Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari, in Jackson, N.J., will celebrate its 40th year in the upcoming season, opening April 12. The theme park will mark the anniversary with the opening of the world's tallest drop ride and the debut of three new lion cubs.
The 41-story Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom ride, is slated to open Memorial Day weekend. Three Zumanjaro towers will be built on the face of the Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster in the world and the fastest in North America.
Each Zumanjaro tower will feature a gondola that will hoist riders 415 feet into the sky in about 30 seconds, then rocket them back down at 90 miles per hour, park operators said.
The towers will be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, allowing riders at the top of the ride to glimpse the Philadelphia skyline 52 miles away. "With its extreme height and speed, Zumanjaro will bring out the ultimate thrillseekers and leave others watching in awe, planted firmly on the ground," park president John Fitzgerald said in a statement.
The lion cubs, Kanu, Ondo and Kiume, will be on display at the Safari Off Road Adventure's Camp Aventura. Born earlier this year, the trio made headlines when their mothers couldn't adequately care for them and Six Flags staffers began hand-raising them. The cubs will eventually be introduced to the lion pride in the Kingsland section.
Six Flags' concert series will kick off Easter Sunday, April 20, with a performance by Jason Derulo. The theme park will launch its special events series April 26 and 27 with the Fast Tracks and Food Trucks festival.
The park will debut a new, expedited processing system for season pass holders and members that will scan guests' fingers to validate their cards instead of using photos.