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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Casino Pier: Xolo Loco Update and Visit Report June 2021

So the last time we had gone to Casino Pier was before Superstorm Sandy completely battered Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, vastly changing the landscape of these two towns, along with destroying the other park that once occupied this boardwalk, Funtown Pier, which memory serves was home to four coasters, an S&S Drop Tower, and a great go-kart track which I loved as a teenager. The Funtown/Seaside Park end of the boardwalk is now occupied by newer buildings and new real estate development that is in development. The Seaside Heights boardwalk, on the buildings side of the boardwalk, is more recognizable with longtime institutions like Lucky Leo's Arcade, the gloriously delicious Kohr's Frozen Custard (which was originally founded in Seaside Heights), and more. Casino Pier is very different, with the pier not extending beyond the water's edge and the stunning Dentzel Carousel no longer serving as the gateway portal to the park. Thankfully the carousel will be reborn at some point in the future thanks to a preservation effort by the borough of Seaside Heights. We look forward to experiencing that stunning carousel again. 

The current incarnation of Casino Pier is lots of fun, with a giant Ferris Wheel beckoning riders at the entrance to the pier. 

Hydrus, a beautiful Gerstlauer Eurofighter, is a silky smooth and fantastic little ride. 

Pirate's Hideaway, a super strange Wisdom Coaster that is the Jersey answer to "what is in the shed?", was somehow and inexplicably spared from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, and I have to say that we were laughing the whole time on this ride. If they added some lighting and funhouse/dark ride elements to that coaster, it would be great. The other major highlight to the park for us was the SPECTACULAR Centrifuge, which is an indoor scrambler in darkness with strobe lighting that is set to music. It is incredible just how much better a scrambler is in an indoor setting. The only other time I ever experienced an indoor scrambler was at Funtown in Maine and that is a similarly awesome ride. On our ride on Centrifuge, they played two Beastie Boys songs, which was absolutely bonkers. 

We seem to have missed the opening of the new Xolo Loca, a SBF spinner with the new hamster wheel cars, by a matter of a few days to a few weeks. They were working hard on getting the coaster assembled when we were there, with the track work completed and the trains on the track. Mechanics seemed to be doing adjustment work on it. I do not know about you, but I really love the SBF spinners. When running well, they feel like a tilt-a-whirl on a roller coaster track. I can only imagine how wild the hamster wheel cars will be. Be sure to get to Casino Pier to check it out once it is set, which should be any day now. One of our old favorites, the sky ride, was down for the day. 

Casino Pier is well worth going out of your way to visit. Hydrus is so much fun, along with Pirate's Hideaway, Centrifuge, and more. There is no excuse for not visiting this park if you are in the Great Adventure or Jersey Shore area. It is 1.5 hours from Morey's Piers, an hour from Playland's Castaway Cove, and 45 minutes from Great Adventure. 

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