What to Know
- The Flitzer, a small, family-friendly roller coaster that's been on the Wildwood boardwalk for 35 years, is closing permanently
- With its closure, only one of the ten original U.S. Flitzers (on Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Pleasant Point, NJ) remains operable.
- A final farewell party will be held this weekend for Morey's Piers patrons to reminisce and ride.
For some, the closing of North Wildwood’s Flitzer is no big deal.
But for others, the retirement of the small steel roller coaster is the loss of a Jersey Shore icon.
"It was my first roller coaster when I was a little fella," said Jason Ofria, of Downingtown, a longtime Flitzer rider.
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He buckled himself and his five-year-old son into a brightly colored coaster car. "Now, to share this with my son is a passing down of the torch, so to speak."
The Flitzer was manufactured in 1969. When it was installed at the Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks seaside amusement park on the Wildwood boardwalk in 1983, it was already a used ride. Of the ten original Flitzer coasters in the United States, it’ll be the ninth to retire, according to the Roller Coaster DataBase.
The last — and soon, only — operating Flitzer is on Jenkinson’s Boardwalk on Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, just 100 miles north of Morey’s Piers.
The boardwalk amusement park has retired many of its original rides in the past few years, including the Wipeout, the Golden Nugget, the Haunted House, and the Jumbo Jet.
But retiring the Flitzer, brothers Will and Jack Morey say, has been the most emotional decision yet.
In the end, it was a choice they were forced to make. "From a technical perspective," their announcement reads, "there is simply no feasible way to extend the life of the ride any longer."
The Flitzer has been on the boardwalk for 35 years; over the past fifteen, it’s been improved and enhanced with new tracks, a different control system, and new cars. But, the owners say a recent diagnostic exam of its main structural components showed there was no way to repair it further.
And since the ride is no longer being manufactured, it’s impossible to rebuild.
To honor its last climb, Morey’s Piers will hold a final farewell party Sunday, Sept. 30, from 1 p.m . to 4 p.m. The event will feature an '80s-themed cover band, free Flitzer rides, and an '80s costume contest.
The Facebook event for the party is crowded with comments sharing memories of the Flitzer, protesting its loss, and lamenting its retirement. For many patrons, the Flitzer was the first coaster they remember riding, or the first that their children and grandchildren rode. For them, the ride and its memories are irreplaceable.
"It's like a part of my childhood is being dismantled," one commenter said.
But the Moreys themselves hold out hope for rides of the future.
"We may never be able to bring the Flitzer back," their statement read. "But we will do our best to make sure the next coaster will be a shared family experience, providing new memories for the generations to come."