Rye Playland Discussion Thread

P. 30: The future(?) amid the squabbling
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby simon8899 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:04 am

Consider visiting this park while being in New York next year - well if it still be around then.

From a tourists view I think Coney Island has by the better location - you just hop into the subway and you are spilled out nearly right into the fun zone. And while I like driving around the US countryside I prefer not to get lost inside the NYC traffic to visit this park. Taking the local commuter rail and then the local bus is something only enthusiasts would do. If a big operator would move in they should do a bus shuttle synchronized with train arrivals and departures.

And on first sight aside from the two woodies there is not much to keep me around except maybe the looping hammer. With friends one could do the water rides and ferris wheel - but they should get some modern rides to be competitive. I would say if Zamperla wants to move in this would not be the worse idea.

A question: How is thew area around the park? Are there some nice restaurants, etc. for tourists? Or rather an area better not to stay too long?

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:19 am

While you bring up a good point, I think Playland is there to serve the Westchester county market more than the New York City market. They do advertise in New York City occasionally but their primary audience is from lower Westchester. I don't think Playland is trying to compete with thrill rides like Coney Island us, they're really trying to be a family park.

To answer your question about the area the park is in, here's the weird thing...

The park is relatively nice, but it doesn't attract the best people which really brings it down. While the park wants to attract people from the upscale areas of Westchester, what usually happens is that they attract school groups / teen groups from lower Westchester (places like Yonkers and Mt. Vernon) that aren't necessarily the nicest (though there are isolated, nice sections of both).

That being said, Rye is great besides the park. If you're looking for good restaurants I suggest either Seaside Johnnies which is just a short drive from the park or the Pier Restaurant Tiki Bar on the Playland boardwalk.

PS: As far as rides, the Old Mill and Derby Racer are can't-miss attractions. The log flume is probably the best ride in the park, though it's really just an average flume. There's really nothing special here, adults can't ride the wooden kiddie coaster and the mouse has a very low maximum height restriction. Just some things to keep in mind...

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby simon8899 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:44 am

^Thanks for the info... :)

But I guess if any major operator moves in they surely want to have the NYC market as it is quite close by - but maybe thats the reason they did not want Zamperla or Lego to move in, would surely destroy the "Park next door" feel sooner than later.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby DirkFunk » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:40 am

From a tourists view I think Coney Island has by the better location - you just hop into the subway and you are spilled out nearly right into the fun zone. And while I like driving around the US countryside I prefer not to get lost inside the NYC traffic to visit this park. Taking the local commuter rail and then the local bus is something only enthusiasts would do. If a big operator would move in they should do a bus shuttle synchronized with train arrivals and departures.


Well, no one takes the bus to Rye. That's the thing - its really more a "community" park than it is some sort of widely drawing theme park. I don't think the local establishment really wants a company like LEGOLAND to come in and push it into being a major draw because being such a draw increases traffic, number of tourists, and makes their slice of heaven (Westchester County is a VERY expensive place to live) less appealing.

And on first sight aside from the two woodies there is not much to keep me around except maybe the looping hammer. With friends one could do the water rides and ferris wheel - but they should get some modern rides to be competitive. I would say if Zamperla wants to move in this would not be the worse idea.


As previously stated: you're only riding one of the wood coasters. The kiddie wood coaster only opens for the occasional coaster event, and unless ACE is doing something there (probably not), you can forget about that happening. The rides of note are:

-the dark rides - Old Mill had an extensive refurb and retheme by Sally around 2001 or so. There's also two classic dark rides (Witch's something or other and Zombie Castle, I think?) that are really excellent for what they are.

-Derby Racer. By far the fastest ride of this type among the three existing. The only one where attendants jump on and off the platform while it moves, too.

-Whip. Very good Whip ride.

The wood coaster is not terrible, but it also isn't good either. It has crappy Morgan trains, and practically no airtime. The real stars of the park are the architecture and the location on the beach. RE: Modern rides - they bought a bunch of stuff in the early 2000s. The problem was that management made exceptionally poor purchasing choices; the log flume was an independent concession (in spite of being a permanent ride) and they spent money on a Power Surge and the Wildwind coaster (abject failure) followed by the Volare.

