Wildwood Roller Coasters

Things To Do

Great white coaster wildwood

Wildwood Roller Coasters

Great white coaster wildwood

When it comes to Wildwood roller coasters, you shouldn’t exactly expect Six Flags-level entertainment, but Wildwood is more equipped for coaster thrills than any other Jersey Shore town by a long shot.

The Morey’s Piers people have done a fine job seeing to that, building large entertainment areas on each of their three Wildwood boardwalk piers, with coasters, water parks, haunted houses, and go-karts. And it’s definitely super cool to ride a coaster overlooking the ocean.


Wildwood roller coasters kurt smith

The esteemed author of A Great Number of Things approves of Wildwood’s Great Nor’Easter coaster.

There are three larger-sized Wildwood roller coasters (and some smaller ones for the younger kids), and you can get a day pass to ride all of them. Again, they aren’t Kingda Ka or the Top Thrill Dragster, but they’re pretty good, and the best part is that they are all very different in structure and thrill.

So here’s my thoughts on the Big Three Wildwood roller coasters:


wildwood roller coasters great noreaster

The Great Nor’Easter was even cooler when it was red, but it’s still a badass ride.

Wildwood Roller Coasters #1: The Great Nor’Easter – The Great Nor’Easter looked cooler when it was painted red in my humble opinion, but the ride is just as fun with white tracks. This one is on the outer edge of Surfside Pier, the northernmost of Morey’s Piers.

The Nor’Easter is a suspended roller coaster, meaning that the cars hang from the tracks rather than sit on them. This makes for wide swinging around the turns and through the loops, adding to the whoa factor. It slowly climbs to a level of 115 feet and then plunges into a 95-foot drop, followed by several loops, hard turns and a corkscrew or two before bringing riders back around. Its top speed is 55 MPH, which isn’t bad and saves fuel. It’s not a long ride, 2:05 with the long climb up the hill, but you won’t feel gypped on the thrill quotient.

The cool thing about the Great Nor’Easter is the way it just seems to be built around and through everything in the pier. The ride flies by several spots in the waterpark, and from the waterpark you can watch people screaming by you on the coaster from several platforms. At times it almost seems like riders could kick the log flume. It makes waiting in line or climbing up the steps at the waterpark much more amusing.

Click here for some point of view action…


sea serpent wildwood

The Sea Serpent, conveniently located near a waterpark.

Wildwood Roller Coasters #2: The Sea Serpent – There are several iterations of the Sea Serpent in amusement parks that I’ve seen, so it’s not exactly a Wildwood original, but I definitely remember being intimidated by it when it first appeared on Mariner’s Landing on the boardwalk many years ago. (It was out of service at the time, that’s why I didn’t ride it, I swear!)

The Sea Serpent is unusual in being a “Boomerang” roller coaster. It starts by lifting the cars up to a 125-foot height backwards, then drops them back down, through the station, then through a loop and a cobra roll before heading up the other hill. Once the considerable momentum has carried it as far as it can go, the train lifts the cars the rest of the way, and then lets them go again—backwards. If you’ve never ridden backwards on a coaster before…it’s pretty cool.

The Sea Serpent reaches a top speed of 47 MPH. Not fast on Route 55 on the way to Wildwood, but pretty darn fast when going loudly through a cobra loop.

Click here for Sea Serpent point of view action…


wildwood roller coasters great white

The Great White, shot from a far enough distance to get the whole thing in.

Wildwood Roller Coasters #3: The Great White – It takes a bit of a walk from the other piers to get to the Great White, which is on the southernmost Adventure Pier, closest to the Convention Center. (I believe if you get a day pass, you get free rides on the tram car until 5:00 PM or something.) Adventure Pier has definitely grown in entertainment value in recent years, and The Great White is well worth the trip. Even if it’s the only one of the big three that isn’t painted white (slaps head).

The Great White is an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster—the kind where the real thrill is wondering whether these old, rusty tracks and shaky wooden beams are going to hold the coaster while you’re riding it—not to mention those old cars with only the lap bar holding you in them. There aren’t any loops, but that first hill takes a long time and gets to 110 feet, with a steep drop to start a long ride. Great White gets to 50 MPH, which is pretty fast on those rickety tracks! Stay hydrated to help avoid the headache.

Great White has another really cool feature…at the start of the ride, there is a short 25-foot drop, and then you actually ride under the pier for a bit before going up the first hill. Very cool, especially at night, and especially if you’re not expecting it. (Which I guess you are now, sorry.)

