Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

Recommended Posts

Coney Island- Free* Admission Day

 

When Coney Island announced free admission on opening day a few thoughts ran through my head. At first I thought it was a scam. I mean technically the park is free admission every day; it's the cost of the wristband that will burn a hole in your pocket. The person in the PR department truly was an evil mastermind if that's what they meant. But upon closer inspection, I realized the park really was offering free wristbands*.

 

* Technically each wristband required a $5 donation to the Girl Scouts of America. But really are you going to object when they're normally $70, especially when all of the proceeds go to the Girl Scouts and charity?

 

917947400_FreeAdmission.JPG.c273fa21b2809edca1e76ce3f879f3c8.JPG

If you thought bring a friend free days brought heavy crowds, I present the next level- free admission.

 

The offer sounded amazing. Too amazing. I was honestly terrified just how crowded Coney Island would be. I've seen just what lengths people will go to for free pancakes at IHOP of National Pancake Day when they're only saving a few bucks. Here, the savings per person was equivalent to 65 items on McDonald's dollar menu.

 

But the real reason I wasn't planning on attending was that I had a schedule conflict. March 24 was Six Flags Great Adventure's opening day. Or I should say that it was supposed to. Unfortunately one of the rare snowstorms that actually missed Massachusetts this winter dumped 8-10 inches on New Jersey, delaying Great Adventure's opening until Easter weekend. We were already planning to visit a friend in New Jersey and I wasn't going to be cheated out of some coaster rides, so Coney Island it would be.

 

This would be my third visit to Coney Island, but my first time driving there. Every other time I've taken New York's amazingly efficient subway system. I fully expected to be bent over a barrel and shown the 50 states while paying for parking, but I honestly didn't mind in exchange for the dirt cheap wristbands. Yet miraculously I somehow found free parking. So almost free wristbands and free parking? This seemed too good to be true.

 

96857582_ParachuteTower.thumb.jpg.b751f940da7221fdf7a0621c53299aa0.jpg

Unlike Gwazi, this SBNO ride is actually something I'd consider iconic.

 

We started down by the Thunderbolt. We only had to wait about 5 minutes for our wristbands. The process was quick and painless...as long as you asked for a wristband. If you didn't ask for a wristband, they were more than willing to sell tickets for the normal rate. I saw plenty of people tricked into paying $10 per ride on the Thunderbolt or the Cyclone over the course of the afternoon.

 

Well since we were by the Thunderbolt, we decided to start there as the wait was only about 10-15 minutes. I know this coaster seems to be maligned by a majority of coaster enthusiasts. Yet in 2016 I rode it with two others on the US TPR trip and we all loved it. There were some bits with noticeable shuffling, but overall it was a fun and very intense coaster. Would lightning (err thunder) strike twice?

 

I'm not going to lie, I became nervous once the restraints were secured. I remembered them being tight, but this took stapling to a whole new level. My legs felt trapped between a panini press without the heat on this cold March day. The vertical lift was particularly sweet on this day. One, the sun wasn't shining directly in our eyes like it has a tendency to do on vertical lifts. Two, the adjacent Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team was in the midst of a game. I got so sucked into the one pitch I saw that I forgot about the leg-numbing restraints.

 

The train crested the drop and I was treated to a nice pop of air. I did feel a trim kick in that I don't recall being there on my ride in 2016 though. The rest of the ride did have a pretty consistent shuffle to it, but the lack of real OSTR's (those jokingly useless comfort collars are barely noticeable) ensured the coaster never became uncomfortable. That allowed me to enjoy the good hangtime on the inversions and nice airtime on the bunny hills.

 

Well thunder did strike twice as I again enjoyed Thunderbolt. Either the cold weather, the new trim, or maybe a combination of both didn't have the coaster running as fast as my 2016 ride, but Thunderbolt was still a nice steel coaster. For such a compact coaster, Thunderbolt really has a little of everything if you can look past the shuffling. 8 out of 10

 

155236083_ThunderboltOverview.thumb.jpg.422ee697aa4ff4276f414f075a1c8952.jpg

It's truly impressive how varied Thunderbolt's elements are despite it's slender footprint.

1613923785_ThunderboltLift.thumb.jpg.4ee42c43604bdb1ecd09a17099ed8460.jpg

I remember when this was originally announced with an elevator lift...

976562991_ThunderboltLoop.thumb.jpg.7028b95085c1e689e1404b7664a531e6.jpg

Even with the thigh crushing restraints, you can still feel plenty of hang-time on this slow loop.

