Morey's Piers, Wildwood, New Jersey, USA
Good Evening Everyone!
I know there was a lot of attention for Wildwood this summer…started by LostKause’s report and video. I just came back from a 2–day visit and thought I would send up a few thoughts, observations and stories in a separate thread.
I am splitting this up into a few categories to make it easier to find what you want. Travel, Rides, Waterpark(s), Boardwalk, Hotel, Fishing so you can read what you want to and then disregard the rest of the nonsense.
August 20 - Weather Day 1 – Picture perfect day and night
August 21 - Weather Day 2 – Started sunny…got cloudy and late at night a huge series of thunder storms and heavy rain starting on or close to midnight. (Block lost power for a while)
August 22 – Went home first thing in the morning after checkout and breakfast.
Part 1 - Travel from Long Island
Limited time to spend and a delayed “take off time” necessitated that I would not take a leisurely trot down Route 9 and use the “Follow the Flight of the Gulls” scenic route. I was going to get on the parkway after Outerbridge Crossing and steam south.
The belt parkway was slammed near Kennedy airport and the Staten Island Expressway was no bargain either. Will construction on that road ever be finished? Once I got on the Garden State parkway…I was angry with the condition of the rest rooms. This is not something that Governor Christie should be proud of – (whether you agree with his politics or not) as his grinning photo is prominently displayed at each facility. They are noisy, dirty and non-welcoming. Yes there is the usual assortment of overpriced snacks, fast food eateries and vending machines and a few places to pick out brochures. (Some even had a sponsored backdrop for Moreys). Clean them, fix them and make the re-entry to the parkway easier to follow.
On the way to Cape May (An Al Albert reference) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsfeEvZcTjM
there was two areas of heavy construction. Nothing too bad…but noticeable. Going home was better for some reason.
Part 2 – Rides
I was staying at a Morey’s property (The Starlux) which entitled me to discount amusements. They gave me a voucher for $45 which was good for one day. That would have included the waterparks and the piers. It saved a few bucks from the regular price.
The piers once lit up are spectacular and are the focal points of the summer boardwalk. In front of the piers are the most crowded areas...but that is to be expected.
In no order:
Moreys is not very conducive to single riders. The Ferris Wheel, Flume, Sea Gull Bikes and Floating Ships are out unless you can pair up with others. Playing tag-along wasn’t always easy…but I did it.
Great White – This ride was faster than I remember and I expected it to be rough, but it was very shaky and uncomfortable. It needs some new tracking, though I’m sure the salt-water air it sits in isn’t helpful for the wood. Despite the piers being crowded…there were not too many long lines and this one surprised me. I waited 1 cycle for a third row seat. The ride looks beautiful…but it was a hard run. By the way, most of the longer lines were for family type things and kiddie rides.
Nor’easter – I had concerns about this ride due to an unusually shaped restraint system and my size, but after a mini-adventure…I heard the much prayed for “click.” The adventure was interesting…well at least to me. There is a deal I had never seen before with the lockers near the Nor’easter due to their rule about taking nothing with you on the ride. The deal is that you put your stuff in the locker using a credit card. The first 20 minutes are free and if you exit the locker before 20 minutes…there is no charge. Otherwise it is 10 bucks for the day and you can use it as much as you want. So I go up and put my cell phone in the locker. I enter my pass number and walk back to the line entrance…which was very short. Then they can you with the metal detector. “BEEP!” There was some change in my pocket. No good. Back to the locker. Enter the code. Cancel the cell. Start again with another locker. Enter the code. Go back to the line. Metal detector… “BEEP” Oh Junk! I forgot to check pocket number 2 which had more change. Back to the locker. Exit the sale. Get new locker. Finally I get back and am able to get passed the guards. I waited 2 cycles for the front seat. Will it click? YES!
The ride itself was again, faster than I remembered, which was good, but there was a huge amount of shaking and banging to the point again that it wasn’t too enjoyable. At least I fit, but getting out of the seat was awkward. As impressive as it looked, I didn’t enjoy it.
