Take a Spin on Six Flag’s Most Acclaimed Roller Coaster
Nitro is a popular hyper coaster that completes Six Flags Great Adventure’s trinity of top-notch roller coasters. Kingda Ka, El Toro, and Nitro make Great Adventure a must visit destination for coaster enthusiasts. Nitro has received the most praise of just about any roller coaster Six Flags has in their arsenal. In 2006, Nitro was ranked 7th among the best steel roller coasters in the world in Mitch Hawker’s Coaster Poll. It also ranked 4th in Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards.

Hoping to replicate the success of Apollo’s Chariot, Six Flags hired Bolliger & Mabillard to build Nitro in 2001. Your ride begins as you climb aboard the ultra-comfortable, chair-like train cars. From your midsection up, you are completely free. The seats are raised above the floor of the cars allowing your feet and legs to swing freely.

After the train leaves the station it takes an immediate swooping turn to the left. Then you begin your long, 23-story ascent. Great Adventure is a pretty large park, but luckily they gave Nitro its own wooded section. As you rise the lift hill you see only the bright yellow track and trees. Here’s an overhead look of Nitro’s layout. The first drop is a memorable 215′ that results in a furious 80 mph at the bottom. This is followed by another hill, this time with a banked crest. This second hill offers a small pop of airtime and a 130′ drop. More hills follow as you continue to rise up above the tree line only to drop back down to earth.

At the half-way point the train rises into the hammerhead turn. (Seen here.) It’s a raised heavily-banked u-turn. It’s somewhat similar to the swooping turn around that follows Millennium Force’s first drop. With it’s height and g-forces the hammerhead element is the highlight of the ride. Next, the train coasts over another smaller hill. Then the s-curve section which is fun, but forgettable. A pretty intense upward double helix is followed by a short brake run.

Immediately following the brakes you reach Nitro’s finale, a series of four small airtime hills. This is the same recipe B&M used to finish off Apollo’s Chariot. On Nitro however, the airtime is much less abundant. That’s my main problem with Nitro as a whole. It’s a fun, smooth ride, with some large drops and exciting elements, but the airtime (moments of being lifted out of your seat) isn’t as memorable or was non-existent. Nitro is still a great roller coaster that deserves the attention and accolades it receives. Final Rating – 9.0 (Excellent)

Similar B&M hyper coasters: Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Europe, Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia, Silver Star at Europa Park

What’s Your Take?
Do you have a question or comment about Nitro? Leave one below. Photos courtesy of CoasterImage

About The Author

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

20 Responses

  1. Jake

    The first time I rode Nitro I thought it was an awesome coaster with a ton of really good airtime. I went back to Great Adventure a few years later and thought that it was kind of boring with almost no air time like you described. After riding it a second time that day I realized that Nitro is two completely different rides depending on whether you sit in the front or the back. In the front the trains have enough speed when they crest the hills to pop you out of your seat. However if you sit in the back of the train you have already lost too much speed when you go over each hill to get lifted out of your seat. If Six Flags would have made the coaster a little bit faster I think all sections of the train would get good air time and they could have a world class ride on their hands.

  2. Judy P in Pgh

    SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH and possibly the most comfortable coaster seats ever! I recommend a sunset ride for a spectacular view.

  3. Matthew

    Hey Judy, if you thought the seats to nitro were comfortable, go on apollos chariot at busch gardens. It cant get any better than that!

  4. Daniel

    I have now rode both…Nitro is SLIGHTLY better…..I didn't like the theme as well as Apollo but something about the drop was a little better…..a world class coaster for sure

    • Mike

      Just rode Nitro yesterday and have now been on two B&M Hypers also: Apollo's Chariot and Nitro. Since Nitro was ranked so highly I thought it would be a little bit better than Apollo. To the contrary I think i like Apollo's Chariot better. The best reason I can think of is the pre drop on Apollo. I don't know the science of it but I just felt that Apollo was more intense and had better airtime. I agree with the above statement that the front on Nitro is more intense but when i rode the back i felt like there was more floater air. I also didn't like it at the front when you kind of stutter going over the hill due coming off the chain. Overall i must say I loved the ride and having only been on about 30 coasters Nitro would probably be in my top 5 behind Apollo, El Toro, Intimidator 305 and Volcano.

