Myrtle Beach 2019

19MyrtleBannerMyrtle Beach | Photos | Videos


September 8-12, 2019
Myrtle Beach SC

As a child, I couldn’t wait to go to the beach every summer. Growing up, Myrtle Beach had it all-Beaches, Amusement Parks, Water Parks, Nite Life, Shows, Food, and more. And nearly every year growing up we spent a week there.

I don’t visit Myrtle Beach as often. They tore out one of my favorite amusement parks, the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, leaving a nearly empty plot of land there for nearly 15 years at this point. Then there was a large theme park built, Hard Rock Park. I didn’t get to visit until it’s second and final year, after it had made the switch to Freestyle Music Park, with much of the original theme already removed.

But I had a week off, and my original plans were put on hold due to work obligations, so I decided to travel to the beach. I didn’t plan on doing much. The only amusement park left, the Family Kingdom, would be closed during my visit, and since a hurricane had just came through, this made planning difficult. However, a couple of days after the storm passed I made reservations at the Crown Reef Waterpark & Resort for a few days. The entire city was dead for the first 3 days due to so many cancelling out due to the storm. That was actually nice.

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SoCal 2016 Day 4

16SoCal4Banner.jpgDisneyland Resort | Photos | Videos


September 27, 2016
Huntington Beach & Anaheim CA

Waking up we once again headed back to the beach. Huntington was familiar so we headed there for beach time. I did hang out in the pool that morning. Huntington was just as nice during the day and there were again plenty of surfers. Also, there were birds for Isaac (an avid birder). I acclimated to the water quite nicely, but he was kind of on and off with it. The surf was up and fun, and we spent a nice morning playing in the water and laying out on the beach.

We had lunch reservations at 2:50 at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, and thanks to a good friend, got hooked up with tickets for 2 days while in the area. Because of poor planning and GPS usage on my part, we were a little late meeting our contact, but we did get there not long after we’d planned to meet at the Grand Californian Hotel. Unfortunately, once we parked and got to the resort, another GPS mistake had us walking all thru Downtown Disney and going to the hotel the long way. But once we got in, we met up with our new friend and headed into California Adventure first before heading directly over to Disneyland proper.

My last visit to the Disneyland Resort was in 2005, just before they started the 50th celebration. I hadn’t been to Walt Disney World at that point, but now I’d been to the Florida parks a couple times. So it was nice to compare with the original with a fresh perspective. I love Disneyland, and the last time my group only had a 1 day park hopper pass so we tried to cram too much into one day and didn’t spend nearly enough time at Disneyland. I loved California Adventure even then, before the changes, but I really needed more Disneyland time.

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Bahamas Cruise 2009

09BahamasBanner.jpgCarnival Cruises | Atlantis | Photos | Videos


September 20-24, 2009
Bahamas

Day 1

Sunday morning we woke up, got all of our things together and packed into the car, checked out, headed out into the extreme heat, cranked the a.c. in the car up, and headed due east. The ride to Port Canaveral wasn’t very long, but it was very flat and mostly boring until we hit the coast. Upon arrival at Port Canaveral we headed over into town in search of a drug store and breakfast, eventually heading into a BiLo to get supplies. Breakfast was a few moments later at Dunkin’ Doughnuts. Port Canaveral was a very charming little coastal town from what I saw of it, and I’d love to go back and watch a rocket launch some day.

We headed over to port, dropped off our luggage, and parked. It was only around 11 AM and we couldn’t head to our rooms until later, so after checking in we sat on the Lido deck and had lunch and drinks. I had a burger and fries as oldies played over the speaker. Once we could go to the room I headed down and took what few things I had to drop them off. Then I laid around until we got called to our Muster station for the drill.

Once we arrived at our Muster station we received instructions and headed to the life boats. At this point, the boat was moving out of the docking area. I’d left my camera in the room so I wasn’t able to take pictures, but once we were finished, I headed to the room, grabbed the camera, and headed up with my family to the highest point on the front of the ship to watch as we headed out to the open sea. People waved from the beach at Port Canaveral. Once we were out in the open ocean we headed back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. I had to take a shirt to my parent’s room so that we could use the steamer on it, as I didn’t want to be wrinkly for my first evening.
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Freestyle Music Park 2009

09FreestyleBanner.jpgFreestyle Music Park | Photos | Videos


May 24, 2009
Myrtle Beach SC

The next morning we woke up, got ready, and headed out to Mammy’s Kitchen for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to Freestyle Music Park, a new park credit for both of us. There was a decent amount of cars there for a slow Sunday morning when almost everyone else was leaving the area. After slathering ourselves up with sunscreen (Matt is very sensitive, and I was burnt from Saturday) we paid for a ticket and headed inside. Only one ride was listed as closed, the Soak’d water coaster.

The park was very nice. I immediately noticed things that were missing from pictures from the previous year by the new owners. We walked thru Myrtle’s Beach first skipping the biggest coaster there, The Time Machine. Both of us were far more interested in Round About. So we headed to the Across The Pond area and got in line for Round About getting a backseat ride.

Round AboutThis was the coaster that gave the park a lot of problems in it’s inaugural year but we never saw it have any issues all day as it ran very consistently. The Ferris Wheel lift mechanism was novel and kind of unnerving, but in a fun way. Once you’re at the top you head down the first drop, which was rather steep and loads of fun. Sadly, this was mostly a one trick pony roller coaster. The lift and first drop were great, but the rest of the ride, while smooth and gentle, didn’t do very much. Fun, but I’d really like to see what an established park looking for a thrill ride and not a family coaster could do with one of these. Sadly the onboard soundtrack was not working.

