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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012

TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012

leviathan leviathan Profile

Posted:
8/31/12 at
10:34:40 AM

In what will probably conclude our summer vacation season, we spent the day on Thursday at Seabreeze Park. Well, I actually didn't arrive until around 5 pm as I worked a normal day, but the family was there all day. However, in the 4 hours that I was there, I was able to ride just about everything. This was my first visit to my hometown park in at least 2 years.

I started off my abbreviated day by meeting up with everyone else in the waterpark. Seabreeze has a pretty nice waterpark for those that have never been. On a typical hot summer day, the waterpark will get extremely crowded while the dry rides will tend to have little-to-no wait. Then as the waterpark shuts down at dusk, the rest of the park will start to pick up a lot of that crowd, causing slightly longer waits on the rides. Yesterday wasn't much different, except it was not terribly crowded to begin with. The lines were manageable all day long. I suspect many people are in the back-to-school mode and maybe didn't have time this week. Whatever the case, with temperatures in the mid-80s, it made for a great day.

This year they removed the body slides in favor of a new 4-slide racing structure called Hydro Racer. I used to love the body slides...they were some of the better ones I had ridden as they had little dips along the course for added speed and thrill. These new slides are a good replacement though. They're the first slides I have been on where you actually lay on your belly on a mat. As you may have guessed, the 4 slides, which end up side-by-side, race each other to the bottom. Very nice addition.

We hit all of the attractions in the waterpark and then decided to grab a bite to eat. We actually left the park for an hour and stopped at the local Bill Gray's burger joint down the street. It's a Rochester chain with pretty decent menu and good food.

After dinner, we started picking off rides methodically but quickly one-by-one. The family had already done many of them earlier but are always eager to ride whatever is convenient!

For those that have never been, Seabreeze is a really beautifully-maintained park located along Lake Ontario. The landscaping, buildings and rides are all clean and look freshly-painted. You can tell that the Norris family takes a lot of pride in the place. It shows on just about every ride.

Immediately in front of you upon entering the front gates is the Seabreeze Flyers, a classic flying scooter ride that is typically found at small amusement parks. The Flyers have received a new paint job since I was last at Seabreeze and they look amazing. Unfortunately, as is with the case of far too many rides at Seabreeze, they have been neutered. Seabreeze has placed rubber stoppers to limit the travel of the rudders which saps some of the air travel out of the scooters. The top speed doesn't seem to be very fast either. A fun ride, but a microcosm of the behavior of the park's ride collection.

Bear Trax, also in the front of the park, is a nicely done 2-lap junior coaster and worth a ride. I did not get to ride, but the kids did many times earlier in the day.

After hitting the Tilt-A-Whirl, we headed over to the Jack Rabbit. I have a love-hate relationship with this roller coaster. Did you know that it is the second oldest coaster in the USA? (tied with the Jack Rabbit at Kennywood...1920-built) It is amazing how great this coaster looks for being 92 years old. The layout is a simple out-and-back with a few tricks along the way. However, it just infuriates me that they run a Morgan train on this ride. The profile is so low to the ground and uses the terrain so well that a PTC would absolutely light this ride up. As it is today, it is fairly boring. The fiberglass Morgan zapps any air and most G's out of the ride so it is nothing more than a large-scale junior coaster, in my opinion (with an unwarranted 48" height requirement). It is silly in comparison that Knoebels Phoenix only carries a 42" requirement. Aside from its shortcomings, I love to see manually-controlled skid brakes in action on coasters. There is just something special about watching a ride attendant methodically pull on the levers to slow the train. The ride itself has a 75 foot lift and since it is so low-profile, tries really hard to keep its speed throughout the ride, in spite of the trains. There is also an unispiring double dip (which would probably be fixed with a better train) and nice tunnel finish. I had the pleasure of riding this in my youth before the Morgans but I just can't remember enough of the ride to do a fair comparison. I do remember my extreme disappointment the first time I rode these trains however...that seems to be one of those moments that is hard to forget.

After that, we headed to the Screamin' Eagle, the only Zamperla Hawk ride I have ever been on. It is a great ride and the only inverted ride in the park. Defintely a must-ride. We also hit the Chance Yo-Yo, which again has been neutered to no longer...well...yo yo! It is a simple flat swing ride now. The Yo-Yo is one of my all-time favorite flats, but to even call this the "Yo-Yo" now is simply a lie I suppose.

