Waiting in line for Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, the world’s tallest drop tower, you have an up-close view of the 415-foot vertical track.
Once safely strapped into your seat, you begin the 30-second ascent to the top, with sprawling views of New Jersey greenery. On a clear day, riders can see Philadelphia in the distance.
At the very top, the three cars briefly pause to give riders a chance to take in the sights and wonder one last time why they got on this thing in the first place.
Then, the drop. Two-hundred-fifty feet of free fall at speeds up to 90 mph. Five seconds plummeting straight down.
“And that entire time you are very aware that the ground is getting much closer,” said Six Flags corporate engineer Michael Reitz. “Quickly!”
Reitz was part of the team that helped bring Zumanjaro to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. He describes the weightless sensation riders get during the drop as a “scary floating,” but in a good way.
Zumanjaro, which opened in July, is built on the support beams underneath the main drop of Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest roller coaster and the park’s flagship ride.
Reitz said with Zumanjaro as well as Kindga Ka, Six Flags is always trying to up the ante with new rides.
“We always want to be on the ‘est’ list. We want to be the biggest, or the steepest this, or the tallest this, whatever it may be,” he said.