Specific Type: Steel, Sit-Down, Family
In 1996 Six Flags Great Adventure put in there first indoor roller coaster. During the 1995 season they took a survey of guest to try and name the coaster and come up with a theme for this upcoming ride ment for families. Most respondents felt that the choice of Skull Mountain was not appropriate for the demographic of families, and was too scary. Six Flags Great Adventure wanted a highly themed experience and felt that Skull Mountain was the best choice to market so against the general public’s resistance to the name and theme they chose Skull Mountain. The park built a large building and made it looks as though it was a rock mountain, complete with a skull at the top. A waterfall emerged from the skull’s eyes and down it’s mouth and over the rock ledges landing in a pool below. This whole area is illuminated at night to give it a spooky look, complete with glowing eyes. The queue area that greeted the guests when the ride opened was highly themed and created a story about this jungle mountain, and that it might not be so inviting to outside visitors. The guest are jungle explorers who discover an inhospitable path surrounded by vegetation, a thatched village, and native art. However as the guest explored deeper they find that there had been past expeditions that were unsuccessful marked by abandoned campsites, overturned jeeps, and even the remains of past explorers. Sadly this elaborate queue line was only used for for three seasons, and it was removed before the 1999 season and replace with the Jolly Rodger. Guest would now enter the area and go directly into the mountain.
The ride itself was built by Intamin and features two booster wheel lifts, a maximum height of about 40 feet, and a maximum speed of 33 MPH. Riders complete the 1,377 foot long circuit in total darkness. The ride features mostly swooping banked turns to try and increase the sensation of speed in the dark. There are a few pops of airtime that can be quite the surprise combined with the dark and the single position lap bars. The ride itself if it were outdoors would be perfect for younger guests, but the ride suffers a little bit of an identity crisis since the layout cannot be seen even when on the ride. Combined with the theming it does make it scary for some guests. Apprehensive parents may even try and steer younger kids away from it, but once they have experienced more thrilling rides Skull Mountain may also seem too tame. During the 2016 Fright Fest a VR experience was added to the ride that catered to the thrill seeking teens who usually attend the park at that time. Even though it was not the most successful addition to Great Adventure it serves as a reminder of how popular these highly themed rides like; Batman, Viper, and Mach 1 excited guests from that time period. It also seems to be the direction the park is looking to move into again as they plan the future.
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