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Photo TR: Ocean City, Maryland


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As part of my Memorial Day weekend celebration, I took a trip to Ocean City, Maryland, on Monday. The place was bustling, but not as busy as normal on Memorial Day (there was plenty of parking to be had). I blame gas prices.

 

I posted the rest of my Memorial Day weekend adventures on the "Random" board, but since there seems to be a serious lack of OC representation on TPR (none of its parks are represented in the Park Index, though three out of five of them have credits), I thought I'd snap a few shots today at Trimper's Rides and Jolly Roger at the Pier to add to the collection. Enjoy!

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Last time I was at Jolly Roger (in 2003), it contained just one credit, and this kiddie circus train obviously wasn't it (it was an off-the-shelf Wild Mouse). But when the park is still a few weeks away from opening for the season and you're limited to sidewalk access, you take what you can get. Thanks for reading!

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Bonus park! Though I didn't visit Jolly Roger's flagship park on Memorial Day, I did pass by there a few weeks ago while on assignment for an online publication based out of Baltimore, so I snapped a couple shots from the sidewalk while I was in the neighborhood. Behold: Jolly Roger himself (a converted Muffler Man, for those of you who follow such things).

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Here's more of the track, recently repainted to match Jolly Roger's clashing neon purple and green signature paint scheme.

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Speaking of the Looping Star....

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And this is the pier's famous giant Ferris wheel, as seen from the boardwalk, along with a few of the park's other rides, including the Looping Star coaster. And what's that I see on the right? A credit AND a bikini in the same photo? Take that, Big Mike!

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Of course, some of the theming left over from the previous park owner still leaves a little to be desired....

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This was the neatest thing. As you walked by, this skeleton on top of the fun house just looked like a pile of bones-or-something. But then an air horn sounded, and the "pile" jumped up, turning into a full skeleton and lurching forward as if ready to jump off the building and attack anyone who happened to be standing below. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture it on, er, pixels; I assume it's set for specific intervals, as this was the only time I saw this gag go off during my short stay on the pier.

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As tough as it is to get good pictures of the rides at Trimper's, it's even harder at Jolly Roger at the Pier. The rides are so packed together, it's impossible to back up more than three or four feet. Plus I wasn't really thinking "TPR photos" when I breezed through this section, so most of what I have I took for myself. Having said that, here's a detail shot from the haunted house, Morbid Manor. I'm very impressed with the "plussing" Jolly Roger has done to this attraction since purchasing the park last year.

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...and--wait a minute, this isn't a copyrighted character! I wish it was, though, because I would SO watch a cartoon called "Bug-Eyed 1950s Disco Police Mouse!"

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...and Shrek...

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...and Scooby...

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...and Popeye again...

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...and Snoopy (these were Air Force jets when my dad was a kid)...

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...and Wile E. Coyote...

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...and Goofy...

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...and Spike (Pluto is riding a bumper car next to Spike, but thanks to a "new" awning installed sometime in the past 30 years, he's hard to see/photograph anymore)...

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...and Practical Pig...

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...and Dumbo (trust me, that's supposed to be Dumbo)...

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...and Tom...

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...and the Big Bad Wolf (though for YEARS--in fact, right up until reviewing the photos for this TR--I thought this was supposed to be Mighty Mouse's archenemy, Oil Can Harry)...

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...and Bugs...

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...and Mickey...

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For instance, there's Donald...

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These boats used to be battleships in the '50s. Now they're Popeye ships. Actually, there's a LOT of copyright infringement at this park, much (but not all) of it dating back to the '50s.

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This boat ride has been here since the '50s. It and the adjacent Fairy Whip used to be my favorites as a kid. No pictures of the Fairy Whip, unfortunately; it was full of kids all day.

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The 1950s firetrucks feature the names of local volunteer fire companies on their backs.

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As is this 1930s-era ticket booth. I remember watching this crumble for years when I was a kid. It's been restored now for a decade or more. I'd say the results were worth the wait.

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This 1930s kiddie Ferris wheel is another classic.

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This 1930s mechanical band machine fills the indoor section of the park with music.

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Inside are a lot of classic and antique rides, including bumper cars that feature a median to further reduce head-on collisions (and increase wall bumping).

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Supports for the Tidal Wave surround Wipeout.

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The Zipper and the Avalanche share space with the Tilt-A-Whirl and Inverter (not pictured) in this corner of the park.

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The Matterhorn is fun, but the 1970s go-go dancer plywood cutouts on top are looking a lot worse for wear. Fortunately, Trimper's usually doesn't let stuff like that linger too long, which means they'll probably be repainted in the very near future.

