Dear Coaster Friends,
Close your eyes and imagine you are on a roller coaster, maybe a special ride that you feel is exciting. You crest the top and dive down, whizzing past trees, hugging the ground, and just hauling at an unrelenting pace. What ride was it? The answer is probably different for many of us, but when I think of near misses with nature and the ground being a focus and not the air I think of terrain coasters. This special designation often deliver an extra layer of uniqueness to a roller coaster because its setting is intertwined with the ride experience.
There are many reasons to use the terrain as an element when designing a roller coaster. Often times the simple fact that using an existing hillside could help the park save money because they can get away with less materials. It is a great win win. Sometimes a park is built with limited area to develop midways and paths that are easy for guests to traverse, this may force designers to place the rides in more rugged surrounding terrain, to leave more flat space for people. Then there is a third option, add artificial terrain in a spare no expense approach to create an ideal setting. These types of rides often have that extra something that makes them feel more special. This isn’t a required ingredient because a good ride is a good ride and my favorite coaster, El Toro, does not have a terrain element. However when a ride does have this element is typically a welcome addition.
What ride did you think of when I asked you to close your eyes and imagine? I thought of Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce. This roller coaster was designed by CCI and was inspired by Rollo Coaster at Idlewild Park. Boulder Dash omits the most expensive part of a wooden roller coaster, the lift hill. By using the natural terrain to help shape the lift, first drop and most of the elevation changes on the first half of the ride they were able to save a lot of material cost while creating a very exciting ride. To me Boulder Dash is more than simply fast, it feels wild. The combination of the near misses created by the trees and rock face, help disguise a downward path that makes the ride feel like it is speeding up when you expect it to be slowing down. This is near the top of my list of wooden roller coasters and it is so wild and fun I excuse its biggest flaw. It is rough, but I love it anyway.
I have a positive impression of B&M hypers, and I really enjoy all of the ones I have ridden. The thing is they all leave a similar impression on me, in fact I rank them all together for the most part and they each have something that stands out even though they deliver a similar experience. I typically give the edge to Apollo’s Chariot, not because it is bigger, faster or steeper. It is actually none of those things. I give it the edge because it uses the terrain to enhance the experience. The reason this ride uses the terrain is to develop a part of the property that guests could not access, and it would not be useful for future expansion. I don’t think Busch Gardens saved any money on the slightly shorter lift hill because of the predrop that was added to get out to the elevation change, but I like the effect it created. Those few extra seconds to build a little momentum and take in the views is a welcome added extra the terrain helped dictate. The rest of the ride is fairly standard, but because the terrain is at different elevations at different points in the layout it makes the drops larger or smaller because they need to line up with the low points below them. In fact this is the one B&M hyper where the first drop isn’t my favorite part of the ride, it is the last drop. The last drop is very surprising, and even though I knew it was coming the first few times I rode it still got me. If you aren’t sure what I mean or why the last drop is worth talking about I won’t spoil it, just head on over to BGW to ride Apollo’s Chariot.
The final category of terrain coasters would be best examined by going to Florida, a state where a certain mouse set the bar on theming. My favorite mine train is Big Thunder Mountain, not because it has the best layout but because it has the best setting. This coaster creates its own terrain and takes riders off onto a mountain scene from out west in the hot, humid, awful, oppressive Florida sun. Wait, why are we in Florida again, oh yeah theming. A 90 minute car ride away from the Orland market will land you in Tampa Bay home of my favorite invert Montu. Montu is partially buried so the layout dives through these trenches themed to look like Egyptian ruins. If the whole ride was lifted about two or three stories and had the same layout but not terrain and scenery to interact with I don’t think it would have the honor of being called my favorite invert, just like natural terrain coasters the scenery creates near misses and enhances the feeling of speed. Cheetah Hunt does the same thing on a portion of its track where it reuses part of the old river raft ride. Both of these rides are arguably better than similar rides that lack these interactions.
There are so many of these types of rides to mention, and some parks have capitalized on it really well like Holiday World, Dollywood, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and Kennywood. These are all parks that use their uneven terrain to their advantage and have put themselves in my sights because I know they will offer something that no place else can. They all offer something different and unique, and it is not just a big pile of dirt or a dangerous hillside. It was the bold decision to build on it that created a natural attraction for an unnatural experience. Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click…
Dear Coaster Friends,
Sorry, but I got a repeat for you, actually I want to take a blog post from last year and annualize it for the week before Father’s Day. That way all my coaster dad friends will get a boost on their holiday, and prospective coaster dads, and coaster kids can reflect on their dad and going to theme parks. This hobby can be very family friendly and I wanted to update this every season.
