In King Kong, boardwalk amusement pier embraces the kitsch

AP News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2015 12:04 PM
In King Kong, boardwalk amusement pier embraces the kitsch

NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey town known for its kitsch and penchant for nostalgia has brought back a classic King Kong ride.

The giant ape graced Morey's Pier on the Wildwood boardwalk for most of the 1970s before it was removed in 1980. The ferocious beast returned this summer.

Kong snorts smoke and wears an "I love Wildwood" T-shirt while clutching a Wildwood tram car and clinging to a 60-foot tall lighthouse at the ride's center. Eight vintage planes navigate around the gorilla, bringing riders 26 feet in air.

Jack Morey, second generation partner in Morey's Piers, says that classics like Kong matter for amusement parks.

Cynthia Sharpe, senior director of cultural attractions and research at the Thinkwell Group, says that highlighting a storied character like King Kong is part of a trend in the amusement industry.