Harry's Corner: Parachute Training Center
Originally opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 1983 as Parachute's Perch, the Parachute Training Center ride stands 250 feet tall and is located in the Boardwalk area of the theme park. The ride is a modern day version of the famous but long closed Parachute Tower in Coney Island, NY. In the mid 1970's Six Flags partnered with Swiss ride manufacturer Intamin AG to design an updated version of this time-forgotten ride, and while numerous variations were installed around the world, with the exception of a shorter version of the ride in Japan, today only Great Adventure's large scale parachute ride is in operation.
It is easy to be intimidated by the height of the Parachute Training Center but in reality it is a quiet and peaceful trip that has most guests wishing they could spend more time at the top to look around. The ride is comprised of eight parachutes which ascend and drop independently of one another. Two or three guests are seated in a comfortable bench that reminds many of a webbed-style lawn chair. Once properly secured with a seatbelt and lap bar, guests are all set for their parachute to be pulled up into the clouds. The ride up is a smooth one and just when you may think the climb is endless your parachute comes to a gentle pause at the top where the views are incredible. Unfortunately, you'll need to look around fast because before you know it you are earthbound, descending in a calm yet exciting manner that can best be described as fun. Just like in real parachuting you can feel the wind through your hair and hear the rustle of the chute above you. In no time, you have made it back down to the planet with a perfect landing just in time to get back in line for another jump.
Consider this tip if you decide to go parachuting at Great Adventure. Often, guests simply follow each other in the queue and line up for the same parachutes. Actually, the queue line is a winding maze feeding four different landing pad areas around the ride's central tower. Take note of which parachutes are in operation and head for the pair with the shortest line. As you approach the ride, stay in the left lane for the four parachutes facing the Green Lantern roller coaster or the right lane for the other four. Once again, depending upon which chutes are running you may have the opportunity to make another decision choosing between the two parachutes ahead of you or the two you just passed. Pick the shortest line and you will be airborne in no time.
Parachute Training Center is a relaxing attraction that can be enjoyed over and over again. With eight different parachutes each offering a unique vantage point to observe the beautiful surroundings of Six Flags Great Adventure, you will find yourself becoming a professional paratrooper!
Enjoy your jump!
Harry -Six Flags Great Adventure Historian