Battling For Metropolis…In My Backyard!

Good things come to those who wait, right? Obviously, that’s not guaranteed, but judging from what I’ve witnessed, it’s often proven true. Things I’ve only dreamed of as a kid have materialized. I’ve flexed with Hulk Hogan and I live in a world where there’s a Wonder Woman feature film. Life is good. In many respects, it keeps getting better. How’s that, you ask? Read on! Continue reading Battling For Metropolis…In My Backyard!

Getting Those Great Adventure Vibes!

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Ever since I was in my teens I had a season pass to Six Flags Great Adventure. I can’t say that every friend of mine was as hell bent on constantly spending their summer days incessantly riding some batshit crazy roller coaster of fury, but there always seemed to be a select few who were brave enough. Brave enough not only for the thrill rides, but also to voluntarily take the trip with me. Some of my friends still tell stories about our trips there ’til this day.

Maybe they reminisce about those crazy times because life was pretty simple then. Aside from the shore and malls, there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do in suburbia. We went swimming in our pools, hung out playing board games, went to the movies, all the standard fare. Compared to that stuff, not living too far away from Great Adventure was like holding a key to an action packed alternate dimension. I’ve written about Great Adventure plenty of times here at The Sexy Armpit, and if you’re from the Tri-State area, you know all about its allure, especially when you’re a teenager. Even if you had to get a little crew of friends together and get dropped off by someone’s parents, the whole experience still made me feel like a wild, reckless adult. A trip with me to Six Flags never lacked controversy, that’s for sure.

A season pass to G.A was like having a VIP laminate to a concert. Once I got my license, that season pass got used anywhere from 10-15 times in a season. That was back when having fun and filling up my summer days with cool shit was basically my job. With the ability to drive my friends and I down there came the opportunity to elevate these excursions to Ferris Bueller levels. I blasted music in the car, exceeded the speed limit by at least…9 miles per hour, and maybe we didn’t eat pancreas, but we inhaled Quick Check subs and chugged Mountain Dew in the parking lot (right before nausea inducing rolling coasters.) It was a tradition for me to get us into a few scrapes on the way down there, and there was usually the inevitable “disagreement” with a line cutter or some other miscreant.

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Some people reminisce about high school. Me? I’ve been reflecting on all the years I’ve been going to G.A. and it’s incredible how many memories I have at this place. Comparatively, I’m proud of what I accomplished in high school, but I wasn’t a fan of it at all. I always wanted to be somewhere else. I knew I was going through the motions. A testament to that is the fact that I met most of my closest friends that I still talk to way before high school. A ton of people go to high school reunions, some gossip about people they graduated with, and some never really let go of that period of their lives. To me, those 4 years can’t hold even the tiniest birthday candle to the immense amount of time I spent through the years at Six Flags Great Adventure. It might sound preposterous, but it’s been part of my entire life. It served as a backdrop for long summer hangouts with friends, and as the pinnacle of romance for a 17 year old kid with a driver’s license and a bring a friend free pass. If you can’t relate to that, I guess you’ve never tried to impress a girl by taking her on The Skyway? Now that’s class! Sure you could tell a girl you were picking her up in an actual CAR, a licensed road vehicle, but when you offer the opportunity to take a leisurely flying wicker seat ride, that gained you a day or two of her adoration. That is, at least until she revealed that she secretly had eyes for a guy on the intramural football team who laughs at all your jokes in 5th period, plus she didn’t really want to hear you gush about what kind of impact A Lonely Place of Dying had on your life. But that’s a whole other 19 paragraph post, isn’t it?

Do you remember the names of all your teachers from high school? I don’t, save for a select few. Did you have a moment from your prom that still gives you the butterflies? I don’t. But, I can tell you that I get choked up just thinking about how I’ll never get to ride The Great American Scream Machine ever again. Of course, I should be more than satisfied that I’ve ridden it literally hundreds of times in its entire 20 year existence. Now that Nitro has turned 15, I’m already worrying that I won’t know how to cope if it ever leaves us. Scream Machine and Nitro are my favorite coasters of all time and I’ve probably spent more time on them than I’ve spent with most of my relatives and that’s saying something since they each last a little over 2 minutes.

