Last week I flew into Fort Lauderdale to visit my brother and to my surprise I passed along side the freeway a decently sized wooden roller coaster just minutes from the airport, very close to where my brother lives. Prior to this trip I had no knowledge of its existence. I guess it's called the Dania Beach Hurricane. I didn't really have the time to ride this, but I'll be going back again this winter to test its waters. It's placed at a Fun Center which also has mini-golf, a few go-kart tracks, and a couple of other rides. I guess on Tuesdays and Thursdays they have an "all-day ride and play" pass for only $12, not bad at all for a park like this. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else on this board has ridden this woodie, it looked like a fun one, but I know with woodies that looks can sometimes be deceiving-i.e. Mean Streak, Psyclone at SFMM, etc. Also I think a major chain needs to look at this area at building a park, It's a very populated area (running from Miami up to Palm Beach) and the weather would permit the park to be open year round. The closest competition would be the parks in Orlando more than 200 miles away or Busch Gardens in Tampa, which is also 200+ miles away.
It's a great little coaster. I rode it at least twenty times in the few hours I visited there before a cruise. Some good pops of airtime, some decent visuals, and a fairly smooth ride. Ride operations could be described as...casual...really casual.
You'll find threads here about the lack of a South Florida theme park. The last amusement park in the area -- oddly enough, located just a couple of blocks South of where Hurricane rests -- closed about 30 years ago (Pirate World). And the land that Pirate World rested on eventually housed the Six Flags Atlantis waterpark until that too closed about 15 years ago.
But, yes, the area is dying for a park. The demographics of the area are skewing younger (it's not longer just the retiree hotbed aka God's waiting room).
That MAY change sooner rather than later, though. In Tuesday's election there is an item on the ballot that will transform land adjacent to Miami Metrozoo into what will at first be a waterpark, FEC, and a hotel -- but an actual amusement park a couple of years after that.
But, yep, the Dania Beach Hurriance is a local treasure -- and the beauty is that it's a walk-on experience all week long save for weekend nights.
^Agreed. DBH is one of the best woodies I have ridden. It is worth a stop and $10 buys you unlimited rides all day.
But, if the Metrozoo waterpark/park concept fails then I doubt we will see a park in South Florida. Land is too expensive. There has been a lot of ideas that have come and gone. Wayne's World (Wayne Huzienga of the Dolphins) had some tentative plans to build a ballpark/amusement park that fell through years ago. He did get as far as building a great FEC but that land was sold 5+ years ago and they are finally building an IKEA in its place.
Some of the county parks here have built nice waterparks in recent years but it might be long...if ever...until we some more coasters.
But, if you are in the area, check out the Hurricane.
The FEC you're referring to, is that the one right off of 84, with batting cages, mini-golf, etc? That would have been a cool place for a smallish-type park 20-some years ago when I lived there....but obviously land prices in that vicinity are *prohibitive* at this point...
rollergator...that is the one. It was Blockbuster Golf and Games. (Named so because Wayne owned Blockbuster Video at the time.) When Blockbuster was sold to Viacom the FEC closed. It sat dormant for many years but land is being cleared right now to make way for a plaza that IKEA will anchor.
He had some options on land in western Miramar when he wanted to build the new baseball stadium and theme park. Miramar and the County objected to the idea.
Wow, with all of the good reviews of this coaster , I now regret not making the extra effort to ride it when I was down there. It looks like I'll have to go down there sooner than planned. Even though I hate 4-5 hour flights, I'll be able to manage due to the winter blues and lack of coaster riding that the next few months have in store for me.