Zombie Castle and Flying Witch @ Rye to close?

Sounds like that's what's going to happen:


I don't even know what to say right now (if this is the truth), so I'll keep my mouth shut as I calm down... or try to calm down.

Forget "Zombie Castle and Flying Witch @ Rye to close?".... Why not title this thread "Rye to close?"

From the article:

George Oros, said he supported [the] plan to purchase the privately owned rides, but only because it would give the county greater flexibility in deciding how best to use the Playland property in the future.

Oros said he would not support the purchase of any new rides at Playland and repeated his belief that Westchester needs to look at other uses for the property.

I smell water front condos and/or other development.

*** Edited 7/20/2007 3:02:36 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
^ The world could never have enough $5.00 lattes.
I highlighted the part about the darkrides because there is always talk of closing the park, despite the fact that it's probably going to turn a profit this year. I also know the people of Westchester County feel very strongly about the park being there so I don't think it's going to go anywhere unless someone wants to commit political suicide.

I never understood why people make such a big deal over the park losing money. Most counties own public parks. Westchester County has an amusement park. If the amusement park loses a little money, it's no different from the average public park that surely doesn't make any money either. Since an amusement park is a lot more fun than a regular park, what's the big deal?

Laff In The Dark (laffinthedark.com) has posted an op-ed piece offering an avenue for people to make their opinions known to county and state officials on the impending removal of Zombie Castle and Flying Witch at:

Good advice if you care to do something. Which I do...
rollergator's avatar
Please consider Rye's recent history with "dark" rides - two deaths on an indoor scrambler, and another one on the Old Mill...

Not too surprising they might want to rid themselves of rides where the patrons aren't always "visible"...NOT that I'm happy with the decision-making, but I kinda understand their POV...

Yeah, but I think this is purely a financal-driven move... and a misguided one at that.
In today's Journal News:


Quote from story:

"The amusement industry changes every year, and people expect change all the time," Tartaglia said. "Just because something has been there a long time doesn't mean we necessarily want to keep it."

This tells me that NO ride is protected from removal. Ye Old Mill, Dragon Coaster, Whip -- all could be replaced by "high-tech" rides. As we all know, both Playland's dark rides have a deeper historical legacy than "something (that) has been there for a long time."

But isn't Playland Park supposed to be all about history and vintage attractions? Rides that are unique and/or the last of their kind? Tartaglia's statement and the impending removal of two historical dark rides contradicts all that.

And should the county approve the purchase of new attractions, are they going to be unique? A Sally Corp interactive dark ride (which puts guns into the hands of kids) can be found at dozens of other parks.

Seems to me that the county is either setting its taxpayers up for a huge bill for new rides or its setting Playland up to fail so it can sell the land to a developer -- the later option being the opinion of many posters across the Net.

That makes sense. When people discover a huge increase in taxes, the park can claim they had to satisfy public demands to keep all of the park's rides intact.

The amusement industry changes every year? That's news to me. Roller coasters, carousels, Ferris wheels and darkrides have been around for about a century and they still seem pretty popular to me. Rye's guests are obviously behind the curve because I always see a lot of them riding Zombie Castle, the Flying Witch and the Old Mill- maybe someone should tell them that those rides are no longer "in" and they should move on to more modern things like the park's Volare coaster. Any one of the park's darkrides gets more riders in an hour than that thing gets in an entire day.

Rye in unquestionably one of those parks that thrives on tradition, history and nostalgia- after all, the entire thing is a National Landmark (making me wonder how those rides can be removed in the first place). Sounds like this Tartaglia guy isn't the right man for the job because he clearly doesn't understand. Remember when Rye tried to modernize by adding gates and charging admission? It was a miserable failure.

rollergator's avatar
^I had to wake up an op on the Volare to let me ride...wow do those things plain suck...maybe they could name it "Flying *itch".... :)

Still, no rides on the Derby Racer, and none on the kiddie woodie (maybe letting adults ride THAT would increase profitability). ;)

Looks like an effort to save these rides has made it to the local media. See here.

*** Edited 7/30/2007 1:19:41 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

As a resident of Westchester County, I will say I am hurt by our local government and Park management. The local government fails to recognize what the park means to the community and park management does not seem to have the will to defend its roots. And perhaps the biggest disappointment is that both do not understand what makes patrons return to Playland after frivolous attempts to add temporary rides that regardless of their lack of proper aesthetic integration, have a fun-factor that wears off a year or two after installation. What makes people return to Playland are the classics such as the Old Mill, Dragon Coaster, Whip, Derby Racer, and other Dark rides. Yes, like all parks, Playland needs to add some new popular attractions periodically, but they must be carefully chosen. Color choice has also made portions of the Park a borderline eyesore in my honest opinion. Take for instance the McDonald's Yellow and Red of the Zamperla Volare and the questionable purple and green wild mouse.

Anyway, rants are really easy, but visiting the park (and buying ride tickets, food,etc of course) actually does something to help it turn a profit. One of my favorite times to visit the park is coming up when 95.5 PLJ host s a free concert series in the park's mall.

Let me reiterate, all you have to do to attend these concerts is pay the 5 $ parking fee.

Tuesday - July 31st

Thursday - August 9th

Thursday - August 23rd

Hoping the Park is still kicking for my kids to visit many years down the line,
Ryan D

Thanks for commenting, Ryan. Your feelings echo those of every single person I know that lives in Westchester County- and I know a lot of people that live in Westchester County. Everyone feels that Rye Playland is something of a source of pride that makes their county different from every other county in the country and definitely do not want to see the park altered or closed. I really believe that's why the park continues to operate despite always losing money... although again, I must ask, what goverment-owned park of any kind doesn't lose money in some way?

I am a firm believer is speaking up "with my wallet", which is one of many reasons why I visit the park a few times a year. But if those two darkrides are removed, I must say I'll be that much less inclined to venture there so frequently. Small changes make a big difference.

This just published in The Journal News:


At the bottom of the article, it appears the two dark rides, among some other independently-owned rides, are safe for now. But the situation deems watching.

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