5-25-03 - Day Two: Seabreeze & MFI

Associated parks:

Monday, May 26, 2003 6:26 AM
When I woke up this morning, the weather was not exceptionally promising. My computer's weather program (not ALWAYS reliable, I must point out) guaranteed that this was going to be one rained-out afternoon.

Good thing I didn't let it daunt me. I left around 9:00 AM and decided, since I was in no rush, I would take the back roads from Syracuse to Rochester. I enjoyed the ride even though it took twice as long as it normally should have.

I got to Seabreeze at around 12:00 PM. At the park office, I introduced myself to one of the PR execs at the park and we spent about 45 minutes together discussing Seabreeze and it's history. It's a unique park in several ways and I hope to be able to convey that a bit in my book. I was then taken on a brief tour around the park and left to my own machinations near the Quantum Loop.

I snapped a handful of pics using an instamatic camera. I figure, if my publisher doesn't like my photos, they can always send a professional photographer back for more, but this would at least be a guideline of the type of pics I'm looking to include.

Now it was off to the rides. I rode the oldest coaster in the park first -- Jackrabbit. And it still packs a nice punch for even such a small wooden train. Ride time is about 2:00. Airtime is best just after the third hill. This coaster is the best reason to visit Seabreeze.

Bobsleds is the coaster that was re-designed by the park's owner, George Long, in the '60's. It's quite reminiscent of a wild mouse steel coaster. The coaster's structure is wood but there's a steel track on top of it. This was originally the park's Junior coaster until Long added it's third level and gave it a whole new life. Now it's full of fast dips and quick turns...not bad for 1:30.

Lastly, there's The Q. This was a portable steel looping coaster that the park imported from France. Not the greatest thrill ride there ever was and the French do not know how to design shoulder harnesses (were these made intentionally uncomfortable when they shipped this coaster to America?) but it's another quick two minutes of fun.

(There were rumors floating around the park that this coaster is on the block and due to be replaced soon, but when I asked the PR gent about it, all he would confirm is that the park IS shopping for a buyer...I offered him $2.80 for it, but he said no.)

Well, I rode each of the coasters twice and got the specs I needed for my book and said good bye to my host. (I never DID get to sample their waffles, though, that they raved about...guess I'll have to stop back sometime.)

At 2:30, I left Seabreeze and hopped onto the highway headed for Grand Island and Martin's Fantasy Island. I got there around 4:30 (I made a stop along the way) and was ushered into the park to meet my contact. He was indisposed and unable to talk to me at length, but I was able to meet him and I made arrangements to return on Friday to speak to him at length about the park.

I stayed at Martin's until closing, though. The lines were a little longer here than at Seabreeze but I was able to ride both of the park's adult coasters -- The Wildcat and Silver Comet -- at least twice. (I hopped the Comet 3 times, actually -- it's such an intense ride that they don't allow you to wear your glasses on it unless you have a strap on 'em...kinda like I did. Didn't lose 'em, either...I LOVE my eyeglass strap!!!)

Comet is just a great coaster!!! It's short (only 2:00) but definitive of what makes a decent wooden coaster. It's short length makes it's speed (about 55) seem like it's actually travelling at 90 mph. Great airtime on the hills, though.

Wildcat, on the other hand is just like so many other similar coasters...fun, quick, but nothing to write home about. It's a typical Schwarzkopf...nuff said.

I said my goodbyes around 7:30, picked up some park literature and started my drive home. I decided that, for the heck of it, I'd stay on the back roads home, too. I drove up route 5 from Buffalo, took a short detour down 77 to get a quick gander at my favorite NYS park, Darien Lake...I caught a quick flash of riders on the Superman as they came down the first hill...what an awesome sight!!! That'll be me on Friday.

Route 20 was my companion for most of the ride home...funny though. For the promise of rain I read about in the morning, I only got sprinkled upon briefly at Seabreeze. Goes to prove you shouldn't always trust the weatherman.

Writing a book about roller coasters sure has it's ups and downs...

Man, do I have a long way to go...75 parks in under 5 months...I must be insane!!!

Coaster Count -- 6
*** This post was edited by R. Bernard 5/27/2003 1:05:14 PM ***


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