Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Seabreeze, Rochester, NY, August 4th, 2014

So yesterday we had the honor of visiting a wonderful old park in Rochester, New York, Seabreeze Park! This charming park is located on the shores of Lake Ontario. My favorite places to be are along the Great Lakes. Waldameer Park and Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Geneva-On-The-Lake in Ohio, or Cedar Point, being on the Great Lakes is the place to be. Each of these places offers some real character and amazing views of the lake, each with their own special aspects about them. Seabreeze offers some great and unique rides, including the coaster tied for fifth oldest in the world, the amazing Jack Rabbit, and a spectacular carousel. Seabreeze offers a little bit of everything, with a decent balance of rides and attractions to satisfy everyone. Below you can see the main entrance to the waterpark. On the right you can see the barely used. new for 2014 swing ride, that took a detour to the park from the factory for a few years by way of Hard Rock Park/Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach. 
 The park is on a bit of an expansion clip as well. They recently added this set of mat racing watersides into the extremely popular water area.
 The views of Lake Ontario are just beautiful. If you love Waldameer, this is another park that you would love as well. It really has that awesome character to it that you cannot quite put your finger on.
 Here you can see the literal centerpiece of the park, the log flume. This is one of the most unique flumes I have seen. It is an early Hopkins model, yet it utilizes one of the steepest drops on any log flume. It was built in 1984 as a replacement for the park's original Mill Chute ride.
 The screams from every log dropping tell the story of how fun this log flume is. The drop does not look intimidating, but do not let looks deceive you!
 Right in the center of the midway is this beautiful concourse with games and food. It adds a lot of character to this bustling section of the park. There is also an acrobatics show that pulls it all together. 
 The park's set of flying scooters is great. They run fast and the tubs and rudders are very lightweight. I really enjoy them!
 Now for what we came to ride, the Jack Rabbit!
 This 1920 Miller and Baker creation is beautiful and provides a decent ride. It is tied for the fifth oldest coaster in operation with the Kennywood Jack Rabbit. Aside from the replaced rolling stock, the coaster is kept to form, even retaining a hand brake operator. 
 The park's midways really give off an aura of Americana. This is is a wonderful hometown park.

 The ride operator still utilizes the old hand braking system. It amazes me the great job the operators do in this park. Only one op is necessary to operate this coaster, working both sides of the station. The park was pretty busy, with both main parking lots filled to capacity and the rides all having some lines. The ride operators did a great job and maintained excellent capacity. 
I was not sure what to expect with these Morgan trains. I always heard awful things about them from different enthusiasts, and I cannot stand the Gerstlauer wood coaster trains, but I always like to give things my own take before I pass judgment. I am glad I did! These Morgan trains were excellent on the ride. While PTCs, NADs, or Vettel rolling stock will always be my favorites, these trains were really not too bad. This coaster is a front car ride to me, giving some cool pops of airtime throughout the course.
 Near the end of the ride is a pitch black tunnel, something that I did not expect. Overall, this coaster has a very fun layout, with some fun pops of airtime, and nice pacing.
 This coaster definitely lived up to its ACE Landmark Status as an important coaster in the preservation of history, and a testament to the joy that it has brought to folks for nearly a century. 

 The train offers a pretty cool ride around the park in addition to having this neat station.
 Heading down to the other end of the park, there are these two awesome rides. On the left is a Maurer Sohne Spinning Coaster, the Whirlwind, and the Bobsleds, an in-house creation that was initially built in 1952 as a junior wood coaster, and then converted to have a steel track in 1968. This is a one-of-a-kind ride, similar to a hybrid between a wild mouse and a mine train. I have never experienced something quite like this coaster.
 First off, Whirlwind. These Maurer Sohne spinners take my breath away every time! I wonder why more parks have not built these. They provide a terrific thrill.
 They have a super-twisted layout
 And these beyond vertical curves are breathtaking.
 It is tough to think of another steel coaster that provides this much thrill in such a small footprint.
 Now over to the Bobsleds! You can see the lake in the background.

 They had bobsleds representing the USA, Jamaica, Switzerland, and Italy.
 Almost to saving the best for last....the carousel is calling my name!
 We had to make the obligatory stop in the arcade for Brit! They have a beautiful building for the arcade, something that I would like to see other parks do as well.
 Getting closer to the carousel...
 Stunned and I have not even entered the building yet!
 In motion!
 This carousel and the building are just spectacular
 Complete with a Wurlitzer frame with a replaced organ, sadly due to a fire that consumed the park's classic 1915 Number 36 PTC Carousel. The carousel and everything in the building was completely destroyed in 1994. This video may be one of the most depressing things you see today, especially if you are a carousel lover. 
 They did not let it just die though, they built a no-holds-barred, exact replica of the original, and it just may be one of the most spectacular and well-taken care of units I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. The carousel shelter is stunning, the lights are bright, the paintings and paint are vibrant, the horses are carved beautifully, the floorboards are hardwood, the organ is booming and emanates throughout the park, and there is a wrap around deck with rocking chairs surrounding the beautiful machine. I wish all carousels were taken care of with this attention to detail and expertise. This machine is exquisite and stunning. I wish all parks took care of and preserved their rides as well as Seabreeze does.
Heading out of the park we stopped at the wonderful burger and custard stand at the bottom of the hill. They were fantastic and very affordable. On the way out we drove around to get a better vantage point of the Jack Rabbit. It is really cool how Miller utilized the terrain for this wonderful ride like he did with his Kennywood Jack Rabbit that was also built in 1920. You don't realize how much of a terrain coaster the Jack Rabbit is until you see it off-ride. Unique placement and a really fun ride.

I highly recommend going out of your way to visit Seabreeze. The park takes pride in their rides and makes sure they are running and looking great. Through this and the park's great all-around pride in appearances and planning, the park has a wonderful environment and character. I heard great things about this park before I went, but my expectations were exceeded. Take the trip!

Be sure to vote for your favorite ACE Landmark coaster on the right-hand side of the page. The Seabreeze Jack Rabbit is one of them!

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