Pacific Park

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This article is about the current Santa Monica amusement park that opened in 1996. For the former Santa Monica amusement park that operated from 1958 to 1967, see Pacific Ocean Park.
Pacific Park
Pacific Park entrance
The original look of the Pacific Park entrance.
Slogan "The Family Amusement Park on the Santa Monica Pier"
"LA's only admission-free amusement park"
Location Santa Monica, California, United States
Coordinates 34°00′30″N 118°29′53″W / 34.00833°N 118.49806°W / 34.00833; -118.49806Coordinates: 34°00′30″N 118°29′53″W / 34.00833°N 118.49806°W / 34.00833; -118.49806
Owner CNL Lifestyle Properties
Operated by Santa Monica Amusements
Opened May 25, 1996[1]
Operating season May to September
Limited operation outside main season
Area 2 acres (0.81 ha)[1]
Rides
Total 12[1]
Roller coasters 1
Website Pacific Park

Pacific Park is an oceanfront amusement park located in Santa Monica, California. The park, located on the Santa Monica Pier, looks directly out on the Pacific Ocean, in the direction of Catalina Island. It is the only amusement park on the West Coast of the United States located on a pier. There are a total of thirteen rides in Pacific Park, including the world's only solar powered Ferris wheel that provides a view of the Pacific Ocean and a roller coaster that circles the majority of the park. It has appeared in several movies and television shows such as Fat Albert, Hannah Montana, 90210, and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. It is owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties and operated by Santa Monica Amusements.[2]

History[edit]

Santa Monica Municipal Pier opened in 1909; it was primarily to carry sewer pipes out beyond the breakers and had no amenities. In 1916 Charles I. D. Looff, who built Coney Island's first carousel, started construction on an adjacent pier known as the Pleasure Pier, also called Newcomb Pier, for use as an amusement park. The two piers are now both considered to be part of Santa Monica Pier.[3] Attractions on the Pleasure Pier eventually included the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome building (which now houses the current carousel and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the Blue Streak Racer wooden roller coaster (which was purchased from the defunct Wonderland amusement park in San Diego), the Whip, merry-go-rounds, Wurlitzer organs, and a funhouse. The Pleasure Pier thrived during the 1920s but faded during the Great Depression. During the 1930s the pier was mainly used as a ferry landing, while most of the pier was closed down and its attractions sold off.[4]

Over the next several decades the city of Santa Monica proposed various plans to tear down Newcomb Pier. The city council approved a plan to replace the pier with a resort island in Santa Monica Bay. Local activists formed Save Santa Monica Bay and shot down that plan,[5] and in 1973 the city formally revoked a standing order to demolish the pier.[6] The city acquired ownership of the privately owned pier in summer 1974.[7] In the 1980s the pier was almost destroyed by winter storms. In 1983 the city formed a Pier Restoration and Development Task Force (now the Pier Restoration Corporation), tasked with returning the pier to its former glory. Summer music concerts were held on the pier.[4]

In 1989 the Pier Restoration Corporation decided to "make the pier a year-round commercial development with amusement rides, gift shops, nightclubs with live entertainment and restaurants" that would be "reminiscent of its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s".[8] The current 2-acre (0.81 ha) park opened in 1996 as a full-scale family amusement park.[9]

The park, as of April 2014, is working on a restoration project to replace the pier wooden surface on the eastern side of the park. [10]

Attractions[edit]

The park is "non-gated" and there is no charge for admission; individual rides charge a fee. There are a dozen rides as well as midway games, food outlets and shopping. A Seaside Pavilion event space opened in 2009 for corporate and private events.[11] This is a list of rides in operation at Pacific Park as of 2010.[1][12]

Adult rides[edit]

  • West Coaster - A steel roller coaster running around the perimeter of Pacific Park. West Coaster's maximum height is 55 feet (17 m), and the single train reaches speeds of 35 miles per hour.
  • Pacific Wheel - The world's first and only solar powered ferris wheel, Pacific Wheel was installed in 1996.[13] The 85 feet (26 m) wide[citation needed] wheel and carried 20 gondolas.[13] Pacific Wheel was listed on eBay in April 2008, with the proceeds from the sale donated to the Special Olympics.[13] The ride was replaced in May with a new solar-powered ferris wheel, while the old wheel was transported to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • Inkie's Scrambler - A 12 car Scrambler, refurbushed in 2013[14]
  • Sea Dragon - A Pirate ship with a 180° swing.
  • Pacific Plunge - A 45-foot (14 m) Drop tower built by Moser Rides. Carries 10 seated people in 2 gondalas.
  • Sig Alert EV - A bumper car hall named for the traffic alert unique to the Southern California area.
  • Gyro Loop - A game controlled by the riders that can do a variety of actions such as swinging, flipping, and spinning. Seats two people and costs $5 per person.

Children's rides[edit]

  • Ship Ahoy - A children's pirate ship ride, carrying 12 riders.
  • Red Baron - A children's ride themed around 8 World War I biplanes.
  • Crazy Submarine - Young sailors can ride up, down and around the inside of a swirling yellow submarine.
  • Pier Patrol - A 'train' of cars propelled around a beach-themed track.
  • Inkie's Lil' Scrambler A scaled-down Scrambler for children.
  • Frog Hopper - A scaled-down 'bouncing' drop tower reaching 18 feet (5.5 m)
  • Inkie's Wave Jumper
  • Inkie's Pirate Ship
  • Sea Planes
  • Inkie's Air Lift
  • Bumper Cars

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Pacific Park Fact Sheet
  2. ^ Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier is sold
  3. ^ Conradt, Stacy (May 27, 2009). "The Quick 10: Santa Monica Pier". Mental Floss. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Magruder, Melonie. "Pacific Park celebrates 15th birthday". surfsantamonica.com. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Holst, Sanford. "Save Santa Monica Pier - 1972". boomerslife.org. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Beubis, Seymour (May 10, 1973). "S.M. Council Rescinds Order for Removal of Newcomb Pier". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Fanucchi, Kenneth (July 4, 1974). "S.M. Fences Unsafe Newcomb Pier Areas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Moran, Julio (November 21, 1989). "Santa Monica Pier Revival Plan Stirs Excitement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Santa Monica beach park to open in '96". Daily News of Los Angeles. October 7, 1995. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Mirgoli, Nicholous. "Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier Trip Report and Photos- April 2014". www.ThemeParkOverload.net. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Santa Monica's Pacific Park Debuts Seaside Pavilion Event Space". specialevents.com. July 1, 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  12. ^ The Rides (Pacpark.com)
  13. ^ a b c Rooney, Brian; Song, Jung Hwa (April 16, 2008). "Ferris Wheel Goes From Santa Monica Bay to eBay". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  14. ^ James, Mitch (March 28, 2013). "A Look At The Refurbished Inkie’s Scrambler At Pacific Park On Santa Monica Pier". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 

External links[edit]