North East Coster Trip (Park 9: Rye Playland)

Associated parks:

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 12:50 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2003 (Day 8, Park 9)

Weather: HOT!

Having spent an hour and a half to two hours in the air conditioned car, Michele and I were both recovered from the near heat exhaustion of Lake Compounce earlier in the day. As we neared the Norwalk / Stamford CT area, we saw that it was still relatively early, so we decided to stop at Rye Playland before finding some place to stay for the night.

We arrived at the park a few minutes before 6pm. Having no gate admission, it was time to buy tickets…. Two books of twenty four.

Dragon Coaster was first on the list. As with my one main complaint through the entire trip… you could not select your seat… first come = first seat choice. Somehow I did manage to get the last stat. Now, to my second complaint on this trip… Morgan trains! RUN, RUN AWAY!!!!! This train was even more uncomfortable than the one on Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze. On Jack Rabbit the bar lowered and locked in place with out having to hit a certain location. Where it stopped tight against your lap, it stopped. The one on Dragon Coaster had to lock in a very low position. A man in the seat in front of me with really long legs was stapled in pretty badly. I was uncomfortable myself, but I did not wince in pain as he did when the bar locked in place. As for the coaster… it’s an old and historic coaster, but that is about it… not much in the thrill department. One of the few Fred Church coasters remaining, it is a week survivor from the Golden Age. What a shame that the Airplane Coaster is no longer at Playland. What is even sadder… to see a car from one of the original trains on Dragon Coaster sitting there on display. What would it have been like to ride this coaster in one of these?

Around the corner and down the midway I hopped a ride on the Crazy Mouse. A standard small wild mouse. Two things that stand out with this one… cute little mouse tails on the cars and it is practically unbreaked.

I was delighted to find two dark rides near here… Zombie Castle and Flying Witch. They are both “classic” version dark rides… nothing very high tech. But the stunts looked relatively new and the rides were in good shape. All the scenes / stunts worked, all were in good shape, they were morbid and grotesque (more “disturbing” than scary), and the rides were long. As for each ride, they were pretty much interchangeable inside, but they were dark rides that were not too PC or toned down so I liked them. Michele on the other hand found that they were in fact scary as well as everything else I mentioned.

I then decided to take a turn on the historic Derby Racer. It may look like a cousin to a carrousel, but it is a distant cousin. Once mounted on my horse, I found that I had to hang on for dear life for fear of getting thrown off. Fast and dizzying, as one kid said as he got off “That ain’t your ordinary Merry-go-round.”

Next up was Hurricane, a little SDC coaster. Painful seats and a painful neck breaking ride. One for the count… never again. They say that there used to be a coaster there called Wild Wind. According to RCDB, Wild Wind was never opened and removed because the forces on this coaster “proved too extreme for Playland’s Guests”. IF Hurricane was not considered extreme, I would hate to even think of what the defunct Wild Wind was like.

On the way out I grabbed one more ride on Dragon Coaster, this time near the front… this time a bit better ride.

One final dark ride was left… Ye Old Mill. This was the surprise of the trip I think. A dark boat ride through the mine and water works and woods… The premise is that the blasting in the mining operation of the Gnomes has gone awry and the evil Trolls and Dragons are taking over. Cute and well done scenes with a sense of humor… with a “storm” segment that is not to be missed… this re done classic is just that… truly a classic. At 6 minutes and 24 seconds, this could be one of my favorite dark rides. With only four tickets left, I decided to buy four more so that Chele and I could ride this one again.

By now it was nearing 8pm and we had done all we wanted to do here at Playland Park. The crowd was starting to get heavy… mostly they were there for the Cyndi Lauper concert later that evening. As we exited, the traffic coming into the park was backed up solid, two lanes wide, for the mile and a half from the parking lot to the exit on I-95, and then single lane along the shoulder of I-95 to the exit. We agreed that we had arrived and departed at the right time.

Rye Playland is a nice little historic park. What it lacks in the thrills department it makes up in the nostalgia department. Not sure I would make a special trip there again, but if in the area I would consider stopping.

Seeing that it was only 8pm, I told Michele that I could have her home in four hours, and she liked the sound of that rather than spending another night on the road (we had planned on going home the next morning). My timing was not off either… we got on I-287 outside of Rye at 8pm and we were pulling into our garage near York PA at exactly 12:00midnight . Lucky for Michele that when we passed by Hamilton Blvd near Allentown on I-78, Dorney Park, while lit up, was closed. She had fallen asleep during the drive, and had the park been open, she would not have been awake to talk me out of stopping. “Oh well”, I thought, “another time”… which turned out to be this past Sunday… only a little over a week after ending this 2031 mile , 2 country, 7 state, 9 park, 23 coaster, 11 light house, 6 hotel, and 1 bowl of lobster stew vacation.

Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 9/2/2003 4:53:23 PM ***
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 9/2/2003 4:53:47 PM ***

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 1:06 PM
Thanks for the great series of TRs, I really enjoyed reading them.

Have you now been on all the Schmecks after this trip, or are you missing the juniors in Illinois?

*** This post was edited by chris 9/2/2003 5:06:54 PM ***

Wednesday, September 3, 2003 5:29 AM
All in the North East:

The three Comets (Hersheypark, Great Escape, Waldameer), Phoenix (Knoebels), Rollo Coaster (Idlewild), Thunderhawk (Dorney), Wildcat (Lake Compounce) and Yankee Cannonball (Canobie Lake).

While not a Schmeck original (but he did a major rework on it I understand), also Wild One (SFA)

Missing are Little Dippers at Hillcrest and Kiddieland in IL and Rollercoaster at Joyland in Kansas.

Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2003 5:51 AM
Dang, I always forget about Joyland!

It's still great that you've been on most of 'the master's' creations.

Wednesday, September 3, 2003 6:16 AM
Living in south central PA makes it easy... three of them with in 2 hrs (at Hershey, Knoebels, Dorney)... 4 if you count Wild One.

Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.


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