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Rye Playland Discussion Thread

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Hey everybody!


This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Rye Playland, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index Page.


Official Park Website



Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!







August 4th, 2005 - Boy Dies on Playland's Ye Old Mill Boat Ride (See Below)

August 29th, 2005 - Playland Park Fires Summer Workers For Infractions

Novmeber 11th, 2005 - Rye Playland not at fault for boy's death



June 30th, 2007 - Woman killed at Playland Amusement Park



August 4th, 2010 - Rye Playland being considered for closure

October 18th, 2010 - Donald Trump interested in Rye Playland



Janurary 11th, 2011 - The future of Rye Playland up for discussion

March 22nd, 2011 - Zamperla is one of eleven bidders to operate Rye Playland

August 31st, 2011 - Headwear ban incites scuffle at Rye Playland



October 11th, 2012 - Astornio reveals water park & more for Rye's future

November 12th, 2012 - Announced plans not final, other bids considered

December 19th, 2012 - Legoland has $200 million proposal for Playland!



January 25th, 2013 - Four proposals now in consideration for park's future

April 4th, 2013 - Sustainable Playland has been chosen to run the park for 10 years

May 26th, 2013 - Lawsuit filed to void Sustainable Playland agreement

July 24th, 2013 - Sustainable Playland brings on CAI; keeps more rides



February 8th, 2014 - Locals want more say in Rye Playland's future

March 18th, 2014 - Proposed Field House scaled back as plans are refined

April 18th, 2014 - County sets May 1st deadline for park future decision

June 11th, 2014 - Sustainable Playland officially off of the project, new operator sought

August 14th, 2014 - City seeks partnership between two interested parties



March 11th, 2016 - Standard Amusements proposes changes for Playland

May 3rd, 2016 - Standard Amusements granted a 30 year extension on their agreement to run the park



January 31st. 2019 - Standards Amusements looks toward the amid the battle to control the park



July 1, 2020 - Park will not open in 2020



Original Post:


Boy Dies On Playland Water Ride


(Rye, N.Y.-AP, August 3, 2005) — A boy died Wednesday on a ride at the Playland amusement park in Westchester, the county executive's office said.


The death occurred in late afternoon on Ye Old Mill, a boat-in-the-water amusement that is tamer than many of the historic park's rides. Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for County Executive Andrew Spano, said the boy was found in the water. The cause of death was not immediately known. Spano planned a news conference at the park Wednesday night.

In May 2004, a 7-year-old girl was killed on Playland's Mind Scrambler ride, which was spinning riders around in a darkened tent to flashing lights and loud music. Investigators concluded that Stephanie Dieudonne, of New Rochelle, wriggled free of the restraining bar on one of the Mind Scrambler's cars, knelt on the seat and fell soon after the ride started.

Edited by larrygator
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Well, Playland is probably the most expensive pay-per-ride park in the country. It doesn't seem far fetched to have a parent stand by while their kids ride stuff.


The Old Mill ride in question is quite long and very extensive. It doesn't look like much from the entrance but it travels most of the length of Dragon Coaster.


Personally, I wouldn't trust my kid alone on a 5 minute darkride but I can see how a parent might not think twice about it judging from the outside.


I'm curious about who is monitoring the cameras inside the ride. I know there is a single Op dispaching boats but there has to be an operations desk some where.


Garfields Nightmare at Kennywood is a very similer ride and has loads of cameras all along its course.


The whole thing is terribly sad of course but I don't see that anyone is really to blame. How long has this ride been operating anyway, 80 years?


Don "Always stays in his boat" Garrison

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  • 4 weeks later...



RYE — Playland Park is suspending or firing more of its summer workers than it has in recent years, sending home an average of one worker every other day for infractions that include using cell phones on the job, taking unauthorized breaks and skipping training sessions, park documents show.


Park Director Joseph Montalto said the increased number of employees being disciplined was not necessarily related to a consultant's recommendation after a child's death on a ride last summer that the park "stand firm" against workers who violated procedures. Montalto said the park did not "measure things in terms of the number of people we fire," but noted that he recently hired a new director of operations with a reputation for strictness.


