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Author Topic: 2014 Announcement: 415 Drop Tower (inside Ka!); Rolling Thunder Being Removed!  (Read 17859 times)

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Offline jglonek

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Six Flags Great Adventure has officially announced the new ride for 2014: Zumanjaro, a 415 drop tower inside of Kingda Ka! This will be the tallest drop tower in the world.



Here's a video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGvemhlN5rc

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Six Flags Great Adventure’s has unveiled the park’s newest attraction, a 41-story drop tower attraction called Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom.

Zumanjaro‘s three towers will be attached to the face of the theme park’s tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka, and each tower will have a gondola that carries eight riders. After a 30 second trip to the top — a height where Six Flags officials say a rider could see the sky scrapers in Philadelphia some 52 miles away — riders will fall back to earth in 10 seconds.

“Zumanjaro solidifies Six Flags Great Adventure’s dominance as the Northeast’s thrill capital,” said the park’s president. “This is precisely the world-class, record-breaking attraction our guests have come to expect from Great Adventure.”

But it's not all good news: Rolling Thunder will officially close forever on September 8th.

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Park officials said a waning interest in the 34-year-old Rolling Thunder was part of the decision for its closure.

The roller coaster will close Sept. 8 for park staff to begin construction on Zumanjaro.

Also, apparently the Baboons are moving into Temple of the Tiger!

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An area adjacent to Zumanjaro will include a habitat for African Anubis baboons. The enclosure will replace what was Safari Discoveries, an area that held an aviary and enclosures for Great Adventure’s animal nursery.

“Throughout this season, guests have inquired about the baboons. We can finally announce that they will be the stars of this newly-themed area,” park president John Fitzgerald said in a news release.

This information was obtained from The Asbury Park Press.

UPDATE: Here is the press release

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Six Flags Great Adventure Announces World Record-Breaking Ride for 2014
World’s Largest Theme Park to Debut World’s Tallest Drop Ride and Bids Farewell to a Classic Coaster
August 29, 2013
New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure will shatter the world record for tallest drop ride with the addition of the 41-story Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom in 2014.

Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster—the 456-foot monster that ranks as the world’s tallest coaster and fastest in North America—Zumanjaro will hoist riders 415 feet into the sky and rocket them back to Earth at 90 miles per hour while Kingda Ka trains launch right toward them at speeds of up to 128 miles per hour.

"Zumanjaro solidifies Six Flags Great Adventure’s dominance as the Northeast’s thrill capital,” said John Fitzgerald, park president. “This is precisely the world-class, record-breaking attraction our guests have come to expect from Great Adventure. Zumanjaro is destined to top many ‘must ride’ lists in 2014."

Three soaring Zumanjaro towers will be built on the face of the massive Kingda Ka coaster debuting during the park’s 41st season. Each drop tower will feature a gondola with eight riders.

The gondolas will rise to the top of the tower in approximately 30 seconds. Riders will pause for a few terrifying moments, 41 stories in the air—even higher than London’s Big Ben and twice as high as the Statue of Liberty—allowing them to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia 52 miles to the south before gravity plunges them back to ground level in less than 10 seconds.

"Zumanjaro pushes thrills to heights never imagined when Great Adventure first opened in 1974,” said park historian and author Harry Applegate. “You could stack the tallest major attractions from Great Adventure's opening season on top of one another, including the Big Wheel, Log Flume, Runaway Train and Skyride, and you would still be more than 50 feet shy of Zumanjaro."

The name “Zumanjaro” was inspired by the African influences of Safari Off Road Adventure, the attraction that combined Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari into the world’s largest theme park. A newly-themed animal section adjacent to Zumanjaro will feature mischievous and playful Anubis baboons native to Africa. For nearly 40 years, these baboons were a favorite of Safari visitors, but not included in the new Safari Off Road Adventure.

“Throughout this season, guests have inquired about the baboons. We can finally announce that they will be the stars of this newly-themed area,” Fitzgerald said. Guests will be able to see the lively primates, also known as olive baboons, up close in their new habitat formerly known as Safari Discoveries. These members of the Old World Monkey family “have a highly organized social structure and their interactions are fascinating to watch,” he added.

Zumanjaro and the new baboon exhibit are slated for a spring debut in 2014.

The End of an Era: Rolling Thunder
The introduction of Zumanjaro spells the end of an era for one of the park’s classic roller coasters, Rolling Thunder. The coaster, which opened in 1979, has delivered more than 42 million rides in its nearly 35-year history. Although the classic, dual track “woodie” remained a staple at the park, its popularity waned over the years.

“Advances in technology have led to a new generation of rides with the sleek intensity of El Toro, the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster,” Fitzgerald said. Guests will be able to enjoy Rolling Thunder until it closes to the public September 8, 2013 to make way for construction.

Hurricane Harbor to Expand Cabana Service with New Tiki Bar
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor will expand its first-class cabana rental service with the introduction of Cabana Cove. Cabanas offer a private escape for water park-goers, and a new tiki bar will deliver beverage service directly to the cabanas to enhance the relaxing, island-style experience.