Mind you, it wasn’t all “More Flags, More Fun.” A lot of it, the parts we ignore for posterity, kind of sucked – and still do! Take for instance, the often blistering heat, sunburn, sweat, agitation, fatigue, and hunger. Long ride lines were never a good scene, but they usually indicated that the ride was worthwhile. A big chunk of time was spent hanging on the steel railing and saying dumb things with your friends or trying to make our with your then-love interest. It’s easy to suck up those negatives to be enthralled by repeated whip-lashings for 35 seconds, but damn, each one of those seconds makes us feel like all life as we know it could stop instantly and we’d all have abnormally huge smiles with rippling cheeks permanently plastered on our faces. What could be more fun? It makes some people drool. Others vomit. Come to think of it, those peeps probably don’t revere all this nonsense as highly as I do.

By now, you’ve gathered what Great Adventure symbolizes to me. My affinity for the park hasn’t changed, but my trips to Great Adventure have. They aren’t as dangerous. They don’t involve near death experiences on the New Jersey Turnpike (well, most of the time) and they’re a heck of a lot shorter. As an example, I’ll leave you with a summary of our latest Great Adventure excursion.

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Miss Sexy Armpit and I made our way down to Jackson, NJ after work one night last week. Considering they close at 9pm, that didn’t leave us much time. By the time we got down there we had a solid 2 hours and we didn’t plan on wasting it. Traditionally, as long as we get to ride Nitro, we’re happy campers, but this time we rode their newest roller coaster, The Joker! At first, it seemed like it wasn’t running. This was a possibility since the ride broke down shortly after it opened and many riders got stuck. I assumed it was just stopped for repairs, but as we got closer, the ride was indeed operating, so we were in luck. I had every intention of riding it, although Miss Sexy Armpit needed a bit of coercing. She wasn’t fond of the idea that the coaster cars themselves spin around while the coaster was running. This could be extremely vomit inducing for some people. She relented and we hopped right on. The ride turned out to be pretty tame – almost more of a wild Ferris wheel gone haywire. I laughed maniacally the entire time like Cesar Romero, so I can see why they named it, The Joker. We were glad we rode it, although, much like The Dark Knight Coaster, it’s not on my must-ride list.

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Number one on my absolute must-ride list is Nitro. The lines were pretty much non-existent this late in the day, so we got right on without a long wait. After that, I convinced Miss Sexy Armpit to stay on for one more ride. Even though we technically only went on 2 rides, we accomplished our mission.

Then, as always, I checked the DC Hall of Justice store. I’ve mentioned this place before, but to reiterate, this is the ultimate gem of a store that DC Comics fans might want to consider buying admission to the park just to gain access to this shop. It’s not a gigantic store by any means, but it’s about the closest answer to the DC Super Hero section of the old Warner Brothers store in the mall that we may ever have. I didn’t pick anything up this time, mostly because I had something else in mind that I was hoping to find on the way out.

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Last stop was the Main Street Market. For regulars, this is the first shop you see after you make your way through the metal detectors (yes the park has excellent security.) I was asked if I needed help finding anything and in my best Lando Calrissian voice I said, “As a matter of fact you can…” Then, I explained that I had heard about a few Great Adventure t-shirts that had just been released with the vintage logo on them. He had no clue what I was talking about. The poor kid looked at me like I just posed him a question that Einstein couldn’t figure out. Finally, Miss Sexy Armpit dumbed it down for him, “it has like…a rainbow with stars…” “OHHH YEAHHH!” then it dawned on him that we weren’t complete psycho nutjobs after all and actually perfectly normal customers towing the Great Adventure retro t-shirt line.

Before we even got to the park, I had it in the back of my head that I absolutely HAD to get this shirt. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for getting it for me. I’ve always had a major soft spot for the old Great Adventure logo, and years back, I even made a Sexy Armpit parody of it. (Below you can save the Sexy Armpit/Great Adventure iPhone Wallpaper) Perhaps even more coincidentally, I’ve been scoping out actual vintage Great Adventure tees on eBay for such a long time: Check out this ridiculous old post.

What does this all mean? I really don’t know, but maybe it’s just my way of telling you that you should get out of your house and go to your nearest amusement park this summer and maximize your fun! Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter @SexyArmpit and Instagram @SexyArmpit

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Holiday In The Park, I Think It Was The Fourth of December

Does it get any geekier than parodying an early ’70s soft rock hit from the band Chicago to use as a title for a blog post? I think not. The 4th may not have been the specific date we visited Six Flags Great Adventure for their Holiday in the Park extravaganza, but I kept singing “Holiday in the Park” as if it were a real Chicago song that night. At first, the thought of going to an amusement park in December sounds preposterous, falling short of maybe only the Polar Bear Plunge, where clearly crazy people VOLUNTARILY choose to dive into the ocean, which happens to be filled with ridiculously freezing cold water. Fortunately, on the night that we headed to Jackson, NJ, it was unseasonably mild…but raining. On our drive down, the weather was indeed “frightful,” and I told Miss Sexy Armpit that we were nuts for even thinking of riding roller coasters in the rain. Wait, hold up, note to self, remember to write a mid-80s style, smooth R&B song called “Riding Roller Coasters in the Rain” because that title f*cking rocks. Anyway, we justified it as such: “But they have Christmas lights!!” so we wooden-soldiered on.

