Specific Type: Steel, Inverted, Looping, Twister
Morey's Piers & Beachfront Waterparks is one of the main attractions in Wildwood, New Jersey, with three piers: the 25th Avenue Pier, Schellenger Avenue Pier, and Spencer Avenue Pier. The mile-long boardwalk includes two water parks, along with restaurants, shows, rides, roller coasters, and of course the natural feature of Wildwood, the beach. Today, Wildwood is one of the most popular attractions in South Jersey. Prior to 1996, the park contained two major coasters: the Sea Serpent, a 120-foot Vekoma Boomerang model with three inversions and a shuttle layout, and the Custom Coasters International wooden roller coaster known as the Great White. In 1995, Morey's Piers wanted to expand their theme park with a new roller coaster: the first inverted coaster in the region. The announcement was made that for the '95 season, Morey's Piers would introduce the Great Nor' Easter.
Vekoma International of the Netherlands was asked to build one of the company's Suspended Looping Coaster models for the Great Nor' Easter. Installed in 1995, this maze of over 2,100 twisted feet of steel takes riders high over the Raging Waters water park, through a rollover, sidewinder, and double spin at speeds of up to fifty miles per hour. At a cost of more than seven and a half million dollars, inverted coaster came with two trains at a capacity of twenty riders each. The hourly capacity is more than 1,120 people per hour. With eighty seconds of ride time, the Nor' Easter is one of the most popular rides at Morey's Piers and will likely continue to be for some time to come. The ride's theme is a major East Coast storm, and was given to the coaster to help add to the thrills. Despite the limited space that designers had to work with, the compact layout of Vekoma's Suspended Looping Coaster fit into Morey's Piers.
Early its opening year, a worker was struck in the head by a rider’s foot on an oncoming train and died. This caused Morey’s Piers to start fencing off certain areas of their major rides so that an incident like this doesn’t happen again.
A good amount of modifications have been made to the ride over the years. In 2006, the ride was repainted to be all white, compared to the fading red color used previously. Two years later, the ride was totally revamped. New trains were added, the station was redesigned, and the new brakes were added. The trains are reminiscent of those used on Vekoma's Family Suspended coaster, but with added vest because of the inversions. The result is a more comfortable and smoother ride than a normal SLC.
When guests first walk by the Great Nor' Easter they notice a wall shaped like buildings which the roller coaster goes near. The ride's station is out in the elements, with no walls or a roof. After boarding the trains hanging below the red track, riders pull down the over-the-shoulder restraints and are taken out of the station. While traveling up the chain lift, the beach directly underneath the coaster is visible and the ocean just beyond. When about to go down the first drop, riders are also given a great view of the water park and small portion of the 25th Avenue Pier. Right after the first drop, passengers find themselves in a lightning-speed roller coaster experience traveling at fifty miles per hour. With legs dangling, the train takes on the first inversion, a rollover loop heading first up through a half-loop, through a 360-degree roll, and then through a second half-loop. In the middle of this element, rider’s legs are in close proximity to a waterslide built inside the coaster’s structure. Next up is a banked hill curving forty-five degrees to the left and then plunging to the bottom of the third inversion.
The sidewinder pulls up vertically and twists to the right straight into the Great Nor' Easter's carousel curve, a high-speed element curving to the right. At the end of the curve, the track immediately twists up over the exit of the sidewinder into the double-roll inversion which then rolls the train over two consecutive times. After a clockwise turnaround, the track dips, banks, and hops onto the final brake run where the ride's braking system brings riders to a sudden stop. Two ninety-degree turns to the right, and then the train arrives back at the loading platform. Once they exit the ride, riders can purchase an on-ride photo or go into the coaster's gift shop.
Morey's Pier continues being one of the favorite places in New Jersey with the help of the Great Nor' Easter. Morey's Piers is open from March to September every year. So why not stop at Morey's Piers on the next New Jersey vacation to ride the Great Nor' Easter? The Great Nor' Easter will continue providing its thrills to people of all ages for many more years to come.
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