This is the first really big coaster I had ever ridden and I must admit that initially I found it more than a little intimidating. The prospect of descending 176 feet at a 76-degree angle at 70mph was daunting. On the first ride, on the first drop, I felt as if I were about to be skyrocketed to kingdom come, and didn’t like the sensation. I wasn’t willing to give up, however, and in time grew to more than like it. This coaster is truly a work of art. It’s so exceptionally well-designed that it’s a marvel. The sensation of descending the first drop is sufficiently intense to induce delirium and/or euphoria. Better than sex. I love this ride!!! I have ridden El Toro as often as 10 times in one day and it never gets boring! From start to finish it delivers thrills, airtime and good new-fashioned fun. Three consecutive hills followed by a wide, sweeping curve is a good way to begin. And even during the latter part of the ride there are some nice touches. For instance, at one point the train comes off a curve and dips to the left; every time I hit that point I can feel myself rise out of my seat. In fact, that is one of the high points of the ride, as the rider is literally dropped down to the left and the airtime is phenomenal. Even after the final twist(s), there’s a point at which I can feel my stomach lurch.
Speaking of airtime, after riding El Toro 40 times in the front of the train, I finally got the bright idea of riding in the back. The back was rumored to have more extreme airtime and this turned out to be more than a rumor. Yikes! Incredible! The airtime in the back is significantly better than in the front; you can feel everything much more intensely. The front of the train hangs over the first drop but the back is going full speed ahead over that drop and the whole ride is insanely fabulous. As anyone familiar with this coaster knows, it’s an exceptionally smooth ride. And I might add that the cable lift used to reach the top is a vast improvement over the chain lift used on other wooden coasters. On several occasions I have been amused to see the rickety old woodie next to El Toro, Rolling Thunder, get briefly stuck on the chain lift hill. Well, what can I say? There’s no comparison. El Toro is quite simply incomparable, definitely the best coaster I have had the pleasure of riding – in my opinion, better than The Voyage, Millennium Force or any number of other coasters which consistently make top 10 or top 20 lists. 5 out of 5 stars. Third photograph courtesy of COASTERIMAGE.COM. For more information about rides at Six Flags Great Adventure, visit :http://www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx