Hailed as the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom opened at Six Flags Great Adventure on July 4, the park’s 40th anniversary. It seems only fitting that this extreme ride is attached to Kingda Ka, another extreme ride and the world’s tallest coaster. Although I found Zumanjaro somewhat intimidating, I decided that it was a must ride. With an entrance to the right of the entrance to Kingda Ka, it actually has a single rider lane, an attribute that pleased me no end. As a single rider, I was able to make it to the head of the queue in almost no time.
In the loading station riders are directed to one of three gondolas seating eight across. The restraints consist of overhead harnesses attached to seat belts. Once the riders are secured, catch cars descend from overhead and attach to the gondolas prior to dispatch. Riders are then lifted 415 feet up into the air. Initially the ascent is slow but as the gondolas get closer to the top they pick up speed. At the top the riders hang there for a suspenseful 10 to 12 seconds or so before the inevitable plunge. This is the part of the ride that I found to be the scariest, being suspended at that altitude with my feet dangling and everything in the park, except for the top hat on Kingda Ka, far below me. The gondolas rock and dip slightly and a second or two later the three cars plummet almost to the ground at a speed of 90 mph. Awesome drop! And what a jolt! This is pretty intense stuff.
The only disappointment is that contrary to what was stated in the park’s press release, the Kingda Ka trains did not launch toward the riders during any of my four rides on Zumanjaro. This gives rise to speculation as to whether it’s a safety issue, due to the danger of things falling from overhead. Whatever, Zumanjaro is an aggressive thrill ride and a great addition to the park’s stellar ride lineup.