The Casino Pier amusement park continues to grow now that it has long since risen from the ashes – or more accurately, the water.
After super storm Sandy tossed the park’s venerable roller coaster Jet Star into the sea in 2012, the ride was replaced in 2017 with the Hydrus, built over the beach this time, rather than above the ocean, as its predecessor was.
It took nearly four years to construct the Hydrus, in part because the process required a land swap between Casino Pier and the town of Seaside Heights and permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection. In return for being allowed to build, Casino Pier donated land for parking and an historic boardwalk carousel to the city, which is displaying it in a museum built on a portion of the donated land.
Now, over a year since the opening of Hydrus, the ride is a wildly popular attraction with its 72-foot vertical lift and drop, and mind-boggling loops, drops, and twists. It offers a stellar view of the beach and amusement park, too. The lime green and blue ride was constructed by Gerstlauer, the German manufacturer behind the Euro-Fighter roller coaster. The first drop of 97 degrees is just getting riders warmed up for a 45-mph ride gliding along a 1,050-foot coaster track which includes a vertical loop, an Immelman turn, and a heartline roll during its course.
Hydrus may be the newest, but it isn’t the only roller coaster fun at the pier. Pirate’s Hideaway, which opened in 2007 and was based on an older, classic ride, offers a yo-ho-ho thrill ride with a pirate theme. In keeping with that theme is Pirate’s Island, an all-ages four-level adventure of swinging bridges, climbing, a rope maze, and a slide. SkyCoaster offers the thrills of skydiving on a ride that drops from 109 feet and rockets along at 60 to 80 miles per hour. Hot Tamales is a child-friendly roller coaster with a South-of-the-Border theme. Inside a giant mouse roller coaster train, children experience comparatively mild drops, twists, and turns.
Along with the coasters, there are plenty of other rides to enjoy on the pier. from the tilt-a-whirl’s traditional turns to the multi-level walk-through funhouse, the Surf Shack. A new addition to the Casino Pier’s ride selection is the Shore Shot, a double launching thrill ride the lifts riders 125-feet in the air. A dazzlingly high Ferris Wheel offers stellar views of the coast.
The Air Race ride allows riders to experience 3G accelerations flying both upside down and right-side-up. Bumper cars, the swirling giant Disk’O ride, and the family-friendly spinning and rocking Moby Dickare all strong attractions. On the more peaceful side, there’s the sky ride, offering great views of beach and boardwalk; the pier’s newest attraction, opened during the 2018 season, is the Super Slide, a simple, yet effective thrill.
The littlest riders haven’t been forgotten, either. The pier offers a full grouping of kiddy rides that range from boat rides to the 6 giant dragons of the rotating Dizzy Dragon, mini golf, car combo rides on a smooth circular track, jumping springed- buggy cars, pony carts, NASCAR themed race cars on a track, and a variety of driver controlled Go Karts designed to fits kids and adults of all sizes. Plus there’s the vertical motion of the Crazy Bus family ride.
Another fun family adventure is the Smuggler’s Quay Adventure Mini Golf, offering 18 themed holes with caves, bridges, and waterfalls. The Wacky Rooftop Golf experience offers traditional figures among its course challenges from tigers and bears to Humpty Dumpty. Mini-golf course admission is $10 and $7, respectively.
Along with the amusement park and mini-golf attractions, the Breakwater Beach waterpark continues to be a popular summer-months attraction for Casino Pier.
For seven years now, the waterpark has advocated for water safety awareness by participating in the annual World's Largest Swimming Lesson event that gets kids into the water and trained about the water. The annual event took place June 21st this year.
Regular attractions at the water park include the popular Wave Pool at Breakwater Beach.
The aqua drop free fall, otherwise known as Salem’s Scream, is a brand-new 50-foot speed slide that literally drops the floor from under its riders’ starting platform. A twisting turning slide, Revere’s Wild Ride takes riders above the park’s lazy river attraction. The Bullet Bowl tubing slide and the enclosed flume of the Topsy Turvy, a.k.a Freedom Flame ride, both launch from one tower into different waterslide fun. There’s the Patriot’s Plunge six-lane racing slide, and The Perfect Storm, an interactive multi-level water play area that includes an 800-gallon water dump from the “Nantucket Bucket.” The relaxing Plymouth Rock Hot Tub is a sought-after break from the thrills, slides, and splashing.
Between amusement park attractions and waterpark slides, guests enjoy food offerings that represent the Jersey shoreline: cheesesteak, pizza slices, and fried clams are on the menu. The Pier Grille inside the Casino Arcade is known for its pizza, and the Curley Fries stand, no surprise, is renowned for its crisp fries as well as zeppoles, and funnel cakes.
Park admission varies, with early bird rates in July and August providing all-day admission for a discounted special rate when purchased in the morning.
Rates are $26.95 for riders over 48” tall, $22.95 for riders under that height; $15.95 for seniors, and an entrance fee of $21.95 for spectators. A twilight admission program saves even more with pricing of over 48” at $23.95, under 48”, $19.95; seniors (65+) are admitted for just $15.95, and spectators for $18.95 during July and August.
A combined admission package to the waterpark with a wristband for unlimited pier rides is offered at over 48”, $57.95; Under 48”at $51.95; and Seniors (65+) are $31.95.