Rumors began circulating about a record-breaking new ride that Six Flags Great Adventure was working on in 2012; after a long wait, Zumanjaro is here. The world-famous thrill ride, Kingda Ka dominated the media in 2005 when it was completed and opened that May. At a towering 456 ft with a 418 ft drop at 128mph, it was a daunting monolith of a steel structure and can be seen even from outside the 160 acre amusement park. Now Six Flags Great Adventure may have outdone themselves with a their newest thrill creation, the record-breaking Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. This new ride is a whopping 41 stories tall (415 ft), stretching higher than Big Ben and twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.
Zumanjaro is the newest addition the park’s growing Safari theme. Safari Off Road Adventure was added to the park in 2013 and the cordoned off area contiguous to Zumajaro will serve as a baboon enclosure alongside the ride’s queue. Zumanjaro seats eight brave park goers side by side in a gondola. The heavy green steel tracks of Kingda Ka wrap around the vertical drop ride, providing an extra element of adrenaline inducing terror. The east coast Drop of Doom will take about 10 seconds to complete at 90 mph, pausing at certain intervals along the way. At the precipice of its height, patrons of Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom will be able to see as far as the Philadelphia skyline on a clear day while the thrill seekers riding Kingda Ka scream as they’re propelled around the tower of doom.
The view alone steals the show from the previous free fall drop thrill ride record holder, Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. Drop of Doom being the key theme. Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is located in Valencia, California at Six Flags Magic Kingdom. Similar to it’s bigger and badder young cousin, Zumjaro, the Lex Luthor experience is also integrated into that of another thrill ride, Superman: Escape from Krypton. The drop experienced on Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is 400 ft and reaches a slower speed of 85 mph at its fastest. In kind with Zumjaro and structural partner, Superman: Escape from Krypton, Lex Luthor also features a gondola for patrons to ride in and scream from.
Also bidding goodbye this year as a way to welcome Zumanjaro, Rolling Thunder is stepping down from Great Adventure’s list of beloved thrill experiences. Since opening in 1979, Rolling Thunder has seen 3 decades of use and appreciation from thrill seekers all over the globe and across the United States. With Rolling Thunder gone, El Toro is now the last wooden roller coaster left of a bygone era at the Jackson location of Six Flags Great Adventure. The void that Rolling Thunder will leave behind is sure to be missed by nostalgic patrons and summertime thrill seekers, but with the new addition of a bigger and more heart pumping thrill Great Adventure isn’t about to see a decline in the number of seasonal park goers. Lines open to experience the record-breaking Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom this Memorial Day weekend.
By Faye Barton