Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom – World’s Tallest Drop Tower – Coming to Six Flags Great Adventure in 2014

If you get scared on Disney’s Tower of Terror, then you may want to stay away from the ride just announced for Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.  The park already has the world’s tallest roller coaster with Kingda Ka topping 456 feet.  So you know what is a good idea?  Let’s strap a drop ride to the superstructure!  Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom will debut in 2014, and take riders to heights of 415 feet before dropping them at 90 mph.

Update March 30, 2014

The construction is nearly complete on Six Flags Great Adventures’s Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom – soon to be the world’s tallest drop ride.  The center of three towers was completed March 27 at 41 dizzying stories, and the final track piece of the right tower, considered the “topping off,” is expected to be set Monday, March 31, wind and weather permitting.

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom, Six Flags Great Adventure

Construction on Zumanjaro – Drop of Doom, image courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

 

“Wind is certainly a factor at 415 feet,” said Mike Fatovic, construction supervisor at Six Flags Great Adventure.  “It can seem very calm on the ground, and sometimes it is a very different story at the top of the tower.”  Due to today’s high winds, no track pieces will be set; however electrical work continues at the construction site.

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom, Six Flags Great Adventure

Construction on Zumanjaro – Drop of Doom, image courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

 

Following the topping off, the construction, maintenance and engineering teams will focus on adding three gondolas that will whisk riders to the top of the tower, installing the lift mechanism—a winch and cable system–and ride controls, followed by extensive ride testing, inspections and certification before the first passengers board the ride later this spring.

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom, Six Flags Great Adventure

Construction on Zumanjaro – Drop of Doom, image courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

 

Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster—the 456-foot monster that ranks as the world’s tallest coaster and fastest in North America—Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom will hoist riders 41 stories into the sky and rocket them back to Earth at 90 miles per hour while Kingda Ka trains launch right toward them at speeds of up to 128 miles per hour.  Riders will pause for a few terrifying moments 41 stories in the air—even higher than London’s Big Ben and twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty—allowing them to catch a glimpse of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia 52 miles to the south before gravity plunges them back to ground level in less than 10 seconds.

Original post from August 29, 2013 follows below…

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure

Zumanjaro at Six Flags Great Adventure © 2013 Six Flags. All rights reserved.

From Six Flags Great Adventure’s press release

New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure will shatter the world record for tallest drop ride with the addition of the 41-story Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom in 2014.

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, Six Flags Great Adventure

Zumanjaro at Six Flags Great Adventure © 2013 Six Flags. All rights reserved.

 

Connected to the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster — the 456-foot monster that ranks as the world’s tallest coaster and fastest in North America — Zumanjaro will hoist riders 415 feet into the sky and rocket them back to Earth at 90 miles per hour while Kingda Ka trains launch right toward them at speeds of up to 128 miles per hour.

“Zumanjaro solidifies Six Flags Great Adventure’s dominance as the Northeast’s thrill capital,” said John Fitzgerald, park president.  “This is precisely the world-class, record-breaking attraction our guests have come to expect from Great Adventure. Zumanjaro is destined to top many ‘must ride’ lists in 2014.”

Three soaring Zumanjaro towers will be built on the face of the massive Kingda Ka coaster debuting during the park’s 41st season.  Each drop tower will feature a gondola with eight riders.

“Zumanjaro pushes thrills to heights never imagined when Great Adventure first opened in 1974,” said park historian and author Harry Applegate.  “You could stack the tallest major attractions from Great Adventure’s opening season on top of one another, including the Big Wheel, Log Flume, Runaway Train and Skyride, and you would still be more than 50 feet shy of Zumanjaro.”

The name “Zumanjaro” was inspired by the African influences of Safari Off Road Adventure, the attraction that combined Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari into the world’s largest theme park.  A newly-themed animal section adjacent to Zumanjaro will feature mischievous and playful Anubis baboons native to Africa.  For nearly 40 years, these baboons were a favorite of Safari visitors, but not included in the new Safari Off Road Adventure.

Six Flags Great Adventure - Safari Off Road Adventure

“Throughout this season, guests have inquired about the baboons.  We can finally announce that they will be the stars of this newly-themed area,” Fitzgerald said.  Guests will be able to see the lively primates, also known as olive baboons, up close in their new habitat formerly known as Safari Discoveries.  These members of the Old World Monkey family “have a highly organized social structure and their interactions are fascinating to watch,” he added.

Zumanjaro and the new baboon exhibit are slated for a spring debut in 2014.

The End of an Era: Rolling Thunder

The introduction of Zumanjaro spells the end of an era for one of the park’s classic roller coasters, Rolling Thunder.  The coaster, which opened in 1979, has delivered more than 42 million rides in its nearly 35-year history.  Although the classic, dual track “woodie” remained a staple at the park, its popularity waned over the years.

“Advances in technology have led to a new generation of rides with the sleek intensity of El Toro, the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster,” Fitzgerald said.  Guests will be able to enjoy Rolling Thunder until it closes to the public September 8, 2013 to make way for construction.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.