1619665396_ThunderboltOverbank.thumb.jpg.b257a70968e1c793c6b258b88f7c6f9a.jpg

Note the smiles. Honestly I don't think this ride is all that rough. Sure it shuffles, but then again my car does that driving down the highway as well.

1769218741_ThunderboltAirtime.thumb.jpg.f9894953023ee7ed943a85a7905f2e66.jpg

In 2016, this was some of the strongest ejector air I had ever experienced. The combination of the trim and/or the cold weather sapped these hills of their strength, but the airtime was still pretty darn good.

 

We followed that up with our lone flat ride of the day, the classic B&B Carousell. 9 times out of 10, a classic carousel is superior to the modern ones. It's hard for me to go against history, provided it is well maintained. The pavilion looked fantastic and the horses were beautiful, but something was missing.

 

I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but as I heard the reving of the motor, I realized what it was. There was no music. Now I'm a sucker for band organs, but I understand not all parks have those beauties. Those that don't typically have a recording, which is a decent alternative. But here it was uncomfortably mute. I'm not sure if it's usually like this, but in a way it felt sort of ominous. 5 out of 10

 

Carousell.thumb.jpg.8d5ce6fb07474a77b4c3127650669e28.jpg

I think Luna Park clicked the mute button on their carousel.

 

We decided to make our way towards the Scream Zone area. The full queue of the go karts we passed served as a reminder that the (almost) free wristband was bringing people out in droves. As we reached the Scream Zone, we saw a queue spilling out onto the boardwalk. Was that for a ride? No that was the line to buy tickets. It looked like the 10-15 minute waits to start our day would be a thing of the past.

 

All the rides in the Scream Zone had full queues. It was definitely tempting to hit the Slingshot or Zenobio (Skyscraper) since they're rare inclusions with a wristband, but those lines easily looked to be 1-2 hours long because of their putrid capacities.

 

Zenobio.thumb.jpg.d089eac785296bcde7b2c800aa783da2.jpg

It pained me to skip this, but I'll take the 2-3 Cyclone rides I got in the same time I would have waited in this queue.

 

That narrowed our choice down to Soarin' Eagle or Steeplechase. Now I actually enjoy volares (I'm not kidding, I really do), but my girlfriend absolutely detested the one we rode at Canada's Wonderland so we went with the Steeplechase. This queue moved at a snail's pace due to the single 12 person train. We passed the 30-40 minute wait people watching, which is an easy thing to do at Coney Island. The highlight were the four teenage boys who went twelve rounds slap fighting ahead of us.

 

Soon enough we were fortunate enough to have been assigned the front row, which is always the money seat on a launch coaster, even the smaller ones like Steeplechase. But before we could enjoy the launch, we were treated to another case of extreme stapling as the operators gave 2-3 firm shoves per rider.

 

The cold took 1/3 of my breath away, the kidney punch from the restraint stapling took another 1/3 of my breath away, and the launch took the final 1/3 away. The launch had far more zip than any 40 mph launch has the right to be. The rest of the ride is pretty repetitive, but the descending figure 8 pattern is significantly more enjoyable because of the seating arrangement. 6 out of 10

 

Steeplechase.thumb.jpg.97dcdffea7b0853fa3aeb43c3885cb79.jpg

Somebody sure seems to be having fun.

 

With the crowds multiplying like clones at a Six Flags park, we made the legendary Cyclone our top priority. We were greeted by a full queue, but the line flew. It couldn't have taken more than 20-25 minutes. Dispatch times rivaled those of Knoebels. I'm not even exaggerating when I say this, but I really think they had something like 12-15 crew members on the platform loading and checking restraints. With that many people, dispatch times better be fast!

 

1094538993_CycloneStation.thumb.jpg.5bb0d1db00f7fb93c755c82b1101ab97.jpg

This is staffed better than the RMV.

 

While they weren't assigning seats per say, they were forcing you to move to the end of the platform. For our first ride, we were seated in row 3. We sunk into the cushy trains, pulled down the single position lap bar, and were treated to a middle-of-the-pack wooden coaster. It was smooth, had some strong laterals on the turns, and even a few pops of air. It was a good warm-up for the airtime buffet that was about to occur.

 

Anyone familiar with the Cyclone knows just how critical it is to ride this coaster in the back. If you ride in the back, you will wonder just how something like this was designed in 1927. After another 20-25 minute wait, I'd say an angelic choir sang out but we were at Coney Island. We heard an ambulance and some dudes rapping in the street. Nonetheless we were at the back end of the platform and secured the money seat, the very back row.

