bunny_hugger is, among other things, a member in the American Coaster Enthusiasts, a band of people who share news about amusement parks, complain mightily about whenever parks change anything, and get huffy about how they appreciate roller coasters on a deeper level than you do. She avoids the snottier sides of the fandom, and we're planning on going to an ACE event soon (Slitherfest, more anon), but: part of her membership includes some pretty sweet deals for visits to amusement parks. Our trip to Great Adventure was during a window when she'd get one free admission to a Six Flags park, along with half-price tickets for guests, so we had a savings of nearly $36,000 in park admissions just for the one visit.
Or we would if the woman at the Customer Services desk quite knew what to make of her comp ticket. She apologized, explaining that she was new, and I can accept that this is a rare situation for her. She needed to get her supervisor to point at stuff on a screen, and then type away again, and then get her supervisor back for more screen-pointing. But it was early in the day, and it wasn't quite raining yet, and for the saving of a full admission price (the Customer Services desk wasn't needed for my half-price admission) it was worth waiting.
Also I learned that if I had brought my Discover card with me, I'd have got a discount on buying ... well, pretty much everything at the park. Probably not the admission, since that was already heavily discounted, but each time we bought food the signs and the cashiers asked if we wanted to save five percent by buying with a Discover card, and yes, we did want to, but we didn't feel they were likely to just take my word that I had one sitting back home.
Our first ride was another haunted-swing type ride, in which you sit on seats that rock a little while the room fixtures spin around and give you a thoroughly disorienting feel of what's going on. This one, themed vaguely to Harry Houdini (who comes back from the grave to taunt the people who're ... contacting spirits in ... his mansion?), comes in second to the magnificent haunted-swing ride at d'Efteling --- how could it not? --- but I think we're going to have to rate it as a general favorite sort of ride. We hadn't realized it was there the last time we visited Great Adventure; possibly it was closed or possibly we just overlooked it. I had not, as best I remember, been on one before the summer of 2011 when we got to one at Dutch Wonderland, and now we've been to them in three countries.
The peculiar thing about the ride was that as we waited for entry, the gate attendants just ... wandered off, not to be seen again. After probably a full ride cycle or two (there's no telling from outside just what's going on in the building) one of the attendants from inside walked over to the gate and without explaining anything let folks in.
We were hungry --- we'd considered leaving the becalmed line for lunch --- and found the same place we'd eaten lunch last time at the park, a Japanese restaurant off by the park's original midway. We didn't get sushi, but, isn't it kind of awesome that you can get sushi at amusement parks now and that's not crazy? As we ate, the clouds opened and about four feet of rain smashed through Jackson Township, and we figured we should eat slower in the hopes of getting out after the rain did.
Trivia: During his Mercury flight, Gus Grissom completed the planned test of pitch and yaw but not that of roll, as he ran out of time. Source: This New Ocean: A History Of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander, NASA SP-4201.
Currently Reading: A Choice Of Gods, Clifford Simak. You know, the story starts off with most of humanity being vanished to multiple other worlds, growing from this involuntary-colonization start, becoming an interstellar empire, and facing a strange and inexplicable intelligence that's roaming through the galaxy. (This is all explained by the cover blurbs, so, only mild spoilers.) Add in some nigh-omnipotent snarky bloggers raining phones on the Slavs and a lot of tiresome action and you'd have Singularity Sky.