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Jersey Devil Coaster Thrills Despite Bedeviled Short Closures
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When the Jersey Devil Coaster opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, in 2021, coaster thrill fans were – thrilled. Making its public grand opening in mid-June, the coaster was ranked as one of the world's fastest, tallest, and longest single rail coasters. It rises an impressive 13 stories tall and operates at a whopping 58 miles per hour.

Riders proceed single file through dark woods, over a lengthy 3000-feet of track. And perhaps best of all for those with New Jersey insider knowledge, its theme is inspired by local myth.

But what exactly is the Jersey Devil myth? While many stories have circulated about the escapades of the creature, the basic myth is that the New Jersey Pinelands is the home of the country's only “state demon,” as designated back in 1938. It's described as a “kangaroo-like creature with the face of a horse, the head of a dog, bat-like wings, horns and a tail. For more than 250 years this mysterious creature is said to prowl through the marshes of Southern New Jersey and emerge periodically to rampage through the towns and cities,” according to the description by

Six Flags has taken it one step further given the park's location, placing the stealthy attacking beast “near the theme park's Great Lake, with its menacing curled horns manifesting under a full moon.”

According to theme park president John Winkler, “Jersey Devil folklore has been a source of fear and intrigue here in the Pine Barrens for more than 200 years. We'll immerse riders in this iconic piece of New Jersey history on our monstrous, new scream machine…the Jersey Devil.”

The ride makes good use of the myth, with storyboards about the Jersey Devil placed throughout the queue line. The ride itself features low, sleekly designed trains that seat 12 passengers per car with a single rider in each row, allowing the rider's legs to straddle either side of the monorail track. The track itself soars along 3000 feet, with an ascent rising along a fearsome 130-foot lift, not to mention adding to the thrills and chills with five cutting-edge movements during the ride, including three major inversions.

Among the ride's cutting-edge elements are an 87-degree first drop and overbanked cutback; three thrilling inversions, including a 180-degree stall, a raven dive, and a zero-gravity roll. Despite the ride's bright yellow and reds primary color scheme, these elements are designed to provide a stomach-dropping intense thrill.

The rapid rise begins as soon as the coaster leaves the station, crests its first hill with a panoramic view of the park, then takes that first steep drop fast. Seconds later, riders are already rising up the next hill, followed by the series of inversions, twists and hills with the single-track coaster's cars twisting in and out of the ride's single-track reaching a 180-degree stall and a zero-gravity roll.

The runtime of the ride is approximately 2 minutes in length

The Jersey Devil has a 48” height requirement as befits the extreme thrill level of the ride. Located near the park's lakefront and the Congo Rapids ride, Jersey Devil has its own dining spot - for those riders who've worked up an appetite, a Jersey Devil BBQ restaurant has also opened for diners, with ‘cue, chicken wings, salads, and beer.

Fans of the ride theorize that some of the ride's characteristics were planned with New Jersey's rich Jersey Devil folklore in mind, as the ride is the park's 13th roller coaster attraction and rises 13 stories tall – and opened to the public on June 13th.

Or the devil may be in the operational glitches over the summer. There have been some operations issues along the way, although as it turned out the Jersey Devil and his coaster were not to blame. The ride closed twice this year, first on July 10th for an inspection and testing per RMC, its manufacturer. It reopened July 16th. Then on August 6th, also per RMC's request, the coaster closed again. The actual issue RMC was concerned with during the second closure had nothing to do with the Six Flags Jersey Devil coaster itself, but rather with a malfunction on one of the identical trains that were manufactured for Silverwood Amusement Park's Stunt Pilot. Because both The Jersey Devil Coaster and Stunt Pilot are RMC's second-generation single-rail type of coasters, RMC prudently requested that the Jersey Devil Coaster be closed for a second full inspection to make sure the same tech issue would not occur. The ride then reopened on August 31st.

Closing twice in just over a month was not at all what Six Flags had anticipated, with eager park goers booking visits specifically to enjoy the new ride. Since August, however, operation has been smooth.

Currently, Six Flags is offering thrills that mesh well with the Jersey Devil myth in their annual Halloween-season Fright Fest. Scare Zones, mazes, entertainment and shows, and seasonally-decked out rides include in-the-dark rides on the Jersey Devil.

New this year is the themed Xpedition Dino: Survival with on-the-loose dinosaurs; returning favorites include Wicked Woods with folklore-derived stories at its core. Another new attraction, The Lab, takes attendees on a journey to escape the lab, which is “filled with unlicensed experiments, mysterious test tubes, and top-secret research” according to event PR.

Pricing ranges from $39.95 for Fright Fest admission to 2021-through all of 2022 season passes to the theme park starting at $59.95.
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