I can think of many adjectives to describe Kingda Ka and the one that immediately comes to mind isextreme. The height (456 ft.) and speed (128 mph) – not to mention the launch – are sufficiently extreme to take people way out of their comfort zones, which is why I hadn’t ridden it before. There’s a first time for everything and not having done a launch coaster, I decided it was time to give it a shot, especially given the huge popularity of this ride. Once the riders were all harnessed in, the train left the loading area and got into position for the famous launch, in what was a moment of great anticipation. Then suddenly, zoom! Accelerating from 0 to 128 mph in a couple of seconds was startling to the point of being shocking, but also exhilarating. Wow! Once at the top, the train spiralled down 418 feet in what is the longest descent I’ve ever experienced. One more small hill and the train returned to the station.
I have mixed feelings about this coaster because it’s a very short ride – less than 30 seconds – and very little happens during the course of the ride. Yes, the launch is thrilling but once you reach the top you go right back down and that’s pretty much all she wrote. That’s why Kingda Ka will probably never make my top 10 list. However, the more I ride this coaster, the more I like it. The rush of adrenaline during the launch is addictive and the front seat is pretty amazing. Now that I’ve ridden both Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster, I’ve decided that I like Kingda Ka a little more because even though it lacks the great theming of Dragster, it has the extra hill and I find that the harnesses on KK are more comfortable than the lap bars on TTD. (On TTD I’ve had a problem with my elbows getting banged up.) 3 ½ out of 5 stars. For more information about rides at Six Flags Great Adventure, visit their website: http://www.sixflags.com/greatadventur