Clementon/SF GrAdv 7/24

Friday, July 25, 2014 2:31 PM

My friend Judy from the Pittsburgh area needed to replace her lost SF season Pass, and was informed she needed to do that at the park where purchased. She had also never been to Clementon Park in South Jersey, so we decided to hit both parks. If memory serves (don't count on that) this is only the second time I've visited two parks in one day, the other in 2009 (also with Judy) when we did the Lakemont/DelGrossos daily double, as I'm sure many on here have.

Judy bought her ticket on line and it was BOGO, so that got me in. Paid $10 to park, but with a recent change in my life, I was glad that's all it cost me.

My only previous visit to Clementon was around 8-9 years ago. I thought the park was poorly maintained and kind of grungy, with a decent little water park and an awesome coaster. A nice flume ride also stuck in my memory.

Yesterday's visit switched those opinions around. The park has made great strides in appearance, and with its setting on the lake provides some nice visuals. Ride ops were friendly. There was no crowd to speak of, so they didn't exactly have to but it, but they did a good job. Judy said she got wetter on the flume than any other she'd been on, and I got a nice splash in the back behind her. The Ferris wheel was nice, but only gave four revolutions. Considering only two gondolas were occupied and no one was waiting, it should have been more. The Yo-Yo was a step below the ejection feeling of Quassy's, but maneuvering the chains provided some really decent action. I rode Ring Of Fire by myself, expecting it to be bumpy and painful like the one I rode some years ago at the NJ State Fair. But, no, this was surprisingly comfortable with OTSR's that didn't bang around much. It was a longish cycle, and I enjoyed it. We spent only a little time in the water park, getting dumped on by the giant bucket and taking one float on the lazy river (should be called the INERT river...too many empty tubes blocking progress.

Which brings me to Hellcat. When I rode J2 on my previous visit, it was a top 10 coaster for me, and would have ranked even higher if it was longer. I really enjoyed it, especially with the lakeside setting (I'm a sucker for coasters built over water.) Yesterday this was a different ride. It tracked terribly all the way through. Our first was in the front, just to scope it. Somewhat rough, but dull, and didn't feel like much speed. We hit the back next. I actually liked that a little better, Judy not so much. We both got beat up bad, but at least it felt like something was HAPPENING. Third was in the middle, no improvement. There's new wood in spots, but there were very few spots that offered no roughness. Judy skipped a fourth, but I took one in the front so she could get a pic. I was in, a kid sat behind me, and they didn't dispatch for another five minutes when a couple boarded mid train. It's the longest I ever waited between sit-down and dispatch when there was no problem with the train. Maybe Clementon should put RMC on speed dial?

We ate at KFC about 2 miles from the park, then made our way (separate cars) to GrAdv, which is about an hour's drive. We coordinated at WaWa that Judy would go first and get her replacement pass and I'd meet her inside after gassing up and hitting the rest room at WaWa.

The GrAdv visit was short but sweet. A 20 minute wait for El Toro led to one of my best rides of the seaso...that baby is a BEAST in the late afternoon. I also was not stapled quite as tight as two weeks ago, when I nearly took the Walk Of Shame (my companion that day unfortunately did) I also yesterday got my best ride on Nitro all season. It was the B train, with none of the jackhammering I've been feeling all season. It's such a pretty ride in the setting sun, which is when we rode. About a 20 minutw wait, although it was down when we got there, so we caught two rides on Batman before seeing that Nitro was back up. Our two rides on Bizarro were terrific as always. Other than the Sky Ride, that's all we did.

So an exhausting day..lotta driving, lotta stairs to climb...not young anymore, and health issues make it difficult for me. But I'll keep on doing this until I can't :)

Thanks for reading.

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist


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