 

As any good boyfriend would, I didn't tell my girlfriend what was about to happen. It made her reaction all the funnier. The scream of pure terror as we were completely ejected out of our seats on that first plunge was perfect. A similar scream was heard on the ride's other drops, and there were a lot of them. A majority of them provided, at least, a pop of air. The drop before the third turnaround and the tiny little hill before the fourth turnaround in particular give two of the ride's strongest airtime moments.

 

It's impossible not to come off the Cyclone laughing. At one point, the Cyclone was my number 1 coaster. It's still a fantastic coaster, but it now falls just outside my wooden top 10. Everything about the experience combines to make the Cyclone one of the most memorable coasters out there- the history, the couch-like trains, the roomy lap bars, the crew, the crushing laterals, and the terrifyingly steep drops. Just make sure you get the back. 9 out of 10

 

243642027_CycloneEntrance.thumb.jpg.0bc3f3802263c7a1b6552ceeb8351eb5.jpg

Everything about this coaster just fits in Coney Island. The entrance right off the street, the one-of-a-kind trains, and the ride's wild intensity (in the back row).

2040910867_Cyclonedrop.thumb.jpg.7c3614c95d842c70868a63f505c3e955.jpg

In the front, the coaster is a cute classic. In the back, you'll be treated to some serious OMFG ejector air.

754534941_CycloneTurnaround.thumb.jpg.fadad061745931bc422975e25a0d6522.jpg

And the minimally banked turns and lack of seat dividers really let you get acquainted with your seat mate.

 

We decided to head over to the main Luna Park area and quickly realized we made a grave mistake. It was almost impossible to navigate. It honestly felt as difficult to traverse as Disneyland is during Fantasmic. While I wanted to ride a few of the flats like Air Race or the Brooklyn Flyer, we had absolutely no clue where the queues began. Even if we could find the starts of the queues, it was apparent the wait wouldn't be short. My girlfriend and I both agreed we would rather spend that time queuing for a coaster.

 

2085760158_BrooklynFlyer.thumb.jpg.f63a2210f43f7d063ce748924980f95f.jpg

That's a lot of people.

17301405_AirRace.thumb.jpg.3a0d87752fbe21d79cfcc2fb725c584d.jpg

Where even is the queue line even start for this?

 

We were thirsty so we decided to make our way back to the car for a drink, but not before stopping at It'Sugar. Now I had absolutely no intentions of buying candy. But even I was impressed by some of this store's merchandise. Tell me another store where you can buy a plush bag of cheese puffs or "liquid filled" camel balls.

 

1301883916_CheesePuffs.JPG.ba3bd6560175141c8aaf81b7dcad4932.JPG

Someone on My 600 Pound Life really needs to get this instead of a teddy bear.

2143877231_CamelBalls.JPG.cbde40bc1f260adf7afd92bf230d9e2b.JPG

Would you put camel balls in your mouth?

 

We also passed the El Dorado Bumper Cars on the way. If they were included on the wristband, I'd ride them in a heartbeat. Turning a standard set of bumper cars into a rave? Sign me up! But it would have felt weird to pay more for a single 5 minute ride on a set of bumper cars than all the coasters I could ride in 6 hours. Someday I will ride these bumper cars. Someday I will ram all those Yankee supporters out there.

 

1124132725_ElDoradoOutside.thumb.jpg.4f10b604d5f6fdcedc0bb4f316221490.jpg

The facade just screams Coney Island.

1794107696_ElDoradoInside.thumb.jpg.e26113c267737b6ddc4e14ee2aebe08f.jpg

And the inside has all the makings of a rave.

 

We did make one last pit stop on the way to the car in Nathan's. Now I got my obligatory Nathan's hot dog in my first visit to Coney Island in 2012 and it was just ok. For a Nathan's, the place is incredible. All of the hot dogs I've had at their other mall locations are either soggy grease pits or shriveled up like a raisin. For that reason, I abstained. If I were to have ordered anything, it would have been the frog legs because where else would I get to order something like that? My girlfriend meanwhile got the obligatory hot dog and shared the same sentiments as me. It's decent, but not a must in a future visit.

 

1530835197_Nathans.thumb.jpg.ba1b98a0ff8d63a2205b908b08e068e4.jpg

Joey Chestnut can eat 70 of these things in 10 minutes. I probably won't consume 70 hot dogs in the next 10 years.

1442468636_NathansMenu.thumb.jpg.06edd408eb35067c85474ff403c03c3c.jpg

The frog legs were tempting. But how fresh would frog be in New York City? Hmm...

