Theme park officials at New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure have announced a park closure due to tornado damage experienced around their park from yesterday’s violent thunderstorms that battered the Garden State.
Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park located approximately 20 miles southeast of Trenton in Jackson, New Jersey. The park, at 510 acres, is the second-largest theme park in the world following Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It first opened in 1974.
“Due to the Township of Jackson Emergency Declaration, as well as for the safety of our guests and team members, Six Flags Great Adventure is closed today, April 2,” said the park in a statement released today. “We anticipate re-opening Wednesday, April 5 for Spring Break.”
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) April 1, 2023
The large theme park opened its doors for the first time of the new season yesterday, April 1. However, the fun ended early as a line of potent thunderstorms crossed New Jersey during the early evening hours. One potent thunderstorm produced a confirmed tornado in Jackson, according to the Mount Holly office of the National Weather Service.
A storm survey is being conducted by the National Weather Service in Jackson today to determine the length, width, and strength of the tornado that hit the area.
Tornadoes aren’t too rare in this part of New Jersey or even around the giant theme park. On June 22, 2011, a tornado touched down just south of Six Flags Great Adventure. The theme park itself saw substantial damage from that storm, with uprooted trees, broken tree limbs, and other debris littered throughout the park. There were no injuries reported in the 2011 storm and there were no injuries reported from yesterday’s storm.
Due to its location, Six Flags Great Adventure experiences all four seasons and the weather hazards that come with it. In prior winters, the theme park has been buried by blizzards and glazed over in ice storms. The park has also encountered significant floods from heavy rain and thunderstorm events in prior springs and summers.
This spring, Six Flags Great Adventure was to open for Spring Break from April 1 through to April 16. After yesterday’s tornado, the park hopes to open on Wednesday morning; the theme park is set to be open for 10:30 am – 7:00 pm while the adjacent Wild Safari park is due to be open 10 am – 4:00 pm. After closing on April 16, the park is due to re-open for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each weekend starting with April 27-30 prior to the park opening daily for the summer season on May 25.