2014 Season Passes at Lowest Price of the Year
Six Flags Great Adventure announced today that 2014 season passes are now on sale at the lowest prices of the year and provide unlimited visits for the rest of the 2013 season (including Fright Fest) and all of the 2014 season. For a limited time, with the purchase of a season pass four-pack, guests will receive a free upgrade to gold status which includes free admission to the theme park and Hurricane Harbor, plus admission to all Six Flags Theme Parks and free parking at all parks for every pass holder. Memberships Passes, which include all of the great benefits of a season pass, are also available at an affordable monthly price. Offer expires October 27, 2013.

This fall, Six Flags Great Adventure’s annual Fright Fest celebration will undergo one of the largest expansions in the park’s history with new mazes and more scare zones, as well as added days and extended hours beginning September 13, 2013. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure.

UPDATE 2: Zumanjaro Fact Sheet!

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Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom

What:            World’s tallest drop ride
Where:         Six Flags Great Adventure
Debut Date:         Spring 2014
Height:         41 stories, 415 feet
Drop Speed:      90 miles per hour
Lift Duration:         30 seconds
Drop Duration:      10 seconds
Riders per Cycle:      24
Total Gondolas:      Three
Riders per Gondola:      Eight
Location:   Golden Kingdom, built on the face of Kingda Ka – the world’s tallest coaster and fastest in North America
Theming:   African inspired. New baboon exhibit adjacent to the ride.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 02:16:36 PM by jglonek »

Offline jglonek

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A few thoughts:

- I'm glad they said lack of interest is the reason for removing Rolling Thunder, and not just for the new ride. But it's still sad. And with a rumored focus on Old Country for 2015 are we just going to have a big vacant hole in the park for years?
- I guess they have figured out how to make guests safe inside of Ka? I was definitely not expecting the drop towers to be INSIDE!
- Baboons going into Temple of the Tiger shows how far the area has fallen from grace since it opened.
- There's no way that is all of the baboons, the area is way too small.

Offline rjholla2003

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I have a feeling that it's confused language in the press release, and that "Safari Discoveries" = Kingda Ka "half" of Golden Kingdom.
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Offline jglonek

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Well if that's the case why removing Rolling Thunder? It could be a baboon playground!

Too soon?

Offline PcMan

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Looks cool on the front,,but they have to move those cars fast up the lift
Yo

Offline jglonek

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"The name “Zumanjaro” was inspired by the African influences of Safari Off Road Adventure, the attraction that combined Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari into the world’s largest theme park. A newly-themed animal section adjacent to Zumanjaro will feature mischievous and playful Anubis baboons native to Africa. For nearly 40 years, these baboons were a favorite of Safari visitors, but not included in the new Safari Off Road Adventure. "

That makes a little more sense

http://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/info/news_NJ2014NewCap.aspx

Offline WadeJ

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/\ Is that the old area you could hang out at behind Ka's tower after the Safari?  Where the summer camp was held?  I'm confused as to whether they are using that area or the old Temple of the Tiger exhibit lol

Offline jglonek

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I have no idea because right under that it mentions Safari Discoveries again!

Offline WadeJ

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Another thought...

I also have to imagine that some sort of shield will be added vertically.  There is no way they'd be launching Ka trains while riders are going up that tower.  Could you imagine being hit by a cell phone right when the train beings its climb up the tower?  And that's not even getting into the possibility of any mechanical bits being tossed around like shreds of cable.  Regardless, I really do sincerely believe they have taken extreme safety into account.  Especially with this being NJ and all lol.

Either way, I'm excited that Ka's location is becoming more of a land that we'll be able to finally interact with.  It's one of the major aspects of Dragster that I love is how even non-riders can feel the vibes off of the ride.  The fact that we end up with a record breaking drop ride to boot is icing on the cake.  Makes you wonder if this is why SFNE ended up with a taller Sky Screamer as a result?

Offline B-mac

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SFNE's Skyscreamer has been in the works since last year. It was supposed to be added last year along with Texas Skyscreamer but something delayed that (Catapult).

Offline Steve

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Side thought. It is funny how the still use a yellow Ka train in the animations yet there is not one.


Offline ChuckR

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Steve, that's exactly what I thought.

Did something drastically happen to Rolling Thunder this year with the sudden demolition of it? I'm seriously considering coming to Riding of the Bull now just for some last Rolling Thunder rides.

This drop ride looks intense, Drop Zone at Kings Dominion gets me every time. But, I'm also worried about the capacity of this thing as well and like Wade said the safety of this thing being in the infield of Ka. Especially how they closed the queue of Ka after the incidents on it.

Offline Blackhand1001

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Side thought. It is funny how the still use a yellow Ka train in the animations yet there is not one.

The guy that does the animations needs to get some new canned scream sound effects as well. He uses the same 5 second loop in every video.

Offline Frissbeking

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So when is the media day? :)


Yeah, that sucks about Chiller...I hate to see it like that. Hey, so we should get a group picture or something ok. I'll call you later!