 

After fueling and hydrating up, we made one last loop around the attractions. We considered a second ride on the Thunderbolt, but the line stretched to the edge of the boardwalk. We also considered a ride on the Wonder Wheel, but skipped for the same reason as the bumper cars.

 

630038809_Denos.thumb.jpg.815699d4fde4785f425782424826f9a6.jpg

Without any sort of opening day promotion, Deno's was laughably overpriced compared to its neighbor offering the wristband.

 

Instead we finished with back to back rides on the Cyclone and we were lucky enough to have received the back car both times. Though it wasn't without a bit of good fortune on our last ride.

 

There was a group of six behind us that threw an absolute tantrum when someone cut them in line. One of the dudes, who was wearing a cheetah print shower cap (you couldn't make this up), climbed on top of the railing and started a verbal shouting match with "wannabe Martha Stewart." I'm against line cutting as much as the next person, but usually I'll start with the volume at level 10 instead of immediately starting at level 100.

 

The six behind us successfully thwarted the line jumper, but they then proceeded to push their way past us on the ramp entering the station. We didn't bother saying anything for two reasons. One, I really didn't want to start a brawl. Two, I realized it resulted in them being assigned the middle car and us receiving the back row. I guess I'll just chalk that up to karma and we were rewarded with another breathtaking ride. It's truly impressive how well this 90 year old coaster runs. It has the perfect balance of smooth and wild.

 

683363869_CycloneLift.thumb.jpg.c2cbc02f05b6ee842c562e0af15e283c.jpg

Whatever you're doing to maintain this classic, please keep doing it Luna Park.

 

Despite much higher crowds than usual (anyone who passed kindergarten would realize the crowds "free" admission would bring), we both enjoyed our time at Luna Park. Honestly I enjoyed having the cheap all-inclusive wristband and waiting maybe 20-30 minutes per ride as opposed to forking over $10 per ride with a zero minute wait. The latter is the normal conditions on a summer day and the costs rack up quickly when you want to reride the Cyclone.

 

Visiting Coney Island is an experience. I think we rode just 7 rides in 6 hours, but that also included a good chunk of time walking the boardwalk and checking out shops. So I'd like to thank Great Adventure for closing on a sunny 45-50 degree day to make our wonderful visit to Coney Island possible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 1.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Steel Pier I had tried going to Steel Pier once before in 2017, but the park closed shortly before I arrived.  This is one of those parks that has a rolling closure depending on attendance.  So t

While I'm not the biggest fan of the ride, I can't deny it was a great add for a lot of smaller parks once it was introduced so it's neat to say I rode the first.

Twisted Timbers is my new number one roller coaster     at the Land of Make Believe. Land of Make Believe The Land of Make Believe in Hope, New Jersey is a small park pr

Posted Images

^ Hey, my back yard!

 

Great report. I've been there on weekends when I thought it was crowded, but nothing like what the lure of $5 wristbands does to people. Definitely glad you got to get some rides in, especially multiple in the back of the Cyclone, and you sure can't beat the price! Offhand, you mentioned free parking -- what did you end up doing? Street parking, or did they actually open up the Keyspan lot for free?

 

And yes, I can confirm the B&B Carousell usually has traditional music going. Unfortunate that wasn't the case for you.

 

Speaking of carousels, if you ever find yourself down this way again and don't mind taking a brief detour, I can't recommend Jane's Carousel out in DUMBO enough, right on the water's edge near the Brooklyn Bridge. Absolutely beautifully preserved classic carousel enclosed in a modern glass structure. My family and I have been out there many times; we had our wedding photos taken there, and my daughter's first birthday party was there as well. Definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
^ Hey, my back yard!

 

Great report. I've been there on weekends when I thought it was crowded, but nothing like what the lure of $5 wristbands does to people. Definitely glad you got to get some rides in, especially multiple in the back of the Cyclone, and you sure can't beat the price! Offhand, you mentioned free parking -- what did you end up doing? Street parking, or did they actually open up the Keyspan lot for free?

 

And yes, I can confirm the B&B Carousell usually has traditional music going. Unfortunate that wasn't the case for you.

 

Speaking of carousels, if you ever find yourself down this way again and don't mind taking a brief detour, I can't recommend Jane's Carousel out in DUMBO enough, right on the water's edge near the Brooklyn Bridge. Absolutely beautifully preserved classic carousel enclosed in a modern glass structure. My family and I have been out there many times; we had our wedding photos taken there, and my daughter's first birthday party was there as well. Definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

 

Thanks! It was indeed the Keyspan lot. The gates were up, which was a very pleasant surprise.

