TR: Rye Playland 7-6-05

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 1:02 PM
Rye Playland, 7/6/05

What was supposed to be a larger group visit turned into a rather intimate park trip with just myself and Ed ‘Chillforce’ McInerny. Despite it’s closeness, I only seem to make it to Rye once a year and as usual I took Metro North up from the city. The weather was extremely sticky and the reports had indicated the possibility of a storm or two, but nothing that would wash out the evening. I arrived at Playland a little after 5 to a very empty park – there might have been 500 people there including employees. I opted for the new-this-year $35 wristband option rather than the points card (more on these new options later).

I wandered the park some and took a quick spin on the Ferris Wheel, Auto Skooters, and the Whip before the skies opened up and rained for about half an hour. The rain cleared out the entire place, and when it stopped Playland was a ghost town. I jumped on the Dragon coaster in hope that the rain and wet tracks might give a slightly improved ride – slightly was the key word. Still a fun ride – BUT I HATE MORGAN TRAINS!

Very shortly after that, Ed arrived and I stowed away a few items in his car and it was time to ride. Ed had not been to Rye in several years, so he had not been on any of the redone dark rides, the Family Flyer, or SuperFlight (Zamperla Volare).

Rather than relive the entire evening here’s a basic breakdown of the rides:

The Whip (5 rides): I insisted we start with the Whip. Rye’s Whip is hands-down the best run Whip in the country. It’s run at the right speed, it has TONS of action on the straight-aways – it’s a really solid and fun ride. We took four nice long rides, and we found that we got much more action if we rode solo (cars 10,11, & 12 produce the most action btw).

Zombie Castle and Witch’s Flight were in great shape and almost all the stunts were working. The Old Mill was still great, but there were many non-operational stunts – in particular the storm tunnel lacked any mist, which makes it fairly ineffective.

Volare: UGH

Derby Racer: Back and forth mechanism is NOT working and the ride ops were under the impression that was no plans on getting it working again. Still a great fast ride, but it doesn’t seem complete without the racing. I strongly recommend that anyone who cares, write a letter to Rye in regards to this – letter writing works!

Carousel – I’d never actually ridden it before and it’s a beautiful machine. The band organ is particularly nice as well. I rode it right after the Derby Racer so the change in speed really threw me and it made me miss the B&B all the more (*sigh*).

Auto-Skooter – While still great fun, I really felt the difference with the new fiberglass bodied cars on this visit. It’s probably the largest Skooter pavilion out there with more than enough cars. My second ride, there were only 7 of us riding and the floor was littered with empty cars which was a first for me. Still better than any neutered theme park cars though.

Double Shot – still good, but I’ve yet to ride any that tops the one at Indiana Beach.

Crazy Mouse (Zamperla Zig Zag coaster) is easily the best coaster in the park and is run completely unbraked. I only took one spin, but Ed took two.

The only things I didn’t get to ride were the log flume (just not the right night) and the Twister (Moser Maverick 21), which was DDM. We also rode the Family Flier, the House of Mirrors, and Ed took a quick ride on the Skyskater. The fireworks display (every Wed and Fri at 9:15 in July & August) is a really nice bonus attraction.

Rye is still a beautiful park and in relatively good condition, but with the ongoing fighting within the county government over the park and money – it’s hard to say which way the park is heading. The operations were stellar, but there was absolutely no one there, so it’s hard to compare to a busy day – I do have to say that all my interactions with employees and in particular ride-ops was way above par. In regards to the new fun pass and wristband options – they seem to work very well. You can either buy a wrist band for $35 which gives you unlimited rides for 6 hours or you can buy a fun pass (like a credit card) with either 24 ($20) or 36 ($28) points (rides range from 2-4 points each) – there are kiosks through the park where you can refill the fun pass with more points if you want – and the cards are good all year. When you enter a ride queue – you simply scan your wristband or card and it then lets you through the turnstile. The only place I’ve seen cards used before is in Ocean City, MD – and there it’s an unmitigated disaster, but it seems to be working quite well for Rye. I used a total of 63 points – so I definitely got my money’s worth. Thanks for reading…AndLong Live the Saturn 6and B&B Carousell! Jim ‘jimvid’ McDonnell

PS - I've posted what pix that came out here:

http://jimvid.smugmug.com/gallery/642988 *** Edited 7/7/2005 5:04:33 PM UTC by jimvid***

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 1:17 PM
Nice TR Jim. I'm really looking forward to visting the park for the first time later this summer. I've been holding out for an announcment of an ACE event this year but haven't heard anything yet. By the way, what park in Ocean City uses (or used) a similar style card?
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Thursday, July 7, 2005 1:40 PM
Jolly Roger and Pier Rides (both owned by the same parent company) use fun cards. I'll check with Colleen Whyte to see if she plans on doing an event at Rye this year.

Best,

Jim

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 2:27 PM
Excellent trip report!

I really am looking forward to some whip action, possibly a trip might be in store for today. :) It's a shame that the derby racer isn't operating in its full glory, let's hope that it gets fixed.
"Volare: UGH" is right. It's hardly an enjoyable experience in my opinion.

*Still wishing for an aeroplane recreation some day*

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 3:31 PM
Nice TR, Jim! Sad to hear the park isn't keeping up the effects in the Old Mill after spending so much money to renovate it.
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Thursday, July 7, 2005 5:09 PM
Buy a Volare, and let the Old Mill and Derby Racer fall into disrepair? Hmmmm....

Glad you guys had a good time...:)

"Twister (Moser Maverick 21), which was DDM"
Down Due to McInerney? ;)

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Thursday, July 7, 2005 10:59 PM

rollergator said:
Buy a Volare, and let the Old Mill and Derby Racer fall into disrepair? Hmmmm....

Glad you guys had a good time...:)

"Twister (Moser Maverick 21), which was DDM"
Down Due to McInerney? ;)


That is completely wrong Bill. It really was maintenance not any other reason :)

It was a totally fun night for sure. Always fun to spend the evening on Long Island Sound.

Ed

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Friday, July 8, 2005 1:52 PM
I'm really sorry I wasn't able to make it guys. Darn clients wanting attention! Oh well, sounds like you had a great time and I'm happy for that.

The situation with the park always confuses me. It seems that Westchester County does nothing but complain about how much money the park loses on a yearly basis but they seem to add new rides at short intervals (this is the first year in a long while there are no new rides, right?). I don't get it- who cares if the park loses money? All publicly-owned parks lose money. At least the people of Westchester County have an amusement park that makes SOME money and provides so much entertainment in the process. But I digress...

I'll have to write a letter about the Derby Racer. I was at the park last year- once the machine was running full-tilt and the horses were racing. The next time, the machine was running slow and the horses weren't racing. What gives? Is it possible that the horses don't race unless the machine spins at a certain speed? I'd also love to see the Morgan trains melted into souvenier cups but I don't see that happening any time soon.

And yeah, the mouse rocks! Definitely one of the country's best non-spinning mouse rides. Unbraked and totally psychotic!

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