Lily Scout Mach, 9, of Bellmore, didn’t blink at the prospect of zooming around like Peter Pan on the aerial adventure course at WildPlay, Jones Beach’s towering new $4.7 million attraction.
“It’s pretty tall, but I’m not afraid of heights,” Lily Scout said after finishing the adventure course just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, the park’s first weekend.
Her dad, Jason, 45, and brother, Noah, 12, however, both admitted a touch of butterflies in the stomach when they were putting on their safety gear at the park’s harnessing deck.
“When I looked up I was kind of scared,” said Noah, whose only previous zip line experience was with his family at The Adventure Park at Long Island in Wheatley Heights.
“I was just hoping that I could keep up with the kids,” said Jason, an English and social studies chairperson in the Malverne school district. “Once you were up there … we were safely strapped in and we had great guidance.”
Wildplay’s opening weekend was interrupted by storms that pelted the park with rain and kicked up the wind. But a steady stream of guests braved the weather forecast and dealt with advance acrophobia with help from the park’s yellow-shirted guides. Perhaps the most extreme attraction is the one in which the goal is to fall — the "What's To Fear" jump, which invites climbers step off a tall wooden platform for a tethered 40-foot drop.
When guests express a fear of heights, “We tell them to stay looking straight ahead at the next pole and don’t look down,” WildPlay park manager Justin Hall said.
David Rooney, 53, of Malverne, overcame his fear climbing up the 50-foot high platform to the zip line launch. He enjoyed being free as a bird for a moment and sharing the view with three friends who soared on side-by-side 700-foot zip lines.
“It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be,” Rooney after he landed.
WHEN|WHERE 10 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends through Sept. 3 at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, east of the Central Mall.
COST From $19.99 for zip line or 40-foot jump, $44.99 classic course ($84.99 includes classic/extreme courses plus the zip line and drop)
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE The park has several courses of varying intensities, each with height, age and weight requirements — closed-toe shoes are mandatory throughout. An adult must accompany kids younger than 13.
TIME Plan for 1 to 3 hours to complete a full course, while the zip line experience runs about 30 minutes.
FOR KIDS Children must be at least 5 years old and 45 inches tall to partake in the most scaled-down course, which has obstacles up to 15 feet off the ground. Zipline riders must be at least 7 years old, those weighing less than 100 pounds ride tandem with a guide
RESERVATIONS Advance reservations require prepayment and are available online at wildplay.com