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American Amusement Park Museum
Amusement Park History, Collection, and News

Spotlights

  1. Eyerly Lady Bug
    1970's
    Eyerly Lady Bug
    This is our first spotlight on one of our ride cars. This is a Children’s Lady Bug Ride built by Eyerly Aircraft Corp in the early 70s. We don’t know where it came from whether it was in a park or carnival so any info would be helpful. As you can see from the photos we made a drastic change from an ugly silver tub back to its lady bug form with spots and all. The car originally would have had antenna but were sadly removed and fiber glassed over. You can see this style ride still in operation at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Six Flags Great Adventure. The Entire restoration took about a month to complete.
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  2. Dutch Wonderland Indian
    1963
    Dutch Wonderland Indian
    Today we are sharing a little history on another piece of our collection. This is our Indian chief from Dutch Wonderland's Indian Village which was an original part of the park when it opened in 1963. This was a fun but difficult restoration to do with the amount of fiberglass work that needed to be done alone with the amount of lose paint and different colors that needed to be painted .
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  3. Williams Groves Twister
    1960's
    Williams Groves Twister
    Our next spotlight is on our Twister from Williams Grove. This Twister was built and designed by Allen Herschell as the 1960 model (not to be confused with the models Chance built after buying Allen Herschell in 1971). The ride was powered by a 40 H.P. gas engine and had 8 cars that the operator could control how extreme the ride got. The ride sold for $1500 in 2007 but never ran again due to the fact that it was built as a transportable model but the park modified it so much it couldn’t be easily taken apart for carnival use. This is the only twister car left from the park, the ride along with the cars were scraped before we bought it.
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  4. Kennywood Train Scene
    1991
    Kennywood Train Scene
    Our next spotlight will be on one of our fiberglass figures. This character is a woman from the Olde Kennywood Railroad. The ride showed many different scenes such as the Homestead Strike and the French and Indian War. She was apart of 1892 Homestead Steel Strike scene. This strike was against the Carnegie Steel plant and took place along the Monongahela River the same river that run beside the park and train. The last year for the Homestead Strike scene at Kennywood Park, and other scenes on the train was 2008. These scenes were all replaced by signs showing the parks history.These figures came to our collection just this year and we are hoping to have them all restored by the end of 2016.
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  5. Williams Grove Laff In Dark
    1942
    Williams Grove Laff In Dark
    This is Williams Grove's original 1942 dark ride car that is now part of our collection. It originated as an R.E. Chambers/Harry Traver Laff In The Dark. This car survived Hurricane Agnes and operated until owner Morgan Hughes bought the contents of Lakemont's Monster Den, Pretzel cars from that ride replaced the Chambers cars, The ride was refurbished and renamed Dante's Inferno. This ride has gone though many changes of stunts over its years its last being in 2004 by a dark ride fan. The park then shut down the next year. I would like to thank George LaCross for much of the info.
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  6. 1928 Mangles Whip from Williams Grove
    1928
    1928 Mangles Whip from Williams Grove
    This 1928 Mangles Whip may be our oldest piece in our collection. We brought this whip into our collection shortly after Williams Grove closed. The ride was located near the lake and we believe it was removed in the 80s. The photos below are how the car looked when we bought it. We immediately began to restore it into its former glory.
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  7. Fred The Pirate, Dutch Wonderland
    1963
    Fred The Pirate, Dutch Wonderland
    This is Fred the Pirate from Dutch Wonderland and stood along the Mill Creek. Fred wasn’t always a pirate he began his life as Fred Flintstone! He was changed into a pirate to avoid copyright issue and seeing that Fred Flintstone was one of Taft’s Parks mascots. Fred is now being taken care of here in our collection! We will be posting more pictures in this album soon!
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  8. Bushkill Whirlo
    1940's
    Bushkill Whirlo
    This is our Pretzel Built Whirlo from Bushkill park in Easton that is now housed in the museum we recently restored it to go inside for visitor. These cars were on the parks rare over the jumps carousel
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  9. Ocean Playland Ghost Ship
    1965
    Ocean Playland Ghost Ship
    This is our 1965 Ghost Ship dark ride car from Oceans Play land in Ocean City Maryland. This ride ran until 1981 when the park closed and the ride was sold to Trimpers to build the Haunted House dark ride. The ride system was built by Universal Design and Bill Tracy's creative mind. This ride vehicle design is know as a Hush Puppies. When doing this restoration we had to replace the entire floor and I brought to back to its original color scheme I coated spots in resin and patched the holes in the fiberglass on the bat.
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  10. Hersheypark Indian
    1961
    Hersheypark Indian
    Hersheypark has recently removed some of the scenes and figures in the Dry Gulch Railroad. Luckily we were able to save several figures. Such as this native who has been in the scene for more than 50 years.
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  11. Whale Boat
    1960's
    Whale Boat
    Happy World Whale Day! In our collection is this whale boat. It was later converted into a flat ride. It is unknown on which parks this operated at. We acquired this in late 2016. It was found in a barn in Ohio. We then restored it in mid 2017. This is an unusual piece because it is a hybrid of two rides. Whale boat rides were at parks such as Dorney Park and Dutch Wonderland, but were eventually removed. Check out our restoration pictures and see the finished product!
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  12. Hersheypark's Barber
    1961
    Hersheypark's Barber
    Hersheypark's Dry Gulch Railroad has recently removed the ghost town along with some of the fiberglass figures. In our museum we have 5 of the figures that were formerly at the ride. Here is 1 of 5, the Barber. He was in one of the ghost town buildings coming in and out of the barbershop door. We believe he is a Bill Tracy figure and he was originally in Hersheypark's dark ride "Gold Nugget."
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  13. Dorney park
    1960's
    Dorney Parks's Calypso
    This is our Calypso from Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom this ride operated at the park in the early 60s about where the Monster is today. The ride its self was built by Mack rides and the cars where built buy Gebr Ihles Bruchsal a German car body manufacture that exclusively did many of Macks early ride vehicles. Morgan Hughes was the main importer of European rides in the 60s 70s 80s with many rides displayed Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society or Williams Grove after Palisades closed . When rides could no longer find a home they would operate at Williams grove in Mechanicsburg Pa or be stored on site. This Calypso never found a home after its run at Dorney and stayed in the parks woods until 2007 when the land was sold. We were lucky to find this amazing piece with the original upholstery wood being made out of a old Dorney Park sign. We restored the car when we first purchased it the below pictures are from the 2016 restoration it now has a forever home inside the Museum.
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