Long Island's Adventureland
East Farmingdale, NY
...and three previous dates I don't recall.
I'm writing this, really, for the benefit of a friend there who asked to show this to his boss. So, it's way overdue for the previous three trips I've taken to my home park, but I did go for a few hours last night, so.
Adventureland is small; Very small. It's the smallest park I've seen, anyway, and it's sort of sandwiched between some large sorts of warehouses and other industrial-type buildings in Farmingdale, NY. I think I remember reading that it occupies something like 10 acres.
With that said, the place has really, really grown on me in the past few months. This is no small part due to their latest addition to the park, a Mondial Top Scan. Previous to this season, they'd had very little that captivated my attention, aside from a genuinely unique Mondial Supernova named 'Surf Dance'. The landscaping is quite nice, especially given the parks surroundings; and the ride selection, while small, is amazingly diverse and fun. If they had more room, I bet this collection could be even more unique, but as things stand, it seems like any newer rides they may purchase will have to replace something already in the park. So, without further adieu, here are my (divine, expert, opinionated, off-base, subjective, distorted, dead-on, etc.) views on some of their rides.
First, TOP SCAN - My first trip to Adventureland this season was just to see the ride, but I wound up riding it three times. I knew I'd probably see RRC's Surf Dance Chris around somewhere, since he works there, but I didn't know what he looked like (nevermind that his picture is on his website!) and I am a shy wimp - so I had my friend Christina ask the ride operator named Chris if he was *the* Chris. It turns out he was. So, that day, we chatted for awhile, Christina and I rode the Top Scan, got nauseous. . .the usual. So, anyway, this ride is incredible. Just because I'm human, and I like to categorize and order the Hell out of life, we'll call this my #3 flat ride. I know most people don't agree with me, but I like the Huss Jump (#2) a bit more, and even moreso, I love Soriani and Moser's Super Loop on Top. Unfortunately, both of those flat rides are quite rare (even moreso than the Top Scan) and run infrequently when I can find them.
So, I love the Top Scan much. It offers a fantastic experience with a lot of possibilities. There are high g's, low g's, lateral g's, sustained g's. . . The only sorts of g's this doesn't give out are the green, legal-tender sort. Last night, they were kind enough to turn off a lot of the Top Scan's very bright lighting package (except for those awful strobe lights), too, and that makes it all just a little better. The only thing missing was the fantastic fog effects you see in the video from Mondial's website.
So far, I have 21 rides on this for the season. It's $3.75/ride. I'll not do that math because, well, I wind up spending too much money on amusement parks. I will definitely be heading back for more, though. I wish Adventureland offered a season pass. I'd live there, practically, as it's only a 20 minute drive from my house.
Finally, I have to include the shameless plug, and thank Chris for, well, being fun. He gives fantastic, fast, long, dynamic rides, he seems to genuinely love his job. Give him a raise or something . . . :)
So, the Top Scan gets an 8 of 10 on my flat ride scale because it's unique, intense, varied, and an engineering masterpiece.
Also new for this season, they replaced their MUSIK EXPRESS with a brand spankin' new model. It's all shiny and the cleanest, nicest looking Musik Express I've ever seen. I hope it stays that way. . . and probably will, so long as they keep up the lights. There are a few things that very obviously detract from the appeal of a ride, and for me, missing or burnt out light bulbs is one of them.
The Musik Express gets a 5 of 10 because they play bad Top 40/Pop music that appeals to teeny boppers, and I don't like being squished. It is new, though.
