Day three of our trip began in a very relaxed fashion with an entire morning visiting Megan's cousins, who live a few miles away from Morey's Piers on the Cape May peninsula. We then took an early afternoon ferry across the Delaware Bay and drove to Ocean City, Maryland.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
5th July 2016
Two years ago we spent a very pleasant hour at Jolly Roger Amusement Park, riding a total of three coasters including a classic Schwarzkopf that was removed just three months later and exported to Peru. Under normal circumstances we'd have waited a few years to make a return visit, but we decided to bring things forward when it became apparent that the park had installed another Schwarzkopf masterpiece that had been out of use for almost fifteen years.
Before we could do that however it was necessary to tick off an embarrassing kiddie coaster. Sea Serpent (#2255) was a bit of a curiosity, as it looked at first glance to be no different to the Sea Serpent we'd ridden on our previous visit. That unit was mounted on a trailer, however, while the current unit is a park model. One doubts that anyone other than an enthusiast would have noticed the removal of the steps up to the ride station, and one further doubts that anyone with a life would actually care, but for us it was without question a new credit. The operator on duty today was bemused at two adults riding, and calmly informed us that there was a much bigger coaster available if we enjoyed riding his one.
With that out of the way we walked over to Wildcat (#2256), a ride that was originally built for Cedar Point in 1970. After nine years there it was moved to Valleyfair, and then on to Jolly Roger Amusement Park. It taken down at the end of the 2001 season and placed into storage in favour of an undistinguished Wild Mouse, a thoroughly bizarre decision that this writer considers to be the theme park equivalent of replacing a Michelin-starred restaurant with a branch of Burger King. Fortunately the hardware was kept in good condition, and it was put back together for the 2015 season. Today there was a slight shudder as the car engaged the chain lift, but the rest of the layout was as smooth as anything I've encountered in my travels, and the pacing was steady from start to end, making for an absolutely perfect ride. The experience wasn't an extreme one by any means; rather it was just an enjoyable family attraction that felt like it was brand new despite being almost half a century old.
We took a second ride before relocating to the nearby Ferris Wheel for some overhead views. We had a clear shot of the Splash Mountain water park next door, and though small we spotted a Master Blaster slide and an Aqua Loop, both of which seemed to be doing a good trade.
5th July 2016
One of the biggest challenges when visiting seaside locations is finding sensibly priced parking. The vast majority of places are typically geared at day visitors, with a flat charge regardless of how long you stay that borders on the penal for those just after a quick credit. We arrived at the lot next to Trimper's Rides tonight and discovered that there was no charge for visitors leaving in under thirty minutes, and we decided that it'd be worth trying to be out in that time if at all possible.
We found our third SBF Spinning Coaster (#2257) in as many days just inside the park entrance, no more than two hundred feet from where we'd parked. For once the ride was actually worthy of its name, as the cars rotated at considerable speed while clattering awkwardly around the figure eight track. I particularly liked the bright colour scheme, which was aided considerably by the afternoon sun.
After a brief walkabout we decided to do the Haunted House, which remains the best attraction in the area by several orders of magnitude. Our ride was postponed for several minutes when one of the motorised coffins got stuck on a football that had been thrown onto the track by a local reprobate, but fortunately we still made it back to our car just in time to escape the parking charge.