Kingda Ka Review - Six Flags Great Adventure


Kingda Ka

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey
Arms Down, Head Back, Hold On.
Great Adventure Tower
The Kingda Ka main structure towers over the park.

Score: ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐  ➈ ➉ 7.88/10

95th Percentile 

Height Requirement: 54" / 137cm
Top Speed: 128mph
Inversions: 0

Where to Sit on Kingda Ka: Front.

Excitement: 9.5/10 It doesn't get more thrilling than this.  There's no coaster around that will give you anxiety like this one does as you sit and wait for the launch to begin.  While this ride is over in less than 30 seconds, it's like no other coaster on the planet.  Kingda Ka is the tallest coaster in the world, and fastest in the USA.  The wind in your face is incredible and is the reason you have to sit in the front on the coaster; wait twice as long if you have to, it's worth it.  The launch is out of this world and seems to have three main pulls that launch you faster and faster.  Just when you think you cannot go any faster, another tug hurdles you faster and closer to the main tower!
Kingda Ka Coaster
Kingda Ka: King of Coasters.
Pacing: 8.7/10 The pace of Kingda Ka is non-stop from start to finish. There are ten seconds until you're at the top of the tower, and then you're back at the brakes 10 seconds later. It's a one-trick-pony that does the trick well. You catch your breath at the top before heading back down and into the brakes.
Kingda Ka, Tallest Coaster in the World
Kingda Ka from the parking lot.
Technicals: 8.8/10 Kingda Ka is a short ride that needs a large amount of space. It's not the smoothest from rows other than the front, and the throughput is quite slow since the addition of a drop tower to the structure, (both cannot be running at the same time) making for some long lines. The engineering behind the ride is what makes it so incredible. The launch is out-of-this-world and accelerates you at a blistering pace. The power of Kingda Ka is unreal.

Theming: 3.8/10 Kingda Ka's theming is better than most Six Flags' rides. The queue runs right near the launch and the surroundings are filled with trees and some animal exhibits. Other than that the ride is essentially placed in a parking lot and isn't overwhelming. There are no interactions with theming during the ride portion. Trees nearby the launch segment do a lot to make the ride seem even faster.
Six Flags Great Adventure Coaster review
The most famous picture of Great Adventure.
Uniqueness: 8.6/10 Everyone has seen the Extreme Engineering episode of this coaster, and it was totally worth the breakdowns and headaches during construction. This coaster is like nothing else. It's unique. The launch is so powerful it actually takes your breath away, but watch out for bugs! Yes, there are a few coasters with a similar layout, but this is fastest, and this is tallest. 
Drive over to the coaster in the parking lot after your day is over and listen to the launch - the sound of that launching winch is awesome, that whine. Whhhnnnnnnnnnn best sound in the world.

Score: ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➈ ➉ 7.88/10

Placement: 95th percentile among all coasters. (Ranked in the top 5% of coasters worldwide.) Not as good as Maverick at Cedar Point, better than Top Thrill Dragster.
Kingda Ka vs. TTD: because of the three strong tugs during the launch, I rank Kingda Ka higher. While the setting of Kingda Ka is not as good as Top Thrill's huge lake (offering breathtaking views at the top), there's something about the launch and the trees that you fly-by that make it better and feel way faster.

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