Great Adventure - Orthodox Jewish People - & Keansburg Amusement Park - August 31

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:45 AM

I am not going to go ride by ride at Great Adventure. Actually I will make things about Great Adventure as short as possible, unless it needs clarification.

Weather - Sunny, high 80's.

Overall, rides were pretty good, though as others have mentioned recently, several crews were short a team member or two, slowing things down a bit, though not terrible. Mostly due to college. (The bot helped)

I could tell by the crowd at Wawa that it would be a pretty busy day, though not too many tanks. The lot at mid day was about 1/3 full, though people were pouring in by 5 pm, or whenever the evening deal was taking hold (and from the end of Hurricane Harbor's spill-over.)

Foreigner was in concert, but I can see plenty of them on a New York City Subway. A band manager type was taking photos of the signs near hte arena.

YES! I noticed that today was going to be a repeat of hte July 4th weekend. They were having their "pinic." It was exactly the same as last time...15 bucks gets you unlimited burgers, franks and chicken, salads, toppings, coca-cola drinks and ice cream cups. (This was better than last time, because July 4th was in the middle of the tomato scare and they weren't offered). The food was great, the lines for anything weren't more than three people deep and the pinic table set ups put families together and solos like me anywhere we wanted to be. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition. It was the best 15 dollar value I ever had at Great Adventure.

I learned from a ride op that people had been complaining about the log flume...because people were riding it and weren't getting wet. They put in another pump and filled the trough a bit more. (Though I forgot when this took place). I thought it was due to peeps getting larger.

August 31 was "Chai Lifeline Day." I looked it up. Chai Lifeline is an Orthodox Jewish organization that helps religous families with sick children (some of them termanilly). This confused a few people and brought up a few questions, and most of htem were in identifiable shirts.

First, there was a ticket entrance at the main gate only for thier entry. I had never seen that before for any park, other than for reserved pinic area events and meals, but not at the main gate.

Second, I remember wriitng a few trip reports back, that when The Dark Knight ride came in, several family rides were gone...(boat soaker, music express, etc). Gone with them (I thought) was Reuban's Glatt Spot. (The only place you could get a Kosher frank. I was thinking, where are these folks going to get eat? I later stumbled upon Reuban's newer (and larger) location in Loony Tunes National Park. And yes, Reuban was rocking.

Third, most of the families I encountered had wads of passes allowing large numbers of people to board a "Congo Rapids Boat" without a bot. This prompted quite a bit of grumbling from the folks in the line who felt that they were getting special treatment. Some of the comments were verbally "anti-semitic." There was no way those in line could know that this was an organization for ill children. Heck, I didn't know at the time.

Fourth - as I was heading to the picnic, there were also large amounts of Orthodox Jews heading towards the same area. I thought...they aren't going to serve Kosher food at the bar-b-que are they? That would cost more than $15 for all you can eat. I was right. There was a seperate pavillion next to ours that I'm sure was serving Kosher food.

Fifth - I don't want to start any sterotypes, but I have to say that most of the folks who were with this group were more into family and kiddie rides. Yes, there were a few group members on Medussa and a few on Nitro, but proportionally, they were with mostly younger family members who were riding less thrilling rides. (At least that's what I noticed).

I hope they all had a great time and that all children could be healthy.

Rest of the park:

I saw several turtles, catfish and small fish in the lake near the runaway train. I would love to bring a rod, but the slightest hook would be detected by the metal scans.

The bridge between Medussa and El Toro is missing a few planks. The wholes are noticeable from the Runaway train. I hope they fix it, it's a nice area.

Keansburg Amusement Park

There hasn't been a lot of talk on these threads

When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I remember the tv commercial that played during Saturday and Sunday morning cartoons. (Jingle) "Come out...to Keansburg Amusment Park...." Well, I never went...until yesterday.

What an unusual place! First of all parking was five bucks - all day. (I didn't know it was past the metered municipal lot), but there is was, in all it's unpaved glory. There seemed to be a gaggle of old kiddie rides, a few restaurants or bars, some more kiddie rides, more food areas, a game area...some alleys...an adult ride or two...a beach...a bathroom.

