Fantasy Island (U.S. amusement park)

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Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island Grand Island logo.png
Location2400 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island, New York 14072
Coordinates43°1′37.2″N 78°58′14.5″W / 43.027000°N 78.970694°W / 43.027000; -78.970694Coordinates: 43°1′37.2″N 78°58′14.5″W / 43.027000°N 78.970694°W / 43.027000; -78.970694
OwnerApex Parks Group
General ManagerChris Kearsing
OpenedJuly 1, 1961
Previous namesTwo Flags Over Niagara Fun Park
Martin's Fantasy Island
Operating seasonMay through October
Area85 acres (340,000 m2)
Attractions
Total32 total (7 of which are in the water park)
Roller coasters3
Water rides7
WebsiteFantasy Island
StatusOperating

Fantasy Island is an amusement park located on Grand Island, New York.

History[edit]

Fantasy Island opened in July 1961 and went bankrupt in 1982. It was acquired out of bankruptcy by Charles Wood the original owner of Storytown USA. Wood sold the park to International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) in 1989 and later re-acquired the park in 1992 when IBC went bankrupt. In his second stint of ownership, 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. This name remained until the end of the 2016 season.

On May 14, 2016, the day the park opened for its 56th season, DiPietro announced that Fantasy Island had been sold to Apex Parks Group, a California-based company.[1] The park's name reverted to Fantasy Island after the 2016 season concluded.

Originally, the park only occupied 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land; it expanded to the current 85 acres (340,000 m2) in 1974. On August 11, 1991, 14-year-old Kenneth Margerum fell 60 feet (18 m) to his death from the Ferris wheel after his seat dropped from its axle. It was revealed that the park operators routinely removed one or two seats from the ride each day to prevent the ride from moving around in high winds during off-hours. Each time the ride opened, the seats were bolted back onto the frame of the ride. Investigators found that only one side of the victim's seat had been bolted properly, causing Margerum's seat to drop from its axle and subsequently leading to his death.

The park's Silver Comet roller coaster, which opened in 1999, was created in the style of the original Comet roller coaster that was located at nearby Crystal Beach, Ontario for many years. The original Comet was stored at Fantasy Island after Wood purchased it in 1989, the year Crystal Beach closed, before moving the Comet to his Great Escape park in Queensbury, New York, where it was reassembled in 1994 and remains in operation to this day.

Rides and attractions[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Fantasy Island has four operating roller coasters as of 2019.[2]

Name Year Opened Status Type Manufacturer/Model Comments
Max's Doggy Dog Coaster 2013 Operating Steel kiddie roller coaster SBF Visa Group
Crazy Mouse 2005 Operating Steel Wild Mouse spinning roller coaster Zamperla Like a typical wild mouse, except with spinning cars. Replaced Wildcat in 2005 when that ride closed.
Dragon Wagon 1986 Removed Steel family powered roller coaster. Zamperla Was located between Silver Comet and the Giant Slide. Replaced by Devil's Hole when it returned in 2011 after a 17-year hiatus.
Little Dipper Removed 1995 Steel kiddie roller coaster Allen Herschell
Orient Express 1998 Reinstalled 2019 Removed 2004 Steel kiddie roller coaster. Wisdom Rides Themed as a Chinese dragon. The coaster was also known as "Dragon Coaster." Replaced in 2004 by Jack and the Beanstalk. This ride was bought back from Beauce Carnival (a Canadian carnival) and is now again operating where the Little Dipper was originally.
Silver Comet 1999 Operating Wood Custom Coasters International wooden roller coaster Modeled after The Comet from Crystal Beach.
Wildcat 1972 Removed 2005 Steel thrill roller coaster Schwarzkopf Replaced in 2005 with Crazy Mouse. Sold to a Russian showman, but fate of the coaster is unknown.

