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El Toro (Six Flags Great Adventure)

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El Toro
El Toro, with Kingda Ka in the background
Six Flags Great Adventure
Park section Plaza del Carnaval
Coordinates 40°8′19.90″N 74°26′4.67″W / 40.1388611°N 74.4346306°W / 40.1388611; -74.4346306Coordinates: 40°8′19.90″N 74°26′4.67″W / 40.1388611°N 74.4346306°W / 40.1388611; -74.4346306
Status Operating
Soft opening date June 11, 2006
Opening date June 12, 2006
Cost $12 million
Replaced Viper
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Wooden Coaster (Prefabricated Track)
Track layout Out and Back
Lift/launch system Cable lift hill
Height 188 ft (57 m)
Drop 176 ft (54 m)
Length 4,400 ft (1,300 m)
Speed 70 mph (110 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:42
Max vertical angle 76°
Capacity 1500 riders per hour
G-force 4.4
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 36 riders per train.
Flash Pass available
El Toro at RCDB
Pictures of El Toro at RCDB

El Toro, a Spanish term meaning The Bull, is a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Designed by Intamin of Switzerland, it opened to the public on June 11, 2006. Intamin also worked with members of Rocky Mountain Construction to build the ride. When it opened, it had the steepest drop of any wooden roller coaster in the world at 76 degrees, until the record was broken by T Express in 2008 by one degree. Overall, its structure height of 188 feet is ranked third, its drop height of 176 feet (54 m) is ranked first, and its top speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) is ranked first among all wooden roller coasters in the world. It is also the first wooden roller coaster to use a cable lift as opposed to the traditional chain lift.

El Toro is the main attraction of the Mexican-themed section, Plaza Del Carnaval. It replaced the Viper roller coaster that closed in 2004.


El Toro sits on the former site of Viper, which closed in 2004.[1] Everything was removed in early 2005 except for the station.[2] El Toro was announced on September 28, 2005 along with Bugs Bunny National Park, a new themed area for children. It was also announced El Toro would be part of a new themed area known as Plaza del Carnaval.[3] The lift hill was topped off on December 20, 2005.[4] The ride started testing on Memorial Day weekend in 2006.[5] The ride had a surprise opening on June 11 then held its grand opening on June 12.[6][7]

El Toro has several similarities to Viper, the coaster that it replaced. The most obvious similarity is that El Toro uses Viper's station, the only part of Viper that was not torn down.[2] The station previously held two Viper trains at once, with a loading platform in the front and an unloading platform in the rear. The ramp that was previously Viper's main exit is now used only for wheelchair access, as El Toro has a new exit on the other side of the station. During El Toro's construction, the station was gutted and an entirely new platform built. Like El Toro, Viper turned left out of the station before the lift hill and turned left at the top of the lift before the first drop.

El Toro suffered a malfunction with the lift motor in early August of 2013. The motor was sent to Maryland to be fixed. [8] El Toro reopened on August 30th, after it had been down for several weeks.

Ride experience[edit]


El Toro means "The bull" in Spanish, which is the theme of the ride. The cars are themed as "bulls" with bull heads on the front. The ride's queue is surrounded by the Southwestern-style buildings of Plaza del Carnaval, and also has abandoned "wagon wheels" and Spanish posters along a wall separating the queue from the ride.[9]


A train on the second hill

After departing from the station, the train makes a turn to the left, passing through the ride's structure. It then begins to climb the 181-foot (55 m) tall cable lift hill. Once the entire train is on the lift the cable increases its speed to 13 mph. Once at the top of the lift the speed of the cable gently slows down, but it is barely noticeable on the ride. After cresting the top of the lift, the train briefly travels forward and makes a 180 degree turn to the left. It then drops 176 feet (54 m) at a 76 degree angle, reaching a top speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). As the train reaches the bottom of the drop it comes close to the track above, creating a headchopper-effect. It then travels up a 112-foot (34 m) camelback hill followed by a second camelback hill at 100 feet (30 m). It then rises and then travels through a 180 degree downward-banked turn to the right, and up another banked turn to the left. The train goes through a small second hill that speeds past the station and the lakeside. The ride then makes another turn and up a smaller hill where riders experience ejector airtime. After coming down the drop, the ride snakes through twists and turns. After coming out of the twister section, the train slows down as it moves through small S turn hills and into the brake run.[2][9][10]


El Toro operates with two trains with six cars per train. Riders are arranged two across in three rows for a total of 36 riders per train. It has a capacity of 1,200 guests per hour.[9] The trains are simply known as "Train A" (light brown) and "Train B" (dark brown). The trains have padded "wings" at shoulder level to prevent riders from being thrown too far to the side in the final twister section.[11] El Toro's lapbars are U-shaped.

