TR: Wildwood & Ocean City 5/21 & 5/22 (and some potentially great Wildwood news on 5/23)

Associated parks:
None

Monday, May 24, 2004 3:54 PM
Greetings All,


I had the joy of discovering Wildwood on 2 visits last year and absolutely fell in love with the place. This past weekend I finally got to share Wildwood with Dave and Martha. We left NYC around 1pm with warm and hazy skies - the weather channel had predicted a sunny day with blue skies for Wildwood so we hoped for the best. Traffic was very light and everything was going well until we got a little south of Atlantic city when the skies opened up into a terrential downpour that didn't let up until we pulled up to our hotel (The Royal Canadian Resort Motel).

After checking in and getting refreshed we headed over to the boardwalk to check things out. The piers didn't open until 6pm and we were to hook up with our friend Rob at the Wild Wheels pier at 6. The boardwalk was slowing waking up after the rain storm and the sun had come out. We could see rides testing on Mariners Landing and Morey's Pier - we walked the entire length of the boardwalk and waited in front of the Wild Wheels pier until Rob showed up a
little after 6. Despite their website advertising all three piers open - things were not looking good for Wild Wheels and hopes of getting on Great White tonight were fading fast.

We walked up to Morey's piers to start off with the Zoom Phloom - I was truely hoping that Dante's Inferno's rehab would be finished by now, but alas it was not to be. They have the facade and building back together, but it looks like they have a lot of interior work to finish. The Flitzer was testing empty cars, but not allowing riders. We walked up to the loading entrance of Zoom Phloom and boarded immediately. Zoom Phloom is definitely one of my favorite flume rides out their - the drops are two of the best on any flume I can think of and I really like how the pacing differs in different sections, not to mention the whole under-the-pier section (the
theming for this was not operational yet this year). After getting considerably wet, we headed to the Great Nor'Easter which had just opened - I personally really like this SLC and consider it my favorite. I find it rougher in the front than in the back, but I also find the intensity to be greater than on other SLCs (it's probably just me). We did two spins - front and back - walked over to the dormant RC-48 (which also did not look ready to run yet) and headed down to Mariner's Pier for Rollies Coaster (Zyklon with OSTRs - enough said) and the Sea Serpent. I've ridden this
before (along with enough other Boomerangs), but it was offering incredibly powerful rides that night and once was more than enough - we all agreed that
it was definitely one of the most powerful boomerang rides we'd ever had. Again, I was foiled again with another dark ride, as Lost River was not ready to go this year either; although, it looked to be much further along than Dantes (just another reason to go back).

At this point it was beginning to get dark and a truely strange phenomenom began to occur - Wildwood became engulfed in fog - not a little fog - A LOT OF FOG - to the point that you really could only see about 50 feet in front of you - it would stay this way for the rest of the evening. Also, the tram cars were out finally - and Dave and Martha were completely
bewildered by that as I had not told them about it. We headed down to Flippers Fascination for the first time of the evening.

There are two fascination parlours at Wildwood - Olympic Casino (in North Wildwood near Morey's Pier) which is very similar to Knoebel's set up although their playing boards look distinctly older probably from the late 40's or early 50's and Flippers Fascination which is just south of Wild Wheels pier which is currently using the old Dorney Park machines (although jerry-rigged to the hilt by the owner). Flippers Fascination is run by "Mr. Fascination" Randy Senna and for any of you who love Fascination - this
parlour really is the be-all and end-all of Fascination. Randy evidently used to be a WDW technician who grew up on the Jersey Shore - he ran Flippers at Seaside Heights for a number of years until moving to Wildwood at some point in the early 90's. According to Randy, he has hundreds of machines (among many other amusement park items) in storage. Flippers is decked out with sound effects, disco balls, lighting effects, chimes, bubble machines, disco lights, etc - Randy uses a headset mike which he acts as MC of ceremonies of the games switching the mic off and on while he has personal conversations with patrons. He serenades the crowd with the theme song to Flipper when someone wins the blue line. It's a really juggling act at which he is very skilled. We spent plenty of money and time at Flippers in our two days. Randy's mom worked with him on Saturday night who was a real hoot - and a true match for Dave! Enough about Fascination, but if you have the time and the cash definitely check this place out.

