First of all, something needs to be said...
***** WARNING / CAUTION / DANGER / TRIGGER WARNING*****
This thread will feature a lot of very similar looking pictures. It's not my fault that all of these boardwalk parks happen to have similar if not identical rides. If seeing such imagery will cause you offense, to feel distressed, or to become exhausted from having to scroll through them, please do not continue in this thread. I'm also not a professional photographer, nor does my phone have the best camera in the world. My intent was to document every single ride at these rarely-discussed parks. Thank you and have a nice day.
Okay, with that out of the way, we can begin!
Stop #1 - Keansburg Amusement Park, Keansburg
How this place continues to exist boggles the mind....
But first, a side note about my personal history with this town: I was born here, and lived there from age 0 to 6, from 1983 to the summer of 1989. My house was in bicycle-distance from the amusement park, and I distinctly recall riding there with my friends the last summer we lived there, without parents. Did I mention the route passes by a (now-defunct) strip club called Chasers (as in "chubby chasers")? Man, was it a different time back then. Not only that, but my father lived in that town since he was born, and was actually a games attendant at the park when he was a teenager, so yeah, my family has quite a bit of history there. Why did we move? Because the town was apparently a shithole then and has only gotten worse. The value of my old house, even with the new second story addition, is around $300k. "Wow, that's not cheap," you might say, but when you consider that the average home price in Monmouth County, NJ, is $550,000, yeah not looking so good anymore. Median household income? $39,000 Monmouth County as a whole is $65,000. My parents didn't want me going to school there, and I struggle to think what might have come of me had we stayed. Anyway, here's a picture of that old house of mine, mind you back then it didn't have that second story on it.
Anyway, enough personal nonsense, on to the park!
Just outside the gates, there's some batting cages, that most definitely haven't changed in 30 years.
A little food stand, not open...a trend you'll see throughout this section.
Many of these rides (you'll probably be able to tell which) actually date all the way back to the 1930s. Which is pretty impressive in my book. The park itself traces its history back to 1904.
Classic train ride, has seen better days.
Car ride, was operating.
Planes, were operating.
Kiddie drop tower, was operating.
Kiddie Ferris wheel, was operating.
Kiddie carousel, was operating.
Motorcycles, were operating.
Boats, were operating.
Roto Jets....definitely have seen better days.
This looks like a Whip, but is actually just a circle, so I'm not really sure the purpose other than just go 'round in circles. Was operating.
Yet another "various vehicles rotate" ride. Was operating.
Classic fire trucks, one of the older rides at the park. Was operating.
One of the newer additions, was operating.
Original Loop-o-Plane! Not operating.
Adult, mini-double-shot tower. Not operating. Also not the smallest adult drop tower you'll see in this thread.
The Haunted Manor. No, this is not the famous Spook House, which opened in 1931, which I'll talk about later, but instead a formerly-travelling haunted house that first opened in 1995, and then settled at this park in 2002. Sadly, not open (this was one of my reasons for visiting).
Bumper cars, operating.
Moby Dick, not operating. It may look like it, but it was just sitting there in that position.
"Thriller," a Gravitron. Not operating.
Tilt a Whirl, not operating.
Zamperla flyer, was operating.
Chance Chaos, the ultra-rare. You guessed it, not operating.
Yep, they even have one of these things. If you've never seen it in action, as it rotates around, it rises and falls on eccentricly-mounted wheels. That's how they got their fun back in the day! Yes, not operating, of course.
Basically, this entire half of the park was not operating. Including all of the following:
Aww, cute little baby teacups!
I think someone forgot to put the wheels back on LOL. None of them had wheels.
They do have an actual Whip, albeit kiddie-sized.
Red Baron (rotating/elevating planes), under construction.
Kiddie train, under repairs. Yes, that is how decorated it is normally.
They also have two Go-Kart tracks.
And a boardwalk park staple, the burlap sack slide.
Ah. Bev and Wally's arcade. How I so remember dropping dollars and dollars of quaters into the arcade games here....Outrun, Donkey Kong, Hang-On...the list goes on and on.
Alas, now reduced to 100% redemption games. Sad, sad indeed.
Another arcade, the Game Room. Do you think they paid the appropriate royalties for the artwork?
At least this one had a tiny, tiny section of non-redemption games!
And a full-size carousel, which did not appear to be operating.
Back to the rides of the park, they've got pirate ship that is super-well themed, and totally stands out from the rest of this abandoned-looking place.
A Wave Swinger, that looks kinda new.
Sea Serpent, their kiddie coaster, which looks a lot older than it is (it's a 1998 Miler model).
Which is right next to the world's tiniest and worst decorated log flume ever.
And finally, the star of the show, Looping Star, a Pinfari looking Zylkon, that has been at this park since 2015 but has been operating and traveling since the mid '80s or '90s. Of course, it's closed.
So yeah, about what I expected from coming here. Oh, and all of those kiddie rides I mentioned as operating? Yeah, they only had about 4 ride operators shuffling around to the different rides. Which was fine, because there was like 3 families there, and me, and that's it. You might say "well, it's a Monday at the end of August, lots of kids are back in school, etc. etc." You will see from my later parks on this blitz road trip, yeah that didn't matter. All of the others were packed.
They also have a tiny water park, that similarly appeared not that populated.
Oh, I almost forgot, the Spook House! Some history: This dark ride, built by the Pretzel Company (famous for Devil's Den at Conneaut, Haunted House at Camden Park, Spook-a-rama at Deno's in NY, and the original Dante's Inferno at Morey's, to name a few), opened in 1931 as the "Mystery Ride," seen here in a photo provided by the park's website:
Those cars, and the track, continued to operate all the way up to 2012, albeit with some changes to the scenery inside and out. Here's a couple of photos showing the ride over the years.
1970s, from Pintrest.
1992, from Wordpress.
Mid-2000s, from Patch.com
The park's website says the following: "One of Keansburg Amusement Park’s oldest rides and seen on History Channel’s American Restoration, is undergoing a complete restoration!" Yeah, not so much. There is zero sign of the ride anywhere in the park; the old location it used to be at is now (presumably, based on the sign overhead) a games stand. I asked the guy selling tickets about it, and he had never heard of it. A manager standing behind him said "You mean the ride that got destroyed by (sic) Hurricane (sic) Sandy? It's never coming back." Major, MAJOR bummer. I'll continue to hold out hope that it one day returns, but I'm not holding my breath.
So, I left this place with zero credits and zero dark rides. On the plus side, I only spent like $3 for parking plus an extra hour out of my day to get here.
I honestly don't know how this park survives. The area is majorly depressed, there are tons of better park options around, many rides appeared to be in a state of disrepair that couldn't have been new, it's not supported by any government or historical preservation society. Because of my memories here, I'll really be sad if it ever closes down, but the logical part of me thinks that would be a better fate for the park than continuing to putter along the way it is.
Next up: Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant. Which probably won't get posted until next week sometime (work the next two days then a SFoG/Carowinds trip over the long weekend). I just really wanted to get this one up first since I had so much to say about this place.
Thanks for reading!