In 2010, one of the trains was re-themed to endorse Stride Gum. The train was wrapped in Stride Gum advertisements, showing a different flavor of Stride gum on each car.[12][13] The advertisements remained on the train for the entire 2011 season, but were removed before the start of the 2012 season and replaced with Kia Soul advertising.[14]


Train A in the station

The wooden track is approximately 4,400 feet (1,300 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 181 feet (55 m).[9] El Toro is very different from a traditional wooden roller coaster because it uses prefabricated wooden track. It was built and designed by Intamin but they also worked with members of Rocky Mountain Construction to build the ride.[15][16] Instead of carpenters cutting, shaping, and laying down the track on site by hand, the track is laser cut in a factory. This means that the track is manufactured to a higher degree of precision than could be achieved by hand.[17] The "Plug and Play" aspect of the coaster speeds construction of the coaster since track does not have to be completely manufactured on site. In addition, because of the speed of construction, the costs of building the coaster are lowered due to fewer manhours spent on the construction. The riders are subject to a coaster that is as smooth as steel. El Toro is the first Intamin "Plug and Play" wooden roller coaster in the United States and one of four in the world. The other three are Colossos at Heide Park in Germany, Balder at Liseberg in Sweden, and T Express at Everland in South Korea.[18]


When El Toro debuted, it broke records as the second-tallest and fastest with the second-longest drop of a wooden roller coaster in the United States. It also had the steepest drop on any wooden roller coaster in the world.[3] As of 2013, El Toro is the fastest wooden roller coaster and the third-tallest wooden roller coaster in the world.[19][20] It also has the longest drop with the second-steepest drop.[21]

Awards and rankings[edit]

When the ride debuted, it ranked 3rd for "Best New Ride of 2006" in the Golden Ticket Awards.[22]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 13[22] 9[23] 4[24] 3[25] 2[26] 3[27] 1[28] 2[29]
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best wood-Tracked Roller Coaster[30]
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 3 2 2 2 1 (tie) 1 1 1



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  2. ^ a b c "El Toro at Coaster-Net". Coaster-Net. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Six Flags (September 28, 2005). "Six Flags Great Adventure Will Debut Monstrous Wooden Roller Coaster in Newly-Themed Area and New Looney Tunes Kids' Section In 2006" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Six Flags Great Adventure Tops Off New Roller Coaster". Ultimate Roller Coaster. December 20, 2005. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Davidson, Josh (May 29, 2006). "Six Flags Great Adventure wooden coaster runs". Coaster-Net. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The gate is open for a new coaster!". Coaster-Net. June 12, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Run With the Bulls at Six Flags Great Adventure as the Monstrous 'El Toro' Wooden Roller Coaster is Unleashed". PR Newswire. June 12, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d Marden, Duane. "El Toro  (Six Flags Great Adventure)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "El Toro POV". YouTube. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Train B photo". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Design I like- Stride Gum takes over El Toro". May 9, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ "TPR Stride Gum train". Theme Park Review. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Kia Soul train". Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ MacDonald, Brady (October 25, 2012). "Looping wooden roller coasters are about to become a reality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Clients & Portfolio". Rocky Mountain Construction. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Coasters-101: Track Fabrication". Coaster 101. November 6, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wooden Coaster(Prefabricated Track)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wood Record Holders – Speed". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wood Record Holders – Height". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wood Record Holders – Drop". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 38–39. September 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 46–47. September 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 46–47. September 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  29. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 40–41. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  30. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Wooden Roller Coaster Poll 20 Year Results Table (1994–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]