Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
I arrived at the Motel 6 in Rochester about 11:45 and was able to check in, although I did not go to the room. I was planning to catch a cab to the Strong Museum Of Play, home of the National Toy Hall Of Fame. Very unusual for me to do something OTHER than an amusement park on a trip. I found out the museum had free parking, and based on the distance, a cab woulda been pretty steep..Rochester's a big city. After a coupla wrong moves..the roads around Rochester are rather confusing..I got to the Strong a bit after 12. Paid 12 bucks to get in.
I hated every moment I spent there. All these thousands upon thousands of toys, many of which I grew up with..all behind glass, and I couldn't play with anything except a Slinky, some construction toys, and some vintage arcade games. You all probably have a good feel for the toys that are actually IN the Hall of Fame, and most of you could probably name 3/4 of the inductees. But the Museum also currently features exhibits devoted to Sesame Street, Superheroes, and video games. It was very cool place to spend the 4 hours I did. On the way back to the motel, I stopped at Walgreens to pick up some chips and drinks for the room, and picked up McD's for supper, hoping they'd have discount coupons for Seabreeze, Friday's destination. No luck, although they DID have coupons for Darien Lake.
Friday morning, I went to pick up breakfast at Burger King, and found coupons there for Seabreeze..3 bucks off. I figured a 10 minute drive, but those confusing Rochester roadways came into play again..took me 20 minutes, just going from one part of the city to another. Arrived about 10:30 for 11am opening, and as I did at Canobie, gave my extra coupons to some folks on line. Most of the people waiting for the gate to open were in the pre-paid/passholder lines..I was first at the ticket gate.
I went left upon entering, toward the lake. Geography is not my strong suit,and I thought this was Lake Erie, knowing that not far away, Buffalo was on those shores. Apparently I was wrong, according to the woman I gave coupons to...it's Lake Ontario. Well, what do I know?
First I hit the Bobsleds for four rides (8 on the day.) What a cool, unique ride. It's a junior terrain wood coaster from the 50's-60's. It was revamped in 1968 and given tubular steel tracks, a third level, and bobsled-type cars. Lap bar only. Reminded me slightly of Leap The Dips. Because it's so slow, it's a long ride...and that is in no way a complaint. The ride-op was really nice, answering my questions about the ride, and recommending I check out the pictorial history of the park in the carousel building. The Bobsled was my favorite ride of the day. I rode the Revolution360 (Disk-O) and the Music Express. The latter gave not only a forward and backward ride, but went backward FIRST. I checked out the photos Gayle had told me about, waiting for the Whirlwind (spinning mouse) to open at noon. I've only been on a couple of these rides before, but I kinda like them. Seems like you get a slightly different ride every time. The park was not crowded, but the Bobs and Whirlwind tended toward a 15-20 minute wait, although not at all times. Got four rides all told on the Whirlwind.
Headed back the other way toward the Jack Rabbit, the circa-1920 woodie. No more than a 2-3 cycle wait all day, and I got a dozen rides. This ride is very short, but has a coupla really nice moments, especially in the tunnel at the end. This will sound blasphemous coming from my keyboard, but this is a front seat ride. I rode there or second seat on the majority of my rides. Back seats had no action at all. The train was much more modern, and very comfy, but I don't know the manufacturer. Only one attendant, who had to work the braking and starting levers (no buttons to press here!) check lap bars, and unlock the turnstile.
I rode their flume 3 times. Good splash at the end, and a cool tunnel. I had an iced tea, a fresh lemonade, and a pretzel. Concession prices were not outrageous. I rode every flat in the park except the miniature drop tower and the flyers (I know there's Flyer fans reading this, but they just don't do anything for me )
The waterpark area looked decent, and the park offers some nice views of the lake. Unfortunately, none of the rides are tall enough to offer the spectacular visuals you get at Cedar Point or Waldameer. Took one nasty hit on the bumper cars, but no residual back pain (yet.) Seabreeze's Yo-Yo paled in comparison with Quassy's. Left at 6:15.
Only note of interest from Saturday's drive home..since it was the Holiday weekend, the local Boy Scouts had set up a station at one of the rest areas to encourage folks to stop and take a break from driving. Not just coffee, which I don't drink anyway. Iced tea, lemonade, cookies and hot dogs were available...all free, donations gladly accepted. The dogs were good and really hit the spot. I got home around 3 Saturday.
So, just to recap some stuff:
Best coaster: TIE: Wooden Warrior/Comet
Most unique coaster: Seabreeze Bobsleds
Best Non-Coaster Ride: Mine Of Lost Souls
Best meal: Friendlys Near Great Escape..they HAD Butter Crunch!
Worst moment...Take a (bleeping) guess...
New-to-me coasters..14 (unofficial total 294)
Best Nostalgia...riding my old Sarajevo Bobs for the first time in 23 years.
Best Theming: Untamed
I know this was long, so thanks to all of you who stuck through to the end. And that's where we are now.
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort