As a kid, my family had season passes to Six Flags Great Adventure and I have the best memories of the park. Now, over 20 years later, I bought season passes for my children and myself. Six Flags was open for about two weeks in April for “Spring Break” and we went for our first trip to the park. I cannot wait to share my first impressions and initial thoughts about visiting Six Flags Great Adventure with young kids. Keep reading for why I bought passes, how I bought the passes online and our first trip to Six Flags Great Adventure with young kids.
Six Flags Great Adventure and My Memories of the Park
Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park located in Jackson, New Jersey. Along with Six Flags Park, there is the Wild Safari, a drive through safari, and Hurricane Harbor, a water park.
As I mentioned, my family had season passes for years when I was a child. I have the best memories at the park- I remember the excitement of driving up the park, going on certain rides with my dad, and all of the different shows my whole family loved. My brother was obsessed with Batman and we would attend the Batman Stunt show every time we attended. Six Flags had a water stunt show and a marine animal show. I loved the shows and have very vivid memories of seeing all the shows.
The Safari is a drive through. At some point in time, Six Flags changed the Safari to jeeps that Six Flags employees drove, but it is back to a safari that you drive through in your own car. I loved driving through the Safari as a child. The excitement of driving up to the big gates, changing the radio station to the Park’s station to learn about the animals (even though it was always static) and seeing animals up close was just amazing for my brother and me.
At some point, my brother and I outgrew the little kids rides and shows, and we stopped getting season passes. I went a few times as a teen and young adult, but I do not think I went to the park since college, probably 15 years ago! But simply put, I have amazing memories of going to the park with my parents and brother as a child. The Park was a big part of my earliest memories as a child and my family often tells stories of all the fun we had.
Now I am a mother of two young kids, a four (soon to be five) year old and a one (soon to be two) year old. My neighbors with children slightly older had season passes last year and had a. ton of fun going to the park. Based on their opinions and some internet research, I thought it would be the perfect time to get passes and go.
If you are new to this blog, I recently quit my job as an attorney to be at stay at home mom and taking my kids to Six Flags Great Adventure just like my mom and dad did was a something I have been looking forward to doing. Check out my posts about this transition to stay at home mom here.
2023 Passes: Why I bought before taking my kids to the Park!
Purchasing passes for the season made the most sense for me. First, I live 20/30 minutes from the park, the park is so close that visiting even for an hour or so is very easy to do. We do not have vacation plans and my son is not going to camp this summer, so I assumed we would be attending often if the kids liked it. The price of the season passes is about equal to purchasing two single day passes.
Before I purchased tickets I did a lot of research into finding discounts for the passes. However, I was not able to find any discount programs for the park at the time (such as AAA, which did not have a discount for the season passes). I ended up purchasing the season passes in early April because the park had a special: if you purchased the lowest level of the season passes offered (gold), you were automatically upgraded to the middle package (platinum). I originally planned to purchase just the base level (gold), as it was my first year going with my young kids and I did not foresee going a lot once my son started preschool again in the fall.
But getting the platinum package at the gold package price is a great deal- some of the upgrades included in the gold that I liked were: the unlimited safari visits and the tickets are good through the end of the year, so we can check out the holiday events at the park. The passes also come with 2 speciality rate tickets, which I hope to use to bring some friends or family to the park with us during the season. Platinum provides unlimited visits to Hurricane Harbor, which I have never been to. Both levels came with free parking.
My children are four (almost five) and one (almost two), so I only had to buy a pass for my four year old and myself. Kids two and under do not need tickets, as per the current policy of Six Flags (as of June 2023, when I am writing this post). I also purchased tickets for my parents. The four tickets came to the total of: $331.48 with tax and a processing fee. Each ticket was $74.99, again this was the price of the gold pass, but I was upgraded to platinum.
For up to date information about passes, any specials and the park, check out the Six Flags Great Adventure website here.
Purchasing Passes and Getting Passes at the Park
I purchased the passes online prior to going to the park. This was a new process for me and I ended up having a few questions and called customer service. I received great customer assistance when I called. The customer service representative was not only helpful with the questions I had but also wanted to provide additional information about all the rides my kids would be able to go on. It was a great first impression to get such great customer service!
One of my questions was about how the process worked when purchasing online- how did you get your actual pass. I remembered as a child we received a physical pass with our photo on it. I wanted to know if we had to go somewhere in the park to get the physical pass (a card with our picture on it). Twenty years ago we had to wait on long lines to get our passes, and I wanted to be prepared in case I had to wait in lines like that. The customer services rep explained the process and I can now confirm that he explained it perfectly and the entire process went very smoothly.
