By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
New Yorkers do things with a passion. They work hard and they play hard. And when they play, they want a quality experience, reasonable cost and easy traveling times. More and more New Yorkers are finding the Jersey Shore (say it like a New Jersey native…”Down the shore…”) where there are white sand beaches and a host of choices for singles, couples and families to choose from.
One of the top destinations in recent years has been Seaside Heights, a scant 83 miles from Times Square. Seaside Heights is an easy drive or a more relaxed one with mass transit via New Jersey Transit bus #137 from the Port Authority Bus terminal.
One of the prime destinations in Seaside is the Casino Pier with its plethora of attractions and activities. As with so many shore areas Seaside and Casino Pier were severely damaged by the ravages of Superstorm Sandy. But showing its Jersey Pluck, Casino Pier came back stronger and better than before.
Maria Mastoris, Casino Pier spokesperson, literally gushed as she spoke about the attraction and the upgrades that have made it even more of a destination. “We have rides and attractions aimed at adults and several that are designed to give the little ones a truly fun day,” said Mastoris. “One of the new attractions is the Jump Around, a beach buggy ride that the little ones will really enjoy.”
Mastoris noted that there are bumper cars and a new Musik Express that accommodates 60 riders at a time in 20 cars as it accelerates in a circular train through hills, a tunnel, sirens, light effects and a smoke machine with pop music piped in…perhaps to drown out the screams.
Air Race is almost aptly named, as it is a hair-raising ride that takes passengers on a simulated aerobatic trip that could be seen at an air show. The Disc’O places participants on a giant disc facing outward as it spins and swings them around.
While much of the activity is geared for those who can meet minimum height requirements, the smaller set and family groups are not left out. Families can get together and enjoy Pirate’s Hideaway, a family roller coaster and Pirate’s Island, a walk-through with four levels of adventure featuring swinging bridges and a rope net to climb.
There is no admission to enter Casino Pier but there is a charge for individual rides allowing families to control their expenses. On Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 6 p.m. wristbands providing unlimited rides may be purchased for $18. The same fee holds for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 p.m. until midnight. The adjacent water park has slides, tubes and just about anything to enjoy on a hot summer day.
Mastoris notes that a high percentage of Casino Pier’s visitors come from the New York area as well as North Jersey. It is a quick ride down the Garden State Parkway to the shore. Or, as noted, by bus from the port Authority.
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