  5. QB3

    Nitro is one of my favorite coasters but if you ask me, there is one element of the ride that is constantly overlooked. at the beggining of the ride, you go in a slightly banked sweeping turn a bove the Q. since you just got used to having your legs dangling after the usualy long wait. its a little diorienting, and the people some 10 feet under you looking up and to the fun, the turn leaves you on edge for the rest of the ride. also the seats on nitro and apallos chariot are exactly the same so how can apallo be more comfortable?

    • Mike

      I love this feature on B&M's. Also used on Dominator at KD and Griffon at BGE. It is a nice touch to start a ride off that way!

  6. Thomas

    Nitro is a singular experience. Like the good old Beast at Kings Island of my childhood, it lives in it's own land of the park. And like any good coaster one has to know how to ride it. Second last seat on the left gets the insane view down on the curving second drop and all the help with the air time coming on. Don't hold on, relax, airtime fest. I think the hammer head is just a pause for all the good stuff coming, another air moment before intense positive g's in the up spiral. Soft break and three bumps of neg g's. Riders have broken into applause after that. But by that point so much has happened on a roller coaster who even knows. Maybe Nitro is a mini-series. Night rides are best. The sky is your own.

  7. Alyssa

    how intense is this ride? Is it likely that i'll throw up? The biggest coaster I've been on was Superman (now bizaro) at Six Flags New England

  8. Merle

    sitting in the front it was one of the best coaster i have ever been on and produces lots of floter air time and is a great senic ride through the woods. but sitting near the back didnt offer as much airtime and it wasnt the same expiriance

  9. Quil

    On my most recent trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, I rode This ride six times, once in the morning and five times at night. 4 out of these 6 times, i got to ride in the back, once on the right,edge once on the left edge, and twice in the middle. The two times i didn't ride in the back, i rode in the second to back, both times on the left side.

  10. Matt

    B&M hyper coasters are awesome! Comfortable seats, lots of hills and airtime, tall and fast. Nitro is a great, fun, smooth ride. It has many hills and has a very spread out layout. I think its better than magnum because it has more hills and is smoother and more comfortable. I would give nitro a 10! (or at least a 9.5)

  11. Surya

    Enjoyed Nitro a lot when I rode it 9 times when I was in the park last May. Smooth, relaxing and just fun. Didn't care for that helix though.

  12. Matt

    Nitro is great! Nitro's airtime is awesome! On every hill I got excellent floater air. I don't know what coaster critic is talking about, I experienced great moments of air. Maybe Nitro's air was forgotten because of el toro's extreme ejector air at the same park. I personally think Nitro's floater air is more enjoyable than el toro's ejector, although el toro's ejector air is more exciting and intense. And I prefer this to apollo because it has a bigger and IMO better layout with more elements. And this is definitely better than Magnum! I mean in magnum you are like trapped in those trains, I still do like magnum though. Nitro is my 2nd favorite coaster and I give it a 10.

  13. CoasterFreak118

    its definatly a great ride no doubt. my tip to make the ride experience better is sit in the back row on either the outer left or outer right side and expand your stomach a little bit so the bar's no crushing you and is tight enough to keep you in but enough to give your room to move around, and then you'll feel the great amount of air time it has to offer. i would say about 1/2 inch – 1 1/2 inches apart. i also recommend that on every hyper or giga coaster my friend showed that more room from your stomach and the bar = lots of air time

  14. LinaSkye

    Nitro is not the best ride for ejector air, but nearly every time I ride it, I get these long sustained periods of floater airtime that are nearly graceful and like flying. It is a brilliant coaster, and I cannot wait to ride Apollos Chariot at BGW. That being said, Nitro gives a very different ride experience depending on where you sit. The back seat definitely feels more forceful with the airtime, but the front is sooooo intense. There is not a bad seat on this ride, and it has the prettiest land in Great Adventure as its backdrop (unlike the parking lot for Ka, Superman, and Green Lantern). This is still in my top 20 at least, and honestly probably in my top 10.


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