Not so magical Myrtle Beach Pavilion

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The Myrtle Beach Pavilion is technically my "home park" because I live two hours away and Carowinds and PKD are 3 and 3.5 hours away. Anyway, I was disappointed with last Monday's trip and will not be returning again soon. Normally I try to say positive stuff about the Pavilion, but they are NOT moving in a forward direction. I will not let them use the excuse that it's a "tourist attraction, and they'll pay anything" to justify the 23.95 admission.

After I got into the park we hit MAD MOUSE, an Arrow wild mouse. Can we get some paint for this thing, it looks like its gonna fall apart. The supports under the crest of the lift have so much oil on them that they are almost completely black. The ride has gotten so jerky and is virtually unenjoyable except for the turns at the top and the view of the ocean. * 1/2 (out of five)

Next was TOP SPIN, a Huss Top Spin (gasp!)! I really like this ride and they have put it on a slightly longer mode than last year. It still doesn't match the one I rode at the NC State Fair because it had a much better pattern of flips. This ride is also getting pretty ugly. Several seats were broken and all the seats and bars are beat up and very faded. ***

Several other flats were next including Wave Swinger (swings). Tilt-A-Whirl - and Starship 2000. These aren't big enough to rate, just average attractions.

Next was HURRICANE, the great, uncared for, poorly maintained, and getting sh***ier by the minute CCI coaster. I really loved this ride when it opened and since then it has just gone down hill. I cannot blame the Gerstlauer trains for its roughness, but I can blame the Pavilion for letting it rot in the S.C. sun. The ride has gotten so jerky in the helix that is hurts my legs and side. The ride jerks a lot at the bottom of this element and is also brutal in the final helix. Its a damn shame to let a good ride like this become so bad and I sure hope that it will be overhauled in the near future. ** 1/2

After this we rode Enterprise (the best one in my opinion, and it was scary because the wind was blowing the carts around.), the Log Flume (decent for such a small park) and then we went to Hydro Surge.

At this point it began to storm so all the rides closed for about ten minutes. They then reopened... all except Hydro Surge whose lazy crew was goofing off. It opened about 45 minutes later and we snagged two rides. While its not a very attractive river rapids ride, it is fun and you actually get wet, all I ask for on a summer day. *** 1/2

At this point it was time to go, and I wasn't at all happy that the best ride in the park, the Rainbow, was closed yet again. What is the deal with this ride, it was closed last time I was here. I guess they can't figure out how to run it!

As you can tell, the MBP needs some serious work. It has potential (decent rides, nice location, atmosphere) but crappy crews who barely speak or move, poor maintanace standards, and a ridiculous gate price (I mean come on, SFOG was two bucks cheaper and has DEJA VU, Superman, Batman, Scorcher...) make this park disappointing. The Park gets a D+

On a better note, I did finally get to ride TOP STAR at the Grand Prix and loved it. It's a Zamperela ride and for those who don't know what it is, go here:

Wow what great g's and hangtime. ***1/2

I would have ridden Swamp Fox but Family Kingdom didn't open until four, but from what I remember it was a lot smoother than Hurricane is now.

*** This post was edited by Willh51 7/8/2003 12:02:56 AM ***

Hurricane Category 5 was a total let-down for me. I really went in expecting to be blown away, but was really unimpressed. I think the layout is great, and the setting on the edge of the park with the ocean in the background was amazing. Too bad the Pavilion can't keep the thing maintained. Total bummer.
And this, my friends, is why Family Kingdom is the place to go at Myrtle. Swamp Fox r0x0rz.

Really though, it is bad to hear that Hurricane is still not getting the love it deserves. There were some bad potholes when I was there 2 years ago, and someone who rode it this summer told me it was "like riding down a gravel road."

/\ Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Howard Dean for President!

Just rode the Hurricane a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I thought it was a little rough, but still the best ride in the park. I didn't realize that they used the old corkscrew station for this. The Rainbow was also down when I was there. There was a sign that said closed for maintenance.
I rode it when it first opened, and was some what Underwhelmed. I haven't been back since, but I do hope to visit this August.

