County Children Name New Ride at Playland Park

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County Executive George Latimer with Cranberry Lake Nature Campers and their choice name for the new ride Dragonator Coaster the green dragon on the sign is Playland Parks updated mascot

After 409 submissions from the public, County Executive George Latimer was joined by 1st through 6th grade children attending the County’s Nature Camp at Cranberry Lake Preserve in White Plains last week to choose the name for Playland Park’s first new ride in 11 years.

From the five finalists, (Dizzy Dragon, Dragon Spinner, Dragon Twist, Dragonator, and Dragon Tailspin) the campers overwhelmingly chose “Dragonator” for the new ride.

The ride features a large disk with 24 seats facing out, which circles 360 degrees while sliding back and forth on a frame. The manufacturer calls the ride “Disk’O 24.”

Latimer said, “Last month, I asked the people of Westchester to submit their name ideas and we received 409 submissions. While some were nutty, like Ridey McRideface and I-95, most were fun. But what makes ‘Dragonator’ so special is that the final name was chosen by children of this County, which is who Playland is all about.”

Dragonator was submitted by Mount Pleasant resident Larry Gottlieb.

Gottlieb said, “As a lifelong Westchester resident having spent many hours at Playland with family and friends, it’s a truly unique honor to name a ride that will hopefully bring joy to thousands of park attendees for years to come. Long live the Dragonator!”

After the naming vote, Latimer was asked about the status of Playland financially, due to litigation the county is engaged in with the current park management company, a private enterprise.

“We are committed to the park,” Latimer said. “The county can run the park well. We have done the most we could do with what we have.”

This year, Latimer said attendance at the park has been up due to good weather. He noted that marketing is a priority. The more the park is marketed, the more people come and the more revenue is received, Latimer said.

Latimer emphasized that there is a reason for public parks – they are for residents to have something to come to that they normally could not access. He explained that the contracting out philosophy to corporations that focus on profit might not be the right fit for publically owned resources.

The Dragonator ride opened in Playland on Tuesday.

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