Dino Drac Visits Point Pleasant – Part 2!

Here’s the second half of my Point Pleasant trip report. Better late than never?

Is this not exactly the type of infectious enthusiasm that keeps you coming back for more?

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a light gun game that doubles as a makeshift clubhouse. The arcade’s probably had it since 1997.

I’ve been going to Point Pleasant for as long as I can remember. Chances are, I played that game at this very arcade when it was brand new, more than fifteen years ago. That’s a trip. It’s a spin on that thing where certain smells shoot your brain back to some lost moment of the past. Suddenly this was less about killing dinosaurs, and more about the memories of Life Before Drinking Age.

I played it, of course. My sacrifice was more than a few quarters, as I had to wait fifteen minutes for a bunch of kids who’d appropriated the machine as their personal hangout to go away. (Not that I blamed them. This is a BIG machine, with two seats in an enclosed box, and “white noise” in the form of dinosaur roars. Park benches have nothing on The Lost World: Jurassic Park.)

I lost in ten seconds, like I always do. I suck at shoot ‘em ups. Even when the targets are a foot from my face, I still manage to miss. Plus, no matter how many times I’m reminded of it, I always forget that I have to shoot away from the screen to reload.

It’s terrible if you’re me, but if you’re the guy waiting to play, I’m the best person to be behind.

What’s better than playing pinball? Staring at pinball machines. They’re pure art, from head to toe. (Or at least head to waist. I guess the four spindly legs aren’t much to look at.)

You don’t even need to be interested in the particular theme to fall in love. It’s obvious that someone like me would gush over, say, Congo or A Nightmare on Elm Street pinball, but the above photo is of a Wizard of Oz machine – well outside my comfort zone.

I don’t understand why there haven’t been more cartoons about shrunken kids setting up camp in pinball machines. Each one would be like a Bizarro version of Vegas.

I didn’t play this, but I obviously should’ve. Look at those Pac-Man dolls!

I’m especially fond of the ghost dolls, and DOUBLY ESPECIALLY FOND of that one “scared” ghost doll. I totally didn’t notice him until reviewing these photos!

(On second thought, I’m glad I didn’t play. You can make out the shitty prize tiers if you study this picture closely enough. One win? Small ball. Two wins? Big ball. Three wins? Hello Kitty. God knows how many moles you had to destroy to get a Pac-Man ghost.)

You should remember the Moby Dick ride from my Keansburg trip report. The difference this time is in the artwork. It seems mostly the same, but if you examine the details, the scene is actually much more vicious.

The whale isn’t just wreaking potential havoc anymore. In the Point Pleasant version, you can clearly see small boats spilling terrified men into the unforgiving sea, where certain death unquestionably awaits.

I like this upgrade!

Okay, this. From what I could gather, players paid five bucks for a chance to run around a blacklit room, pushing as many buttons as possible before the timer ran out. According to the barker, everyone who played won a prize. (You’re not going to spend five bucks unless that inflatable SpongeBob bat is a sure thing.)

Speaking of SpongeBob, a review of Time Freak’s official site makes it look like something out of a late ‘90s Nickelodeon game show. So now I really regret not going inside. Thing is, the line was full of six-year-olds, and there was just no way to join them without being That Guy.

If you’re planning a trip to Point Pleasant, I strongly suggest pissing before you get there. My God. Remember that scene from Trainspotting? This bathroom was ten times worse.

The messes in there were almost fascinating. How do people manage to get their wastes in such impossible places? If I left Point Pleasant with anything better than a plush snake, it was the knowledge that there are people with shit geysers on the tops of their skulls.

As penance, I’ll follow up that gross bathroom with some nice pretty candy. There are many wonderful things to eat on the Point Pleasant boardwalk, from funnel cakes to cotton candy to whatever those things that looked like ice cream cones made out of meat were. I don’t know.

There were also old fashioned candy shops, which are a New Jersey boardwalk staple, because no New Jersey boardwalk is complete without tons of fudge and saltwater taffy. Passing over those, I instead focused on a heavenly array of gummy candies, sold by the pound:

Amazing, right? They had gummy lobsters, gummy snails – even gummy army men!

Though not as picturesque as its cousins, the most delicious thing in that photo is the blue licorice. They look like Twizzlers and taste like Slush Puppies. I hate myself for choosing “variety” over a pound of just those. Indeed, my entire life is suffering, but not the kind of suffering you can get away with complaining about.

There was a much fancier miniature golf course on the boardwalk, but I preferred Rooftop Golf. The course was simplistic and would’ve meant very little at ground level, but the idea of playing miniature golf on a roof is just so appealing.

It was also a great place to hide. Point Pleasant was a mob scene last weekend; Rooftop Golf was one of the only “relaxed” spots on the whole boardwalk. It was also completely unsupervised, so for the price of a rented club, you could’ve partied up there for hours, with all of the best views and breezes.

This was also a choice spot to notice the parade of horrible storm clouds marching our way!

Just as we were departing, it began to pour. The rain made getting home a nightmare, but if you knew my history, you’d understand that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway is a necessary part of the boardwalk experience. I don’t welcome it, but I’ve come to accept it.

Trip report over! FINALLY.