelodeon Universe!

First to speak to American Dream, America’s second largest mall; you can quickly see the “why” the mall was built, sharing parking deck with Metrolife Stadium (Home of the New York Giants and Jets), and an Aaron Burr shot (hah, New Jersey joke) away from the Big Apple. And it’s amenities are vast! Ski run, ice skating rink, Angry Birds putting green – just a lot of stuff!


The Nickelodeon Universe is tucked, alongside a full-sized water park, into a corner of the mall. You can definitely appreciate the desire for creating more, expandable space in this NU park versus the Mall of America park, which is placed in the middle of the park and makes expansion massively difficult. I will say, while the park is significantly bigger, it does lack an organic feel that Mall of America has – I think it’s just a matter of placement, and having to purposely go to this Nickelodeon Universe, versus MoA’s being organically in the middle with a lot of sight line.

At any rate, let’s get busy!

TMNT Shellraiser


Why not tag on the world’s steepest roller coaster to the trip?

Ride Experience

The most Eurofighter for all you Eurofighter lovers: it has launches, inversions, drops, and all the shimmy to go with it! Definitely Gerstlauer to the max, the sensation is just tumbling inversion-after-inversion (similar to Fahrenheit), which is a little take it or leave it for me. Personal faves on this one were the Banana Roll and massively… Michael Cane… style… pause of the train at the top of the drop. You know, to let it really sink in.

All in it’s a crazy ride – the launch too has a great pop of acceleration (0-62 in 2 seconds), thanks in part to Eurofighter trains weighing approximately the weight of an ant.




Ride Experience

I will gladly go on record to say that if you think you have ridden a spinning coaster which spun a lot; meat your new bar. We purposed side loaded the car on this one, and from mid-lift to the final brake run, the car never stopped spinning, once.

“But @Hyde,” you might say. “I’ve ridden a spinning coaster that never stopped spinning before!” Yes, but have you spun for over two minutes on it? This coaster’s length is MASSIVE, 2,247 ft. and change, with 85 ft. of height (regular Spinner Mice are 42.7 ft. tall, and almost half the length for reference) to give you plenty of gravity and momentum to work with. It just just the sheer length of the ride that will really knock you on this one, especially if you don’t catch a break on spinning.

Absolute blast of a spinner, and the only one I rate in my top 100.

Sandy’s Bucking Broncos

More of this please

Ride Experience

Honestly had no clue what to expect on this one, partly because the zero car face paneling was removed? Zippy and snappy are good describers, as you quickly jet into the first inversion. Inversions had nice transition, the layout was surprisingly engaging, despite having so little. And the surprise 180 flip in the middle (ride ops even had a cheeky “welcome back riders, how was your ride?”) gives it a very fun extension.

Would love to see more of these in the world, especially if the price is right!

Timmy’s Half Pipe Havoc

God bless Nickelodeon for keeping the Half Pipe dream alive

Ride Experience

Because apparently Nickelodeon IP is the capitalism fueling reliable Half Pipe operation in America, I’ve only ridden this and sister’s Avatar Airbender for Intamin action. While riding one means certainly riding them all, they are very fun, especially in how wildly different the spinning can be ride to ride. We were riding it with two people on our sessions, so it took a run or two to get the balance correct, so we weren’t just bobbing up and down.

Slime Streak

Joe Draves be praised!

Ride Experience

This is a pretty mean Chance Rides family coaster that I’d go as far as to say isn’t friendly for kids. Good meandering layout in a Tivoli-honoring way (albeit, the Pepsi Streak at MoA is vastly superior) – it gives great curb appeal to onlookers.

We were also sure to partake in the park’s array of new and shiny flats:

Avatar Airbender

Whoever decides rides should be able to flip laterally, I hate you. I was a good sport to ride, but man does this thing get cranking in an egg scrambler-way and leave you with a hilarious sense of vertigo. Bravo to those who can stomach more than one ride!

Skyline Scream


Those of you who know me know I would sooner eat my own shoe than ride a drop tower. But after a few beers and fish tacos for lunch, my buddy was reallllly wanting to ride the world’s tallest indoor shot and drop tower. And next thing I knew, I was strapped into the latest of S&S tech.

The shot up was excellent (I will always ride a shot-only tower, for sure!), with the outlooking windows at the top really helping you appreciate how high up you were. Next came the drop. As I began to wince for the inevitable embrace of sweet negative g death, I noticed Spongebob and Patrick figures that were waving from atop the tower. And to be honest, they helped a lot! It also turns out I was worrying over nothing, the shot down is much slower than Power Tower or Superman S&S Towers – a welcomed relief!

After Nickelodeon, we swung by a brewery on our way back to SFGAdv for some wrap-up rerides and partaking of their rather pleasant Oktoberfest!


Summary Thoughts

  • All-in, I was able to pick up 28 new credits across many, MANY coaster rides (82 total) in five days. Definitely left a few (literal) bruises and marks, but so glad to have the chance to pay the visit!
  • Reflecting on my top 10, there were some new additions and tweaks: El Toro added in at 8, and Skyrush upgrade to 6 (jumping Maverick).
1Steel VengeanceCedar Point
2VoyageHoliday World
3VelociCoasterIslands of Adventure
4Iron GwaziBusch Gardens Tampa
5Storm ChaserKentucky Kingdom
7MaverickCedar Point
8El ToroSix Flags Great Adventure
9X2Six Flags Magic Mountain
10Outlaw RunSilver Dollar City

  • After this trip, I am still left with a few, more bits and bobs of parks I haven’t had the chance to visit. Here’s to hoping 2024 brings the off-chance for wrapping more of those up!
  • This trip was such a lucky opportunity to allow me to say I've ridden the world's tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coasters in one year! Savoring this before we all have to fly to Saudi Arabia starting next year. ;)


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
Did you not try out the Flyers at Knoebels? That **** is absolutely insane.
Oh I did forget to mention getting to ride them, propane-generator and all! Alas, they have crimped down on snapping the cables, and were sure to yell at you. 😥
This was fun to read! Glad you got to go on a coaster trip and hit your 300th. I need to revisit a lot of these parks since most of them have new additions (except Dorney which I will be happy to never go back to).


Slut for Spinners
I'm just happy that you used the term "parking deck" in your vernacular. Glad to see that I've rubbed off on you 😜


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
This was fun to read! Glad you got to go on a coaster trip and hit your 300th. I need to revisit a lot of these parks since most of them have new additions (except Dorney which I will be happy to never go back to).
Glad you enjoyed it! I will say it was awesome getting to finally ride El Toro. Even if it's a shadow of how smooth it was at opening, here to say it is delivering a solid ride experience, still.
I'm just happy that you used the term "parking deck" in your vernacular. Glad to see that I've rubbed off on you 😜
I'll be a Yooper in no time!


Slut for Spinners
Glad you enjoyed it! I will say it was awesome getting to finally ride El Toro. Even if it's a shadow of how smooth it was at opening, here to say it is delivering a solid ride experience, still.

I'll be a Yooper in no time!
*Southeast Michigander ^_^