Six Flags Great Adventure

amusement park

Six Flags Great Adventure is a theme park in Jackson Township, New Jersey, United States. It opened on July 1, 1974. The park complex also contains the Hurricane Harbor water park.

Six Flags Great Adventure
The Giant Wheel (now the Big Wheel)
Location Jackson, New Jersey, USA
Website Six Flags Great Adventure
Owner Six Flags
Opened July 1, 1974 (July 1, 1974)
Previous names Great Adventure
Operating season Year-round
Rides 200 + total
  • 13 roller coasters
  • 2 water rides

In 2012, Six Flags combined Great Adventure Park with the Wild Safari Area to form a single 475-acre theme park. As of 2018, the park contained 12 roller coasters.[1] Three are world-class rides: El Toro, Kingda Ka and Nitro.[2] Kingda Ka, with a top speed of 128 mph feels like taking off from an aircraft carrier.[2] At 458 feet tall guests say on a clear day you can see both the Philadelphia and New York City skylines.[3] Nitro, another fast roller coaster, offers a panoramic view of the New Jersey countryside.[2] El Toro is one of the tallest wooden roller coasters at 181 feet.[2] The park includes a Safari Off-Road Adventure that has over 1,200 animals.[4] It is the largest drive-through safari park in North America.[3]

There are three areas just for children. The Hurricane Harbor water park takes up 45 acres by itself.[5] Between the three areas there are over 200 rides and attractions.[6] Six Flags Great Adventure is open between spring break and late October.[5]



Located halfway between New York City and Philadelphia, the park opened in 1974. At first it was called The Enchanted Forest.[7] In 1976 it was renamed Great Adventure. Six Flags bought it in 1977.[7]



On August 17, 1981 a park employee fell to his death during a routine test of Rolling Thunder.[8] The investigation concluded he may not have used the safety bar.[8] On May 11, 1984 the Haunted Castle caught fire.[9] Eight teenagers were caught inside and died.[10] In 1987 a woman fell to her death from the Lightnin' Loops roller coaster.[10] Officials said she did not have her shoulder safety harness on.[11] She was 19 years old.[11] There have been no serious accidents since 2003 at Great Adventure.[12]

