I just got back from WPLJ night at Rye PLayland. As most of you know, Rye is closed MOndays for private events. Here's what went down.
All tickets to this event were free. You had to mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to the radio station and request up to six tickets. I won and went for the second year in a row. (Though I had to give 5 badge stickers away) The deal included all rides and parking.
I usually like to get there SUPER Early, take a dip in the pool, look at the fishing pier and walk the boardwalk. Not this time. Today I got there, parked teh car and waited outside the side gates. The park was to open at 5 PM and the rides at 6. It would stay open until 11.
I asked the police officer if I could just go to the bathroom. He allowed it, and when I left the bathroom (no soap) the gates had opened. I was first in line for the dragon coaster.
It's still forceless. The lift going up is among the faster traditional chain lifts I have been on, but even in the front seat it wasa bit shakey and every hill seemed to have been padded with a smaller hill taking any thrill away from it. The dragon's eyes weren't lit, but I think there was a sound effect going into the dragon. The op pressed down quite hard OUCH! From the top of the lift hill I could see the never-ending parade of cars that were building the parking lot. It would start out slow but turn into a very crowded night.
The Derby racer was next. nice cycle, but the horses still dont move foward and backward. It amazes me how the ops jump on and off that thing while it's moving fast. Isn't that a violation. It's very unusual.
Superflight - I love the lift on this thing. It's like a DNA helix. The loading and unloading is bit unusual, but it's quite uncomfortable with a lot of headbanging.
I noticed a list of closed rides: The Whip (A favorite) Catch A Wave (A promoted favorite), The Mind Scrambler (Recent Death) and The Swings. In fact, these four rides are some of the best things about Die (I mean Rye) Playland. The Swings Are Still Gone, Catch a wave is comploetely missing too. What's up with that? I was disappointed.
The main carousel was a highlight. At this point, the sun was setting and the lights were on. The music, the moving figures, were exquisite. As we were entering the platform, a younger ride op (paired with a middle aged woman) announced that if you wanted a horse that moves up and down, take a horse with a white handle. He was serious and quite motivated. He must have been about 15 or 16. He helped a mother who was next to correctly poition her toddler in place. He was smilling and ringing the bell with a sence of purpose. He was even digging the music. The ride wasn't as long as derby, but he and his partner were working hard to help people off of the ride.
I tend to have a big mouth when I see something that pleases me and I had to tell him that I appreciated what seemed like his respect and reverence for this classic ride. We talked for a few minutes and found out he was a fan of this board, but not a poster. He made my night.
The show on the stage was a local New Jersey based band featuring one of the disc jockeys, Race Taylor on drums. (Tell me that's not a made up radio name!)
Before the show, some of the morning show "cut-ups" were playing painless "What's in the box" types of games with the audience. Some won concert tickets. Some won a pan and Chinese noodles. The people picked to play were chosen by the producer bsaed on either a child's cuteness or the fun of having a pre-senior citizen. One game was craps. The player would pick a number and roll two large blow-up dice. If the number came up he or she would win. (I have no idea why he gave a 6 year old Poison tickets). If the roller rolled a 7 or an 11, one of the morning crew would get dunked by a bucket of water. The crowd loved it.
They also had a spin the wheel game at the entrance to the park near the mini - golf.
It was a nice night and the weather was perfect. It was a very family oriented crowd and police were there on foot and on bicycles. There were also quite a few park security guards.
Food: Nathans - - - > 2 Dogs, Small Fries and a drink for eight bucks. I'm still burping from the dogs. Rye needs better food.
NEW YORK RADIO SIDE NOTE: I know I have commented on radio on other posts, but with the return of Oldies, The growth of "Fresh FM" and WLTW still in the driver's seat, it will be even harder for WPLJ to continue playing the music and doing the format they now have. (AC Hits - Without The Rap). It will be interesting to see what happens to this station. I hope WPLJ Family Fun Night at Rye Playland continues forever.
Thank you for reading this.
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