Offline Coasterdude28

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This looks pretty awesome. A drop tower is a really good addition to the park, especially if it has good capacity. Can you imagine how fast Ka's trains will look as they fly up the tower at 120mph and you fly down at 90mph right next to them?

Offline coastersue

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What I would like to see most for next year is some paint for Nitro.  The peeling and faded paint is a huge eyesore.  Yet another example of them not taking care of the coasters that they have...

Offline PcMan

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Well I always wanted to stand on top of KA and get a view from atop
now I can get that view. This ride is going to be exhilarating

Im thinking the cars will travel fast up the lift to keep the capacity up
this in itself will be exciting,Im sure we'll get more details next Saturday at RODB about the ride and Rolling Thunder.

sign me up for Media Day  :)

"Siebeneicher and Fitzgerald said Six Flags will attempt to sell Rolling Thunder, but are not sure that the coaster will go on to live again at a different theme park.

American Coaster Enthusiasts already have approached park officials about preserving pieces of the coaster, including trains, signs and memorabilia, for a museum yet to open, Siebeneicher said."

“Roller coaster enthusiasts are certainly very passionate about our coasters,” she said. “I know they’ll miss it, so I’m sure they’re going to get their last rides in.”

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308300017
Yo

Offline Blackhand1001

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What I would like to see most for next year is some paint for Nitro.  The peeling and faded paint is a huge eyesore.  Yet another example of them not taking care of the coasters that they have...

Repainting Nitro is a much larger endeavor than repainting something like Bizarro or Batman the ride. Its very spread out and very tall.

Offline Millennium Force 44

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What I would like to see most for next year is some paint for Nitro.  The peeling and faded paint is a huge eyesore.  Yet another example of them not taking care of the coasters that they have...

Repainting Nitro is a much larger endeavor than repainting something like Bizarro or Batman the ride. Its very spread out and very tall.

That is true but it did win 3rd best steel coaster last year and the park advertises that fact, so they should put in the extra effort to make the ride look good. They don't even have to paint most of the coaster if they don't want anyway since you can only see it up close when you are riding it. At least touch up the lift hill and station/brake area. Cedar Point is slowly repainted Millennium Force which is even bigger!

Offline Edwardo

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Actually, if its already winning awards, that's even less of a reason to spend money painting it.

Offline Ogolo

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Or you could waste a few million and throw some speakers on the trains..

Offline kadog

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This is a very bad idea! First off, you are taking down a classic roller coaster icon, Rolling Thunder, and taking it down. For what? A drop tower. But I'm saying the drop tower is bad. The only reason for that is because it will be on Kingda Ka. Kingda Ka is a world famous roller coaster landmark. It is one of the best coasters in the world, the tallest and the second fastest! And Great Adventure is putting a drop ride on it? I think that people would laugh at it. They are ruining the originality and famous appearance of Ka! Its like putting another statue next to The Statue Of Liberty. They are changing a world famous roller coaster icon. And I'm not even gonna thing about all the technical problems with this drop ride that will ad to Ka's already many problems. Help support Ka! I hope you guys understand my opinion.

Offline WadeJ

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While I get being upset about RT, all I can say is that you can't look at it as getting rid of RT for a drop tower. There are several other factors here that have contributed.  And I'm sure they could have easily found another way to route the queue to the new ride. So don't be upset at the new drop ride :).

Plus, I hope they'll be making up for the loss of RT in a few years with a new coaster ;).

Offline rjholla2003

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To me, the shame of Rolling Thunder coming down appears to be different than many others. I see a lot of people saying that it shouldn't come down because it's a classic and we should keep a traditional wooden coaster in the park. I disagree with that, in regards to Rolling Thunder in its current form. As it is now, let's be honest, is crappy. Rolling Thunder is a coaster that formerly was great and is now a shell of itself. IMO, the true shame of RT's impending removal is that it even got to this condition to begin with. Rolling Thunder was neglected for a long time, and because of that, the ride quality got worse and worse. With the ride quality getting worse, the ridership went down. Since a theme park is a business at the end of the day, with ridership dropping, the importance of the ride drops as well. This, sadly, was a self-fulfilling destiny for Rolling Thunder. The real shame is that the park allowed it to get to the point where properly restoring it will not get them a return on investment because the reputation of the ride is now ruined beyond repair.  The other shame in the loss of RT is that we are losing yet another ride for that height group. Hopefully in 2015 they will focus on that height group so that they have some sort of reason to come to Great Adventure.
Peep the concept, you've got progress, you've got congress
We protest in hopes they confess, just proceed on your conquest
I ain't got no gavel, I ain't finna fight nobody battle
I just wanna be free, I ain't finna be nobody's chattel

Offline Steve

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^This.

Also I think having the drop tower directly on Ka works for both sides. Not only will it provide a thrilling view for guests, but from a business standpoint they are saving money by adding onto the tower instead of building a standalone one.

Standing in that parking lot or on line and staring straight up on how high it truly is will create mixed emotions inside.