For July 4th, my roommate, another friend and I took the Metro North Railroad, New Haven Line to Rye, New York. Westchester County. We caught a shuttle bus to the Rye Playland. A playland, you ask? Why yes. A playland. What is exactly is a playland? It is a place. A magical place. A place that may only exist on the outskirts of your imagination. Yes, it’s a place that lives in the boondocks of your mind, or even the ghetto of your conciousness. It is a place that sees no wrong in marrying a third cousin. It is a special place with beautiful trees and an idyllic pond. It is a hamlet of amusement; the chance of a lifetime. It has rides that spin and swerve and drop and paddleboats and miniature golf. Spectacular “divas” from the music community perform there. Icons such as “Michelle Williams” of Destiny’s Child. And “Natasha Beddingfield.” It has wonderful delectables, like funnel cakes and hot dogs and cotton candy and caramel apples and those nachos with the fake, melted cheese. It is a place you shouldn’t miss visiting; they might inbreed there.
We spent a few solid hours at the Rye Playland. The crowds weren’t bad at all. We managed to ride all the rides we wanted within an hour and a half. We partook of some of the food, and we rode the rides. As with any amusement park rides, some are more fun than others. In case you plan on exploring this fantasy sparkle dreamland, let me assess the rides and attractions for you.
As a side note, I am happy to say I was tall enough for all of the rides.
Superflight: minimum height – 50″. Straps you in the Superman position. Loops and sharp turns and a bird’s eye view of the rail below, as well as the parking lot. Lasts approximately 7 seconds.
Zombie Castle: just like “It’s A Small World”, except the soundtrack has puking sounds and voices telling you you won’t leave the place alive (as opposed to the sounds and voices in your head during “Small World”). The glowing red exit signs are scarier than the zombie displays. This ride is a dimension that bends time, so I have no clue how long it lasts.
Dragon Coaster: a rickety, wooden-track roller coaster. A few really good dips, a tunnel of darkness that I pretended was Space Mountain. I screamed “I (heart) Rye Playland!” when the ride was over. The photo of me on the ride showed me being clearly traumatized. Lasts about 15 seconds. Trauma does not respect time.
Crazy Mouse: Has a 6′ maximum height requirement. Not a fun ride, as it inflicts whiplash from all neck angles. Lasts WAY longer than it should.
Double Shot: a vertical ride, launches straight up 85 feet, then free-falls to dislodge your stomach. This happens twice, except your stomach is stuck up in your sinuses the second time. Lasts 4 seconds, then 4 more hurling seconds.
Sky Flyer: a pendulum ride. Swings higher and higher until the momentum carries you all the way around. For a frozen second before the cabin decides to tip over, you hang, suspended, upside down. Relax your arms and legs for the onlookers below to see dangling limbs. Lasts not long enough.
Log Flume: a “wet” ride. A fakeout dip with a little bit of a splash. A 3.7-foot ascent anticipating a big splash that drenches you. The soothing smell of chlorine. Lasts about 12 seconds.
Thunderbolt: a spinning ride, specifically designed as a dry cycle after unboarding the Log Flume. Loud, bass-heavy music plays as you hover, round and round, forward for a few orbits, then backward. Lasts 8 seconds on high heat.
Starship 2000: a rotating platform. Instead of the floor dropping as soon as terminal speed is reached, the pad you are leaning against raises. Your body flattens against the side of the ship, and when the ride stops, the operator peels you off like putty. I felt especially woozy after this ride. Lasts 10 seconds Earth-time; at the speed of light, where
t=7 seconds. Approximately.
Mini Golf: the sign, if you glance quickly, looks like “Mini Self.” But don’t expect a miniature clone of yourself when you pay. 18 holes. Much more fun with the 5-stroke maximum. Watch out for the divets and the concrete bunkers. Watch out for kids trying to poach your turn.
If you first look at this wondrous place – the mystical Rye Playland – when you arrive and it turns you cranky, you won’t be cranky after spending a day here. You must overload your senses with junkfood and the rides that barely one-up the McDonald’s playland. You must act and think and laugh as a child. You must spin your head and twist your stomach to the verge of vomiting. If this is your approach, your fun is guaranteed.