Great American Scream Machine | Coaster Reviews

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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 CoasterImage.com, used with permission. Post image owned by CoasterCritic.

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

37 Comments

  1. Oh please, stop the whining. The ride isn't that rough, you make it sound like it's non-stop headbangging. It's not – at all.

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  2. In my opinion a good coaster shouldn't beat you up at all or at least very little. In that context GASM misses the mark by a mile. Aside from the headbanging, which is not 'non-stop', the ride just feels bumpy and rickety almost like a woodie in parts that should be smoother. I hope that, and the terrible parking lot setting, explain my disdain for this ride.

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  3. I actually agree that this ride was painful. I actually walked off not knowing what had happened during the ride because it was so painful. I don't think you were being harsh because this ride is just plain bad because no matter how good they layout might be (it's not) the ride provides only one experience… Pain!

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  4. WOW, that's pretty generous in my opinion. GASM is a 1 or 2 for me.

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  5. i think that six flags just wasted their money on this one. it sounds purely pointless, and an awful landscaping job. it also took a great woodies name. if i were to go to the park, the coaster might look pretty awesome, but ill just skip it, not thinking much of it. the track layout looks pretty sweet, but if its that rough i might as well just leave the park! sounds like crud.

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  6. I found it quite nice when I went in april, no headbanging at all. I must have gotten it on a good day, or you rode it on a bad day.

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  7. I've been on it twice now this month, 2 weeks apart, and had the same head-banging experience both times. Give me El Toro or Nitro any time!

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  8. Rode this Monday and it was so-so to me…not terrible but not great either. It started to rain right when we loaded so I was abit nervous since I had never been on a coaster that was wet before. I guess it was typical Arrow all the way.

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  9. I agree, it wasnt very good or bad, and yes, the swooping drop is the best part, but the bat-wing boomerang isnt the best inversion, its the second loop. beacause the friction of the fist loop slows the train down a bit, and since both loops are the same size, you can slightly feel your self flipping. its awsome but other than that its a typical looper and i dont say arrow beacause they also desinged dueling dragons at universal.

    PS- at the great escape and splashwater kingdom (a six flags theame park) they built a new train for an arrow called the steamin deamon, it totallly readuced the head bang, even though there is still headbang beacause they didnt take away the track, the new sholder reastranints arent as hard and it dosent hurt as much. i think the`ll do the same to GASM and therefore make it a lot beeter.

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  10. that first loop actually looks cool how it just doesnt stop going up before it meets the other track, unlike the many wonders of B&M

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  11. Definately a poor coaster.

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  12. Yep. And it's the roller coaster in the header when the site's pink-ish theme is chosen. I couldn't find a pink roller coaster, so I gave GASM a new look.

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  13. that was cool, especially cause no one knows it even exists anymore

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  14. I thought Medusa was pretty rough to

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    • ive ridden it as bizarro 5 times and its extremely rough and painfull thankfully not as much as rolling thunder which is like being the things inside a maracca and being shaken all day

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  15. Medusa? Rough? That was the smootrhest thing i`ve ever ridden!

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  16. I have to think medusa was pretty rough too. I don't know why, but it's not too smooth at some parts….

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  17. I still don`t know what your talking about.

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  18. The only rough part of Medusa/Bizarro for me was listening to that nasty soundtrack!

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  19. Maybe I just rode it on a bad day.

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  20. I haven`t yet ridden Medusa as Bizzaro yet.

    Reply

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