Every year, my family and I go “down the shore” to Wildwood, NJ. It’s like a tradition now, no summer is complete without that particular vacation. We normally stay about 5 days and always stay at a motel in Wildwood Crest because it’s much more laid back than Wildwood and North Wildwood. This year we switched motels and stayed at a place called Imperial 500, it’s a prototypical Wildwood motel (and probably the definition of ‘motel’) with long open balconies, a sun deck, pool, shuffleboard, etc. The place resides a block from the beach on Atlantic Aveand Forget-me-Not road. Imperial 500 is one of the nicer ‘motels’ I have to say, definitely not a ‘no-tell motel.’
On the second to last day my sister and I went to the waterpark on Morey’s Piers, now called Ocean Oasis (formerly Raging Waters.) It’s definitely the lesser of the two waterparks though, despite being newer. There aren’t as many slides, but the slides are a bit more intense than Raging Waters on Mariner’s Landing pier. One of the newer slides weaves through the structure and track of the Great Nor’ Easter; the top of the Nor Easter’s double corkscrew loop actually goes over the slide, which is interesting. The slide has 2 troughs to go down, both being basically the same layout. One (or both) used to be a body slide but they changed it a while back for some reason.
Another notable slide in Ocean Oasis are the ‘mat slides’ which boasts the well known flashing “Morey’s Piers” sign at the top. This slide is vicious because you fly down it at a breakneck speed with no letting up at all. The first part of the slide is a couple of turns, then riders come to 2 steep drops that are set up like steps. I flew over the first drop, then must have caught about 1 foot of air going over the next one. Upon hitting the splash pool the mat flew up and hit me in the face and I jammed my arm bad. Nothing serious but I had a discomfort in my arm for like 2 days afterward. If it was Action Park , then my arm would have been fractured in 10 places.
The last notable slide of this waterpark is the “Cliff Dive,” one of those large drop slides. This one is 77 feet and not horribly steep, but nonetheless I went on it for the first time; it was my first “drop slide” actually. I was a slight bit nervous while waiting at the apex of the stairway that shook in the breeze, but the slide was actually a breeze itself! The only bad part was the final stretch before the splash pool where riders get power washed by all the tiny stinging water droplets as they begin to slow down. I had to close my eyes and in effect had no idea when I was going to plop into the splash pool. Needless to say I got copious amounts of water up my nose and a slight wedgie to boot.
On the last day in Wildwood, my sister and I got ride wristbands (actually we did the 2 park deal where you get the waterpark pass and wristbands for $47.) We went to the piers during the day and then again at night to milk the wristbands for all their worth. During the day, the Zoom Phloom wasn’t open (of course) and the entire Adventure Pier didn’t open until 4:00 PM. The only other rides that we went on that we didn’t go on again at night were Dante’s Dungeon, Pirates of the Wildwoods, Jersey Junkyard and Rollies Coaster. Dante’s Dungeon is a recently remodeled Dante’s Inferno darkride. It was good, a lot of very realistic and morbid props and a few loud air bursts simply to scare. They painted a huge orange zombie guy onto the backdrop which makes the newer backdrop look a bit better than last year, but it’s still not good enough. The old Dante’s Inferno with it’s scenes of hell with people drowning in lava and mutilation and the upsidedown face in the fire with moving eyes was the ultimate in sinister backdrops.
Rollies Coaster is a retched little Zyklon type coaster with harnesses, no legroom and stop on a dime brakes. It’s good to go on when you have a wristband because using tickets on this thing will sure leave anyone with the urge to swipe their tickets out of the operator’s bag after being released from your torture device carts.
Pirates of the Wildwoods is a darkride on Mariner’s Landing where riders travel in boats instead of a little cart. This ride used to be called Dark River and hugely sucked under that moniker. Now the ride has the theme of zombie and skeleton Pirates rising from the dead to torture Wildwood shoobies. The ride also uses 3D glasses which don’t add a whole lot more to the ride considering that most of the things inside are actual moving props to begin with.
