THE DRAGON IS BACK
WPCNR AT LARGE. Review By John F. Bailey. May 21, 2023:
Standard Amusements and Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins opened a perfect mix of respect for Playland Past and Playland now and the Playland to come.
Even in the drizzle that drifted down on butterflies on stilts, an exotic fortune teller Alba and dignitaries attending the Ribbon cutting, it was hard to curb my enthusiasm the sparkling new lawn the fresh paint, tastefully brightened to uplift Playland, Westchester County’s go-to destination for fun and “play” since 1928, and a friendly proud and polite new staff greeting the media yesterday.
Kiddyland was back in sparkling spiffy new appearance with my favorite ride, The Playland Express, of course. The Steeple Chase, the Ferris Wheel, The Merry-go-round, the Zombie Castle of the past, the Dragon Coaster rattling with squeals floating in the air, the adrenaline was back. Cares of the reporter were forgotten.
I, hard-bitten, cynical, critical, hard-to-live with, always seeing the darkside of the future was lifted out of perpetual “why didn’t they” attitude.
Playland has a magic to it that in the old cliché’ of Barnum & Bailey (no relation) applies: “Fun for all ages.”
I mean, just walking the sweep of the mall leading to the landmark Playland Tower, it invites you to “Come on In and take a ride.”
The magic has not been lost, it has been enhanced, embellished with taste, panache and class.
The County has not yet replaced all the colonades, one of the major costs of repairing the park. I was told the county is planning to install those next winter.
The County did complete the pool and that will be open this Memorial Day Weekend for the season. The pool requires a Westchester County Park Pass for entry and does not come with admission.
The beach on Long Island Sound is open to Playland guests.
The great lawn of Playland looks ballpark green and is spectacular.
Instead of rolling out a red carpet Playland visitors get the enthusiastic greeting of the welcoming “Green Carpet” and well-trained young hosts, polite concerned and a pleasure to see. Playland is a great resource for youths seeking employment during the summer.
The stage at the end of the park will feature entertainment sure to attract and I would recommend the park stay open late on the Friday, Saturday Sunday nights. It is the safest, best lit, glittering place you can take a date young or old. And, unlike most restaurants you can hear what your date is saying with the raucous soundtrack of Playland making you feel giddy.
If you’re bringing kids under two they are free. If you as a parent are not planning on going on rides, you can get a Spectator Pass for $5.99.
If your children are under 48 inches tall you can get a reduced admission. All persons wanting to ride over those ages the admission is $39.
But you can buy a season pass with all rides for a great discount.
Parking though costs $20 every day during hours when the park is open.
There is an indoor restaurant being built inside the park in the vicinity of the log plume and the steep splash down ride
Two rides are under construction. One arcade area is being built new but its appearance during the construction is not visual jarring, preserving the ebullient energy of the park. The gameson the west side of the park has been brightened up. The Old Mill is back as a ride.
Today Sunday is a good day to come on down.
On my way out, I spoke to a man with two grandchildren and asked what he felt about. He like the way the park looked and the atmosphere.
Ken Jenkins the Deputy County Executive said in his opening remarks, “Everyone in Westchester loves Playland.”
I did when I was a kid riding the Playland Express.
Kudos to Standard Amusements for The New Playland, and getting it ready.
My old flame when I was a kid is still my new flame.