A question: How is thew area around the park? Are there some nice restaurants, etc. for tourists? Or rather an area better not to stay too long?


The area is very nice and the surrounding neighborhoods are "upscale" by any western standard. I can't specifically give any suggestions for food, but I'm sure Yelp or Urbanspoon would do a very good job.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby simon8899 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:00 am

its really more a "community" park than it is some sort of widely drawing theme park. I don't think the local establishment really wants a company like LEGOLAND to come in and push it into being a major draw because being such a draw increases traffic, number of tourists, and makes their slice of heaven (Westchester County is a VERY expensive place to live) less appealing.


Likely true. But I guess this is the dilemma this park is facing - I think there is some "Grow or Die"-Rule soemwhere in business... ;)

Edit: How about turning this into a private park like Stricker's Grove - open to locals for a monthly fee and for Business events...

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:10 am

I think the issue is really the fact that Westchester County is running the park, and Westchester County can't do anything very efficiently.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby DirkFunk » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:27 am

simon8899 wrote:
Likely true. But I guess this is the dilemma this park is facing - I think there is some "Grow or Die"-Rule soemwhere in business... ;)


That's part of the issue. It isn't a "business" so much as it is a public service. A service expected to break even, yeah, but a public service nonetheless.

Edit: How about turning this into a private park like Stricker's Grove - open to locals for a monthly fee and for Business events...


I just don't think the locals (who are typically NYC commuters with a lot of money) have any interest in that. The average household income in the area is $79,585 - that puts them inside the 50 most prosperous counties in the US out of over 3000. They're also surrounded by other high end municipalities: Putnam County, Rockland County, (New York) and Fairfield County (Connecticut) are all in the top 50 as well.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rollercoaster Rider » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:11 am

I think a Waterpark like Attraction would really help the park. Waterparks seem to help any park they're attached too.


Either that or charge enthusiasts $10 to be able to ride the Kiddy Wooden Coaster. :b
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby alwaysairtime14 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:06 pm

I believe that the park is just wrong for the area. Westchester county is too rich for the park. Why would you take your family (which brings in a 6 digit salary) to a crappy, local amusement park when you go to Disney twice a year and do cruises each season? The stereotypical though of the park is that it is dirty, old, and dangerous.

It would also help if the park had some sort of marketing. I live an hour northeast of the park and many people (I'd say over 50% of the ones I ask) have never heard of Playland or haven't been their since their childhood.

If the park was virtually anywhere else in the country it'd do great.
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:48 am

I don't agree with this at all.

While Westchester County has a higher average income per person than most counties in the U.S., the cost of living is astronomical so the majority of residents are far from rich.

In 2010, property taxes in Westchester were the highest in the country, with the average person paying $8,404. That's completely insane. Link. Many people live in Westchester because it's a necessity if you work in the city. Living on Long Island, in New Jersey or in Putnam / Fairfield / Dutchess / Rockland would lead to a horrible commute, taking 2-3 hours on some days EACH WAY. The average household income in Westchester is $80,297 which is actually lower than every other Northeastern county on that list I linked to earlier... but they pay the highest taxes. Before anyone jumps on me for talking about $80,297 like it's not a lot of money... let me explain why it's not when you live in Westchester.

According to these numbers, the average Westchester household brings in $80,297 per year before taxes. Once you add in state and federal taxes, almost $10,000 for property taxes, an average monthly housing cost of over $3,000 (including utilities and mortgage payments) Link which adds up to another $36,000 per year, more ridiculous taxes (like the MTA tax), obscene commuting costs where you're faced with the choice of either taking Metro North to NYC for hundreds of dollars per month and paying to park at the train station or paying to park in the city for an average of about $400 per month (and we didn't even get into the fact that Westchester has some of the highest gas prices in America). Oh... and don't forget tolls which range from $5 per day to almost $25 per day depending on what bridge you go over to get to Manhattan (unless you take the third avenue bridge... shhhhh).

Once you're done paying for all of that, Westchester residents on average aren't all that rich... and people are absolutely looking for a great bargain like Playland.

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