Monday, December 28, 2009

Aerial Antics: Playland Park

I thought that a beach side park was perfect for this week's Aerial Antics, mostly because I'm wishing it were summer pretty bad right now. There's always that post-Holidays letdown that's a mixture of relief that it's over but a dreading of the long cold months that are ahead.

But I digress. Playland Park, often called Rye Playland, has been around for ages, since the late 1920s. The facility is government owned and operated, something you won't find elsewhere (at least of a park this size.)

The quaint kiddie land features a wooden ride from the park's opening.

It's also a National Historic Landmark. Don't believe me? Here's the "Statement of Significance" for Playland:

"Opened in 1928, this is the first totally planned amusement park in America, and was designed specifically to accommodate automobile travelers. After more than 50 years, its Art Deco design and architecture remain essentially unaltered, and it has served as a prototype for contemporary theme parks. Several of the park's original rides, including the Dragon Roller Coaster, still operate and are of major individual significance because of their rarity."

Oh no, not one of those Zamperla Volares!

The fact that the park was fully planned by designers really shows in the long, beautifully landscaped walkways that cross the park.

A water ride surrounded by water. At low tide, though.

The park hasn't let it's long history make it into a museum piece, though, as they've been adding new rides and attractions to create a nice mix of modern and classic offerings. You can find the latest and greatest, but also enjoy a slow walk along the tree lined midways just taking in the atmosphere.

The above shot contains many notable items, such as the park's famous art deco tower, the Log Flume which soaks riders all summer long, and an S&S Double Shot tower.

Playland's largest coaster is the Dragon, a famous Fred Church designed wooden ride. It has a long tunnel with the opening dressed up as a dragon's head that swallows the train... hence it's name.

Just wanted to end with a nice shot of the property with the sun reflecting off the water. If you want to zoom around Bing's aerials for the ride, click here.