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PTR- July 1st, 2024: an underwhelming anniversary [Plus bonus American Dream Mall]

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The day is finally here: the 50th anniversary of when Great Adventure first opened. So many amazing things have happened to the park since that first day in 1974. How exactly was the big anniversary day at the park? Well, honestly, it was underwhelming. 

Over a dozen rides were closed all day, including Kingda Ka, Jersey Devil, and Green Lantern to name a few. In addition that, multiple rides down for long periods of time all day long (such as Runaway Mine Train, Justice League and Nitro). I can excuse that kind of thing for the first few weeks of early Spring, but summer is here and the crowds are only going to get more intense from here.  Not to mention, construction is STILL going on at the new Flash coaster, as well as three of the remaining original rides from 50 years ago (the Big Wheel, the Log Flume, and the Skyway, which outright looks like it'll be SBNO for the whole year).

To be frank, this is downlight humiliating. All of these projects should have been finished months ago - ESPECIALLY The Flash coaster. To compare, Dorney Park's new coaster was completed and operational before vertical construction even STARTED on the Flash. Inexcusable.  But in all fairness, Flash, the Big Wheel, and the Log Flume all had active construction teams working on them all day long. In fact, the were literally installing the cars back on the Big Wheel all day long! The Flash was having it's landscaping done around the support beams. Construction on the queue and station have not started yet, but I'm hoping it will be open by later this month (honestly, I'll be grateful if it opens this year at all).

Fortunately, the crowds were relativity light (which was ironic since the weather was nice and fair all day). Every ride's line was 10 minutes or less, so I got plenty of re-rides. Most coasters (except Medusa) now have at least two trains running, unlike when I last went in late April. 


The only specific thing they did to commemorate the 50th anniversary was a ribbon cutting with the Looney Tunes characters right before the park opened, which I thought was nice. I tried to rip of a tiny piece of the ribbon to keep as a souvenir, but I couldn't do it. I should have asked Bugs to borrow his oversized scissors, LOL. Speaking of souvenirs, I tried to buy one of the 50th anniversary t-shirts or hoodies, but all of them were either sold out or not in my size. I must've visited every merch store in the park and found nothing. Hopefully they'll have re-stocks by the next time I visit.

I pretty much rode everything I wanted to go on by 4PM, so I left the park early. As a bonus for myself, I finally visited the Nickelodeon theme park in the American Dream Mall next to Metlife Stadium. I've been meaning to go for years, but never had the chance until now. That park was also a ghost town. I was able to ride everything I wanted in less than 90 minutes (thank goodness I bought the discounted pre-closing ticket) The only coaster that was closed was TMNT Shellraiser, so I'll have to come back again someday to add it to my coaster count. 

One thing that I should note is that something almost happened at the Nickelodeon park that NEVER happens to me: I almost threw up on a theme park ride. I've ridden Ka, Toro, Medusa, and Nitro dozens of times, and yet I've never tossed cookies from any of them. However, the Avatar: The Last Airbender flat ride (a Zamperla Air Race ride) actually made me puke a little in my mouth. If it had gone on a little longer, I would have painted the floor with my dinner. I blame the tonkatsu ramen bowl I had at the food court. 

Final ridecount: 

Great Adventure:
El Toro 3x

Skull Mountain 3x

Nitro 2x
Dark Knight 2x

Skyscreamer 1x

Medusa 1x

Carousel 1x

Justice League 1x
Batman 1x

Runaway Train 1x

American Dream Mall:

Slime Streak 1x

Shredder 1x

Sandy's Blasting Bronco 1x
Timmy's Half-Pipe 1x
Aang's Sky Gliders 1x


Overall rating:
Four out of Six flags. It would have been 3/6, but my first visit to the American Dream Mall bumps it up a point.

Here's a link to my Great Adventure pics.

And here's the link to my American Dream pics.

Edited by nbadude44
extra blurb about construction
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Great report with a treasure trove of awesome photos! The weather was gorgeous earlier, perfect for getting some rides in. It's really nice to see gondolas going up on the Wheel (hopefully that gets completed soon) and I'm glad they mostly have 2+ train operations on the coasters now - at least among those that were open. It's a bummer that several weren't operating.


The ribbon cutting to open the park was a really nice touch too. I like the uniforms they gave the characters.


Great tip about the Nickelodeon Universe timing. I've been curious about it, but could never justify paying admission when Great Adventure is about the same distance away from where I live. I might consider it if the late entry ticket provides enough opportunity to hit all the major attractions.


Thanks for sharing!

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I remember for the 40th they had a season pass exclusive shirt with the parks skyline on it. I thought they might do something similar for the 50th.

I never made it to Nickelodeon Universe but have heard that it’s rare to see all 5 coasters open at once, especially Sandy’s. 

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hoping cedar fair will make this park better (but Dorney park is next to nj in pa but then again, six flags over texas & six flags fiesta Texas nearby so why not)

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3 hours ago, Yoshi said:

I remember for the 40th they had a season pass exclusive shirt with the parks skyline on it. I thought they might do something similar for the 50th.

I never made it to Nickelodeon Universe but have heard that it’s rare to see all 5 coasters open at once, especially Sandy’s. 

They had these shirts here when I went this past April:

These are the only specific 50th anniversary thing I saw back then. As of right now, they're mostly gone.


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