Morey's Piers; Wildwood, June 4, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011 1:43 AM

I haven't posted in awhile because my only other trip so far this year has been to Great Adventure BEFORE Green Lantern opened up, my trip was great, bought the Flashpass Gold, had a blast, went home. Same as usual, really, so I didn't think anyone really needed another trip report on that.

So I'm getting close to my goal of 100 coasters (lost my job last year and had to temporarily postpone the goal), but the coasters I have NOT ridden require much more travel than in the past. This week, I decided that Wildwood it would be to squeeze a few more coasters in there before riding Bizarro at SFNE as my 100th. I was concerned that Wildwood would be packed, but the worst crowds I ran in to were the crowds squeezing into Camden for some sort of concert. The rest of the drive was pleasant, quiet, and quick. Yay for GPS not taking me down crowded highways and thus cutting off what felt like major time from my previous NJ trips.

A quick observation first: I have never seen a boardwalk with so many Tilt-A-Whirls. I counted three, although all three were different. There was one with no headrest area, a shell-themed one (which I have NEVER seen), and a classic one. I only rode the shell one, as I noticed it was not on tracks like other Tilt-A-Whirls. It was very very smooth and I got some good spins in. I love Tilt-A-Whirls, and so it was kinda old-school awesomeness riding this classic-with-a-twist.

So, on to the rest of the trip:

Morey's Piers have an interesting set-up. Instead of one giant area, the piers are split up into three sections. The pier with the Sea Serpent and the pier with the Great White coasters are fairly close to one another, but the pier with Great Nor'easter was so much further away than the other two. I am guessing that different owners possessed each one of these piers originally and Morey's bought them all out, but I have no idea if I am right on this. What I really liked about Morey's owning all three piers was that the ride bracelet I purchased--$35--covered all three piers including the waterparks. Really not a bad deal. Plus, the bracelets were electronically scanned but they scanned WELL. A lot of times you get scanners in parks for admission tickets purchased online or for lockers and you can't scan stuff to save your life. This system works very well, and I was surprised by it.

On to the rides:

I went to Sea Serpent first. I was expecting a typical Vekoma boomerang headbanger, but it seriously wasn't that bad. It felt faster, more intense, and MUCH more comfortable than the other two boomerangs I've been on in the past. I did notice that the shape of the cars and the height of the shoulder restraints were different from the previous booms I mentioned, so that most likely contributed to a more pleasant ride. I only banged my head once, and I came off the ride giggling like a kid. Best Vekoma boomerang I've been on, and I walked on, so that was a plus. All the rides I went on were walk-ons or one-train waits. I don't know if that's because of the tragic death of the girl on the ferris wheel so people weren't riding much, or if maybe people are all busted from Memorial Day, but I had no problems with this coaster or anything else in any of the piers.

I decided to do the little junior coaster (Rollie's Coaster) next. It was pretty fun, actually, but it looked SSSSOOOOO shaky and rickety and just downright unsafe that I can't say I truly had a good time on it. In fact, I white-knuckle gripped my safety harness the whole time. I won't be riding this again, but it did manage to squeeze a giggle out of me once or twice.

I rode the little pirate-themed monorail nearby because it looked kind of neat, and I was treated to a great view of the ocean and all the piers. It was a really nice way to spend a few minutes just relaxing, especially since (insert laugh here) I am petrified of heights and will not ride sky rides or ferris wheels. If you want to take a few minutes and take in the sights, this is a great way to do it.

The teacups ticked me off. They were so pretty with their blue china patterns, and I love a good teacup ride more than just about any other spin-n-puke, but the wheels didn't turn on these teacups, so I did NO spinning. I understand the need for safety and all, but I hate neutered rides like this. Why even have the CAPABILITY of spinning the cups if you can't actually do it? It's like the Musik Expresses that don't go backwards. You know they CAN, but the parks just WON'T spin them backwards. Why?

I didn't know my way around Morey's Piers at ALL, so I went to the pier with Great White next. This pier seemed kind of...depressing. There were only a few rides, and it just didn't have the same feel as the first pier.