I got into roller coasters as a hobby later in life, not because of a lack of love for roller coasters, but simply it never occured to me that it was a thing. I always enjoyed going to theme parks as a kid and throughout my life. I grew up asking my parents to include going to parks as part of family vacations, and sometimes I was indulged and other times it wasn’t in the cards. The desire to be hurled around a circuit of wood or steel was my love and it was not shared by my family, so I was the lone voice begging to ride one more when the day was over. I was very lucky to have a dad who would indulge me and become my riding partner when I wasn’t old enough to wait in line by myself. This was greatly appreciated, especially since my dad doesn’t like heights. His fear of heights was not something I was aware of at the time.
When I became a teen I attended a summer camp that brought us to amusement parks, and it became my first job too. So a few outings a summer to amusement parks were a welcome perk. Then when that first summer of work was over I needed to find a year round after school job and my priorities shifted to work and school. I still had fun and went to parks with friends, but because of the cost of paying my own way it became less frequent. Then I became a college student and almost all of my free time was about working for extra money, so I could socialize with my friends, and not eat Cup-O-Noodles for every meal. After several years with no amusement parks I started going to Great Adventure at least once a year with friends, and my girlfriend who later became my wife. I was working on my career, but it still never occured to me that I should be branching out and seeking new experiences.
Then all of a sudden it clicked when my wife and I were in Los Angeles attending a family wedding. We realized we had an extra day to visit and we were on our way to Magic Mountain with my cousin and his wife. They ran out of steam after a few hours but we kept on riding and enjoying our day at the park. On the drive back to LA we were like, “Why aren’t we doing this more regularly?” So we started making a spring and fall trip every year to Great Adventure, and every time we were out of town with the opportunity we visited a new park. Then the sickness really kicked in and I was like let's plan road trips to parks too! We gradually started making our travels a bit further and more frequent, we started visiting lesser well known and sometimes out of the way parks too.
Age starts to creep up on you and things change, responsibilities expand, and life happens. One year I injured myself and I couldn’t ride roller coasters for a year, I was devastated. I even had to face the possibility that I could be done, at the risk of ruining myself physically. Thankfully I healed and hit the ground running again. Then came the biggest change, my wife was pregnant and our family would be expanding. This was a welcome change that was both scary and exciting. It did however change my thinking on the future and family time.
I now have a daughter who will turn four this fall, and I have gone from adrenaline junkie to coaster dad. As soon as my daughter was the right height I brought her to Adventureland, the first park I went to as a kid. Instead of waiting on line for the roller coaster I was folding myself in half to fit into the kiddy rides with her. My wife and I will still go to parks without her when we are lucky to have a babysitter and enjoy that time. However the conversations have changed from, “Do you think we can find a time to visit Cedar Point this year?” to “How long before we can all go to Storyland/Great Escapes/Disney?” I think we will be bringing her someplace new this year soon, so she can see big rides in action, most likely her second park will be Lake Compounce or Six Flags New England. They both are a fair distance from were we live and have a good mix of; being easily walkable, having fun attractions for my daughter, and some large scale rides for her to see. I don’t remember being her age but I do remember not being tall enough for rides and I hope being exposed to large scale thrill rides may spark her imagination.
I was never the enthusiast who would ride kiddy coasters without a kid. No judgement if you want to I just felt like I would rather be going on something I enjoyed more or I felt self conscious and silly. But last spring when visiting Kings Dominion with Daniel Westfall I jumped on Woodstock Express solo. I told Daniel I wanted more wood credits so El Toro would be number one in the Ride Warrior Choice Awards, but really I wanted to feel a kids roller coaster to see how long before I thought my daughter could ride something like it. I even got mad and upset at the thought a kiddy ride could get removed before we have outgrown it. I did get to ride with my daughter on her first roller coaster a few months later in the summer back at Adventureland. We have been back several times since her first ride, and sometimes she asks to ride the roller coaster and sometimes she doesn’t. At our first visit this season she wanted to ride, when we told her we wanted to take her someplace new, with new rides she seemed very excited at the prospect. I really hope it is the beginning of a family pastime. So does this mean I need to slow down? NO! I WILL BE GOING FASTER AND HIGHER THAN YOU ON KINGDA KA! But now every time I ride I am doing mental math, how long before my daughter can ride this too?
WCPO was the first media outlet to report that a major new roller coaster is coming to Kings Island. Now, construction has begun on both the foundation and the steel track for the ride.
