Nice report man! I am glad to see the water park expanded to have some nice modern waterslides. I only have been once, when Excalibur was new, I remember buying a piece of wood from its construction for $4.00, it has a little plaque on it. Excalibur is seriously an amazing ride, seldom talked about but a great coaster in a beautiful setting, I am glad to hear it has aged well: time to go back!
Palace Playland will be around as long as Hampton Beach continues to get worse and worse, as Old Orchard Beach has traditionally been Hampton Beach-lite to begin with and is starting to attract the people who don't want to pay $40 to park on someone's lawn for a tiny little strip of beach where they can step on dirty needles and watch trashy NH couples make out and get into drunken screaming matches. It's not glamorous and it does indeed feel like a traveling carnival, but I don't see it going away any time soon.
When we drove through Hampton Beach (I-95 was so bad that this was faster), I couldn't believe how trashy it looked. The tone was set when I saw a sign advertising nude women combined with a still standing storefront of an Ames.
I'm just worried Palace Playland will turn into condos like many other seaside parks have.
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Nah, Portsmouth is a far more attractive draw to developers who want to plunk down luxury condos with obnoxious gastropubs with chalkboard menus where a waiter with a beard and a gelled quiff will sell you $16 appetizers. I just don't see them putting Old Orchard Beach on their radar any time soon.
Also, that was probably Lafayette Road in Seabrook that you drove through (judging by the abandoned Ames), and I assure you that that's a very accurate impression of that town. It's basically 1A and Lafayette plus a bunch of trailer parks, and both of those roads are a mix of chains, run-down strip malls with facades that haven't been updated since 1996, townie dive bars and disgusting family restaurants, fireworks stores, and porn stores.
I was under the impression that everyone in MA either went down to the Cape or up to the Lakes Region and/or the White Mountains for vacation, though it also seems like the Cape is one of the de facto NH vacation spots as well. Old Orchard Beach has always kinda been one as well, but it used to mostly cater to Quebecois coming down from Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres, and QC.
Wowwie! Great pictures! I absolutely love Funtown Splashtown USA! I'm not too into water parks but I think they have a GREAT waterpark! Excalibur, Wild Mouse, and Dragon's Descent are all great thrill rides. And I really love their family ride selection! I love both of the antique cars, the log flume, the dodgem cars, and I really like their tea cups. Funtown is a very charming family owned park.
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