I actually really liked Great White. I rode in the front seat and perhaps that helped me not get injured or jostled around too much because I had a lot of fun on it. There was good pacing, a little bit of airtime on one or two of the hills, and it maintained a classic wooden coaster feel without hurting like Hershey's Wildcat or Hurler at KD. I was definitely pleasantly surprised, as I had heard nothing but bad things about this coaster. Was I thrilled or overwhelmed with its awesomeness? No, but I would do this coaster again quicker than any of the others I rode at Wildwood.

Next I rode the Tornado. I know this ride doesn't seem to look like anything spectacular, but I always have trouble walking after I ride it (maybe because I spin those cars until I can't see). I love it. So much fun.

I debated riding the Screamin' Swing, but after riding the one at Dorney...well, really, once was enough. I would have done it had a friend been with me and wanted to ride, but it's just not something I prefer to do by myself. Yes, I was too scared. LOL

So then it was on to the farthest pier with the Great Nor'easter. I have always wanted to ride this coaster since it came out. Always. I have no idea why, and after actually riding it, I REALLY have no idea why. I KNEW it was a Vekoma hang-n-bang, but the restraints looked so comfy and non-headbang-y that I thought it might be different. IT. IS. NOT. The restraints absolutely eliminate headbanging, I will say that, but they do not eliminate the extreme roughness of some of the later elements of the ride, especially the last two inversions. I was both thrilled and petrified by the lack of something to hold on to because the vests that act as shoulder harnesses really have nowhere to cling to, and the lapbar ditto. You are FORCED to not hang on when you ride this ride, and if it was a B&M coaster, that would be AWESOME. Not so much when you're flipping upside down and you could SWEAR that the coaster just broke in half during the inversion. This is a never again as well. I also did the watered-down Wild Mouse coaster and...well, meh. It was a mouse. I don't really care for them, and this one didn't do anything for me either.

Well, almost done. Just a few things about the piers themselves: attendants are extremely careful. They all checked and double checked every safety belt and lapbar on every car. Not a tap on the harness either. A full-on check. I don't know if they always do this or were extra cautious because of the circumstances of the park's recent death, but I always appreciate good safety. I know the piers have had their problems with deaths in the past (besides this last one), but I never felt concerned other than that cheesy little Rollie's Coaster. The park's vendors and attendants were...if not friendly, efficient. Morey's DOES seem to pack an absurd amount of stuff into a very small space, which kinda does away with a lot of the charm of a seaside pier, but I know which parks to go to for charm, and I wasn't really there for the charm, to be honest. The only really irritating thing was that as a smoker, I understand the designated smoking areas, but at one of the piers, the smoking area was right by two kiddie rides. I try to be a considerate smoker, and the placement of this smoking area was craptacular. They should move it. All in all, it was a beautiful, perfect day for coaster-riding at the beach, I'm now at 96 coasters thanks to the piers, and I would definitely go another round on some of the attractions there.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:01 AM

Great TR! I'm going to get out there someday. I lived about 6 hours from there at one time, but never went. Now that I live about 10 hours away, I could kick myself for never going. It's one of the parks that is on my list. I have to stop going to KI all the time, and try something different.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:21 PM

That's too funny, LK, because I kick myself for not going to KI when I had the opportunity to stop doing Cedar Point for one day and drive to KI, and now I can't get back out there. It is a 12 hour or so drive to KI. Lol there should be a "coaster exchange program". But yes, get your butt out to Morey's sometime. I think I'll always fondly remember my day there.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011 4:29 PM

Yes, funny.

I love dark rides and flats as much as I love coasters. Morey's Pier always seemed to be my kind of park.

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Monday, June 6, 2011 8:05 AM

Kudos on being another Great White fan. I've never really heard hate for it (though I think it does often get confused with the terrible, terrible Hurricane Category 5 from Myrtle Beach), but never much love either, so for my one trip to Morey's in '06 I was pleasantly surprised to find it there. Great ride, loads of air, no notable roughness to report.