We skipped the flume as I had had enough water for the day and I know you get wet on their version of the ride. What I will say is that it might be the only flume I have ever seen that travels through a concrete trough throughout the entire ride - it is built right along the not-so-nice-looking green pond in the middle of the park. And another bit of trivia...the unassuming final drop is the steepest on any flume ride.

I needed a break so I took my daughter on the carousel while the others rode the Zamperla Crazy Cups. Sadly, this ride replaced the classic figure 8-style PTC crazy daisy ride. I know that the old cups didn't spin a whole lot (thankfully!) but I love the classics. I can't ride the self-controlled spinning rides with my kids...too much for me! As for the carousel, their original one was destroyed in a fire several years ago but they rebuilt and the new one is a beauty. There is also a small picture museum of the park's history inside the carousel house that is worth a stroll.

We made our way over to the Musik Express (which sadly replaced a speed-neutered indoor scrambler several years ago), the Sea Dragon (one of the best I have ever ridden) and the Revolution 360. The latter is my first and only Zamperla Disko ride. Some unique restraints and interesting forces make this a must-do, even if only once.

Lastly, we hit the other 2 roller coasters in the park, Whirlwind and Bobsleds. Whirwind is a Mauer Sohne spinning mouse coaster and my favorite ride in the park. It has a rather unsuspecting but really swift first drop and then the cars start spinning afterwards. It is a very disorienting and super fun ride. They were running 4 cars and the line moved rather quickly. The other coaster, the Bobsleds, is a custom converted junior coaster. Many years ago, Seabreeze remodeled the Junior Coaster to track it with tubular steel and it hasn't changed much since. It is a figure 8 style track and has its moments. However, I couldn't help but feel like the ride lacked the quick speed and aggression that I recall it having at one time. In fact, the final helix was so nonchalant that I wondered if we would have the speed to make it back to the station. I'm not sure what happened...maybe the bobsled cars have been modifed, but it is not the ride I remembered it to be. This tends to be the slowest-moving line in the park due to the lack of blocking on the ride...they can only allow 2 cars on the circuit at a time.

One other thing that I failed to mention is that the stations on the Bobsleds and Jack Rabbit are classics and a real pleasure to just look at and admire. They really help to bring out the beauty in the park in general.

All said, Seabreeze is a great local park to bring the famiy to for a day. And we really had a great day in spite of my criticisms. If you're in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.

* This post was modified at 8/31/12 11:44:03 AM *

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/31/12 10:59:35 AM
I enjoyed my one and only visit to Seabreeze in 2011. The Yo-Yo pales in comparison to Quassy's. I liked Jackrabbit and Whirlwind (probably best of its type I've been on) but the Bobsleds were my favorite coaster there. It's not a particularly apt comparison, but they sorta reminded me of Leap The Dips. I didn't do the waterpark, but it didn't look like anything special to me. Loved the carousel. Thanks for a cool report.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/31/12 1:30:07 PM
leviathan said:

For those that have never been, Seabreeze is a really beautifully-maintained park located along Lake Ontario. The landscaping, buildings and rides are all clean and look freshly-painted. You can tell that the Norris family takes a lot of pride in the place. It shows on just about every ride.

I think that's one of the main reasons why I like this park so much. It may be small, it may not have the largest collection of rides, but the park is in amazing shape and as you stated, you can tell the owners take great pride in their park. I still say the park needs to take advantage of their awesome location somehow with an observation ride of some sort, like a Chance Giant Wheel or something along those lines.

The Flyers have received a new paint job since I was last at Seabreeze and they look amazing. Unfortunately, as is with the case of far too many rides at Seabreeze, they have been neutered. Seabreeze has placed rubber stoppers to limit the travel of the rudders which saps some of the air travel out of the scooters. The top speed doesn't seem to be very fast either.

Agreed that the ride looks great with its new paint job, but I will disagree with the speed of the ride. In my opinion, the Seabreeze Flyers run really fast, especially compared to the set at Conneaut Lake. Snapping is not something that is easily done on this ride (if at all), however I still enjoy taking a ride on these each time I visit.

Bear Trax, also in the front of the park, is a nicely done 2-lap junior coaster and worth a ride. I did not get to ride, but the kids did many times earlier in the day.

