Monday - July 17
Near 100 during the day still high 80 to low 90's at night.
The gates are suppsed to open at 5 the rides start at 6. I get there at 3:30. A bunch of station interns are helping ot set up and place WPLJ blow-up items throughout the park. There's a beachball that is about ten yards in diameter, some mini-blowup logos on the mall, signs everywhere and the dancing man blow up thing that you sometimes see at discount stores when they are having a sale.
It was a bit surreal as I'm used to parks "setting up" in the morning hours and starting to prepare for the opening of the gates at 10. Here a day has already passed and the park is just starting to wake up. Very unusual.
I went to the pool. The pool is on the boardwalk, about a seven minute walk from the main gate. The beach offers gentle waves as it's on the sound and not the ocean. The peir was open, but not being used. The pool is very interesting. It's actually quite pretty. There are two entrances, one for make and female that offer public changing areas and one time use lockers for 75 cents. There is a 4 buck fee to get in for adults. Once in there is a small deck with afew wooden chairs, a very small (but pricey) snack bar, and little else. Most people knew already to bring in their own chairs as there was little to pick from around the pool.
The water was pleasant, but the pool was mobbed. Whistles were going off left and right for even the smallest infraction..."Off the rope." "Away from the railing." "No jumping." "No splashing." "No farting." (Ok I made the last one up, but if they would have seen the bubbles, they would have yelled at me too." THere is a good amount of lifeguard coverage as well as a park ranger with a walkie talkie. By the way you can't eat or drink on the pool deck.
This might make you laugh, but I swear they were stacking the pool. The deep section was closed, the lap lanes were mostly closed and the regular section was packed.
Wouldn't it be great if parks had pools in them. THey aren't that much to build, they entertain a lot of people, they provide a good way to give families something to do and they aren't expected to be open in late fall or early spring. Throw in a small slide or two and some squirty things and life would be great. (Knobles has a pool, but I haven't been in it).
I stayed in the water for about 30 minutes and then I made my way to the car, dropped off my stuff, stuck on my sticker (pass) and walked around. The surr-real feeling returned.
By 6 the rides started and I was off.
I rode the Dragon, Whip, Plunge (Stayed for a few additional drenchings) Swings, Catch-a-wave, [I'll talk about it later] Derby racer, carousel, Mind scrambler, etc.
I was impressed that only one ride was closed. (Superflight) For a private event ot only be missing one ride is very impressive. Dragon started with one train and then a second was added.
The Kiddie area was hopping too.
Catch-A-Wave is the new platform ride that swings quickly in right-side-up rotations. It is a portable ride but it's nicely mounted and it makes a nice addition to the back section. This ride does stop at the top a few times for a longer-than-needed period, but it gets up to speed in a hurry. AS nice as the ride was, riding it during the day doesn't do it justice. The lighting package on this ride is very cool and there are fast-paced strobes hitting hte riders as they almost touch the ground.
Rye is a night park. It lights up very well and I have never seen it first hand until tonight. The SkyFlyer has a nice lighting package, Wipeout has a fantastic lighting program and the ferris wheel is classy-cool.
The concert that was hosted by the WPLJ staff was a pretty good Journey Tribute band. They were good at imitating the original band, but they didn't offer much of an alternative. THey played two sets. (Consider it: Journey Lite)
Before the concert and after, the sidekicks from the morning show played games with the audience. Pick a box 1, 2, or 3 and then the player could trade it for the mystery box or a briefcase that was labeled either W, P, L or J. The prises were tickets to shows, t shirts or gag gifts like deoderant sticks, fly swatters and spam. The crowd loved it. It was cute for a few minutes as a diversion.
The park started out very light, but by 8 PM, it was packed. I left at 9 as almost every ride was over 25 minutes with even longer waits for any coaster or water ride. The crowd was very family oriented, very well behaved and diverse: infants to grandparents. Passes (Sticker badges) were needed to get in and they were thoroly checking them at all three gates.
One thing I would like to talk about. Derby Racer took a long time to get up to speed. It ran for a while and slowly stopped. No only were the horses not moving front and back, their pathways were completely blocked with wood preventing them from ever doing so again. Why? Also, how in the world did the ride staff jump on and off the thing to check on belts and leg positions, Left leg at the bottom and right leg at the top, without hurting themselves? THey were all doing this repeatedly in an attempt to either show off or add to the ride. Wow! I asked a young man how he was able to do that. He told me that you have to time it with the horses on the end and to lean and to step back. He told me he does it all the time. I asked him about the first time he tried it. "I fell," he laughed, "Just like everyone else."
All in all it was a very good ngiht despite the heavy but well-behaved crowd.
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