It has been years since I last was at Coney Island. My years of working at Kings Island made it difficult to visit, even though it is less than 5 miles from my house. Last year my wife, daughter, and mom bought season passes to enjoy Sunlite Pool. They begged and begged me to get one, now that I have a much more "normal" work schedule. While I didn't accept last year, this year I decided it was time to try it.
Fast forward to today, our first visit of the year. We left home with just enough time to arrive, park, and walk into Sunlite pool as it opened. We found a nice sunny spot with some reclining chairs, and my 4-year old made a straightline to the pool. While the water was a bit cold for me, I got in and spent some time with her, with water ONLY up to my knees....(too cold to go any higher then!) The pool was quite empty at that time and Grandma took at turn watching the little one while we checked on signing her up for swimming lessons. I personally belive this is a great service and great value the park offers! For 12 classes it is $60! What a deal!
At this point, my wife and I decided to try the new slides before the lines became too long. We did one body slide and one tube slide. I enjoyed the tube slide the best. It had good speed, didn't seem as short as I thought it would, and was really enjoyable. I don't really enjoy body slides as much, but it was still fun. We waited less than 5 mintes both times.
At this point, I got back in and enjoyed working on swimming with my daughter. We had a good time swimming all around the more shallow end of the pool. While the water was still chilly, I had becomed a bit more used to it. After 454 minutes of this, it was time for me to get out and just chill at the pool for a bit, so I returned to my chair. I started to try to read my book, but my mind kept wondering to people watching. It was about this time that I noticed the Lifeguards. What I noticed was a very young girl who was standing on her post, so focused on her job, I couldn't stop watching. She was physically moving her head in a very destinct pattern to show she was scanning her section of the pool. I was VERY impressed. Then I took a look around, every lifeguard there was doing the same type of thing. This may be a common thing at pools and waterparks, but it was the first time I have EVER noticed it, and it really helped me feel safer, and that my family was in good hands. EXCELLENT JOB!!!!
A while later, the pool area was starting to get a bit more crowded, and we were also feeling a bit hungry so we decided to find food. We kinda split up, my wife had LaRosas, my mom and my daughter got a hot dog meal and chicken finger meals, and I bought a chicken wrap. The employee's working the stands were all very friendly, however the service was a bit slow (one of only 3 SMALL complaints on the day), but the meals were good sized, and food quality much better than Kings Island. The second of my complaints on the day is the LaRosas stand in Sunlite Pool.....they don't make the pizza there. They make it at another stand at the park and cart it over, so the run out quite often and you wind up standing there waiting for your food. While my wife was waiting, we had almost all finished our meals. Seems kinda silly to run it like that. BUT, the four of us all at for a grand total of less than $26.00! This includes drinks too! Many nickles saved compared to KI! By the way, I HIGHLY recommend the chicken wrap. A person next to us bought a walking taco from the stand that looked great. I asked her about it, and she did nothing but rave...she buys it everytime there. Mental note....try the walking taco next time (and it seemed like one of the most popular items)
After lunch it was back to the pool for a bit. After being sunburned and worn out from the water, we decided to take my daughter to the rides side because she wanted to ride a few rides. She rode most of the kids rides and had a great time. This is where small complaint #3 comes into play. It didn't seem like any ride operators where checking wrist bands or season passes. Doesn't seem like a big thing, expect how do they know people have actually paid to ride. Small thing, I know..... No rides for me this time.....but I can't wait to ride a few old classic rides that I haven't ridden in years!
I have to admit that my first trip back to Coney was more than I expected. We had a great time, and didn't break the bank doing it. Most employees seem very friendly and work hard. The grounds are kept very clean (though the restrooms could use some updating/work), and they have a nice selection of older rides. I can't wait for my next trip. The girls will hit the pool 3-4 days a week. I will have to wait for an evening or the weekend...maybe I will check out the fireworks next Saturday!