As it is today, it is fairly boring. The fiberglass Morgan zapps any air and most G's out of the ride so it is nothing more than a large-scale junior coaster, in my opinion (with an unwarranted 48" height requirement).

That is my main gripe with Jack Rabbit as well. I absolutely hate Morgan trains. That being said, I thought the ride was running very well this year. I could only imagine what some new trains would do for it, especially on the double-down and the "surprise" in the tunnel.

We also hit the Chance Yo-Yo, which again has been neutered to no longer...well...yo yo! It is a simple flat swing ride now. The Yo-Yo is one of my all-time favorite flats, but to even call this the "Yo-Yo" now is simply a lie I suppose.

Seabreeze's YoYo is definitely a case of false advertising, but the ride looks amazing when compared to the standard factory model. I'd love to see the ride at night as its multi-colored light package probably looks great.

And another bit of trivia...the unassuming final drop is the steepest on any flume ride.

I believe the angle of descent is 55 degrees. That is crazy for a standard log flume. If memory serves me right, this was once an "Over The Falls"-type ride that was converted into a log flume in-house. Gotta love the Seabreeze folks for doing a lot of things on their own!

As for the carousel, their original one was destroyed in a fire several years ago but they rebuilt and the new one is a beauty. There is also a small picture museum of the park's history inside the carousel house that is worth a stroll.

Jeff M introduced me to this stunning machine back in 2004 and I have been hooked ever since. It is truly a gorgeous work of art and the Seabreeze folks again went out of their way to make something that is unique to their park and something that anyone who is even remotely interested in carousels needs to see in person.

We made our way over to the Musik Express (which sadly replaced a speed-neutered indoor scrambler several years ago)...

The old Gyrosphere was an awesome concept. The laser show and music were awesome, but the ride never seemed to get out of second gear. Thankfully they don't run the new Music Express that way. They run that thing full tilt during the forwards cycle. Awesome stuff!

Whirwind is a Mauer Sohne spinning mouse coaster and my favorite ride in the park. It has a rather unsuspecting but really swift first drop and then the cars start spinning afterwards. It is a very disorienting and super fun ride. They were running 4 cars and the line moved rather quickly.

Kudos to Seabreeze on keeping 4 cars (and often times more) cars running on this coaster as the line constantly moves. A certain park in Erie, PA could learn a thing or two from the Seabreeze folks on how to push people through the line on a Maurer-Sohne spinning coaster. Seabreeze's also is far superior in the spin department.

The other coaster, the Bobsleds, is a custom converted junior coaster. Many years ago, Seabreeze remodeled the Junior Coaster to track it with tubular steel and it hasn't changed much since. It is a figure 8 style track and has its moments. However, I couldn't help but feel like the ride lacked the quick speed and aggression that I recall it having at one time. In fact, the final helix was so nonchalant that I wondered if we would have the speed to make it back to the station. I'm not sure what happened...maybe the bobsled cars have been modifed, but it is not the ride I remembered it to be. This tends to be the slowest-moving line in the park due to the lack of blocking on the ride...they can only allow 2 cars on the circuit at a time.

You described the Bobsleds perfectly. It's not the greatest ride in the world to be sure, but I still find myself laughing and smiling every time I ride.

All said, Seabreeze is a great local park to bring the famiy to for a day. And we really had a great day in spite of my criticisms. If you're in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.

I second that recommendation!

Thanks for the nice TR. I enjoyed reading it!

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by leviathan leviathan Profile at 8/31/12 2:14:21 PM
ray_p said:

We made our way over to the Musik Express (which sadly replaced a speed-neutered indoor scrambler several years ago)...

The old Gyrosphere was an awesome concept. The laser show and music were awesome, but the ride never seemed to get out of second gear. Thankfully they don't run the new Music Express that way. They run that thing full tilt during the forwards cycle. Awesome stuff!

...
Thanks for the nice TR. I enjoyed reading it!

Thank you for reading...it is my pleasure!

It is funny that you say that...I was wondering if it was just me, but when the ride started with the backwards cycle, I thought to myself "eh, not bad." But when they reversed direction and spun forward, it sure felt to me like they kicked it up a notch. Glad I'm not the only one!

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by Coaster316 at 8/31/12 3:06:19 PM
Thanks for posting this. I love Seabreeze and it seems to be a bit of a favorite among some others at URC, too, which is awesome. I think this is the first trip report I've read from a local, though, so it was really nice to see from a local's perspective.

