Pete's Trip to Delaware, New Jersey and New York

August 19-22, 2004

I just returned from my trip to Delaware, New Jersey. and New York. Rick could not go, so I did this trip alone. I had two purposes to this trip.. to ride Tsunami, the new wood coaster at Clementon Amusement Park and to visit five small amusement parks that I never visited before, to "fill in the gaps" on my roller coaster list.

DAY 1 (Thurs.)- Drove to Blue Diamond Park in New Castle, Delaware. This is the new home of Zyclon Coaster, moved here this year from DelGrosso's Amusement Park In Tipton, PA. It was nice to ride It again! Employees still have to push the trains in the station. The airtime Is great for this type of steel coaster. Why would DelGrosso's replace this coaster with a spinning Crazy Mouse? Stupid move! Blue Diamond also has an Orient Express kiddie coaster, some fiat rides, and Motorcross ATV BMX, and mountain bike tracks.

Started driving to New Jersey. Called Clementon Park and they are still testing Tsunami. They still don't know when it's opening, so I drove to Atlantic City for the night. Walked the boardwalk and rode the Little Leaper and Crazy Mouse at the Steel Pier. This spinning Crazy Mouse is the same as DelGrosso's new Mouse. Yuk! Steel Pier has the first spinning Crazy Mouse In America, operating since 1999, after being moved from Wildwood, where it built in 1997. I have rode it many times over the years, and I still hate it!

DAY 2 (Fri.)- Drove to Clementon Park, about 2S miles from Atlantic City. From the parking lot, I could see inspectors running trains with sand bags around the track. I asked at the front gate and they still weren't sure when the coaster would open. Signs at the gate said the coaster would not be operating today. I wonder how long these signs were there. I decided to continue my trip and return to Clementon on my way home. I visited three more parks today!

Next stop was Fantasy Island in Beach Haven, NJ, about 40 miles from Atlantic City. I have been vacationing at the New Jersey shore since 1964, and I thought I have seen all the seaside parks, but I never was at this park before! Fantasy Island is a very small park about two blocks from the beach. They have the Dragon kiddie coaster, some fiat rides, and water slides.

My next stop was Bowcraft Amusement Park in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, near Newark. This is a nice family owned park, with Flying Dragon family coaster, a nice train ride, and many flat rides. Enjoyed the park, then drove to New York.

Playland Park In Rye, NY was the next stop. I have been to this park many times before, and it must be enjoyed at night! It has the "art deco" style similar to Lakeside Park in Denver, which lights up beautiful at night! I arrived at 10:00 PM and the park is open till 12:00 Midnight! Lots of night rides and the park was empty! The park is home to The Dragon wood coaster, from 1929. A great ride, except for the Morgan trains! Playland's new coaster is Super Flight, a Zamperla flying coaster, similar to The Flying Coaster at Elitch Gardens. Playland has many historic rides- an old mill, two carousels, 2 dark rides, Derby Racer (similar to Cedar Downs at Cedar Point, but much faster!), and a wood Kiddie Coaster from 1928! They also have many new rides, and a beach.

DAY 3 (Sat.)- Started today at Adventureland in Farmingdale, NY, on Long Island. The park opened at noon. I arrived at 11:45 and was surprised to find two ACE friends from Ohio, Rob and Debbie, standing at the gate! Wow, it is a small world! They also were never at this park and were adding it to their list! We rode together the rest of the afternoon. We rode the Hurricane and Lady Bug coasters and many other rides. They have a dark ride, Ferris wheel, and a nice train ride. We rode their two new rides- John Silver's Hip Hop, a free fall that sways back and forth like a pendulum, and Crocodile Run, a unique water ride. What a nice assortment of rides; a very nice amusement park.

Rob and Debbie informed me that a new coaster just opened last week at Sports Plus in Lake Grove, about 20 miles from Adventureland, and they were going to check it out. We met at Sports Plus, an indoor park with bowling, ice skating, paintball, arcade games, rides, and the new Thriller indoor roller coaster, themed like a haunted house. We rode the coaster, then we all left to start driving home. It was raining outside- the only rain of the whole trip and it was an indoor coaster!

I called Clementon Park one more time and they said the coaster was not open yet and still don't know when, so I drove from New York to my last stop at Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA. I arrived at 7:00 PM and the park closes at 8:00 PM. It rained earlier in the day, so the crowd had all left already- the park was empty! There was no one at the gates, so I got free parking and free admission to the park! I walked right thru the gates! I rode the Vapor Trail roller coaster three times, then walked around the empty park to check it out.

It's Sunday, and I'm now home. I did not get to ride Tsunami at Clementon yet, but I visited Playland and six new parks. I added 8 coasters to my list, which is now at 470. A very nice trip!


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