Zoom Flume – Great ride. I loved the theme under the pier. For some reason I had to ride with another guy and his kid. Before that, they wanted a kid to sit in front of me in the same section and I told them that it would be inappropriate. You get a little wet, though not soaked and you can see how they placed the rest of the rides around this due to its size, scope and importance. On the second hill I found myself hitting the guy in front of me with my knees. All was forgiven.
Rock and Roll – Great lights, nice speed, forward and backwards cycle. The spiel was prerecorded though…”If you want to go faster, make some noise.” It’s always better live. Also, Wildwood tries to use the doo-wop theme and this ride fits the image perfectly, but the music was Rhianna and catered to the current top-40 crowd.
Bumper Cars – Nice, but too many cars on a small track. This caused several tie ups and by the time they were unclogged, the ride was over. There was a kid going the wrong way purposely and the ride op kept saying “One way green car one way.” There is always someone doing that.
Wave Swinger – Kick off your sandals and enjoy classic riding perfection.
Ferris Wheel – WOW!!!! What a great lighting program. Pure Bliss. Eye Candy! There were a few light cells that were “stuck” which made it a 9.5 instead of a 10 – but I’m a perfectionist about some things.
Maze – It had been a long day of driving and fishing and walking the boards, but I love a good maze and I was not going to over-analyze things. Just trial and error. At one point the maze had two levels including two stair cases…but I messed up and exited the chicken exit. Fun though embarrassing.
Radio Station – I am a radio geek and a full booth was dedicated to live remotes from one local radio station. I was able to meet the D.J. and talk shop. It is always special to see live and local radio. Most people had no idea what it was or what the guy was doing in there. He said that Morey’s got the idea for it when someone saw it at another park. (Probably Radio Disney) By the way…just try to do your job in a glass booth surrounded by everyone. It’s hard being a tourist attraction. To do it better, they should just have someone do it closed circuit at the pier and take requests and work the crowd. If you do it closed circuit you wouldn’t have to deal with the FCC, just music liscensing.
I am not a fan and a non-participant of upcharge attractions. There seemed to be too many of them. Or maybe they were just concentrated on one pier. It would have been nice if some of the older rides were still there: Condor, shunkler, Canyon Trip, Jumbo Jet. I know it’s not cool to pine away for rides that are no longer there…it’s just that there seemed to be less mid – level rides.
The kiddie area was packed. The bathrooms were clean.
PART 3 – Water Parks
I only did Ocean Oasis and it was very different from any other water park I have visited. First…the water was warm. Second, not too crowded. Third, no waterpark shoes.
Slides – You grab a tube or mat. You climb up. You slide down. It’s fun. Reasonable lines. One slide that was a little unusual was a shallow-and wide one into a pool. Being wide you can slide with a friend or two. Short but very sweet...and the steps are like mini-fountains.
River – Not long but very relaxing. Tubes come around and you grab one. I got a double. AHHHhhh.
Ouch! – I got a splinter. The locker lady gave me a sterile metal thing with a point on it to pry it out. I returned it to her, but she told me to throw it away. She didn’t want the splinter either.
Then I found it…Adult city. An area with hammocks, gently swinging hanging chairs, (For relaxing not death row) and a hot tub with a swim up bar. Even though I was already sent an AARP card, they needed me to get a wristband to enter the pool. I ordered a soda (I don’t drink) climbed into the tub and relaxed like I haven’t done in a year or two. A guy was setting up to play live music. There were 3 other people in the entire pool and that was fine with me. There was also a lifeguard, another guy in a Hawaiian shirt, a bartender and a few wait staff members taking orders from tables across the way.
I have never seen such a place and I was totally relaxed and took a siesta. ZZZZZzzzzzz.
PART 4 – Boardwalk & Beach
The Wildwood boardwalk is spectacular and greater than the sum of its parts. All of the shops have very similar merchandise and several places are “duplicates” if not in name – in the crappy shirts that they sell. Every few stores has a pizza place, hermit crabs, pails and shovels, a few arcades. Fun but repetitive. The tramcar is fun and they run more frequently during the evening hours. All bike must leave the boardwalk by 11 AM.