Water attractions/Rides[edit]

Name Type Year Opened Status Comments
Bumper Boats Bumper Boats Removed
Cannon Bowl ProSlide CannonBowl 2006 Operating A generic ProSlide CannonBowl water slide.
Dragster Drench ProSlide ProRacer 2012 Operating A traditional four-lane racing mat slide
Dinosaur Pool Kiddie Pool 1980s Operating A small kiddie pool with a dinosaur shaped slide in the middle of it.
Old Mill Scream Arrow Log Flume ride 1986 Removed 2014 A log flume ride with two hills. The only water ride that wasn't located in the water park area; removed due to deteriorating condition and high costs of maintenance. Originally operated at Petticoat Junction (Pirate's World) in Florida. Replaced in 2014 by Over the Falls.
Double Dare Falls Water Slides 1984 Operating A set of two mat water slides that cross over each other and end in a small shallow pool. Renamed to Dare Double Falls for the 2018 season. Formally Raging Rapids
Splash Creek Lazy River Operating A lazy river ride with water falls.
Surf Hill ProSlide Water Slide 1980s Operating A small pink racing water slide for small children. On some older park maps, it's mistakenly called "Pro-Slide."
Wave Pool Wave Pool 1995 Operating Replaced Kid Wash in 1995 when that ride closed.
Kid Wash Retro Splash Pad 1980s Removed 1995 A metal structure that kids could walk through, with dumping buckets and other squirting novelties that resembled a car wash, similar to that of a modern-day splash pad. Ride was also surrounded by smaller kiddy fountain pools, with the bumper boats at the furthest end. All removed to make way for the Wave Pool.

Dry rides[edit]

