Rye Playland is an interesting place. Situated on a beautiful beachfront along the Long Island Sound, the area attracted amusements, restaurants, and resort-businesses in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, but it also attracted "unsavory crowds", so Westchester County eventually took control of the real estate, forced out the existing operators, and built Playland and its surrounding facilities. It really is a gem, but it has had its ups and downs over the years, and it has become a very big drain on the County's budget. You may have heard news in the last several years that Playland was going to close, which is at least partly true, because the County can no longer afford to subsidize it.
A plan to "save" Playland was chosen by County Commissioner Rob Astorino, but the whole process seems to have been mismanaged. I was among those who wrote to the County to support an amusement-based solution for Playland, not the weird "Sustainable Playland" proposal that Astorino selected. There have since been so many delays and challenges to the plan that it's not certain whether Sustainable Playland will even go forward in their participation. There is a summary of the situation here.
Why this report? We were missing one credit from Rye Playland...See the photos below for our adventure! (BTW, this is one of the parks where I grew up, and everyone's always called it "Rye Playland", although the official name is Playland Amusement Park. Still, you can enter "Rye Playland" and it will come up in rcdb.) On to our Saturday visit.
Back in 2008, when I was young and slim, Cheryl and I visited Rye Playland on opening day and found that Kiddie Coaster has a maximum height limit and we were unable to ride it. It's very possible that I rode it as a child, but I don't remember it, and our rule is that we don't count credits that we can't remember or somehow document.
So here we are on a beautiful Saturday to rectify the situation.
Rob Astorino is now the GOP candidate for Governor. He seems to have botched his own Playland plan, which leads me to believe that the gubernatorial post is beyond his level of capabilities, not that he has any chance against Cuomo to begin with.
To the government building to bribe government officials! ;-) But seriously, we just applied and paid for a park usage permit. Thanks to RB for the tip that this could be done.
Nelly is our host. It is one half-hour before the park opens to the GP.
National Historic Landmark
Buckle your seatbelts!
Ready to GO!
And they're off!!!
Appproaching lift hill.
On the lift hill!
And another go-around! Total: 3 Circuits
We've made history!
Hah Hah, Height Restriction! You've been vanquished!
Back out of the gates, we walked to one end of the boardwalk (this is where BIG was filmed).
All the way to the other end of the boardwalk.
That's Long Island in the distance.
In the GP queue for the park to open.
The park has a lovely green in the center, with rides and eateries along the sides.
First stop was Derby Racer.
These were built by Fred Church, and only three remain. Anyone know where the 2 others can be found?
Next stop was Zombie Castle.
For a traditional dark ride, this really kicks butt. Lots of sick and grotesque gags, with a crazy loud and disturbing soundtrack.
Oops, my reflection on Zoltar. I can't say for sure if this is the same Zoltar as in the movie BIG, but it does stand to reason, unless it was acquired some time after the film was made.
Next stop, the classic Dragon Coaster.
I definitely remember going on this as a kid, but it's still worth a ride. It's incredibly long and fun.
Old Dragon car.
Ye Old Mill is another of the park's collection of classic rides.
They have these markers for the classic collection put in place for the park's opening in 1928-29.
Unfortunately, this Old Mill has received the same treatment as the one at Kennywood: lots of bad retheming. These old "tunnels of love" were meant for smooching.
Lunch time! Look, they serve beer!
My barbecue chicken wrap was not bad.
Another classic dark ride.
Flying Witch is also a messed up twisted old school nightmare.
If you grew up in the New York area, you might know Carvel ice cream, which was Westchester-based for years.
Another view of Dragon Coaster.
With its famous dragon!
Wow, what a beautiful day! Thanks for visiting Rye Playland with us!!!
Last edited by milst1 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:43 pm.
Great pictures, thanks for posting them. I haven't been to Rye Playland for over a decade... but the one thing I remember the most about Dragon Coaster was that it seemed to keep going and going and going. Lots of flat turns (I'm a flat turn enthusiast) and hills. Great ride; I hope it sticks around for many more years.
GayCoasterGuy wrote:Great pictures, thanks for posting them. I haven't been to Rye Playland for over a decade... but the one thing I remember the most about Dragon Coaster was that it seemed to keep going and going and going. Lots of flat turns (I'm a flat turn enthusiast) and hills. Great ride; I hope it sticks around for many more years.
Those older designers like Church, Traver, and Miller tended to have flat instead of banked turns, right?
Devins3 wrote:I have never been to Rye Playland despite living in NY. I am visiting a friend in NYC Saturday is it worth the 30 dollar admission? I will almost do it in case the park isn't open in the future.
You could always just pay the $10 admission and then pay per ride, if the $30 entrance plus ride band price is too steep for you, but you're asking someone who will drive for hours, or even fly, to get a single credit, so four credits for $30 sounds like a deal to me. If you're a New York amusement park enthusiast, this is, literally, the only New York City metropolitan area amusement park that has survived the last century more or less intact.
At various times the park has alternated between the pay-for-entry and open admission models. Currently, one must pay for admission, which keeps the crowds lighter and also affects the composition of guests (a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view).
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