Video from Chopper 9 shows the work underway on the new project, which is on the north side of The Racer, where Firehawk and Dinosaurs Alive used to stand.
According to blueprints filed in May with the city of Mason, Ohio, it appears to be what's known as a giga coaster — a coaster taller than 300 feet.
Calling all Lego lovers.
With a new Legoland New York Resort slated to open next spring, guests have the opportunity to get access two months before it officially opens to the public.
Lego announced its limited edition “First to Play” pass, which allows pass-holders to gain access to a special pre-opening preview day event in advance of the grand opening in 2020.
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This is going to cause me some pain to admit. You see, Kings Island always has and always will have a special place in my heart. My first roller coaster and lifelong love affair with them was born there. So, please understand that this brings me no joy. I hate that King’s Island is always late to the party. By now, most of us have seen or heard about the land clearing and leaked plans for the 2020 Kings Island project X. While you may be thinking that I am going to go into a rant about this coaster. I want to dive way deeper.
Instead Let us go back to 1993, the beginning of the Paramount years. Kings Island unveils Top Gun, now The Bat. Why revisit tradition instead of push innovation? Who wanted an Arrow suspended coaster? After Batman: The Ride came out in 1992 all Arrow suspended coasters virtually became obsolete overnight. B&M inverts were the flavor of the month, the enthusiasts and the general public were going gaga over them. It wasn't until August 8, 2013, that Banshee was announced. The Kings Island faithful erupted with glee, the rest of the enthusiast community yawned. It had almost been a decade since a B&M invert had been built! Banshee's failure at the gate, only proved that an invert doesn't excite the general public anymore. Had the B&M invert arrived on time, 2013 could have been the year for a giga. With two years head start on Fury 325 and the experience of Leviathan this could have been the best ride in the world for its time.
Let us jump forward in time to 2005 for the next missed opportunity. Son of Beast by this time is starting to circle the proverbial drain and needs replacement. The park is falling further behind Cedar Point, at the time a competitor. The park installs The Italian Job Coaster, now the Backlot Stunt Coaster. The theme was an odd choice for a family coaster as the movie was rated PG-13 and not a movie that is for the whole family. The more prudent choice at the time could have been to wave the white flag on trying to keep Son Of Beast limping along and write it off. That plot of land just screamed for Great Coasters International twister layout. In 2005 GCI was the hot new toy and would have been a great replacement for SOB, while being innovative and building on the parks tradition. In 2016 Kings Island did install their modern GCI wooden coaster, but did they learn from the past? No, not even close. In 2016 Rocky Mountain Construction was the new flavor of the month and a tasty one at that. 2016 could have been the year Kings Island built a signature ride to rival Outlaw Run, Goliath, and Lightning Rod. This would have been a move towards the future instead of a nostalgic look back.
Let us play what if and look at Kings Island's coaster line up with the correct choices. I do understand that some of these coasters were not Cedar Fair's doing, but close your eyes and imagine this skyline. The Bat could have been a B&M Invert. Son of Beast/Backlot Stunt Coaster could have been a modern G.C.I with a twister layout. Diamondback, good choice! Banshee could have been the giga. Mystic Timbers could have been an R.M.C. woodie. That would open Project X to be something new, different, and join a killer line line up of varied coasters that were innovative when built.
Now the 2020 project has begun there will be debate over the layout, stats, blah, blah, blah. No, my friends what I want to know, and what we should be asking is. "WHY CAN'T KINGS ISLAND BUILD THE RIGHT COASTER AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE LAST 25 PLUS YEARS?"
Dear Coaster Friends,
I know many of you are attending HoliWood Nights, or wish you were like me, this weekend. To add to the excitement we wanted to give away a desktop wallpaper to keep the memories fresh even after you leave. Please feel free to share this with all of your coaster loving friends, and if you want to say thanks give us a subscribe on some or all of our social media.
Dear Coaster Friends,
The 2019 season is now in full swing, there are a handful of new coasters open, and another good number scheduled to be opened. Lots of fun to be had and lots of fun to look forward to. There is something that has not happened yet and people are already all fired up. That would be the 2020 ride announcements. I did speculate before the season started for 2019 that 2020 was already looking to be epic. The lead time on some of these 2020 projects were so long that many parks were having a hard time keeping it a surprise, or were forced to give limited info out very early. The excitement has turned into frustration among many because of the shear amount of time they are chewing these rumors up. I have to say rumors since the parks have not announced or have only teased limited info. I wanted to take a moment to rant at your rain cloud and blow some sunshine on these rumors.