Between opening day May 14 and Aug. 20, the most recent date for which information was available, 39 Playland employees were suspended or fired. That number may not reflect all cases, because Montalto declined to release reports describing pending disciplinary actions, which the law allows him to withhold. Twenty-three of the workers ordered out of the park were ride operators, attendants or managers with responsibility for safety.


By the same date last summer, Playland had suspended or fired 24 employees for misconduct unrelated to stealing ride tickets, a problem that was eliminated when admissions were automated this year. By Aug. 20, 2003, the park had suspended or fired 12 workers.


In all, 156 of the approximately 800 summer employees at Playland — including ride operators and attendants, managers, custodial workers, cashiers, and lifeguards at the amusement park, beach and pool — were cited for a total of 192 infractions by Aug. 20 this year. Over the past two years, an average of 91 employees were cited for 122 infractions by the same date.


So what I find interesting about this is how it sounds like most of those employees of 192 infractions were able to work all summer long! I'm not sure what suspending or firing them will do on August 20th when their daily operation season ends in 4 days!


--Robb "Who has seen ride ops at Magic Mountain talking on the cell phone while checking restraints!" Alvey

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  • 2 months later...



New York - WABC, November 10, 2005) - There is a final report just out tonight on a deadly amusement park accident that claimed the life of a seven-year old boy.


The seven year old was killed last summer on a ride called "Ye Old Mill."

Eyewitness News reporter Charles Perez is at the amusement park in Rye.


It was three months ago that seven-year old John Kelly Cassara lost his life on a ride at Westchester County's Playland amusement park.


Tonight, Westchester County police have released the results of their investigation into the cause of the seven-year old boy's death.


The report -- based on witness interviews, physical evidence, medical examiner's findings, surveillance video, maintenance records, and communications procedures -- determined the following:


John Kelly Cassara did not drown. Rather, he died from blunt trauma to the head and it was accidental.


The witnesses -- three young girls -- say he was outside the boat walking in water and climbed up on a narrow catwalk.


By the time he was found, his body had been lying in the water for about 40 minutes. There was no water in his lungs and no evidence of foul play. He'd likely fallen and hit his head.


But the investigation did raise issues about the park itself:


- Not fully staffing the ride


- Not properly training operators


- Not communicating effectively to police


Not fully completing the ride's pre-opening checklist

In each case, they found there were deficiencies. But, they said none that contributed to John Kelly's death.


His family quickly responded saying, "The report raises more disturbing questions than it answers. It is outrageous and insulting to the family that such a self-serving, inconsistent, and incomplete report would be issued. The family is now certain that litigation is required to retain the truth in this horrible tragedy."


Friday, John Kelly Cassara's mother will go before the camera's in a press conference at the Westchester County Courthouse.

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I still don't understand why the parents would allow their seven year old to go on a ride like this by himself. Even if I knew a seven year old to be responsible and able to follow rules, I think I would still ride with them to make sure, or at least have them ride with someone else. I'm glad the park was found to be not at fault for the boys death. The article mentions that there were issues with the park itself, but the boys death could've been avoided if someone was riding with him.


Many of the lawsuits I've heard about lately don't seem to be the fault of the parks at all. :?

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  • 1 year later...



NEW YORK - A gyrating ride at a historic amusement park is under renewed scrutiny after a young woman died in the second fatal accident in less than four years.


The woman was killed Friday night in an accident involving the Mind Scrambler ride at Playland Amusement Park in Rye, N.Y., just north of New York City, said Westchester County Police spokesman Kieran O’Leary.


Emergency workers responded quickly, “but there wasn’t very much anybody could do for her,” O’Leary said. The woman, who was in her 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene around 9:30 p.m., he said.


Police were investigating early Saturday and released few details about the accident. The woman’s name was not released because her family had not been notified, O’Leary said.