Of course, Jersey Junkyard was another ride we went on, you can’t not pass up this ride if you have a wristband. It’s not good at all; it’s a terrible darkride that used to be named Casa Macabre. When this ride was Casa Macabre it sucked, now it still sucks; only it has a better façade now. It’s one of those spook houses that has about 4 ‘S’ turns and that’s it. Around every turn is either a painted ghoul or a small prop that lights up. The only real scare is on turn 3 where two headlights suddenly turn on along with a loud car
horn. That prop could have been a lot better if some tire screeching sounds accompanied it. Around another turn is a miniature version of the ‘guy being electrocuted’ prop; being only like 2 feet tall, it’s not scary at all, not like the human sized one that used to be in Dante’s Inferno. The last turn has the classic ‘guy vomiting into barrel’ prop…what is this, a gross house? At least add some viscosity to that puke!
At night, we started at Adventure Pier and of course rode the Great White, one of the only good attractions at the pier that isn’t an up-charge ride. The Great White was fairly rough but still gave a sweet ride along the southern Jersey beach. The line for the Great White was nil, which isn’t uncommon for Morey’s’ bigger coasters. This coaster isn’t a whole lot intense, it’s more fun than anything; the back seat on Great White is ok with a bit of floater air going over the bunny hops.
Next we headed over the Mariner’s Landing (aka the pier with the ferris wheel.) Here we rode the Teacups first, their older model Teacups I think. These Teacups go pretty fast and spin easily; I didn’t spin our cup much though because my sister gets motion sick easily. Next I went on Musik Express, the second best Musik Express I have ever been on as far as speed (Reithoffer Shows’ Musik Express takes that award) and the best Musik Express for it’s lightshow. This Express is pretty fast but it also has a strobe light fast lightshow, sirens, loud late 80s techno, a Judas Priest backdrop complete with Rob Halford, and ride operators that know their cheesy Himalaya lines (ex: “Sit back and relax because backwards is twice as fast!”) It’s run exactly how a Musik Express should be, not like that pathetic Junkola Express at Six Flags Great Adventure.
My next ride was the Sea Serpent; America ’s very first Vekoma Boomerang built back in 1984…even before the Giant Wheel. If you ever want to thank the park that brought these coaster cockroaches to the US , then thank Morey’s Piers! Anyway, it runs great for its age, mostly due to its newer and sleeker Vekoma train; the old red Arrow train used to be a headbanging machine. I have to say, for a pier park like Morey’s Piers, a Boomerang is a great coaster to have; plus, it looks damn good with the Giant Wheel right behind it! Back in 1984, this must have been THE coaster in NJ being the only 6 looping coaster until 1989’s Kamikaze (now Ninja at SFoG) was built on Hunts Pier in Wildwood. Of course the same year Great American Scream Machine at SFGAdv in NJ beat both coasters with its 7 inversions. A ride on the Sea Serpent is like any other Boomerang I guess, you are hauled to the top, you drop, boomerang, loop, up an incline, train is hoisted to the top, loud air release and drop, loop, boomerang, backwards through station with extremely loud brakes. Nothing gets adrenaline pumping like seeing the train rush through the station after the drop though.
I then went on the Maelstrom, a KMG Spin Out. This was actually run for a decent length of time with less than a half load riding. My sister and I then decided to go on this newer family ride called Sunny’s Lookout Lighthouse. It’s like this tall green lighthouse that rotates at a very low speed, riders sit in little cars and need to pull themselves to the top via a rope. Once at the top, you slowly fall back to the ground. I was trying to pull the car as fast as possible to the top but the car has a little damping device to prevent that! Next we went on the Scooters, a bumper car ride with newer cars. They were ok, I had my Blue Jays shirt on so naturally I decided to gun for people wearing Yankee paraphernalia.
We then ventured over to Surfside Pier/Morey’s Pier/25th Ave Pier. Whatever the name is, I will always continue to call it Morey’s Pier. Before getting to the pier we stopped to look in Zombie World, a rouge darkride that resides next to the Strand Theatre on the Boardwalk. We didn’t go on this year but watching the cheesy video to get people to venture inside is the best; I think I have it memorized now:
(cut to guy’s face lit up by a flashlight from the bottom) “If you can hear my voice then you are just outside of Zombie World! Inside these gates there is a ride (cut to a ride car), you get in a car! (cut to people getting into ride car) You’ll be given a gun! (cut to a pair of hands, suddenly a laser gun appears in their hands.) You’ll navigate the toxic sewers teaming with the living dead!! If you survive…which you probably wont…you’ll be given a score. If your score is high enough, then you survived…if it’s too low…then you’ve been infected (cut to guy reading score, shaking his head, then the group of riders attacking him.) So get inside, before it’s too late!!” (cut to a zoom in shot of the planet Earth. At some point in this shot the words “buy ticket inside!” in a small font size and colored in a hard to see white rushes across the screen in a subliminal message fashion.)