Hersheypark has been open for weeks now and guest have been entering the park through the construction zone that will later become Chocolatetown. The park has guests walking past teasers that point out all the park records there new roller coaster will take. The park had to show a glimpse of the ride last year since the construction process for the revamped entrance and roller coaster would be tied together and take two years to complete. This new ride appears to be a B&M hyper coaster that would be an awesome addition to any park just based on ride type, but nobody seems to care at all. Hershey already has Skyrush, and enthusiasts took issue with having two hypers at the same park. I didn’t see this option coming and was extremely surprised when this info was released. However once I took a step back and thought about it I got on board fast. Skyrush is one of my favorite rides so anything good at the same park is good news. Skyrush is a hyper, but not the style of hyper that immediately jumps to mind if I told you to imagine a hyper. Right now Comet would be the airtime ride, and I like Comet, but it does not feel like a large signature ride. However a new B&M hyper coaster will feel like a large signature ride, but nobody seems to care. The ride has the potential to offer a comfortable ride with loads of capacity, and a long layout. The park is making a choice that would improve the experience and value of visiting Hersheypark. The other issue with this ride that people take issue with is the leaked name, Candymonium. Sorry, Hershey I’m going to leave you to defend that choice yourself. (Disclosure: Hersheypark is my favorite park.)
Let’s head south to Busch Gardens Tampa where Gwazi is getting the Iron Horse treatment. This transformation has been something enthusiasts have been clamoring for, for years. So everyone is happy? WRONG! Gwazi was originally a dueling coaster so many assumed that the RMC version would be a dueling coaster. The park had a different plan, they wanted to go big and claim records. I think they made an interesting choice because it allows them more freedom to use any of the footers or structure from either side to create their layout. They also save money because they only have to design and fabricate one circuit, they then took some of that savings to really build up the lift structure and turn this into a very large ride. Bigger is better so everyone is happy? Wrong again! This will be the tallest, fastest, and steepest hybrid coaster RMC has made in North America. The next non-issue was if it will be better than Steel Vengeance, and that would make it worse? I don’t understand how some people can enjoy or not enjoy a ride based on another ride existing. My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but that doesn’t mean a plain chocolate bar is bad. In fact if you cannot enjoy a candy bar or a massive RMC then we aren’t really friends. RMC has a great resume right now and I have no reason to believe that they cannot be creative enough to make an awesome experience that is unique, even if it doesn’t match whatever you were imagining.
I think everyone knows where we are going next, and that is Kings Island our favorite place to speculate and complain about. The level of excitement coming out of Kings Island from their fans for the lead up to the plans that leaked was epic. People were ready to see the most record setting giga, to the first B&M strata. When you start with a list of never been done befores you are only going to be let down. Many fans and enthusiasts felt let down when the scale of the ride layout seemed to more closely resemble Leviathan than exceeding Fury 325. The economics of building a roller coaster really don’t play a factor into enthusiasts imagination, but they do for the ones making the investment. A 300 foot roller coaster is going to wow the population around Southern Ohio, and that is who Kings Island is trying to attract and impress. Going a bit taller and a bit faster, or adding length to the track is going to add cost, but not add to the impact it will have to their target audience. The ride looks interesting from the leaks, it looks to combine some of the best elements from Fury and Leviathan together. It also still has the potential to show us something new, we only have a limited glimpse of the plans and not a full picture. So many people who are disappointed now, may feel differently when the park releases a rendering of the ride. There are many who are grasping at anything to try and find that these leaked plans are not authentic from outdated logos, to speculation that the documents are a hoax from Kings Island, or they just feel like they know these plans can’t be real because they aren’t labeled, “THE BEST COASTER IN THE WORLD”. If you think I’m talking about you personally, I’m not, so many people have sent us messages all saying the same thing.
These three examples just show how exciting 2020 may be, but the emotions I am seeing run in contradiction to the information. How can it be that we are getting a year with the most major installations in recent memory; and the reaction to this news is a combination of disinterest and Monday morning quarterbacking the design decisions you don’t even know are real? I just have a thought, if someone buys you a multi-million dollar shiny new toy don’t criticize it. Just say thank you, because it may just be a world record Super Loop next time.
