Finally! After more than a year without riding a roller coaster, and after a summer in which I was told not to ride roller coasters, Weezie finally got her fix yesterday! September 24th was a date I'd had on my calendar for a long time and though it was a little disappointing (read on), I did get to ride, and with some of the coolest people I know, too.
Last night was Great Adventure's Annual Out in the Park event, something that my friends and I have been going to for years now. I figured that since this particular date was so late in the season and more than two months after my back issues, it'd be the perfect time to go, and it kinda was. The weather was crisp and very autumn-like and all of the rides were running.
Our first ride is one of my favorites..El Toro. It was around 5 p.m. when we got to the park, and the place was packed. Almost an hour and a half wait to ride this one, but once we were in that seat, it was definitely worth it. Take a quick ride...
At the end of that exhilarating ride, we all came off laughing at our pal Sonny, who had never ridden El Toro and was screaming the whole way. We stopped at the picture booth to check out how silly we all looked and a gem was found:
Yup, that's Sonny on the left (my other pal Sean is on the right!). You can imagine from the look on her face just how hard we were laughing, and it continued the whole night through. We giggled and fooled around and chatted amiably for the next six-plus hours as we rode Nitro, Bizarro, and the all-new Joker (Loved!). Wait, that's only four rides altogether. Well, no, there were two rides on Nitro. Well...
Out At Night: A Rant
I mentioned earlier in the post to read on, and this is where a little rant comes in. I'd said that my friends and I have been going to this event for a few years now, not every year, but mostly. The event, Out At Night, is supposed to be a night for LGBT's to enjoy some rip-roaring, our-kind-of fun in the park. There used to be a dance party, beer and drink gardens, dancing, and best of all, short lines. Well, no more. Like everything else good, (see A Pitiful Night on the Sea Tea), this event has morphed into something altogether different than it used to be, and is no longer worth it.
I don't blame the organizers for what it was like at Great Adventure yesterday. I place blame on Six Flags and good old fashioned capitalistic greed. You see, in recent years, the Halloween-themed days at the park, dubbed Fright Fest at Six Flags' parks, has become a huge draw, and to seemingly capitalize on its popularity, SFGA had been running theirs a week already. Where we used to have the park to ourselves, that is no longer the case.
Yes, that first ride on El Toro ate up almost two hours of our evening, and so did lines for the other rides. Kingda Ka was an hour and forty-five minute wait...not worth sucking up another two hours. For the first time in recent memory, we had to pick and choose which coasters to ride, given the time we had at the park, which is a darned shame. There were people everywhere, and though there were LGBT's in the crowd, there were far more of everybody else. I'm done with Out At Night!
It's too bad that Six Flags seems to have chosen the almighty dollar over goodwill. I always waited till this event to visit this, my home park, and now I'll have to choose an alternative. Despite the huge crowds, long lines and few rides, it really was a fun night of riding and the only pain I had in my back was from standing so long. Luckily I had good people to share the experience with, and I guess we'll just have to find another day to go next year...maybe a Monday!