After months of rebuilding following catastrophic damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy, Casino Pier in Seaside Heights is back in business.

"It's with great pleasure that we are able to announce the opening of Casino Pier!" pier management announced on Facebook Friday evening.

The lower portion of the pier reopened at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and all rides were free.

"We had a great time last night!!! Thank you for opening the rides and giving families a good time," Terri Paul wrote on the pier's Facebook page.

Casino Pier announced that the following rides were operational Friday evening: Pirate's Hideaway, Motorcycles, Car Combo, Boats, Dizzy Dragons, Disc-O and Speedway. Management says that it hopes to open Swing Carousel and Tilt-A-Whirl today.

Pier rides open at noon today, according to pier management. During the workweek, rides open at 3 p.m., and "wristband day" is Wednesday, providing "all you can ride" for $15.

The reopening of rides is certainly a happy sight on the boardwalk, since, with the boardwalk's other pier, Funtown Pier, closed this summer, the closest option had been the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk.

Funtown Pier's owner has said in published reports that the pier, which suffered severe damage, will be operational in 2014.

Prior to Casino Pier's reopening, many contributors have commented that the boardwalk was a different experience without the sight and sound of rides.

"We have been going to Seaside every couple weeks since May and it has a different feel to it then in the past. Quiet and a lot of adults," JSHN contributor Kevin D. Hill commented earlier this week. 

While the lower deck is now open, the removal and reconstruction of the upper deck is currently in its early stages and will continue through the summer until completion, according to pier management.