4x4 Truck Ride Removed 2008 SBF Kiddie ride Art work depicting some cartoon characters such as Wile E. Coyote. Was located where Rockin' Tug is now.
Antique Cars 1961 Operating Arrow/Gould Antique Car ride Contains original Arrow model cars, Gould cars purchased at a later date.
Beanstalk 2015 Operating SBF-Visa Drop n' Twist Replaced the Moser Spring version of the same name.
Blue Goose 2011 Operating Allen Herschell Kiddie ride Originally operated in the 1980s. Was refurbished and brought back to the park for the 50th anniversary.
Boats 1961 Operating Allen Herschell Kiddie ride
Bugs 1972 Removed 2011 Venture Kiddie ride A small circular ride featuring ladybugs going around a mushroom. Was in storage until end of the 2016 season when Martin DiPietro took it with him as he departed from the park.
Carousel 1961 Operating Allen Herschell Carousel
Chaos 1997 Removed 2007 Chance Chaos Ride prototype portable version #3
Cinema 180 1961 Removed 2003 3D cinema theater
Crazy Bus 1997 Removed 2013 Zamperla Crazy Bus ride Replaced by Rockin' Tug
Rok O Plane 1975 Removed Eyerly aircraft Came from Martin’s Shows
DareDevil 2001 Removed 2008 Chance Slingshot ride Replaced with Flight.
Devil's Hole[3] 1975 Removed 1994 Chance Rides Inc.
Devil's Hole 2011 Operating Wisdom Gravitron A Rotor version of Devil's Hole that originally operated at the park until 1994. Originally, Devil's Hole was supposed to come in green which led to the Devil Statue art work to be accidentally painted green, but after that mistake was corrected, the Devil's Hole ride came in yellow and orange. Replaced Starship 2000 in 2011 when that ride closed. Located where Dragon Coaster was before that ride closed in 1986.
Rock & Roll Music Express 2015 Operating Bertazzon Name often shortened to "Rock & Roll."
Flight 2008 Operating Zamperla Star Flyer Replaced DareDevil when that ride closed in 2001.
Full Tilt 2007 Operating ARM USA
Flying Bobs 1989 Removed 2003 Chance Rides Purchased in auction from Crystal Beach when it closed in 1989. Sold to a unknown location in Mexico
Giant Slide 1975 Removed 2018 Slide Manufactured by Whitehead Plastics.
Gondola Wheel 1994 Operating Chance Rides Giant Wheel Located in the back of the park across from Crazy Mouse.
Grand Circus Menagerie 2008 Operating Sartori Kiddie ride Features antique cars, motorcycles and animals.
Iron Horse 1961 Operating Allen Hershell Iron Horse One of the park's original attractions. MFI Currently has its original engine and cars installed at the park, The Park also has the train that came from nearby Beaver Island State Park and uses that as a spare engine and cars.
Jack and the Beanstalk 2004 Removed 2015 Moser Spring Ride Themed after the beanstalk statue located near the ride. Replaced Orient Express in 2004 when that ride closed.
Jets {First operating season unknown.} {Removal year unknown.} {Ride model unknown.} {Ride placement unknown. No pictures could be found.}
Kiddie Train 1983 Operating Zamperla Rio Grande A miniature train ride for kids.
Magic Ring 1961 Operating Zamperla Kiddie ride Features motorcycles
Mega Disk'o 2009 Operating Zamperla Disk'o ride
Mind Warp 2011 Operating Technical Park Loop Fighter[4] The first ride of its kind in North America. Replaced Sizzler in 2011 when that ride closed.
Nitro 2003 Removed 2009 Zamperla Nitro ride Ride removed due to foundational issues because of its portable nature.
Over The Falls 2014 Removed 2015 KMG Speed The largest ride in park history at approximately 131 feet tall. Replaced Old Mill Scream in 2014 when that ride closed.
Paratrooper 1975 Removed Hrubetz Paratrooper Was sold to Amusements of Buffalo which went bankrupt. it’s now in Michigan with a traveling carnival.
Patriot 1989 Removed 2009 ARM-UK Kamikaze ride After the 2008 season, the Patriot was sold; however, improper handling led to a hydraulic cylinder bursting, causing the ride to collapse. Full Tilt was then moved to its current location in 2009 to make way for Mega Disk-O.
Rampage 1979 Removed Double Ferris Wheel Manufactured by Watkins, this was an originally a trailer-mounted ride.
Rockin' Tug 2013 Operating Zamperla Rockin' Tug Located where 4X4 Truck Ride was after that ride closed in 2008; replaced Crazy Bus when that ride closed in 2013.
Red Baron 1961 Operating Allen Herschell Helicopter
Sea Ray 1995 Removed 2011 Mulligan Pirate Ship
Scooter 1989 Operating Majestic TM1400 Euro Scooter Was part of Martin DiPietro's traveling carnival before he purchased the park in 1994.
Sizzler 1989 Removed 2011 Wisdom Sizzler ride A Scrambler style ride. Replaced with Mind Warp in 2011.
Space Shuttle 1961 Removed 1994 Chance Rides Inc. A swinging ship ride that was made to look like a rocket ship. Was sold to Amusements of Buffalo which went bankrupt. It’s unknown of where this ride is today.
Starship 2000 2009 Removed 2011 Wisdom Gravitron ride Replaced with Devil's Hole when it returned in 2011. Was leased from Wisdom rides.
Super Spiral 1977 Removed 2002 Hrubetz Round up ride
Tea Cups 1997 Removed 2014 Zamperla mini Tea Cups Replaced in 2014 by a larger model like the ones at Seabreeze in Rochester, New York and Lagoon in Farmington, Utah.
Tea Cups 2014 Operating Zamperla Midi Tea Cups Slightly larger model of the original Tea Cups, allowing adults to ride comfortably.
Tilt-A-Whirl 1992 Operating Sellner Electric 7 Tilt-A-Whirl
Tranbant 1961 Removed Chance Trabant Located next to the games building is now. Moved to Great Escape but no longer operates. It’s now a dining platform.
Up Up and Away 1994 Operating Zamperla Samba Balloons
YoYo 1961 Removed 1994 Chance Rides Inc A chair swing style ride. Was sold to and restored by Amusements of Buffalo which went bankrupt. The ride was auctioned off and now sits at Quassy amusement park in the north east.
Balloon Race 1985 Removed 1994 Zamperla A bigger version of Up Up And Away. Sat where the Beanstalk currently sits today. This ride was also moved to Great Escape In 1994 when the park was sold and currently still operates there today
Astro Wheel 1981 Removed 1994 Chance Rides Inc A skydiver converted to a Ferris Wheel. Only a handful were made. This ride spent time at Great Escape before landing here in the late 80s. Was sold to Amusements of Buffalo which went bankrupt. The Astro wheel continues to operate today with Kissel Brothers Entertainment in the Midwest after restoration. Astro wheel was replaced by the Gondola Wheel.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fink, James (May 14, 2016). "Fantasy Island bought by California company". Buffalo Business First. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  2. ^ "Martin's Fantasy Island". RCDB. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  3. ^ "86'd Rides vol 2: Hell Hole | The DoD3". domainofdeath3.com. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  4. ^ https://www.technicalpark.com/amusement-rides/loop-fighter/

External links[edit]