Weather: Hot but “tolerable”
Before our trip we decided to make hotel reservations only for our stay in Niagara Falls. On Saturday night, after arriving in the Rochester area following our visit to Martins Fantasy Island, we ran into a slight problem. The PGA was in Rochester and either a) all hotel rooms in the area were filled or b) what hotels still had vacancy were being very mercenary and charging outrageous prices. After two hours on the cell phone, Michele found a room for us at the Comfort Inn in Batavia NY… 46 miles from Sea Breeze (and ironically only 15 miles from Six Flags Darien Lake… the same hotel we stayed at last year on our visit there).
No problem… it meant a longer drive to Sea Breeze, but we arrived at the park at 10 am Sunday morning. Since the rides did not open until noon, we drove around a little, spent some time on the cell lining up lodging for Sunday and Monday night to avoid a repeat of the fiasco the previous night and visited the Charlotte-Genesee Light House. We arrive back at the park a few minutes before noon. The upper lot was filled and we were directed to the lower lot. Lucky for us, we found a parking space in one of the rows near the lower entrance.
Michele had been having problems with her equilibrium lately and she was not really up to riding. We were quite pleased to find that Sea Breeze offers a “walk around” pass… a very low entrance fee with two tickets good for two rides. She got this and I got the regular admission for unlimited rides.
Entering through the bottom entrance, we passed through the water park first. Once we got to the top of the hill, I was immediately struck by how “traditional” this little park looked. It seemed like we had stepped back in time to a park from the 1920’s to 1940’s.
Checking the map, we headed toward Bobsled. As at Martin’s, Michele found a table with an umbrella and I headed off for the coaster. The line for Bobsled was kind of long (in comparison to most at Sea Breeze), but what are you going to do? Its an amusement park, its summer, and it’s a Sunday… of course you are going to have some lines. I guess I waited 20 to 30 minutes. When I boarded I sat down in the front seat of the little two seat car and a father and son sat in the back seat. The coaster is a unique little thing. According to the RCDB, it was originally a Junior wood coaster that Sea Breeze later added a top level of track to and fitted with tubular steel rails, making it ride more like a Wild Mouse coaster than anything else. It was a fun little ride… not overly thrilling, but fun for what it was. Give it some points for its uniqueness too. I had to hide my laughing at the little boy behind me… he started screaming and crying when we topped the lift. His father did his best to try and make him feel better, but to no avail… he did NOT like this ride (even though, according to his father’s statements, he seems to have been fine with it the year before). I debated a second trip on this one of a kind coaster, but decided time would be better spend elsewhere than in line.
Across the way Quantum Loop was only a 2 train wait so that is where I headed next for a front seat ride. Another unique ride. Soquet is the maker of this ride. The restraints are kind of painful for all but the smallest rider. I suppose it is Soquet’s payback for all of those French jokes. Anyway, aside from the two loops, there is not much to this coaster. According to RCDB, its up for sale with availability at the end of this season. As much as I would love to own my own coaster, I think I will pass on this one.
We then made our way to the other side of the park (not a very far walk considering the size of the park) to Jack Rabbit. This was mainly what drew me here to Sea Breeze. Michele found a shaded bench and I got in the moderate line and waited for a front seat. In an earlier day, this coaster probably was a very great ride… it probably still does have potential. Not the biggest, but some great air hills and a nice little pseudo helix ending in a tunnel, make for an interesting good layout. However, I said “probably still has potential”. The trains they are running are Morgans…. Cheap, cramped, plastic Morgans. I never rode one of these before… and I don’t hope too ride one again at any time in the near future (but I would…) It wasn’t the fact that they were not padded like PTC’s, but rather that they were so cramped. I never experienced real stapling until I rode in Jack Rabbit’s train. Would be a good little coaster if it were not for those trains.
Michele had been watching the Aqua Fina (sp?) water guy giving away prizes near where she was sitting. On my return to her, she told me to go buy a bottle at the one stand. I did and went up to the Aqua Fina guy. I won $2. On the sly I then handed Chele the bottle and she approached him. Again a $2 winner. So much for timing… a girl a few minutes earlier had won $500. Oh well. Right across from where Chele was sitting were the Flyers. I decided to give them a try… after all, they moved pretty fast. Once I climbed aboard and strapped myself in I saw a sight that broke my heart. On each side of the Sail (or Rudder or what ever you call that thing) of each tub were two plastic (perhaps rubber) “stoppers” that only allowed the sail to move about 15 or so degrees. While the ride was fast, the lack of movement of the sails prevented anything even close to “snapping”. I guess I am just spoiled by Knoebels Flyers.
After the flyers I opted for one more ride on the Jack Rabbit. Okay, so it did have Morgan trains… not enough to keep me off of a wooden coaster. This time it was a back seat ride. Again, a fun ride… but how much better it could it have been with different rolling stock.
Knowing that we had a few hundred miles (and 4 light house stops) ahead of us, we decided to call it a day here at Sea Breeze. On the way out I did notice the unique structure of the Log Flume. Cement trough with a very old looking lift hill and drop… very reminiscent of the pictures I have seen of Hersheypark’s long gone Lost River / Old Mill.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by Sea Breeze. I have read some “horror stories” about this park… how it is over run with surly and unruly local kids (one person said some of them even go around raiding picnic baskets)… but we saw none of this. What we found was a very clean and very well kept little traditional park catering more to the local crowd than travelers like ourselves. Lots of shade, lots of benches, a good selection of rides and, even though we did not get anything to eat, it appeared to offer a nice selection of food. While not a thrill machine, Bobsled adds a unique touch to the park, and while not the best steel coaster out there, it is sort of impressive to see that a park of this size has a looping coaster like Quantum Loop. If Quantum Loop is sold and removed, I wonder what will replace it? Jack Rabbit only disappointed by the choice of trains. I wonder if Sea Breeze would skimp a little on any replacement for Quantum Loop (if it is in fact sold and removed) and buy PTC’s for Jack Rabbit? One can only hope.
Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 8/26/2003 3:00:34 PM ***
I'm really enjoying reading these as well as Kick the Bob's set on California.
Now if only that other guy would stop being so 'reptilian' and get his going, we'd be all set.
The beef with the Morgan Trains is that if you are a little bit bigger than normal, you will be unpleasantly stapled.
--who thinks chris is related to the notorious Star Wars Kid
Watch your back the next time you're in Chicago! ;)
*** This post was edited by chris 8/28/2003 11:03:10 AM ***
Your Park only has 1 good coaster! That's too bad!
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