Some background info.:
I just graduated a couple weeks ago and I'm staying with a family from my church in Princeton until I find a job. My car is a POS and I got a ticket about a week ago for not having an up to date inspection sticker on it. I had a meeting with a friend at 7:30pm because I was going to dog sit for him this week and I needed him to show me where all "the stuff" was.
I was planning on leaving for Morey's Piers (which opened at noon) around 10:00am for the 2:15 estimated drive down. I was hoping to rack up all six credits and get out of there as soon as possible, as the weather was pretty forboding. There was a slight drizzle and weather.com was predicting 20% rain all afternoon. I needed to be back in Princeton by 7:30 so that latest I wanted to leave was 5pm.
I hopped in the car, got on 295 South and away I went. About 10 minutes into the drive, I get pulled over by a cop. :( He said that he pulled me over because I didn't have an up to date inspection sticker (which I haven't had in a couple of years because I'm just too damn lazy). I showed him the ticket I had gotten two days before for the same thing and he let me off with a warning and said "You really need to get your car fixed, like, tomorrow."
Anyway, I resumed my trip down, hopeful that a couple of good rides on coasters would ease the unfortunateness of being pulled over. The rain started to let up just as I was passing Atlantic City (which is about 1:30 of the way into the drive). I had never been so I decided that if I could get in and out of Morey's quickly, I'd swing through Atlantic City for a few hours on the way up and have a look around.
I passed Atlantic City, and got down onto the surface streets around the pier at around 1:00pm. There was a parade going by, so it took quite a while to find parking. I decided to go with metered parking, as I wasn't planning on staying too long and the parking was pretty empty (considering the weather and I guess the piers really do most of their business after dinner time).
So I hopped out of the car, fed the meter and climbed up onto the board walk somewhere between the Sea Serpent Pier and the Nor'Easter pier (I don't actually know their names, so I just identify them by their major coasters). I decided I would head towards the Nor'Easter and work my way down, as I couldn't tell what was running yet. I went over and I clearly would not be getting a credit on the Flitzer - the ride was in pieces all over the ground. The doo-wopper (Zamperla Mouse) was closed, but there was staff walking around it and it had a line. The Nor'Easter in the back corner was running one train. Was this the first SLC? Because it if wasn't they did an AMAZING job fitting a clone into a space in and around rides with perfect foot choppers the whole way through. I mean, this looks like an RCT job where you just stick whatever track piece will fit next and hope you end up with a rideable ride.
So I decided that, since the other piers were a bit of a ways, I'd play some DDR and see if Doo Wopper would open. I failed miserably. I don't know what it was about these machines, but I couldn't pass songs that I can normally A. Things like CSFIL(SM) or Frozen Ray, which I know like the back of my hand were giving me real trouble. Sigh.
So I came back out of the arcade and the line from Doo Wopper, as well as the staff had all disappeared, so I determined that it was not meant to be. Given that I mostly in it for the whoring and that there wasn't anything I really wanted to ride multiple times, and that the Doo Wopper was down, I decided I would go for individual tickets instead of the $41 RAD or a value book of tickets.
First up: The Great Nor'Easter $6.40
I was not too excited to ride this coaster, as it's just a standard SLC with a slightly different station position. Hopped on board in the back and off we went.
All I can say is that if all SLC's rode like this one, I think they'd be as popular, if not more popular than the B:TR's. It was fast, smooth, and intense. And the foot choppers! I mean, this thing had to be custom for this installation or the first of something, because it wove in and around the exiting water slides perfectly. A great ride! I couldn't believe that it was a Vekoma! They wouldn't let me ride with my glasses on, though, so I really couldn't see too well.