To my knowledge, Great Adventure has never done a Holiday celebration, and if they did, it was never anywhere close to this extreme scale. It all felt like Six Flags on Candy Cane flavored Crack. It was like Great Adventure submitted themselves to compete in The Great Christmas Light Flight. Once we arrived and heard the Christmas tunes echoing into the parking lot and saw the soft glow of the festive lights pouring into the misty night sky, it was obvious this was the Christmas version of Fright Fest and we were in for a real treat.

Upon entering the park we were immediately transported into the North Pole with snow machines blowing snow everywhere! Talk about eye candy, every inch of the entire park was decked out in Christmas decor. The attention to detail was incredible, it felt like every tree had lights and every window had animatronic elves preparing gifts. It was a sight to behold. Miss Sexy Armpit even said she liked it better than Fright Fest. For me, as a G.A regular since 1985, it felt much different than anything they’ve done before. The park transformed into its own little Christmas island.

As we made our way through the park, I kept thinking how my Christmas spirit this year wasn’t anywhere near the levels it had been in the past. I couldn’t pinpoint why that’s been the case, but experiencing Holiday in the Park was like a shot of Christmas spirit right in the heart. With the Christmas tunes playing and visitor’s of the park in a more laid back, jolly mood, it was just what I needed. It actually felt like more of an escape from reality than any other time I’ve been to Great Adventure.

The rain and drizzle was intermittent, but it was actually exactly what we needed to be able to hop on all the rides with almost no lines. Turns out that most people don’t like to go on rides in the rain. What a shocker. The longest we waited to get on a ride was about 10 or 15 minutes, which was great. Miss Sexy Armpit and I hit a couple of our favorites including, Nitro and Superman. We even took a ride on the indoor Skull Mountain, which is tame compared to the other insane thrill rides they have there, but it’s still old school, simple fun. The closest comparison to it would be Space Mountain in Disney, although it’s always been a few steps behind. Looking back since it opened, the ride had the potential to be amazing. Consider this: it could’ve been a Goonies ride! Even if they couldn’t secure rights to the Goonies, they could’ve easily picked a licensed property that would’ve worked, or even created their own original generic pirate or ghost theme. The story and the characters associated with the rides always enhance the ride experience for me. They should’ve also incorporated spooky music into the ride as well. But, here’s why I won’t complain this time around: For Holiday in the Park, Skull Mountain transformed into Poinsettia Peak and it was completely draped in red Christmas lights. The whole rocky facade of the ride was bathed in red, like Tootsie’s dress, so all was forgiven. Good old Skull Mountain has never looked this glamorous….or RED!

After the rides I had my imperative browsing session in the Justice League store. This place is a MUST every time I go to Great Adventure. With wall to wall DC Super Hero stuff, it’s the closest thing I’ll get to the old WB store in the mall. I want to buy everything. Hint: check out the video above to see the cool, customized white Christmas tree adorned with all kinds of DC characters! I didn’t buy anything this time around, but I was sure tempted. I’m just glad this store is still open and as awesome as it ever was.

Aside from the obvious Christmas theme, there was an element to the whole experience that made it stand out. The fact that we were riding coasters in December, the temp was in the mid ’50s, and the foggy night sky had an ominous, purple hue, made those high points on the coasters feel fifty times more awesome than usual. In addition to the coasters which are predominantly a warm weather pastime, we also partook in G.A’s Boardwalk games to briefly recapture that summer magic. For a minute I’d thought I hit the jackpot since that tricky milk can toss game with the softballs was chock full of Star Wars: Force Awakens stuff. Kylo Ren plush toys gave Miss Sexy Armpit a reason to blow copious amounts of money to try to win one for me. What a girl! She bought us both chances and we both failed miserably, but we had fun so that’s what matters, right? Come to think of it, maybe we would’ve nabbed Kylo Ren if we actually completed our Jedi training on Dagobah.

