that many people have asked is "what happened to all the rides"?
By the time Palisades closed in 1971, many of the rides were owned by
Mickey Hughes. Hughes was a ride importer who used Palisades as a showcase
for new European rides. Amusement park owners from across the country came
to Palisades to get a look at these new and colorful rides.
closed, Mickey sold off many of his rides to parks throughout the country.
Trying to track their whereabouts is nearly impossible. But here is a
partial list of some of the items and their current locations:
Jet Star Coaster - Palisades had a steel coaster called the Jet Star. The Jet Star went to Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ when Palisades Park closed in 1971 and remained there until 2000, when it was deemed too old and torn down. A different coaster sits there now called the Star Jet, but almost everyone still calls it Jet Star. Special thanks to srubino for passing along this information.
Love Bugs -When Palisades closed in 1971, The Love Bugs
was sold to Casino Pier in Seaside
Heights. The name of the ride was changed to
Wizards Cavern. We were told that the ride was torn down in 2003 but thanks to John, who worked on the ride for 4 years in the 1980s, he told us that the ride is still alive and kicking even after Hurricane Sandy. I verified this with Casino Pier and indeed, John is correct. In 2007, the name of the ride was changed from Wizards Cavern to Pirate's Hideaway. Of course the theme of the ride may have changed along with the name but it is still basically our old friend "The Love Bugs." Thanks for the updated info, John.
Sky Ride - The Skyride was purchased by Charlie Woods, former owner of The Great Escape (formerly
Storytown, USA) in Lake George, NY.
The ride was dismantled by O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc., Contoocook, NH and shipped to Lake George where it was put in storage for over 25 years. I'm not sure where it is today.
(Source: Jerry Pendleton; former President & Owner of
Ansco Rocketship - This ride was
"virtual reality" long before the term was ever invented.
You sit in a rocketship and when the doors close, a large movie
screen takes you on a journey into outer space and back. It is now known as the Missile and is in Canobie Lake Park.
(Source: Amusement Today/Canobie
Update (Sept 2006): Thanks to Dana Sion
for letting us know that the Rocketship is still in Canobie, but has
not been used for many years.The outside has been cleaned and
painted and is now being used as a backdrop for a space-themed photo
statue (from Casper's Ghostland) - The building, once the
Tunnel of Love and later Casper's Ghostland, was demolished. But the
large statue of Casper The Friendly Ghost, that once stood on top of
the roof of the building, is at Gil's Tavern on Gorge Road in
Cliffside Park, NJ.
Cyclone Coaster - Although the old wooden coaster was
demolished when they closed the park in 1971, the trains from coaster
remained in operation at Williams Grove Amusement Park in
Mechanicsburg, PA. Click here to photos of
the Cyclone trains in their new home.
Grove closed its doors in 2006 and sold off its rides in an auction
in February 2007. The
fate of the Cyclone trains are unknown.
Carousel (PTC #84) went through quite a journey after the Park
closed. The entire story is on page 121 of my book (Palisades
Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories"). Today, it is
located in Canada's Wonderland in Maple, Ontario. It was refurbished
in the early 1990s.
Booth (Giant Coaster) - The Park's owner, Irving Rosenthal,
gave the ticket booth from the Giant Coaster to Joseph Dunninger, a magician/mentalist
who lived in Cliffside Park. For decades the ticket booth remained on
his property on Knox Avenue.
Flight To Mars - According to Bret Malone from Tunnel
of Laffs website, this popular dark ride was sold to Gaslight Village
in Lake George, New York. From here, it was sold to a park in Columbia
and then to Fun Forest Park in Seattle. But by this time, much of the
original art and charm that The Flight To Mars had when it was at
Palisades, had been painted over. It is presently for sale through a
Fun House Sign - The last known
whereabouts of the "FUN HOUSE" sign that once stood
high above the Showboat Fun House was in a tavern in Orangeburg, New York
called "The Saloon."
Special thanks to Reggie E. for this
Roto-Jet - This ride was last
known to be at Whalom Park in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. JBF emailed
me and said that according to a PBS special, the Roto-Jet is now at
Kennywood Park in its historic section. Thanks to Adam Maeroff for
Seven of the vehicles from the Tilt-a-Whirl were relocated to Canobie
Lake Park. (Source: Amusement Today/Canobie Lake Park)
Update (Sept 2006): Thanks to Dana Sion for letting us know that the
Tilt-a-Whirl is still in operation at Canobie,
Lot Lights - The lights that illuminated the parking lot were
sold to Ridgefield Park High School and are currently being used on
their athletic field.
I will be
adding to this page as I get new information. Please check back in the
future. Of course, if you have any information about rides or attractions
that came from Palisades, please write to me.
Thanks to Bill
Walsky for helping me to acquire some of this information.