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Myrtle Beach 2009

09MBBanner.jpgFamily Kingdom | Photos | Videos


May 23 & 24, 2009
Myrtle Beach SC

Day 1

The last time I was at Myrtle Beach prior to this trip was in September of 2006 for the final operating day of the classic Myrtle Beach Pavilion. A sad day, and a large part of the reason I hadn’t been back since. However, 2008was the inaugural season for Hard Rock Park, a new theme park which I’d been following the planning and construction of for quite a while. I had wanted to go in it’s first year of operation but never made it down to Myrtle Beach in 2008. Imagine my surprise when, after just a few months into its first season, the park abruptly closed and declared bankruptcy.

This could have been the end of the park, but thankfully a new owner stepped in for the 2009 season, even if they had to change the name and much of the theming as well as rip out lots of other theming. I didn’t want to miss my 2nd chance at visiting the park.  Unfortunately the second season would be the last season for the park which has since had all of it’s rides moved to other parks and the site has since been demolished.

I decided to take off on Friday just before Memorial Day Weekend and offered to take my grandmother down to her house in Salisbury NC since I would be staying there overnight on Thursday. The trip to North Carolina was quick and uneventful and on Friday morning I was up early and ready to head further south. The ride to Myrtle Beach was pleasant. I did get slightly turned around a couple of times but still made very good time even with stopping for gas and a few pictures at the infamous South of the Border tourist trap.

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Indiana Beach 2008

IB08BannerIndiana Beach | Photos | Videos


May 25, 2008
Monticello IN

Because we didn’t end up going to Kentucky Kingdom on Saturday, Matt wanted to stop by on Sunday on our way to Indiana Beach since Louisville was on the way. We’d made plans to meet up with Danny and Patrick, but Rob and Melissa had another hard morning waking up so we didn’t make our deadline for Kentucky Kingdom. Actually, we all ended up being kind of late, then we found out that the Indy 500 was happening that day. This meant we were going to get in to some traffic as we drove through Indianapolis.

After gathering everything up and checking out we stopped across the street for gas and ran in to Brian while there. We talked about the nite before just before we parted ways, with Brian and his gang heading to Beech Bend, and me and my gang heading to Indiana Beach. The drive was long, though it was interstate most of the way. We took the beltway around Indianapolis so as to avoid any Indy 500 traffic, but we did see the DirecTV blimp circling around as we drove past.

After almost 6 hours of driving we arrived at Indiana Beach. We only had about 4 hours, but that would be just enough time to have some fun at the park. This was another park that offered discounts for coaster enthusiasts, so I got in for almost half price once again thanks to Matt. Once we paid and took some pictures we headed out on the bridge to the park. You get a great view of Indiana Beach from here and I loved what I saw. We kept stopping and taking pictures as Matt talked to Craig on the phone. Then we finally made our way into the park. Our first stop was going to be the Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain, however, the line was quite long, they were only running 1 train, and the ride was down when we got in line anyways.

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Myrtle Beach 2006

MB06Banner.pngFamily Kingdom | Pavilion | Photos


September 28 & 29, 2006
Myrtle Beach SC
Pavilion Last Ride

Waking up on Thursday morning I got my things together, ran some errands, and headed south. This was my only major trip planned for the year, and it was a mixture of excitement and sadness because this would be the last time I would visit the legendary Myrtle Beach Pavilion. The drive from my home in southern West Virginia to Myrtle Beach was around 7 hours. Thankfully Janet Jackson had released her then latest album that week, so I planned to give it a full listen on my way south. The weather was rather dreary, but I knew that reports were for sun in Myrtle Beach thru the weekend.

About 90 minutes in to the ride I stopped in Wythville, VA since gas was only $2.08 to fill up and get some food. I wouldn’t stop again until North Carolina to get some directions, and then South Carolina for gas. Just outside of Myrtle Beach, on US 501, something in the other lane caught my eye. The Wacky Worm station and train from the now closed Grand Prix was on the back of a truck being transported elsewhere. I had seen pictures of the track packed up. I guess someone bought it. I had left around 10 AM and expected to arrive in Myrtle Beach around 5 PM and surely enough, at about 5:30 I was pulling in to the parking lot of the Hotel. I had spent the last 3 hours looking forward to arriving and relaxing in the room for a bit. That, however, would not be the case once I arrived.

Once I arrived it seemed as though everyone was having some type of problem with the staff. Sea Crest is a very nice ocean front property where we have stayed for at least 10 years. My parents would be arriving there the day I was leaving, and my mother had made my reservations as well since we were going at almost the same time. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the reservation.

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Myrtle Beach Pavilion 2004

BANNER

Myrtle Beach Pavilion | Photos | Videos


September 19, 2004
Myrtle Beach SC

Since the park was closing early today I thought I’d better get there around opening, get my arm band, and ride rides. I woke up a little after 1pm, changed into my swimming trunks so I could do the water rides, and headed down town. It wasn’t very crowded and the park was in its usual post-season state of deadness. Everything was up and running with the exception of the Carousel and the Top Spin. This is the way all parks should be ran, however, when it comes to cleanliness. There were more handymen around sweeping and cleaning than there were park goers! And as far as I can remember it’s always been that way.

I love a nice, relaxing day at a sea side park. There was a strong ocean breeze and some of the ops were running the rides like crazy since it was so dead at the park. My first order of business was that big heap of steel and wood that is known as Hurricane Category 5. There are a lot of people that said this is the worst there was when it came to roughness. Yes it is rough, but not roughest by far.

The Pavilion staff does a good job at keeping their rides up and running at capacity for the time they are open, but this was the park’s first wooden coaster in many years, and I think they just don’t know how to maintain it that well. That, and those trains suck.

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