 

For the B&B Carousell, I'll definitely give it another try on a future visit. It really had all the makings of a great carousel minus the music, so that would really make it shine. While on-ride audio on a coaster isn't a make or break thing for me, audio on a carousel sure is.

 

While I have never visited Jane's Carousel, I believe I may seen it on the subway ride to Coney Island a few years ago. I recall seeing a nice looking carousel near the bridge. One of my to-dos in a future New York City visit is to visit the original Grimaldi's, so I can maybe squeeze in a ride on Jane's Carousel as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool opening day TR. I didn't realize Coney Island opened up that early in the season. I wonder if they were open that day during Spring Break when the city got covered in snow? My parents went to NYC Easter week to visit my sister that now lives there and goes to grad school at Columbia University and they said they got a couple of sunny days in the 50s, followed by a day of snow, then a few days of cold rain, then a sunny day before they left. They asked me about things to do in Brooklyn and I told them not to bother with Coney Island and to save it for a future visit when its warmer not realizing it would be open for the season.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report. I'm glad I was able to see what I missed since I was considering going on that day. I'll happily make another trip to NYC and include Luna Park when the weather is nicer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Cool opening day TR. I didn't realize Coney Island opened up that early in the season. I wonder if they were open that day during Spring Break when the city got covered in snow? My parents went to NYC Easter week to visit my sister that now lives there and goes to grad school at Columbia University and they said they got a couple of sunny days in the 50s, followed by a day of snow, then a few days of cold rain, then a sunny day before they left. They asked me about things to do in Brooklyn and I told them not to bother with Coney Island and to save it for a future visit when its warmer not realizing it would be open for the season.

 

Thanks! I think in the past they've opened up in early-mid April and have weekend only operations for a bit. A later visit will cost more, but there won't be any lines like the time we visited. The boardwalk was packed for the fireworks, but I don't remember waiting more than 5 minutes for anything.

 

As for the weather, that sounds exactly what you'd expect from the northeast. If you don't like the weather, wait 30 minutes and it may be to your liking.

 

Great report. I'm glad I was able to see what I missed since I was considering going on that day. I'll happily make another trip to NYC and include Luna Park when the weather is nicer.

 

Thanks! If they did the same promotion, I'd definitely consider going again. Even if you aren't riding things, Coney Island is just a really cool place to walk around.

 

Just a quick fun fact, Jane's Carousel is the original carousel from Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio that has been restored. I've only ridden it when it was still at Idora and would love to ride it in all it's restored glory.

 

Cool fact! I definitely love when parks rescue and preserve historic attractions. It shows an appreciation for what came before them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Great report! I'm glad I'm not the only one that likes Thunderbolt.

Same here.

 

Thanks! It seems like you need a truly special coaster like Green Lantern for you to truly hate it.

Which Green Lantern? I'm actually okay with the SFMM one but can't stand the SFGAdv one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My beef with Thunderbolt is the trains--cramped, cheap looking, and rather shaky. But I love the ride's layout.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Honestly the insane stapling by the operators combined with those restraints is my top complaint. The lap bars on the Eurofighters are tight, but comfort isn't an issue there.

 

I can deal with shuffling as long as there's no headbanging.

Link to post
Share on other sites
^ Hey, my back yard!

 

Great report. I've been there on weekends when I thought it was crowded, but nothing like what the lure of $5 wristbands does to people. Definitely glad you got to get some rides in, especially multiple in the back of the Cyclone, and you sure can't beat the price! Offhand, you mentioned free parking -- what did you end up doing? Street parking, or did they actually open up the Keyspan lot for free?

 

And yes, I can confirm the B&B Carousell usually has traditional music going. Unfortunate that wasn't the case for you.

 

Speaking of carousels, if you ever find yourself down this way again and don't mind taking a brief detour, I can't recommend Jane's Carousel out in DUMBO enough, right on the water's edge near the Brooklyn Bridge. Absolutely beautifully preserved classic carousel enclosed in a modern glass structure. My family and I have been out there many times; we had our wedding photos taken there, and my daughter's first birthday party was there as well. Definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

 

Chris when are you going again? Maybe we’ll run into you like last time. I can’t wait to get my first laps on Cyclone this season. Im in the minority that likes Thunderbolt. Unique layout with intense inversions and some great ejector air on the three hills at the end.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ How long has that trim brake been there on the drop? My ride this year was noriceably slower than my 2016 ride. The return hills only had air on the first 2.

