Hypercoasters are all about extreme height, speed, and airtime, and Nitro delivers on all three fronts. Incredibly smooth and exhilarating, it’s a must ride at Six Flags Great Adventure.
- Excitement scale (0 = Wimpy!, 10 = Yikes!): 7
- Wild speed, height, and G-forces, but no reversals.
- Mountain type: Hypercoaster, Out-and-back
- Top speed: 80 mph
- Height restriction to ride: 54 inches
- Lift hill height: 230 feet
- First drop: 215 feet
- Travel time: 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
- Note that, unlike most roller coasters, the front of the train, rather than the back, seems to offer more airtime and a more intense ride.
- Location: Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey
Nitro sits at the back of the park. Its huge yellow and purple footprints meander through the woods outside the gates of Six Flag. The journey remains a bit of a mystery as passengers can’t get a good idea of its layout until they’re on board and racing at high speed.
The unique and impressive design of the huge 36 passenger trains is evident when they arrive at the loading station. Low sides and raised seats in cars leave passengers exposed. Since there are no inversions, there are no over-the-shoulder harnesses. A single discreet T-lap bar locks the Nitro’s passengers into place and contributes to their feeling of vulnerability.
There is no jogging at the apex of the elevator hill. Nitro heads straight for a 215 foot drop and accelerates to a noise of 80 mph. Immediately a second hill is shot for a delirious airtime. From there, turn left into the wilds of New Jersey.
The sweet launch of floating airtime
The roller coaster then navigates a series of hills that alternately deliver positive G-forces crushing the ribs, followed by the sweet release of floating airtime. After the horseshoe style change, Nitro goes into a double helix for some intense positive G-forces, a little too intense for us. We are not fans of spiral propellers, particularly on hypercoas. We believe they serve to deplete the accumulated energy of a coaster that could be better used for more hills and airtime. The double helix element interrupts wear time and brings a near-perfect coaster below a five-star level.
Nitro is similar to other hypercoas, including Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens in Virginia, Diamondback on Kings Island, and Mako at SeaWorld Orlando. All three trips share the same manufacturer, Bolliger & Mabillard from Switzerland, and they are all stellar. Apollo’s Chariot Diamondback, and Mako go for smoother rides (though Nitro is noticeably hyper-smooth), and forgo the double helix for nonstop hills and drops. Nirtro comes to our picks for the best steel roller coasters. But top spot on that list goes to another hypercoaster at another Six Flags park, Superman the Ride at Six Flags New England.
That ride was built by a different manufacturer, Intamin.
Ironically, the only other coaster among Great Adventure’s vast arsenal that rivals Nitro for a glass-smooth ride and wild airtime is El Toro, a wooden coaster. (Although, its unique hybrid track sets it apart from typical rough-and-tumble wood coasters.) Both coasters offer a one-two heckuva hit for fans of thrill machines.
Other notable rides at Great Adventure include Kingda Ka, one of the fastest and tallest roller coasters in the world, and Superman Ultimate Flight, a flying roller coaster.