Rye Playland Park | Amusement Park Review
As I was leaving Coney Island, having ridden the legendary Cyclone,Playland Park - Rye, New York I saw a billboard for Playland Park, my next destination. I boarded the northbound subway to Grand Central, then transferred to a train that took me to the out of the city to Westchester County, New York (also home to Professor Xavier’s Mansion for the comic book geeks out there). The train arrived in the pleasant suburb community of Rye. The town consisted of lots of wooded streets with old nice houses. I hopped in a cab and in about 10 minutes I was entering Playland Park.

Playland is quite different from most amusement parks as it’s not Playland Park's Green Midwayoperated by a family or corporation, but by the local Westchester government. In fact, it’s the only government owned and operated park in the United States according to Wikipedia. And from my experience they’re doing a good job running the park. The green park is situated right on the Long Island Sound and boasts a beach and boardwalk. Some may remember the park from movies like “Big” and “Fatal Attraction”. Another notable thing about the park is that admission is free. Like other small amusement parks, Waldameer & Knoebels come to mind, guests pay for ride tickets, but entry is free.
The park originally opened in 1928. That year, the wooden masterpiece designed by Fred Church, the Airplane coaster also opened. Also known as the Aero-coaster, the wicked ride is worthy of its own post. It was later closed, but a few historic and rare amusement park rides still operate at Playland today. Playland’s signature ride is the 80-year old Dragon Coaster.

Dragon Coaster at Playland Park

The Dragon Coaster
I got to ride yet another piece of history on my New York area coaster trip. The Dragon Coaster was designated an American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Landmark. While it’s nearly as old as the Coney Island Cyclone, Dragon Coaster has a completely different layout. Trains are dispatched via a large lever, it has a slanted station where gravity helps push the trains to the lift, and the trains are still the original bench designs If I’m not mistaken. The ride seems a bit heavy and there’s practically no air on most hills. The Dragon Coaster’s speed is lackluster, but on the bright side it’s an ancient coaster that won’t beat you up. The ride was still fun, just not thrilling, but it’s a perfect fit for a small family-friendly park as it invites re-rides. The highlight of the Dragon Coaster is going into a long covered section that’s themed as dragon. It was pretty fun getting gobbled up by the dragon.

Other than the Dragon Coaster, Playland offers Super Flight, a Zamperla flying coaster. I was excited to ride it as I’ve never ridden a Kiddie Coaster at Playland ParkZamperla flyer, but unfortunately it wasn’t open. I’m not sure if it was closed because I was at the park on a week day. There’s also Crazy Mouse, a wild mouse coaster that was decent and small steel coaster called Family Flyer.

One of the coolest rides in the whole park was one I wasn’t allowed to ride. Kiddie Coaster is the name of the 1928 junior wooden coaster designed just for kids. It laps the park’s great kiddie area. I have to say I was kind of jealous of the kids and I’d love to return one day with my kids as junior wooden coasters are kind of rare.

Another unique, old-school ride is the Whip. It’s a classic flat ride that’s been throwing riders for a spin for decades.  Playland also boasts a rare ‘high-speed’ carousel-like horse ride. I braved the dark ride Zombie Castler since it was listed on the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts site. I watched the end of the world-famous tight-rope walking Wallendas performance. The father and daughter were performing at Playland that day. The adult-aged son Nic Wallenda toured the country this summer making high-profile tight rope walks at Cedar Fair parks.

Eventually, it was time to get back to New York City to grab some dinner and catch my plane home. Playland was a very nice homey park like a Knoebels. If you live in the NYC area and you want something a little more laid back and smaller than Six Flags Great Adventure, head up to Rye. Aside from the amusement park, there’s also the beach, boats, and the quaint town of Rye nearby. It would likely make for a nice, fun, and relaxing day trip for area urbanites.

Ferris Wheel in Times Square Toys R UsCheck out more pictures from my Playland Park visit and my trip through NYC at my Facebook page. I took the scenic route and found this ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys R Us! Also, learn about Playland’s Halloween event Scared by the Sound.
Visit Playland’s: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter

What’s Your Take?
Have you visited Rye Playland? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

14 Responses

  1. CFC

    Rye Playland, from what you said, it sounds like a unique park. What is Super Flight like? Oh, and Coaster Critic, can you make a post reviewing Carowinds, since it is both yours and my own home park?

    • The Coaster Critic

      I'm going to add a "Review Queue" to the sidebar this weekend so everyone will know what parks and coasters I'll be reviewing next. I'll make sure Carowinds is the next full theme park review I do.

  2. CFC

    Thanks, Coaster Critic. I've been waiting for a Carowinds review ever since I saw the Afterburn review.

  3. JaMeS

    remember, C.C., you promised me Mummy and Dueling Dragons soon and that was like 6 months ago.

  4. The Coaster Critic

    I hadn't ridden Mummy six months ago James. 🙂 Due to popular demand from readers like yourself, I've added the review queue to the sidebar. Dragons and Mummy are next. Now, let's try to stay on topic please.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. TheRealRideWarrior

    I guess my home park is Playland….lol. I have been to it quite a bit…i live like 15-20 minutes away. It's a good day out with the fam or friends. Anyone close by should take a trip to their haunted house "Scared by the Sound"….they usually donate proceeds to a good charity. It is a decent house for a small park. I can't wait to get to dorney's "Haunt" next weekend!!! Has anyone been….any advice about it would help????

  6. Schwarz

    that stinks that you didn't get to ride super flight. Oh well playland looks like a nice park to take your kids to. Also how was the haunted house compared to ones at scarowinds?

  7. TheRealRideWarrior

    hey CC , rye also has a non-permanent one called "Scared by the Sound". it is only up october, and its one house…….decent length. Anyone one near by should take a trip, its not HHN or even a (insert smaller haunt here), but the people that run it work hard and work it make a great effort at giving you a good show………plus charity like i said above.

  8. Robert

    Distance-wise, Playland is my home park although I go to SFGAdv more often. I live about 20 minutes away and it's a nice little park to spend the day with family and friends. The Dragon Coaster is a nice family ride while Superflight is somewhat painful. Another fun yet rare ride is the "Derby Racers" which is a high speed carousel. It's definitely not a thrill park, but you get to experience a few classic rides.

  9. DJ

    the flying coaster reminds me of the one at Eliage gardens in Denver. if it is the same one it crazy ruff on your body and during the barrel rolls it slams you on your back. in fact they closed it and i think they are getting rid of it. you didn't miss out on anything.

  10. CoasterFreak118

    The trains currently on the dragon coaster arent the original, but one of the original cars is located across from the station and you can sit in it and take pictures

  11. Adam

    that was my comment earlier about the trains i just read your review again and the superflight is just a typical zamperla flying coaster nothing special. and the Derby Racers was great it was really a really unique experience being that there are no safety restraints you have to hold on really tight but it was still really fun


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