Wildwood - Moreys and the Rest of the Story

Thursday, August 30, 2018 11:55 AM

I was not sure to list this as a trip report or a regular forum so I will combine everything and just tell you about my trip.

I love Wildwood.

To me it is a very special place. When I drive into the city limits and see the sign welcoming me to North Wildwood, I start to tear up. It's still here and it's still waiting for me and I have 3 1/2 days of total vacation immersion. The best part...it's all here! I can go on rides at home, fish at home, go to the pinball museum and waterparks near my home...but the driving back and forth and party boat schedules don't always mesh with my own schedule...and drivinghome tired after a long hot day, is not always fun.

Weather - Honestly...picture perfect New Jersey Summer weather for 4 days. No rain, no storms, no kidding.

Hotel - Sea-n-sun (1/2 block from boardwalk - very clean and caters to families) (and fishermen) (and me)

Traffic - Beat all briges and Garden State Parkway traffic going do. Hit a lot of it coming back up.

I left at 5 AM to head in on Thursday morning. Left Wildwood 9 AM to go back. (Going back took twice as long)

Moreys

Moreys has been the "Star of the show" over there for quite some time. Though spread out - they have a nice supply of rides, coasters and waterparks and they are well cared for. The rides are well lit and at night...the crowds assemble at all 3 piers in force.

Sea Serpent - It still packs a punch and you don't know exactly when you are going to drop forwards and backwards is intense. I rode with another single rider and we both enjoyed the expereince.

Nore-Easter - Lots of "head-choppers" courtesy of the water park steps and slides. Seats are tilted upwards somehow and I almost hit "the boys" getting in.

Great White - Underrated. Not as shaky as I remembered and the structure is impressive...especially at night.

The other rides are fine and there are lots of kiddie rides for the younger set.

Even though I didn't do it, I was blown away by the helicopter ride. Literally! Wow! So few parks have this and the prices for a five minute flight were not insane and the attraction was always busy. I just watched a landing and when the chopper returned to the pad...it turned and blew my hat off my head. WOW!

One thing that Moreys always had was a 'maze" and the one in place now was very funny. Some of it was easy to figure out and some of it was clever and funny. Definitely worth a walk-through.

While the piers were slammed crowded at night, the lines were deceptive. I had to wait about 15 min for the sea serpent and that is only because I wanted a front seat. The que now goes through a narrow channel to the station and you can view some of the inner workings of the attraction.

Some of Moreys...I still don't get. The art-box area is more like filler and there is a remote broadcasting studio for an adult contemporay radio station. This was roped off and the dj was not in there. This area is more like a "filler" and I think would be better served with more rides.

OCEAN OASIS WATER PARK

Morey's Ocean Oasis is perhaps my favorite waterpark.

First of all...if you get there when it opens...you can power tube all you want. There is an entrance and exit for the beach, a swim up bar, relaxing rope chairs in the shade that hang down a giant chess and checker set. It's like they planned it for both adults as well as children.

There are slides, a river, a children's play area, and an underrated activity pool with a gangway slide that lets people take the plunge together.

When you wait for the park to open, there is a lifeguard meeting that takes place and the guards play soccer with a watermelon to practice life-saving skills. It was also cool to see bicycle renters meandering on the pier as well as mechanics going through the checking of the non-water attractions.

One or should I say two of the best views were on the tube slide platforms. I could have zipped right down, but since it was just me, I spent about five minutes taking in the view....the ocean, with boadwalk, the beach, the sky. It was very satisfying and it made me very happy. When I did go down, my hat fall off mid ride and when I turned around, there is was scampering along after me. (Such fun!)

Morey's waterparks and piers are clean, well watched, safe and fun. They deserve the success that they have! (And they had shirts in larger sizes - win - win!)

BEACH

I spent so little time on the beach that I forget that it's a main attraction...and it's free.

BOARDWALK

I don't know how the tram car gets trrough the crowds at night...but it always finds a way. I love the tram car.

The shops are another story. Almost every block has a pizza place and two gift and beach shops with the same exact merchandise. Along with the family friendly shirts (Super heroes, Not standing for the anthem shirts, fort-night shirts are shorts with sayings such as.... "This a## is not going to spank itself." Not exactly family friendly, but I guess it works...more on that later.

If you look hard you will find the following:

A very cool sign shop with nautical decorations

An area for monster truck rides, sip lines and "Zorbs"

Ice drinks made with dry ice.

Most of it is just the same old same old.

FISHING

Skip this if you don't like fishing.

Lakeview Piers - caught a bunch of snapper blues, a sand shark (Which looked cool coming up and gave me a nice battle, some juvenile sea bass and a few crabs. I did very well.

ROYAL FLUSH BOAT

7 PM trip - Bottom fishing - a small sand shark, a few croakers, ten sea bass that were too small to keep. Beautiful sunset. On the way out the grounds something happened that I never saw on a party boat...

A group of guys fishing together must have pre-arranged with the office and captain to stop right next to a particular buoy to have a mini remembrance ceremony for one their friends / relatives who had recently passed. They all caught some fish near this buoy on another trip and they dropped flowers into the water and said a few words and toasted their comrade. Some of the guys were crying and it was very moving.

FOOD

Wawa is a good standby. Maui's dog house was fun and delicious. and of course...pizza on the boardwalk.

WILDWOOD IS CHANGING

It is hard to deny that my New Jersey Island of Paradise is changing. Hotels are frequently being bought up and condos are taking their place. If this continues to happen, the crowds will die down because there will be fewer and fewer places to stay. It's still easy to find a place...but some will rent to anyone in order to make a sale and a room for 2 could have 8 or more members of a party crowd. That's one of the reasons Wildwood hotels have a "trashy" reputation. They don't want it to be like Seaside Heights was. Seaside is realizing that more money can be made with families than with teens and they are trying to change some of that image.

Also...Wildwood is SO big, that its holes are starting to show. Even on the boardwalk, there are empty shops and for sale signs. Restaurants too are boarded up. You can't fill these places without tourists and you can't have tourists without hotels.

It will be interesting to see what happends to Wildwood in the next ten to twenty years. No area is immune to the economy and a week long stay in Wildwood for a family could end up costing close to what you pay for a foreign country.

CONVENTION CENTER

I also visited a sports card, toy and memorabilia show at the convention center. The building is nice, clean and located perfectly on the boardwalk.

POLICE

Earlier in the summer, there were some viral videos posted about an incident that happened with a woman and the Wildwood Police. The first video, released by the woman or her family did not show that the officers acted appropriately. A few days later when the police department released the entire video...it's clear (to me) that the officers did everything correctly, and only used force when needed.

I was pleased to see quite a few signs in the area from businesses that said something like "We thank and support our police."

I saw quite a few officers on the boardwalk and they were present, pleasant, helpful and professional. I wanted to buy a T-shirt to support their fund for a dog, but when I asked about it...it was already over.

I got into a conversation with one of the hotel staff. They told me there are mixed desires from the hotel owners. Some don't want the beach to be free - but only for the hotel guests and locals. Some want more family friendly merchadise in the shops. Some want Moreys to focus on family attractions and not thrill rides.

In any case the future of Wildwood will change and I hope it remains a very special place.

Thank you for reading this.

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Friday, September 21, 2018 3:14 PM

As a life-long Wildwood fan (so much that I co-authored a book with a friend), I absolutely love your trip report. You're right that it's changing- the condos having replaced many of the older motels has created a huge problem for the local businesses that depended on tourists, not "weekend" property owners that leave their places empty most of the summer.

As for the coasters, I love that my home park has two of the best off-the-shelf Vekomas, and a fantastic wood coaster that has been getting better and better in recent years. Too bad that the Flitzer is going away (the Jersey shore was once filled with classic Schwarzkopfs- and Anton had a hand in the creation of Zierer's Flitzer) but I'm hopeful it will be replaced by a much-needed new coaster.

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