The ride itself is a laser shooting darkride with a lot of crude props. There are a couple of stunts that scare riders but I think it could use a lot more. As much as I hate loud noises in spook houses, this ride really should have a ton of them to live up to the hype that the video displays.
When we got onto Morey’s Pier, we noticed that Zoom Phloom wasn’t running yet…grrrr. We went on Great Nor Easter first, the modified Vekoma SLC. The Nor Easter has a new paint scheme this season of primer white as opposed to it’s previous off red color. It’s ugly as heck during the day, but at night it is lit up in different and alternating neon colors which actually don’t look too bad. The coaster is as rough as ever though, probably the roughest coaster since Viper at SFGAdv. Though, I do like the Nor Easter; it never has a line, you get a great view of the beach from the lift hill, and it comes very close to different rides on Morey’s Pier. The whole ride is like an endurance test though, “can YOU survive the harness?” The back to back rolls are the ultimate in headbanging on this ride; your head will not stop bouncing back and forth until the train exits the rolls. As I said in my review of Nor Easter on TPC, “the back seat on this is like being in a ten man brawl.” This year Morey’s added a camera to all the seats on Nor Easter (and on Doo Wopper and soon to be on Rollies Coaster) which is used to take an on-ride video of riders. My sister and I bought one for $15 just for the heck of it really. Now I can actually see myself being thrown around on it!’
Next we went on AtmosFEAR (correct spelling with caps) which is a 140 foot drop tower that debuted in 2005. They added little recordings as the car travels up the tower, we got the same recording on both trips on this ride. It was actually this almost un-pc recording of communication between military air traffic controllers to a plane (which in this case is us!) “Atmosfear 1, you are too high, repeat too high… (static)…Atmosfear 1 DO NOT climb!! Atmosfear 1 you are not on radar! Atmosfear 1 do you copy?? Atmosfear 1!!! (explosion immediately followed by car disengage.) That’s scary! And not for the right reason! I overheard another side while in line which had some crazy scientist tell you about the stats of the ride, of course I didn’t hear much as the car rose into the night. The drop on this seemed to be more violent this year, I actually flew off my seat and basically had contact with the harness until the car slammed into the magnetic brakes. I’m not complaining though!
Next I went on Rock N’ Roll, a swinging Himalaya ride. This was run pretty fast with lights, sirens, and a hard to understand Russian ride op (not uncommon in Wildwood for some reason) who would want to hear riders scream in order to crank up the speed. The cars swung like mad on this thing, much more compared to other Rock n’ Rolls or Alpine Bobs.
Following the Russian Rock n’ Roll we went on Zoom Phloom which was open! We waited in a full line and eventually got into our log. Unfortunately the ride ops found 2 riders to get into the log as well which meant that my sister and I had to ride in the front section of the car as opposed to me being in front and her in the back. Uncomfortably close? Yes! This flume is great though, one of the best I’ve been on; steep drops, good wetness factor and a long ride…you can’t go wrong with that! This year they changed the section under the boardwalk after the first drop to…an Under the Boardwalk theme! The song of the same name plays while you travel past 50s style scenes of old cars parked under the boardwalk with people watching the surf and sunset and all that jazz. For the record, I got soaked and didn’t dry off until we got back to the motel maybe 3 hours later.
Next I went on the Condor, the Huss made tower flatride. It ran like it always does which is on the slow side, but it’s still a lot fun considering the incredible view at the top. After that we exited the pier, stopped at Mariner’s Landing again, then went to Adventure Pier again, and finally left the piers to walk back to the motel.
On the way I stopped at the Boardwalk Mall to buy some stuff at the “Hot Sauce Store.” I got 4 small bottles of sauce respectively named: See Spot in Heat, Ass in Hell, Assplosion, and a green sauce with a dinosaur on the front called Megasoreass. I love how ‘ass’ is in 3 of the 4 names lol. I also bought a big bottle of See Dick Burn, a great tasting hot sauce that is perfect when added to some Franks Red Hot. By itself, See Dick Burn is just a bit too hot to fully enjoy for my tastes.