Back to our evening, we wolfed down some food at Jumbos on the boardwalk (had some EXCELLENT Fried clams), walked around some more, took a couple
more spins on the Great Nor'Easter, played a few more fascination games, and bid goodbye to Rob. We went back to our hotel room and got a good 40 winks and prayed for better weather the next day.

Saturday - the weather was beautiful - warm, sunny, low-humidity. We walked around Wildwood in the morning and got in a good game of minature golf at Hawaiian pancake house in North Wildwood (which is a very difficult course with lots of water traps - Dave of course won). We then jumped in the car and headed north to Ocean City. We arrived around 12:30 and the place was already hopping with the exception of the two amusement parks which weren't too open till 1. We played mini-golf at the course next to Gillians (which was quite good, and of course Dave won (again)). Gillians was having a slow opening and it was uncertain if the Citi-Jet would open anytime soon so we headed down to Castaway Cove/Playland (Dave and I already had the CitiJet credit). Playland has 4 coasters - a flitzer, a Miler
Mouse, a Pinfari looper, and a kiddie miler - alas only the Flitzer and Pinfari were to be as they didn't have enough staff to run the mouse. While I was really happy to get the two credits - it's the mouse I really want to get on (especially as it is rumoured to be it's last year). If I remember reading correctly - it's a unique Miler design with a helix finale - it looks wonderfully evil. I'll definitely be back to Ocean City before the year is out - they have some really cool mini-golf courses near Playland as well.

We got back to Wildwood around three and freshened up at the hotel and headed back to the piers - thanfully there was definitely signs of life at
Wild Wheels today (although not quite open) so we played Fascination a few more times before seeing Great White running and headed over. Great White
was running moderately well at opening - not as good as my visit in August but much better than my visit in June. We knocked out the mouse (Doo Wopper) and let Dave drool at the upcharge sling shot ride for a little. We spent most of the day meandering between the three piers riding, eating, and observing.
We did get one dark ride credit - the insanely weak Jersey Junkyard and we also got into the Curse of the Mummy in 3D walkthrough (which I really love). We finished the night off at Great White which had improved greatly in the course of 4-5 hours - while it'll never be my favorite CCI - it's definitely a good coaster and has some great elements.

All in all a great visit to Wildwood and I can't wait to go back as soon as possible. I got home early Sunday afternoon and was surfing online briefly
and stopped at one of my favorite Wildwood sites (Anthony's Wildwood Site - www.mrboardwalk.net) - Firstly, this is a great site for Wildwood history,
but it was the top news story that caught my attention - apparently the Golden Nugget is to be saved and moved to Mariners Pier for next year. I
truely hope that this news is correct in this said year of parks/attractions in trouble.

Hope you enjoyed!


Jim 'jimvid' McDonnell *** Edited 5/24/2004 7:55:48 PM UTC by jimvid***

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Monday, May 24, 2004 4:31 PM
Glad you had a great time. Wildwood is the place to be.
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Monday, May 24, 2004 6:04 PM
AJ - I thought Green Acres was the place to be? Farm living is the life for me! Land spreadin' out so far and wide...keep Manhattan just give me that countryside!

Great...now I'll have the song stuck in my head all day.

Anyway, yes...great TR, Jim! The only thing that would have made it better is if you'd said "Dave, Martha, and Moosh" and it were true ;)

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Monday, May 24, 2004 7:26 PM
That show was on way too much this weekend.
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Monday, May 24, 2004 8:21 PM
Hey AJ, I didn't read anything about Dippin' Dots!
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