Saturday was opening day at Adventureland, and a chill in the air wasn’t going to keep LI's die-hards off the Farmingdale amusement park's rides.
Steve Gentile, the park’s manager, said Saturday’s high of 39 was cooler than previous years, but it didn’t seem to matter.
“In past years we’ll get lucky where we’ll have weather like we did last week. It helps,” he said. “I think people are just tired of the winter. They want to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air.”
That’s exactly what Jennifer Schiavone was doing. She brought her family and neighbors from Oceanside to celebrate her daughter, Bianca’s, third birthday.
“It’s her favorite place and she loves to come here,” she said. “I love it; to see their facial expressions is great. It’s a great place for kids, and families too.”
The park’s opening-day rates were sliced in half specifically to combat the low temperatures. The prices attracted ride-goers like Jessy Szkred, 18, of Bellport. Sporting jeans and a sweatshirt, Szkred said she was cold, but was having a blast nonetheless. Szkred’s boyfriend, Jammie McDonald, 17, said he hadn't been to the park since he was 10, but while some of its old magic had gone, he found new things to enjoy about it.
“It’s Saturday you know, with friends and my girlfriend,” he said. “Yeah it’s cold, we get a kick out of it, but it’s a teenage thing.”
Cori Bailey said she and her family have been to Adventureland’s opening day every year since 2008. The Glen Oaks trio will shop at the nearby Target in the morning. Then she and her husband, Richard, will bring their 5-year-old son Jonathan to enjoy the rides.
Adventureland will be open on weekends from noon until around 9 p.m., Gentile said. It will be open seven days a week starting June 20. For the full season schedule go to www.adventureland.us.
Photo: West Babylon's Sean Foster takes a wild ride on the wave swing, despite the cold weather, during opening day at Adventureland in Farmingdale. (March 26, 2011)