So I hopped off the train and, as is my habit, patted myself down to make sure I still had the stuff in my pockets. To my horror, both my wallet (which goes in my right side pocket) and my cell phone (which goes in my left side pocket) were gone! In a panic, I ran back up into the station and asked the op. if he had seen any of these items, but he said he had not. I thought that maybe I had left them over at the DDR machine (I empty my pockets to play), but I had bought ride tickets between here and there. So I ran around under the ride looking frantically for my stuff. Because the ride goes over the water park, it's not too hard to run around under it. However, because the water park was closed, I could only scan one half of the ride. It's also important to mention at this point in the story, that I was carrying $250 in cash, about 5 times more than I normally carry. I had gotten some graduation money recently and for folks with careers $250 may not be much, but for a starving student that's about a month's wage. So, needless to say, I was freaking out. There were some folks working in the water park area and I kindly asked them if I could come in, even though it was closed, and look around for my stuff. They let me in (escorted) and I checked around under that half of the ride for a few minutes. Nothing turned up. :( Just as I was getting ready to leave the water park area and check the other half of the ride again, one of the workers called out, "There it is." And sure enough, there was my wallet in the bottom of a pool...Thank god the pool was empty. The worker said that they were going to be filling it later that afternoon! So I went down into the pool and all my cards and cash were strewn around on the concrete. I gathered them all up and checked to make sure nothing was missing. Phew! The missing phone sucked, but the wallet was way more important. So I thanked the workers (who took my name and e-mail) and headed over to the other half of the ride. I walked through the queue a bit (which runs under the ride) and lo and behold, there was my phone! Sitting under the start of the lift hill in a fenced off area. It looked intact, and the battery had come off, but was sitting right next to the phone as well. I went and talked to the ops. who directed me to guest services. I talked with them and filled out a missing items form and told them exactly where my phone was. They said they could mail it to me, since they couldn't get it 'til closing at 11pm and I had to leave by 5:00. I realized later that I didn't have enough gas to get back to Princeton, and without my wallet or phone, I'd have no way to get anywhere and couldn't call anyone (I don't remember anyone's phone number these days, because of the cell phone.) Close one there!
So not a total loss on the day, I decided to go wrap up the other credits. The Doo Wopper was still not open, so I went down the boardwalk to the Sea Serpent pier and got my 14 tickets. I first rode Rollies Coaster. A great compact ride with some nice drops! I was pretty happy with this coaster and wished more parks would have small intense coasters like this.
Fortunately, the didn't take my tickets for it, but the ride would have been $4.80.
So on to the Sea Serpent. I had a real hard time finding the entrace to this coaster. I love the way it wraps around guest services and games and booths and such. It really makes a neat effect. The ride itself was one of the better boomerangs I been on (which doesn't say all that much) and I was definitely graying out on a couple of the high positive g places. All in all a solid credit. $6.40
So I headed on over to the Great White for what I thought would be the last ride of the day. I bought 8 tickets, completely forgetting that I had the 6 which were not collected. I immediately asked the guy if I could refund them, but he said they could not. So I got on Great White in the front. This is quite possibly the smoothest wood coaster I have ever ridden. It was quite fast, but it really lacked in the intensity department. Not much air to speak of and not anything really remarkable, aside from it's smoothness.
Having gotten everything I wanted to hit, I came off back onto the main boardwalk and saw an internet cafe. I thought for a moment and decided that I really wanted to get my phone back tonight, so I hopped into the internet cafe e-mailed my friend to tell him what had happened and decided that I would bum around for 8 hours and get my phone when the park closed. So I walked back up to the Great Nor'Easter, talked to the guest relations people (who now recognized me) and asked them if I could get my phone at 11pm. They said they could send someone in to get it and return it to me. I walked back towards the Great Nor'Easter to check on my phone and noticed that the DooWopper was now running. Luckily, I had the 6 extra tickets still in my pocket! So I boarded the train and they didn't collect my tickets again! Woohoo! This turned out to be a pretty standard mouse with very strange drops. They were very rampy and seemed to hit hard in the valleys. Oh well - another forgettable credit. My 5th and final credit of the day, bringing me up to #227.
So I decided that since I now had about 7 hrs. to kill, I'd go up to Atlantic City, which was about an hr. away and take a look around. The drive was unremarkable and the city really felt like Las Vegas Jr. It was clear that it wanted to be a big glitzy gambling town, but the area around the hotels really wasn't that developed. The hotels and casinos were nice and glamorous, but nothing else was very interesting at all. I grabbed some food at a KFC and since I had my graduation money in large bills, I decided I should break a $100. I asked the KFC lady if she could take a $100 and without hesitation, she said she could. I guess that's what I get for going to a KFC in Atlantic City. I parked pretty far away from the casinos in a fairly seedy area and wandered around for a while. Nothing nearly as cool as the vegas hotels (no coasters, no volcano or fountains or pirate battles) but since I had just read "Bringing Down the House", a book about some MIT kids who developed a counting system for blackjack that earned them $3M, I was pretty absorbed by stuff like security cameras and pit bosses.