Dear Coaster Friends,
No one is excited for for Universal Islands of Adventures new roller coaster? No one? Intamin fanboys? ::crickets:: Hmmm, what went wrong here? Universal is spending untold millions of dollars to create perhaps one of the most immersive themed roller coasters ever in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the enthusiast community seems silent about it. Maybe the name is too long? Nah that can’t be it, plus I’m sure it will simply be referred to as Hagrid’s anyway, thoosies love nicknames. Is it the theme? I don’t think so either, people have generally been enamored with the Harry Potter theming at all the Universal Parks. Too family, maybe but I have heard many people freak out over Oscar’s Wacky Taxi & have even been told Verbolten is the best ride at BGW. I think the real reason it has been willfully ignored has to do with Dragons. The plot of land was home to the first ever scrapped B&M coaster, and I think that people are still coming to grips with that.
If you have been ignoring or shunning this ride it might be time to start paying attention, because it is opening in less than a month and has already been testing. While the park has told some secrets about the coaster, and offered limited previews much is still unknown. The most important question that needs to be answered is what will the full layout look like? However we do know that it is manufactured by Intamin and will feature a brand new style of train with asymmetrical seating. It will combine show elements and theming on a new scale. The trains themselves will offer slightly different ride experiences with vantages of scenery and shows, so multiple rides will be needed to get the full experience. The motorcycle and sidecar trains will feature on ride audio including engine sounds to help sell that you are speeding along on Hagrid’s motorbike. Even though we don’t know the full layout we do know that there will be multiple launches, lots of sweeping and swerving turns, and a dynamic track. What types of things will the track do? The ride will feature a drop track, inclined launches, and shows along the way. The ride duration is over three minutes and covers almost a mile of track. Don’t let the long duration fool you into thinking this will be a slow kids ride the max speed will exceed 50 MPH. It will also have a record breaking seven launches, so expect lots of changes in speed.
Since the main point of this ride is the theming and shows I don’t want to give out any spoilers. I may have discovered some potential spoilers from previews the park has been offering and from peeping drones. For people who want to go in cold I promise not to spoil any details. The queue is elaborately themed and will tell a story as the guests explore it. After the long wait guests will be told the story in a pre-show before they board their train. There will be show elements both indoors and out during the ride itself, as well as enough scenery to completely transport guests from Florida into the Forbidden Forest. The show building has the largest hand painted mural in the state to help it blend in with its surroundings. The riders will even be subjected to smells from the beasts they encounter.
I feel like there's a lot of potential for this ride to be very different and offer a totally new experience for roller coasters. Even though so much is unknown I think we can look at three attractions that I really love for some indications of what to expect, coincidentally they are all in Florida! The first point of comparison is Cheetah Hunt at BGT another Intamin multi launch coaster. People often qualify this ride as a family coaster and not a thrill coaster. I think it really delivers even though it was built to bring in a wide audience and be not a pure thrill ride. Extreme rides divides the guests into the brave and the wimps. It isn’t surprising that Universal wants to deliver a family ride that appeals to the widest audience possible. Cheetah Hunt features low swooping turns and utilizes the scenery to enhance the ride experience. The feel of Cheetah Hunt and the re-rideability of it makes it a really special ride. Even though it isn’t the most thrilling ride at BGT I find when I visit it is the one I end up riding the most times. This isn’t just my opinion as Cheetah Hunt typically has the longest line, and typically runs four trains.
My favorite ride at BGT is actually my next example, Montu. Montu is an incredibly intense B&M invert and I love B&M inverts. While I think they all ride well and have their memorable moments, Montu stands out because of the built in scenery and trenches. Ripping around these elements with scenery whizzing by enhances the excitement and increases the sensation of speed. One added bonus of lots of scenery is that it can obscure your view of what is coming up next, another experience I think we can look forward to on Hagrid’s. The area around Hagrid’s hut in the movie series has ruins and zipping through a forest could have similar benefits of enhancing the sensation of speed and hiding the next element.
The last attraction isn’t a roller coaster, but stick with me. It is Tower of Terror, a ride some describe as their favorite dark ride while others describe it as their favorite drop tower. I think this ride’s ability to not be defined as just one thing is part of what makes it great. The drop part of the ride is enhanced by the theming and the dark ride portion of the attraction would fall flat if not for the drop. I think this synergy may help Hagrid’s be a sleeper hit. The theming of Harry Potter is going to excite more people's imagination than the Twilight Zone, and a roller coaster is going to be more exciting than a drop tower.
