Okay, I realized I should probably finish this thing before we hit the one year mark, so here goes…
After leaving Surfside we decided that it was finally time to make our way down to the final pier, Adventure Pier! One thing that became really apparent on jaunt to the jawn (how did I do?) was that Wildwood is f*cking huge. The beach is huge, the boardwalk is huge, if you have a Fitbit like I do this place will make you look like the most physically fit person on earth as long as you don’t enter the countless slices of pizza, buckets of fries and gallons of custard you inhale while you’re racking up those steps.
Speaking of which, on the way to Adventure Pier we decided to indulge in some more pizza, this time from Mack’s! Mack’s is a Wildwood staple and Boldikus had been not so subtly informing us that it was way better than the sh*t Sam’s was pumping out so we were definitely excited to give it a try.
In all seriousness, they’re both really good, but I totally agree that Mack’s comes out ahead. I think my biggest gripe with pizza is when everyone tries (and fails) to copy New York pizza and that’s really what Sam’s was going for. I’d much rather you try to put your own spin on it and Mack’s absolutely does that. I think I detected a hint of Cheddar which won me over because it sort of reminded me of Grotto pizza (it sounds weird, but it works… STFU). Sorry Sam’s but Mack’s comes out ahead… 10 points for Gryffindor.
Anyway, enough about that… we had sh*t to ride.
After our long journey down the boardwalk (heroically dodging tram car after tram car along the way) we finally arrived at Adventure Pier. When we got there we saw Great White sending a bunch of test trains and were informed that it still hadn’t opened for the day so we decided to enjoy some of Adventure Pier’s other attractions.
First up was Screamin’ Swing. These things are always a blast and this one was no different, Boldikus went into the weekend declaring it his favorite flat in Wildwood (though “it” won us all over by the end of the day) and even though it’s no “it”, it’s still a great ride.
After Screamin’ Swing we decided to wait around a little more for Great White to open but got distracted by the giant Skyscraper ride. Brit hates these things with a fiery passion but I absolutely love them and once Boldikus informed me that he had never ridden one there was absolutely ZERO chance that we weren’t going to ride it.
One thing I noticed about this one was that it has different restraints from the typical racing harnesses that I was used to from Cedar Point. This didn’t really make much of a difference but I guess it does make you feel a little more confident that you’ll live to see your loved ones again after strapping into this amazing / evil contraption when the restraints are made out of steel and not a thing that looks like a recycled burlap potato sack.
Video by Brit: Who's clearly much smarter than we are since she opted out of this one
I have to say, this is easily my new favorite Skyscraper ride. Being 150 feet in the air staring at the ocean while upside-down is a ridiculous mindf*ck and the entire thing was flipping like crazy and completely out of control. I know these things are expensive, but pony up the cash. You won’t regret it. This ride is bullsh*t in the absolute best way possible.
Anyway (watch this Segway… watch it… watch), do you know what’s bullsh*t in the worst
way possible? Chamber of Checkers? What’s Chamber of Checkers you ask? Only the best f*cking maze that’s ever been a maze.
Before I get into our chamber of checkers experience, I want to give you a disclaimer if you’re thinking about “check”ing (see what I did there?) it out. This maze is designed to disorient you and it’s very easy to become lost. Before you enter, make sure you use the bathroom, bring a bottle of water, grab some protein bars and write down some emergency contact numbers for the local police, fire department and coast guard in case you’re unable to find your way out. You should probably also bring straws in case you run low on supplies and need to draw them in the event that you need to start eating people. Finally, please note that without a wristband, the park charges people ACTUAL MONEY to enter the maze. I couldn’t f*cking believe it either but it’s true. Good luck to all who decide to enter and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Knowing all of this, we reluctantly entered the maze and were hoping against hope that we’d make it out in the 6 hours before park close so we didn’t miss our Great White credit while we were waiting on rescue crews to arrive. Once we entered the single shipping container that contains the entire maze (no, for real) we were greeted with a series of doors.
Since you just saw the entire shipping container, you already know that all but 2 of them are up against a wall (and like… we were pretty drunk), so this leaves you with a difficult decision between 2 doors. Do you enter through the door that leads directly to the exit (no, for real), or do you dare to enter the other door that leads to a pathway surrounded by a mesh fence that also leads directly to the exit? Be careful, your decision can be the difference between escaping the clutches of the maze in 10 seconds, or suffering through a disorienting, terrifying and seemingly eternal 25-30 seconds desperately searching for a way out.
Okay, in all seriousness… it should be illegal to charge people for this. I feel like the state needs to step in and shut this thing down. Once we completed the maze, we immediately went back in and tried to purposely f*ck up and we still got out in less than 2 minutes, finding an even easier way to get out of the maze In the process. The fact that the same people that have Ghost Ship are still operating this thing is hilarious, but more on that later.
Anyway, despite the negative review the maze did serve it’s purpose and allowed us to kill literally tens of seconds that would have otherwise been spent waiting for Great White to open. One we successfully escaped a second time, we saw the ride ops coming down the ramp to open the line and we promptly got on the first public train of the day (though it was early evening by that point).
I have to admit, I wasn’t really expecting anything from Great White for the simple fact that you literally never hear anything about it but I was really impressed. It’s a smooth enough ride, the turn under the boardwalk is super cool, the view from the lift is breathtaking (at night you can see the lights from Rehoboth which was cool for us since we’re so used to being there looking at the lights of Cape May and Wildwood) but you’re quickly snapped back to reality as you realize “oh there goes gravity” as you barrel down the great first drop and lose yourself in the moment.
… are you tired of my sh*t yet? Yes? Too bad.
Anyway following the drop the ride features a ton of great laterals and occasionally surprises you with some really good pops of airtime. We ended up riding this ride quite a bit, partially because it’s the only good ride on the pier that’s included with a wristband but mostly just because it’s a damn good coaster that’s honestly really underrated.
After we got our fill of rides on Great White it was starting to get dark out and we quickly realized that night time is when Wildwood really comes alive.
We made our way back up towards the other piers, stopping in a few stores along the way to shop for souvenir’s, play some classic arcade games and so I could gorge myself on more boardwalk food.
Once we had ridden everything, we definitely fell into a more laid back approach to the night. We spent most of our time hanging out around Surfside and Mariner’s piers, re-riding a lot of the rides (mainly “it” and the Flume) checking out the awesome Ghost Ship (which was really impressive) and taking in the atmosphere.
After a few more hours of riding, eating and having an all-out awesome time, we ended the night with a few drinks and some awesome garlic clams at the rooftop bar at Surfside before heading back to Adventure Pier for a few final laps on Great White before collapsing into bed at our weird a** hotel where we were (thankfully) way too tired to worry about the weirdness.
Up next... our trip back home with a few pit stops along the shore.
Spoiler alert:OH YEAH PIRATE COASTAH YEAH!!