Rye Playland - 8/11/06

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Being that I had one more week left at home before I returned to college in Orlando, I felt one last trip to Rye Playland was in order. Plus, I had 20 points left on my Fun Card that I wanted to blow.

As many of you in the North East can vow for, the weather was phenomenal on this Friday in August and the $5 dollar parking price would have been worth a stroll along the boardwalk.

Entering the park around 7 pm through the Old Mill entrance, it was rather odd to see Super Flight, the park’s Zamperla Volare, not operating. Not a bother to me, I have never had an urge to ride it, but for others it may have been disappointing.

Though I did not snag a ride on the Old Mill last night, I did a few weeks prior and shall give my 2 cents here. It seems that some of the animatronics we covered either by tarp or wood, mostly on the left side of the ride. I am not sure if this is because of mechanical failure or because they don’t want to frighten kids as a result of the accident a year or two ago. It was also my gut feeling that they sped up the water a bit which also mitigates a child’s exposure to the animatronic dragons, trolls, etc. It’s still a lengthy ride with some nostalgia, even after its remodeling.

Back to last night, being the DDR nuts my friend and I are, we walked straight to Playland’s new SuperNova machine. Yes, that’s right, Playland has SuperNova in the arcade closer to the skating rink. The next newest game is from around 1985 I believe :P. Slippery pads, but fun nonetheless.

A bit warm after some DDR, we decided to cool off with a ride on the Log Flume. Though not as amazing as I thought it was when I was a kid, it’s still quite fun with some lateral rocking motion that I just don’t see on enough flumes.

We then purchased some snacks ($4 for a Carvel Waffle Cone with sprinkles isn’t too shabby) and waited by the water for the 9:15 fireworks. A satisfying 15 minute show with an awesome finale and you cannot beat the location.

If you are not aware, Playland now has this “Roll Back” program in which after the fireworks on Wednesdays and Fridays and after 6pm on Tuesdays, every ride in the park costs 1 point less. This program seems to be keeping people in the park later, although I did not stay until the midnight closing to see if this held true.

Briskly walking from the fireworks to the Dragon Coaster for a much anticipated night ride, we noticed something that I haven’t seen in years. Two train operation on the Dragon Coaster! The line moved very fast and in no time I was on the green and red train.

This ride is a true classic, especially at night. A lovely crew was really putting some effort into moving trains through the station efficiently, something I hadn’t seen in a while. Ascending the lift, you can breathe in the timeless scent of wood and salt water and begin to take in the sights of a park that really is alive at night. The first drop may actually take one by surprise as it does provide a bit of air as the rear car is pulled over. The rest of the ride is quite fun and entering the dragon at night is quite entertaining! The brightly lit up red eyes and the mist pouring out of its snout as you enter its belly is incredibly effective, not to mention unique. After that it’s quite tame but you can believe that double down must have been something in its prime.

Finally, being that we had 3 points left, we went through the House of Mirrors for 1 point each. These things are rather rare now a days and it’s a trip walking through even though it’s a bit on the small side.

Between the 4 of us who went, the evening cost us no more than $30 with over half of that being for food. I am not sure if this park turns a profit or not, but I am thankful for its landmark status ensuring its continual operation.

*** Edited 8/12/2006 5:17:06 PM UTC by NoRulz2k***

Surfing the web, I came across this 263 page Master Plan for Playland. It's fairly recent (2005?) and details many interesting aspects of the Park and its future. Keep in mind none of this is set in stone, however it seems will all be considered.


For those who prefer Spark Notes:
- Movement of Giant Wheel closer to Sound for better views.
- Contstruction of new pier overlooking Long Island Sound.
- Movement of Double shot onto proposed pier along with 1-2 additional rides.
- A new sky ride along shoreline.
- Restoration/Removal/Movement of Buildings to revive park closer to its Art Deco prime.
- Resurfacing of Walkways
- Movement of Miniature Golf to allow view of Sound along Main Axis.
- Improve Cross Axis Entrance, Main Entrance, with additional ticket booths
- A reconstruction of the famous Aeroplane roller coaster (Hopes this one goes through!)
- A redesign of the parking lot

Aeroplane Coaster! Wouldn't that be a great way to draw back some ot the visitors that are now going to SFNE and LC.

May Playland live on! Historic parks with historic rides are becoming rarer all of the time and this National Historic Landmark, like Kennywood, means so much in this time of big theme parks and high-tech rides with 8-figure price tags.

Arthur Bahl

Reconstructing the Aeroplane actually appears in the master plan? Wow! That's not proof that it will actually happen, but it is better than a rumor. At least the people in charge have it in the back of their minds.

Rye is a fantastic place with a bunch of great rides. The whip is really something else.

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