 

It also could have (and now that I type probably was) been the cold.

Link to post
Share on other sites
^ How long has that trim brake been there on the drop? My ride this year was noriceably slower than my 2016 ride. The return hills only had air on the first 2.

 

It also could have (and now that I type probably was) been the cold.

 

To be honest Im never paying attention enough to notice if there was a trim or not

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I rode it in 2012, it was smooth. Wild but smooth. In 2016, the 2 last turnarounds were brutal but the rest was smooth. This year the ride was smooth like 2012. It looks like Luna has taken good care of it from my rides.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Canobie Coaster!

 

What a wonderful whirl around Coney Island 2018!!  With Coney being my closest 'home park' (I'm in NYC), I love to follow its growth and its wild and crazy vibe.  (Or as Jerry Garcia & the Grateful Dead would put it, "What a long strange trip it's been!") Having gone, as a very small child, to the original Steeplechase Park (its last year before demolition), I can never forget the fantasy of that 'place-in-time' (alto I DO appreciate all that is currently underway to continue Coney's heritage -- and thrills!).

 

Nevertheless...walking into the historic Pavilion of Fun -that huge old building of Steeplechase Park - was a joy unlike any other I can recall from childhood.  It seemed daunting and mysterious....filled to the rafters with rides quite unlike the theme parks of today.  I just recall being transported into a very magical, euphoric land.

 

I actually remember so many of the old rides and would be happy to share any experiences, if anyone ever has any questions.  The best thing to do, though, is to go online and follow some of the amazing links that are filled with Coney Island's history and photos/descriptions/videos of the original rides.  Just do a search for Steeplechase Park, Coney Island and you'll find so many great shots of a special era.

 

For a look at the original Steeplechase horse ride - in 1911 - BEFORE MY TIME! - check out:

Steeplechase_Mechanical_Horse_Ride.mpg - YouTube

 

(Trust me, it was scary for a small kid!  Its horses were still 'flying over the tracks' right until its "final race" in the '60's.)

 

Also check out these super images of rides in the Pavilion of Fun - some with videos!

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=coney+island+steeplechase+Pavilion+of+Fun&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS504US504&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4of2lxLraAhXKjVkKHbXfAkIQsAQIag&biw=1317&bih=829#imgrc=9MSKDHF7yYHHMM:

 

If you'd like to see a charming independent film, The Little Fugitive, shot in 1953 at Coney Island, go to:

 

As for TODAY'S Coney Island, outside of Steeplechase Park, the Cyclone remains my fave experience.  Am SO glad it's been maintained so well!

 

Alice

P.S. Not to incite political wars here on TPR, but, believe it or not, Donald Trump's FATHER, real estate -ahem- 'tycoon,' was responsible for the 'undercover' tearing down of Steeplechase. And so it goes.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Having ridden Steeplechase at Blackpool last year, I know just how fun that coaster would have been. Blackpool really did a good job strapping you in, but you still felt extremely exposed on those horses. It is easily one of the most unique coaster experiences I've had.

 

Coney Island's history is fascinating. Even though a majority of the rides are modern Zamperlas, I still do appreciate the remnants of the past that do remain like the parachute tower, carousel, and (of course) the Cyclone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Carnivals in 1 Day

 

When Six Flags New England opens for the year in April, the weather is almost always frigid. It is New England after all! But usually 2 weeks before that, a spring carnival pops up in a comically oversized Showcase Cinemas parking lot. The Revere Spring Carnival really should be called the Late Winter Revere Carnival. The weather never resembles anything close to spring. It's always 30-40 degrees with high winds. And 2018 was no different.

 

I had every intention of heading to just the Revere Carnival. Usually Fiesta Shows brings their A team to this carnival and it was highlighted by their brand spanking new Interpark Super Cyclone last year. Sure it's only 30-40 feet tall, but for a portable coaster, that's really impressive (in the US at least). Fiesta Shows (the midway supplier) actually has a really well designed website. One of my favorite features is that you can click on a carnival and see the expected ride list.

 

It's really a 50-50 chance whether or not it'll be posted. It must depend whether or not the carnies have strong enough 3G from their trailers. And I'm guessing Metro PCS dropped the ball in this case because the Revere ride page was empty. I noticed they also had another carnival in Lawrence. I figured they'd have the B team, but decided to hit the ride list anyway. And sure enough Lawrence had the ride list posted.

 

As I browsed through the list, nothing was standing out. A Ferris Wheel, a swinging ship, a himalaya, a kiddie coaster, etc. Everything was exactly as I'd expect. But then I saw something I hadn't seen in almost 15 years. Viper. I refreshed my page to double check it wasn't an error. And Viper was still there.