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Of course, the 1970s imagery inside does get a little PG 13....

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Love the Himalaya. Each ride takes you forward, then backward, then forward again.

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For the little ones, there's also an antique mini-carousel.

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...and even a dragon! Not to mention a camel, a zebra, a giraffe, a frog and a very unique rocking chariot.

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Of course, this carousel isn't limited to horses. There's also a tiger...

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You can't really say you've been to Trimper's until you ride the carousel. Originally powered by steam, it was the second one made by the Herschell-Spillman Co., and the first one, operated at Coney Island, burned. So what does that make this? Yep, the oldest Herschell-Spillman carousel in existence. It's operated continuously since 1902.

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Know what makes me cooler than you? I actually have this credit! The Sooper Jet has been the park's kiddie coaster since I was young enough to ride it. No adults on board, though, so don't even bother asking.

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Followed by one of Trimper's more recent additions, the Wacky Worm.

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Next credit: The Toboggan!

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The boomerang-style coaster made an appearance in the 1986 movie "Violets are Blue," starring Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline. But you'd better be quick if you want to grab the credit for yourself; Trimper's just narrowly missed being sold off for condos at the end of last season. Any year could be this park's last.

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But you didn't come here for dark rides, fun houses or mirror mazes, darn it! You came here for coasters! Here's the biggest name in town: the Tidal Wave. Again, getting a clean shot is pretty much impossible.

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And here's a close cousin of the fun house, the Mirror Maze. Trimper's added clowns to the entrance this year, making the attraction more "fun" (or scary, depending on your point of view).

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Trimper's has gotten more PC recently. All the Aladin's Lamp palace guards, like this fellow, sported more ethnic paint jobs until a couple years ago.

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One of the exterior obstacles. These gentlemen move the bridge back and forth.

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Ali Baba watches over the entrance. His hands and head usually move up and down, but they were stationary on this day. I hope it's only temporary.

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A close cousin of the dark ride, Aladin's Lamp is my favorite fun house of all time. It still has its human roulette wheel inside (though tamed down a bit from its early 20th century predecessors) and a spinning barrel at the end.

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Trimper's also features one of the last remaining Bill Tracy walk-through dark rides, Pirates Cove, added to the park in 1971. It's almost impossible to get a good, clean shot of the entrance anymore--or many of Trimper's other rides, for that matter--because the park has added so many new attractions in recent years.

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...complete with "Rest in Peace" signs on the back.

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The cars are themed as coffins...

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Theming as seen from the outside.

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This Audio-Animatronic headless pitchman calls to patrons on the boardwalk, daring them to enter.

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This 1960s Bill Tracy Haunted House is one of my favorite rides ever. Operated by Trimper's (but not included in Trimper's POP plan), it opened in 1962 and was updated in 1988 when Trimper's purchased props from Tracy's Ghost Ship ride upon the closing of nearby competitor Playland, where the Ghost Ship was located.

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I'm going to assateague this summer, and one of the things I'll be doing is visiting Ocean City and probably going to a few of these parks.

 

Tell me, does Trimper's or the Pier charge you at the gate, or is admittance free?

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I've gone to Trimpiers a few times, but I only have the Tobaggan and Looping Star credits. It seems like everytime I go, its too early in the year for any other coaster to be open, but they do have some other cool rides. I personally like the Haunted House (my favorite one) and their many cool carnival rides.

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Tell me, does Trimper's or the Pier charge you at the gate, or is admittance free?

 

Nope, the only park in Ocean City that charges an admission fee is Frontier Town, and there are no credits to be had there.

 

Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone. It's always nice to hear people say good things about my home park(s). Though I gotta tell you, growing up riding Trimper's carousel has ruined all other carousels for me.

 

When I was writing my book on historic Maryland amusement parks a few years ago, I called Trimper's and asked if they had any photos of old rides I could borrow. Their PR/accounting person told me all they had were some scans of old postcards one of the Trimper children had put together for a school project (all of which ended up in the finished product). And then she gave me the best quote ever: "When we want to see what our old rides looked like, we just walk out front and look at them!"

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Where have I seen this mouse before? Hmmm...

 

 

 

Ahh, yes. These mouse soldiers adorned both the entrance and exit of Schiff-built wild mouse coasters.

 

I'm taking a guess then that Trimper's had a Schiff Wild Mouse sometime in the past, did it not?

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I'm taking a guess then that Trimper's had a Schiff Wild Mouse sometime in the past, did it not?

