Westgate Resorts will add three amusement park rides as part of its multimillion dollar renovation of the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier.

The Cocoa Beach Board of Adjustment approved a special exception Wednesday to allow a carousel, The Tornado and a Drop ‘n Twist, which will be portable so they can be moved in case of a hurricane.

Residents voiced mixed reviews about the rides. A condo owner who lives near the pier said he was worried about kids screaming, while others said the rides will make the pier more family friendly.

The board’s two stipulations were that no music could not be played from the rides and they can only operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The rides will be the latest additions to the pier, which Westgate purchased in 2014 and has pumped $4 million into renovations and improvements. In May, they opened the Rikki Tiki Tavern as a tribute to Westgate Founder David Siegel’s late daughter, Victoria, who was nicknamed Rikki.

The Cocoa Beach Pier was built by the Stottler family in 1962 and has become a Space Coast landmark for surfers, residents and tourists. Battered by storms and lack of upkeep, the 800-foot-long pier needed major rehab when it was purchased by Westgate.

Siegel said the attraction rides will improve the pier experience.

“When we acquired this historic pier, we committed to resurrecting it and creating a world-class destination the community could be proud of,” said Siegel, in a statement released by Westgate.

The board agreed with a unanimous vote.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

Related Posts