A handful of rides were brought in from other theme parks as additions to Storytown USA. This page focuses on those rides and connections Storytown USA had to other theme parks. Page concept originated at Storytown USA: A Retrospective 2006
“Freedomland USA opened 19 June 1960. It was the first major theme park to be built after Disneyland. Located in the north-east Bronx, half an hour from Manhattan, it’s 2.5 acres were laid out in the shape of a map of the United States, echoing its emphasis on American history.”
After Freedomland closed, a handful of rides and attractions were moved to The Great Escape. Those rides and attractions included; A Mule powered Merry Go Round, The Crystal Maze, Danny the Dragon, an antique Carousel, and The Mine Caverns.
By the early eighties, The Crystal Maze was converted into a concession stand. By 1997, Danny the Dragon was placed in “storage”.
Charley Wood aqquired the Tornado dark ride from Kennywood in 1966. 2003 saw the end of the Tornado which was placed in “storage” making room for the Canyon Blaster.
(Now Martin’s Fantasy Island)
“Fantasy Island, Inc. opened on July 1, 1961 and went bankrupt in 1982. It was acquired out of bankruptcy by Charles Wood, the original owner of Storytown USA. He sold the park to International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) in 1989, and later reacquired the park in 1992 when IBC went bankrupt. Wood changed the park’s name to Two Flags Over Niagara Fun Park, a name it kept until 1994 when local businessman Martin Dipietro purchased the park and redubbed it Martin’s Fantasy Island.
Originally the park only occupied 12 acres of land. It expanded to 85 acres in 1974.
The park’s Silver Comet roller coaster, introduced in 1999, was created in the spirit of the original Comet roller coaster that was located at nearby Crystal Beach, Ontario for many years. In fact, the original Comet was stored at Fantasy Island after Charles Wood purchased it in 1989. Wood would later move the Comet to his Great Escape park in Lake George, New York, where it was reassembled in 1994 and remains in operation to this day. It is the one and only amusement park on Grand Island.”
The “Desperado Plunge” was a log flume purchased by Wood from Busch Gardens in Van Nuys, California when the park closed.
LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE
When Arto Monaco’s Land of Make Believe closed down, Charley wood purchased the “Small Town” buildings settling them between Storytown and Ghost Town. Several years later other Monaco buildings were brought to Storytown USA. Some were themed to the Old West.
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 O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc.)
The Ragin’ Cajun roller coaster originally operated at Pontchartrain Beach amusement park, which was an old fashioned boardwalk style park. When the park closed in 1983, The Great Escape acquired this coaster, renaming it Steamin’ Demon.. Contrary to rumors, this was not the parks first roller coaster.
New York World’s Fair 1964/1965
Some of the Tiki’s and other items used for the Jungle Land facade were actually from the Polynesian Pavilion as well as the Guinea Pavilion from the New York World’s Fair.
Hannigan, John. Fantasy City: Pleasure and Profit in the Postmodern Metropolis. London: Routledge, 1998.
Hahner Jr. , David P. Kennywood (PA) (Images of America). Portsmouth: Arcadia Publishing, 2004.
Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society
The Peopletron Focus
Theme Park Review
Mark Rosenzweig (whispers)
Welcome To Freedomland, USA!!