When we last left our heroes, they were making their way out of Six Flags Great Adventure…let’s find out what they’re up to now…
So after riding our last rides for the day, Jacquie, Jason, Anthony, and I left the park. Great Adventure decided to bribe us all with candy, so we were each handed two mini bags of peanut butter M&M’s (this will be important later). We walked back to the car, got in, and prepared to go home. It was 5:33pm (I know this, it was burned in my mind). We drive to the end of the aisle of cars, got in line, and waited for the line to move. We waited. And waited. And waited.
After 15 minutes, we were getting antsy.
After 30 minutes, we were bickering.
After 45 minutes, we were pissed.
After an hour, we were on the warpath.
We literally sat in traffic, commiserating with other drivers around us. Someone told us that there was an accident near the entrance of the park that was preventing everyone from leaving. Some people heard a rumor of another exit, so they turned their cars around and started driving in the opposite direction (a misguided notion, since Six Flags refused to open a service exit for us). After an hour and a half, we had run out of M&Ms (we rationed one mini bag to stave off the “hanger”). At some point, people had gotten out of their cars and wandered around–some went to go find out the scoop from the people in the front of the line, some wandered off into the woods to pee, and someone else was awesome enough to blare the Cha-Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle from their car stereo to entertain people.
The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and Six Flags security drove by no less than 3 times during this whole ordeal (and we have no idea where they came from–probably the aforementioned service exit that we were denied access to), but they refused to stop and answer our questions as to why we were essentially being held hostage in the parking lot. Jacquie tried calling the Ocean County non-emergency line to find out of the rumors of a car accident on I-195 were truel, but was told that was a state road, so she’d need to contact the State Troopers. When she called them, their phone system promptly hung up on her.
There were no bathrooms, no food (a bad thing, since I hadn’t eaten since 8am because there wasn’t any food in the park either), and no communication. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.
Three hours and two line dances later, we were out of there.
Three days ago, I was asked to take a survey on my Six Flags experience. Let me assure you, my review was nothing less than scathing. The only positive thing I had to say was about Ashley O., the employee who entertained us for an hour on the safari ride.
What was our compensation for all this mess? An apology email and a coupon from the president of Six Flags good for free entry to Fright Fest for me and a friend on either October 3rd or October 10th. Awesome, right?
Yeah, no. I don’t do Fright Fest and even if I did, I’m not going to schlep all the way down to Jackson to use it on a Friday night after I’ve been at work all day–when I get home, all I want to do is cook dinner, veg on the couch, and then go to sleep. Not only that, but it’s tied to my season pass, so it’s non-transferable.
So yeah, I lost a whole day of my life and I got a coupon for free shit I can’t use!!
If I didn’t have a season pass, I wouldn’t be going back to Six Flags anytime soon. As it is, I may only visit one more time to get the “value” of my pass and then never go back. I can’t fit on my favorite ride, so there hardly seems to be any point. I told Jacquie that I’d work my ass off all winter (literally) so I can fit on Nitro, because it’s my favorite roller coaster in all of creation, but after I meet that goal, I don’t know that I’ll even want to go back.
Moral of the story: Six Flags Great Adventure, while in and of itself is a good park (and a good alternative to Disney for someone who lives so far away), suffers from shoddy management and a severe lack of communication or concern with and for its guests.