One of the great coasters of the past was the Airplane Coaster at Rye Playland. This coaster operated from 1928 until 1957 and was the signature attraction in the park.
Two years ago, a master plan for the park's future was drawn up that includes plans to rebuild this famous coaster. Does anyone here know the current status of the plans? How would you feel about the return of this coaster?
The one thing Rye Playland is missing is a serious kick-butt coaster. Dragon is a beautiful and historic coaster, despite its size, it is definately more of a family ride, which was the intention. If they built a new coaster. I'd like to be on or close to the original site of the orignal Aeroplane coaster. It would complete the symmetry and original look of the park. Right now, that spot is occupied by the Zamperla flyer I believe.
If that is the case the whole kiddie rides section is on the plot of land too. I seriously doubt that the Airplane was that small that it would have fit where the flyer is now.
EDIT: Here is a "postcard" on the net of the Airplane at Rye. It might have fit in the whole entire space that contains the parts of the train ride behind the Derby Racer carousel, in the area of the flyer, and that whole seating area in front of the flyer, and the flat ride that is in that area. Guess I was wrong.
I love the look of the Rye Playland Aeroplane coaster that I felt compelled to create a variation of it in No Limits. The sprial drops look amazing and I hope that we see something along the lines of that ride rebuilt.
This may be my own opinion but I find it funny that the more classic wooden coasters that aren't the fastest or longest ride is starting to become the crowd's favorite.
The Aeroplane somehow fit in the narrow strip alongside and behind the Derby Racer and the kiddy section. Some of the kiddy rides might be in the way but most of kiddyland is bordered by the kiddy coaster which is original to the park (along with the Airplane, and the Derby Racer).
^^ Ah, I didn't realize the kiddie-coaster was original to the park. I'm not seeing it in that picture, and it seems like it should be right there. My geography of the park seems to be all screwed up because, in the picture, what appears to be the Derby Racer is about where I'd expect the Kiddie Coaster to be. Or maybe I'm crazy... :)
Definitely after looking at that aerial shot the only rides that would be affected are Superflight, Power Surge, and the miniature train. It would be relatively easy to move Power Surge and Superflight to other locations in the park. The train ride might be able to squeeze underneath the structure of the Airplane if it were there today.
Thanks for that link beast7369. I see where Playland has had a master plan for restoration created by Bullock Smith out of Knoxville, TN. I did a web search on that firm because I wasn't sure I'd ever heard of them and found out this:
Rebuilding a historic coaster from the past would certainly be a good thing for a park that is designated a National Historic Landmark.
Not only was Aeroplane Coaster thrilling but its structure and appearance was distinctive with its towering circular section. This was truly a part of Rye Playland's identity and something was really lost when it was torn down during the 1950s. *** Edited 7/19/2006 3:17:15 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***
I've been hearing rumors of this for years. I'm hoping it will eventually happen but for now, I'm not holding my breath. According to the local government that owns the park, it loses money (although what local "park" of any kind doesn't lose money?) and I think they are more focused on replacing older rides with newer rides of a similar nature. It seems like a good plan, especially because the park has a good mix of many types of rides.
The one thing Playland lacks is an intense wood coaster. I'd love to see GCII get the chance to rebuild the Aeroplane (or something inspired by it), and maybe they'd be willing to sell the park two sets of Millennium Flyers for the Dragon Coaster while they're at it! But I think a long out-and-back, either in the back corner of the park by the log flume or along the back of the parking lot, would work too.
You have to look at it this way. Rye's main competition is SFNE and LC. SFNE has a number of exciting coasters and LC has Boulder Dash. Family friendly parks often have major wooden coasters (look at KW, HP, and HW). Aeroplane might help draw some people that would otherwise consider going to the competing parks instead.
As for pricing and revenue, Rye suffers from low per-caps. Not enough money is spent on things other than rides. Also this is a free gate park so many visits tend to be relatively short. Rye should offer an all-day pass because this would keep people in the park longer and they would be more likely to spend some money on food, games, etc. With the 6 hour system ($35) all you want to do is to get your rides in before your pass expires. If you stop for a meal, that is riding time lost. *** Edited 7/19/2006 2:03:50 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***
That is a good point. I think Playland is trying to come up with a way to satisfy people that want a POP option but doesn't want to let go of all the money they made from ticket sales. As much as I always wanted a POP plan at the park, I also feared one because I figured it would lead to longer lines. With ride tickets so expensive in the past, that kept lines to a minimum, even on busy days.
Pay-per-ride doesn't have to be expensive. Look at Knoebels, another park that is comparable to Rye in size and has a free gate. Of course, if you are going to take the time to get to this out-of-the-way park, you are likely to stay for a while which is good for the per-caps.
I like Rye Playland, but I've honestly never spent a whole day there. Its a great place to spend an evening, but its possible to do all the rides in a pretty short amount of time--so I can see how retaining guests for a longer stretch of time (if that is their goal) is a problem.
Then again, that could also be the park's greatest strength--its a pretty convenient location and its a fun place to go spend an evening. Go on a Fri/Sat night, particularly, and the place is crawling with teenagers. The free-admission is a draw for them to come hang out, but they might actually get the kids to ride MORE rides if they dipped the ride rates a bit. Just a thought. Granted, I have no mind for business, so who knows! ;)