Riding the Buccaneer Bullet

Shining Waters Fun Park installing roller coaster

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 20, 2015

Matthew Jelley, president of the Maritime Fun Group, stands Sunday in the middle of a major construction project to put together the "Buccaneer Bay Bullet Roller Coaster" at Shining Waters Family Fun Park in Cavendish.

©Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald

CAVENDISH - Islanders will relive a familiar thrill with a new perspective this summer.

Construction is underway for the Buccaneer Bay Bullet roller coaster at Shining Waters Family Fun Park.

Maritime Fun Group president, Matthew Jelley, said the construction has gone well so far with the mild fall weather and that installing the new ride is the biggest initiative undertaken since the park's original construction in 2006.

"Both financially and size-wise, complexity and length of time, it's definitely the biggest project we've undertaken," said Jelley.

He said the crew will continue to do some work this week before breaking for the winter.

"We're just putting the finishing touches on the loading zone now," said Jelley.

The group will continue to calibrate the ride and get it ready for operation in the spring, with the roller coaster expected to be up and running for next summer.

For many, it will be déjà vu.

The ride, previously named the Crystal Bullet, was a staple for many years at Moncton's Crystal Palace where it was squeezed between other attractions at the indoor amusement park.

The new location has seen not only a name change, but also the user perspective of the ride.

"Because it's so visible now, it looks bigger," said Jelley. "And it's definitely a different sensation being outside versus inside."

Planning for the ride began in the summer of 2014 when the group acquired the assets of Crystal Palace following its closure on Sept. 1 that year.

The purchase of Crystal Palace's equipment was also supported by $300,000 in repayable financing from the province, which has also supported the construction of a maintenance shop.

While the logistics planning has been ongoing since 2014, construction for the roller coaster began when the park closed on Sept. 7.

The roller coaster, which is visible from Cavendish Road, has seen staff alter the park's bay area and move the ship ride over to the side.

That's also resulted in a maintenance overhaul of the Crazy Submarine ride, which was also purchased from Crystal Palace and installed at Shining Waters this past summer.

Some of the other attractions purchased from Crystal Palace have been installed at other theme parks owned by the Maritime Fun Group - Burlington Amusement Park, Cavendish's Sandspit, Moncton's Magic Mountain and an arcade at the Sunset Board Walk.