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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

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

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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

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They decided to put a net over the roadway instead of a tunnel, for loose articles. I wouldn't think anymore into it.

 

Great TR.

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I live three hours from this park and still have not made it. Hopefully next year i can Go then hit up Cedar point

 

It's well worth a side trip!

 

They decided to put a net over the roadway instead of a tunnel, for loose articles. I wouldn't think anymore into it.

 

Great TR.

 

Thanks!

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Storybook Land

 

Every once and a while, we do thing we aren't proud of for a coaster credit. I thought going to Storybook Land would be one of them. But I have to be honest, I loved Storybook Land!

 

It's no Six Flags Great Adventure (or even Six Flags America), but the park oozes charm. In many ways, the park reminded me of Oregon's Enchanted Forest. The entire park is underneath a dense tree canopy, there are adorable figures all throughout the park, and there are a large number of walkthrough attractions.

 

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Sound the alarm, Disneyland's castle is no longer the smallest!

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Storybook Land has a confusing name for me since one of my local parks is Story Land. And there are a lot of similarities. Both parks have a Humpty Dumpty sitting atop the park logo.

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Such a pretty park!

 

All the shade was very much appreciated the day I visited. If I remember correctly, it was in the 90s with max humidity. But it felt 20 degrees cooler at Storybook Land underneath all those trees. Not only that, several of the rides are built under pavilions as well for double protection.

 

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I can't decide if my favorite tilt-a-whirl is this one, the one at Belmont with ice cream, or the one at Holiday World with turkeys.

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It was so hot, the park was giving out free ice creams.

 

The highlight for me was of course Bubbles the Coaster. This is one of the best kiddie coasters I've ever ridden. The ride has the same layout as Kozmo's Kurves, which is already one of the more aggressive kiddie coasters. But Bubbles needed to live up to its name so on the first drop, the ride blasts riders with bubbles. 5 out of 10

 

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Least intimidating name ever for a dragon.

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If there was an award for the best kiddie coaster, this would be a contender.

 

The park was also supposed to get a SBF Visa spinner called the Cinderella Coaster for 2020, but I saw no evidence of the ride anywhere. There was no visible land clearing nor track visible. I'm guessing the pandemic delayed this ride a year or two.

 

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At first glance this may look like an actual work zone, but this is just a cute display with an animatronic crane.

 

Outside of Bubbles, the only other attraction I rode was the antique car ride, which was extremely well landscaped. I spent most of my time in the park admiring the walkthroughs and displays, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.

 

Would I recommend visiting Storybook Land? If you have kids, absolutely! It's one of the best kids parks I've visited. And even though it's on the smaller side, it's still worth visiting as an adult if you appreciate good theming or want a coaster credit.

 

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Even the smaller rides are well-landscaped.

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I'm late, I'm late! For a very important date!

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Don't forget to duck your head!

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Is Slide to Wonderland a euphemism for LSD?

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The experience ends with a maze. This maze is a lot easier than the ones I used to make in Roller Coaster Tycoon. This one actually had an exit.

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This was the best baseball I saw all year since the Red Sox were embarassing.

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Goats on the roof!

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And just like the beloved Pigeon Forge attraction, you can crank them up some food.

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You know what they say about people with big shoes...

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Snow White's lovely home.

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Snow White threw a party like it was 2019.

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Sleeping Beauty threw a party like it was 2020.

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Clearly the writers of Little Red Riding Hood have never tried to put clothing on an animal. If my beagles are any indication, it doesn't end well.

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Nice report! I've probably driven past this place a hundred times, as it's on my way to AC. Please tell me you stopped into White House Subs while you were in the area?

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Yeah, White House is about the only redeeming quality about Atlantic City (especially with the pandemic), but they make the best cheesesteak I've ever had (and I frequent Philly!) as was as some banging cold subs too.

 

There's also two really cool retro video game/toy stores (Level Up in Hamilton Mall and Farpoint on Route 40 east of the mall) right in the area, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Great pictures. I used to really like visiting Storybook Land when I was a kid. It’s good to see they added some family rides like the Tilt a Whirl and mini drop tower. Except for the train and antique cars, it was all kiddie rides when I used to visit.

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Yeah, White House is about the only redeeming quality about Atlantic City (especially with the pandemic), but they make the best cheesesteak I've ever had (and I frequent Philly!) as was as some banging cold subs too.

 

There's also two really cool retro video game/toy stores (Level Up in Hamilton Mall and Farpoint on Route 40 east of the mall) right in the area, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

 

I was in and out of Atlantic City in a half hour for Steel Pier. I still need to try a good cheesesteak since I've since learned Pat's and Geno's aren't the best for them.

