Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Have Some FUN Today" - Part 2

Editor's Note: This is the 2nd part of the story of NPN's recent visit to Rye Playland. See the first section here.

Moving along the tree lined midway at Playland you soon notice a tower sticking up among the trees - that's the park's Double Shot.

While you may think that a Double Shot has to do with your favorite Starbucks beverage, at Playland it means some serious thrills. The ride is around 90 ft. tall and the cars are not only blasted upward, but also back down when they reach the top. Just look at the faces of the riders in this photo - pure fun!

This next one - known as Catch A Wave - wasn't something that I actually rode while at the park. It may look like a friendly swing type ride, but when that baby gets moving it's really moving. This photo was taken when the seats were full of a girl's camp group - hilarious to watch their reactions!

Another classic ride at the park is The Whip - an original W.F. Mangels model. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but this is another ride of which there are only a handful left. All the more reason to head out and give it a whirl, or should I say whip?

While space limits the amount I can show here, Playland's Kiddieland is packed full of unique attractions aimed at the younger set. Here we have the Kiddie Coaster, another original ride from Playland's opening year. It was designed by Frank Darling and still runs with trains by National Amusement Devices.

No adults allowed on this one, though, so I had to enjoy the ride through photos.

While I'm yammering on about the robust amount of classic rides at Playland we must stop by the Derby Racer. I never rode the one at Cedar Point, and knew far too little about these before I got on board. The Derby Racer means business as I soon found out.

It's like a Carousel, only the horses are connected only to the floor. The entire platform rotates at some 25 m.p.h. - and if you're sitting on and outside horse (due to physics, etc) it feels about double that speed.

Round and round you go - you even have to lean in to the left to stay atop the horse properly. I've read that Playland's Derby Racer runs considerably faster than the other two still in operation - at Cedar Point and Blackpool Pleasure Beach - and I believe it!

For a summer day we actually got lucky with the overcast weather - helps keep it cooler while at the park. Then again, you could just fancy a spin on one of the park's two water attractions to achieve the same goal.

Above we have the Log Flume making a tremendous splash as a log reaches the final lagoon. The ride sits right along the boardwalk and Long Island Sound, providing a rather memorable view from the top of the lift hill.

Playland Plunge is where you head if you want a serious soaking. Maybe it's the angle of the above photo, but isn't the splash the boat is making as tall as the entire ride? Many squishy shoes could be heard as patrons walked away from this one. They were still smiling, though!

Playland's latest venture into the roller coaster scene is Super Flight - a Zamperla 'flying' style ride where you actually lay down during the experience. In order to make this lying position safe you are a bit enclosed in a cage-like contraption, but once things get moving you'll be happy you are.

Make no mistake - Super Flight is an intense ride that will probably be best enjoyed by the younger set. There is a lot of hustle and bustle while on this one, including two inversions, which makes for a bit of a bumpy ride.

We did have some fun while we were at Playland - it's a beautiful park that's worthy of its status as a National Historic Landmark. Over the years the park has been threatened with redevelopment many times; thankfully it has continued to operate as an amusement park!

I also have to give credit where it is due, I got much of the historical data for this from Jim Futrell's wonderful Amusement Parks of New York - available for a steal at the link below.

Watch out for the next park from our Road Trip - Six Flags New England - coming soon!