To ease the pain of our simultaneous double loss, there were holiday themed treats for sale everywhere. For example, Hot Chocolate with Snowman Peeps was served and sipped at several of the fire pit stations. Yes, you read that correctly, they had fire pits set up strategically by the food and snack kiosks which was a hit. People with mittens holding hot drinks were hanging out by fires as if they were at some super expensive ski lodge. Carollers sang holiday songs while flashy Christmas tree light shows burned green cones into my retinas. That was all good, but what’s a holiday celebration without the big man himself? That’s right, Santa Claus appears to hear all the kiddies tell him they want hover-boards, and so does Mrs. Claus with her special story time show. They covered all bases except Mrs. Claus’ late night lingerie striptease – that, for some reason, was not on the docket.

With trees wearing Candy Cane disguises, holiday photo-op stations erected (they affectionately nicknamed them Mistletoe Moments for all you lovers out there), and reindeer crooning Christmas songs, Six Flags did a bang up job creating a Winter Wonderland at Great Adventure. Trust me, experience Holiday in the Park if you can, but do it before it comes to an end on January 3rd! The key is to go at night once it gets dark to soak in the optimum amount of Christmas cheer. That, and the fact that “kids are scared of the dark” according to Marv from Home Alone.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 111: Shirt Tales and Six Flags

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Pammy, Rick, and Tyg from The Shirt Tales riding the Log Flume on this Six Flags t-shirt
Remember The Shirt Tales? A lot of the ’70s and ’80s kids and nostalgia freaks out there definitely do. If you don’t remember them, they were a group of animals who were cute to an absurd degree and their thoughts would materialize in illuminated words right on their t-shirts. Although the Shirt Tales were only around for a couple of TV seasons (1982-1984), they had a slightly longer life on the front of Hallmark greeting cards and various other tie-ins, one of which we’ll look at in this post.

In their own Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, the gang fought crime and they even had their own little Batcave-type headquarters. I tried to jog my own memory by watching an episode on YouTube called The Big Foot Incident. Memories started rushing back, but I didn’t remember much about the cool set of villains who resembled bumbling versions of the Universal Monsters. The ring leader (Mesmo? Not very original) could’ve been a horror host and his lair was basically a haunted mansion that was constantly being showered with frequent lighting bolts (awesome). This all seemed very uncharacteristic for a bunch of furry and lovable little creatures who were created to sell Hallmark cards.

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If you were to associate cartoon characters with Six Flags Great Adventure here in New Jersey, Looney Tunes would immediately come to mind, but there’s proof right here that there was a brief time when The Shirt Tales reigned at Six Flags! According to the Great Adventure History site, in 1984, the kiddie kingdom area was renamed Shirt Tales Land and the characters would come out and greet kids. This only last for one season until getting taken over by the Looney Tunes.

The above photo is from the exact period of time when the Shirt Tales were popular in the early ’80s. Back then, they incorporated all their locations onto one t-shirt so they didn’t have to print up separate shirts for each location, so that explains why Great Adventure is listed at the bottom. Fortunately though, it stands out the most since it’s highlighted in yellow.

This is ’80s nostalgia at its best. Why do I say that? Well, I actually scanned this photo in myself and it’s of my best friend who I’ve known since I was in pre-school. I had the photo because not too long ago, I made a slideshow for his birthday of old photos that his mom was nice enough to gather up for me. These included some real classics and I scanned them all in. I kept this one on the hard drive because I knew that somewhere down the line I would want to bring it up here at The Sexy Armpit. It was a double whammy!

In the past several years I felt that the characters that get licensed out for use in marketing and merch for Six Flags G.A should be capitalized on more. I hate seeing the DC Universe and the Looney Tunes not being exploited to their fullest, but it probably has a lot to do with the fact that the park is no longer owned and operated by Warner Brothers, which it was at one time.

I obviously have a huge affinity for Six Flags nostalgia, but it’s merely a coincidence that the last installment of T-Shirt Tuesday featured a Six Flags tee as well. Hell, I’m not opposed to doing more either, so if you know of any vintage Six Flags tees/or you have old photos of you wearing one, let me know about them!

Hopped Up on Halloween: A Fright Fest Memory

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When reflecting on the Halloween season, the act of simply stepping outside and taking in a breath of fresh air could bring a flood of fall memories to rushing back into your mind.

