After about 9 days in various relaxing beach locations we had to change plans and head north to avoid a hurricane. In one of life’s interesting turn of events, we still managed to find a hurricane. It was just the Myrtle Beach version rather than those found on the Gulf coast. I'm not sure which would be worse...?
On Monday July 11th (80% sure of the date) I made a trip to the Myrtle Beach Pavilion with my eight-year-old nephew in tow. I’ve always loved this place, and this visit was no exception. I assume I’m way too influenced by the seaside setting…but I am what I am, and I like what I like.
Pavilion has a nice dark ride that is better than any this side of Disney and Knoebels. A good dark ride will always earn valuable points in my trip reports. The rides are cramped into a small plot, yet everything seems nicely painted and well taken care of. This adds to the charm.
For example, The Scrambler is strategically placed inside the final helix of Hurricane. Another nice touch is the working cover on Caterpillar (Himalaya-type ride). The have an interactive shooting dark ride that are fun in all parks. There is also a river rapids ride with a nice stretch that parallels the road/sidewalk on the west end of the park. It is fun to wave and communicate with those on the sidewalk or sitting at the light, in their cars, while drifting in your round boat. The Calypso pulls massive gs. They have an original Pavilion soundtrack that has a lot of 70’s and 80’s rock pumped throughout the park. I could go on and on, but you get the point!
There are a lot more “old-school” flats that I will not take the time to describe. But know that ride cycle times are long and line lengths are short. This greatly adds to the Pavilion experience and certainly influences my positive opinion of the park given the woeful maintenance issues associated with the star attraction…
1. Hurricane---Everything I’ve read about this helix guarded out-and-back woodie seems correct. It is indeed a maintenance nightmare that will impose chiropractic adjustment whether needed or not. I braved 4-5 spins on this thing and found every bottom to be accented with the thump of the cheap Gerlauster cars no matter which seat I was in. The helixes did manage to give some nice laterals, but I was so busy preparing defensive riding positioning and/or licking prior wounds, that I was unable to enjoy what the helixes had to offer.
In short, the Hurricane is a sad tale. I cannot think of another “new-school” woodie that has been left in such sad condition in such a short time. At least the Pippin could use age as an excuse! There is no doubt that given the proper love and attention and a nice PTC that this ride could be a dandy. As it is now, it serves as a nice billboard to get bodies into the park and enjoy the seaside atmosphere that the other rides have to offer.
2. Mad Mouse---This is a new school mouse that has the nice switchback laterals and evil transitions that we’ve come to love and respect. This ride could hold its own in any park. I loved it…
3. Little Eagle---At least I had an 8-year old with me this time. This is a small train themed kiddie coaster with a cave tunnel and 2-cycle operation. It is themed nicely and fits perfectly with the cramped seaside setting. Absent the child, no adult should attempt a ride. But who am I to preach?
After about 3 hours enjoying the park with my nephew, my wife and parents arrived with my 15-month-old. Pavilion does NOT CHARGE A CENT for children under 2 to enjoy the plethora of kiddie rides. I hit quite a few kiddie parks on this trip and can assure you that this is the only park to extend this unbelievable courtesy. If you combine free admission with free kiddie rides, there is no excuse for any Myrtle Beach vacationers with little ones to not spend some time at the Pavilion. It is a nice trip back in time that is easy on the wallet and high in thrills!
*** Nice park/crappy maintained woodie/free kiddie rides/you should go!***
*** Edited 8/1/2005 10:53:38 PM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***
I don't think it was worth the $25 dollars or so I paid for the wristband, but it was a very picturesque park(if that's a word. . . picturesque, not park :) ). Some of the views from the Mad Mouse are amazing.
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