Like I've already mentioned, they've got one of a handful, if not less, of the Mondial Supernova's operating in the U.S. SURF DANCE is Chris' favorite ride at the park, if you couldn't garner that from him being widely known as Surf Dance Chris. This was my favorite ride at the park as well, previous to opening of the Top Scan, though I'm not quite sure where I'd rank it just now, as I've gotten to experience a lot of great flat rides in recent years. I've only ridden it once this season, though, as it had some *minor* mechnanical difficulties during the spring time. But, if you've ever wanted one of these for your very own, now is the time to make Adventureland an offer - ' cause it seems like all of the important bits are new :)
Anyway, the freeswinging nature of this ride is what makes it fun. It's similar to the Super Loop on Top, or even a Top Spin, except that its arms swing independently of one another, and the seating is perpendicular to that on a Top Spin. Of course, it also doesn't flip. But, it is unique. Very unique. It's also reasonably fast moving for that sort of ride, as compared to the Top Spin's of the world. I know they're not quite the same, but it's hard to avoid visual comparison between the two. Anyway, two thumbs up.
I'd hate to see it go, unless, of course, it were replaced with a better flat ride than the Top Scan (Namely, a Huss Jump, a Huss Giant Jump, or a Super Loop on Top from Soriani & Moser/Zamperla). The Super Loop on Top seems like it'd be the natural choice, as it's similar in appearance, but still noticeably different.
This gets a 7.5 of 10 for being unique, a blast to ride, and even a bit imposing. It gets bonus points for being from Mondial, too.
They've got two coasters at Adventureland.
The first is a Windstorm (who's distributing that these days?) which is markedly better than the same ride at Playland. It's smoother, it's got better, more comfortable restraints, and there's never a wait for this fun, fast, forceful little coaster. It gives me a headache, though.
6 of 10 because, well, it's off-the-shelf, and I can't fairly rank it in the same realm as things like Phoenix, S:ROS at SFNE, or even Mindbender.
The second is a Zeirer? Tivoli Coaster. . . I think. Paul Bunyan's Express. I haven't ridden this yet.
Speaking of coasters - Chris and I briefly discussed how nice it'd be to install SFoG's Viper, a Schwarzkopf shuttle looper, along the length of the park in the strip of land currently occupied by the railroad. That'd bring people in from a much, much further distance, I bet.
1313 CEMETARY WAY is the park's dark ride. I applaud them for having one, as they're pretty rare these days, though they seem to be making a comeback thanks to Sally. I like this ride, but only because of nostalgia, I think. It doesn't compare to its breathren at Knoebel's or Rye by any stretch. That, coupled with the fact that a lot of what I remember about it as a child being gone, and well, it seems lacking. For quick improvements, make the animatronics outside work again (Hey! I build robots!) and bring back a story of some sort. The ride is very dark, which is great, but that's all there is. There's very little to see.
So - to make it a little better, add some more scenes, redo some of the others, and get the outside effects working. Hire me! For a long term investment in a dark ride, call in Sally and have them overhaul it. The Ghost Hunt at Lake Compounce is a blast, and it's interactivity makes you want to ride it again and again.
So 4 of 10 because there is so much potential going to waste here. Have I mentioned yet that I build robots and I want to design story-driven experiences? Nudge, nudge, Adventureland. Don't ever get rid of this ride. Fix it.
The park has a new for 2001 LOG FLUME as well, which I've also yet to ride. I'm never too keen on getting wet. It is unique, though, and I think it's the only model of that ride operating in the U.S. I love Adventureland for bringing over unique rides from Europe. I kinda miss the miniature golf, though. Sure, it would've been way more expensive, but they could've built a custom flume *around* the miniature golf course or something. But then, there's little there that's permanent.
So - all in all, the park is quite nice for its size and for its selection of some unique rides. There are other staples, there, too, like a swinging ship ride (A Huss?), a Zamperla Samba Tower, Bumper Cars, Bumper Boats, a train ride, an expansive collective of pint sized rides, and an antique auto ride (so much possibility here!). Now, if they could only buy up some adjacent land (to the south! . . . my uncle's business lies immediately to the north of the park) and expand some more, they'd be in great shape. Theoretically, they could even pick a plot someplace else and move nearly all of their rides, but the change in location may hurt business.
The Top Scan is fantastic, and the rest of the park is a quick fix when a ride craving hits. Now, the only thing Long Island needs is for our Boomers to make like Dania Beach and install a wooden coaster.
~~~ Maddy ~~~
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