Book Chronicles Playland Park’s Rich History Located on the shores of the Long Island Sound, about 45 minutes from New York City, there’s an amusement park that’s been a summer getaway for 80 years. Katherine W. Burke’s new book Playland chronicles the rich history of the park. With a plethora of black and white photos readers are taken from the park’s humble beginnings to today.
Playland has the distinction of being owned and operated by the local government, Westchester County, NY. It was interesting to read about how the park’s development was affected by the government instead of a private company like most parks. Over the years, Playland has remained an old-fashioned park aimed at families. Similar to smaller parks like Knoebels and Waldameer, admission to the park is free. Patrons buy tickets for rides and attractions.
For the coaster enthusiasts out there, Playland offers rare photos of Fred Church’s famed Airplane Coaster. Also known for a time as the Aeroplane Coaster, it was a wooden twister that was known to be thrilling and especially brutal. The twisted layout featured numerous crossovers and banked tracked that was pretty groundbreaking at the time. Due to expensive maintenance costs and statements from the locals deeming the ride as “too dangerous and terrifying”, it was demolished in 1957. Coaster geeks like myself long for the day that a ride designer will dust off the Airplane’s blueprints and recreate this lost masterpiece.