 

It very well may have, though I'm not aware of it, and I didn't come across any photos of it when I was researching my book. I know Playland, down the road, had a Wild Mouse, and when that park closed in 1987, Trimper's and Jolly Roger bought some of its assets (Ghost Ship props for Trimper's and the pirate mascot for Jolly Roger). I wonder if it may have come from there.

 

Thanks for the photo. I had never seen one of those before.

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^^That's really interesting. I've never heard of "Melvin's Amusement Rides" before. I do know the Trimpers owned most of the property in that area at least by the early 1960s. However, I do see at least one incorrect thing in the RCDB listing on Trimper's in that they did have outdoor rides prior to the '60s. I have a 1920s postcard showing the Ferris wheel, and newspaper accounts of a 1930s storm (can't remember if it was '33 or '36) talk about a couple of the Windsor Resort rides toppling over.

 

^I think Jolly Roger has just been trying to keep up. I never did like it as much as Trimper's, and nowadays they seem to be angling for the kiddie and family crowd more so than the thrill seekers. Of course, that may change with the acquisition of Pier Rides. That park has a good mix of spinners, thrill rides and kiddie rides in an extremely tight space, not to mention the most midway games I've ever seen bundled together in a permanent setting (it's part of the "charm").

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Great trip report. I enjoy Ocean City, and go a couple a times a year - in fact I will be there Saturday.

 

No pictures could ever show just how many rides are cramed into such a small space, it still amazes me. I also agree that Trimper's is the best.

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Awesomeness.

 

 

I went to Trimpers 2 years ago and loved it. At the time, my father wouldn't let me go to JRATP, because we had other stuff to do. If I go back, I will be sure to do both-and Jolly Roger too. I read a report that they got a "new" Wildcat this year.

 

IMO, the Pirate Funhouse is the best walk-through there-one of my favorite attractions in my home state! Mirror maze is lame (too short), the Arabian Walk through was allright, and the Haunted House is good, but much worse than Knoebels. The Tobogan was the best coaster in OCMD. I know I should be shot for saying that.

 

BTW, what happened to JRATP's 220 foot tall sling shot ride? I didn't se it in your "park panarama" shot.

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^The slingshot ride is still there. I didn't get any photos of it in flight, but you can see the support cables that steady the towers at the right and in front of the Ferris wheel in the panarama.

 

I haven't been to Knobels, but I've seen pictures of their haunted house, and it looks awesome. I'm planning to bridge my one-day gap between the Ravine Flyer/Behemoth Mini-Trip in Philadelphia and my state Jaycees convention that weekend in Baltimore with a side trip to Elysburg, so hopefully soon I'll be able to compare for myself.

 

In the meantime, I just got a text from a friend inviting me to Kennywood next month, and I leave for Kings Dominion in eight hours, so it's shaping up to be an eventful summer. Bring on the rides!

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IMO, the Pirate Funhouse is the best walk-through there-one of my favorite attractions in my home state! the Arabian Walk through was allright.

 

I'd go as far as to say Pirate Funhouse might be the best walk through funhouse remaining in the US.

 

I too was not impressed with the Arabian walkthrough.

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IMO, the Pirate Funhouse is the best walk-through there-one of my favorite attractions in my home state! the Arabian Walk through was allright.

 

I'd go as far as to say Pirate Funhouse might be the best walk through funhouse remaining in the US.

 

I too was not impressed with the Arabian walkthrough.

 

No arguments about the Pirate Funhouse its great, but I also think the Arabian funhouse is great.

 

I am VERY surprised in this sue happy world that either funhouse is still open. I am heading over there in a few hours, I'm going to try to get some interior shots.

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I'm taking a guess then that Trimper's had a Schiff Wild Mouse sometime in the past, did it not?

 

It very well may have, though I'm not aware of it, and I didn't come across any photos of it when I was researching my book. I know Playland, down the road, had a Wild Mouse, and when that park closed in 1987, Trimper's and Jolly Roger bought some of its assets (Ghost Ship props for Trimper's and the pirate mascot for Jolly Roger). I wonder if it may have come from there.

 

Thanks for the photo. I had never seen one of those before.

 

Where was Playland? Was it on Ocean Highway? I have no recollection of it.

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Nice pictures! I went down to OC for the first time ever last June and had a blast. We liked the water park the most by the Jolly Roger Park though...

 

 

As for the Sooper Jet, I snagged that credit last year We told the ride op "We rode it earlier today, why can't we ride it now??" And the girl let us ride!

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