Author - Kim Manuel

Six Flags Great Adventure: Holiday in the Part 2016 Review

This year, I was lucky enough to attend Six Flags Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park. Being a life-long New Jersey resident who has frequented Six Flags Great Adventure many times before, I was curious and excited to see how they would transform the park from the normal summertime vibe. Upon entering the park, the holiday spirit was found everywhere. Literally every inch was detailed in some sort of festive light and decoration – there was even fake snow! I greatly appreciated the amount of effort Six Flags took to fill the park with holiday cheer. In the center of the grand entrance, they replaced the familiar fountain with a gigantic Christmas tree (52 feet to be exact!), shining bright with lights. Every 30 minutes or so, the Christmas tree would come to life with dancing lights and festive music playing in the background. Unfortunately, because it was very cold throughout the day, most of the main roller coasters were shut down, except for Batman: The Ride and The Joker. I was also a bit surprised and disappointed to find that half of the park was closed (including Bizzaro, Dare Devil Dive, El Diablo, El Toro, Green Lantern, Kingda Ka, Nitro, Sky Screamer, Slingshot, Superman: Ultimate Fight, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom). I do highly recommend that folks bundle up with gloves, a winter hat, and a scarf because it can get very cold and windy. Luckily, they sell hot chocolate (editor’s note: I LOVE hot chocolate – extra marshmallows) and have fire pits to help warm you up! All in all, the entire experience is great for kids and one the whole family can enjoy together.

The entire park is categorized into different holiday themes. First, there is the Gingerbread Junction. There you’ll find Peppermint Path, a cool forest of towering red and white swirly lights. There is also the Gingerbread Twist ride, otherwise known as the popular teacup ride, and a Candy Cane Chaos game where you pick a candy cane to reveal a prize, guaranteeing a winner every time! In Snowman City, there’s Pick-A-Present game, Runaway Reindeer Race game and Stewie the Snowman, a jolly inflatable that will definitely put a smile on your face. In Treetop Summit, you’ll find holiday fire pits where you can create s’mores (kits available for purchase). In Merry Market Place, folks can enjoy delectable waffles, creamy hot chocolate, spiked egg nog and cider, seasonal brews and other holiday treats.

Below are some of the main attractions, including scheduled shows, meet and greets and other holiday surprises.

Holiday Magic: A Celebration of the Season
Starting at 5pm and running at 30 minute intervals, watch the 52-foot Christmas tree light up and come to life through dancing lights and festive music. This is definitely a must-see!

Trouble in Toyland
The show is located in the Showcase Theater. When things go amiss in Santa’s North Pole workshop, Mrs. Claus will try to make it right with a touch of holiday magic! Don’t miss this stage spectacular featuring acrobatics and surprise guests.

Storytime with Mrs. Claus
The show is located in the Adventure Theater in Whimsical Wonderland. Hear one of Santa’s favorite stories from the real boss of Santa’s workshop, complete with a touch of holiday magic!

Dot and Drop’s Holiday Dance Party
Join Dot and Drop for a dance party sweet enough to eat! Located next to the Carousel in Gingerbread Junction.

Jingle Jammers
Holiday singers will warm your hearts by the fire, next to the Holiday Fire Pits in Holiday Memories.

Holiday Harmonies with Hotsy Totsy
Exclusive to Saturdays, enjoy the modern melodies of this lively, 1950’s style trio, celebrating the release of their new album “Fresh Pineapple”, located near Fender Benders in North Pole.

Meet and Greet opportunities include: Santa, Snow Queen, Poinsettia Princess, Toy Soldiers and Dot & Drop Gingerbread.

You can find ticket information and more over at Six Flags Great Adventure’s official Holiday in the Park website.

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2015 Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest Review


Fall is finally upon us. The leaves are starting to brown, and the wind is picking up with brisk breezes. Summer is officially over, school is in full swing, and the first celebrated holiday that gets kids jumping (or running!) with excitement is around the corner – Halloween. Growing up, Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. Nothing beats putting on a costume, getting into character, and receiving free candy as a reward for your ghoulish antics. It’s the only time to tap into your deepest fears and playfully terrorize each other with scary faces and situations you only see in your nightmares and movies.

After building up enough courage and excitement, I found myself at this year’s Six Flags Fright Fest for the very first time. Once the sun set and dusk was upon me, the park completely transformed. Every inch of Six Flags was covered in Halloween decorations, like spooky cobwebbed columns, freaky figurines, eerie music playing throughout the speaker system, a new blood-red water fountain, and of course, the zombies and ghouls! Walking and hiding throughout the park, these guys will find and scare you, whether you like it or not.