For some reason the MBP thinks it is a major Amusment Park, while it is really nothing but a Tourist Trap with a Large Wooden Coaster.

Does anybody know if the City Council is still trying to get the Pavilion to move to a different location?

"The Mountain Slidewinder. Voted The #1 Non-Rollercoaster Ride in America Amusement Business Magazine, 1991"

Yes, the council still wants it to move. However, they did not use Corkscrew's station for the Hurricane. The old Corkscrew station stood where the Scrambler is today and the track made a 180 degree turn and climbed the lift in the opposite direction that the Hurricane does. I miss that Corkscrew, it was my first upside down coaster.
*** This post was edited by Willh51 7/10/2003 11:29:21 AM ***
Before my trip this year to Myrtle Beach it had been many years since visting the Pavilion. I didn't remember Corkscrew station being positioned where the Hurricane is, but I thought that it was the same station. I do remember the Corkscrew station was elevated quite a bit much like the Hurricane's station.
BullGuy's avatar
Yes, Starcoasters is right. Swamp Fox is definatly the better woodie in MB. As for Hurricane, well, looks can be decieving...

Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

Blah, no way, Hurricane owned! I thought Swamp Fox was fun (nice comfy trains and all) but didn't have but one thrilling hill. I found four great spots of air on it and it kept the speed up the whole ride...and it soooooo wasn't rough! :)

Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

StarCoasters said:
...and someone who rode it this summer told me it was "like riding down a gravel road.

Hey now, some gravel roads aren't that rough. I mean if you're going anywhere in Louisiana, you have to drive on one and some are actually better than the highways. ;)

-Shy One
*** This post was edited by The Shy One 7/13/2003 7:06:47 PM ***

^ Good Point. Highways in this area = smooth.. smooth.. *huge bump* *car goes airborn* *car hits ground and lands in pothole* *car scrapes really bad on the road* smooth.. smooth...

/\ Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Howard Dean for President!
*** This post was edited by StarCoasters 7/13/2003 8:03:16 PM ***

I've been a lurker forever but decided to register because of this post. I can't really disagree with anything you all have said. The Pavilion has gone downhill big time. I have been visiting every year for the last 14 years and I notice some unfortunate changes. The park still has its bright spots for me (The Haunted Hotel, Calypso, Dodgems, Wave Swinger, etc) which are all well taken care of. However, when I visited this June on a hot day, both the Hydro Surge and Log Flume were down all day. Lots of things in the park were in disrepair.

The Hurricane was the biggest disappointment. It was unbearably rough. The only way I could justify paying the $23.95 was to marathon the Hurricane, but I could tolerate only about 8 rides on it this year. It is just incredibly rough in the first helix, first speed hill, and final helix.

The park is managed by a guy named David Melton (unless he was fired recently) and I have to say I do not care for his managing. A few crappy pay-per-ride attractions have been added while old rides are looking shabby. Who this guy knows and how he got this position is beyond me. Rich Hair was the manager for a while (I believe he is now at Blackpool Pleasure Beach) and he was partially responsible for bringing in the Hurricane. Alan Kanter took over when Rich left and he was fabulous. He wanted a drop tower and lots of Hurricane merchandise, etc. The park just looked incredible when he was in charge. Everything worked, everything looked great, etc. Now it is falling apart and quickly becoming a signature crappy Myrtle Beach money trap.

I did enjoy my time at the park, but couldn't help but notice its sudden decline. Anyone else have any experiences there this year?

I agree with you too Drop Zone, Calypso, the Haunted Mansion, and Wave Swinger are in good shape. Haunted Mansion had a horrible crew last time I was there though, and the wait was longer than it needed to be. As for Mr. Kanter, where did he go? A Drop Tower, merchandise? That would have been great. Oh well, I hear buzz about a new Myrtle Beach thrill park. Should we get excited or expect some little kiddie rides and a trampoline bouncer?
Where Alan Kanter is now is a mystery. I have heard he was seen at an industry trade show not long ago, so maybe he's still in the business. He was a very nice guy and I have no doubts that if he were the manager today, there would be a drop tower where the Rainbow sits and there would be lots of other neat things. Not cheap Mardi Gras parades at night, deteriorating rides, and cheap pay-per-ride attractions. I also forgot to mention in my post that the Chaos is completely gone this year. Replaced with picnic tables. Wow...what a great addition. I know they had maintenance problems like crazy, but the space could have been used more creatively.