The indoor attraction spins riders around in a darkened tent with flashing lights. It was the scene of another deadly accident on May 22, 2004. Stephanie Dieudonne, 7, wriggled free of the restraining bar on one of the cars, knelt on the seat and fell soon after the ride started, according to investigators.


The amusement park was not cited for any violations or required to make improvements to the ride after the girl’s death, but officials announced plans to add seat belts, more lighting and a second attendant at the Mind Scrambler.


Friday’s accident marked the fourth fatality within as many years at the county-owned Playland, a National Historic Landmark that opened in 1928. After the Mind Scrambler accident in 2004, a 7-year-old boy was killed the next year when he climbed out of his boat ride and fell, according to investigators. A 43-year-old man drowned after wading into a lake at the park on July 4, 2006.


The park’s director and a spokesman for the county Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation, which oversees Playland, did not immediately return telephone messages left at their offices late Friday.


The Mind Scrambler and a nearby section of the amusement park were closed after the accident Friday, but other areas remained open, O’Leary said.


Playland is on Long Island Sound, about 20 miles north of the George Washington Bridge between New York City and Fort Lee, N.J. Featuring more than 50 rides, a pool and a beach, it draws more than 1 million visitors a year.


If this has already been posted, let the moderator hammer come down on this thread.

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Well, a 20 year-old can't wiggle free from the restraint system, but maybe the operator didn't latch it correctly. Another possiblity is maybe the girl had a seizure from the flashing lights. But it would be her fault if they had warning of this. Does anyone know if there is a sign warning of this?

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Incredible. what a horrible case of miscommunication, with fatal results. Don't they yell "clear" or something?


My thought's exactly. Whenever I go to Hershey or Knoebels they do a thumbs up signal. If the new ride operator didn't wait for it and just started the ride, it should be his fault for carelessly not waiting for it to be safe to start the ride.

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What kind of ride is this? At first, I was picturing something like one of those Gravitron rides like they have at fairs and carnivals, but then when I read the new report it almost sounded like an Octopus (or at KI Monster) type ride.


I agree that it seems crazy that the ride op on duty wasn't paying any better attention.



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I agree that it seems crazy that the ride op on duty wasn't paying any better attention.


Does anyone know if Johnny moved from California to New York after the Kidtums incident?


Ron "Thoughts and Prayers to her family" Patton

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it is always important to understand the details in each incident. while i am not saying that the girl in this case did anything wrong, it says that the little boy climbed out of his seat, the other girl got out of her restraint and the guy waded into the lake, all of these are not the faulty actions of the park.Its called rider responsibility. People need to not think that just because they are at a park they can do whatever they want and nothing will happen. a ride opporater can only do so much. They cant hold you in your seat or get into your head and tell you to do what your suppose to. theme parks are dangerous places but can easily be enjoyed by everyone if you follow the rules which really isn't that hard. Its really unfortunate that anyone just looking for a day of fun would not make it home and my heart goes out to all of there familys.





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I've never been to this park but I believe the ride is an indoor scrambler w/a light/sound show. We used to have one at Kennywood called the Space Odyssey- I loved it.

Anyway, the latest news is that the seats had high backs on them and that the ride op couldn't see that the victim was kneeling on one of the seats strapping somebody in. It said as soon as he saw that she wasn't clear he stopped the ride, but she had already been flung to her death. To make things worse, according to the news, some morons waiting were going, "Come on, start the ride!" It seems like the guy who started the ride would be at fault for not waiting until he saw that his partner was safely away from the ride- however, depending on his training and the park's policies, he could be safe. Either way, it looks like lawsuit city.

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The Ops running the ride should check all the seatbelts etc before pressing the "start" button, the women killed worked at the park should of known better. I don't feel sorry for people who don't follow the rules on rides.


There should not be any legal action taken, it's the riders fault not the parks.

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The Ops running the ride should check all the seatbelts etc before pressing the "start" button, the women killed worked at the park should of known better. I don't feel sorry for people who don't follow the rules on rides.


There should not be any legal action taken, it's the riders fault not the parks.

Wow...someone didn't read the thread!



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