 

Well that changed my plans and I immediately high tailed it over to Lawrence, which is something very few people in Massachsuetts ever want to do. I think it's pretty telling when one of the town's landmarks (and Poke Stops) is an abandoned Showcase Cinemas that has been closed for 4 years at this point. And sure enough that's exactly where this carnival was located.

 

Vertigo.thumb.jpg.781b0b47af1914fc3a389ae9f81dc37f.jpg

Nothing out of the ordinary so far.

 

So what exactly was Viper and why did I just go out of my way to ride it? One way to describe it is a sped-up, horizontal sky wheel. Or another would be the offspring of a paratrooper and a scrambler. Regardless the ride looks pretty messed up. I remember really liking the ride back in the early 2000s. But then it completely disappeared from Fiesta's ride lineup (at least in the many fairs I attended). I always assumed the ride met its untimely demise, but here it was standing in front of me.

 

I forked over $5 for a single ride and plopped myself down into the gondola. The vehicles leave you completely exposed. It's basically a sky ride gondola. For that reason, I was sort of nervous when the ride started. After driving out of my way for a stinking flat ride, I was worried my expectations wouldn't be met. With that open of a vehicle, it probably wasn't as wild as I remembered. 10 year old me probably didn't know better. And sure enough, 10 year old me was wrong. I had actually underrated this attraction.

 

One of reasons I love Zippers, Power Surges, and Free Flies is the unpredictability. While scramblers and himalayas have repetitive motions, Viper kept me on my toes. If the rotation of the large arm synced up with the rotation of the gondolas, it felt like a turbo boost. Experiencing laterals while simultaneously having your vehicle swing horizontally is extremely disorienting and awesome.

 

It's a shame there aren't more of these around since they're incredibly fun flats. Honestly, I'd be happier if I just saw this attraction pop up more frequently than once every 15 years on FIesta's fair circuit. The lone foil against the ride was a shorter than expected cycle. Usually Fiesta excels in this area, but maybe they want to keep the nausea down on this attraction? 9 out of 10

 

Viper.thumb.jpg.a4714cde418f91ae1e9111c037dbdc47.jpg

The perfect combination of intensity and sketchiness.

 

Off my Viper high, I drove a 30-40 minutes south to my original destination, the Revere Carnival. As I approached, the steel structure of the Super Cyclone was missing. At least they had one operating coaster on-site.

 

1241359157_RingofFire.thumb.jpg.9fc2b8534709370965b64deec253cc86.jpg

No not this...it was closed due to weather.

 

FIesta was probably worried the Larson Loop could valley in such cold and windy conditions. The weather posed some problems for a few other rides. The Ferris Wheel was closed due to wind, the bitter cold prevented the Round-Up from reaching its minimum rider requirement, and then the Starship Exodus was closed for some unknown reason.

 

1170511066_StarshipExodus.thumb.jpg.9f180f7139befa200a0b4c7d0eee09ab.jpg

Even Mother Nature has the power to close one of the few indoor attractions.

 

Alas there was one lone operating coaster, the creatively named Spinning Coaster. I'll give you one opportunity to guess the coaster type. If you said one of those SBF spinners that are spreading like wildfire, you'd be correct. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'll take these things over conventional kiddie coasters any day. The trains are plenty roomy for adults and it's possible to get a few decent spins. 3 out of 10

 

901996779_SpinningCoaster.thumb.jpg.1c8cde10903426aab4432553faa83612.jpg

Soon the SBF spinners will be more populous than the Vekoma Boomerangs.

 

While not as rare as the Viper I rode earlier, Fiesta is also the proud owner of another rare spinning ride, the Scat. Even more impressive is the fact that they own not one, but two of these attractions. HyperSpin has a solar powered (who knew carnies supported the environment with those big trailers) lighting package and looks more impressive than the other one in Fiesta's fleet (Twister). However, it's not as fast as Twister.

 

Is that an issue? It could have been, but HyperSpin somehow compensates. I say somehow since I'm not quite sure how. I'd think slower spinning would sap the ride of its enjoyment, but the slower spinning somehow made the ride more disorienting than it had any right to be. Combine that with a crazy long cycle and you have a winner for the most nauseating ride at the fair. 8 out of 10

 

HyperSpin.thumb.jpg.969658ae9b4514f68b231e2320b3d94e.jpg

HyperSpin seems to move in slow-mo, but it somehow works.

