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Playland's Castaway Cove Discussion Thread

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Wild Waves is open? hmmm, might have to re-think our plans this Sunday.


Is Superflip (or whatever it's called now) at Gillian's open yet?


No idea. We spent maybe 5 minutes at Gillian's because it has fallen off of a cliff regarding quality (if that's even possible).

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I rode Gale Force yesterday and loved it. I think there is still a little misalignment where the initial problem existed, since I felt a little bump there twice. Boy, are they nazis about loose items. First they told me to put all keys and metals objects in a bin, then they said put everything in a bin. When I asked they OK with my wallet, cash ride tickets staying in a zippered pocket, but not with my spare change and plastic cards in a zippered pocket. The gentlemen told me they did not want to be responsible for holding anything of value.


Wild Waves was not open, I asked a few workers and none recall it running with passengers this season. Then again some did not realize the difference between the two coaster tracks.

Edited by larrygator
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Nice to hear someone come on here and say they loved it. I feel like reviews have been mostly mixed. I still have yet to ride, I really gotta get over there. Hilarious about Wild Waves.

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Wow there actually may be a coaster with less uptime than Lightning Rod


GaleForce has a lot of potential but I just couldn't get over the rattling launch and restraints.


What problem did you have with the restraints?

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  • 1 month later...

Man, I just missed it since I went there a few days ago. Since I forgot to post anything, here's my thoughts on some of the rides I got on:


Gale Force - Interesting coaster, not as intense as I expected. The launch has a vibration to it, but not as bad as Kingda Ka or anything. The twisty elements are really strange, and have some good airtime. It's not the most forceful coaster ever, but I love how weird and unique it feels.

Tropical Storm - Very forceful, and tons of spinning. Cool ride!

Air Race - These things are awesome.

Double Shot - They run the whole sequence twice in one cycle. The airtime on the small double shot towers make them great, and two cycles in one makes it really worth it.

Buccaneer - Good swinging ship.


I also went to Gillian's for a little bit. I got on Runaway Train, Haunted Dark Ride (both were nothing too special but pretty good), and their new Larson drop tower is awesome obviously. The log flume and entire upper deck were closed when I was there.

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Your thoughts on GaleForce seem to line up with most people. I'm glad you rode Tropical Storm. That ride was bonkers. I've never been on a ride that spun so fast that it basically lifted you out of your seat.


That's a shame the flume was closed at Gillian's since it's a unique custom one despite their minimal park size. The drop below the upper deck was quite nice. On the bright side, you got on the drop tower. Construction hadn't even started for it back in June.

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Also didn't somebody post they rode it earlier in the summer? Am I imagining that?


That was me, and I did, and it wasn't anything special. This isn't #FakeNews. I swear to Jebus it was operating and I took a ride. Probably just caught a soft opening to training or something, but many others rode it that day, too.

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  • 2 months later...

Hahahahahahaha. This ride is cursed.






By Donald Wittkowski


A 125-foot-high roller coaster that serves as the centerpiece attraction at one of Ocean City’s oldest Boardwalk amusement parks is getting a new track to give passengers smoother rides.


The Gale Force roller coaster made its debut at Playland’s Castaway Cove in May, thrilling its riders with a series of twists, dips and loops on a serpentine-like track while traveling at more than 60 mph.


However, a Playland executive explained that an inspection found the track’s rails were not completely in alignment, giving passengers a slightly bumpier ride than intended.


“It was a little bumpy,” Brian Hartley, the amusement park’s vice president, said in an interview Monday. “The rails were a little off by a hair in aligning with each other, so it was not as smooth as we wanted.”


Hartley emphasized that passenger safety was never jeopardized. In New Jersey, amusement rides are inspected and regulated by the state Department of Community Affairs, or DCA.


“If that was the case, we would have never run it and the state of New Jersey would have never approved it,” Hartley said of any possible safety risks.


DCA spokeswoman Tammori Petty said there was an “alignment issue” between the roller coaster’s car and the magnetic drive system that propels the vehicle.


“The tolerance between the car and the drive system required that the operator check the clearance frequently. With better track alignment such checks will be less frequent. The safety of the ride was never in question,” Petty said in an email Monday.


During the summer, the undulating, blue track of the Gale Force roller coaster towered above all of the other rides at Playland’s Castaway Cove.

The existing track is being removed and will be replaced by new steel at no cost to Playland, Hartley said. The cost is being absorbed by the roller coaster’s designer, S&S Sansei Technologies of North Logan, Utah, he noted.


Using a huge crane, work crews are dismantling the distinctive blue track that towers above the Boardwalk at 10th Street. A new track is expected to be completed by January, allowing Playland to reopen the roller coaster by Easter weekend in April, Hartley said. Playland is now closed for the off-season.


Gale Force’s grand opening last May came about a year later than originally scheduled. Hartley noted that the delays were caused by similar problems with the track’s alignment.


Hartley said the public’s initial reaction to the ride over the summer was “great.” He added that most riders were never aware that the coaster was slightly bumpy.


The ride propels passengers through a series of breathtaking twists and turns at a top speed of 64 mph while zooming 125 feet high and plunging earthward at about a 90-degree drop. Riders also flip upside down and travel backwards, adding to the thrills.


At times, the coaster gives riders the sensation of free-falling, as if plummeting off the side of a cliff. The ground below disappears as the coaster car contorts, zigzags and swerves along the undulating track.


The roller coaster is a multimillion-dollar ride, but Hartley declined to disclose the exact cost. It is the latest featured attraction at Playland’s Castaway Cove, which originally opened in 1959 and is among Ocean City’s most historic amusement parks.


The Simpson family has owned Playland since its inception. The late David Simpson founded it. His wife, Madelyn, is retired from the business now. Their son, Scott Simpson, has stepped in to run the park along with his wife, Linda, Hartley said.


Visitors to Playland are greeted by the park’s iconic, giant pirate ship overlooking the Boardwalk between 10th and 11th streets. A swashbuckling pirate – complete with an eye patch – and his green parrot form the ship’s whimsical crew.


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So does new track Gale Force count as a new credit already?

I was waiting for that.


I rode this last summer, and it was fine. It could have been smoother, sure, but roughness was not a problem. It was a very fun ride, and different from anything else I've ridden. If the new track makes it even better, then great!

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Wow I can't believe all the trouble this coaster has gone through.


So does new track Gale Force count as a new credit already?


I knew someone would ask the burning question. I was going to post that but couldn't type due to laughing so hard.


How many free spins are S&S now going to have to build to recoup the replacement costs??

Hopefully none. Yuck those suck.

You can't be serious.

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No one spends that kind of money because it's "a little bumpy". The track being out of alignment was probably causing stress to it or the vehicle that was going to lead to much more significant issues than rider discomfort. This is the same park that ran a looping zyklon for eons, after all.

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