Great American Scream Machine @ Six Flags Great Adventure
Great American Scream Machine is an aging, old steel coaster at the New Jersey Six Flags. Not to be confused with the wooden coaster by the same name at Six Flags Over Georgia. Don’t get me started on how bad of a name ‘Great American Scream Machine’ is or how dumb Six Flags is using it for two different roller coasters. I ranted about bad roller coaster names last year. Anyway, Great Adventure’s GASM is a relic from Arrow mega looper era. In the 80’s and early 90’s parks wanted bragging rights to having the roller coasters with the most loops.

GASM is in the worst setting you could find. It looks like it was plopped down on an old portion of the parking lot and they did nothing to landscape or theme the grounds. At least the entrance and station are decorated with bars and stars in the requisite red, white, and blue. But the ride itself might as well be on the Moon. I’m a HUGE fan of terrain coasters and GASM is the exact opposite.

After a long slow climb, you’re treated to a nice swooping 155′ drop. It’s easily the highlight of the ride. Next, you rise up into the a large loop which is followed up by two smaller loops that are literally back-to-back. Riders experience the typical Arrow head banging. As with most looping coasters, Arrow coasters have horse collar restraints that cover your shoulders and chest. During bumpy loops riders’ heads will bounce side to side off of the hard restraints. Headbanging is common on these type of coasters, but I found it rougher than normal. There was significant headbang during the vertical loops, not just during the transitions.

The three vertical loops are followed by a short brake run. The train immediately drops out of the run and into a batwing boomerang inversion that’s two more inversions. They are the best two loops of the ride, which unfortunately isn’t saying much. After the boomerang, the train putters its way through a rough set of double corkscrews. Luckily, after that the ride’s over.

After a spin on GASM, you thank God B&M is in the roller coaster making business. Medusa, also at Great Adventure, is a great answer to this rough relic. Before I get any angry comments, I have to say that I’m not an Arrow looper hater. I enjoyed Tennessee Tornado (Dollywood) and loved both Demon (Six Flags Great America) and Loch Ness Monster (Busch Gardens Europe). Great American Scream Machine is just way too uninteresting, dated, and rough. Final Rating – 4.0 (Below Average)

Thrilling Roller Coasters - For Brave RidersThis coaster is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because it includes several loops. If you fear going upside-down, then you may want to skip Great American Scream Machine.

What’s Your Take?
Have a question or comment about Great American Scream Machine or Arrow looping coasters? Leave a comment below.

Featured image courtesy of, used with permission. Post image owned by CoasterCritic.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

37 Responses

  1. MDC

    SFGAdv has announced that GASM will be removed soon, and replaced with Chang! It seems that Chang was originally going to Great America, but SF's new CEO changed around the plans. Last day of Scream Machine's operation is July 1st.

  2. Thomas

    GASM completely welcomes the experience of the park. It forms the skyline from the parking lot and I totally get how it's removal will change that arrival moment. It's kinda SFGA's Eiffel tower. But the last time I rode the coaster was completely unpleasant and needed a moment to cool off. While I will miss how great it looks and forms an image, a better coaster is always better. Still wondering what they will do with the other end of the park Movietown which stills seems blighted.

  3. Ryan

    This ride was pretty good, but it was definitely rough. It was a good ride to go on because there usually weren't lines. But I have to admit I will miss this ride, but I'm excited for the new coaster.

  4. jon

    i was so upset when i found out this ride was to be demolished. I went to the park the week they closed it and wondered why it was closed. Went on the Great Adventure history forum and found out the awful truth! Every time i went to great adventure, i would ride this coaster because i knew, someday, it would be gone. I will miss this ride, it was a classic but great adventure will install a new coaster to take its place

  5. Frank

    Even though Scream Machine was an older and rough ride it I'd one that I will greatly miss; iIt was the first upside down/looping coaster that I ever went on! I agree that the landscaping and setting seem stark, but it seemed so open to me so you can see all the loops and inversions! It was taken down a few months ago and Chang from Kentucky kingdom is being installed in it's place and will be rebranded as the Green Lantern to add to the superhero coaster list (Superman, Batman, Dark Knight, Bizzarro)

  6. Linaskye

    Frank, GASM was one of the biggest baddest loopers I had ever ridden when I was younger. I always told my friends I wouldn't do taller drops than 120 feet, and so my friends lied and told me they didn't know its height. Then as we get all strapped in, I asked the guy checking restraints how tall it was, and he said about 155 feet. Then he waved goodbye to ms as we sxited the station, laughing his butt off at my deer-in-headlights expression. GASM ended up being my fave ride at the park. Fast forward 10 or so years later to the present, having ridden nearly 100'coasters (still haven't hit that big benchmark), I went back on GASM because I thought it would be a fantastic nostalgic moment. GASM was so rough though and its restraints so ill fitting for my body type that not only did I literally shoot out the side of the restraint and had to duck back under it, but I got off the ride with such a headache that I threw up and had to leave the park. Sad as I was for GASM to go, I really think it was time for it to be taken down. It was dangerous and brutal.

  7. Jennifer

    I hated GASM! It was the roughest, worst roller coaster I ever rode…except maybe the other one at GA…Sidewinder I think it was? That was definately rough too! El Toro is the best now I think…for a wooden roller coaster, it is SO smooth…and SO fast! 🙂

    • Quil

      I'm sorry if this sounds rude in any way, but I laughed after reading this comment. I don't think that you're wrong in saying it's rough, but just a few minutes before posting this you also posted another comment on the Hurler review about how it was fun even though it was a little rough. I'm assuming you like woodies, right? 🙂

  8. CoasterFreak118

    unfortunatly i only got to ride this coaster once but i have to completely disagree with you. I rode GASM in summer of 09 and i thought it was a pretty good ride. the inversions were awesome and i didnt think it was as rough as you're saying and i sat in the back row which is usually the roughest on arrows. really the only bad part of the ride was the minute long lift and the small cars that kept you immobile. i also rode GASM's sister coaster Viper at Magic Mountain which i thought was a little rougher than GASM and on that i sat in the front so i think with Viper, GASM, and Shockwave the three arrow mega loopers might have some wierd thing with the trains that make the front rougher than the back, but that is just my opinion. otherwise i thought GASM was a great ride and i was really sad to find out it was gone i probably would have given it at least a 6.5 out of ten if i were you.

  9. Joey Till

    Wow, When i rode i found it to be maybe my favorite Arrow Looping Coaster! Its to slow IMO to hurt you, the loops dont usually hurt you, and the rest of the ride was so slow you got good hang time. Im going to Six Flags Magic Mountian and am excited for the Viper because i hope its like how this one used to be.


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