Welcome to Fantasy Island 6/28

Associated parks:

Had a chance to stop for the first time at Long Beach Island, NJ. Great surf town. Home to the original Ron Jon.

Hit the beach for about 2 hours. Good waves, but water was too darn cold. Free parking everywhere.

Visited Thunder Surf waterpark. More free parking. They only have a 3 hr rate. I arrived about 3, and the park was almost empty. They have 1 tower with 6 slides, 5 for adults, and all kick butt. 8/10.

Then they have this crazy-lazy river. Its a small course, but they have 2 openings that 'waves' come out and the pace really pics up. 7/10. They also have a treehouse, a large sundeck, and several snack bars.

Adjacent is mini golf, and it is also heavily themed. I didn't partake, but many people did.

Next door. is Fantasy Island Park. Very well kept, and Victorian themed. The arcade has tiffany lamps, and looks like an old school downtown Vegas casino, with the patterned carpet and soft lights. Many cranes, and many winners.

I rode the Dragon Coaster to get the credit, and they have a good selection of mixed rides. They have about 1 employee for avery 12 square foot. Visible security, and both owners were out on the midway, which also have 3 large f/b stands, a great game lineup, and on outdoor theatre. 8/10. Familes should stop here for a break.

2 blocks north you will find many outdoor eateries, large fishing boats on display, and a huge mix of shops with baked goods, toys, frozen drinks, good seafood, sundries, and nautical treasures. Kudos to Cafe 14. I will stop again.

Warning, unless you go during the only p.o.p. offered during friday afternoons, bring a blank check or credit card with no limit. It's the only park on that extremely long island packed with families, so they have no problem raking in the dough despite exhorbitant ride prices - imagine spending about five bucks per kid for each ride and how quickly that will add up if you've got multiple kids or ones who like re-rides. This place use to be Hartman's amusement park many years ago.
Of course if you know the owners, you don't pay. The token system is a great way to keep cash off the midway, yet also avoid the costs of tickets.

When you are the only game in town, you call the shots.

Many parks near beaches charge very high prices for individual rides knowing that many people will pay it anyway. If POP is offered, it is usually the best value if you plan to do a lot of riding but sometimes this is not available at the most popular times.

It must also be remembered that real estate prices and condo building have led to the closure of many of these parks such as Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Miracle Strip, and Lake Pontchartrain. The future of parks like Astroland and Trimpers remain very much in doubt. On the other hand, Kemah's in Texas is welcome as a newer park of this type, especially with the coaster that was added last year.

Two parks of this type that appear to be safe from condo pressure are Rye Playland and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Rye is municipally owned and SCBB appears to be protected by the zoning in the area.. *** Edited 7/8/2008 9:21:50 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

Arthur Bahl

^The latter are a lot safer than you realize - at least these 'blue' coast states have some foresight in ensuring these things aren't messed with:

Santa Cruz Dipper and the Looff Carousel, which still contains its original 342-pipe organ built in 1894, are both on the United States National Register of Historic Places and were, together, declared to be a National Historic Landmark. In addition, the park itself is a California State Historic Landmark.

Rye Playland was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987

Crazy liberal states! Why would they block some investor or land owner from progressive capitalism who could rake in the profits from a nice commercial or residential development ?!?!?

Wish the other seaside classic parks you've referenced above in those sometimes 'red' states could have met better fates. Ohio should have taken measures to preserve their lakefront Geauga Lake park and they should protect the remaining historic strutures and rides within Cedar Point from it's own corporate owner !!!

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