With the official start of spring just around the corner — and the busy Spring Break season — it is about time for New Jersey's ten-week theme park hiatus to come to an end.

For months, Six Flags Great Adventure has been rustling up excitement for the 2024 season. And with good reason — the park will celebrate its silver 50th anniversary on July 1.

The theme park is set to open weekends starting March 16, followed by daily operation for Spring Break from March 28 to April 7. The adjacent Hurricane Harbor Water Park is scheduled to open May 18.

New Jersey's largest theme park has faced a bumpy road in recent years, following a delayed 2020 opening due to the COVID pandemic, a dramatic shift in pricing policy to no longer serve as a "cheap daycare center," and after the El Toro roller coaster suffered a severe malfunction and extended closure. In November, Six Flags and Cedar Fair announced a merger that is expected to close this year.

New Park President Brian Bacica sums up the goal of Great Adventure's 50th anniversary season, pledging to remain "committed to innovation and thrilling adventures, blending the present with a nod to our 50-year history. Whether it’s a guest’s first visit or their 50th, everyone, regardless of their thrill level, will discover new attractions, enhanced park features, exciting events and nostalgic highlights within our resort destination."

A number of new attractions and features have been announced in recent months. And now we are getting a peek at some of the other updates and changes coming to Six Flags Great Adventure on opening day next weekend.

Already Announced

The entire complex now has a new name — Six Flags Great Adventure Resort — reflecting the four experiences now on-site, theme park, water park, safari park, and glamping resort/spa.

To celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary season, a grand celebration will kick off this summer including special character experiences and entertainment.

One special renovation for the 50th anniversary is the Dream Street Pathway at the park's original entrance. (Near the four big tents, between the Boardwalk and Frontier Adventures sections of the park.) The public can purchase commemorative engraved bricks to be installed along this new walkway.

In addition, some of the park's oldest rides — log flume and the Ferris wheel — have undergone extensive rehab work to reopen in 2024.

Now under construction and expected to open this summer, Great Adventure will welcome its 15th roller coaster, The Flash: Vertical Velocity. Packing a top speed of 60 mph, it was announced as the first "super boomerang coaster" in the Western Hemisphere.

Rendering of The Flash: Vertical Velocity, scheduled to be up and running for the 2024 season at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson (Six Flags)
Rendering of The Flash: Vertical Velocity, scheduled to be up and running for the 2024 season at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson (Six Flags)

At the end of the 2023 season, the Wild Safari Park closed as a drive-through experience. In 2024, a refreshed Safari Off-Road Adventure will once again offer guided tours from the theme park instead. Starting March 30.

Also brand new this year, the Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa will offer luxury "glamping" accommodations amid the Wild Safari Park along with VIP experiences. Reservations are now available. The resort opens June 14.

Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa (Six Flags Great Adventure)
Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa (Six Flags Great Adventure)

When Hurricane Harbor begins its operating season in May, we will finally see the grand opening of the delayed Splash Island family play structure. It promises seven waterslides for the littlest splashers.

An overhead shot of the Splash Island attraction at another Hurricane Harbor park. (Six Flags)
An overhead shot of the Splash Island attraction at another Hurricane Harbor park. (Six Flags)

Improvements to the toll plaza and parking lots have been underway too. That includes new preferred parking areas, upgraded electric vehicle charging stations, and a new Speedy Parking add-on.

New Surprises

In addition to the return of the Safari Off-Road Adventure from the theme park, a new Safari Base Camp at the Wild Safari entrance/exit. Guided tours will be available for non-theme park guests, in addition to retail, dining, a children's play area, and close-up animal experiences.

Some old familiar attractions will sport new names starting in 2024 too. Congo Rapids will revert to its original name held from 1981 to 1991, Roaring Rapids. In addition, the upgrades to the Ferris wheel warrant an upgraded name — Big Wheel will now be known as Giant Wheel.

Great Adventure also officially confirmed the planned return of many fan-favorite celebrations and festivals in 2024, including Pride Night, 4th of July (presented by Coca-Cola), Oktoberfest, Boo Fest, Fright Fest, Veterans Weekend, and Holiday in the Park.

The entrance to Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. (Dan Zarrow, Townsquare Media)
The entrance to Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. (Dan Zarrow, Townsquare Media)

In some exciting news on the dining front, Best of the West Grill & Saloon will apparently reopen as a public eatery, after spending a year as a VIP member lounge.

Additionally, Sweet Cakes, at the front of the park, will become Sweet Treats, offering desserts like crepes and gelato. New premium and signature cocktails will be available throughout the theme park. And expanded gluten-free options will be offered at Primos Pizza. Other restaurant remodels are in the works for Main Street Pub, Kickin’ Chicken Sports Bar, Funnel Cake Factory and Yum Yum Café.

Coffee fanatics will be happy to know three new Roller Coaster Cafe stands will open, serving Starbucks coffee products.

On the retail side, two new shops were announced. Six Flags Adventure World will adjoin the new Dream Street Pathway, featuring park gear and essentials. And the new The Flash: Vertical Velocity roller coaster will come with it's very own merchandise outlet, The Flash Store. (Insert "exit through the gift shop" joke here.)

Main Street Market and Thrillseekers have also been remodeled and refreshed. And exciting news for Halloween and Christmas lovers alike, the previously seasonal-only stores Fright Fest Fanatics and Holiday Memories will now be open year-round.

New Jersey 101.5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Single-day tickets and season passes for Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor are on sale now at SixFlags.com. The resort is also hiring for all positions for the 2024 season.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Check out Dan's weather blog or follow him on Facebook for your latest weather forecast updates.

When will NJ theme parks open for the 2024 season?

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

The Top 30 Roller Coasters in New Jersey

Happy National Roller Coaster Day! The state of New Jersey is home to the 6th most roller coasters in the United States, spread across 14 thrilling theme parks.

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM