Classic Semi-Rare Carnival Rides in New Jersey..This Week Only!

Monday, April 15, 2013 9:59 AM

For anyone in the NY-NJ area wishing to make a pilgrimage to the altar of classic, semi-rare carnival rides, here's your golden opportunity.

My church/parish..Our Lady Star Of The Sea in Bayonne, NJ..is having its annual carnival, opening tomorrow (Tuesday) and running through Sunday. I went by this morning to see what they'd have. I sorta hit the jackpot. I say "sorta" because single rider prohibitions may prevent me from riding. But among the featured rides are two of my all time favorites...a Zipper and a Bullet/Satellite/Salt and Pepper Shaker. The Zipper I KNOW will have a ban on single riders. the other I'm not sure about. There'll also be a fiberglass slide and a very rickety, open, scary-looking Ferris Wheel.

When I was in school there, I was scared of the Bullet, and never went on it. My, how times change. Thank you, Knoebels and Kennywood.

If anyone is interested in coming in and maybe being a riding partner, or for your own enjoyment, let me know and I'll give more details. I'm heading to SFA and KD this weekend, so I'd only be able to go to the carnival on Tues-Fri nights.

The rides aren't my be-all and end-all, though. There will be zeppoles.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:04 AM

I like my carinval rides medium rare, not semi rare. Sorry.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:26 AM

Nice one, Tyler.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:46 AM

I never understood the single rider restriction on Zippers. There's no lateral movement.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:19 AM

But does the absence of a second person make it easier to get out of the restraint?

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:34 AM

I think it's somewhat like the rule on Falling Stars, where the second person is required to keep everyone vertical....if you were to go horizontal, the restraint would become useless and you could get bounced around inside the cage pretty badly (assume smaller children, not full-size adults).

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:49 AM

I suppose it makes sense in that regard for smaller kids, but isn't there a height requirement on Zippers that would preclude smaller kids from riding? I'd think adults would have no problem riding by themselves, but I suppose the rule is a catch-all to make it easier for the ride op.

If I recall, the Zipper at Trimper's allowed single riders.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 12:51 PM

^^ Vater, the Trimpers one definitely requires two riders.

I asked an op once why you couldn't ride single. He had said that it was indeed because of people turning horizontal and flying out of the restraints.

I wish that rule would go by the wayside. The weight limit on the Zipper cars is ridiculously low, and makes riding with people a tricky proposition.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 1:47 PM

bunky666 said:

^^ Vater, the Trimpers one definitely requires two riders.

Zipper at Trimper's (shameless plug)

Didn't ride when we visited and can't remember why. Don't think anyone wanted to.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 1:55 PM

Gonch, my phone froze about two minutes in. Are there single riders getting off the Zipper? If so, that rule has changed since I've been there last. In all fairness, it has been a long time since I was there, although I used to spend multiple weeks there in the summer.

Nice video though! Excellent clear picture.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 2:35 PM

There was only one car shown being unloaded, and it had two riders. It's been eons since I've been on it (at least 15-20 years), so I honestly don't remember. Maybe they've always had a two-rider policy.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 2:41 PM

I think the Coney Island Zipper may have been the last US ride that allowed singles. Saw our friend Dave pull off a solo ride on it that was nothing short of mind-boggling....he was an absolute blur when the ride was in motion.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 4:36 PM

The single rider policy on Zippers (and Falling Stars) was implemented as part of a Chance service bulletin in 1995 - although many carnivals had a no single rider rule earlier than that to increase ridership (ticket sales).

http://caresofficials.org/sites/default/files/technical_info/chance-manufacturing_falling-star_b090r1169_809.pdf

The Coney Island Zipper operators ignored this service bulletin and allowed single riders (although their signage did indicate 'no single riders').

As described by Gator - here is our friend Dave riding the Zipper in Coney Island (it's long)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwKRAc5iNEo

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Monday, April 15, 2013 5:26 PM

Jeff said:

But does the absence of a second person make it easier to get out of the restraint?

Yes, but then you are still in the 'cage'. Ahhh... summer memories when my grandparents were the caretakers of the Lake Co. Fairgrounds, Crown Point, IN. Those were great times! There was even a back road leading to the fairgrounds called "buck hill road" that was better than most coasters (if you took it fast enough).

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy, Monday, April 15, 2013 5:27 PM
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Monday, April 15, 2013 7:39 PM

The no single rider rules can really be frustrating at times. It's to the point where I basically can't ride ferris wheels anymore since now NJ has a law of no single riders on any ferris wheels and both Dorney and Hershey have Chance wheels that have the no single rider rule. Even other rides like the Scrambler at Dorney don't allow single riders.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 7:42 PM

I forgot to mention how fun it was riding Zipper with 3 people. I was a little kid... do they still let 3 in?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 7:37 AM

Carnival rides have a tendency to make me sick. Roller coasters are fine, but carnival rides not so much.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:22 PM

Well, like Meat Loaf sang, two outta three ain't bad. (Get well soon, Marvin!)

After Jeopardy tonight, I headed over to the carnival. Had to park about 5 blocks away. Not as crowded as it can get.

I mentioned above a few rides. They also have a junior swinging pirate ship, a set of swings, and two kiddie spinners.

Since I knew the Zipper would have the single rider restriction, I went to the Bullet/Satellite first. I'm no expert on manufacturers and models, but this was a smaller model, about half the height of the ones I rode at Kennywood, and more recently, Knoebels. Also, the pods don't spin, essentially creating a single rider, caged in version of Dorney's Meteor. After checking with the operator to make sure singles were allowed (there was no signage to the contrary) I bought the four tickets the ride takes. Tickets are $1.25 each, so my ride cost me $5. After getting in, I didn't think I'd fit..lap bar is attached to the door. The fella had no problem closing the door, but I was really tight..felt for a moment like I was on Toro waiting for them to start calling "Check Six." The ride cycle was short, I bumped my head several times (Toboggan, anyone?) and the metal bar was jamming me in the gut constantly. But hey, it was $5 well spent!

I hung around a little while at the Zipper, hoping against hope to spot a single that might be a candidate to ride with. Alas, a fruitless effort. The ride looked like it had some really solid flipping action, and people were getting off with the appropriate expressions, so I'm guessing the ride was effective. Oh, well...

Can't leave the carnival without getting a bag of zeppoles. They're large ones, sold at 6 for $4. I know the woman who was bagging, and she always tosses an extra one or two in. Tonight was 8, and they were very good and fresh..not greasy at all (yes, MIKE just said that!!) I don't like as much powdered sugar as many do, and these were just terrific!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:57 PM

Simple way to remember: Roll-O-Planes "roll" or spin. Loop-O-Planes only loop, in that the car doesn't "spin" as the ride rotates.

Hooray for zeppoles...one of the best things about Jersey (after pork roll and birch beer).

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Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:18 AM

What is a zeppole?

Mike, the small, non-spinning salt and pepper shakers are painful, but they're so much fun.

I hate trying to find a rider to share the Zipper car with. It has to be someone fairly little to fit the weight requirement, but little kids usually are petrified by the experience (I don't blame them...when you're little, the restraint fails to hold you in very well, and you usually slide to the roof pretty often...I remember being skinny and this happening). Plus, I'm sure it seems creepy to many parents for a grown adult to be lurking around a carnival ride. *laugh* It bums me out because the Zipper is my favorite carnival ride. Well, that and the Tilt A Whirl.

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