My first trip to Seabreeze was about 13-14 years ago. I can remember writing my first trip report and writing someting along the lines of, "Seabreeze is a great park that has a homey, throwback feel. Not because that's the theme it aspires to, but because that is simply the way it is run." Its another way of saying that the care the family puts into it is tremendous.

My favorite ride there, and quite honestly my favorite ride anywhere, is the Seabreeze Carousel. It shows the pride of its owners and its one of those rides where I can ride it and everything is ok in the world.

I'm glad your family enjoys the park and thanks again for sharing your report.

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/31/12 3:20:25 PM
Great TR. I keep reading these TRS on Seabreeze and all them are great reviews. Seabreeze is a priority for us next year. I can't wait to visit this park. Thanks for sharing, you just increased my appetite for Seabreeze.
Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by leviathan leviathan Profile at 8/31/12 4:05:20 PM
frontrow said:

Great TR. I keep reading these TRS on Seabreeze and all them are great reviews. Seabreeze is a priority for us next year. I can't wait to visit this park. Thanks for sharing, you just increased my appetite for Seabreeze.

That is great! I love hearing from out-of-town guests that visit Seabreeze. One thing I try to warn people of that have never visited is unless you spend part of the day in the waterpark, you can easily knock this park out in 2-3 hours. But the nice thing about Seabreeze is that you just don't feel rushed or overwhelmed at all.

Speaking of appetite...the food is also pretty good and reasonably priced. The fresh cut fries and the sugar waffles are my favorites!

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by leviathan leviathan Profile at 8/31/12 4:21:08 PM
Coaster316 said:

Thanks for posting this. I love Seabreeze and it seems to be a bit of a favorite among some others at URC, too, which is awesome. I think this is the first trip report I've read from a local, though, so it was really nice to see from a local's perspective.


My first trip to Seabreeze was about 13-14 years ago. I can remember writing my first trip report and writing someting along the lines of, "Seabreeze is a great park that has a homey, throwback feel. Not because that's the theme it aspires to, but because that is simply the way it is run." Its another way of saying that the care the family puts into it is tremendous.

My favorite ride there, and quite honestly my favorite ride anywhere, is the Seabreeze Carousel. It shows the pride of its owners and its one of those rides where I can ride it and everything is ok in the world.

I'm glad your family enjoys the park and thanks again for sharing your report.

My pleasure.

Regarding the carousel, it sounds like you first visited after the big fire? It was really a devastating loss to the community. That carousel itself was so well maintained for being...what, 80 years old? Although, what else would you expect from Seabreeze? The organ filled the midway, the horses ran flawlessly...and the ringing of the large bell (signaling the start of the ride) along with the manual control lever to its side were signature.

The new carousel is very much like the old one in many ways. The Norris family clearly realized the significance of that one ride and spared no expense in having it replaced. The new one is far and away the nicest carousel I have ever seen.

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by Coaster316 at 8/31/12 4:57:27 PM
leviathan said:

Regarding the carousel, it sounds like you first visited after the big fire? It was really a devastating loss to the community. That carousel itself was so well maintained for being...what, 80 years old? Although, what else would you expect from Seabreeze? The organ filled the midway, the horses ran flawlessly...and the ringing of the large bell (signaling the start of the ride) along with the manual control lever to its side were signature.

Yes, it was after the fire. In fact, hearing stories about the new carousel is what inspired me to go in the first place. I have the VHS tape of the documentary about the building of the new carousel and just love the story (of the rebuild, not of the fire, obviously).

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 9/2/12 10:46:21 PM
Thanks for the TR. I think that is the first I have ever read of Seabreeze.

Sorry to hear the flyers are neutered. Those can be so fun!

- Pat-O

Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by Fatsoccerguy191 Fatsoccerguy191 Profile at 9/3/12 2:47:18 PM
Seabreeze is that little theme park in Rochester, NY right?, I love that place, it's great for a small park.
Re: TR - Seabreeze 8/30/2012 by leviathan leviathan Profile at 9/3/12 8:56:23 PM
Fatsoccerguy191 said:

Seabreeze is that little theme park in Rochester, NY right?, I love that place, it's great for a small park.

You are correct! Right on Lake Ontario (just about)