Click here for some very cool Great White point of view action…


So there you go, your best shot at inducing bile while in the Wildwoods. All three of these coasters are well worth riding, and unlike the coasters in other Jersey shore towns, they’re big and fast enough to make it worth the trip for any coaster buff.


Did this post make your day a little bit?

I hope so. If it did, I would really appreciate your support.

When you use this link to shop on Amazon, you’ll help subsidize this great website…at no extra charge to you.

Thanks very much…come back soon!


bicycle rental wildwood nj

A Bike Ride on the Wildwood Boards

bicycle rental wildwood nj

One of the nicer things about a vacation in Wildwood is the potential for exercise that is actually enjoyable…walking or running on the boardwalk or beach, swimming or boogie boarding in the ocean, or riding bicycles on the lengthy Wildwood boardwalk in the morning. Not that stupid exercise that we force ourselves through at the gym full of people that seem to live there.


bicycle rental wildwood nj

This is the shop in front of the 1900 building, one of the better ones on the Wildwood boards.

Throughout the Wildwood boardwalk, but mostly at the northern and southern ends, there are small shops that rent bicycles to vacationing riders in the morning. Riding a bike on the boardwalk is permitted until 11:00 AM most mornings, and most bike rental shops open at 6:00 AM. Bicycles cost in the range of $6-7 per hour, with surrey bikes going for quite a bit more, usually around $25 per hour.

Usually the family takes an hour. Especially with four of us now, since the surrey bicycles are much more expensive. An hour is usually plenty, so try that first before you go for more.

I’ve found that I can start at the north end of the boardwalk, ride all the way to the southern end, and then ride on the bicycle path in front of the motels in Wildwood Crest to the Admiral Motel—a beautiful part of town to be in early in the morning—and make it back with a few minutes to spare. Or I can head in the opposite direction, through North Wildwood where most folks are walking their dogs. If I hustle, I can do both.


bicycles wildwood boardwalk

Take a break. It’s the beach.

Early in the morning, the earlier the better, the Wildwood boardwalk has a whole different air about it. Most of the arcades, piers, prize booths and pizza joints are closed, and the entertainment area that just hours before was relentlessly assaulting your senses is peaceful and inviting, with the sound of the waves not far away. People are riding, walking or jogging, and there’s actually room to get around without the crowds and the tram car constantly making their presence known. The most prominent sound of all is the echo of loose boards rattling from the weight of bicycles.

You get a nice overview of all of the stores and eateries on the boardwalk without wearing yourself out walking. There are a few places with coffee and breakfast sandwiches too (although not premium coffee so much). The boardwalk does start to get busier and tougher to navigate around 9:30 or so, so it’s good to get out there earlier if you can.


fractured prune wildwood boardwalk

“I’ll take one of everything please.”

And of course, you can stop at Fractured Prune for the most amazing donuts in the Wildwoods. Go ahead, you’ll be bicycling it off.

You don’t have to stay on the boardwalk of course. Wildwood Crest in particular is a perfectly nice and quiet atmosphere to two-wheel around, and there are plenty of bicycle lanes along the beach front to make things safer. As you get further from the boardwalk, it gets morning quiet and beautifully peaceful, and you can explore the other side of the island, which has a nice little bay of its own.


bicycle rental wildwood crest

Usually they don’t have the fence there. Don’t sweat that.

The only caution I would mention is to be aware of the breeze and which direction it’s flowing.

I remember renting a bicycle in Long Beach Island many years ago. We were staying in Barnegat Light, in the northern part of the large island, and I was listening to a Beatles compilation cassette I had made.

I figured I would ride as far as I could while one side played, and then turn back for the second side. I made it as far as Beach Haven, the southernmost part of the island, and then learned that the wind had been blowing at my back the whole time. Oops. The ride back took twice as long, and I was sick of the Beatles by the middle of it.

So if you’re intent on only paying for an hour, be certain you can move in the other direction just as fast.


surrey bicycle wildwood nj

Get used to these once you have a couple of little ones.

Riding a bicycle on the boardwalk early in the morning is one of my favorite pastimes in the Wildwoods, and it’s great exercise too, building up the appetite for breakfast at Adam’s, Pompeo’s or Uncle Bill’s. If there’s a better way to start a day at the Jersey Shore I can’t think of it.


Did this post make your day a little bit?

I hope so. If it did, I would really appreciate your support.

When you use this link to shop on Amazon, you’ll help subsidize this great website…at no extra charge to you.

Thanks very much…come back soon!