austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Go and have a good time

When we had Coney Island fairly well photographed we went around to riding thing, since, well, obviously. The park only has the one roller coaster, the Python --- formerly the Pepsi Python, a curious moment of naming rights that didn't quite stick (the sign that used to say Pepsi now has the Coney Island Since 1886 logo) --- and it's about fifteen years old. It's a small ride, very like the Serpent at the Kokomo's family amusement center, but it's still a roller coaster. bunny_hugger is sure that the ride used to send out single cars, but when we were there it was two cars chained together, with the back seat of the second car blocked off for some reason. It's a pleasant ride, although the braking seemed a bit too strong, and one of the ride operators seemed to agree with me that it was braking pretty sharply. Perhaps they just got new brakes in this year.

The park also has a Flying Bobs --- a Matterhorn-type ride --- which does, unlike Cedar Point's, run backwards. Half the time, anyway. As best we can determine the ride runs forward on one cycle, and backward on the next, and pretty fast either way. It skips the part where it changes direction. The ride's fun, especially backwards, and I suppose if you have a favorite direction you then can tell whether to take this ride cycle or let people take this one in your place.

They do have some live shows and we caught one, the Safari Adventure. In this, a quartet of humans explain they're going on a safari and hope to see animals and are we certain we didn't see this at Waldameer as the tiger searched for his ability to roar? No, we did not: besides the absence of Wally and Wendy Bear, the ultimately discovered creature is a shy lion instead. And they ended up singing American Authors' ``Best Day Of My Life'' for the resolution. Also, they had gifts for the audience (we assumed just the kids): bags of candy for everyone. I've never seen or heard of that before and it's pretty great stuff, emphasizing the park's friendliness.

The park's got a Grand Carousel, a fairly standard modern construct that's attractively lit at least, though the kind that might be slipped into any shopping mall, and it's got a Super Round-Up of the kind that I've always been a sucker for. It's got a Tilt-a-Whirl very attractively painted in green and purple that's got some rather good action to it. As we were settling in a kid came over and glared at us, then went to another car. Possibly we had taken his favorite or he'd gotten the idea we had taken an assigned car he had been promised. We also rode the Scream Machine, a spring ride that throws you fifty feet or so up in the air and drops you down again, and throws you back up and then down again, several times over. That was rather more tossing up in the air than we realized it would do, which shows what happens when you get on a ride because you realize you can get the next ride cycle rather than because you want to.

The park has a giant slide, one of those things that reaches several dozen feet tall, with rippling little hills, that you grab a canvas sheet and slide down on. We've never been on one before that I remember and, what the heck, the Peeps seem to like it quite a lot on Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. On actually getting on the giant slide and riding it down now I understand why Peeps like it; it's a simple ride, sure, but it's quite long and rather satisfying so.

Coney Island also has a Tempest, matching the Hansel-and-Gretel-themed ride we saw at Conneaut Lake Park. This was commanding pretty good lines that day, probably because it doesn't seem too intense. But it is so --- the cars spin on their axels, and the axels around the ends of arms, and the arms around the middle, and this was fast and thrilling and boy is there something weird when the Conneaut Lake Park version of a ride is the more tame version. Somehow we drew a compliment from the ride operators for our good manners in waiting for the booth to be ready, and not needing any special attention to settle down, which suggests they were having a pretty harrying day.

Coney Island, like many parks, has a miniature golf course and for a wonder we had the chance to play it. The course doesn't have any props, nor any particularly special tricks to the layout; it's just simple, moderately challenging miniature golf layouts, made the more attractive because the trees are well-grown and it's nicely shaded and that made a great break in the afternoon sun.

And it was easy to spend the rest of the night puttering around, enjoying the setting --- for the lack of major rides Coney Island still has plenty of attractive spots, largely in plants, often in fountains (like a water fountain near the Administration Building that reminded me of the WKRP In Cincinnati statue without being so funny) and gardens --- and the general pleasantness of a modest, just-post-holiday crowd. bunny_hugger mentioned the oddness that the park didn't have a Ferris wheel, but I'd seen that it did, and we went there for what would be the last ride of the night.

I'm not clear why the ride was very, very slow to load, even slower than the usual Ferris wheel. Certainly some of it was they were apparently doing the entire ride load one car at a time. Some of it was that as other ride operators got off work they came over and hung out with those working the Ferris wheel; I'm pretty sure there was talk of the party they were going to head to. As we waited in line the park's closing hour came, and they closed off the entry queue, but there were still cars for us to get into, and to start the last Ferris wheel ride, and any ride, of the night. It wasn't quite dark, but we could see the park from above wrapped in early-twilight and the glowing of lights that offers, and it's beautiful.

We stopped just off the ride to peek at the fish-feeding attraction --- some people were still feeding the pond fish --- and walked about the more-deserted park in the evening, and when we'd had our fill of that returned to the car.

And then ... we got greedy.

Trivia: The 1107 treatise Chinese Emperor Hui Tsung documents a change in the brewing of tea: before this point tea leaves and water appear to have been boiled together, while from this point on the water was boiled and then poured onto the powdered tea to brew. (Before serving it would be whisked.) Source: Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire, Roy Moxham.

Currently Reading: King Leopold's Ghost: A Story Of Greed, Terror, And Heroism In Colonial Africa, Adam Hochschild.

PS: July 2014 in Mathematics Blogging, or, how my mathematics blog did for the past month, and what it did about that.

Tags: amusement parks, coney island, ohio-indiana parks tour

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