Attractions timeline

Year Events Image
1974 The Giant Wheel (now Big Wheel), at 148 feet (45 m) tall was billed as one of the world's largest.[13] Other attractions included Carousel, Sky Ride, Super Round Up, Runaway Mine Train, log flume, Flying Wave, Traffic Jam, Swiss Bob, Calypso, Matterhorn, Woodland Express, Grand Prix, Pretty Monster, antique cars, and Big Fury.
1975 Rides added: Jumbo Jet, Enterprise, Poland Spring Plunge, Lil' Thunder, Super Cat, Schwabinchen, Wild Rider.
1976 Rides added: Musik Express replace Happy Feeling petting zoo; Pretty Monster moved to current site of tea cups.  
1977 Rides added: Monster Spin replaces Pretty Monster in current tea cup spot, Gondola (added then removed at end of season)
1978 Rides added: Lightnin' Loops, Wild Rider, Scrambler, Haunted Castle Across the Moat-a single haunted walk-through attraction added for then named Halloweekends.
1979 Rides added: Rolling Thunder, Spin Meister [since removed], second side of Haunted Castle built for regular season; Grand Prix cars removed at end of season.  
1980 In 1980 the park opened Buccaneer (a pirate swing ride), Oktoberfest (German food and drink) and Adventure Theater (showed movies).[14] Six Flags Great Adventure removed Rail Road at the end of the season.
1981 Roaring Rapids [Now Congo Rapids] added; Wild Rider removed.
1982 Joust-a-Bout added [since removed]
1983 Bally runs Six Flags; Stuntman's Freefall [since removed] and Parachuter's Perch added (the latter came from Six Flags St. Louis)
1984 The Sarajevo Bobsled was added.[2] Rolling Thunder Coaster 2's trains run backwards (known as "Rednuht Gnillor").
1985 Looping Starship added (later known as Space Shuttle).  
1986 Ultra Twister (TOGO heartline coaster) was added.[2] The Matterhorn is removed and sent to Six Flags Atlantis in Hollywood, Florida, Swabinchen removed at end of season.  
1987 Splashwater Falls [later known as Movie Town Water Effect] added; Scrambler moved to Swabinchen location; a management change at the end of 1987 re-emphasized family values at the park.
1988 Condor debuts on site of Calypso; Sarajevo Bobsled removed and sent to Six Flags Great America
1989 Great American Scream Machine added; Ultra Twister removed before end of season and sent to Six Flags Astroworld  
1990 Shockwave added from Six Flags Magic Mountain.[2]
1991 Adventure Rivers (in-park street-clothes rubber-raft water slides) added (removed for 1999); Condor and Swiss Bob removed.
1992 Time Warner purchases Six Flags and renames the former Enchanted Forest section "Action Town" and builds the Batman Stunt Show Arena; Lightnin' Loops removed mid-season and is sent to Adventure World in Maryland and Frontier City in Oklahoma, Shockwave removed at end of season and sent to Six Flags Astroworld
1993 El Sombrero (Swabinchen) added to Frontier Adventures, Batman: The Ride opens in May; Action Town becomes Movie Town  
1994 "Right Stuff: Mach 1 Adventure" (Iwerks turbo simulator) added (runs Elvira Superstition during Fright Fest)
1995 Viper debuts in June
1996 Skull Mountain, Enchanted Tea Cups, and Lethal Weapon Stunt Show added. Adventure theatre was renamed "Looney Tune Lakeside Theatre".[14]  
1997 Dare Devil Dive – a 155 ft (47 m) tall Skycoaster added, Batman & Robin: The Chiller is built but only operates briefly this season  
1998 Batman & Robin: The Chiller opens regularly this season; the Adventure Rivers dry slides and Sky Pilot are removed at the end of the season in order to expand the ride offerings for 1999
1999 Medusa (now known as Bizarro), Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train, Road Runner Railway, Looney Tunes Seaport (themed kiddie area), and Houdini's Great Escape added; a large collection of flat rides promoted as a "War on Lines" include Spinnaker, Time Warp, Pirate's Flight, Evolution, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Pendulum, Rodeo Stampede, Chaos, Twister, and Jolly Roger; "Escape from Dino Island 3D" replaces "Mach 1 Adventure;" Gotham City Carnival of Chaos replaces the Batman Returns Stunt Show; Hollywood Animal Actor Show occupies Bandstand on the Lake for one season; Great American Road Race (up charge go-cart track) opens on former queue for Mach 1  
2000 Hurricane Harbor water park opened as a separate admission park; employee housing (Six Flags University) opens on former site of ball field; Spinnaker removed after the season ends.
2001 Nitro opens on April 7; short-lived Season Pass entrance opens; Slingshot and Turbo Force (up charge rides) debut; Viper stands but does not operate all season; El Sombrero, Centrifuge G Force (scrambler), and Time Warp are removed  
2002 Pirate's Flight is removed by the start of season; The Summer of Festivals features a new theme and new exhibits each week through summer in central park; Viper reopens; Chiller's trains are modified by removing the shoulder restraints
2003 Evolution is removed before the season starts and sent to Six Flags St. Louis; Superman: Ultimate Flight opens on April 17; ErUPtion (upcharge attraction) added; "Right Stuff Mach 1 Adventure" is brought back for one season; Jumpin' Jack Flash only operates for a few hours in 2002 and 2003 and it is removed at the end of season, Pendulum is removed by the end of season and sent to Six Flags Great America  
2004 SpongeBob SquarePants: The Ride 3D replaces "Right Stuff;" Batman: The Ride's supports are repainted midnight blue with yellow track, Main Street's buildings are repainted and new landscaping is added; the Season Pass Entrance and Bugs Bunny Land are discontinued at the end of season
2005 Chiller and Great American Scream Machine are repainted; Safari tours bring guests through the Safari via vans from The Northern Star Arena; The Golden Kingdom themed area debuts with Balin's Jungleland (children's play area), Temple of the Tiger (tiger exhibit), and Spirit of the Tiger (educational tiger presentation), Kingda Ka opens on May 21; Viper is demolished in June to make room for a new roller coaster; Taz Twister, Rodeo Stampede, and Chaos are removed (Stampede was sent to Six Flags Over Texas)  
2006 Spin Meister is removed by the start of the season, Red Zone wins a take over battle of Six Flags and increases prices on admission, parking, and other items within park; Bugs Bunny National Park opens in March; Runaway Train's track is repainted orange, its supports are repainted red, and its trains receive new single t-bars; Flying Wave's opening is delayed by two months due to refurbishment; Plaza Del Carnaval, the re-themed Spanish section, opens just before Memorial Day, the Carnegie Deli restaurant also opens that weekend on Main Street; El Toro opens on June 11; Rolling Thunder is closed for most of the spring and two of its four trains are used on one side during most of its operation; Kingda Ka only runs two trains throughout the year; the Batman side of The Chiller opens on May 5 for the first time since 2004, the entire attraction is closed on June 2 and remained closed for the entire season after an incident on the Robin side; Stuntman's Freefall, Riptide, and Koala Canyon (the last of the former Adventure Rivers attractions) are removed  
2007 Batman & Robin: The Chiller reopens but is closed permanently on June 28 due to more malfunctions; Wiggles World opens; Autobahn receives several new cars; Ben and Jerry's opens three locations in the park, a Cold Stone Creamery is added to the Quenchers building next to the Carnegie Deli, The Great American Hamburger is transformed into Johnny Rockets Express and Wok & Roll becomes Panda Express; Kingda Ka has four trains running, all four trains on Rolling Thunder are racing for the first time since 2005, a package pickup system has been established for merchandise with a pickup location by Guest Relations; Movie Town Water Effect is demolished during the offseason.
2008 The Dark Knight, a new indoor roller coaster based on the film of the same name, is added; SpongeBob SquarePants: The Ride 3D is removed for a new ride called "Fly Me To The Moon 3D" two more Johnny Rockets and one more Coldstone Creamery open in the park; Old Country and Houdini's Great Escape are closed; the Super Teepee is destroyed in a storm and removed; Six Flags institutes a new locker policy to reduce the amount of loose articles brought into the station, $1 Lockers are available at each major coasters for one-time use of up to two hours; Cabanas are available for rental in Spin Meister's location; Space Shuttle and Flying Wave are removed
2009 Medusa goes under a complete overhaul and becomes Bizarro, opens on May 23; the Big Wheel is repainted to resemble what it looked like in 1974; Mr. Six returns and is now a character in the park, he has a dance party every couple of hours (including 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:00 pm) and does a small dance in the morning when the park opens; a cyber cafe opens next to the Carnegie Deli in Main Street. The Parachute Tower is re-painted with a blue, red, orange, and yellow paint scheme in September and Houdini's Great Escape is re-opened exclusively for Fright Fest.  
2010 Hurricane Harbor adds a ProSlide Tornado scheduled for opening on Memorial Day Weekend, the water park's first new slide in nearly a decade. Many buildings on Main Street are refurbished and given fresh coats of paint. Fly Me To The Moon 3D is closed for the season in preparation for a new major attraction for the 2011 season. The Great American Scream Machine is demolished to make room for the Green Lantern roller coaster.
2011 Green Lantern, a green B&M stand-up coaster, is introduced at the end of the Boardwalk to coincide with the release of the Warner Bros. film of the same name. Slingshot, an upcharge attraction, is added, replacing erUPtion, also on the Boardwalk. Tango, a family ride, Bugaboo, a children's ride, and Foghorn Leghorn's Stagecoach Express, a mini-train ride, are all reopened after each spending at least a season standing but not operating. Fantasy Fling is repainted red and renamed "Tornado", since its sponsor is the food item Tornadoes. Coca-Cola Freestyle, a new refreshment restaurant featuring over 100 flavors of soda, opens, replacing Jersey Shore Candy.
2012 SkyScreamer is added into newly themed adventure alley section, along with fender benders and Déjà Vu, as well as Air Jumbo

Safari is closed on September 30. The Safari undergoes major renovations and redesign during the winter to unite Six Flags Great Adventure as one property.

2013 Wild Safari reopens as Safari Offroad Adventures
2014 Six Flags Great Adventure opens Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, which is the tallest drop ride in the world. It drops riders 415 feet at speeds of up to 90 mph. It is built on the face of Kingda Ka. Rolling Thunder, one of the park's two wooden roller coasters, closes after nearly 35 years of operation.
2015 El Diablo opens to the public.[15] Holiday in the Park begins in late November. Fort Independence and the Great Lake Grandstand are fenced off and demolished for Total Mayhem a new S&S 4D free fly coaster.
2016 The Joker replaces Fort Independence, Great Lake Grandstand, and Festival Stage.
2017 Justice League: Battle for Metropolis opens in Batman and Robin: The Chiller’s former space.
2018 Cyborg: Cyber Spin opens in the new Metropolis area of the park.
2019 Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth opens in the Metropolis area of the park.
2020 Jersey Devil Coaster, a custom RMC raptor, is built but does not open until 2021.
2021 Jersey Devil Coaster opens after being delayed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Panorama (long picture) of Six Flags Great Adventure's roller coasters and skyline


  1. Bethany Ao and Claire Wolters (July 27, 2018). "From thrilling to nauseating: We rode all 12 roller-coasters at Six Flags to find out which were the best". The Philly Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Brady MacDonald (July 24, 2011). "Top 10 roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "10 fun facts about Six Flags Great Adventure". Asbury Park Press. May 17, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. "Save Up to $35 When You Ride NJ Transit to Six Flags Great Adventure, Safari or Hurricane Harbor!". NJ Transit Corporation. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey". Ultimate Rollercoaster®, LLC. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  6. "Six Flags Great Adventure". DGuides. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Robert Niles (August 29, 2013). "Six Flags Great Adventure". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "THE REGION; Ride in Jersey Park Opens After Death". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 18, 1981. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  9. Janson, Donald (July 12, 1985). "Baden Criticizes Inquiry by Jersey into Park Fire". New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Homer, Caine Donis (February 17, 2014). "Six Flags Great Adventure". Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Ride Victim Wasn't Secured". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 19, 1987. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  12. Nicole Mulvaney (August 12, 2013). "Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson says rides are safe, following Texas roller coaster tragedy". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  13. "Giant Wheel at Six Flags Great Adventure". Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Retro Great Adventure". Retro Junkie. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  15. Eyeopenerphl17 and David Grzybowski (26 May 2015). "El Diablo Opens As Six Flags Great Adventure's 13th Roller Coaster". WPHL, A Tribune Broadcasting Station. Retrieved August 1, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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