Most parks in North America close for the season at the end of October. One of the few exceptions is Storybook Land, a charming children's park located a few miles away from Atlantic City that remains open all the way through to December 30th. Enthusiasts would be hard pressed to spend more than an hour or two in the park, but it is well worth making the effort to visit, especially in the late part of the season, when the park is illuminated at night by thousands of coloured lights.
We began our visit with two laps on Bubbles the Coaster (#1988). I'd previously ridden two other installations of this exact ride model, neither of which were memorable, but for some reason this version was different; it rode well, and generated airtime far beyond what one would expect for a ride of this scale. For me the back seat had a slight edge over the front, but there wasn't a lot in the difference. We also tried the highly themed Turtle Twirl, the Tick Tock Clock Drop and the Carousel – as well as a number of walkthrough attractions, the highlight of which was a rather bizarre Alice in Wonderland attraction.
The park offers same day readmission using a hand stamp, so we decided to go to the nearby Hard Rock Café for dinner and return after night had fallen. This was definitely the right decision, as it avoided several hours of hanging around in the cold. We were a little too late to see the special ceremony where the lights are switched on, but instead got to enjoy what every coaster enthusiast dreams of; an evening with a significant other in a beautiful park, no queues to speak of, and plenty of amusement rides to enjoy.