 

Great pictures. I used to really like visiting Storybook Land when I was a kid. It’s good to see they added some family rides like the Tilt a Whirl and mini drop tower. Except for the train and antique cars, it was all kiddie rides when I used to visit.

 

Thanks! I'm glad they've been adding more rides parents can enjoy with kids.

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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 this time, I made sure to arrive midday.  I parked across the street at the Hard Rock Casino and made my way to Steel Pier.

Like many of the Jersey Boardwalk parks, social distancing and mask compliance was an afterthought to most guests.  However, the park was reasonably dead in the afternoon on a weekday, so it wasn't an issue for me.  I was in and out of the park in less than an hour.

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The park is home to two coasters, most notably a historic Reverchon spinning coaster.  This was the prototype that was relocated from the defunct Dinosaur Beach.  And I have to say, it's one of the best compact spinners.  This one has a great location alongside the Atlantic Ocean and this one spun a lot...if you got the right vehicle.  There was one vehicle that consistently wouldn't spin, so I made sure to avoid that one. 5 out of 10

Just a warning for any enthusiast going to Steel Pier by themselves, Crazy Mouse doesn't allow single riders, a restriction you won't find anywhere on their website.  It's also laughably sketchy.  You have these sun-faded, ragtag signs alongside the station.  The vehicles collide into each other in the station.  And best of all, there was an employee atop the station manually taking the on-ride photos since the automatic one was down.  That's something you'll never see at a corporate park!

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The other coaster is Loco Motion, a SBF non-spinning coaster.  This coaster was surprisingly shaky for a kids coaster and it kept sending me around and around much to my chagrin.  I definitely earned this credit! 1 out of 10

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The only other ride I experienced was their giant observation wheel which is creatively named the Wheel.  It was pricey, but the views of the park, the ocean, and Atlantic City were spectacular.  9 out of 10

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Unless Steel Pier adds a new coaster, I probably won't be back here.  It's fine for what it is, but it's a pricey pit stop for some off-the-shelf rides I can experience elsewhere.  I'd prefer to spend my time at the other Jersey boardwalk parks.  And that's especially true since Atlantic City isn't really appealing to me as a whole.

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I went there years ago when in AC for Wheel of Fortune tryouts. I encountered the same single rider issue, but fortunately there was a group of two behind me who didn't mind me on the other side. I also remember it spinning like crazy, too! Didn't realize it was a prototype, that's kinda cool, I guess.

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Twisted Timbers is my new number one roller coaster

 

 

at the Land of Make Believe.

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Land of Make Believe

The Land of Make Believe in Hope, New Jersey is a small park primarily targeted for kids.  And this was a really weird park.

 

In some ways, it reminded me of Knoebels.  The park is located in the middle of a forest and has no paved walkways.  In other ways, it reminded me of Storybook Land or Story Land with the non-ride attractions such as the petting zoo, play areas, and walkthroughs.  But then you had some really head-scratching policies that made me want to rip my hair out.

The first was the fact that this park does not accept major credit cards due to their policies on consumer fraud.  Fortunately, I had some cash in my car that was reserved for parking at the boardwalk parks, so I was able to avoid a trip to the First Hope Bank.

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Second, the park's covid precautions were annoying.  All guests were asked to wear masks unless they were in the water park.  However, none of the employees were wearing masks anywhere.  The closest I saw was the ride operator at Twisted Timbers wearing his mask as an arm band.  I thought that was a pretty bad double standard during a pandemic to have guests wear masks in the dry park, but not hold the employees to the same standard.

Third, I had a cloth mask I wanted to wear in the water park while walking around and queuing for water slides.  I planned to store that mask in a zippered pocket whenever I actually rode a water slide.  However, employees told me I wasn't allowed to wear a mask anywhere in the water park for safety reasons.  Thankfully, the park was dead so it was extremely easy to social distance.