One memory that came to my mind was the time I headed down to Great Adventure during Fright Fest when I first got my license. I was actually still on my learner’s permit (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It was probably the first trip I ever took there on my own, so I felt pretty badass. Well, I wasn’t really on my own. I took my girlfriend at the time, Beth. At least, she was the equivalent of what teenagers considered a girlfriend at the time. We went to the mall and kissed in public. We thought we were cool. Taking her to Fright Fest though – that was the shit. If you asked me at the time, going there was my ultimate date night. Let’s pretend you’re Chuck Woolery and I’m the contestant on Love Connection. Here’s how the date went.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike I had the windows cracked and I remember there being a nice October chill in the air. Just cool enough for a light jacket, but still mild enough not to freeze our asses off. It was the mid ’90s, (I know, I’m old – fuck off) and the only entertainment in my car back then was the radio and a cassette player. Naturally, some people had CD players, but they were lucky bastards. Dopey teenagers hopped up on young love and Mountain Dew didn’t have the means for a CD player in the car, unless they were savvy enough to hook up a DiscMan to their car stereo, an enhancement that was still another year down the road for me. The stations get a little fuzzy as we get further south, so the only thing we had to listen to aside from the drone of the LeBaron and the awkward moments of silence on the 40 minute drive down was the cassette player.

If Beth had it her way she wanted to listen to Hot 97 the whole way down. To appease her and show her that I’m open to all kinds of music, including blazing hip-hop and R&B, we listened to it until Exit 9 and then I was called upon by the Gods of Rock themselves. There was no choice in the matter. It was time for the Holy Grail of mixtapes. THE ULTIMATE KISS MIXTAPE. Sure, back then it was fun to listen to The Misfits, Alice Cooper and White Zombie during October, but there was always something just as fitting about listening to KISS during Halloween time too.

At the time, Beth had absolutely zero clue who KISS was. What was even funnier was that she had less of a clue that the title of one of their biggest songs bared her name. She didn’t care either. She really, really, really didn’t care. Every girl I seemed to like had no interest in the music that I listened to, which made my heart sink to the depth of the murky Arthur Kill. As I shoved the tape into the deck, I vividly remember the tape started playing in the middle of “Got To Choose” from Hotter Than Hell. I can hear that grungy riff and that funky bassline in my mind right now. In fact I’m going to pull it up on my iTunes right now. It’s amazing, this whole technology thing, isn’t it? Ha. You should put it on too (if you have it), to get the full effect of this story!

To a non-KISS fan not only was “Got To Choose” one of the least interesting tracks on my mix tape, but to make matters worse, side one of the cassette always cut off about three quarters into it. Just as soon as my mind is rocking out and vibing to the tune, it clicked off and the awkward silence returned. I knew she wanted Hot 97 on, but I didn’t care. I was being selfish, I felt like it was my turn to really enjoy this drive. It was a cool October night, my favorite time of the year, and we were racing down to Six Flags for one of the most fun things to do in Jersey during Halloween. I was feeling pretty awesome needless to say. I turned the cassette over and popped it back in. “Beth I hear you callin’…”

BLANK. _______. Beth was completely blank when I told her about the KISS song that was playing called, “Beth.” In the back of my mind I thought “Didn’t your father or your uncle tell you about this?” I was shocked that another person wasn’t as obsessed with KISS as I was. I had a hard time remembering that this was the mid-90s, not 1977 mind you.

As we got closer and closer to Exit 7, our conversation began to pick up and I lowered the volume to a reasonable level (except when “Parasite” came on, of course).

On a normal basis she pretty much laughed at everything I said, which gave me a little boost, but truthfully, she just laughed at everything that was remotely amusing in general. I could act like an obnoxious ass and she would just eat it up. I appreciated it because she genuinely found me funny. From there, we started trading anecdotes about our favorite rides in the park. Although both of us had been going down to Great Adventure since we were kids, we both felt the level of excitement building up. We were getting a rush before we even went on any rides.

Our time was running out. By the time we arrived, found parking, walked a mile to the ticket booth, and then bought tickets, we had about 2 hours in the park if we were lucky. And as I said, I didn’t have a CD player in my car so I wasn’t necessarily the luckiest guy in the world. This lack of time definitely weighed on my mind because when it comes to theme parks and vacations I’m like Clark Griswold, always trying to maximize the fun.

Our spirits were so uplifted, among other things, that our dumbasses wasted even more time before actually heading into the park. After the long trek from the car to the entrance, we stopped at one of the planters and parked half of our butts for a minute to take in the night…and of course make out. So dumb, so simple, soo had nothing to do with romance. This was about HALLOWEEN. I wanted the bejesus scared out of me and my endorphins were runnin’ wild. Like I said, high spirits, otherwise HOT 97 and KISS MIXTAPE wouldn’t have been lip locked to each other the whole night as if we were the only two people left on the planet.

What was the attraction with Beth? I wondered to myself as I stood staring a hole through a nearby tree shedding frail pale orange leaves. She was a natural blonde, she had a cute smile with dimples, and had big boobs. At the time, coincidentally, as stereotypical as it sounds, that was all I wanted out of life. What can I say? I was a product of the times. Baywatch was a highly rated show, OK? So, back at Six Flags, Beth and I managed to detach our mouths from each others and we walked briskly inside with a little bounce in our step.

