Keansburg Amusement Park was one of several parks on the New Jersey coast to suffer severe damage from Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. The biggest casualty was the classic Schwarzkopf Wild Cat, which was disassembled and replaced with a second hand Pinfari ZL42 relocated from Beech Bend. Though the new coaster has been substantially complete for several weeks the trains are still being refurbished as of this writing; we noticed one car resting on a packing crate next to a maintenance workshop, its restraints held in place using crime scene tape.
We were first in line to ride Sea Serpent (#2077) when it opened shortly before noon. The train jerked violently as it started to move, but apart from that the experience was pretty good, with a small amount of airtime and some lateral forces. We were given three full laps of the course.
We'd bought a few extra tokens in order to try the Haunted Manor, but a staff member told us it wouldn't be open for a while as the live actors (or perhaps evil spirits?) had yet to arrive for work. Instead, we decided to ride the Double Shot, a rather good version of the ride that gave two powerful airtime pops at the apex and a nice aerial view of the park. Better yet, we were given a second full ride cycle free of charge.
20th July 2014
Fantasy Shore Amusement Park at Midland Beach Staten Island is the newest amusement park in the New York area, having opened its gates to the public just three weeks ago. It is home to half a dozen children's rides, including a miniature roller coaster relocated from a Jeepers FEC in Parkville, Maryland. Verazzano Viper (#2078) was being operated by a teenager who asked politely if we were ride inspectors; we decided it'd be easier not to try to explain!
Ocean Beach Park
20th July 2014
Getting across New York City by car is an exercise in patience at the best of times, with stop-start traffic being entirely normal even on a Sunday afternoon. A total journey time approaching five hours meant that the sun was beginning to set by the time we arrived at Ocean Beach, and the enormous car park was beginning to empty out. The lady at the parking booth warned us that the various amusement rides were probably closed, but as it turned out, she was wrong.
The operator on Dragon (#2079) greeted us with a simple question that was as revealing as it was amusing; how many have you guys been to today, then? Megan noted that we didn't fit the usual criteria for coaster enthusiasts, given that we had all of our teeth, no tattoos, and had showered that day week – but there was clearly something about our appearance that gave the game away. We didn't have enough small change for the token vending machine, but we were allowed to ride anyway and settle up afterwards at a manned booth near the park entrance. The coaster was lively, with a sharp turn on the first drop that left us in fits of giggles. There was also no issue at all with two adults in the same car, a definite improvement over more modern rides.
We decided to buy a few extra ride tokens for the Carousel, a relatively plain model geared at younger children. While the horses had stirrups to climb on board, my foot was too big to make use of them!
Atlantic Beach Park
20th July 2014
The only permanent roller coaster in the state of Rhode Island is a particularly small one, and we were not entirely convinced we'd be allowed on board. We need not have worried, however; the policy for Dragon Coaster (#2080) is refreshingly simple; if you fit, you ride. When riding small coasters like this I make a point of leaving the front car empty for kids, but it wasn't possible here as there wasn't enough room in any of the others for me to sit down. The ride was a typical Wisdom coaster with only one slight alteration; a restraint made from a garden hose wrapped around a chain!
We also rode the park Carousel, a beautifully ornate model dating from 1915. Sadly the original fairground organ was no longer in use, having been replaced by an electronic speaker system. The sound quality was very good, to the point that only an observant guest would notice the difference, but for me it just wasn't the same.
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