Save Playland

In a world of mega-theme parks, the old fashioned amusement parks still are great places to visit with family and friends.  Everyone's heard of Astroland in Brooklyn's Coney Island, but Playland in Rye, New York, is equally historic.  Unfortunately, it is in danger of being shut down.

Playland is an iconic amusement park with both nostalgic attractions like the classic wooden Dragon Coaster and more modern rides such as the Superflight roller coaster.  There are bumper cars, carnival games, a Ferris Wheel, a carousel, a log flume water ride, and many other fun activities for all ages.  The location is fantastic, with a beach and a lake, and they often have fun concert series there.

It has been the site for a number of films, TV shows, and music videos.  Probably the most famous was Big starring Tom Hanks.  While it cannot compete with the enormous modern theme parks, Playland has a unique charm that the more splashy amusement parks can never replicate.

It would be a shame to lose that, but Playland's survival is in jeopardy.  Revenue continues to drop, and the management of Rye Playland, Westchester County, has indicated that they will request proposals for the possible redevelopment of Playland.  While they vow not to turn the area into condos or retail/office space, they might consider abandoning the amusement park business plan and just turn it into park land.  

I think if more people realized what a jewel they have in their own backyard, Playland would then attract more visitors and thrive.  Hopefully, ideas will stream in to make the amusement park profitable without making it unaffordable for the average local family.  I hope future generations will get the chance to experience the thrills and entertainment of Rye Playland, just as its founders intended when it first opened in 1928.

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