Total Darkness

Starting our terror trail experience, we went for Total Darkness, which is an indoor, not-your-average haunted house. Before entering you are teamed up with a group and instructed to hold onto a rope that has a small red-dimmed flashlight tied to the front end. As you go through the completely pitch-black maze, everyone will need to work together to reach the exit. This one definitely got my heart pumping because you are completely relying on your teammates, forced to feel out the walls for direction. As for sound? You’re pretty much vulnerable to everything that is scary in the world – loud screams and noises, creepy laughter and spine-chilling whispers. However, the tight corners and losing all control of sight and direction, Total Darkness wasn’t a winner in my book.

Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival 3-D

Whether you love or hate clowns, this one is a must-go. Before heading inside, everyone is given 3-D glasses. First thought? What the hell is going to pop in front of my face! Decked out in bright neon colors and 3-D effects, this entire indoor maze is a freaky, yet fun trip. The holographic design is a new, interesting take on scary clowns and their demonic smiles. Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival takes the cake on scary visuals. At one point, I even had to use the person in front of me as a human shield.


VooDoo Island

Set on an outdoor tribal maze, we were greeted with voodoo heads on spikes (yikes!) This was another visually appealing terror trail, packed with evil spirit-chanting voodoo priests and lost, terrorized ghouls. Without spoiling the trail further, I can say that I did leave the maze running, not walking.

The Manor

Are you curious to know what goes on inside the walls of an abandoned haunted manor? You’ll find your answer here. Decked out with dusty décor, The Manor is an indoor maze that houses ghosts and ghouls, ready to attack you from every corner. Maybe because it was pretty well lit, this one wasn’t so high on the fright scale – but it will at least get a jump or two out of you.



You would think sane people would want to stay out of an asylum, but this terror trail is one you can’t avoid. Blood-covered walls, rotting rooms, blood hungry deranged patients running towards you, zombie nurses, soulless police officers and other unspeakable terrors have taken over this asylum. If you come to Fright Fest looking to get scared, Asylum is your answer.

Alas, the clock was approaching midnight and it was ultimately time to leave. I didn’t get to experience all of the terror trails, but overall I was pleasantly pleased with the amount of scare I had in one night. This being my first experience, I am already looking forward to attending again. It truly captures the essence of Halloween and all the fun that goes behind it. I can only imagine the great lengths the costume and different theme park teams go through to transform the park into something new. I give this year’s Six Flags Fright Fest two thumbs up!

Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest Ticket Sales

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Six Flags Great Adventure El Diablo Media Event and Review


I recently attended a private press event at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey where the new looped coaster ride, El Diablo, was introduced to a handful of lucky folks. Being a New Jersey native and devoted Six Flags patron throughout my childhood, I was already familiar with the park and wasn’t sure what to expect from the new ride. A fully looped coaster? Now I’m all for speed and huge drops, but the thought of getting constantly spun on what looks to be a giant hamster wheel didn’t seem too appealing. I decided to champ through the doubt anyway and give it a whirl.

The day couldn’t have played out more perfectly. The sun was out and hotter than ever – the perfect setting for a devilish themed ride. Before we got to  actually ride El Diablo, there was a quick presentation from a few speakers, including park President John Fitzgerald. Collin White, the former NJ Devils hockey player, was also in the crowd, along with his trusty companion and former mascot, the NJ Devil. The inspiration behind El Diablo stems from the Jersey devil, the legendary cryptic creature believed to inhabit the southern part of New Jersey. Typically portrayed with bat-like wings and sharp claws, reports have claimed that this fire-breathing demon haunted the innocent.


El Diablo is a fiery bright red, looping coaster, located in the Mexican-themed Plaza del Carnaval section of Six Flags. It features ‘face-off’ (face-to-face) style seating, which adds light fun and slightly more fear if the person sitting across from you looks like they’re just about ready to blow chunks. After I strapped in and thumbs up were given all around, the ride began with back and forth pendulum style rocking. Picking up speed with each swing, I eventually found myself almost at the top of the circle, screaming at the top of my lungs. I now know what it feels like to be stuck in a washing machine – minus all the water and suds. After a couple stomach-turning revolutions around the circle, we were briefly suspended mid-air and completely upside down. You could feel everyone’s excited anticipation of the next reversing drop.

Alas, like all rides, it came to an end, but the adrenaline didn’t stop flowing. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but boy was I deceived. Six Flags offers a wide range of attractions. Arguably, this isn’t your average roller coaster with drops and turns, nor is it your regular swinging pendulum ride. El Diablo is the perfect balance between the two, providing the right amount of excitement to park goers of all ages. Throughout the experience, I was filled with excitement and I didn’t want the frenzy to end. It’s a quick adrenaline fix that all thrill-seekers should take a ride on. Cheers all around!