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Now that I have the negatives out of the way, let's focus on the positives.  This small kid's park has not one, but two coaster credits.  The older credit is Thriller, the Miler kiddie coaster.  This one wasn't overly wild, but it was smooth. 2 out of 10

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Twisted Timbers was the "star" roller coaster.  It was the best Twisted Timbers I rode in 2020.  Unlike its namesake at Kings Dominion, this Twisted Timbers is not an RMC loaded with airtime.  Rather, this Twisted Timbers is your garden variety SBF Visa spinner.  Though this one does give a very long cycle, so as far as SBF spinners go, this one is elite. 4 out of 10

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If you visit Land of Make Believe, solely for the coasters, it's a pricey pit stop.  Beyond the coasters, the only other exciting ride for me on the dry side was the Scream Extreme 360, an extremely disorienting, miniature inverting frisbee.  This one didn't run as long of a cycle as Quassy's Frantic, but it still had a ton of hangtime and made me very dizzy. 6 out of 10

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The rest of the offerings were understandably targeted towards kids.  You had some standard flats plus a few intriguing walkthroughs; however, the latter were closed due to covid.  And the park also had a cute looking castle stage, but I didn't see any shows taking place, which also could have been due to covid.

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But if you like water parks, Land of Make Believe is well worth the price of admission.  While the dry side is filled entirely with kids rides outside of the inverting frisbee, the water park has some intense water slides.  Most notably, there are two drop pod water slides called Pirate's Escape and Pirate's Revenge.  These ones are shorter than the ones you'll find elsewhere, but the initial plunge is shocking as ever, the turns pull some good Gs, and it's very smooth on your back.  It was the best ride at the park without a doubt. 8 out of 10

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The other notable water slide for me was the Sidewinder half pipe slide.  I always enjoy the abnormally large drop on these things.  However, I'm spoiled by the version I grew up with at Aquaboggan in Maine since that one allows you to ride it backwards.  This one did not.  But it was still quite thrilling experiencing a drop that big and steep for a tube slide. 7 out of 10

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The rest of the water park offerings weren't anything special, but the lineup was deep with some regular tube slides, a body slide, and a bowl slide.

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If you have kids, the Land of Make Believe is a no brainer.  If you enjoy water parks, the Land of Make Believe is well worth experiencing.  If you're a dirty credit whore seeking two junior coasters, come on down.  Just know, you'll be paying for those credits if that's all you care about.

But I personally enjoyed my 1.5 hours there mostly because of the water park, despite the frustrating policies this park had in place.

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Gillian's Wonderland Pier

Ocean City, New Jersey is home to two amusement parks within a half mile of each other.  The first I visited this year was Gillian's Wonderland Pier since it opened an hour earlier.  And I needed far less than an hour.  The park was dead and since the park wasn't offering wristbands, I quickly rode what I wanted to with the pay-per-ride option.

And before talking about the park, do not miss the Tee Time mini golf next door.  It was just $5 and it was one of the best mini golf courses I've ever played.  Every single hole had some sort of obstacle, including a few I had never seen before.

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Gillian's is split into a small indoor section and a larger outdoor section.  The indoor section is comprised mostly of kiddie rides, the park's classic carousel, and a weird monorail.  For the most part, Gillian's is your typical boardwalk park absent of theming.  But for whatever reason, they decided to give their monorail a themed station.  As for the ride itself, it circles the entire park, so it's a good way to preview the park or get some aerial photos. 6 out of 10

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The other ride that's themed is the Canyon Falls Log Flume.  And it's easily the park's star attraction.  This flume starts below the deck and it passes through caves and through several scenes.  This one only has one drop, but it's a really good drop.  It gives a tiny pop of airtime and it has a fantastic headchopper when it dives back below the deck. 9 out of 10

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The park was in the process of installing a Huss frisbee during my visit, so the newest operating ride was their ARM/Larson drop tower.  And since Gillian's was jealous of Cedar Fair's drop tower names, the park decided to name it Drop Tower.  While the name is laughably lazy, the ride is fantastic.  It gives a wonderful view of the beach.  And then the drop is absolutely gut-wrenching.  You drop like a rock and float the whole way down.  10 out of 10

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But what name could be better than Drop Tower?  Dark Ride!  Again, the name is laughably bad, but it's a solid dark ride.  This is not your average tacky carnival haunted house.  This one has a lot of scenes with jump scares, but the one criticism I have is that it's a bit too well-lit, so you can see some of the scares before they happen. 6 out of 10

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If you want coaters, Gillian's unfortunately removed their largest coaster, Runaway Mine Train, a few years ago.  So the only remaining coaster is a Wacky Worm.  I got this credit in 2017, so I didn't feel the need to pay for it a second time.

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Having visited during the covid-19 pandemic, I have to give the park credit that almost every ride was running.  The only exceptions were the under construction Frisbee and the Tin Lizzy bumper cars, which were comically on their side like an obese turtle.

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Ocean City, NJ is a really fun boardwalk.  While I'll never make a trip exclusively for Gillian's, I'll most likely pop in to ride that flume and drop tower whenever I find myself there.

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