It was dark, breezy, the trees were bare, and Fright Fest was in full effect. Zombies and ghastly characters roamed about trying to scare us. Beth genuinely got scared a few times and grabbed a hold of me, then we just got overly hysterical about it as if we just heard the funniest joke of all time delivered by the most smart mouthed comedian of all time. Despite what many people might think of the lines, the atmosphere takes center stage and it’s easy to forget the rest.

The macabre elements such as the fog, the bloody fountain, and the costumed actors jumping out at you when you least expect it, help to far outweigh any of the typical theme park complaints. Being there is the fun. In fact, Fright Fest is such a part of my Halloween celebration every year that it actually makes me get that nostalgic fuzzy feeling. I didn’t get paid for that so let me get back to my story.

Beth and I went on every ride we possibly could, stopping at any chance we could to hug, hold hands, or take part in some other cheesy public display of affection. It was the spirit of the season that was getting us all charged up. And yes, we even went on the freakin’ ferris wheel. Remember when Mikey from The Goonies said ‘It’s our time down here!” well October is our time and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing the Misfits lyric “Bonfires Burning Bright, Pumpkin Faces in the Night, I remember Halloween,” DUH, of course I remember! I remember Halloween and all the memories come rushing back every time I walk outside and breath in the fall air or gaze into the colorful fall foliage.

Halloween moments are the most memorable ones in my life. I can’t help but think that each of those moments wouldn’t still resonate today if they took place during any other time of the year. Intertwined in the calm and colorful fall backdrop are so many memories waiting to be conjured up. Be inspired. Go outside, close your eyes, and let yourself recall all that is spooky and sentimental to you.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 110: Great Adventure’s Fright Fest

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This year’s edition of Six Flags Fright Fest T-Shirt and Hoodie offerings
Amusement Parks and Halloween always make a great combination. Thrill rides in the chilled night air, and goofing around with your friends usually leads me to feel like there’s a horror movie plot being created in there somewhere. Whether there’s a killer lurking in the park or some supernatural entity is haunting one of the attractions, the Halloween season is prime time to head to your nearest amusement park and experience the fun of the season. We’re spoiled in Jersey because every year Six Flags Great Adventure becomes infested with ghosts, zombies, crazy clowns, and vampires for their annual Fright Fest celebration. Just remember to get there early. We didn’t.

Fright Fest is an annual thing for us, but we usually wind up getting on one ride if we’re lucky. The lines are super insane during Fright Fest, and the park is probably even more packed than it would be in the middle of the summer. Difference is, that it’s nicer to wait in lines and get on rides when it’s not a sweltering 97 degrees in the shade and over one hundred percent humidity.

Weather-wise, Saturday night was perfect. I was with a bunch of great people and even though we only made it on one ride, we had a blast. I’m sure it would’ve been more fun if the lines for the actual Fright Fest attractions weren’t as long. Even the average wait time for a roller coaster was an hour. While waiting in excruciatingly long lines, it helps to cling to the hope that the ride actually doesn’t break down before you make it to the last section of the line queue.

Fortunately, the ride we did decide to wait for went smoothly. Skull Mountain didn’t take that long to get through the line, probably because it’s one of the tamer rides, so we were patient. It fit into the Fright Fest theme as well. For an older, less face melting type of ride, this one still holds up after all these years. Think of it as Six Flag’s answer to Space Mountain only with a theme on the exterior that brings to mind The Goonies, King Kong, or a pirate movie.

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We were required to buy separate tickets for the haunted attractions, so we did that online at home to save a couple of bucks. Next we had to wait on another long line just to show them our print-outs to get a wristband for the haunts. This was just becoming an abysmal LINE FEST. Then we would have to wait on more laughable lines for each individual haunt. Fed up by this point, I started asking the lady a few questions about the attractions.

I was disappointed to learn that all of the attractions were walk through trails featuring live actors. I wasn’t hoping for dead actors, I was just hoping for a good old fashioned haunted house or dark ride type situation. They should mix it up and offer half walk throughs and at least one or two haunted houses that remind you of an old dark ride. I can’t tell you how many times Six Flags has sent me e-mails asking for feedback regarding my last visit to Fright Fest and I wrote them a hundred times that Fright Fest needs a good old fashioned, boardwalk style haunted house. It shouldn’t only be for Fright Fest either, it should be open year round for all of us psychos to enjoy.

