Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Snowed In

by Paul Ruben

Suffering from a bad case of WPD, I’m looking out my office window at about two feet of snow on the ground. It may be wishful thinking, but it reminds me of last summer when I was looking out from my hotel balcony.

On a toasty warm summer evening the ocean waves were breaking 50 yards away. I was in Ocean City, Maryland, home of three amusement parks and a waterpark that serve the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.

While there I spent two days at nearby Splash Mountain Water Park. Why? Splash Mountain is a world-class waterpark, arguably the finest waterpark in the mid-Atlantic region of America. It has just about every waterpark feature you could imagine. Drifting down the lazy river, splashing in the wave pool, roaring down the variety of water slides, this was my kind of fun. See the photo? I’m smiling, and it’s not just gas.

I was doing my job, reporting on the park’s new water slide. OK, so that only took about five minutes. No point in over-working. And I had to go there so I could write this. I can’t make this stuff up. There I was, with a beautiful sand beach below my balcony, swooping gulls above, salt air wafting by, and I never once set foot in the ocean! No sand in my shoes, no salt in my hair, just good clean fresh waterpark fun.

Splash Mountain is nestled between Jolly Roger Amusement Park and Speedworld on the Coastal Highway. Splash Mountain contains 20 attractions. Jolly Roger features 28 rides. Speedworld contains 10 different race tracks. It’s an impressive complex.

Jolly Roger operates a second amusement park in downtown Ocean City, Jolly Roger at the Pier. Here visitors can find 12 rides and 21 games. From the aroma of Thrashers French Fries to the sounds of joy coming from the two level carousel, the pier is a fine place to spend an evening. Here I could enjoy the Ocean City skyline from the area’s tallest Ferris wheel. Believe It or Not, even Ripley’s is found here.

No evening in Ocean City is complete without wandering across the boardwalk to Trimper’s Rides. Trimper’s is historic in part because it has remained in the same family for over 100 years. Founded in 1893, Trimper’s includes 12 inside rides and 31 outside rides, plus 33 games. It was there I discovered the large collection of operating vintage William F Mangles kiddie rides. That alone made the trip worthwhile. Frosting on the cake was a variety of dark rides and dark walk-through attractions.

Back to two feet of snow outside. Maybe snow is OK. At least I don’t have to cut the grass; I love snow. But I really love summer even more. It’s a sure cure for WPD, waterpark depravation.

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