Arms folded across her chest, the young girl rides a spouting cascade of water through the pitch-black tube, squealing with each twist and turn afforded by the snaking confines. Just as it seems as though the darkness will never lift, sunlight pours onto her face as she is spit out into a crystal-blue pool below. This high-adrenaline ride is the reward for being brave enough to tackle the Midnight Run, one of Splash Zone’s numerous waterslides. Other rides include their newest attraction, the FlowRider, which combines surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding with a continuous wave formed by a thin sheet of water for a new sport available for all ages.
Nestled in the heart of Wildwood, the aquatic adventureland evokes whoops and squeals from visitors of all ages with more than 16 splash-laden activities. The gentle ebb of Rivy’s River carries inner-tubing guests along at a relaxed pace, and the interactive water playground in Giggle Bay ensures that the young adventurers remain hydrated thanks to a constantly tipping bucket filled with 1,000 gallons of water. As aquanauts explore the waters, Splash Zone’s crew of certified lifeguards and sunglass-clad Saint Bernards remain on hand to ensure safety, and an onsite first-aid station offers remedies for a variety of ailments. Along with watery pastimes, Splash Zone offers sunbathing areas to facilitate leisurely tanning, and the Zone Grill where chefs forge fire-licked eats for hungry guests.
The United States Marine Corps' AV-8B Harrier defies all logic. Is it a jet? Is it a helicopter? In truth, it's a bit of both. The aircraft and all 22,000 of its pounds can take off vertically and hover in one place—but once it moves, the harrier blasts forward at near-supersonic speeds, making it almost fast enough to outrun the chorus of "Danger Zone."
That impressive display of aeronautical engineering is just one of the attractions at the OC Air Show, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which soar through the sky in complex formations while the U.S. Navy Seals Leap Frogs leave the aircraft entirely and parachute down through the sky. Pilot Greg Connell turns flight into dance within the cockpit of his Pitts Model 12—an aerobatic biplane perfect for executing loops.
While there's no charge for looking towards the clouds, the OC Air Show does offer some premium viewing areas. The Drop Zone adds food and drink, professional narration of the show, and sight-lines right into the center of the action. Sixty-four lucky people also get to watch from a raised VIP Skybox, while even more can go right out onto the water to see fish peek out from the surface, longing for the day they'll learn to fly.
Taking over Morey's Piers & Beachfront Waterparks for the weekends of October, Morey’s Fears Terror on the Boardwalk shoots chills down unsuspecting spines with five frightful attractions. Terror Trench dares scare-seekers to venture beneath the park into a noxious pit inhabited by the mutant mole progeny of waterpark construction workers lost decades ago. Those brave enough to tiptoe through The Other Side might lock eyes with the ghosts of souls lost at sea as they roam under the Wildwood boardwalk, and the CornStalkers maze threatens guests with supernatural dangers from the countryside, such as killer scarecrows and murderous corn subsidies. Modeled out of a multilevel miniature-golf course, Ghost Ship 2.0 ensconces landlubbers on a decaying vessel haunted by mad sailors and spooky ghouls, and CarnEvil infects the park's regular attractions with a macabre atmosphere, replacing the regular barkers with sinister clowns.
Gales of laughter compete with crashing ocean waves at Steel Pier's scenic location on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Traditional attractions such as a ferris wheel take parkgoers on a spin, while elsewhere, guests get behind the driver's wheel of bumper cars. To get their hearts racing, the most daring visitors climb aboard The Sling Shot, which sends them racing at 100 miles per hour and up to 5Gs, or The Mix, which places guest on spinning arms that reach speeds over 60 miles per hour. Guests can also go on a helicopter ride for a bird's-eye view of the shore and other birds.
While a modern amusement park today, Steel Pier has a historic past. Originally opened in 1898, the Pier hosted top entertainers such as Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and Frank Sinatra, and famed acts such as The Human Cannonball and the Miss American Pageant. But after years of neglect and a devastating fire, Steel Pier was in need of a makeover. So in 1993, the Catanoso brothers renovated the landmark spot to offer it's nostalgic charm and thrills to families for years to come.
It's not enough for the inflatable jungle gyms at Marley Bounce Party to cushion kids' bouncing feet; they also have to tickle their imaginations. In one circular bounce house, cushy palm trees and dinosaurs whisk kiddos to the prehistoric tropics. Four turrets surround a castle-style house, where tykes can careen down one of two slides while pretending to flee from a Medieval dragon or a somewhat more intelligent Enlightenment-era dragon, all while three new bouncers keep everyone safe. In addition to its plush playgrounds, Marley Bounce Party offers two party rooms that can host up to 25 kids and their parents, as well as a baby-changing station and cold drinks and juices available for purchase.
Mid Atlantic Grand Prix's indoor track brings to life dreams of zipping along Monte Carlo or the Circuit of The Americas?just on a smaller scale. Drivers aged 8 and older strap on helmets and man the wheel of their go-karts, covering up to 6 miles during each eight-minute ride. In addition to drop-in races, the facility also hosts bachelor parties, birthday fetes, and other group outings.