When purchasing the tickets online, after you purchased you will be emailed a paper ticket. You printed out the paper ticket which you bring with you to the gate at Six Flags. At the gate for entering, the bar code on the paper ticket is scanned, and the Six Flags employee at the gate takes your picture and you were provided with a permeant pass. The pass does not contain your photo on it- there was no waiting for your picture to be printed on the permanent ticket like back in the day, the picture is just connected to your card through the Six Flags system. This was simple, fast and efficient. I remember as a child purchasing the passes and getting your photo taken for your pass took forever.
If you have the App on your phone, the tickets will also be on the App. I have since only been using the App, which works great!
April: Spring Break visit
As I noted, the park was open for about two weeks in April for “Spring Break.” The park had some activities for older kids, like a Halloween festival at night. But that did not interest me, as my kids are so young. I was excited to check out the park and get our permanent passes.
We got to the park at opening (10am). The parking lot was busy when we arrived a few minutes before 10am and the line to enter stretched from the entry gate to the parking lot. A lot of people in line (really, it seemed like everyone I saw) was there with printed out passes to get their season passes for the first time. The employees at the entry gates were moving quickly, checking the paper passes, explaining the process to everyone, taking pictures and handing out the permanent passes. Although we waited for maybe 20 minutes, the line moved surpringly fast considering how long the line was.
When we were at the entry gate getting our passes, my son wanted to hold his pass. This is not shocking- my son is very independent and tells me every day he is the boss. However, I did not want to give him his pass because he would most likely lose it. The Six Flags employee at the gate witnessed my son’s demand for his ticket and gave him his own “special” ticket. The Six Flags employee took a blank unused pass, crossed out the barcode and wrote my son’s name on the card so he could hold his own ticket.
This was so kind and thoughtful of the employee. This employee stopped a potential meltdown of my four year old that had been pretty patient up until that point, and made my son feel special. Our first trip to Six Flags really started out on a great note by this employees simple action.
I realized later that the season passes also show up on the Six Flags App, if you have downloaded and set up.
During this first trip, my main goal of the trip was to get our passes and just walk through the park. I assume a lot had changed since I last went to the park and I wanted to check everything out. However, keep reading, as we did a lot more than just check out the park!
Kids Rides and First Impression of Six Flags
I have amazing memories of going to Six Flags as a kid with my family. Although I had a ton of memories of the park, the park looked so different than I remembered. I knew the park had a kid section, but the park actually has two separate little kid sections: Jr. Thrillseekers and Bugs Bunny National Park. These sections had rides that my son could ride alone, some that he had to have an adult with him and some which an adult had the option to go with him. There were also a few rides we saw not in these kids sections that he could ride with an adult to accompany him.
Six Flags Great Adventure is known for its roller coasters, at least that’s what I thought due in part by the tv ads I aways see are about the coasters. However Six Flags has a ton of rides for young kids! The Park is also a fun place to let your kids run around (supervised of course). My son loved looking at the lake and really just running around and burning off some energy.
During our trip in April there were barely any lines for any of the rides. Not everything in the park was open yet (like a lot of the food concession stands or the games on the Boardwalk area, for example), but this did not impact our experience at all. My son went on a ton of rides and my one year old even got to ride on a few with my son in Bugs Bunny National Park. Specifically, she went on the Bugs Bunny Camp Carousel and Foghorn Leghorn’s Stagecoach Express.
Did I mention that there were barely any lines? I do not think my son waited more than 5 minutes to get on any ride. Four year olds do not have a ton of patience and the fact that he could go from ride to ride was absolutely perfect for him.
My daughter (age 1) went on 1 ride- and she was actually able to get on by herself. There were definitely a lot of rides she would be able to go on in the future, by herself and with an adult. She needed some more time to warm up to the park, so I think next time she will want to check out some more rides.
First Impression of Six Flags Great Adventure with Young Kids
I have so many great memories of Six Flags Great Adventure and I was really worried that the park would not live up to my great childhood experiences. My first impression on visiting as an adult with young children is that we are going to have many more trips to the park and really have a blast at the park!
The little kid rides for my son were perfect for his age and there was enough rides for him to go on different rides each time we go. I also found rides that my one year old would be able to rid as well. The facilities looked well maintained, I saw a lot of beautiful landscaping and employees working to keep the park clean. All of the employees I talked with were very helpful and pleasant.
The park felt larger than I remembered. I do not think the park has increased in size, but so much has changed since I last went to the park. I thought the park looked great- the park had a ton of nice paver areas which made is easy to push the double stroller around.
As I mentioned, the park was not completely open during our first trip. The food concession stands were not all open, not all the rides looked open and I did not see any information about shows available.’I have great memories of all of the shows at the park and cannot wait to take my kids to build those memories.
I cannot wait to go to the park again!
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