There were a few exceptions:
1) A parade of a string / jazz band was making its way down the throngs of tourists.
2) In the mall there is a place where classic pinball and arcade games are found. It was rare and wonderful to look at.
3) Bathrooms were surprisingly clean.
Nothing was going on at the convention center.
One thing that did bum me out was that there was a store selling “toy tram cars.” There was a sign saying it was the only place on the boardwalk that had it. Later on I saw another place with them and I told them about the first place. They laughed. I just don’t like being lied to.
The beach at Wildwood is a sick joke. If you leave the boardwalk at 8 AM and walk east. You should get to the shoreline by 10:30. It’s HUGE. There is an “extended section of boards near the big Wildwood Sign, but it’s deceptive. When you get to the end of it…you still have a long way to go to hit the water. There was a small bar / restaurant shack at the end of it…but there’s more sand to go. A lot more.
The water was warmer than long island beaches and current was hitting a little, but certainly not pounding.
Part – 5 Hotel
I stayed at the Starlux, which is one of the Morey properties. It was nice and clean and I saved money by taking a cottage room instead of a regular room. (It was all they had left.) The cottages were around the back and the hotel was a block away from the Wildwood Sign. To be fair, I booked it on one day’s notice.
All of the hotels in Wildwood seem larger on the websites and in the brochures. The pools especially look much smaller when you get there. The pool and hot tub were nice, clean, warm and comfortable.
The lady at the desk was serious…but very professional. Not overly welcoming, but took care of everything that I needed. Parking was on-site but tough.
Part – 6 Fishing
If you are still reading this, you need to get a life!
The purpose of this trip was to go on rides, hit some slides and fish. Any time I can combine my hobbies, it’s all good.
Check in at the hotel was at 4 PM and I got to Wildwood by 2. I stopped at a place that has a pier and bait and jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, swan boats, motor boats and other assorted floating nonsense.
The pier was not too long. It had benches and not railing. This made it easier to fish and to fall off. Fishing was lock and load snappers. Snappers are baby bluefish and they all weighed in at about 4 ounces. It’s fun watching them tear up the bait. Then I remove their parasites if they have any and return them in better condition. When I hit 40 I stopped counting.
The next day I took a boat “The Royal Flush” from a dock that was about six or seven blocks away from my hotel. We left at 7 PM. First (Of course) I caught some more snappers from the boat which would later be used as bait.
To make a long story short, there were very few fish caught on the boat. I got 6, two small sea bass that were released and two small bluefish. One was the pool fish and I walked off the boat with some nice change. On the way back there was lightning over the water and storm was on it's way. It was beautiful and scary at the same time.
PART SEVEN - FOOD
Wildwood’s food isn’t great on the boardwalk. People have their favorites, and I get that, but the food was just ok.
For breakfast I ate at the buffet on Oak Avenue. It was reasonable, they had all the usual things and it was good not great.
Wawa near the docks had a cool light in the front and a decent tuna sandwich.
If you look at Yelp there are two pizza places that have the highest ratings and the most loyal followings. Sam’s and Macks (And I also had 3 Brothers from Italy). I tried one slice from each. They all were below standard for pizza that you would get from Brooklyn and Long Island. Sam’s had something that really pissed me off. IT was a countdown clock till Labor Day. It might have been there for the workers, but I don’t want to see Labor Day –meaning another vacation is over. In the words of Talking Football, “NO GOOOOOD!”
All in all I had a great 2 days.
Thanks for reading this. Especially if you made it all the way through.Last edited by Richie Reflux, Sunday, August 24, 2014 9:50 PM
I DID make it all the way through. Maybe I do need to get a life, as you so charmingly put it. I haven't been to Wildwood in at least 5 years. I gotta get back.
I read the whole thing and now I'm going to be late for work. lol
Great TR. It added a lot of info that mine lacked. I find the boardwalk fascinating. Thanks for the shout-out, but you got my name wrong. I forgive you. :)
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