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Monday, June 6, 2011 10:33 PM

Bill, never thought I'd hear the sentence "kudos on being another Great White fan" directed at me (remember the band w/ the same name? Lol). Yeah, I had fun on it and would definitely recommend people hit it up when heading to Moreys. To me, it was a lot like Rebel Yell in the...texture of it. It looks rickety and like it's gonna hurt, but it ends up being just what a wooden coaster should be: not smooth, but not so rough it hurts, and with a definite feeling that you are just a little out of control. I'm not a huge fan of wooden coasters, but this one really put a smile on my face. I was truly surprised.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 8:27 PM

That's weird.. I got the crap beat out of me on the Great White. The Great Nor'Easter was pleasurable in comparison.

I am guessing that different owners possessed each one of these piers originally and Morey's bought them all out, but I have no idea if I am right on this.

That's precisely what happened. Morey's originally owned just Surfside Pier (the one with the GNE on it). They then bought Marine Pier and renamed it Mariners Landing, then they bought Fun Pier and renamed it Wild Wheels, then Adventure Pier. Somewhere in there they bought Hunt's Pier, (the one with the Golden Nugget) removed all the rides and use it for Maintenance, tram car storage, and offices. Part of the new GCI coaster will sit on this pier, connecting Hunts and Surfside Pier. +

http://screamscape.com/assets/images/PierSpanning_woodie.jpg

Last edited by billb7581, Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:08 AM
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011 10:36 AM

Huh...very interesting. You know, I have a feeling that Great White would have hurt more from further back on the train, but I sat in the front because of the worry about roughness in the back of the coaster. I did the same thing on Mean Streak because of it's horrible rep, and the worst thing I could say about Mean Streak was it vibrated a lot and meandered through what could have been a really scary course. I think with a lot of wooden coasters, seating plays a bigger role in smoothness of the ride (unless it is El Toro, then you're gonna get a great ride no matter what seat you sit in). I typically choose the front for wooden coasters unless I know the coaster well.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:08 PM

I've ridden that coaster a lot and it always seems to beat me up pretty good. Worse than Twister.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011 11:22 PM

Guess I just got lucky then. Weird how that can happen...I've actually had some good rides on some coasters that I normally wouldn't touch, so maybe this was just one of those rare moments. :)

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Thursday, June 9, 2011 10:00 AM

I cant remember if we ever tried the very front car though.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011 11:22 AM

I like Great White's layout and I've always been a big CCI fan but the ride was painfully rough when I rode it in 2005. I assume it wasn't always that rough; was it good when it first opened? It reminded me of how Villain became extremely rough toward the end of its lifetime, which was sad because it was an easy top 5 woody during its initial 3-4 years of operation.

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Friday, June 10, 2011 6:17 PM

The Great White's 2 PTC trains were 100% rehabbed this winter at PTC. The coaster is riding pretty good now. 2 of the Tilt's are Sellner, with new cars in the past 3 years. The 'tilt' on Mariner's is actually a Waltzer from South Africa. Rare in a park setting, but it goes about 30% faster on the rpms.

The Morey Family actually built Surfside Pier in 1969, and then began acquiring other piers as they became available. In all actualilty, the Morey's were content with just one pier, and then one off season, all the other pier owners agreed to lay off new ride buying, while the Morey's would go belly-up over-spending. After the family got wind of that meeting, the Jumbo Jet from Oktoberfest was built the next summer, and the Morey's haven't stopped since.

Rollies Coaster was one of the last coasters from Pinfari, built in 1999. Its extremely well maintained, and has been updated with magnetic brakes. Perfectly safe.

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Friday, June 10, 2011 7:16 PM

I loved Rollies Coaster. I pretty much rode it for the credit, but found it to be much more fun than it looks.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011 2:01 PM

And it was built in less than 2 weeks!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 11:27 PM

Agent Johnson, very interesting! :) I guess when riding Rollies Coaster, all I could think about was it was not mounted into the ground anywhere, and the whole thing was shaking as people rode. I mean, I have watched other coasters shake (most seem to at least shake a little), but...well, it just wasn't something I cared for at all. Had it appeared a little more sturdy, I would have enjoyed it more.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 6:16 AM

I'm a Great White fan. Will ride in front and back. The Great Noreaster is the most reridable SLC with those new restraints. Love the atmosphere and the boardwalk. Looking forward to going back when the GCI opens next year.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:51 PM

Yeah, I'm super excited for the new GCI as well, but I'm hoping that Moreys can show it a lot of love so it stays rideable.

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