Myrtle Beach Pavilion and Amusement Park
Myrtle Beach, SC
This is a nice little park on the South Carolina shore that has changed tremendously
since I was a kid. The Pavilion is (or at least used to be) the name of the giant
ocean-front arcade across the street from the amusement park. Now the name has become
synonymous with both the park and the arcade (or maybe just the park, any more ...)
When I was younger, the star attraction was "The Corkscrew" (a Arrow coaster featuring
back-to-back corkscrews). This was my first ever "upside-down" ride and became a favorite
of mine. It also had an S.D.C. "Galaxi" coaster, which was one of the first coasters (if
not the first coaster) I ever rode. At the time, the "Galaxi" was at the very back
of the park. Now, the place where it used to stand is maybe about mid-way through the park!
The park also had two Ferris wheels side-by-side at the front ("Big Eli", they called them),
offering a nice view of the ocean. It was closed and dismantled in '91 (because of an
accident caused by some teenagers rocking the car they were riding in.) But that's enough
about that. There was a ride-through haunted house (that played "The Monster Mash", I believe ...)
that was pretty good. The building featured a gigantic skeleton face (with glowing eyes and
a moving jaw!) in the center of the building with the skeleton's hands (with moving fingers)
poking out windows on either end of the building. This Haunted Inn is now called the
Haunted Hotel and looks more like the Bates Motel from Psycho (no skeleton to be found
anywhere! Don't know if the ride has changed inside or not.) The park also featured an enclosed
scrambler ride (the "Mind Scrambler"), complete with artificial fog machines, strobe lights,
lasers, and a disco ball. When the Hurricane ride was added to the park, the Mind Scrambler
lost its covering (and all of the "special effects" that came with it.) Bummer.
OK, so enough of the nostalgic "what rides have gone before." There are plenty of "old" rides
that are still there. The Log Flume was always one of my favorites. There was also an antique
car ride that wound its way beside, under, and around the Log Flume. Added sometime in the 80's
or early 90's is the Rainbow, a HUSS spinning ride giving a wonderful view of the ocean.
Also featured is my favorite Wave Swinger ride (pretty during the day, gorgeous at night!
Picture coming soon!)
Now there are some new rides (most of which I haven't been on -- added since I last went), but
I'll give you the low-down on them anyway: The Hurricane Category 5 is a new (in 2000) coaster,
wooden rails on a steel structure. From what I hear, it's very fast, very intense, and the two
helices (helixes?) are great. Nice view of the ocean. I still resent it for displacing the Corkscrew.
I'll get over it ... Then there's the Mad Mouse. I've actually ridden that one. Very fast and
wild, but awfully rough on the turns. Not sure if I liked it or not. Then there's Chaos (a spinning
and flipping ride) that was a little too much for me, and the Top Spin (which flips you around and around
several times, while you scream in terror.) If you're looking for a great wet ride, try the
HydroSurge -- a white-water rapids ride that is short but intense and comes complete with water canons
on the side operated by your friends and family watching you go by!
The park itself is really nice and pretty, and at night with everything lit up, it's absolutely
beautiful. All of downtown Myrtle Beach is pretty nice, to be honest. The park is very clean, there's
a wide variety of rides for everyone, and the rides are fun and worth riding again and again. I need to
go back and check it out now that they've put in the Hurricane ...
Big Eli -- Twin Ferris wheels offering an ocean view. Dismantled after an accident.
Corkscrew -- An Arrow twin-corkscrew coaster. My first upside-down ride. Sold to a park in Mexico to make room for the "Hurricane" :(
Galaxi -- Your typical Galaxi/Wildcat layout. A great "Kiddie Coaster". Torn down to make room for "Mad Mouse".
Haunted Inn -- A ride-through Haunted House. Still there, but totally re-done on the outside (and inside?)
Now called the "Haunted Hotel".
Mind Scrambler -- An enclosed scrambler ride with strobe lights, lazers, and a fog machine. Lost its tent in 2000 (stupid "Hurricane"!! :)
Roadway -- A neat little car ride that used to run around underneath the Corkscrew, until the "Hurricane" came in and changed everything!!!
Antique Cars -- Old (gas-powered?) cars that ran beside, around, and through the middle of the Log Flume
Arcade -- A small arcade near the bumper cars.
Calypso -- Little cars attached to spinning wheels on a spinning platform that raises up and down.
(Don't know how else to describe it. A "new classic" for traveling carnivals and some stationary parks.)
Carousel -- A wonderful old merry-go-round ride at the front of the park.
Caterpillar -- A spinning "sleigh-ride" type ride, with one catch -- halfway through you go into a "cocoon" (a covering goes over your head, and you spin in the dark!)
Chaos -- A spinning and flipping ride that will make you dizzy.
Enterprise -- The classic spinning ride that takes you up, around, and upside-down.
Hampton "Combination" -- The technical name for an unmarked kiddie ride. Little rides go around in a circle under a spinning tent.
Hampton Motorcycle Jump -- Also made by Hampton. You ride kiddie "motorcycles" around a track and even up a little "jump ramp". My favorite as a kid!
Haunted Hotel -- A re-theming and re-working of the old Haunted Inn. Now looks like the Bates Motel (Psycho).
Hurricane: Category 5 -- OK, so this ride has taken a bit of a bashing on this page.
I'm sure it's a great ride, and I'm sure I'll absolutely love it next time I visit and I finally get to ride it, but I can still
be mad about them screwing up my favorite rides at one of my favorite parks, can't I?
Hydro-Surge -- A wet, wild, and wonderful river rapids ride.
Kiddie Whip -- A small (but fast!) "kiddie" Go Kart track.
Little Eagle -- A great "runaway train ride", fun for kids and adults. Mack GmbH's first (and so far ONLY!) Kiddie Ride.
Little Wheel -- A miniature Ferris Wheel ride designed for little tykes.
Log Flume -- A wonderful log flume ride featuring TWO drops and an underground tunnel!
Mad Mouse -- Arrow's first attempt at a Wild Mouse coaster. Wild and rough (especially in the turns.) Probably worth at least one ride, though.
Mind Scrambler -- Now tent-less, this is just a shell of its former self. A spinning scrambler ride (still painted flat-black, though, if I saw correctly!)
Pavilion Arcade -- A huge arcade across the street from the amusement park. Try their ski-ball.
Pirate -- The classic swinging-ship ride. Always a nice ride.
Rainbow -- A Huss spinning ride. You stay upright on a platform that swings around in a circle. You get a nice view of the ocean from any seat.
Siberian Sleigh Ride -- Another spinning "sleigh-ride" type ride, with loud music and flashing lights.
Skooter -- Everyone's favorite bumper cars.
Starship 2000 -- A spinning ride that looks like a spaceship from the outside. As it spins, you get plastered to the wall.
Tilt-a-Whirl -- This was there last time I visited, near the Mad Mouse. Nearly made me sick.
Top Spin -- A flipping, spinning, totally-disorient-you type ride.
Wave Swinger -- My "favorite swings" ride. Really pretty during the day or lit up at night.