The new theme park in Myrtle Beach probably won't happen. I just don't think the market is strong enough to build a year-round big park. What will probably happen eventually is the Pavilion will move. As I typed that last sentence, I realized that maybe the reason the park is in such bad shape now is because they are planning on moving within the next few years. It's been proposed many times and the park's answer was always "no" under Rich and Alan's management, but has changed to "maybe" now. That would sure be interesting. Hmmm....

coasterqueenTRN's avatar

Willh51 said:
I miss that Corkscrew, it was my first upside down coaster.

I believe it was my first steel coaster. It was either that or the one kiddy coaster they had at the Magic Harbor down the road.

Anyway, that is sad to hear about the Pavillion's demise. I grew up going to MB almost every summer as a kid and looked forward to the Pavilion, MK, and MH.

BTW, does the Pavillion still have that enclosed ride that was in a tent and was air-conditioned? They played the best music and all you could see was strobe and laser lights.


Feel The DragsterGasm....

I was there a few weeks ago and it wasn't as horrible as you are all saying it is. I had tons of fun while I was there, and marathoned on the Hurricane. Got 11 rides in a row before the rest of my party wanted to go home. I think I went on it around 20 times that day. One complaint I do have though is that when we got on the round boat ride, one person in the boat didn't have their seat belt fastened because it was jammed and the ride ops never paid attention to him. He was freaking out and finally ended up tying the thing together to feel safe. I also noticed that there were a lot of bolts that were coming loose on the hurricane and many were all over the ground. Maybe the ride mechanics just throw them down there, but maybe not... Anyways, I had fun while I was there and might go back again sometime. The hurricane was rough but I learned how to ride it. It's worth a try if you are down there on vacation.
My knex coasters
GOCC member # 671

Legendary said:
Blah, no way, Hurricane owned!

When did you ride?

Last April that thing was a wreck.

No coasterqueenTRN, they do not have the indoor ride with strobes anymore. I believe they moved that for Hurricane and if I am not mistaken it has reappeared as Scrambler. It was so much better inside and now it looks like crap sitting under Hurricane. It makes me mad just thinking about the Pavilion now. Two years ago was my last Choas ride and that was right before the one at Michigan's Adventure (I think?) broke and toppled over. During my ride it was making awful noises and it felt really bad. I guess they couldn't keep it because they couldn't maintain it. Does anybody know anything definate about Rainbow?
Rainbow was closed also back in April when I was there. The ride has been there forever(was there when I was a kid) so maybe it's on its last leg.

Not only was scrambler once in a tent, there was also a casino ride in a tent that was pretty cool.

Hurricane is rough as hell

I had no problem withthe admission price though.


*** This post was edited by john13601 7/15/2003 11:35:39 AM ***

The scrambler once inside the tent is indeed located inside the Hurricane's final helix. Chaos was making horrible noises last year -- they are famous for horrendous maintenance and I believe the Pavilion's Chaos was the first ever. The Rainbow was closed when I went and I don't know what's going on with it. A few years ago it had a major problem with its main arm that forced the closing of all similar rides in the country. It's a fun ride, though, when it's working.

I think what has happened is the Pavilion is really in serious financial trouble. I think the reason Alan Kanter got fired was because attendance had been slowly but surely rising year after year, and then sharply decreased the year of the Hurricane's opening. I am pretty sure it's been way below expected since. Couple that with a $6 million plus investment in a major coaster that has relatively high maintenance costs, and the park has problems. I attribute to this the park's willingness to at least hear out proposals for their moving. If they aren't planning on moving the park soon, unfortunately I think the park's declining condition is caused by a lack of money.
*** This post was edited by DropZone 7/15/2003 6:29:51 PM ***

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