There is a final opportunity I believe Hagrid’s has an opportunity to satisfy. When Magic Mountain announced West Coast Racers I think many people jumped to the conclusion that they wanted to take the concept of dueling roller coasters and make it more successful by engineering the ride so it had to duel to run. I think there is a similar situation with Hagrid’s. When Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts was announced as a roller coaster many people were imagining themselves flying around a magical track just like in the movies on some sort of goblin ultra twister. The reality was a dark ride with some roller coaster elements. The ride was very successful for Universal and tourists visiting Orlando, but didn’t really move the needle for roller coaster enthusiasts. Hagrid’s has the promise of doing it right, instead of adding thrill to a dark ride they are adding an immersive story and environment to a roller coaster. I think it will be a satisfying addition to the Wizarding World and roller coaster enthusiasts. If you think I forgot about The Mummy, I didn’t but feel free to tell me about it in the comments.
Dear Coaster Friends,
They say all publicity is good publicity, however the news coming out of Rye, NY is sounding crazy the last few months. Most people are familiar with Playland Park in Rye, NY from popular culture it has been in many notable movies like; The Sweet & Lowdown, Muppets Take Manhattan, Fatal Attraction, and Big. It has also been featured on television shows like the Nanny, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, and was even the set for a Mariah Carey music video. With its waterfront location on the Long Island Sound, easy access to New York City, and a nostalgic art deco vibe the park should have a solid standing. The fact is that its unique ownership and operating arrangements over the years have taken its toll on the park. The park itself is owned by the county of Westchester, but they are not really equipped to operate an amusement park. The county has made a deal with Standard Amusement to take over operations, but as the handover approaches both sides started bickering and trying to renegotiate their deals and responsibilities.
The unusual thing about this particular argument is that it has three sides. The county is looking to bring in an experienced operator and is hoping that with mutual investment that the parks revitalization and growth will benefit Westchester and the private business. The city of Rye feels left out of the conversation and feels their concerns aren’t being addressed and that they will endure the negative side effects while most of the benefits will be distributed around the county in an inequitable way. To add a wrench into this gear they are all public politicians who undergo election cycles, and many of the current principals have been elected after the deals were crafted with the third party, Standard Amusement. Standard Amusement wants the county to invest more than they originally agreed to, and that is causing stress on the situation as well as they try to invest less.
The new county executive now wants out of the deal and has been a polarizing figure in the press and has been very outspoken about the terms of the deal he does not like. He wants to see a bigger investment from Standard Amusement in the parks to offset the infrastructure improvements needed. Currently the county has pledged to invest 30 million dollars and Standard Amusement will invest at least 27 million dollars, however it is noted by the county executive that 7.7 million dollars is being spent on Standard Amusements overhead, that isn’t really investment and should not go towards the minimum agreed upon amount. Standard Amusement in turn has highlighted the decline in attendance year over year, the lack of investment, and has questioned the safety of the rides and food service areas. The politicians had a press day before the park opened where they gave a tour of the park to the press and then rode the rides and ate the food to personally attest to their safety. Everything was certified by the appropriate inspection agencies and are deemed acceptable. Standard Amusement has changed their tune a little recently, as telling the public they are going to die on the rides and get sick from the concessions is probably not helping for the upcoming transfer of operations. They have instead made public their plan for what the park could be in the future, and it is a solid plan.
The park infrastructure has been neglected since the 80’s and no new rides have been installed since 2008, a music express. The plan calls for a revitalized boardwalk with shopping and dining options that could be year round draws. New amenities will be addressed inside the park including concessions, bathrooms, and general aesthetic updates. Finally the reason you are reading the rides will be updated. The historic rides will be preserved and properly maintained. The flat ride collection will be updated, and the centerpiece would be to rebuild the Aeroplane Coaster. The Aeroplane Coaster is of course the most compelling part of the story. We already know that GCI was on hand at the park last summer doing inspections of the Dragon Coaster and that they have also had interest in the Aeroplane Coaster as they produced plans, an on ride rendering and model that they have shown off in the past. There seems to be a unique synergy there for these two parties to work together.
So what does the park have going for it? With so much about the future of Playland Park unknown it is tough to say, but there is a case to stay interested. They are a historic landmark with two historic coasters. They have a derby racer, a hold on for your life version of a carousel. This once popular thrill ride has been removed from modern amusement parks around the world, the one at Playland Park is one of three that survived. There is also the old saying there is no such thing as bad press, and the park has been getting a lot of press. I live on Long Island and I find myself passing this park all the time whenever I drive to points north, however I never stop in. I know I am going to pass it in a few weeks as I drive to an event. Now I am think I better stop by before this place implodes, and I think I will. I might skip the hot dogs though…