The beach was big, not huge, and seeing the Verazano bridge and the New York Skyline to the south made a very pretty picture. I only wet my toes, but the water was August warm and gentle. But I realized I had to change the scenery quickly.....

The bathroom was priceless. There were signs in there that said things like...please clean up and I work for tips. There were also notices about not changing your clothes. Yeah, I left something alright...the remants of the bar-b-que I had several hours ago. (It was double flusher, but at least I cleared cotton!)

I stumbled to a quaint waterpark with the hopes of getting an hour of slides. It wasn't going to happen. "We are closing." "When?" "Now." "But the people in front of me just bought a wristband." "We are closing." "Well can I buy some tickets for some rides?" "You have to go across the street." "Where?" "The ticket office." "Don't I get the employee discount?" "Do you work here?" "Well...I'm an employee, just not here."

To be fair, there was an announcement saying that the park would be closing in 5 minutes. It seemed like a nice water park for what it was. There was a small river, a few platforms, a wide slide. It made nice use of its limited space.

I paid about $20 bucks for some tickets and started walking around. Adults were eating pizza, sitting at outdoor bars and generally taking it easy - enjoying the beautiful night. The kiddie rides were old, but running. Some probably had the original bulbs that came with the ride, because the rest of them were missing.

My first ride was the Wildcat. I have never seen a situation like this. The guy (only one) would do the following:

1) OPen gate and collect and count the tix of each rider (this was a 9 ticket ride)

2) Seat them in the last car in the platform. (There were 4 cars on the platform - each holding up to 4 people)

3) Go to the front of the platform.Press a button.

4) He then would pull the car out of the station to get it going.

5) He then pulled each of the other cars into the next position.

6) When the car finished the circut (Very similar to Adventureland's hurricane), he had to pull the break - let the riders off)

7) He then pushed the car by hand to the back of the line to pick up hte next 4 riders.

This guy truly deserves this:

Dud Lite presents Real Men of Genious!

(Real Men of Genious...)

Today we salute you...Mr. Wildcat Operator.

(Mr. Wildcat Operator)

You push, you pull, and you sweat...everything to keep the Wildcat going.

Honestly, I was waiting for him to make like the profesor in Gilligan's Isalnd to bicycle-ride the chain to get the car uphill. No uniform, no id, just guts and determination. According to the sign, the ride was inspected in 08. Probably 1808.

After about twelve one-train cycles, a young lady came out with arms like Popeye and belly like Bluto. I thought they were going to work together, but no. She was going to take over.

The ride itself was rust covered and hammered at the base into wodden planks. Despite that, it was pretty decent ride for what it was. There was the sunset, the ocean, a nice breeze. It was a nice little ride.

I walked around some more. In one of the gamerooms, there was a Stacker with photos showing people who had won big prizes. I didn't play, but I guess it is possible to win if someone plays enough.

I went on Moby Dick. This ride is like Catch A Wave at Rye, only it has very few bulbs that light up. When the rider loads, bright white lights go on. This unit was a portable ride, that was staying put. First I couldn't ride, because the girl said it might night handle the weight. (How's that for tact?] I took the next one and MAN did this thing have some torque. It switched directions 5 times and gave a decent cycle for 8 tix.

As I was leaving, a little boy actually held the exit gate for me.I asked his mom if they would like my extra tickets because it was time for me to go. I always try to reward polite children who are polite when they don't think people notice.

I walked around a bit more. There was a very long fishing pier - which I didn't get to see, (though would have loved to) - some batting cages and I think mini golf somewhere. It was old, but classic. It had a large indoor carosel and a couple of condominiums adjacent to it. And there were some dark alleyways. The mixture was bizarre. The placement unusual, But, overall, dare I say the "C" word...Charm!

This is not Six Flags, or Five Flags, or even Rye. It had memories of Buddies and Peter Pan Playland (both defunct) from Brooklyn, yet with a few adult rides and plenty of good eats. (And one bathroom - mention my name and you'll get a good seat)

If you have young kids and you like water parks, beaches, a few thrills, and very casual outdoor dining, you should give it a shot.

Thank you for reading this! No kiddie rides were injured or harmed in any way during the writing of this post.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008 1:18 AM

Foriegner concert kicked ass - you missed the best part of the SFGAd experience that day...

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