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We played the boardwalk and carnival games they have in the Psycho Circus area.
Miss Sexy Armpit won me a Slimer plush! Dinosaur Dracula and Freddy in Space also won
Slimers as well only Dino Drac’s is darker shade of green than this one. I opted for the brighter one since it seemed like it was glowing like the real Slimer. The vintage melted plastic pumpkin decoration has absolutely nothing to do with Six Flags Great Adventure. Slimer is petrified of him though, and he should be, since he’s creepy as hell.

In the late ’70s, Great Adventure’s Haunted Castle was the type of attraction we needed until arsonists supposedly burned it down in ’84, killing eight teenagers trapped inside. Maybe they feel like it’s a curse if they build another one? I can’t say for sure, but maybe they fell that they aren’t experts at subtly, they prefer spending millions to create the fastest, most cheek rippling coasters the world has ever seen. Nothing wrong with that. The thing is, Great Adventure is already fully stocked with thrill rides and there’s a new one on the way for next season. Another thrill ride is superfluous, again, we need a damn haunted DARK RIDE. Attention to detail is preferred.

Keeping with the resoundingly positive note I am on, the graphic on this year’s Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest shirts and hoodies are AWESOME. They did get this part of the celebration correct. Apparel graphics are always a big part of the experience. You must be able to properly commemorate your visit and this year Six Flags came up with a couple of really cool looking designs. I couldn’t exit the park without snapping a few shots. America loves zombies…and paying lots of money to wait on never-ending lines apparently.

BATMAN: THE RIDE at Six Flags Great Adventure

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmKLfutZuOo?rel=0]
I’m sure Batman’s life is dangerous and exciting, much like the roller coaster created in his honor. How exactly does the caped crime fighting lifestyle translate into a steel corkscrewing thrill ride? Let’s take a look at Batman: The Ride at one of my favorite places to go in New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.

When Batmania hit with Tim Burton’s 1989 Bat-film, the Bat-symbol was slapped onto everything you could imagine for the next couple of years, including roller coasters in various Six Flags Theme Parks around the country. At the time, Warner Brothers wanted to start competing with Disney theme parks so they started utilizing their DC Comics characters to compete. Batman was the first to be exploited.

The first rollout of Batman: The Ride opened at Six Flags Great America in Chicago in May of 1992 to coincide with the release of Batman Returns a month later. It wasn’t until the next year (May 1993) that the ride opened at Great Adventure. Back when the ride debuted in New Jersey I don’t think I realized that the ride already existed elsewhere. When I was a kid it seemed as if the only Six Flags park was located off exit 7A on the NJ Turnpike, even though that clearly wasn’t the case.
The 1989 movie Batmobile is parked out in front of the entrance to the ride which has always been a highlight for me. At its peak, the ride queue was usually fully packed as it extended through the mock up of Gotham City Park. For most of the the early to mid ’90s I used to wait 2 hours to get on the ride!
Once you get into the loading area Alfred is heard over the speakers telling everyone they have entered the batcave. The bat-costume is on display as well. When the 2 minute ride starts to roll, the unexpected happens: the floor of your car drops out leaving your feet dangling! The ride is one of my favorites and the nonstop thrills it contains are still effective even if you’ve been on the ride a hundred times. Even at almost 20 years old, this old bat still kicks. Of course, I should watch my words because I said that about The Great American Scream Machine and the Green Lantern Coaster replaced it.
Since it felt like there was a constant flurry of Batman stuff happening previously, 1993 felt like a fairly thin year for Batman events. Although, in hindsight, two Batman related events were better than none. At least for the Jersey folks we had the debut of Batman: The Ride at Great Adventure and the release of Batman Mask of the Phantasm later in the year.
Six Flags tried to make lightning strike several times with more Batman related rides, but we’ll get to them in the coming days here at The Sexy Armpit. Do you have fond memories of Batman: The Ride? Do you still enjoy the ride? Let us know in the comments!

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at Six Flags Great Adventure

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Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon about to be whisked away by El Toro on May 13th 2012

Six Flags Great Adventure always attracts the stars. Usually they are the brave stars, those who aren’t afraid to ride roller coasters! G.A’s proximity to New Jersey, New York, and Long Island make it not only the closest theme park to the metropolitan area, but also the biggest one packed with the most thrill rides. On Mother’s Day, Mariah Carey, her hubby Nick Cannon, and his mother visited the park. They rode Kingda Ka, El  Toro, Green Lantern, and Superman: Ultimate Flight.

SkyScreamer Comes to Six Flags Great Adventure!