Yeah, so I killed about 4 hrs. in Atlantic City (I don't gamble) and left at 8:30. Ride back to Morey's was not interesting, and I got there at 9:30. I parked right in front of the Great White pier to check my e-mail again (to make sure my friend had gotten the message, which he had) and because I still had 6 tickets. I decide I'd cough up the $1.60 for 2 more tickets to ride Great White at night and decided to ride in back this time. This ride was totally different in back at night. Still smooth as glass, but now there was a lot of air on all the drops and some really great turns and hops. It's probably around Lightning Racer in my book - really good, but not jaw dropping (which, so far, CI Cyclone, Viper GAm., Boulder Dash, Phoenix, and Ghostrider are the only coasters to reach).
So I grabbed a Polish Water Ice on my way back up the boardwalk. I got to the Great Nor'Easter and decided to check on my phone to make sure it was still there...it was not. I had no idea what happened to it, or how anyone got into a lock-out area, but my phone definitely was not there. Coincidentally, it used to be in the area where the on-ride photo was and since it was dark out, I had to wait for a few trains to go by before I was sure that it wasn't there. I stopped by guest relations to ask if anyone had turned it in, but nobody had. :(
I decided to wait 'til 11pm when the ride closed to see if someone could go in the area and look around, but I was not going to get my hopes up. I played a couple rounds of DDR (and failed again) and saw the best player I've every seen. He's was SDGing 9's with ease and made it halfway through LoM extra stage Very impressive.
So it was right around 11 by now so I went to hang out under the Great Nor'Easter to ask the ops if they could go searching once the ride closed. About two trains before they closed it, I headed over to guest relations to see if they had heard anything. To my surprise, they had my phone! I still have no idea how it got there or who turned it in, but it was there, in one piece, and working. It had a crack in the plastic casing, but otherwise it was unharmed. Phew! Case closed. Oddly, when I opened my phone, I notcied that someone had placed a LOT of outgoing calls to everyone in my phone book. Apparently, whoever picked it up wanted to return it to me and decided the right way to go about doing that was to call my entire phone book. I had a lot of e-mail waiting for me when I got home. ;)
As I was passing the arcade I saw an even better player finishing up his game of DDR. AA Max 300 doubles. It was insane. I was speechless. I didn't even believe my eyes. Wow! He failed So Deep Extra Stage (for some reason he couldn't do the gallops) but it was just unbelievable how good he was.
So I left the park around 11:30 (grabbed a Rita's water ice on the way out becaues I was still hungry and for comparison) and started the long trek back to Princeton.
Arrived at my friend's house around 1:30am and the house was dark. Now, I have a garage opener, but no house key, because she normally leaves the door from the garage into the house open. So I opened the garage, quite exhausted from my unexpectedly long day, and the door was locked. So I had no way into the house. :(
So I rang the door bell - no answer. Called her cell phone - no answer. I didn't have her home phone number but my mom did. Fortunately, she lives in CA, so it's was 10:30 there. Called my mom and got the number, called into the house, woke her up, and got in.
And that was the end of my accidently way too long day. I fell asleep pretty quick.
All in all, Morey's was a nice place to whore (though a bit on the expensive side if they actually collect your tickets) with some very well mainted rides. Nothing that's totally unique, but Great White was a very solid ride and the SLC and boomerang were the best I've ridden. *** Edited 6/6/2005 7:45:39 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***
I agree about Atlantic City. I really try to like it but other than gambling, there is really nothing to do. The casino's aren't family friendly like Las Vegas (at Borgata and Taj Mahal if you aren't 18, you aren't allowed in!) and most fun part of Atlantic City, Tivioli Pier (indoor amusement park) has been closed for years. There is Steel Pier with the spinning Wild Mouse but otherwise not much to do. There is only 1 DDR machine in Ripley's compared to the 30+ in Las Vegas as well.
Wildwood just seems like a much more fun place to be at.
"El Condor was the first Vekoma SLC roller coaster."
*** Edited 6/8/2005 6:49:42 PM UTC by rollergator***
Which water ice did you prefer the Italian or the Polish?
Glad I didn't give you my cell #, Andy. I woulda told them to keep it, they guy was a total looser ;).
Unfortunately, I have to work most Fri. mornings until July. I am trying to squeeze in some early weekdays, but obviously with the breakdown, it might be a couple weeks before I get more rides in.
A trip to Wildwood is not complete without a stop at a Polish Water Ice stand, a slice of Mack's Pizza and some rides on Morey's. Through in some fudge or salt water taffy and you really did the Jersey Shore experience.
P.S. Watch the tram car please.
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