 

The carnival had two himalaya-style rides. One was a Chance Thunderbolt, which is just meh. The other was the Arctic Blast, one of those non-swinging himalayas with insane laterals. And Arctic Blast is run about as well as any himalaya out there. It has a long cycle both forwards and backwards, side-splitting laterals, and even some weak pops of air once the thing reaches its maximum speed. 9 out of 10

 

1359480918_ArcticBlast.thumb.jpg.5b2cbc521c66cf6a3126bd23b15bc68b.jpg

I'll take this style himalaya over the swinging bobs ones 99% of the time. For the 1%, see my Oktoberfest report last year.

 

And of course the carnival had plenty of pendulum rides. I rode two. The first was actually a ride that scarred me as a child, Pharaoh's Fury. While the ride had a posted 48" height requirement, I distinctly remember riding it when I was 4-5 years old and well below that height. And it absolutely terrified me. I came off crying and swore off swinging ships for 10-15 years.

 

Now I will occasionally ride them, but I have to be careful since they're basically the only ride that can make me queasy. I don't know why I decided to ride Pharaoh's Fury, but I figured I should try conquering my demon someday. And conquer it I did. I didn't get sick and got some mild air. 6 out of 10

 

679964914_PharaohsFury.thumb.jpg.d31f0bc493c7f7f227571b08cf79f460.jpg

Goats in a parking lot. Typical carnival.

 

But the undisputed airtime king of the carnival was probably the most popular ride at the fair, the KMG Freak Out. While every other ride was operating at less than half capacity, Freak Out always seemed to have a full load of happy, screaming riders. And like clockwork, it seemed like at least one rider would lose their phone or keys per cycle. People never learn. Zippered pockets are a must at theme parks or carnivals.

 

The Freak Out takes a bit to get going, rocking back and forth at a quarter height for longer than you'd expect. But then you hear the motor rev and the ride kicks it into overdrive. Once you reach max swings, you're guaranteed to be launched skyward. It's impossible for your shoulders not to be smashed into the top of the restraint. 9 out of 10

 

1931194937_FreakOut.thumb.jpg.a22989c67f7e75ffa0db2699943864df.jpg

I'm more likely to freak out on the dang swinging ship. Go figure.

 

As I was heading out, I saw an employee working this weird gyroscope attraction begging for riders. Come to think of it, I probably made 2-3 loops and never once saw anyone board his attraction. The poor fella. Guess his commission wouldn't be high on this bitter night.

 

But as I passed the attraction, I decided to get a ghetto preview of Great Adventure's Cyborg Cyber Spin for $5. I handed over the $5 and the employee was shocked. Of course he took my money without hesitation, but he was shocked. Was the gyroscope really that lame? It looked pretty cool! I quickly found out why. I think it was meant for kids. Actually I know it was meant for kids since my 5'10", 165 pound frame almost got walk-of-shamed.

 

After constantly complaining how difficult it was to secure me, I was eventually locked in place and I have to say, I felt like a prisoner. The OSTR wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but the straps placed around my ankles and arms sure were. I can't think of any other ride with wrist straps like this. It quickly became apparent why. The clearance between the levels of the gyroscope was impossibly tight. If I stuck my hands out, I'm pretty sure I would have lost a limb.

 

The dude working the attraction was complaining the whole time how tricky it was to operate. Instead of pressing a button like 99% of the rides out there, the worker had to manually spin a massive wheel that felt like it should be on a submarine hatch. The spins started slow, but once the carnival worker peaked during his arm workout, the ride became an absolutely disorienting experience. Unfortunately my head did get jostled around quite a bit, but other than that it was an interesting ride. 7 out of 10

 

70358837_SpaceBall.thumb.jpg.f9d3e3c80a9c8517fabb48aee3175426.jpg

Oh and it was called Space Ball.

 

Will this be my last carnival of 2018? Absolutely not. In fact, I actually just hit another one this past weekend on the way home from Six Flags New England. But this will probably be the lone carnival I purchase a wristband for this year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice report! I love me some sketchy small town carnivals. That Viper ride looks insane!

 

Thanks! Apparently the Venture Rides Cobra is on its fair share of carnival midways, but Fiesta is the only one I've seen in New England with this cool ride.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't seen an old-school Cobra in years. Doubt I'd be able to handle one at this age!

 

Wisdom Rides makes a "modern day" version called Viper. The differences are the OTSR's, both wheels load and unload at the same time, and that it's a piece of garbage from Wisdom. http://www.wisdomrides.com/viewnew/3

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/