When you’ve gone on completely insane rides and coasters, it’s hard to top them.  Last season, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson NJ added the brand new Green Lantern coaster, and in comparison, it makes the new for 2012 SkyScreamer look like a kiddie ride. It may look like tame at first, but here I’ll bring up a few points why SkyScreamer may become a new classic at the park.

What SkyScreamer has going for it is that it’s like an old fashioned amusement park ride on steroids. This amped up classic will spin you around at 40 mph, 24 stories up in the air. Plus, adding a ride like SkyScreamer will switch up the pace a little bit. Your brain becomes like pudding after going on Green Lantern, Bizarro, and then El Toro consecutively. SkyScreamer will be like the sorbet that clears your palette before your time in the park gets even more crazy. 

It’s a necessity to have rides that are accessible to everyone, even those who don’t go to Great Adventure for the coasters, wait…are there any of those people? Actually, a lot of people I know don’t like rides at all, but they may be coerced to go on a ride that’s less berserk than some of the coasters. The ride will reside in Fantasy Forest, so that might make it a ride the entire family will want to go on together. We already have our season passes so I can’t wait to give it a spin. You can take a whirl around on SkyScreamer for yourself when Great Adventure opens for the season on April 5th!

Six Flags Great Adventure Official SkyScreamer Page:

Halloween 2011 Events in New Jersey

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I’ve been complaining that it seems like there aren’t enough Halloween events going on this year in the Garden State, but as the month of October continues, I’m obviously dead wrong. There’s events popping up like zombies out of the ground. So, if you’re into some doing spooky stuff in honor of Halloween, Jersey is definitely the place to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking because we probably have more cool frightful events than most other states. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Halloween for the rest of the month. If you have an event that you would like to submit for the list, please send to sexyarmpit@comcast.net.

You may remember me mentioning The Home of Happiness before. They are New Jersey’s own Rocky Horror Troupe located in Montclair, New Jersey. Tonight, 10/15 they are having a Pre-Halloween costume contest and next Saturday is college night! If you miss it this week, be sure to get there on a Saturday night soon, it’s “truly beautiful to behold!”
WHEN: EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT!
WHERE: Bellevue Theater, Montclair NJ
And of course, we’ve got ZOMBIES! We’ll have enough ghastly zombies in Asbury Park’s UNDEAD FESTIVAL to take over Rhode Island. We broke a Guinness record at the last NJ Zombie Walk and I’m sure this year will be just as insane. Get your tickets to the Undead Festival which is going on all next weekend!
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UNDEAD FESTIVAL AND NJ ZOMBIE WALK

WHEN: OCTOBER 21st, 22nd, and 23rd! (Zombie Walk is 10/22!)
WHERE: Asbury Park Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
FEATURING: vendors, costume contests, fashion shows, screenings, meet and greets with horror film stars
HALLOWEEN HORROR DOUBLE FEATURE
FILMS: Frankenhooker and Basket Case
WHEN: 10/22 7:30 PM
WHERE: FORUM THEATRE, Metuchen NJ
I often write posts about The Landmark Loews Jersey Theater and their excellent film festivals. The theater is a gorgeous classic movie house which has been restored by volunteers who pour their heart and soul into the old movie palace. The theater is easily accessible, located in Journal Square in Jersey City. If you don’t have plans for Halloween weekend, there’s nothing better than watching a horror film in this theater while munching on popcorn.
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HORRORS, LAUGHS, AND CHILLS CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL 

WHERE: Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, Jersey City, NJ
FILM SCHEDULE: 
Friday 10/28 8:00PM The House on Haunted Hill
Saturday 10/29 6:00PM Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Sunday 10/29 8:15 PM The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
CHILLER THEATRE TOY, MODEL, and FILM EXPO
WHEN: 10/28 – 10/20
WHERE: Hilton, Parsipanny NJ
TICKETS: http://www.chillertheatre.com/c4tickets.htm

THE MISFITS
WHEN: 10/28 Doors at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville
TICKETS: via this link at Ticketmaster

FRIGHT FEST AT SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE
WHERE: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
WHEN: Weekends until 10/30
PARANORMAL NJ’s NIGHTMARE BALL
WHEN: 10/29 8 PM
WHERE: Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park NJ
http://www.paranormalbooksNJ.com and http://www.asburylanes.com/

ELAINE’S DINNER THEATER AND HAUNTED MANSION
Now Presenting “Gone With The Werewolves”
WHEN: Make Reservations at (609) 884-4358
WHERE: Cape May, NJ
http://www.elainesdinnertheater.com/dinner.html

WHERE: Willowbrook Mall, Wayne NJ
WHEN: Until 10/30